August 11, 2017
 

The third edition of the 'Chaliyar River Challenge 2017' will be held this year from 22 to 24 September. the 68-km paddling event aims to promote the usage of rivers for recreation and raise funds to clean up the rivers while attempting to draw tourists and the youth. The starting point of the event is from Nilambur, located on the foothills of Western ghats and in close proximity to Nilgiris. The ending point is at Beypore in Kozhikode district, where the river meets with the Arabian Sea.

The three day adventure, a 'leave no trace' camping concept offers opportunities at various levels from beginners, non- swimmers to well-established water sports enthusiasts. 'Leave No Trace' refers to a set of outdoor ethics promoting conservation in the outdoors. It is built on seven principles: plan ahead and prepare travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife and be considerate of other visitors.

The event will include camping, bonfire, team activities and healthy tummy authentic Kerala delicacies. On the riverbank at Marina Convention Centre in Kozhikode at the end of 68 km, the organisers will host an outdoor music concert. For those on the water for the first time, kayak lessons will be offered on the first day to prepare for the adventure. Stand up paddlers are also invited to join the SUP contingent. Each participant will be given a one person tent at check in. The team leaders will be around to help out new comers to the world of outdoor activities. The tents will have eco-toilet which is ideal combination of comfort and functionality to accommodate full facilities for everyone who refuses to compromise on comfort and hygiene.

Rivers are neglected in our country because we don't really have any connections with them. Water adventure sports like rafting take place in hill stations only where water is fresh but on plain lands, rivers have reduced to a drain as they are used more for commercial than recreational purposes.

Chaliyar was earlier a polluted river from the effluents of nearby factory that destroyed the marine life and caused cancer in the local villagers. The Chaliyar Action Committee fought for the cause of river with the support of villagers which resulted in the closure of the factory. Since then the river has come a long way to regain its original beauty and now the organisation of a programme like kayak for a cause is helping in creating more awareness about the conservation of river.

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