Bharathapuzha, also known as the River Nila or the River Ponnani, is a major river in the state of Kerala, India. It is the second-longest river in Kerala, after the Periyar River, and has great historical and cultural significance in the region.

The Bharathapuzha originates from the Anaimudi Hills in the Western Ghats, near the border of Tamil Nadu. It flows through the Palakkad Gap in the Western Ghats and traverses a distance of approximately 209 kilometers before emptying into the Arabian Sea near Ponnani. The river basin covers parts of the Palakkad, Thrissur, and Malappuram districts of Kerala.

Bharathapuzha has been referred to as the “Nadhi” (river) in numerous Malayalam literary works and is often considered the lifeline of Kerala’s cultural heritage. The river has played a vital role in the development of civilization in the region, with evidence of human settlements along its banks dating back thousands of years. It has also been a source of inspiration for artists, writers, and poets.

The river’s water is primarily used for agricultural purposes, with a vast network of canals and irrigation systems branching off from it to support the region’s farming activities. The river is also known for its unique ecology, supporting a diverse range of flora and fauna along its course.

In recent years, Bharathapuzha has faced challenges due to pollution and environmental degradation, primarily caused by human activities such as sand mining, indiscriminate waste disposal, and the encroachment of its banks. Efforts are being made to address these issues and restore the river’s ecological balance.

Bharathapuzha holds immense cultural, ecological, and economic significance for the people of Kerala. It continues to be a cherished symbol of the state’s heritage and is a vital resource for the communities living along its course.

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