Where Monsters Thrived

You might have heard about the name Bhoothathankettu – meaning the fort of monsters, and also having a legend regarding the same. I had already written about this beautiful place, but with a newer visit, and so many changes being occurred at the place, another post became a necessity, just like my recent posts about Paniyeli Poru and Ezhattumugham. The place is just eleven kilometres from its nearest town Kothamangalam, and can be grouped with the journeys to Thattekkad, Urulanthanni, Pooyamkutty and Idamalayar. Twenty two kilometres from Muvattupuzha, twenty six kilometres from Perumbavoor and around forty something kilometres from Aluva, Angamaly, Thodupuzha and the Cochin Airport, this place is one of the more easily accessible places of serenity. Even from Cochin city, the distance is just above fifty kilometres, and so, you can meet these monsters without that much of a trouble. These are the newer pictures taken by me on my Asus Zenfone; hope you like them!

TeNy

A Fort of Monsters

A long time ago, there lived a kid who believed in monsters. He believed in monsters long before he had detailed information about them. He knew that they were real. He used to go under the bed and search for them so that there would be someone for him to play with. But he never really found the monster. They were real, but still they were not there. He waited for them to arrive, but they never came. Still, he knew that they had to come, and that much he had hoped.

The monsters exist, just like the certainty of the beauty of nature.

The monsters exist, just like the certainty of the beauty of nature.

There was such a destination for the myths. I still believe in monsters, and this place called Bhoothathankettu or the Fort of Monsters had a good role to play during my early monster belief season. The advantage of this Malayalam word is that it can be used in more than one way; we can also call them demons. I am sure that they won’t mind whatever we call them because horror is beyond names. Bhoothathankettu has a dam and is a popular tourist destination which was lesser visited at those times.

Bhoothathankettu has been the place to visit again and again.

Bhoothathankettu has been the place to visit again and again – worth it.

But it existed when I was a kid and it was only eleven kilometres from my Kothamangalam where my ancestral home is situated. So, it was always going to be a popular destination for me. It was different at that time, with less tourists, and naming it a tourist destination wasn’t going to be accurate during those days. The places for tourists were at other places, and this was just a dam and a park. But now, things have changed and a lot more facilities became available around the dam.

This might be the first dam which I ever saw, but can't be so sure.

This might be the first dam which I ever saw in my life, but can’t be so sure.

Located about fourty seven kilometres from the nearest railway station at Aluva and around fourty two kilometres from the Cochin International Airport, you can pass through the town of Kothamangalam to reach this place. There are tree houses and boating facilities for the tourists, and more have been added in the recent years. It has been some time since we last visited the place, and an update was to happen when I decided to travel less. May be another day with relatives will see me traveling again here, later.

Nature makes the call, but we are rarely ready for the journey.

Nature makes the call, but we are rarely ready for the journey to the greens.

From there, you can also travel to the Idamalayar Dam which provides more of the scenic views there. Then you can go for the other option, which is the Thattekad Bird Sanctuary which is also not that far away from there; it is also close enough to Kothamangalam, reached by taking a turn while going to Bhoothathankettu. It was the first bird sanctuary in Kerala, and is named after the famous ornithologist Salim Ali. You can also travel to Kuttampuzha, Urulanthanni and Pooyamkutty if you keep that route.

The tree-house - this one never losses the charm, that is for sure.

The tree-house once again – this one never losses the charm, that is for sure.

The distance from the city of Cochin will be around sixty three kilometres. There is quite some distance which can be traveled through the forests, with all the greenery around. There is a park on the side, and the dam itself provides a nice view of the nature which has blessed the surroundings. It will be an ideal tourist spot if you decide to travel to this side – you can find many other places, but this one will have its special charm with the myths, the dam and the improving scope.

You take a walk around to make it feel better, and nature heals.

You take a walk around here to make it feel better, and nature can heal.

There is something about this place which I have visited so many times, with friends and also with relatives. But time has passed since the last journey and I hope to be back there again. May be that will happen on another day when I will have the desire to travel again. There will be a lot more awaiting me by that time with the popularity of the place increasing. I hope that the kid finds the right monsters there on that special day, because the human monsters have been too evil for his liking.

Can the monsters be around here? This is a nice place, isn't it?

