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Old July 19th, 2006, 12:20 PM   #81
ecotourindia
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UNSEEN KOTTAYAM


KALLARA- UNIQUE RURAL TOURISM IN THE MAKING

This quaint little village is located about 20 km northwest of Kottayam town. The place can be easily accessed from Kottayam by road as well as rail.

Kallara and the neighboring villages of Kaduthuruthy and Thalayolaprambu has unending stretches of lush green paddy fields crisscrossed by numerous canals that drain into the backwaters of Ezhumanturuth and fall into the mighty Vembanad lake. In ancient days, large barge like country boats transported goods from Alapuzha to Thalayolaparambu and Kaduthuruthy through these intricate networks of waterways. The waterways also connect Kallara with Vaikom in the north and to Kumarakom in the south.

Scenic stretches in the village include Ayamkudi, Kapikkad, Mundor, Pulituruth, Erunthuruthu, Pazhampetti, Pannverukkumpora and Karikkal. There are ancient temples and churches scattered in the village. The backwaters of Ezhumanthuruth have many attractive small islands in them.

The unique attraction here is the concentration of screw pine product making in this little village. Locally called ‘tazha’ the screw pine plants grow in abundance on the side of canals and waterways. The shaft of this plant is plucked, cut and seasoned. There are later woven into an every of beautiful and colorful products. Screw pine products range from table mats, purse, file holders mirrors, chapels, waste box, cushions, hats, kitchen touches, decoration etc. and so on. Kallara also produces bamboo products, rubber wood items and wood products.

Very soon Kallara will be a model tourism village, where the tourists can experience the art and process of screw pine product development and other such rural products enjoying scenic vistas staying in good home stay units in this village.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 12:21 PM   #82
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UNSEEN KOTTAYAM

RAMAPURAM

Ramapuram, a beautiful and quiet village is located 15km from Pala town on the main road to Koothattukulam. Ramapuram has carved its own niche in the cultural history of Kerala. This small village was the birth place of Ramapurathu Warrier, the profounder of Vanchipattu. It was here where Lalithambika Anthrajanam the renowned Malayalam novelist lived. Ramapuram also is blessed with its old church and its famous missionaries – Paramekkal Thoma Kathanar and Daivadasan Thevarparambil Kunjachan.

Temples: The word ‘Ramapuram’ means ‘the abode of Lord Rama’. True to its name the village has its Chief deity Lord Sreerama. Ramapuram is unique in the sense that it houses the temples of Rama as well as his three brothers in its vicinity in a radius of just three kms- Lord Bharata at Amanakara, Lashmana at Kedapulam and Santhrughna at Methiri.

Natural Splendors:
1. Kurinji Koomban – Located 5 km from Ramapuram is this circular hill which has abundant coves. Nearly this hill is the Vellamneekipara waterfalls. There is motorable road to foot hills and is an adventurer’s paradise.
2. Kuruvankunnu – Located 5 km from Ramapuram it is situated to the east of Kurinji koomban. The place has water available even in summers. The place is prone to avalanches.
3. Mayiladimpara – Located in Nedumala there are two huge rocks at this site spread over 4-5 acres.
4. Parunthanmala – It is the highest point in the region called Kozhimala located 4 km west of Ramapuram through rubber estates. From its zenith one can see up to Arabian Sea.
5. Fathimagiri – This is lesser in height but is a serene place and is an excellent picnic spot.
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 11:22 AM   #83
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UNSEEN KOTTAYAM

AYYAMPARA – ON THE ESCAPE ROUTE

Well layered rocky plains. The scenic view from atop spans hundreds of square kilometers around. Blissful summer sunsets – all these factors attract visitors to Ayyampara a rarely known beauty spot in the district of Kottayam about 13 km from Erattupetta. Buses ply up to Thalanadu, about one km away from here. Ayyampara sits atop high plains. Nature has built here a granite stadium on 20 acres of flat rock 2000 feet above sea level. Ayyampara is located 43km from Kottayam.

