25 th December. Christmas. Though it was a vacation day we have to wake up early in the morning. Mission
- Kerela trip. I have been to Kerela when I was a kid, but can't really recall things. So it was exciting for me. Left home
at 7:00 am in the morning. Took our breakfast and reached the Majestic bus stand. We reached well ahead of time. Called up
home to inform mom about my absence from Bangalore (she really becomes angry if I ever forget to inform). Bus left at time.
On my side was a girl from Bangalore (Veena, if I correctly remembered the name). She was working in IBM, Bangalore. She
loves travelling. Talking with her was fun. Shared our travelling experiences. Reached Sulthan Bathery (a place in Waynard)
late. Jai's friend Akhilesh (we stayed at his house) came to receive us. There was really very less time to see anything that
day. We previously planned to stay that night in the jungle. But it didn't happened. The Forest bunglow was completely booked
by college students. So we just visited a nearly Ganesha temple. Then we went to a Shiva temple. There was a mela going on
there (it happens every year). It was dark by then. Just loitered a bit there and returned back home. We were tired by journey.
Had dinner and made our plans for the next three days. Back to sleep then.
26th December. Woke up early. The Maruti Omni was expected at 8:00 am. Our first destination was Kuruva Dweep. This 950
acres of uninhabited, evergreen forest on the tributaries of east flowing river Kabani is an ideal picnic spot, far
away from the disturbances of city life. The wooded land is a home to rare species of birds, orchids and herbs. Reached on
time. We didn't planned properly. Threre were small streams that are to be crossed before reaching the main island. So we
have to open our shoes. A kid was our guide, We were lucky to have him as he showed us lots of places that can be enjoyed
like an kid. It was a great trekking experience within the jungle. We climbed trees. The branches of the trees were reaching
far inside the river, with their stem in the river bank. The kid went far ahead, I didn't risked to go that far. What if the
branch can't take my load :-) We also tried Tarzan tricks with the roots that were hanging from the trees. I was afraid at
first but after the first ride, I enjoyed it a lot to go for the next. There were regions of black rocks. The scenic
beauty was soothing, and it made us forget all the walking that we was doing. It was getting late and we thought of moving
to our next destination, Thirunelly temple. It was almost noon and we took our lunch first. Typical Kerelian lunch in banana
leaves. Known as Thekkan Kashi (Kasi of the South) and surrounded by Kambamala, Karimala and Varadiga; the
Thirunelly temple is a marvel of traditional temple architecture. The Shrine is shielded with 30 granite columns and the ground
is paved with huge square pieces of granite. The crystal clear water of the Papanashini river running downhill add to the
enchanment of the place. Papanashini is believed to wash away all your sins. So we washed our hands and face nicely so that
we make our sins negative till next time when we return back here :-) We moved to our next destination, Tholopetty Wildlife
Sanctuary. Tholpetty, near Mananthavady is contiguous with Nagarhole of Karnataka state. The park houses diverse species of
plant and animal life. But when we reached there there was no jeep available (we can't take omni to the jungle). One of the
person there suggested us to move to Nagarhole. So we changed our plan, and moved there. In the way we say lots of deer's
roaming. So we were expecting a nice safari there. But luck was not in our favour. We were late there too. There was already
a long Q before us. We waited there for half an hour to see if there was any possibility, but NAH. We returned back dissapointed,
but return journey turned out to be a good safari. We saw wild Bison's on way. And also lots of deer's. The day ended well.
Nice dinner and a good sleep for next days trip :-)
27th December. Woke up early again. Omni reached on time. Breakfast and journey to our first destination,
Kdakkal caves. 3 caves are located at a height of 1000 mts on Ambukuthi mala near Ambalavayal. The new stone age pictorial
writings on the walls of these natural caves at Edakkal are the evidence of the civilizations that existed in the regions
in the pre-historic times. There was lot of height to be climbed. The painting consisted of tribal leader with headgear and
complete dress. Pictures of women dressed with headgear, animals like dog, elephant and also pictures of kids playing. It
was a world heritage site. The most fascinating was a unifrom crack, that seperated a big hill into two pieces. It is said
to be around 30,000 years old crack. Our plans was to reach the hill top which was further 1000 feet above. Determined with
our plans, we started climbing. There were pathways made by the previous climbers. It helped. We got three more partners from
bangalore, they were working in Yahoo. They were with us till we nearly reached the top. Then they surrendered. But we were
determined and reached the top. The last few regions of climb was risky. But satisfaction after the climb was tremendous.
