Friday, February 17, 2012

Kukkal – Chinnar Episode 2

Kukkal Valley to Kukkal Cave                    Day 1        Day 3       Day 4

       Day 2 started with exploring the Guest house and premises. While Biju was busy with his camera, Girish took us for a stroll.

          Twenty minutes down the terrain, got to the bank of Kuthirayaar, which borders the property. Few more careful steps along the bank took us to the edge from where the river plunges deep into the ravine.

         Though the falls presented a refreshing sight, the towering hillocks on the other side wasn’t a soothing one, as atop it, is our cave to end the day’s walk.

        Returned to the Guest House, had a nice breakfast and set out for the adventure.

   The team
                   Passed Ravi’s dwelling, accepted his wishes, crossed Kuthirayaar and started the climb.

The Manager's dwelling


               Apart from the visiting folk, the team comprised of Girish, the leader and two tribal workers,  Muniswamy & Rajendran, to assist him. Shola woods and grass lands appeared periodically and we had the luxury of wild tubers to keep us going.

              The switching ended by noon, and we were left with just the green hillock ahead. 

                       By then we had gained enough height to have a decent view of the Kookkal valley, which we left in the morning, and could even spot our Guest house and the nearby falls.

The guest house is the white spot with the falls to its right
                    The hike there after went steeper, and there wasn’t even a cleared path to follow. Our friends adopted ‘trial and error’ method, in finding way ahead, and fortunately, errors were seldom. Thus advancing, Girish announced a break, atop a flattened rock surface, and if he had not done that, I would have collapsed.

                    Got my breath back and noticed that Girish had another intention. Few steps ahead, the track takes up a different shape, narrow to a foot, and one step out, would land you in the valley beneath. 

Arrow points the track
                       The break was called to analyze the path in advance. Wished I had negotiated this danger unaware of it!!

Beneath my foot - Clicked from the danger zone
                  Crossed that zone eventless, luckily, and found ourselves in the heavenly meadows of Nagarkulam. It was just green all around except a lonely bison grazing at a distance. 

Biju and Pramod - Nagarkulam

Folds of greenery
              A water source originates here, which later feeds the Kuthirayaar reservoir in the valley, and the thirsty lot embraced the virginity. It was decided that our dinner – just rice porridge – be prepared here, while others go clearing the path to the caves, which was expected to be covered by over growth, located somewhere in the valley beneath.

                 Muthuswami and Rajendran were redesignated as ‘Chefs’,  while the rest, lead by Girish, went ahead with ‘Mission discovery’. Climbed down Nagarkulam peak and we were at the foothills of Chinnamudiyan and Periyamudian peaks, which lie adjacent. Could have an idea of the location of Kuthirayaar reservoir, deep in the valley, to the north, though veiled in mist.

Kuthirayaar Reservoir at the far end
            Our cave is some where half way up the peak ahead, and we tightened the pace, as light was fading. Going was tough, as we had to clear the thorny growth and leave indications for the chefs to follow, as well. 

Some where there ??
         Though after little confusions, Girish could lead us to the most valued destination – the cave. Approached it with shouts and howls, to deprive it of pre occupancy. It was a huge rocky structure with an appreciable inclination, thus providing, enough space within. And to our surprise, there were even rocky partitions within, separating the ‘bedrooms’.

                 Cleaned up leftovers of earlier ‘Occupants’ and waited for our chefs. Though they arrived a bit late, raising concerns, what they brought was of more concern, as we were running on biscuits, since the start. After the heavy intake, two three fire places were set up to keep away the chill, as well as untimely visitors.

                           Too late to ‘bed’
                                      Heavily stuffed
                                                And good night friends
                                                                Till day three dawns                    

  Day 1       Day 3     Day 4


  1. Heyy u didnt mention about the taste of the rice porridge......

    1. We have just gone to bed. The real taste of the stuff was better understood by 3 AM in the morning to follow. Kindly wait...

  2. hi shinuchetta

    beautiful narration and supported by photos



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