Exploring the Munnar trail

Trivandrum — Munnar — Theni — Tenkasi. Without any plans reached Thampanoor Central bus station at 20:00. Had no clue about the destination. Could see lot of buses that are about to leave and checking some them to mark it as the destination. Mattupetty, near Munnar in Idukki District, is considered as a tourist place once for the Mattupetti Indo-Swiss Farm where imported cows can be seen but now its a history as no one is allowed inside the farm. The bus starts at 22:30 and it reaches Mattupetty at 6:30 via Kottayam, Pala and Munnar. Sharp at 6 we were at Munnar and the bus driver stops the bus for a cup of chaya. Totally 6 of us were in the bus that includes both driver and conductor. Since this place is at the border of Kerala and Tamil nadu, we can find lots of Tamil people and could hear some Tamil Devotional songs too. That was pleasant 😀

After 15 mins of break we reached Mattupetty. The bus just went inside the Indo-Swiss Cow Farm. Cows everywhere. Took some snap fo em and by the way there was a cow slaughterhouse opposite to the farm. Again outside peoples not allowed inside the slaughterhouse. Buses are rare in the area so the convenient mode of transportation is by jeep or by taking lift. Top Station, suggested by the locals which is 24km from the farm.

So got a jeep to the Munnar top station and we were totally four inside the jeep. As soon as the ride starts, we could see parades of elephants on the way blocking the state highways routes. That’s so common at Munnar region. And we just get into the serious discussions of the exploring some the unexplored places nearby. He suggested some quite interesting stuffs for the day. On the way, friend of the driver* jeep met with minor accident. And we help them to recover. After some hard 15 mins of those helping stuffs, we planned for a breakfast and the driver suggest a hotel near a small village. Had a nice tiffin and the ride continued.

The driver suggest two awesome trip for the day but choosing among those is really hard. The first one is to take trekking from the top station to kurangini via don’t know the place but he said it will be awesome. The second one is to travel with the driver itself where he will be leaving to his native town Bodi via Munnar, Devikulam, Anayirankal dam, Poopara. The first one is awesome, interesting, adventures thing to get start but it was a solo trip and trekking in such a place need some experience too. I never did any trekking before and the experience is ZERO. So just like that i took the trekking 😀 Andavan irukkan.

Taking left of church will lead to the trekking path. Without any second thought, just moved into the slopes of trekking routes. For a few distance of the routes, we could see some human beings roaming around the corners but when we go deep into the forest then there won’t be nothing ( no network ) They are the local guides as of now 😛 Getting all the information about the routes from the humans passing along the trail and everyone’s duration to reach kurangini is 2 hours. Looks cool right but that’s not how it ends. By harping come of the classic blues songs, the trek continued.

At the beginning, it all seems to be so hell perfect but moving further into the deep woods make feels scary little bit (to be honestly). Proceeding further into the wood for 1 hour, there was no human being on the trail. Continuing the trail enters into the view that shows the really beauty of Ghats . It felt like its really worth for travelling solo into the woods as the view just freezed everything.
From the middle of the trail we see a tribe village, tells us that we were stepping into Tamil Nadu. Still people used living regular life in the village where one could hardly identify a necessary stuff around the village. Spoke with some the people in the village and took snap of them. The villages is under Bodi municipality but no one knows about the places until the elections period.
Locals suggest to take rest as proceeding further will take another 2–3 hours of travel and it will have lots of bends on its way. So after few mins of resting in the houses continued to reach kurangini. Kurangini can be seen from this village too and the hill opposite to the. ullage is kolukkumalai where the forest fire happens that killed 30+ of trekkers. The trail became so hard to walk and it started to rain too. Just walking through it without any halt and the harping continues. After a good 1 hour of trek on the trail can hear a sound of waterfall.
A man with a bedi was sitting next to the waterfall. Spoke with him about the river and some history of the hill. It was ‘Shyamal river’, by locals which it crossed multiple times on the ways. So refreshed a little bit and continue the trek with the a man*. Still 1 hour of trek left and it just went soon as we discussed a lot about the local area. Then came to know about the kolukkumalai which lie opposite to the trail which we were taking.

As of now the trekking path is closed due to the recent forest fire at the kolukkumalai hill. So we couldn’t find any other trekker on the way. Finally we could see the Kurangani village.

There is no network coverage inside the village. Nearly 5k people are living in this village. The major thing people do here is making of ilavum panju. Next stop is to Bodi which is 15km from Kurangani

Frequent buses available from Bodi to Theni. Streets of theni felt same as Thenkasi. Snapped few shots out there and travelled to Thenkasi again. This time not for photo shoot but for Kutralam border parota shop. This shop is famous in thenkasi town for its taste for parota and biriyani. Had a best lunch after a long time.

 

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Calicut, the gateway for Portuguese navigator | Solo travel

Calicut also called Kozhikode by locals, has plenty of historical happening in its backpack. It was my first solo trip after joining infosys at trivandrum. I planned for a weekend photo shoot along the kozhikode beach for day 1 and attending the Nikon Advance Photo Walk on day 2.

Took Mangalore Express around 20:00 at Thiruvananthapuram Central and reached Kozhikode at 06:30. First thing comes to mind when i see the name board on kozhikode railway station is go to the beach and snap the early morning beauties. So just searched for the route and it was 2km from the location i was standing. Took the DSLR from the bag and decide to do a photo walk all the way from the railway station to the beach. My first shot is of clicking a young girl carrying a water pot chasing her mother on the streets of kozhikode bazaar.  Click here to see.

Here are some of the photo i took on the way to kozhikode beach.

From morning 06:30 to 10:00, I just freeze all those beautiful scenery of kozhikode beach. That was my first long walk ever and i loved it and it makes to click all the corners of kozhikode.

Morning session went so well as i got some excellent shots which i had in my mind. So i google some of the place to visit nearby me. Happen to visit Mananchira , city center of kozhikode but that didn’t attracted me much as it looked like a normal park spot. Just thought of going some biggie Kappad beach. This beach is where Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama landed on 1498. This guy established the route from Europe to india and the rest is history.

So day 1 simply went on clicking the streets of kozhikode, mananchira, Tali Temple, S.M Streets, Focus mall

And the day 2 is with the nikon technician team of learning to shooting the landscape and the photo walk with some fellow photography enthusiasts . That also my first nikon workshop/photo walk after i got my nikon d3300.

Peach:D

 

Trip to Kolli hills / Kolli malai

Feel the culture and climate of kolli 😍😍😍 .wowww It was an awesome trip to kolli hills with my friends. Two routes out there to reach kolli hills. One we went to get top of kolli hills is via mullakurichi route which is seems to be longer one but happened to see the different culture of kolli hill people. It was so cloudy and rainy when we took the mullakurichi route as it has a advantage of less hair pin bend as compared to the actual kolli hill route which has around 70 hair pin bends. On the way to the top of hill, the view of the landscapes of group of hills is so pleasant. The farmer of kolli hulk cultivate pineapple, jack fruit and that is where I saw the pineapple plant for the first time. There was a fruit market in solakadu when you can get the fresh fruits.

Semmedu was only area which looks like a town. Tasmac fasilities is available there 😉 cuz it is hard to spend a night without booze at top of kolli as it freezing.

Places to visit : Agaya gangai falls, Arpanathiswarar temple, and the main attractive spot.

Buses are available from Salem, namakkal and near by places. But it’s worth by visiting by car or bike as you need to stop at half to see the fabulous views of kolli.

Visit my insta page to view more pics : http://instagram.com/pratheeraja

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