Thursday, August 11, 2011

Darppakkulam - The Pond Serene

          News on this wonder pond, within woods, was in the air for long and the fine morning of 2nd March 2011 was chosen to explore. The pond deep into the woods of Shendurney wild life sanctuary is thought to be the origin of river Uruliyaar, a major source catering to Thenmala reservoir. Shanty was entrusted with the pre - requisites and its worth a mention that he did it well. Click here for location.

                Thus we were off by 5.30 AM, from Thiruvananthapuram towards Madathara - 'we' include Pramod and Sunil apart from the blogger. Shanty joined us at Madathara and together we hit Aaryankavu, by 8.30 AM.

         I was used to having fish curry for break fast, owing to my Malabar connections, and I could force Sunil also into it. Food was that tasty, we packed the same for lunch too. Transferred our back packs to Kunjettan's Jeep, left our car by the track side and went on with the jumpy drive to Rosemala.


       Rose Mala is a small colony, by the side of Thenmala reservoir, where the major livelihood of the population is agriculture.

Rosemala - a distant view

Rosemala
               Rajan, a forest watcher, pre arranged by Shanty, joined us at RoseMala and Kunjettan dropped the delegation at the village limit, where the jeep track ended abruptly at the woods.

The border line
     Kunjettan assured to be back by dusk, to pick us and we commenced our hike.


        The initial part was smooth and once we crossed Uruliyar, of which the origin we seek, the climb went steeper.




      If it was a green whip snake once, it was a flowered 'Mooti' tree then, which favored us with undeclared breaks.



         Thus progressing, crossing a brook every now and then, we got to meet the beauty by around one'o clock.






Uruliyaar takes shape

            We didn't howl or shout of joy, but just got mesmerized. Serenity lie before us with a new dimension, never before experienced. A natural pond, of size appreciable, enclosed by thickets, overflowing always, to be named Uruliyar there after, was capable to steal away hearts.


        We stayed by her side, heart lost, for long, until Rajan intervened. He pointed to a track,that went north, followed with the information that it lead to Kundar dam near Senkottai.

             I recalled an earlier family trek, down to this dam, through the woods bordering Rajathottam and we decided to proceed along the track, at least until we get a glimpse of Kundar reservoir. Landslides had often struck Shendurney and here also we had almost the entire track, found washed away, at places.



       Two km walk took us to the edge of a mount, from where we could have a distant view of the reservoir.


        Stood there a while trying to retrace the old trek path, through the distant wooded mounts, until the return walk was announced.


          Back at the pond, it was time for lunch and Rajan opened the tin shed, by the side of the pond, offering us enough space to dine and rest.


    Though the packed stuff had gone a bit hard, none found it difficult. Clicked around the beauty half an hour more and it was time for the climb down.


     Assuring myself that I will be back soon, equipped for an overnight stay, at the tin shed by her side, got back to the track.

            Down hill was smooth and it wouldn't have been so, if I couldn't just avoid stepping right on the head of a pit viper, which opted to go on with the nap, even after all those nuisance.


      Back at Rose Mala by 5.30 PM and realized how lucky we were, that we had ample time to hike up to the watch tower, close to Thenmala reservoir, before the sun went down. Though the climb was hard, an hour that followed was remarkably light.

Sunil up the tower
        The entire watershed spread beneath us as calm, though not as natural, as Darppakulam was.


        The setting sun played magic with its reflections and the folk went on with experiments in photography. Here are some..








            Kunjettan's jeep horn, in the valley, was the distraction, which told us it was time to end the show. Back at the jeep track by 7 and it took another hour to be back at our vehicle.

           While working on this post, went through the pics many times and had a feeling that some thing is missing..........Yeah, serenity is beyond a camera capture.