Sunday, January 28, 2007

Thenmala - Kerela

Route taken : Bangalore - Hosur-Krishnagiri-Salem- Dindigu -Madurai - Thirumangalam -
Srivilliputhur - Rajapalyam- Thenkassi- Shencottai - Thenmala

Sunrise26th of Jan was a long holiday and as usual we were itching to go out and explore the country. It was an ideal time to be out of town and that too in Kerela.

I had by chance come upon an article on Thenmala in one of the airline magazines and I convinced Rocks to venture on this trip. We called a few friends at the last moment hoping that they would be free and yes they were and yes that was the beginning of another travel.

We decided to do it a little differently this time. Instead of starting early in the morning we started late in the night. It was a tiring day and we wanted to get going and this time we thought we would try our luck driving in the night.

We were four of us, Doctor Prithvi, Prateek, Rocks and myself. Doc and Rocks would take over driving alternately. But the plan was to reach our destination by late morning.

Kuttralam We started by 9:30. Prateek had missed his food that day so he was very hungry. We went to a nice Dhaba on our way out via Atibele to avoid the city traffic. By the time we were done with our dinner and headed out it was almost 10:30 PM. Heading out to Hosur, we were driving along with loads of other buses and trucks who seemed to be very much at home. And here we were thinking that it would be relatively smooth driving. Thanks to some four lanes and good driving skills of Rocks and Doc we were past most of the traffic smoothly.

We reached Madurai early morning and had some hot south indian coffee and continued on to Rajapalyam where we had some hot breakfast. It was about 9:00 in the morning and we were eager to reach Thenmala. After freshening up we continued up to Shencottah, which was the border town of Tamil Nadu and Kerela. After Shencottah we were very much in Kerela. The road condition worsened and the scenery became more and more beautiful.

We deviated to Kuttralam since we heard so much about the falls and the place. No doubt the place is very pretty but this was not the right time to come to the falls I guess. All it all it was an Okay place. It would be nice place to relax again.

train on top of the bridge We could almost ignore the roads. As we climbed up the ghats, we came across some old bridge which was built by the British. We stopped to take photographs and then continued on our way. We reached the Eco Tourism Facilitation Centre in Thenmala. We had planned to take up the dorms there but then we saw that they had just a room and some toilets. It was a green room which would be converted to a dorm with sleeping mats. Well after traveling so far we were not so willing to rough it out to that extent. So we went and looked for another hotel.

Going by the standards the hotel we found was expensive without much facilities but it would have to do and we needed to crash off. We booked Hotel Green Valley which was being advertised in front of the facilitation centre. ON reaching the place, we went to the room and crashed off. I opened my eyes only by evening 6:00. Prateek and Doc were already up. They had an interesting visit from a colorful bird who went on pecking at their window as they seemed to be disturbing the bird in the process of doing something. Later on Prateek found that the little bird was telling them to buzz off since it had its own nest there.. hahah it was cute.

Evening was spent with having a few good drinks and lots of Kari meen which proved to be more than an expensive affair. We requested the hotel to provide us with a table and chair on the terrace and we were at peace with the river gurgling by and listening to stories of Doc and Prateek. We always have this time of sharing ride stories and it is always interesting. We planned on further trips and more drinks.. and it was a good time..

impressed by the organization Next morning we spent an hour boating on the river cruising along the Shendurey Wild life sanctuary. It was windy and the day started out cool. We were predicting rain. We were blessed with a few drizzles and before we could think about how it would spoil out plans, the rain stopped. The cruise was very pleasant and it cost some 60/- per head. It was a nice and calm experience if I could ignore the locals trying to touch me and trying to make some conversation. By now I was used to this and well I just kept to myself and focussed on feeling the wind on my face and seeing the calm ripples past by.

After that, we were dropped back to the centre where we booked tickets to the Leisure Zone which promised us a walk of 700 metres and after going through the sculptures we went to the boardwalk and then to the sway bridge.

It was a nice restful day and we then carried on to the elevated walkway in the adventurous zone where you could also enrol for rappling and rock climbing. We were content with the elevated walkway which would lead us to the top of the trees and back.

After this, we ate our fill at MFS Hotel and Bakery. I think I have become a fan of Pulicheri which is something like Kadi. Its a good coolant after you have had spicy food.

After this we started our way back. I drove till Madurai this time and the roads in Tamil Nadu are fantastic.. I must say. In the evening, Rocks took over and we reached Bangalore early in the morning.

That ended another good trip.

For more information on Thenmala click here
For snaps click here