Can the monsters be around here? This is a nice place for them, isn’t it?

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310.

TeNy

Kerala District 007: Ernakulam

You know which district comes to the mind when you see KL-7 on the number plates of a vehicle. The district can’t be determined by the plates any more, but the number seven remains. Ernakulam was the first cent percent literate district in India and has two universities, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit and Cochin University of Science and Technology. It also has a high number of education institutions and rightly claims to be the commercial capital of Kerala. It is also known for its beaches and also has a good number of religious places of high significance. Lets just check six of the tourist destinations in the district right now.

Paniyeli Poru
It might be the closest big destination having so much greenery as far as the people visiting the City of Cochin are concerned. With the closest town being Perumbavoor at the tip of the Greater Cochin area, this is exactly the place you might want to go away from the city, but still connected to it. There is one low-floor KSRTC bus from Perumbavoor to this place of great natural beauty. There are big trees all around, and you can walk on the sides of the river Periyar, through the streams and on the rocks as you enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. The water here is dangerous though, and care is needed in case of getting in, and rocks can be slippery. It is around fifty five kilometres from the City of Cochin, thirteen kilometres from the nearby town of Perumbavoor, and twenty four kilometres from Cochin International Airport.

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Kodanad
You should know this name. Most of the people I know, including the foreigners know, and so if you don’t know it yet, do realize that this place has been a big name in the list of tourist attractions when I was a kid. Located just eight kilometres from the nearest town of Perumbavoor, this is actually on the way to Paniyeli Poru and can ne joined to make a nice combined trip. There is a park there, and the Elephant training center is very famous. Even though it interests the locals less these days as it has been there for a very long time inspiring too many visits, this is a much loved place by the people coming from far away. You can also check Abhayaranyam Mini Zoo at Kaprikkad which keeps the other animals; it is not too far away from there.

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Ezhaattumugham
A beautiful place which lies around the borders of the Ernakulam district, Ezhaattumugham is a peaceful place to spend some time with nature. It has so many similarities with Paniyeli Poru, and if you are going to visit the Athirappally Waterfalls, you might want to join this place and do a combined visit. The tourists are rather lesser in number and visits during different seasons give different feelings. Located just about ten kilometres from Angamaly, the nearest big town with railway station, and thirteen kilometres from Chalakudy, this place is also just around fifteen kilometres from the Cochin International Airport. When arriving from the Cochin city, it is fifty four kilometres, and most of the journey is through the National Highway.

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Bhoothathankettu
There is some special love for this place, as I love the name right here – bhootham means ghost, and the supernatural name had me interested in the place; there is also some myth concerning the spirits related to the location. Located just around ten kilometres from the nearest town of Kothamangalam and sixty four kilometres from the City of Cochin, it is forty two kilometres from the Airport. Originally known for the dam and reservior along with a small park and closeness to nature, the place has developed into a bigger tourist desination having tree houses, boat rides, shops, restaurants and other facilities for the tourists; it is still going through the development process. Also do add Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary to this visit or to the one mentioned below.

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Urulanthanni
No matter where or how you search for information, Urulanthanni is not a place which you can find with ease; not on the internet or not while talking with those people whom you usually meet. It is because Urulanthanni is far away from most of those places where you visit for a relief from the normal city routine. It is also because it is not that much explored by people of modernity. Urulanthanni remains a name which is not usually talked about among the travellers, but it is a place which deserves to. This is a journey right into nature. Read details at: https://theteacerebration.wordpress.com/2015/05/21/not-the-obvious

The waterfalls and all those green elements - that surely feels like Tomb Raider!

Fort Cochin
This one should be rather very well known. A journey to Fort Cochin shouldn’t be limited to one place. It should consist of four places – Fort Cochin, Mattanchery, Thoppumpady and Kumbalanghi, the last one being a tourist village and an island with so much of natural beauty – I certify the same. The second last one is on the way to Fort Cochin, and Saint Sebastian’s Church there, a heritage building and a famous religious structure, is worth your time, and you can also have a nice view of the lake from the back side of the building. The other two are rather the big names. Read details at: https://theteacerebration.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/never-say-no/

Santa Cruz Basilica - a structure that you wouldn't want to miss.

TeNy