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.
I was bit skeptical about this in the beginning when S had this idea of spending couple of days in the back waters of Kerala @ Alleppey. Nevertheless, we made up our mind and decided to go ahead. It was really a memorable and a wonderful experience. After getting the details from our family friend, who had been there last year we dialled to Mr Alex from Seasons Cruise. Nice gentleman he is... he took care of A-Z of our travel. As soon as we alighted from the train, a cab was waiting to pick us up and he dropped us to a homestay where in we could refresh ourselves. Houseboat -stand (If I may call so) was at the walking distance from homestay and we started our journey in the morning.
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?..
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.
Next morning we hit the trail again by around 8 AM. Now the task of getting down the hill was becoming more tedious as we also had our luggage to carry while we tried to balance ourselves. We slipped, we fell, but we made it to Kukke Subramanya in one piece by 12-1 PM! We met a couple of childern playing cricket at the foot and joined them for a game. We were back in the same hotel where we started this wonderful sojourn - two momentous and joyous days in the woods. We were planning to eat at the Subramanya temple which is known to serve the tastiest food but it was too crowded and we had to start soon for B'lore.