Two Wheels Into The Valley of Clouds
Being a frequent traveler, travelling through the woods didn’t quite seem to amuse me at first. But as i start my machine all that changes, each ride becomes a new experience, even if I had been to the destination once or twice.
Having 3 days continuous holiday. We planned a short ride starting from Athirappilly towards Kolukkumalai. We met at Athirappilly waterfall point but spent much time there just witnessed the beauty of the waterfall for a while and headed to Vazhachal. Which offered a spectacular view of Chalakkudy River, we crossed the check post and moved on to Malakkapara. The best time to enter is by 5am. The ride gives u a very pleasant smile all along the way. It may be in the form of Fog, which covered the roads, or in the form of some wild animals, or some scenic views. On that time only, we will understand, our camera is not as good as our eyes. And also, don’t miss the taste of Kerala meals from the top of Malakkapara. Till Malakkapara, we travel through the woods and from there, the canvas changes. It’s like we enter two different worlds.
From Munnar, you again need to take decision about what to do, roam around Munnar or defeat Kerala’s second largest peak. As planned we accelerated towards Kolukkumalai. Off-roading 4km on our machines was totally worth it. You can also hire a jeep towards Kolukkumalai .It was a nice experience to get the morning fog from Kolukkumalai and then there was the walk towards Meesapulimala ( 2630 m) and believe me, the distance of Kolukkumalai to Meesapulimala is hardly 2kms but takes an astounding 2 hours. The best time to reach Meesapulimala is before 5 am that means you need to start your trip from base to Kolukkumalai as early as possible. Remember the total distance of Kolukkumalai base to Meesapulimala needs at least 3 hours. The sunrise will be in between 5-5.30am. And all this planning added to a breath-taking view of the horizon right below you. Truly, it’s going to be once in a lifetime experience.
And finally to close the ride, we stopped at Parunthumpara since it was neelakurinji season and you only get to see these beauties once every 12 years. After a quick photo-shoot we started our descent and headed towards home.
NB: Trek towards Meesapulimala from Kolukkumalai is illegal and there is a chance get fined by Kerala Forest Development Corp. My advice is that you book your program with KFDC. Their program starts from Mattupetty and almost covers the same distance. But through a different path. And in return, you can step down through Kolukkumalai if you want.
Jeep charges towards Kolukkumalai is between (1200-1500rs).
Entry pass to Kolukkumalai – 100rs
To Meesapulimala – 100rs
Check post – Vazhachal, Vaalparai, Chinnar
Best time to enter- vazhachal morning 5am.
Chinnar- 5pm or later
Kolukkmala – 3am or earlier (Depends on permission)
Meesapulimala – 5am (or else forget the sunrise)
Route map : Athirapally- vazhacahal- malakkapara-vaalpara- Chinnar- marayur-munnar-devikulam-sooryanelli-kolukkmala-meesapulimala-bodinaykar-cumbum-kumily-parunthumpara-kuttikanam-kollam. >>850km<<
Campper @ Anish_Kumar_S