Kalasa Mala – also known as Kallazhi Kunnu, Narimada Kunnu
Kalasa Mala is a virgin scenic hill station that lies to the north west of Thrissur district, which is renowned as the cultural capital of God`s Own Country Kerala. The view from the top is overwhelming. No wonder it is being promoted as a budding eco-tourist-cum-bio-deversity heritage spot in the district. Kalasamala is also known as Kallazhi Kunnu, Narimada Kunnu.
Kalasamala has now become a tourist destination and cinema shooting place as it offers nature in its totality. Famous movies listed Ponthan Mada, Uriyadappayyan.
Kalasa Mala Grove
Kalasa mala Grove in Akathiyoor near Kunnamkulam is the first Biodiversity Heritage Site of the State designated by the Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBDB). Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are the foremost deities of this sacred temple grove. Experts have identified the grove as home to critically endangered tree species known as Syzygium travancoricum inside the temple premises at Kalasamala. The sacred grove has 3.5 acres of land crammed with 110 Syzygium travancoricum ( locally known as Kulavetti or Vathamkolli) trees – a critically endangered plant species included in the IUCN Red List. According to the Red List less than 200 of the trees, usually seen in fresh water, are left.
The temple authorities of Kalasamala grove are the caretakers of this unique ecosystem, and play a fundamental role in the management of the bio diversity conservation system. The national Bio Diversity Authority (NRDA) and the KSBDB provide financial assistance to the temple authorities for the protection of this exceptional ecosystem. The local panchayat also allocates funds in its plan for conservation and fortification of the site. A total ban on cuttung trees in the sacred grove is in place.
Bio-Diversity heritage Sites (BHS)
The Biological Diversity Act of 2002 stipulates that the State governments notify areas of biodiversity value as BHS and that they should frame rules and regulations for the successful management and conservation of these sites. The State Biodiversity Board has already recognized five dissimilar ecosystems as BHS within the state, of which Syzygium travancoricum sighted in Kalasamala grove is one of the prominent ones. The Board has also identified the sacred groves at Iringole near Perumbavoor, the Paliyeri Mookambika temple in Karivallur near Kannur, the Connolly Teak Plantation in Nilambur and the Pathiramanal Island near Muhamma to be designated as biodiversity heritage sites.
Heritage attractions in Kalasa Mala
Apart from the grove, there is natural cave, on the hilltop in Kalasa mala, locally known as Narimala, which dates back to the Stone Ae and it also has a dense shola forest having a beautiful temple in the middle. Stones such as Umbrella stone ( Kuda Kallu ) and cap stone ( Thoppi Kallu ) are seen here, which belongs to the megalithic age. The verdant hilltop with the temple lamps twinkling at twilight makes for a breathtaking sight.
Years ago, a Telugu film was shot here, for which the art director had created a miniature temple. When the film unit left, the temple remained abandoned there. One day, a Kalvilakku ( multilayer lamp made of stone ) appeared in front of the model temple, soon followed by religious rituals. The timely interference of the panchayat stopped the film`s miniature temple model from turing into a real temple. The scenic Kalasamala hill has been seen in many Malayalam movies, including Bhoothakanndi, directed by Lohithadas starring Mammootty. Evening are the perfect time to visiting this picturesque locale. For urban people, Kalasamala offers the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of city life and enchanting introduction to the beauty of nature.
Kalasa mala, as a Kerala tourist destination offers nature at its best even to the most discerning traveller.