Thekday was calling loud and clear on the Ugadi weekend. I reached Kumily , which is the town nearest to Thekady by bus from Bangalore on the morning of 28th March. It is at the Tamil Nadu / Kerala border and very close to Kodaikanal and Munnar. The plan was for the old Reflections (a collegiate magazine team of ours during Engg college days) to meet and have a look around. Sujith, Rahul and Thomas ettan apart from me were the participants for this trip. Sujith had booked an Inspection Bungalow (IB) at Kumily , which is where the stay for the next 2 days had been planned for. Kumily being just 4 kms away from Thekady, this was the perfect place to halt.
This Independence Day came on a Sunday and I was at Karur. Obviously we planned for an outing. After thinking about a couple of genres we decided on mountains. A couple of options and we finalized on Kollimalai. 2 bikes, 4 friends, 1 destination. I was excited coz this was one trip with a decently bigger number of people. But then, next day morning, with one person with a bad hangover, we ended up with just 2 of us... Kollimalai is a precious herbal spot. Even the wind seemed the carry a medicated herbal essence. The hill range has been spoken of in several Tamil Literatures. I remember once in school days, I read a poem ‘ Kollimalai enakkilaya Chellimalai Amme…’. Well. I forgot who wrote it and in which literary work was it!!! Does it ring a bell to any of you guys?..
Visited Kokkare Bellur again, 15 months after my first visit. There were not many birds this time. Painted Storks were around 20-25 in number.Pelicans were very less in number. I counted 7 or 8 pelicans. I tried to get a decent shot of these big birds, but in vain. That pelican was hiding behind the tree branches as if its being guilty of something:P Few of the sun-bathing Storks posed for the camera without hesitation. And so was this squatting one Bellur, became famous &got the prefix ‘Kokkare’ (Storks) because of these beautiful birds &is home for hundreds of storks &pelicans.
This had been one of our dream treks and got lucky that one of our Bangalore based trekking club got permission for the route. Obtaining permission is quite difficult owing to the fact that the trek ranges along restriced areas of both Kerala and Tamilnadu and most the trek route would be along the border of the states.The plan was to cover the trek with in 2 days which would be difficult to squeeze since the ideal time to cover the trek would be 3 days. So we had to cover a distance of 35 (15Km on first day and 20Km on the next) within two days. We had started towards Munnar Friday night and got to reach Chinnar at 7 am the next day, where we first encountered the Kerala border check post. The guide joined us there and we went along the picturesque road towards Munnar. We had a great breakfast (Appam and Puttu-kadala curry) at a place called Marayur inside the Kerala border on way towards Munnar. The highway route was amazing with beautiful tea estates and gorgeous valleys.
You must be wondering what is chhoti patti and why I mentioned it in the topic. You will know this as you finish reading the blog.:) Most of my friends are a**h***s and almost 70-80% of the headache of planning a trip comes to me. This was the trip in which I did almost nothing, other than going to the trip. And the reason why all this could happen was because all those a**h*** friends didn't come to this trip. Actually this was my first all-colleagues trip to any outstation place and thus it was really a nice experience. I got to spend a valuable no-bug and no-debug time with them. Plan was very simple - take train till Shimoga, book a taxi and visit Jog Falls , take same taxi to Mudureshwar, next day spend some time on the beach , come back to Shimoga, if possible visit some places on the way, and then take train back to Bangalore.