Academy for mountaineering and adventure Sports (AMAS), Kerala
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River Basin Youth Adventure Expo 2010
(Puzha Ariyum Yathra)

- An expedition organized by The Academy for Mountaineering & Adventure Sports (AMAS) with the co-operation of Kerala State Youth Welfare Board and Department of Tourism - From 15th July to 5th August 2010.

A brief report

While observing the International bio-diversity year (2010), AMAS, with the cooperation of Kerala State Youth Welfare board and Tourism Department, organized an expedition that covered all the 44 rivers of Kerala, from their origins in the Western Ghats to their outlets in the west coast. The expedition team was consisted of 72 adventurous people, both male and female. This expedition was the first of its kind in the state of Kerala. Finally, it turned to be an unforgettable experience in the life of each participant and a remarkable event in the history of AMAS

The expedition was organized with an intention to get a thorough knowledge of the entire natural drainage of the state. Even though there are 44 rivers in the state, an average Keralite may not know even the names of most rivers. It was in this situation that AMAS organized an expedition to know everything about each river

Trekkings, voyages through rivers, mountaineering and many other adventurous activities were the essential items to be performed for the fulfilment of the expedition

The expedition had aimed the following achievements :

  1. To conduct a study of the geographical features of Kerala
  2. To appreciate the boundless natural beauty of Kerala
  3. To come closer to the rivers that make our land fertile
  4. To inculcate venturesomeness in the participants through various adventurous activities
  5. To come closer to the diverse cultural heritage of the state
  6. To come closer to different life situations prevailing in different regions such as coastal areas and highlands.
  7. To familiarize with different dialects spoken in different regions of the state
  8. To familiarize with the rare medicinal plants among the abundant vegetation of the western ghats
  9. To familiarize with the flora and fauna of the eastern forests of Kerala
  10. To make a detailed study of the origin, flow and confluence of all the 44 rivers in the state.
  11. To strengthen public interest in favour of river and dams.
  12. To conduct seminars, workshops etc or Adventure Tourism, river study and nature study at towns and cities situated on the banks of rivers, and
  13. To collect samples of river water and flora & fauna from all rivers for the purpose of exhibitions and research programme

Adventure Activities performed during the expo

Terrestrial adventure items such as Rock Climbing, Mountaineering, Trekking, River Crossing, River basin trekking, nature walk, jungle living, rampling, hiking, archery, rifle shooting, tramboline, flying fox, sick lion, flying squirrel, burma bridge, burma loop, multivein and commando bridge.

Aquatic items such as Rafting, canoeing, kayaking, rowing, sailing, waterball, zorbing, banana ride, aqua-sailing, river walking, bamboo rafting, swimming, tube rafting, coracle ride and barrel boat riding.

Aerial items such as Para-sailing, para-gliding, hot air ballooning, rescue diving, kite flying, and ballooning were performed at places such as Neyyattinkara, Palode, Vadasserikara, Vandiperiyar, Vagamon, Vazhachal, Mannarkkadu, Nilamboor, Kottakunnu, Pakshipathalam, Kuruva Island, Kanjirakolly, Ravipuram, Manjeswaram, Madayippara, Payyambalam, Alappuzha, Kollam and Sanghumukham.

Journey

The expedition started from Aruvippuram, a pilgrim centre on the bank of Neyyar, on 15th July 2010. Reaching Agasthyarkoodam, the source of Neyyar, the team moved northwards along the Western Ghats to familiarize with the sources of all the other 43 rivers viz. Karamana river, mammam, and manjeswaram puzha.

The return trip was along coastal Kerala, watching the outlets of 41 rivers that mingle with the Arabian sea. (3 of the total 44 rivers viz. Kabani, Bhavani and Pampar flow towards the Bay of Bengal).

Watching the geographical features of the West Coast, performing adventure sports activities, conducting seminars on various topics related to environmental protectiong and organizing exhibitions & rallies at selected centres, the expedition team reached the Gandhi Park at Thiruvananthapuram on 5th August 2010. The team was well received at the valedictory function there.