21 April 2012
The easiest weekend break in the hot season you can get from Trivandrum is the Neyyar Dam. It provides electricity and drinking water to the city. Built in the early 1950s it was one of the earliest dams in this part of the country in Independent India. It makes an artificial lake, the Neyyar Lake that is surrounded by rolling hills which are covered by dense tropical forests and hosts the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary. There are sporadic boating services operated by the Wildlife authorities to the far side of the lake which has nature in quite pristine conditions. A Lion Safari is on one of the distant banks of the lake and can only be reached by the boat operated by the wildlife authorities. They also have a Crocodile park which breeds them in captivity and are kept in unimaginative enclosures. The KTDC operates a small 'Tamarind' hotel which has magnificent views of the lake. So, actually quite a lot to pack a weekend with at just about an hours' drive! I did it the last weekend and it turned out to be an extremely rewarding break not only from the scenic but also from the birding point of view, the results of which I shall be posting subsequently. So watch out this space!