The Rock Leaves a Point

Illickal Kallu is one of those tourist attractions in Central Kerala which came into picture quite late, but is bringing a lot of travelers these days. With the closest small town being Teekoy at thirteen kilometres, the place has good access to most places even though the roads are not that good these days just like in the case of Ilaveezhapoonjira. There is quite some distance to cover to reach to the top, and cars go only until a certain point after which you need to go for Mahindra jeep service and quite some climb by foot after that. The view is special here because a part of this rock has fallen off, and the rest remain nicely there. There is a beautiful view of green Kerala visible from the top too. A lot of people will be here during the evenings to take some nice photos of sunset.

This place can be visited on the way to Vagamon because it is only thirty kilometres from there. A Vagamon combo is always great. Among the bigger towns, the closest one is Erattupetta at nineteen kilometres. Both Palai and Thodupuzha are situated at around thirty one kilometres from here. With Ilaveezhapoonjira located only twelve kilometres from here, a trip can actually combine the two places. Kattikayam Waterfalls is also very close from here. There is more than one route to travel in this direction, and it is better to ask the locals and choose the roads which are in the best shape. From Kochi area, the distance varies between eighty five and ninety five kilometres according to the area from where you begin your journey. The distance from the big towns of Ernakulam district are: Muvattupuzha – fifty four, Perumbavoor – seventy two, Aluva – eighty eight, Angamaly – eighty eight, Kothamangalam – sixty two, Piravom – sixty one, Koothattukulam – fourty four.

*All photos of Illickal Kallu shown above were taken by me on my Asus Zenfone Max during my last visit.

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TeNy

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The Favourite Shots

I am sharing a few of the favourite shots taken on my camera through this post. I don’t claim that any of them is worthy of a special photography award, but as I have not shared them on this blog, I feel that I will share them anyway. The camera used is a Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 on each and every occasion, and they were all taken at different places. The first one is from Vagamon or somewhere near the place when we were on the way there. I loved this path! It was like the road less taken, and the journey was also very good towards the place of beauty!

vagamon

We stayed at Coonoor during our journey to Ooty. Unlike most of the people who keep going on a trip to Ooty and Kodaikanal, I have only been the former once and I have never been to the latter, and that has come as a surprise to many people. I was more than happy to stay here though, as there was so much tea, and walking with tea all around, was always going to be a thing of joy. There are also some interesting place around this one, and Coonoor is not a lesser town.

coonoor

Ilaveezhapoonjira remains that blessed tourist place which is so less explored. It will always be something of bliss to be there, and the view is always splendid. The fog actually provides an even better experience. It provides the feeling being somewhere beyond the world that we know, and it is during one of those days that I wish to be there again. I don’t think that I am that much of a traveller any more, but if I go into that more, may be I will be back there and witness the fog and rain.

ilaveezhapoonjira

The lovely model tourism village, Kumbalangy has been among my favourites for very long. It has a nice place to enjoy the beauty of nature in the form of backwaters. I have visited the place for a very long time, even before it developed. There are some nice shots which one can manage from here and it can be joined with a Fort Cochin-Mattanchery trip during the usual journey to Kochi, and the place also has some old churches around which adds to the beauty. The place gives the opportunity for more beautiful photos.

kumbalangi

Athirappilly Falls might be the best known waterfalls in Kerala, and located well within reach from the Cochin International Airport, the place is visited a lot, and I have wandered around the place quite a number of times myself. With Vazhachal Falls also nearby, this is one shot which I always love. The shot actually reminds me of a number of computer games with waterfalls, and it is actually the place where parts of a lot of Indian movies were shot, including the most talked about flick of recent times, Baahubali and the upcoming Puli. There were also shots for movies like Dil Se, Pukar, Guru, Madras Cafe and many others.

athirappilly

I have always loved the sculptures of gargoyles on the church buildings, and that interest increased with the movie I, Frankenstein. When I climbed to the top of this church tower at Thrissur, and looked down, I felt like a gargoyle on the tower even though the churches here don’t have that. But looking down from there looks good, as it is known to be Asia’s tallest church, and there is some good view from the top. You do see this church in a lot of movies shot in the city, dominating the skyline – like in Pranchiyettan and the Saint and Thiruvambadi Thamban.

