Octy's day out to Nelliyampathy
This is my 10th Travelogue in TAI
This travelogue is dedicated to all nature lovers Nelliampathy
Nelliampathi (also spelled Nelliampathy) is a hill station 60 kilometres (37 miles) from Palakkad in Kerala, India. It is surrounded by tea and coffee plantations. The village has its own gram panchayat and forms a part of Chittur taluk. Pothundy dam constructed in the 19 century is the entrance to Nellliyampathi. A viewpoint called Seethargund is situated 8kms away from Nelliampathy. Seethargund, according to beliefs is the place where Lord Rama, Laxmana and Seetha rested during their exile. Another attraction of Nelliampathi is Kesavam para view point. Demographics
As of 2001 India census, Nelliampathi had a population of 8,718 with 4,358 males and 4.360 females - Courtesy Wikipedia
Since the monsoon started already though not very active, I have been thinking of a drive to Nelliyampathy which is only 28 kms from my house in Kerala. Frequently we visit this place either by car or bike to buy spices, oranges, fruit syrups and garden fresh tea. One of the best varieties of tea is grown here and the plantations are owned by AVT group.
For the past few days it was raining continuously here in my home town and I was looking for a break to have drive up to Nilliampathy. The roads up to there are very good, though the drive during heavy rains is a challenge, landslips and falling of trees on roads are very common, and the vehicles will be stranded for hours together on both the sides waiting for the mercy of authorities.
It was on 23rd June 2014, yesterday, I was observing the weather conditions since morning to have a hassle free drive to the hill with a fair amount of lighting suitable for photography, later found it was a perfect day, yesterday.
Around 2 pm after lunch myself and my friend started from my house and the weather was neither sunny nor rainy with temperature around 26 deg C. I was driving in a very relaxed way and reached Pothundy dam in 20 minutes, the foot hills of Nelliyampathy. I still remember the days of its construction in early 60’s during my childhood. Though there is a small park near by the dam, not much of development taken place ever since the dam opened for public. Pothundy Dam
Pothundi Dam is an irrigation dam near a small village in Palakkad district of Kerala state, India. It was constructed in the 19th century. The dam is unusual in being constructed without a conventional concrete core, which is employed in most earth dams to counteract the force exerted by high water pressure. The core is, instead, an unusual mixture of jaggery and quick lime. It is the second dam in Asia constructed without using cement mixture.
The dam is located about 8 km from Nemmara and 42 km from Palakkad. The dam is one of the major water sources for agricultural and drinking in the Chittur taluk – courtesy Wikipedia
From Pothundy the Ghats start to the hills and there is a forest check post at the entrance where one has to register with the name and the vehicle details.
As usual, I was under the impression that the waterfalls on the way would be furious with abundant water; but was not disappointed at all as they were welcoming us with little life in them. It was lush green on the way side seen against the background of thick forest with decades old trees, some of them fallen on the road and subsequently cleared and dumped on the road side itself. It is always a regular practice of the authorities that they don’t finish their work completely, at least 20% of the work will be left behind for public nuisance!!!!
There are few view points on the way and one can see the spectacular view of the valleys partially covered with mist. The presence of wildlife is also seen there, though not much; as usual monkeys are plenty. There are so many waterfalls with different heights and sizes, and I am sure these are all will be roaring during heavy rains. We were breaking the journey number of times as we have been fascinated by the beauty of nature, made sure those images are captured by the lens and always a pleasure to share them with you all.
It took nearly an hour or more to reach on top. It was totally cloudy, fortunately or unfortunately it was not raining. We found the same feeling as we had at Valparai during our last visit a fortnight ago. What more we had seen here were the workers from plantation taking the fresh tea leaves plucked from the plants to the factory after weighing everyone’s bags individually; probably their wages are being calculated according to the volume of the work they do.
We have seen few streams flowing with crystal clear cold water with some rare varieties of colorful and exotic flowers bloomed by the side. My friend plucked few plants out of them with a skeptical mind to try out in his house. He said he is going to plant them in pots; nothing more I could tell him other than giving best wishes!!!!
The temperature was 20 deg C on uphill and the weather had really tempted us to loiter along the plantations and streams. We just managed time to have a peep into the town as well, before we started our drive back to the base.
Nelliyampathy town is a small town with shops, few restaurants, hotels and resorts around to cater and accommodate the tourists.
We came back around 6.30 pm. Though it was a short trip the feeling we had was very great and memorable.