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Neelakurinji Bloom at Munnar

I have explored Munnar in many trips. But this time, the  feeling was different. The road ahead to Munnar had been further narrowed, following the recent floods and landslides. At many places, all along the road, safety barriers have been constructed.  Vehicles were moving in one line in most of the places. The remains  of landslides will make you feel uncomfortable.  The recent  floods has  consumed literally  the whole of Kerala state. But people had  begun to travel to Munnar to view and enjoy the  Neelakurinji bloom in Munnar hills.
It was in 2006 that the Neelakurinji bloomed in Munnar hills. Neelakurinji season arrive only once in 12 years.  This year the flowers bloomed a bit late and rains, flooding and week long fog also affected the longevity of the flowers.
We started our journey at around 6 am to Munnar which is around 117 km from Kochi. Along the way we stopped at Cheyappara Water Falls.

Our next stop was at View point. There is small hut and you will get tea and snacks.…

Varikkasseri Mana

After more than a month of busy schedule, I happened to travel through Thrissur and Palakkad districts in the Indian State of Kerala. The recent floods has caused untold  damages to roads and houses. It was saddening to see the places affected by landslides which took the lives and livelihood of many people.  On my way to Ottapalam from Shoranur, I stopped at Varikkasseri Mana. It is situated just one kilometer from Manisseri. Visitor car parking inside the compound is not allowed. I parked my car on the road side. Entry ticket is Rs.20. The entry is actually through the back side of the building.

I was walking towards the house which I had seen only in Malayalam cinema till date.  'Theertham' was the first Malayalam film shooted here. But director IV Sasi's  Malayalam film 'Devasuram' made this house an important location in Malayalam cinema.

Actually known as Varikkumanchery Mana, it was constructed 112 years back by Varikkasseri Ravi Namboothirippad. The family…

Poolakund Water Falls, Chelakkara

For the last two months I could not make any travel.  Some unprecedented events in my life made it hard to just pick up and take off. After arriving at Chelakkara, a village in Thrissur district, in the Indian state of Kerala, for two weeks,  I had been looking for an opportunity to visit some places nearby. At last,  one of my relatives took me to Poolakund waterfalls, in his motorbike. 
Poolakund falls is around 3 kms from Pangarapilly Junction, on the way to Elanad. The road deviated to Poolachodu from the main road. The road was muddy when you are close to Poolachodu and was no less than a foot-path. From the road, walk along the water stream into woods. There was nothing spectacular about the place. When you  walk,  stop and enjoy the sound of nature. The path is generally easy to walk and the walk is pleasant as you stroll through the forest.

The day was cool and sombre. Shortly we could hear the sound of the falls and  huge rocks covered  the waterfalls. The first few steps be…

The Unexplored Caves of Mankulam

Monsoon is the best possible time for trekking. But there is another reason for selecting the less talked about Mankulam. The caves have a lot of interesting stories which gives us lot of curiosity. One such interesting unexplored caves are found at Mankulam. Moreover the climate is turning more pleasurable by the passing days and forest streams are now gurgling with crystal clear water.

Day 1

Mankulam is just 126 kms from Kochi, in the Indian state of Kerala.

Our route was :
Kochi -Aluva - Adimali - Kallar - Mankulam

We were informed that our base camp was at Chinnar Chappath ( also named as  Chinnar Kuthu ) which is just one km before reaching Mankulam town. We parked our car near one of the road side house and started climbing through coffee plantations towards our base camp. A huge waterfall amidst the forest and plantations welcomed us. There was a huge rock structure which was fenced and a metal ladder was placed to reach the top.


We were almost beneath the waterfalls. We saw a…

BhoothathanKettu Dam & Reserve Forest

Its name, as it turns out, is  the most dramatic thing about Bhoothathankettu.  The dense forest cover of this place, shrouded in myth and reality, starts appearing as soon as you cross the Periyar Barrage in  the new Bhoothathankettu Dam. The dam is a vantage point from where you can spot the turbulent water rushing from the dam towards the Old Bhoothathankettu. It is situated 50 km away from Kochi,  in the Indian state of Kerala.
Explore : Old  Bhoothathankettu  & Reserve Forest If you like to walk, trekking to old Bhoothathankettu  is a great experience crossing small springs by the side of the Periyar river.  The walk starts from the end of the Periyar Barrage. This is also the entrance of the Edamalayar hydroelectric project. The walk is conducted by Bhoothathankettu ecotourism. This place is under Malayattoor Forest division, Thundathil Range. Since this is a guided walk, you will get an opportunity to know the forest and nature.

Entry time is restricted from 9 am to 4 pm. …

Kerala's Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, a Birdwatcher’s Paradise

Sanctuary Thattekad is the first bird sanctuary in Kerala, India. In 1933, during  his Travancore Cochin Ornithological survey in Thettekad forest, Dr.Salim Ali  recognised the avifaunal richness of the area.  As recommended by Dr.Salim Ali, in 1983, an area of 25.16 Sq.km. covering forest, wetlands and rivers at Thattekad was notified as Kerala's first Tropical community bird sanctuary. It is located just 12 ms from Kothamangalam in Ernakulam district of Kerala. Nine sq.km is for habitation and rest of 16.16 sq.km is available for sanctuary and is very rich in flora and fauna. 
Explore There are many ways to explore Thattekad. Here visitors are allowed to walk through the jungle. Visitors can also opt for a boat trip in the reservoir offering unusual point of view of the forest. Approximately twelve thousand species of birds are spotted in the world of which  1200 species of birds are found in India and 593 species of birds have been spotted in  Kerala. Thattekad bird sanctuary …

Walking Through the By-lanes of History in Fort Kochi

Fort Kochi is known for its beaches, Chinese fishing nets, historical buildings and cafes that serve European food. But also dotting the cultural remnants of  the Portuguese, the Dutch and the English.

 The first European township in India was built as a fort city by the Portuguese. Before the Dutch destroyed Fort Immanuel in Fort Kochi, it had seven bastions. Even though you can no longer actually see the Fort after which the town is now named, but you can watch the barely existing fort walls and its old bastions. A guided walk on a  Sunday morning is the best time to uncover the city's history. The walk started from Vasco da Gama Square. You can watch Chinese fishing nets and  fresh fish stalls in this place.

TOWER HOUSE


The walk goes through Jawahar Park. Since the British period, this area has been used by the public to spend their evenings. The British administration erected a tower like machine here to measure the power of the wind

OLD HARBOR HOUSE

Once you cross the park, …