Ulakkai Aruvi - 26th September 2010

          
                           This was an extension to the expedition to Maramalai, which I had detailed in the earlier post. Climbed down Maramalai to our base camp Keeripara by noon.
 
        Ulakkai Aruvi is a beautiful falls on Pazhayar, close to its origin. It is so named as it resembles a wooden utensil in the shape of hour glass. Left Keeripara in our WagonR with Senthil, an estate supervisor based at Keeripara, who is very familiar with the sector. Hit Thadikarakonam and took left for Azhagiapandiapuram along SH 45 of Tamil Nadu. Short stop at Azhagiapandiapuram for gathering light eatables and entered the narrow road to the left, directed towards the Western Ghats.

              Passed by a beautiful lake with water all blue and the cameras went clicking. 


                 Oh ... forgot; Apart from Senthil, our guide, we were four - Pramod, Anoj, Sreekumar and the blogger.


           At the next turning, we had a distant view of the descent, which we found later, was just the upper part. 


       From the very sight itself we could assess the amount of trekking that would be involved.


               Drove up to Perunthalikkadu and parked our vehicle by the wayside. Perunthalikkadu is a small junction hosting a tiny tea shop and a store.

            Started our trek by around 1.30 PM. Crossed Pazhayar, reached up to a confluence of two rivulets, crossed a rivulet and started the hike. Initial part went along woods which slowly transformed to grass lands. 


                A narrow path has been laid which made the trek a lot easier. By then it started drizzling and we decided to take it on. The trek path then went a bit steeper forcing us to take a break. 
              
                   At a juncture we encountered a delegation of three climbing down to the base, and they happened to be Senthil’s relatives. It was surprising to know that these people were employed at a tiny clove plantation at ‘Asambu’, about ten kms up from the place we were then. There are no motorable roads up to Asambu – not even a jeep track. These people are the lone inhabitants of the place and their weekend plight was what we were witnessing. 
         
                        The small chat revealed the potential of ‘Asambu’ and we had the pleasure of receiving an invitation from these people. The team was lead by the Supervisor of the estate and we assured him a visit to ‘Asambu’ soon and parted in opposite directions. They had also intimated that it was raining heavily atop and warned us to be careful, once at the falls, as Ulakkai Aruvi is infamous for instant flooding.
              
                          The shower strengthened by then and we were all dripping in seconds. The sector we were traversing had abundance of berry trees with branches heavily fruited.


        It was more than an hour from the base and the mild roar came audible, soothing our discomfort of being damp. Walk went brisker and we were soon atop a huge rock facing the heavy plunge. 


               The rocky structure, we were on, was almost at the middle of the plunge, presenting us with a decent view of the upper half. 



          The lower flow went beneath us, blocking view. Senthil, went ahead with the dangerous act of crawling to the edge, and declared from there that the lower part is visible. We decided to accept the declaration as none of us dared to venture for proof. 
           
                             Couldn’t take out our cameras as it was raining cats and dogs by then. But how to leave the place without snaps for you, my readers. Took out a bed spread from Pramod ‘s back pack and we formed a cover for him, to click on. But the bed spread couldn’t resist the heavy downpour, and I could feel the discomfort in Pramod’s face, on his camera getting wet. Sreekumar and I jointly issued a statement that digital cameras are water resistant and there is nothing to worry, conveniently forgetting the fact that our cameras are safe in our back pack. 
          
                       Sat there a while enjoying the plunge and the shower and shared the bananas and cakes, we bought from the planes, with the inhabitants of the place, macaques.


         They seemed to enjoy the change, that too amidst the chilling rain

               
                   Left the falls and moved to the west. The planes of Azhagiyapandiapuram and its greenery was a view by itself and the traitors could again bring out Pramod’s camera, to capture it for you people.



            The Periyakulam Lake near Azhagiyapandiapuram is the blue drop in the back drop

                 
           While walking down to the base, Pramod was found worried about the fate of his camera. Seeing us laughing on it, the angry man’s response was that all data will be lost if the camera got damaged. That led to a discussion on how data in a memory card is safe, even if the device broke into two, further irritating the worried man. 

                No no no...... That wasn’t true. Pramod was also enjoying the light moments. (I know he will go through this post, and friends, I’m living near to him)
   
         All the happiness dried up as we were almost close to the base. The rivulet we had crossed during the up climb was found raging over banks and we would have been trapped if not for Senthil. Senthil knew another track, which needed the crossing of a comparatively thinner rivulet, though its more winding.


          Crossed this rivulet, walked along twisty paths through agricultural lands and reached Perunthalikkadu by 4.30 in the evening.  Surprisingly it hasn’t rained at the base. 

       Changed dress, dropped Senthil at Keeripara and headed north for our hometown.

Locally built bridge across canal near Thadikarankonam. My co travellers opted to cross it on foot, leaving poor me and my vehicle at risk
                  During the entire drive I didn't find any sign of recent rains. So it was an exclusive performance for the trekkers to Ulakkai Aruvi. But that wasn’t a matter of concern, for we enjoyed the shower too.  

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Comments

  1. Although the rain interrupted the full exploration of this place as intended, pictures taken are not too bad. Because of the continuous rain, i coulndt enjoy every moment as u people did but I am glad that my camera is safe. May be we will try to visit this place once again when we go to "asambu".

    ReplyDelete
  2. I visited the place recently. Climbing is breathtaking one.

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  3. Sure Pramod..Asambu is pending for long.
    Binu; The climb was worth na..

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  4. THE CLIMB IS NOT TOUGH SHINU. BUT THADAGAMALAI NEARBY IS WORTH EXPLORING. HAVE U TRIED? THERE IS SAID TO BE A TRACK FROM KADUKKARAI TO TIRUKKANAMGUDI .

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  5. Mohan : I havent been to the extreme south of western ghats, though planning for long. Asambu, thadagamalai and Kadukkarai hills are still in plans. Should make it soon. I'll get to you soon for details. Thanx a lot

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  6. sir,

    3 questions about ulakkai aruvi:

    1. are there local buses running from azhagiapandipuram to perunthalikadu?
    2. is it possible to trek lonely to ulakkai aruvi from perunthalikadu?
    3. if it is not possible to trek lonely to ulakkai aruvi where can i get a guide and how much amount of ruppees should i give him to guide me to ulakkai aruvi?

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  7. Yes you have bus from Nagercoil to Ulakai Aruvi. From Azhagiya Pandi puram you can walk alone

    ReplyDelete

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