thrissur

Munnar has inspired a lot of interesting photos for me, but nothing like a walk through the tea gardens. It has been a long time favourite hill station for me as I have visited the place multiple times. This shot was taken on a beautiful day when we stopped on the side of the road for taking some photos. After some great morning tea, wandering through the tea plantations was going to be an interesting thing to do. After all, tea is life and most of my life has been about it. I still wonder what I will do without tea – I will be without my strength and also without many other things. Then there are movies like Life of Josutty which reminds you of the beauty of Kerala highlands!

munnar

TeNy

A Special Destination

There is one special destination which I have already mentioned on my travel blog – Travel Diaries: Of this world and beyond (http://theviator.wordpress.com), but has traveled to the same location in more detail again. I had also shared only one photo at that time, and so I would take this occasion to talk about that place again, this time related to our second journey. All the photos shared in this blog post are from the two big journeys to the place, taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310.

Such water-bodies are common on the way to our place.

Such water-bodies are common on the way to our place; take some time to look.

The destination is Ilaveezhapoonjira, the beautiful place with a name which people from outside Kerala will struggle to pronounce. It is a tourist destination which hasn’t been that explored and therefore stays beyond the boundaries of modernity. There will be not much crowd in this area, which mostly only has the youth among the visitors, as there is a good amount of journey on foot or by the juggling jeep to the top.

We are going among the hills this time.

We are going among the hills this time, away from the modern barbarians.

We had started our journey quite early on that day, and it is a perfect road until Thodupuzha from where the Vagamon route was also quite good. But from that moment you take the turn to the road going for this place, you are introduced to the smaller road which goes up, having enough potholes and curves to make you mad, especially if another vehicle comes from the other side. In the case of an early morning visit, there is not going to be anything coming down from Ilaveezhapoonjira though.

When the dark clouds arrive, trees are ready with silhouette.

When the dark clouds arrive and show their strength, trees are ready with silhouettes.

Once you reach the first part of the top, there is a small tea stall kind of setup which was not open when we went there. But it surely deserves a mention as this is “the tea cerebrations” blog. May be it will be there again on another day when we go there. There is also something which looks like a resort, but is seemingly abandoned; looks good enough to nicely blend with nature. The wind is usually strong there, making the tall grass bow down, as the sphere of air takes control here.

The fog takes over and makes a big impact at times.

The fog takes over and makes a big impact at times, improving the view even more.

There is also that fog that comes through and makes a big impact, as the vision is minimal when it makes its presence felt. On that day, there was rain too, but by the time we reached the top, it had a more clear version of the site, even as not that good enough to make a great impression on our ordinary cameras. Yes, you will get some awesome photos if you take someone with a big camera, or you can persuade a rich guy to buy an awesome camera and take him with you. By the time we returned, it had felt so good with the wonderful climate.

When you reach the top-most point, you find this.

When you reach the top-most point, you find this place and then you take out the camera.

Ilaveezhapoonjira is one of our favourite destinations, followed only by Thommankuthu and Bhoothathankettu, both being far behind in popularity in our circle. As it is not stormed by the visitors and never does it lack in being a thing of dazzling beauty, we would choose Ilaveezhapoonjira any day for just another random trip away from the modern barbarian world which tries to devour us like spiders of the movie Enemy (http://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/enemy/).

What you see when you have a look down from there.

What you see when you have a look down from there. I needed a better camera here.

This place might not find a place in your list of tourist attractions as it is not a popular desination suggested for people from outside Kerala. The rest should be aware of this place, especially those from the Central Travancore area as well as Ernakulam and Trichur districts. It is located around twenty kilometres from the town of Thodupuzha and about double the distance from Muvattupuzha – a distance of around twenty more will take you to Perumbavoor. Do add this to your list.

TeNy