My last visit to Athirappilly waterfalls was more than 20 years ago and my memories of the famous waterfalls were faint. Off late the urge to visit them have been on the rise and to fulfill it we started our drive from Cochin to Athirappilly on a lovely bright morning. After taking the deviation at Chalakkudi, lovely winding roads took us through a lot of greenery to one of the hotspots of Kerala . Enroute we passed numerous plantations and small creeks before reaching the waterfalls. A long queue of kiosks, which sold various items awaited us at the parking area. The falls is located amidst the thick Sholayar forests near Tamil Nadu border.
Savandurga is near about 60 Km from Bangalore is the largest monolith in the world. Famous for trekking , Narasimmah swami temple and the hill itself. What I noticed were the trees. As this is a very big monolith, trees have adapted to grow on rocks like one in the above picture, there were many like this. This is the natural Bonsai tree, growing on the limited soil and water supply. We climbed on to the hill in the sun, it was very hot but I enjoyed clickinig these trees.
It was a single day trip, to Makedatu which is located about 80km from Bangalore. We hired a cab for the journey to be undertaken by 3 people including 2 of my friends.It took us about 2 hours to reach the first destination of the journey called Sangam. We started early from our houses reaching comfortably by 9:30 am. ‘Sangam’ is a Hindi language word meaning meeting place for rivers. It is a place where Cauvery and another river merge. Makedatu is about 5 km from this place. Makedatu is a Kannada language term comprising of “Make” meaning ’sheep’ and “Datu” meaning ‘gorge’. Thus the saying that the gorge was separated so close that even a sheep could cross it.
After another long gap we got an opportunity, in the form of a 4 day Christmas holiday, to go on an outing. It was late by the time we started planning and getting accommodation was getting difficult. After evaluating different options, we closed in on to either Coonoor or Kudremukh. We got a booking in a small hotel in Coonoor. But Kudremukh was more tempting as we had read quite a bit about it and it appeared more beautiful and pristine. Kudremukh or "Kudere Mukha"literaly means "Horse Face". It gets this name from the highest peak in that region which resembles the face of a horse. It belongs to the Western Ghats mountain ranges of India and has 600 sq. km. of protected forests. There was a large open pit iron ore mine by KIOCL ( Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd.) which has ceased operations now owing to environmental pressures.
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?..