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Vembanad is a backwater system mixing with the Arabian Sea. It stretches mainly within three districts , Alappuzha, Kottayam and Ernakulam. It has several small islands within its stretch.
Pathiramanal is one such island. Its greenery and water surrounding attracts people and has now become a tourist attraction. Its location is between Muhamma of Alappuzha district and Kumarakam of Kottayam district . To be exact from Muhamma boat jetty it is about 1.5 km North- East and from Kumarakam Jetty about 4 km North – West. The land area of this island is just about 65 acres.
Historically this piece of land belonged to the Thirumala Devaswam in early days, perhaps entrusted to them by the then Maharaja of Travancore. The Devaswam later handed over this to a landlord belonging to Anthraper family on lease for coconut cultivation. It turned out as a good coconut garden with very high yield. Because of this the island got the name 'Thoppu' (garden) in the locality. Rice cultivation also were done there partially. Just for looking after these activities thirteen families were allowed to live there. Cows from mainland were brought in there for gracing, since lot of grass were available.
After the formation of Kerala State and land reform regulations enacted and introduced, this island became part of 'excess land' under the then owner of the Anthraper family. This enabled the Government to take over the rights of the land and later hand over to the Tourism Department of the State.
People are attracted to this place because of its natural beauty, a piece of green land surrounded by water. Various species of mangroves grew around the island which protected the earth from soil erosion due to water rise. The island contained various species of medicinal plants, generally not seen elsewhere. Other rare plants and trees also were present inside. Snakes and birds of different types also were inhabiting the island. Certain mammal species facing extinction were also located there. In short the island was very rich in bio-diversity. Because of these features it resembled a true forest. A some what large size pond is also there inside. Tourists can see the beauty of this mini forest walking through a walk way made around it.
Actually Government had prepared a plan to develop this as a tourist attraction without hurting the natural beauty. But due to some reasons it was not implemented. Meanwhile a move was there to hand over the island to a private party on lease for constructions resorts and other facilities. However due to resistance from people and the local Panchayath the plan was dropped.
A few years later another plan was prepared with the help of environmentalists and scientific institutions for making it more attractive without disturbing its natural environment. The project was named 'Pathiramanal Bio-Park Project'. The project included the construction of boat jetty with traditional architectural touch, building an aquarium and establishing a History Museum near to it. These are near the island . Within the island the plan was to protect whatever was available there and also to improve the bio-diversity by planting more varieties of mangroves and other plants. This was to attract more birds and other small life forms such as caterpillars, etc. But the inauguration of the project alone was done. Due to certain reasons the project could not start till date. However tourists are even now visiting this beautiful spot of nature.