The Kallada River is one of two major rivers that flow through the Kollam District of Kerala, India. Kallada River Is Also Known As Punalurar This River is formed by three Rivers, viz., Kulathupuzha, Chendurni and Kalthuruthy which join near Parappar in Thenmala by the side of the Trivandrum-Shencottah road. It travels for 121 km, flowing through Punalur, Pathanapuram, Kunnathur, Kulakada Pavithreswaram (Puthoor) and Kallada before ending at Ashtamudi Lake. The Palaruvi Falls also feeds Kallada river. The Chalikkari Aar also joins Kallada a little downstream. These two rivers flows westward and falls into the Ashtamudi Lake.
For a good part of its initial course, the river flows in parallel with the Kollam - Shenkottai commercial highway. At Punalur, a Suspension Bridge was constructed across this by the Travancore Maharaja in British Style. This is still preserved as an archeological marvel. The end point of this river is the Ashtamudi Kayal. The river bed is usually rocky and it is difficult to swim and play in such as river. There are huge rocks, deep pits and other obstructions in the river. In modern times, the Thenmala dam is built on this river. This is an irrigation dam mainly aimed at providing water to the downstream regions throughout the year.
Kallada Boat Race (The Kallada Jalotsavam) is one of the most famous boat races held in South Kerala, India. The boat race is an annual event which happens 28 days after Onam (28 aam Onam). Almost all the famous snake boats (Chundanvallam) take part in this event. This boat race is held on the Muthiraparambu-Karuvathrakadavu course of the Kallada River. This year it will be conducted on 23 September. Sasthamkottah lake is the largest fresh water lake in kerala and provides drinking water for most of the places in Kollam district. Except for an earthen embankment of 1.5 km length which separates the lake from the paddy fields on its southern side, bordering the alluvial plains of the Kallada River, all other sides of the lake are surrounded by hills which are steep and form narrow valleys. Sooranad, Chakkuvally, Kunnathur, Mynagappally, Poruvazhy, West Kallada, Karunagappally, East Kallada are the important places in and around Sasthamcotta.
Kallada river has a place in history along with other major rivers. It is believed that Paleolithic people lived around this river in the Thenmala region. This was around 10,000 years ago. Later, the "Ay" kingdom also flourished in or around this region.kallada is a river whose serenity lies in its stillness, the pythonic pace with which it embraces the muddy riversides. Emanate from here are the rustic simplicity and emotionality of village populaces, west kallada and east kallada. Untouched by the onslaught of administrative modernization, there are many areas in both villages. Uppoodu (of east kallada), Ullurup (of west kallada) are a few to name. The virtues of the word called "kinship", define itself here better than anywhere else. These words are attempted for nothing, but to eulogise the umbilical relation between the river kallada and the unique life of rustic magnanimity, which it had given birth to.
Industries along the river
There were many industries flourishing on the banks of Kallada river during the British Period. Punalur Paper Mills, established in 1875, is one of such major companies which operates near the banks of this river. The effluents discharged from the mills into Kallada river was found to alter the physiochemical factors and production of plankton in the mid-1900s. The mill was embroiled in a labour dispute, and was closed in 1987. After the resolution of legal issues, it was reopened in 2015.
Sand mining is a cause of concern along the banks of this river, because it makes the banks more vulnerable to erosion and floods.
Kallada Irrigation Project
Kallada irrigation and Tree crop Development project is the largest irrigation project in Kerala. The command area of this project is distributed over Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha district and covers Punalur, Pathanapuram, Kottarakkara, Kollam, Kunnathur, Karunagappally, Adoor, Mavelikkara and Karthikappally Taluks. The project was planned to irrigate net cultivable command area of 61630 Ha. During the course of execution few canals including Kayamkulam Branch canal were dropped and now this project is benefited for a net cultivable command area of 53514 Ha in 92 villages. Head works is completed during 1986. Left and right bank main canals are fully completed. Right bank main canal partially commissioned during 1986 and left bank main canal during 1992.
- "Kallada River". india9. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
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