Saturday, December 17, 2011

Kanjirakolli - The Trekker's Delight

              This is an article published in the December edition of 'Destination Kerala'. I have added more pictures in this blog version.

               Kannur district of Kerala is famous for its beautiful beaches. But this one is nothing about the beaches but the hills. As most districts of Kerala do, Kannur too has its own share of the Western ghats, where Kanjirakolli is the dead end.

               Though Kanjirakolly is a low profile destination, the beauty and the potential it hides, should thrill an explorer. Lying about 70 km to the east of Kannur town, this tiny village can either be approached via Thaliparambu or through Iritty. We took the Thaliparamba option, as the roads were in a comparatively better shape. It took less than three hours for a WagonR, to reach up to Kanjirakolli from Kannur town, drove at moderate speed.

             The small village is inhabited mostly by migrants from Central Kerala, who came over to the wooded valley, in the sixties apart from a small tribal population belonging to Kurichya and Karimpalar community. Agriculture is the major source of income, for this nature blessed valley, and a traveler shall not expect any kind of amenities, a tourist spot can offer. If you intend to spend a night over there – most recommended – the only option is a small and neat house, maintained by Thankachan, near his farm, located at the elevated region of the village.

                  The three bed room house, with thickly wooded mounts at the backdrop, facing Thankachan’s farm, shall be availed for Rs.1000 per day, and it is value for money.

                  We reached the place by around noon and had the privilege of experiencing the culinary expertise of our host’s wife Mercy, as a welcome gesture. Once again, this is the only option to dine, and I assert that she is blessed, be it veg or non veg delicacies, for the taste still lingers. In fact we even had a dish made of some wild leaves, collected from the woods bordering his farm.

            The pocket valley is bordered by thick woods of Coorg District of Karnataka, to further east, and we attempted a jeep safari into our neighboring state.

           We couldn’t intrude much deep, as the track condition was pathetic, not being used for long. Got out of the jeep and had a small trek along the track, which reported to be, leads to ‘Kallu Malika’, a natural cave, which can easily accommodate more than 200 people.

           This wonder cave is about 8 km trek from the stay and can be done in a day, of course with permission from Karnataka Forest authorities.

         ‘Sasipara’, a sought after view point, is just a twenty minute climb from the stay, and the view of the wooded mounts of Coorg, topped by green meadows, is a sight indeed.

                  The peak of ‘Thadiyantemol’, popular among trekkers, appears so close, posing an invitation. Look beneath and you will wonder how tiny, the village of Kanjirakkolli is.

               Penetrate the undergrowth 100m to the north and hold on to the trees, if not to fly off down the ravine. Be very careful if you attempt this, as the place is bit dangerous.

         A tiny, but cute falls, by name ‘Aanathetti Chattam’, close to the stay, would certainly wash away all the pains of the day.

                   Fish pickle served by our host, stole the dinner show and a barking deer, some where in the back yard, kept us awake, late into the night.

                  Early risers can afford a morning walk, as we did, trying the wooded hillock that borders our host’s farm and have a bird’s view of the night stay, lit up by the rising sun.

             Climbed down to raid over local cuisine and the next thing up was ‘Hanuman Para’.

                 Hanuman Para is a rocky region at a higher elevation, without vehicle access. A jeep can take you up to the foothill, from where one to two hour trek, through the woods, will present you with a high altitude view of the village, much above from what Sasipara offers.


                              Certain other attractions like ‘Kaimuttipara’ and ‘Maramthangipara’, along the trek path, are sure to amaze you and compel you to have breaks.

                  Climb down Hanumanpara, along the west, to a scattered rocky structure resembling a cave, by name ‘Malikapara’. From here you shall either trek further down to Kaanjirakolli junction or to the Farm stay, through Sasipara.

                Another hearty meal and Thankachan waved us off. Half way to Kaanjirakolly Junction, leave your vehicle, and trek along the track to the left, for little less than a km, to be at the base of Alakapuri Falls, which is not to be missed, if nature enthuse you.

           From Kaanjirakkolli junction a drive for less than a km to the west, shall take you to ‘Chittari’, where the flow you followed from the falls, meet Udumba River from the hills of Coorg. The confluence is serene and majestic, which is thereafter, the famous Valapattanam River.

                  The wonder list is not exhaustive, for you could even trek to Virajpet, in less than a day, as pilgrims from Coorg do, once in a year, to attend a local temple festival. Much more is hidden than what is explored. Go ahead; reveal the mysteries and the myths. 


  1. the photographer with his wife is a stunning picture... shinu.

  2. Ha Ha.. But the real photographer is not in the frame

  3. Fantastic as usual. How ever do you manage to find these places???

  4. TU Sreekala. Not findings but it happens. And nowadays I'm often privileged with invitations from natives.

  5. nice travelogue with lot of information

    a post after long period, expecting your next post...

    thanks for sharing...

  6. Yeah Krishna
    Now a days I'm finding it hard to find time. In fact six or seven of them are pending

  7. Thanks for the post. How to contact MrThankachan before going there?

    1. Jaya You may reach him at 0460 2215024


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