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Timings : 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hours

Entry Fee : No entry fee

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Achankovil River, Kollam Overview

The confluence of the Rishimala, Pasukidamettu and Ramakkalteri Rivers on the peninsula of the country gives rise to the breathtaking Achankovil River. The river originates from the hills of Achankovil in the Pathanamthitta, from where it flows through Mavelikkara, Thiruvalla and Karthikapally Taluk into the left of river Pamba, which lies near the Vembanattu Lake. Also known as Achankovilaaru, the river is about 128 kilometres long and is brimming with flora and fauna on its either bank. The river is a scenic spot that tourists especially love to visit to enjoy the splendid views of nature.

The word Achan Kovil means the shrine of Achan, or in other words, the shrine of the Supreme Deity. One can thus find numerous ancient temples and religious places of great importance along the river route, such as Pandalam, which is considered to be the native place of Lord Ayyappa. The presence of these temples has dramatically served to enhance the popularity of the Achankovil River since tourists who visit the area get to witness not only some picturesque views but also to seek blessings from the Almighty and pray for their loved ones. The tranquillity and serenity that the place offers make it one of the most famous and loved tourist spot in all of Kerala. Besides, Edappon, a spot famous for its flora and fauna, also lies on the banks of the river, and this haven is also a must visit place.

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Activities at Achankovil River

Tourists can enjoy swimming, boating and fishing while at the Achankovil River. They can also choose to take long nature walks along the river bank to admire the glory of nature, and spend some peaceful time. Also, the river banks are also a favourite picnic spot among the local families, and the place is buzzing, especially on weekends. There are also plenty of ancient temples that are located along the river route. These include Shiva temple or the Kandiyoor Mahadeva Temple, Chettikulangara temple and the Thazhoor Bhagavathy Kshetram temple among others.

Visitors can also spot exotic wild animals in the forests surrounding the river. It is quite common to find a few elephants, forest fowls, boars and deer while visiting the Achankovil River. Also, the forest is like paradise on earth for bird watchers, who get to witness beautiful and colourful birds here. Edappon, a place famous for its flora and fauna, near Pandalam, is also located on the banks of the Achankovil River and is a favourite spot for tourists, especially nature lovers and wildlife photographers.

Achankovil Temples

A large number of temples on the banks of the Achankovil River indicate that since times immemorial, the local inhabitants had identified the fertility of the river basin and the many advantages of staying here. Thus, they decided to settle down here, and consequently, with human settlement, many temples were also constructed here. The Achankovil Sastha Temple, which is a Hindu temple that is one of the 108 Sasthalayas is located on the banks of the river. Lord Ayyappa is the presiding deity at the temple. The Kandiyoor Mahadeva Temple, built in dedication to Lord Shiva, is also situated on the river banks. This temple is believed to be more than 2200 years old and is made up entirely of black stones. The famous Chettikulangara Temple is also situated near this temple.

One can also find the Chamakkavu Devi Temple, near Venmoney, on the river bank. Even though the temple is presently a Hindu Temple, historically it was a Buddhist place of worship. It first transformed into a Vishnu temple, which was known as Sharnga-kavu, and later into a Devi temple. The annual chariot festival and other traditions that take place in the temple correspond to the old Buddhist practices of "kettu kazhcha", which were later on assimilated into Hinduism in Kerala.

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