A number of nearby towns like Erattupetta and Pala are clearly visible from here and so are the hills of Vagamon. Ayyampara also serves as the foot station for the adventurous climbers of Illikal hill. The visitor will be wonderstruck by the red hot sun sinking into the Arabian Sea and the cool breeze doing wonders on his mind and body.

According to the legends, the five Pandava brothers stayed here during their exile. The named of the rock is said to be a modified version of Anchupara (five rocks). There is an ancient Ayyappa temple here which has four pillars which support a flat piece of rock that forms the roof. On one side of the rock is a cave.

Illickal Mala: Numerous mountain streams in this Peak, 6000 ft. above sea level, flow down to form the serene Meenachil River. The solitude, the tranquility, the gentle breeze and the star spangled sky here are all enchanting beyond words. Tourists have to trek up three km to reach the top of the hill. And if you so wish, you could even spend the night on the heights.

Illickal Kallu: Three hills, each rising to 4000 ft. and above, together form this huge hill. Each of the hills has a peculiar shape. One of them resemble a mushroom owing to which it gets its name Kuda Kallu (umbrella shaped rock). It is said that the medicinal herb Neela Koduveli, which bathes the hill sides in blue, grows here. This flower is also believed to possess supernatural powers which could increase wealth and ensure a rich harvest. The second hill has a small hunch on the sides and is therefore referred to as Koonu Kallu (hunch back rock) which is located 4000ft above sealevel. Across this rock is a 1/2 ft. wide bridge called Narakapalam (bridge to hell). From the hilltops, the Arabian Sea can be seen in the distant horizon as a thin blue line. The sunset on a full moon day is sensational, when the moon can be seen rising up like another sun, as the orange sun goes down.
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 11:23 AM   #84
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UNSEEN KOTTAYAM

ELAVEEZHAPOONCHIRA – WALK IN THE RAIN CLOUDS


Skirting the Kottayam district are beautiful valleys of Elaveezhapoonchira, spread over thousands of acres in Melukavu village. The pristine beauty of nature is preserved almost intact here in the imposing mountain ranges with rocky cliffs. The verdant landscape is punctuated by five gigantic hills viz. Vlndhyan medu, Hidumbanmedu , Mankallumudi, Kolanimudi and Mukalanthammudi each rising to around 3200 ft. Elaveezhapoonchira means valley where leaves don't fall and is named so because the place has no trees. Perhaps this may be the only spot in Kerala from where one can see the beautiful phenomenon of sunrise and sunset in the same spot. The vast horizon gives a panoramic view of the surrounding five districts. During the monsoons when the valley fills up to form a scenic lake, this place unveils yet another beautiful slice of nature. The panoramic view of the Malankara dam just below the hill is an exquisite site for the visitors.

Attractions in Poonchira: The different elevations of the mountain ranges with contrasting shapes give this hill station a dramatic and distinctive outline of great scenic splendor. Just below the hill, there is a small perennial pond like water body called Elaveezhapoonchira. Three tribal settlements and four natural caves provide significance to this mystic land. The great Pandavas were said to have lived incognito in this land during their exile and hence these caves are called "Pandavan Guha". Another peculiar feature is that the presence of two Muniyaras nearby the pond. Luxuriant growth of medicinal plants gives another added attraction to this area. Another exotic feature is the Nilayara which is a cave located in Mukalanthanmudi, one kilometer from the Poonchira. The cave itself is a wonder as far as a tourist is concerned. About 20 people can stand at a time inside the cave. A small perennial stream is flowing from the inner mouth of the cave.
Kannadipara: As the name suggests, the valley of this rocky mountain reflects the morning sun with a mirror like perfection. This is also the highest point in Elaveezhapoonchira. Three km from here is the Pazhakakanam Plateau nourished by the Kadapuzha River. Bamboo groves, meadows and wild flowers make this place exotic. An added attraction here is the Kazhukankulimali Waterfalls that playfully cascade down the mountain and greet the river below with a magnificent splash. On the eastern side of Kannadipara is a natural fort set amidst steep rocks.
Mankallu Mudikal: The three hills in this region lie close to each other, their flat hilltops covered with lush grasslands. An aerial view of these resembles a traditional clay oven. With no trees around, the hilltops give you the feeling that you are walking in the clouds.
Kolani Mudi: This peak in the Elaveezhapoonchira mountain range also has a cave.
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 11:24 AM   #85
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UNSSEN KOTTAYAM


