Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rocking Ambience & Brilliant Water-craft @ “Perunthenaruvi”

  
Nature continues to amaze. A little bit of exploration, a small detour, on one of those regular visits to a relative’s house lead us to another really rocking location.

A stream of water can match any other creature in creating a carving out of a rock, a fact which bears testimony from the pictures to follow.

Vechochira – the name of the place is difficult to pronounce is situated in Pathanamthitta district of God’s own country Kerala. The journey starts from Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city with my wife, kids, Mother in law and myself forming the touring party.

We started our travel in MC road (Main Central) road which extends from Thiruvananthapuram till Kottayam, through a typical Keralish hilly terrain. The turf in this route was newly laid, and travel time has reduced much. We passed Kottarakkara, reached Adoor and found out that there is a new bypass which helps to avoid the busy traffic at town.

After Pandalam (famous for the Pandalam Palace) there is a junction called Kulanada, from where we can take an eastward turn, which will lead us to a place called Ranni, via Aranmula and Kozhencheri.

The Kulanada – Aranmula stretch also seems to be relaid recently. The roads even though narrow, contained almost zero traffic and passes through rich and diverse flora and fauna.

  


There is an overhead canal in this route too.

  

Soon we reached Aranmula, the place which is famous for the Aranmula temple, the boat race and the world famous Aranmula mirror.

  

The roads in Aranmula – Kozhenchery stretch also was well maintained, but as soon as we approached Kozhencherry town there was heavy traffic and had to wait for almost half an hour unable to solve a complex traffic equation. Shot down this tree which was not bothered about the complete traffic chaos underneath it.

  

Once Kozhencherry town disappeared from the rear view mirror, the scenery was much more inviting and I was driving at subdued pace enjoying the surroundings

  

A view from one of the bridges on the way, which was quite magnificient

  

Soon we reached Ranni, which is a relatively big town, and being the last township before our final destination, stopped over for filling up some eateries from the shops around. The town seemed to have a holiday mood, eventhough we parked near a busy market place.

  

From here we proceeded via the Erumely route, till a place called “Mannamaruthi” from where we have to take a deviation to Vechochira, which is only 7km away from this place.

Suddenly there was an ambience change and we seemed to be zooming past through a mountainous terrain with lush greenery on both sides, eventhough the place was occupied by humans. Rubber is the main cultivation in the area. Stopped near one such plantation just to enjoy the bright greenish ambience. 

  

  


The targeted destination arrived soon and we enjoyed the warmth and affection of our relatives there, enjoyed a good lunch and a nice rest after the 3 hour long journey.

We made a visit to three homes, out of which one was subjected to a photo shoot and the output was not too bad either. 

  

The flowers bloomed were also having a nice charm owing to the fertile land.

 

The most interesting part of the journey was about to start. Based on the advice of localites we delayed our visit to the nearby Perunthenaruvi till evening and some even advised that there is nothing much to see, other than some rocks and a small stream of water. But we proceeded ahead.

The road was not good, but the road side ambience was good.

  

After 1kilometer from Vechochira, there is a Navodaya School, one of the best resident schools in Kerala. Just after the Navodaya school there is a board pointing to Perunthenaruvi.

  

We had to take a ‘U’ turn here and the road became more narrower with thick vegetation on both sides and it was a steep descent. I drove the vehicle really slowly, stopping every now and then to click some snaps.

  

The road came to a dead end here. Some 2 or 3 motorcycles were parked and we could see no signs of any river.

  

Parked our vehicle here and proceeded ahead. First thing to notice was a big water pumping station with some rocks ahead.

  

There was a building being constructed nearby which seems to be a viewpoint kind of thing.

Decided to just have a glimpse of the view from the viewpoint and that was it, I cannot explain what we saw. “Nature at its natural best”.
Rocks, A beautiful stream of water, Beautiful trees in the background and the area of view was huge.

Just have a panoramic view of what we experienced from this point.

  

Stood there for sometime enjoying the beauty of our mother earth after which we climbed down hill to be on top of those rocks.

While going down, we could see the pumping station, which pumps up water from this river to the over head water tank and supplies drinking water to the nearby area.

  

The view was getting closer and closer as we approached the rocks with a stream of water flowing through the middle. Water level was really low owing to the lack of rain

  

The waterfall, even though a small one was enough to give a special feel to this place.

  
  

A bigger picture of the water gushing out through the rocks. It seems like during rainy season we might not be able to see these much rocks as these will be submerged.

  

This waterfall made us try little innovations, which didn’t come as good as expected.

  
  

The patterns created by the stream of water on the rocks were quite unique.
Is water a master crafter?