The view from the hill top was excellent. We took lot's of pictures and I scribed my name on a sandstone. Then there was a
sudden attack from some insects. We had to leave the hill top soon. The return journey was cool, it's fun to go down with
gravity, but if not careful, it will be risky too. It took a lot of time. We had the next destination ahead, Kanthanpara Waterfalls.
The way to the waterfall was surrounded in both sides by beautiful tea gardens. It was a cool scenic beauty. The road to the
waterfall was a long walk down. Walking again after the hill climb was tiring. The fall about 30 mts in height and a
very pleasant site. We spent some time there and was back to Sulthan Bathery. The next trip will be of Muthunga wild life
sanctuary. Established in 1973, the Wayanad wild life sanctuary is contiguous to the protected area network of Nagarhole and
Bandipur of Karnataka on the north-east and Muthumalai of TamilNadu on south-east. Rich in bio-diversity, the sanctuary is
an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, which has been established with the specific objective of conserving the
biological heritage of the region. We left the omni and booked a jeep. We had expectation of a nice safari today. We took
a guide and moved into the jungle. But luck was not in favour again. It was vacation time and the jungle was heavily crowded
with visitors. So we hardly had any chance of seeing wild animals. Deer was a common thing to see. The most intresting part
was riding on the top of the jeep, an adventure which cannot be tried on the road, but, could be done inside the jungle. It
gave a good view of the jungle. We returned back dissapointed. But lady luck smiled on us at last. We saw a group of wild
elephants on our way back. It was a consolation for the hard trip to jungle. We was tired. So it was dinner and going to sleep.
28th December. Today we didn't had much plans. We need to move to calicut to Jai's house. We woke up late.
Went out with our luggage. Had our breakfast and took bus for our last destination here, Pookat lake. The perennial fresh
wate lake, nestled among wooded hills, is a only one of its kind in Kerala. A children's park, handicrafts and spices emporium
and a fresh water aquarium are among the tourist facilities available here. We tried the magic mirrors (bended mirrors which
showed your face in a funny way). Then we went for a 20 minutes of paddle boating ride. It was fun. Then we went through a
walk besides the lake. We had time in hand and so we relaxed there. I bought some seeds of flower for my mom. Looked into
the handicrafts, but found nothing intresting. We moved out, had lunch and caught a bus to Calicut. After Calicut, caught
another bus to reach Jai's house. It was already evening, so we just loitered around his garden. His dad had maintained such
a big area very efficiently, creditable. Being at home means lots of snacks and food coming all the time. Had a nice sleep
29th December. Got fresh and took a heavy breakfast. Went out with Jai to have a look at his village. Went
to the river. Rivers can be crossed with small boats. Boat ride was exciting but we had to be careful. A mistake by any one
of us will topple it upside down. The river was polluted in the middle by Birlas textile companies. But habitation has grwon
since it was closed 10 years ago. Peoples take out sand from the bottom of the river. This sand is believed to have a good
quality. Control is done for the amount of sand that can be taken out to prevent soil erosion from the river banks. There
were fields on the other side of the river which was converted to marsh lands after mud was teken out from it. It was scenic
beauty with lots of water lily. We came back to the other end to look at Jai's old school. Came back to home on time for lunch.
After a small rest it was time to go. We bid goodbye to Jai's parents and with our luggage back to Calicut. Dumped our luggages
at the bus stand and went to visit a park. But we couldn't find out the way in :-) So we decided to move to the sea. First
we moved to the Aquarium. It was nice. Saw colourful fishes and the Piranha, the deadly fish. There were four cute turtles
too. Then we reached the sea shore. It was going to be sunset and we took pictures. Cold wind was blowing and it was sooting.
There were many peoples who were there to enjoy the evening. We took some fried ground nut and sat beside the sea to have
a nice chat. It was night and it was time to say goodbye to Kerela. Took our dinner and went inside the bus. It was a sleeper
coach. I have never travelled in it before. It was unconfortable first but became used to it after some time. Reached Bangalore
after a nice sleep. Have to go to office :-( Bad day 30th.....