SPRINGING SURPRISES

Beauty comes in cascades. Kottayam is blessed with several breathtaking waterfalls – small and big. Scattered in the highlands, they are perfect picnic spots. Aruvikuzhi, Aruvikachal and Marmala are the three major cascades of this district. It is best to visit these after rains when the entire suuroudings will be filled with gushing streams and lush scenery.

Aruvikkuzhy Waterfalls:
Located amidst shady rubber plantations, streams tinkle as they make their way through the rugged landscape and roars down cascading from a height of hundred feet. This spectacular water falls located right under the road bridge at Pallickathodu. This beautiful picnic spot is located 25 km from Kottayam town.

Aruvikachal:
This is one of the highest waterfalls in Kerala gushing down from a height of 235 feet. Aruvikachal is located in Poonjar Thekkekara village and can be accessed via Erattupetta and Poonjar. The waterfalls can be approached by walking a couple of kilometers from Patampuzha junction.

There are numerous places of interest around this place. Adivaram, Ummikunnu, Puliyallu, Muttanallu, Parayambalam etc. are some of the scenic spots scattered around Aruvikachal. The 3500 ft high Mutukoramala offers spectacular views. The Poonjar Palace is also noteworthy.

Marmala stream:
This scenic stream and its breathtaking waterfalls are together referred to as the enchantress of the jungle; Sliding down numerous hillocks from a height of 200 ft, the gushing water has etched out over the years a twelve metre deep pond in the rocks and joins the Teekoy river way down. And right under the waterfalls is a natural bridge.

Marmala waterfalls lie a few kilometers away from Erattupetta and it is exactly seven km from Teekoy rubber estate. From here a private vehicle can take you further two km after which the road is not motorable. To reach the falls one has to trek through the estate over the rocky path.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 02:59 PM   #86
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Hi` ecotourindia ,
Good description of some unexplored places in Kerala.
Btw, do you have photographs of these places ? It would be really great if you could post some pics of those places here.

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Old July 26th, 2006, 10:23 AM   #87
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Can u help me in how to send the pictures?
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Old July 26th, 2006, 10:44 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecotourindia
Can u help me in how to send the pictures?
Perhaps this could help you..

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=194364

You have to depend on free photo hosting sites like www.tinypic.com or www.imageshack.us. You have to host the photos in your hard disk to these sites first. Then copy the hotlink from them and paste it here in the 'reply box' and submit.
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Old September 26th, 2006, 07:58 AM   #89
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Heading to Munnar via the Spice Route...

Goin up KK Rd to Kuttikanam...



Miles & Miles of tea, more to come!



Tata Tea ...


Tata Tea ...contd...

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Old September 26th, 2006, 08:05 AM   #90
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KK Rd to Munnar ... Contd...







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Old September 26th, 2006, 08:12 AM   #91
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sorry folks! i just have to continue!

Now that water u see is Drinkable, claims (and i believe them!) a board put up by Tata...





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Old September 26th, 2006, 08:17 AM   #92
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The once-in-12-years phenomenon!

Full Bloom? Nah, just gettin there...









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Old September 26th, 2006, 08:22 AM   #93
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The Nilgiri Tahr...







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Old September 26th, 2006, 08:29 AM   #94
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I promise I will stop with this!

Thanks for your time guys!











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Old September 26th, 2006, 09:28 AM   #95
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Nice photos Sputnik..

BTW do you have more photos of the Kuttikanam-thekkady-munnar route? I feel it would be better if you could label the places..

