A Boat Club With A Difference
Nestled in a quiet corner at Kowdiar, the place is ideal for a laid-back evening | By Sambhu Sankar
On Jun 03, 2010


A laidback evening, a serene looking pond with ducks wading in the still water, a single pedal boat floating, a couple of evening joggers doing their rounds around the pond... No, this is no shooting location. It’s the Boat Club nestled in one unnoticed corner of the Tennis Club Enclave, Kowdiar.
The board saying "Trivandrum Corporation Boat Club" had brought puzzlement on the face of the residents of the nearby locale which later turned into excitement. It was inaugurated on March 2, 2009 as a part of the urban development programme undertaken by the Trivandrum Corporation. A once abandoned and littered little pond was turned into this evening paradise, thanks to the efforts of the authorities. Built in a 95-cent land, the pond is almost 11 feet deep and has water reaching up to seven and half feet.
The highlight of this project is that the water in the pond comes from nowhere but the rains! Yes. You heard it right - it's a rainwater reservoir. Sounds good, but the first thing that comes to one’s mind was the issue of water change. "There's no real need of any manual change of water here. There is a natural spring at the bed of the pond and also arrangements have been made to channel the rainwater from the nearby places into the pond. “Besides, Maheshwaran Thampi, the caretaker, does a daily cleaning up of the fallen leaves and stuff,” says Balakrishnan Nair, a member of the committee that is in charge of the place.
But then, what about during the summer months? Will the pond dry up as water scarcity is common these days? “We did have such a problem. But we made arrangements with the water authorities to help us out,” he says.
However, he seems to be eager to talk about his committee's success in maintaining the pond. There are about 20 ducks and 7 geese donated by various people, and these add to the fun of an evening at the pond side. For kids below 12, there is also a modest play area with swings, a seesaw and a slide. There is a sidewalk around the pond and concrete benches for people who'd like to just sit and share a bit of neighbourhood gossips. A fountain at the centre of the pond is awaiting a three-phase connection, and so is an artificial waterfall by the sidewalk.

Kowdiar Boat Club Yentha


Kowdiar Boat Club Yentha

The place grabbed media attention last April when they celebrated the fish harvest. The Fisheries Department had donated fresh-water fishes which were reared under the meticulous supervision of the caretaker and was harvested on April 1. Talking about the boat service, there's currently only one pedal boat which is rented out for a minimal charge of Rs. 10/- per ride. One more boat is expected by Onam. “In the beginning the boating service was free of any cost. A fee had to be levied when people started throbbing in and started fiddling with the equipment,” says Balakrishnan.

We are joined by Narayanan Nair, a member of the Tennis Club Enclave Resident's Association, who is out for his regular evening walk around the pond. “It's a blessing for people like me living here who previously had to take our morning or evening walk along the uneven road of Golf Links. Besides, you can never say when a motorist would speed past us leaving us praising the Lord for saving our dear lives. Now, we are happier and safer!” he says.
“One thing I can proudly claim is that this park is free of  'anti social elements' which mess up with the other decent people in other such public places. Our caretaker takes care of this. Also, regular patrolling is done by the Museum Police authority,” adds Balakrishnan.
The place is open from early morning to close to 10 at night and is illuminated with flood lights from all directions and park lamps as the sun goes down. There are two ways to get here—a narrow passage adjacent to the SFS Wimbledon apartment behind the tennis club or you can approach from the Golf Links road. There's also a snack bar-cum-ice cream parlour near the boat club.
If you're a resident of the nearby locality and haven't been to this place yet, take along your friends or family and pay a visit to this boat club. Surely, you'd want to come back again, once you get the taste of spending a quiet and laidback evening.

Sambhu Sankar
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Awesome, Ekan! Just awesome! Love it! Great piece and pictures! CONGRATS! Big, big hugs!
Betty Manousos, on Jun 03, 2010 10:00:13 PM
wonderful article well writen.So much so that I feel like visiting the place myself!
Tanuja Nair, on Jun 08, 2010 11:56:52 AM
Well written Ekan!
Liz Feurstein, on Jun 22, 2010 04:37:48 PM
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