The Ayamkadavu bridge in Kerala, which was inaugurated recently, is being turned into a hotspot for tourists. By Shrimayee Thakur

Inaugurated by Pinarayi Vijayan, the Chief Minister of Kerala, the Ayamkadavu bridge is 120 metres long. It has been built across the Vavadukkam River, a tributary of Chandragiri, at Ayamkadavu. The bridge connects Pullur-Periya and Badiyadka. Prior to the construction of the bridge, locals on both sides of the river used to rely on boats to commute.

Standing tall at 25 metres, the Ayamkadavu bridge is the highest in Kerala. According to reports, it has also been proposed that a glass bridge be built so people can enjoy an unhindered view of the river, boats and the surrounding hills. To draw tourists to the area, a food court, an open-air stage and a toilet block would be built during the first phase of the Ayamkadavu development plan. The cost for the construction of the bridge was INR 17 crores.

This initiative was taken up as a part of the Kasaragod Development Package, under which 448 schemes in 19 sectors were taken up, the major sectors of which were energy, tourism, health, and education. The total budget for this plan is INR 11,000 crores, with the state government contributing INR 2524.56 crores, the Central government contributing INR 756.19 crores, the public and private sectors together contributing INR 7264.16 crores, and foreign funding of INR 543 crores.

The Ayamkadavu bridge connects the summits of two hills and offers a beautiful view of the surrounding area. The bridge and the 3.8 kilometres long Perladukam-Ayampara-Periya road will together help in improving connectivity to places like Sullia and Madikeri in Karnataka, along with other places like Kanhangad and the Central University of Kerala in Periya.

The Ayamkadavu bridge project was proposed by the P Prabhakaran Commission that was appointed by the Government at the time to make a comprehensive development package for Kasaragod district in 2012. The bridge’s foundation stone was laid in December 2016.

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