I am not familiar with the Kuttikanam scenes, but can recognise the Kundala, Rajamala, Mattupetty shots. And you have got unique photos of elephant at mattupetty near the swiss farm. I think I have seen 'electric fencing' in that area, may be perhaps after the road.
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Old September 26th, 2006, 10:13 AM   #96
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...

Thanks Sudheesh!

We deviated from Kuttikanam and went thru erattupetta, kattapana, udumbanchola, hardocre spice country, tata tea to reach Munnar, not touchin kumily/thekkadi...the terrain was mostly tea, cardamom and ginger all the way, i had enuff of tea and dint bother takin more pics...and moreover i wasnt carryin enuff memory...

next time u go to munnar, dont take the NH (Cochin-Aluva, kothamangalam) route, this is definitely a much higher, richer and greener drive!
PS: the electric fence is around the Swiss farm and you could actually run down to meet those elephants, if u wud dare, that is!
ok here is all i have...














Quote:
Originally Posted by sudheeshnairs
Nice photos Sputnik..

BTW do you have more photos of the Kuttikanam-thekkady-munnar route? I feel it would be better if you could label the places..

I am not familiar with the Kuttikanam scenes, but can recognise the Kundala, Rajamala, Mattupetty shots. And you have got unique photos of elephant at mattupetty near the swiss farm. I think I have seen 'electric fencing' in that area, may be perhaps after the road.
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Old September 26th, 2006, 11:04 AM   #97
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Thekkady...

On my way back from munnar to thekkady, we went off-road thru ginger plantations, steep climbs, drops and finally into coconut land, it was a shortcut to kumily from munnar, it wasnt so much fun tho, had to go to down to Cumbum (parched forever!!!) and back up to thekkady to avoid stretches of road repair...at this point, i just had enuff memory left to take around 16 pics at 640/480!!! so there u go..

vineyards just before the climb from cumbum to thekkady...



'Twas misty and drizzling in Thekkady...











Mullaperiyar (aint i right?) & elephants on the slopes adjacent to the dam..



these were at a great distance and that too taken from a moving rattling boat!


bison? or watever!


ok, finally, out of spice country, heading back 2 town via erumeli...Harrisons Malayalam Plantations..a pic or two...



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Old September 26th, 2006, 11:58 AM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sputnikd
Thanks Sudheesh!

We deviated from Kuttikanam and went thru erattupetta, kattapana, udumbanchola, hardocre spice country, tata tea to reach Munnar, not touchin kumily/thekkadi...the terrain was mostly tea, cardamom and ginger all the way, i had enuff of tea and dint bother takin more pics...and moreover i wasnt carryin enuff memory...

next time u go to munnar, dont take the NH (Cochin-Aluva, kothamangalam) route, this is definitely a much higher, richer and greener drive!
PS: the electric fence is around the Swiss farm and you could actually run down to meet those elephants, if u wud dare, that is!
ok here is all i have...
Thanks Sputnikd..

Ya, I have driven to Munnar through Cochin-Aluva-Kothamangalam-Munnar as well as Cochin-Muvattupuzha-Kothamangalam(NH 49). And from Trivandrum, the route was through MC Road, touching Kottayam-Muvattupuzha-Kothamangalam-Adimali-Munnar. Last time I had started from some 9 AM from Munnar and reached TVM at about 3-4 PM through this route. Next time will try your route..

I had ventured out in to the green pastures near the swiss farm, bordering the mattupetty lake. But that time there were no elephants. I think they might have swam in from the other side of the lake, which is a forest.
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Old September 29th, 2006, 08:23 PM   #99
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Some more photos from Idukki


Somewhere near Top Station.



Oranges - straight from the farm - Kanthalloor



Sugar Canes - Kanthalloor
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Old September 29th, 2006, 08:37 PM   #100
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Marayoor - Chinnar


The watch tower at Chinnar Wild Life Sanctuary.


A water body within the Chinnar Wild Life Sanctuary at dusk.


Muniyara at Marayoor.

Last edited by glidealong; September 29th, 2006 at 08:48 PM. Reason: Image Rotated
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