Last week, we did a 1304 kms trip to Kerala. The places covered were Thattekad, Kuttampuzha and Munnar. Initially we had a choice of Valparai or Munnar as the destination. We decided on Munnar as it was quite some time since we visited Munnar and we wanted to see it after the rainy season.
While exploring the Google Maps for areas near Munnar, we saw Dr. Salim Ali’s Bird Sanctuary @ Thattedad which was just 80 odd kms from Munnar. We had never been inside a bird sanctuary in spite of our attraction towards birds. So we thought, why not. After a lot of planning to fit a visit to the sanctuary from Munnar, we thought it was best to visit the sanctuary first and then to proceed to Munnar.
We booked accommodation in both Thattekad (2 nights) and Munnar (4 nights) weeks ahead and reassigned/distributed some of my work load and had myself free for the trip. (had taken 5 days off)
The plan was to start at 4 AM and reach Thattekad by 3 or 4 PM and have some time for some lazy birding before checking in at the homestay.
The route we took was Hosur -> Salem -> Avinashi -> Palladam -> Pollachi -> Kollengode -> Nemmara -> Wadakkencherry -> Mannuthy -> Angamaly -> Perumbavoor -> Kothamangalam -> Thattekad.
We planned to make 2 brief stops en route – one to meet our member A. R. Ram at Nemmara and the next at Kuruppampady, just past Perumbavoor, to meet the family of my old friend.
On 16th we left home half an hour late, at 4:30 am and reached Sree Saravana Bhavan past Salem for an early breakfast. The roads till Pollachi were great and we made it in quick time knowing that Kerala roads will slow us down.
Reached Nemmara around 11:30 AM and met Ram. A very nice person and we started talking about various things and didn’t realize that we had talked for around two and a half hours. So we said bye and left for our next stop. The traffic from Wadakkencherry till Mannuthy (30 kms) was really irritating. Once we reached the 4 lane toll road, the traffic eased up. We had our lunch at a hotel on the Trichur bypass and reached our next stop at my friends place around 4:30 PM. By the time we left their place it was dark and used the GPS to reach Thettakad by around 7:45 PM.
The climate in both the places were bad (cloudy and raining on and off). So we could not take good pictures. Thettakad... [to be cont.]