Some days, I wake up with an innate urge to travel.. to go on a long drive into the lap of nature. So, when a beautiful Sunday coincided with a strong desire to get away from the daily grind, I could only think of Nelliampathy.

I had visited Nelliyampathy earlier too, but never during the monsoons. And being a person who absolutely loves the rain, and having a companion who shares my love for Nature, as well as a long drive equally… my son, Varun, we decided to take off without any definite plans.

Nelliyampathy is about 60 Kilometers from Palakkad, and one can reach the place in less than two hours. The drive itself is very pleasant, as it takes you through lush greenery and a breathtaking view of mountains and fields. You pass small towns and villages with their ponds, temples, and trees to reach Pothundy Dam, which lies at the base of the Nelliyampathi hills.

20171015_115608_1024x576

20171015_120203_961x768

The road from Pothundy. Lush greenery to be seen everywhere.

There are about 10 hairpin bends to maneuver as you take off from Pothundy, which is at the base… another picturesque tourist spot with its magnificent dam.

20171015_120914_1024x529

The magnificent Pothundy reservoir. The view of the mountains is really amazing.

There is a forest office just after Pothundy, where you are required to enter your details on their log book. The officer in charge cautioned us about the mist and rainfall up in the hills and instructed to get back by 4 PM, if not staying back.

20171015_120508_1024x654

Took a picture of this monkey as we stopped at the forest check post. Monkeys abound in this place.

20171015_121644_1024x570

The view of the Pothundy reservoir from a spot higher up

20171015_122420_1024x576

20171015_122809_1024x604

20171015_124407_1024x513

And suddenly, out of nowhere, it got really misty.

20171015_124655_1024x670

Tourists thronging the view point from where an awesome view of the cloud capped mountains and the reservoir below could be seen.

20171015_124827_1024x627

One of the viewpoints. The mist was so very thick that nothing could be seen, practically.

It was well past lunch time, and hunger pangs were striking fast. Suddenly, as the road took a bend, we saw a couple of makeshift shacks on the side of the road. Each shack had a few tables and chairs inside, and served food to the tourists. We stopped our car and a lady from this eatery came out and enticed us with their menu which consisted of Kappa (tapioca) and fish curry or beef curry, bread omelette, Chappathi, Porotta, and meals.

It was a clean place, and she served us delicious Kappa and fish, which i found to be really tasty. It was followed by an omelette. I started a conversation with her and she said their men folk were tea estate laborers, and they lived in the estate quarters. While the husbands worked at the estate, a few of such enterprising women made food from home and brought it here to cater to tourists. judging by the quality of the food and the large number of tourists who had stopped by, she certainly was going to be having  a busy day.

20171015_133624_1024x576

The food shack which served a variety of dishes

20171015_132418_1024x576

Kappa and Fish curry

Huge trees with orange blooms were to be seen on either side of hte road. At first, i thought it was the Gulmohar, but when one flower fell on our windshield, i realised it  was another tree altogether. The sight of the orange flowers on the roadside was indeed beautiful.

20171015_134723_1024x576

The orange bloom

20171015_135019_1024x576

Isn’t that a picture perfect view?

20171015_135211_1024x576

Trees enveloped in mist

20171015_135329_1024x576

By now, a light drizzle had started

By the time we reached the parking lot, where we had to leave behind our vehicle, and do a small trek to Seetharkundu, it started raining heavily. People who were coming in after the trek informed us that visibility was very poor due to the heavy mist, and hence we decided to do that trek some other day.

20171015_135722_1024x526

The parking area at Seetharkundu. From here, tourists need to go by foot to Seetharkundu, where one can have a fantastic view of the valley, as well as a waterfall.

20171015_140105_1024x587

Monkeys taking shelter from the rain.

20171015_141318_1024x576

20171015_141421_1024x553

Tea plantation

20171015_141652_1024x501

Nelliampathy has a vast expanse of Tea estates which belong to private companies like AVT, Poabs, etc. There do allow plantation visits on weekdays with prior permission, it seems.

20171015_141657_1024x642

20171015_141704_1024x633

20171015_141728_1024x623

20171015_141806_1024x576

20171015_142405_1024x576

Bovines can get curious too!

20171015_144037_1024x576

20171015_145820_1024x601

It was indeed a beautiful trip, and Nelliampathi was looking its greenest best, all fresh and pure with the rains. It definitely recharged our spirits and i am sure the memory of this would remain with us for a long time.

Kerala sure is God’s own country!!!