For a Woodcrawler, it is a period of hibernation interspersed with very little opportunity to trundle around the woods carelessly. Small drives to Palakapandi and Meenvallam were the only bright spots in a long and grey two months (more of that later). I was getting restless and suddenly an old idea popped into my head again, Project Nila.
Every country, state or city has a river entwined in it's history and geography. If I were to delve into the historical and cultural significance of the Nila or Bharathapuzha I would have to go back in time by many a century and it would not fit into the Woodcrawler's Journal. There is a lot of material available on the topic and I am no scholar in history or geography to make intelligent comments.
The stimulus for this journey is the outcome of my failure to get a single comprehensive source on the internet about the course of the Nila from it's origin to its merger with the Arabian sea. Whatever is thrown up seems to have a common source, the Wikipedia! It seems no one is really making any effort to really gather information worth sharing, just happy with copy & paste! I have no pretensions about being able to finish this very quickly but I've got off to a start.
The Nila or Bharathapuzha is actually formed by the confluence of two of it's major tributaries, the Chitturpuzha and the Kalpathipuzha in Parali. Parallel to the newer bridge across the end of the Kalpthipuzha is an old bridge, beyond which is the confluence. Today, it's surface offers a convenient advertising space for local businesses.
It is too narrow by today's requirement so the highway has bypassed the bridge and the people residing on its either ends, who still use it to get across the river, are stuck in some kind of warp. The surface is now covered by peepals but the bridge seems to be in a much better shape than it's modern counterpart a few meters away.
That is no surprise because the gentleman who built the bridge was supposed to have given a 100 year guarantee for his handiwork. It has outlasted his promise by another 60 years! God bless Mr. Robinson.
|The Nila starts at the end of this stretch of river, taking a westerly direction.|
|Parali check dam|