  

  

  

Where ever you look you have something to appreciate.
Looking back we could see the view point which is being constructed. .

  


Found this tree on the other side of the river. Of late I am getting kind of addicted in shooting down trees in the backdrop of sky.

  

My kids too enjoyed the rocks, even though we were little cautious on not to allow them to walk alone because of the big holes in the rock.
My son was seen enacting a mountain climber

  

The light was getting dimmer. The variation of color of sky at this time of day is like a live painting.

  

  

The fading light gave another visual feel to the stream flowing through the rocks

  

  

I climbed up to the top most point with my daughter and my wife snapped up the moment.

  

We got only 2 hours to spend here, but it was well worth it. This place has not yet been developed as a tourist destination, but it has got all the potential of becoming one. Kerala tourism development corporation already has started works for developing this location. The parking area and the approach roads are complete whereas the viewpoint is under construction. It will not be too long ahead before we start seeing new hotels or resorts coming up in this region.


Quick Facts
Name of place: Perunthenaruvi
How to reach:
From Kottayam: Erumely - Mannamaruthi - Vechochira - Perunthenaruvi (around 60 km)
From Chengannur: Kozhencherry - Ranni - Mannamaruthi - Vechochira - Perunthenaruvi (around 45 km)

Nearest Railway Station: Chengannur / Kottayam

Facilities: No facilities as of now. Nearest good hotel is in Ranni

Travel plan: Plan for a visit to this place, during your stay in Kottayam

Other points:
Don’t go to this place at noon, the rocks will be too hot to handle. Best time to visit is early morning till 11 am.
Be careful while walking through the rocks, it is slippery and there are some really big holes in between.

Your feedback on this please !!!!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Calm, Serene, Unexploited - The Vellayani Lake @ Thiruvananthapuram

  

God's own country - Kerala, is blessed with aplenty of rich landscape that if one is ready to explore a little he is sure to find beautiful locations even near to densely populated cities. Introducing one such place which is very close to capital city of Kerala where one can peacefully spend an evening in company of serene nature composed of a very vast lake surrounded by lush greenery.

The location is Vellayani. I happened to be at this place on a sunny afternoon after visiting a friends house. My companion - a sony camera, helped me to shot this serene location.

To reach this location, travel 10 kilometers southward starting from Thiruvanathapuram central bus terminal or central railway station. This southward route is the road to Kanyakumari. Lots of buses ply in this route. On reaching Vellayani junction, turn right and travel another 2 kilometers. Then again right (it is better to ask for directions from this point).

The road suddenly changes to untarred one and one gets a feeling of a completely different landscape eventhough we are just a few kilometers out of the city centre and still within the city limits.

  


The road side view gave a feeling of a typical Kerala village.
 

After the last turn we could see a vast land a little away after those coconut trees.

  

The road came to a dead end, but from this point we could get this view and we were sure that our decision of checking out this place after visiting our friends home was not a waste of time. 

  

Parked our steeds at this point. Even our vehicles seemed more beautiful in this ambience.

  

We had to walk ahead in what seems to be a beautiful road and the place seem to be quiet deserted with only the greenery giving us company

  

A little ahead we could see the lake. The Vellayani lake was on one side

  

  

On the other side of the road there were paddy fields (a bit of Kuttanadishness here )

  

The lake was real vast, with those lotus plants giving it a special ambience
  

  

All of us sat on this road enjoying the cool breeze and one is sure to forget the scorching sun when in the midst of such an ambience.

  

But I was not able to sit here longer since the photographer in me was pressurizing to capture the natural movements around.
This beautiful crane reminded me of one of the vehicles mentioned in Ramayana. 

  

Another one flew just above me and the moment was well utilized

  

There were some action inside this lake too, thanks to these small little gems.

  

This guy was sitting peacefully, but it was living dangerously as it is stationed in a live wire.

  

There was a small river near by and could see some hectic activity here tooo

  

A bunch of ducks were swimming in formation

  

But on among them stood out, because of its colorful body graphics.

  

My son also was enjoying himself and was seen running up and down this really long road.
  

After spending an hour in this lake side we decided to leave with the satisfaction of finding one more place near to where we live, where we can have a calm evening outing after all those pressures of work life.

My friends steed again got shot down by me when it was travelling through this mud road. 

  

This place does not have any tourist facilities. There are no shops around too. So a visit of more than 2 hours is not worthwhile. Its better to carry some food and water along. Just visit here only if you love the lakes and greenery and zero population around.

A Place where you can be alone with the nature.

A more popular lake near Thiruvananthapuram is the Veli Lake, which has been developed into a proper tourist destination by the tourism department. Click here to have a view of the Picturesque Veli Lake.
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