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Meenachil is a small village in the district of Kottayam in Kerala. The name is said to have originated from the Dravidian Goddess Meenakshi. The main town of Meenachil is Palai. The important river which flows through the district of Kottayam is also called as Meenachil. The river originates in Western Ghats at Vagamon and flows westward and empties in Vembanad Lake. The length of the river is 87 Kms.
A Brief History of Meenachil
Earlier, Meenachil was under the rule of Meenachil Karthas, local chieftains. In the year 1754, the taluk was annexed with Travancore by Marthanda Varma. The name of the place is said to have been taken from the name of the Goddess Meenakshi of Karthas. One of the famous chieftains of this family is Veera Kerala Damodara Simhar. Thekkumkoor kingdom lies on the southern bank of River Meenachil and Changanassery is its capital. Vadakkumkoor lies on the northern bank of the river and its capital is Kaduthuruthy.
Geography of Meenachil
Meenachil is situated at 9.7oN 76.70oE. It is situated 23 Kms to the east of Kottayam, the district headquarters and 158 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital.
Climate of Meenachil
Meenachil experiences tropical climate and receives significant rainfall during most of the months. The short dry season has little effect. The climate of Meenachil is classified as Am by Koppen and Geiger. The annual average temperature of Meenachil is 27.4oC and the average annual rainfall is 3200 mm.
Administration of Meenachil
The Meenachil town is administered by Grama Panchayat. The Sarpanch or the Head of the Village is elected representative of the village. Elections are held once in 5 years.
Business and Economy in Meenachil
Agriculture is the predominant occupation of the people of Meenachil. Though they produce food crops such as paddy, tapioca, etc, most of the population depends on the cultivation of cash crops such as black pepper and rubber for their income. Due to sudden increase in the price of Vanilla, the people had started cultivating vanilla. The Government of Kerala is keen on implementing the Meenachil River Valley Project which diverts the extra water from Moovattupuzha River to the Meenachil River Basin through a tunnel. This project, once completed, will increase the water availability in the region.
Tourism in Meenachil
Though Meenachil is a small village, it serves as base for the following major tourists’ destination of Kerala:
Kottayam is situated on the Kerala’s southern part. It is a major commercial and religious hub in Kerala. Kottayam comes with lush greenery, clear back waters, lakes, vegetation, rubber plantations and paddy fields. It is a paradise for nature lovers. Some of the attractions of Kottayam are Thirunakkara Mahadev Temple, St Mary’s Knanaya Church Valiapalli, St Mary Church Cheriapally, Thazathangadi Juma Masjid, Mannanam, St Mary’s Forane Church, Panchikkad Temple, etc.
This hill station is situated on the borders of Kottayam-Idukki district at an altitude of 1100 m above the sea level. It is a perfect getaway for nature lovers including honeymooners. While driving through Vagamon, the tourists will experience fresh mountain breeze, green capped mountains, chirping of birds, gurgling streams, etc. which will make it a magnificent hill station. Some of the attractions of Vagamon are Kurisumala Ashram, Vagamon Lake, Murugan Para and Thangal Para. Vagamon is an ideal place for trekking and rock climbing.
It is an ideal tourists destination to enjoy with your family and friends. Kumarakom comes with clear back waters, lush vegetation, vast tea plantations, etc. The climate of the town is also pleasant. Apart from that, the tourists can enjoy wide variety of sea foods, boat cruises, boat journey, fishing and can also indulge in water sports. The must see attractions of Kumarakom is backwaters and bird sanctuary.
Painaw situated at an altitude of 1000 m above the sea level is a beautiful hill station and a perfect honeymoon destination. The hill station is unspoilt and comes with breathtaking landscapes. Some of the attractions of Painaw are Kulamavu hill station and Idukki Arch Dam.
Yet another beautiful hill station of Kerala is Idukki which is situated at an altitude of 1350 m above the sea level. The religious river Pamba originates from Idukki. The Anamudi mountain peak is located here. The entire region is covered with thick dense forests and mist capped mountains. Some of the attractions of Idukki are Hill View Park, Idukki Arch Dam, Kalvari Mount, Nadukani, Thumbachi Calveri Samuchayam, Keezharkuthu waterfalls, Mangala Devi temple, etc.
Services and Utilities in Meenachil
Setting up of Grasim Industries in Mavoor led to the development of the town. Let’s see here some of the public utility services available in Mavoor.
Panchayath Office in Meenachil
The following is the address of Meenachil Panchayath Office:
Meenachil Grama Panchayat
Electricity Services in Meenachil
The Kerala State Electricity Board which functions from 1957 provides the electricity supply in Mavoor town. The address of Mavoor electricity office is:
Some of the courier services available in Meenachil are
Alleppey Parcel Service
Porunolil Agencies, Thodupuzha Road
Kottayam 686 575
Blue Dart Express Ltd
Puthumana Arcade, Kottaramattam
Kottayam 686 575
Tel: 04822-302055, 9447702117
Speed and Safe Courier Services Pvt Ltd
Ground Floor, Samooham Compound
Kottayam 686 575
ABT Parcel Service
Market Road, Kaduvamuzhy
Kottayam 686 121
How to Reach Meenachil
Meenachil is well connected by road to other major cities of Kerala state. Several state highways also pass through this village. KSRTC buses and private buses have regular services here. However, Meenachil does not have a railway station and the nearest railway junction is Kottayam which is situated at 28 Kms away from Meenachil. The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport which is situated some 85 Kms from Meenachil. The tourists can also hire a taxi to reach Meenachil.