Saturday, June 9, 2012

God's own country revisited - I

There's some enchanting lure about Kerala that keeps pulling you back towards it. Two year's after the first lab-trip to God's own country, we were at it again. There isn't a dearth of exotic destinations in Kerala. Still we chose to revisit pretty much the same part of Kerala that we'd fallen in love with last time around - Kozhikode and Wayanad.

Day-1: 4th May 2012
Places visited: Kozhikode, Soochipara Falls, Banasurasagar Dam

A thoroughly drenched Yesvantpur-Kannur Express safely delivered us to Kozhikode having gone through a particularly noisy overnight thunderstorm. A typical Kerala style breakfast comprising stew, appam, idiyappam and plantains at Rijil's place prepared us for the day ahead.

The city of Kozhikode is an alluring blend between the urban and the rustic. From inside our Tata Sumo Grande, one moment we would see a swanky mall and the very next an eye-full of greenery.  

It's a pleasure to drive around the city roads in Kozhikode.

As we ascended the ghat section near Kozhikode, we got engulfed in a sea of green of various hues. Just as it leaves Kozhikode, National Highway No.212 goes through nine hairpin bends leading to a scenic viewpoint providing a panoramic vista of the ghats. To have ice-cream while you soak in the scenery is amazing but to litter the spot with wrappers is simply unforgivable. When will the Indian tourist learn to respect his own land?

Look out of the window and behold the greens.

The hairpin bends of the Kozhikode ghat section as seen from the viewpoint.

At the view-point, one gets to see two pictures - a spell-binding one 
conjured by mother nature and repugnant litter created by irresponsible men.

Our next halt was the Soochipara waterfalls in Vellarimala, Wayanad. In Malayalam, "Soochi" means "needle" and "para" means "rock". To realize how apt the name is, you need to take a 10-15 minutes walk through a trail - partly muddy, partly rocky - from the security check to the foot of the falls. Sitting with your head and shoulders under the barrage of cold water pounding down on you is ethereal bliss. It's like a refreshing cold water shower combined with a healing massage from a seasoned acupressurist.

As you walk to the falls, don't forget to take an extra pair of shorts and a towel!

Seated on the rocks, you can relax yourself with your feet dipped in the cool water.

But the real fun is right under the falls, 
letting the cold 'needles' of water hit you.

Green leaves and a network of roots hold on to the
 dark rocks as the water gushes down.

Apparently, the quantum of water flow and the depth of water at the foot of the falls is exponentially higher in the rainy season making it impossible for tourists to get the same kind of experience that we had. That would be an awe-inspiring form of the same site. We witnessed the more friendly and amiable avatar.

Our next destination was Asia's second largest earthen dam, the Banasurasagar dam on Karamanathodu tributary of the Kabini river. The reservoir of water held up by the dam was a pretty picture dotted with hills. On the other side of the dam was an incline covered with verdant grass.

The grassy incline leading to the top of the dam.

Rocks, water, hills, clouds and sky come together in a perfect picture.

There were motor-boats in the reservoir, but they were far too noisy to blend with the tranquility of the surroundings. So, we chose to stay away from the boats and to just soak in the beauty with all our senses. 

Sitting silently atop the dam as you are caressed with an invigorating breeze - pure bliss. 

Beside the dam, there's a park and a jack-fruit grove with numerous swings tied to the trees. It was a reintroduction to the simple thrill of swinging, something forgotten after school days.

Up, up and away.

The sun and the clouds play hide-and-seek casting rays that reach you carrying 
some mysterious message. Call it the enlightenment coming from above.

The three destinations for the day rekindled the child-like fun in us as we moved towards Rex's estate at Kunduthode expectantly bracing ourselves for a challenging trek on the following day.

[To be continued in "God's own country revisited - II"]
Photo credits: Abhijit Kshirsagar and Deepak Gunasekaran


  1. Yes, Kerala, so beautiful! Very good description and lovely pictures. I totally agree with you on the point that an Indian tourist must become more responsible and sensible. Feels really bad when you see all the litter spoiling a nice place.

  2. A very nice article.... Nice selection of photos and precise description of the trip. Waiting for the Part 2 of this post. - Arunachalam (sudharshan's Grand father)

  3. @ Vinay: Thank you for the compliment. And yes, litter is the biggest turnoff while travelling.

    @ Arunachalam: Namaste. Very kind of you to take the time and effort to read and comment. I will treasure this comment :)

  4. Top PTC Paying Site Ever. Earn Money on without investment for just clicking websites Earning)

  5. It must have been a magical experience to go on a trip to Kerala. Kerala today - is a tropical paradise, God's own country, recommended by the National Geography Magazine as one of the 50 destinations in the world that one should visit. Click here to know more about Kerala tourism.