Planning the trip
According to our family tradition, we use our summer holidays in tripping around. After, being in North India for years, we thought of exploring south India. When googled holiday trips, it revealed Kerala at the first place. It is google, so couldn’t be wrong.. So, we decided to make a trip to Kerala’s most attractive places and we planned for some adventure too. We chose these places, Cochin-Alleppey-Munnar. We encountered a big problem when we planned to land at Cochin Airport. The seats were full.. what to do now. We searched for a place which is near to our destination. We end up at booking seats with Coimbatore flight. Then, the whole plan changed where places from Tamilnadu included too.
So, the plan was made like this: it would be a 6 day trip.
1st day – arrive Coimbatore from where we will move to Top slip & Valparai, stay at Valparai.
2nd day – Valparai to Cochin, enroute stop at Athirapally waterfalls & neighbouring waterfalls.
3rd day – Cochin, after small refreshment moved to Alleppey, sight seeing then to Munnar.
4th day – Munnar sightseeing, stay there.
5th day – return back to Coimbatore
We booked our tickets, cab and hotels.
Now, we get started.
1st day Coimbatore to Valparai
We arrived at 12.00 pm at Coimbatore Airport. our driver was waiting for us (he looked like one of tamil villains). After having done with lunch, we moved to Topslip.
We went via Pollachi. Pollachi is a beautiful city. It is much green compared to Coimbatore. It was raining so looked more beautiful. The path was smooth. Our driver stopped by the way and pointed out some temple. It was Masani Amman Temple. He told that it was a very powerful temple. Then through Vettaikaranpudur our Qualis moved forward. We had to reach Sethumadai which will take us Topslip. We saw shady tree line at either side. Nearing Sethumadai was very narrow and troubling. Somehow, we reached the place. From Sethumadai we reached the base and the entrance of Topslip. After paying entrance ticket for us and our camera we moved in.
We went through a deep forest which some strange voices of birds or any animals (i don’t know). Then as my eyes rolling with the trees passed by, I saw a lion tailed monkey. I stopped the car to take a snap of it. But, as that it saw us jumped into the jungle. I felt sad. But, our driver told there are many such. So, I hold tight my camera and concentrated on getting a glimpse of lion tailed monkey.
It was when my mom woke me up (i have no idea when i slept), we had reached Topslip. Our car was parked in front of a building which said ‘Reception’. My dad and the driver were talking to some man. He was forest officer (my mom told me).
Mu dad was planning a jungle trip for 2 hours but it took more time, so, we decided to back to Sethumadai and then to Valparai.
We stopped at Aliyar dam. It was quite a quiet dam. The water was less. There was a park inside, a small aquarium for visitors. After having our refreshment we started to Valparai. In just 100 0r 200 mtrs there was a temple called Arivu Kovil (Temple of Consciousness) with Valga Valamudum.
My dad wanted to check out so we went inside. It was calm. At the entrance, we were told to wait. Then after ten minutes a man in a white dress came out. He introduced himself as the guide. So, this man gave a tiny trip of Arivu Kovil. The main building was to meditate and perform yoga. By the side of which, we saw this Temple of Consciousness. The guide also told us that they give provides certificate courses if one needs. We stayed at the temple for some ten minutes.
When we started moving up we encountered a place called Monkey falls. There were lots of monkeys. The monkeys were very naughty and grabbed everything they found. The falls was hidden within a bunch of trees. A long stripe of water dropped from above. It hit our faces hard. But, we felt good with that natural flowing water.
After that we climbed up to Valparai. The whole has many hair pin bends (nearly 40 hair pin bends). My head started rolling. At around 10th bend we stopped to see the Aliyar dam which was looking just amazing. The whole place was surrounded by mountains and in middle there was a lake. Wow… when came back to our car, our driver spotted a Nilgiri Tahr standing just on the corner of the hill above our car. I quickly snabbed my camera to take its picture. But with all that rush it ran away. We then moved forward. It was already dark when we reached Valparai. We directly moved to our resort named Deepika. It was quite a good hotel. All surrounded by tea estates.
