“We seldom recognize the value of people and place near to you” a popular saying is so aptly applicable for a district that surprised even the likes of Hollywood actor Leonardo Di Caprio with its indifferent beauty. Idukki district located in the western Ghats of Kerala where populated area is less than that of forests, a place which blessed with a geographical terrain because of which the entire state is able to get electricity is what I was trying to distinguish from others here.
But sadly neither keralites nor Indians nor global tourists are aware about the hidden beauty lying across this district. Tourism department seems to be not so keen to change the perception of domestic and international tourists for making it a popular tourist destination by doing necessary efforts or advertisements.
A two day trip to wander among the lovely locations in the high range district of Idukki with lots of hills and forests has given a totally different experience and new perception on how Kerala is viewed as tourist destination. No wonder why it is known as “Gods Own Country” and a salute to the person who coined this term.
We left from Kottayam in an afternoon and soon we were able to see a sample in advance immediately after our car entered into high range area – that is how people used to describe about this high altitude place – we were welcomed by a narrow strip of waterfall by the side of the road. Valanjanganam Waterfalls or Ninnumullipara close to Kuttikanam and no one would miss this beautiful location since it is exactly on a turning. Some arrangements has been done by local authorities for parking of vehicles. This road Kottayam-Kumily state highway and many interstate vehicles mainly of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh uses this road which makes it a busy one. Many small tea shops were lined on one side which serves hot tea, coffee with snacks. We came out to enjoy this superb sight of waterfall and its flow to other side of road, crossing below a small bridge.
A small area around waterfall spot is barricaded with rails for the safety of moving vehicles as well as for the restrictions of visitors trying to move on to the point where the water falls. Trying to make an attempt to have a bath in this cold water was found to be little adventurous in a bitter cold climate. Hot tea along with freshly prepared snacks like vada, banana fry straight from tawa to the plate was so tasty and special in the almost freezing cold wind blowing on us.
The road we were travelling which I mentioned as NH splits into two at Kuttikkanam town and one goes straight to Dindigul as NH via Kumily and the other one leads us to Kattappana not as a National highway but as state road which is not as smooth as the drove so far. But for any travel enthusiasts the condition of the road may never comes as a point to be worried as unadulterated beauty of nature in its original looks has been unveiled throughout the journey like greeting us with vast area of coffee plantations on both sides of the road. We made a brief halt to enjoy this place which looked like covered with green blanket all over the ground, a perfect place for an excellent photo shoot especially for newlywed couples.
Our final destination on the day was Kattappana where all arrangements for food, accommodation along with campfire has been made albeit it was a visit pending for many years to my niece home.