Story of a “hut” standing tall in the midst of the Athirappilly falls

crop person showing toy pistols
Is it green or yellow ? How does one know ?

When was the hut standing tall in the midst of Athirappilly falls, was made and who built it

Social Media and Reality

The other day I read the Facebook post by my friend Ananthanarayana Sharma which in fact is a forward posted by another Facebook user OLD BOMBY.

I decided to write to Krishnan who does not have a Facebook account.

Krishnan worked with NDDB in 1970s. After retirement from his last job at RBI he is settled and lives on his ancestral plantation near Cochin. He is connected with NGOs in the area concerned with human and environmental issues in Athirapilly area.

Krishnan wrote

Thank you. Though I started to hear this story about a month back, this is the first time that I am reading about this in some detail.

Sadly, this is totally untrue.

In fact, to get the truth, I just talked to Sivanunny an Athirappilly based tribal who was one among the five people who was engaged in the construction of the structure.

Sivanunny who with his four other colleagues built the hut
G Krishnan had earlier written a blog about human and developmental issues around Athirappilly for Vrikshmandir.

Another person named Shaju who was also involved in the work is also personally  known to me.

This is the hut that Sivanunny and his colleagues built

When I visited the place for the first time in 1996,this structure did not exist at all.

After I settled in Kerala in 2000, I started visiting Athirappilly  at least twice a week in connection  with the anti- dam agitation.

Even  in 2001,this structure was non existent. It was constructed only in 2002, by a group  of 5 employees  of the newly formed Vana Samrakshana Samithi(VSS) as instructed by the then DFO, Induchoodan!

The shed  was basically  meant to protect the two watchmen  from the sun during the day.

The watcher’s presence became necessary to prevent the drunk Mallus  from entering the water and get drowned. Good quality teak  obtained from the local forest was placed into the cracks among the rock and fixed with concrete. It lasted till 2018 when a group of wild elephants destroyed  the shead.

Hence what is visible  today is the renovated structure.The material obtained  from the forest lasts only  for about 2 years and gets replaced.The small shead at the Falls is very much a media celebrity  in Kerala.

However, the locals continue to have a hearty laugh every time they read or hear about the English Man and his wife! Incidentally, tourists  started visiting the Athirappilly  falls only  in the 1950’s when a pucca road road through  the forest came up to facilitate the construction  of 2 upstream dams.


One thought on “Story of a “hut” standing tall in the midst of the Athirappilly falls

  1. Thank you for the blog.I really don’t know whether it was shock or amusement that engulfed me when read the story that has gone viral ( at least in Kerala) about the cock and bull story pertaining to the White man ,his lady love and th mysterious hut adjacent to the fall.Most of the time,the fragile looking hut is perched outside the flowing water.But ,during the heavy rains it gets swamped by the fierce flooding. Today I talked to Sivanunni’s wife Lalita about Shailendra’s blog and she felt excited that some in distant Canada has written about her husband’s work!

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