2nd day- Valparai to Cochin
The next morning after having done with our breakfast we moved to Cochin. The way to Cochin from Valparai was chilly and we went through hills and forests.
Every house was decorated with lot of crotons, shrubs and lot variety of climbers. You can see trees at every home. We reached Athirapally where we saw Charpa falls. It was a dense forest area. Our driver warned us of elephants crossing or any other animals crossing the road. So, our vehicle moved in moderate speed. After a few minutes’ drive we stopped by Athirapally falls. The entrance was closed (obviously it was late night). But, we could get a glimpse of falls but couldn’t take pictures of it. The falls, even in dark looked so majestic and the roar of it was scaring.
The clock struck 9 when we reach Cochin. We stayed at City gate hotel. A nice hotel it was. We had our dinner in nearby restaurant. We at first gave us a pinkish coloured hot water (said it was herbal one). They served us parotta and kari kurma (chicken stew).
After the keralite styled dinner we came back to hotel to have our sleep.
3rd day- Cochin to Munnar (via Alleppey)
Next day, we forwarded towards Alleppey. Our driver pointed a place, said it was Muhamma Beach, which is famous for its back waters cruise. At around 10 in morning we were at Alleppey. We had our breakfast (appam and stew) there. Then, we moved to Alleppey Beach. It was quite good. There were less people. So, we decided to move and enjoy some cruise. We booked a ‘Shikara’ for 2 hours with Alleppey Residency and Cruise. I was excited getting a ride by a ‘Shikara’. Our ‘Shikara’ moved slowly towards the kayal (lake). We saw around 500 other houseboats in the lake. According to our ‘Shikara’ driver very year the government conducts an Annual boat race here. We were just staring at the green around us. I was full of excitement. The 2 hour “Shikara’ journey came to end with a blink of an eye.
Our driver suggested buying coir products which was famous manufacturing product in Alleppey. We found it good, as, we were planning to shop. So, we drove to the outlet of Coir products near beach. We saw lot of mats of different kinds and other coir products. It was in a huge area. It was run by the Kerala Government. We did lot of shopping (poor my dad).
The next destination was Munnar. So, we started towards Munnar. We went through Kumarakom having our lunch there. We saw there were many boating sites, massage and ayurvedic treatment centres.
We climbed towards Munnar (through Pala and Oonukal). Nearing Munnar, we saw some litchi trees, orange trees and rubber trees. The climate was cool consistently. We reached Munnar at 10.30 pm. We directly moved to our resort, Ayur County resort.
4th day- Munnar Sightseeing
The next day, we planned to do local sightseeing. So, we first went to Mattupetty dam. The dam was on a never ending long lake. We stepped down to the bank. I clicked lot of pictures.
Then we moved to echo point, where we could see tea estates. In middle of that a calm lake was flowing. We saw people shouting and screaming to get their echo back. There are many petty shops selling fruits, cool drinks etc. Echo point lies in way to Top station. But, decided not to go that far. So, we moved to Kundala lake. It was so much silence there, with less people around. We stayed at the bank for some time before we started moving back.
It gets dawn fast in Munnar. We reached our hotel when it was already dark. Having our dinner we went to sleep.
5th day- Back to Coimbatore
The next day we drove back to Coimbatore. When we were nearing Marayoor our driver insisted us to visit inside Marayoor. So, with his suggestion we moved into Marayoor. It was a one way road. On way we saw apple and orange plantations. We had travelled 15 kms to reach a village called Kanthallur. Where our driver took us the place, where we saw little dolmens. Locals called them ‘Muniyara’. These Dolmens were used as burial chambers, which was made of four stones placed on edges and covered by a fifth one called the cap stone. Then our driver told us that these were belonging to pre-historic (Stone Age) man. We witnessed only some of remnants of these dolmens. We thanked our driver for this place. Then, we moved towards Marayoor (same route which we came from). Then, through Udumalpet we reached Coimbatore.