Thursday, January 17, 2013

Umayaar – Beside The Confluence

            Umayar is one among the three rivulets that originate deep in the Shenduruney Wild Life Sanctuary, the only one of its kind in Kollam District, which meets the others at the eastern edge of Thenmala Reservoir. The region around this confluence is known after the Umayar River and the Forest department has a camp shed at this serene peninsula. Umayar is accessible either by boat, traversing the entire storage of the reservoir, or by trekking through the woods. We opted the trek and thus we boarded the 4WD vehicle owned by Kunjettan, at Arayankavu Junction, heading Rosemala, a small hamlet by the side of the reservoir, from where the trek was to commence.

               A forest watcher by name Joy, was assigned to guide us and he joined us at the Forest Station at Rosemala. The trek path which was initially wide, soon narrowed, as we crossed a brook and thereafter went along the side of the reservoir, presenting us with scenic shots of the blue stock, bordered by thick woods of Shendurney sanctuary.

                Heard branch cracks at the elevated woods to our left and I looked straight into his eyes. Apart from that, only the lashing ears were visible, through the foliage. Though I had my camera handy, didn’t try it, as disturbing the animal at a higher elevation than me, with the entire reservoir in the opposite side, would be nothing less than foolishness.

          Walked briskly, without even paying a second look, until it felt safe. At about half way of the entire trek of nearly 8 km, took a break and sat for snacks.

                The track thereafter, deviated from the reservoir side and went through thick woods and reed growth.

               With occasional stops at brooks, to quench thirst, the trek continued until the first rivulet of the threesome, appeared. Slipped down to its rocky bed and had a wash up.

                  It was just another ten minutes walk to the camp shed, which was a single room hut, with a spacious veranda and a small kitchen. Unloaded the provision, we had carried along with, at the kitchen and fell flat.


        After tea went for a bath at the nearby rivulet, followed by a birding session, and got back to the shelter, as light faded. By then another watcher, by name Ajayan, joined us and took over the kitchen duty. The call of Long Eared Nightjar was distinguishably audible in the wilder silence and Biju & I got out with a torch. Could spot the bird and stood watching it until dinner was ready.

        I opted to spend the night in the semi open veranda and the chill and the moonlight played a perfect combination that kept me awake late into the night.

                Could spot lesser fish eagle, early morning, which was understood to be breeding in the premises, besides River Terns and Lapwings; but only the pea fowls conceded to a photo shoot.


         Breakfast was followed by a trek to Pattakkalam, close to Tamil Nadu border and it took a half day for the up and down.

                   It was a beautiful stretch with occasional reed patches. Spent a while at the newly built watch tower at Pattakkalam and returned to the camp by noon.

                   Ajayan was ready with the lunch by then and it was appreciably delicious, though mean.

                Packed up after lunch and took a different trek path, for the return, which lead to Kallar. Crossed Chenduruney and Umayar flows and the hike went steeper.

                The stretch from the river bank to Kallar, so strained and drained us that the sight of Kunjettan’s vehicle, by the track side, was a pleasure unexplainable. 


  1. classic trip my friend,photos are wonderful,

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thanks for another great report and photos from you Shinu. The photo looking through "the tunnel of branches" is superb.

  3. I need to tell you this Shinu my good friend - I read your blog a few times every week while I'm at my job. I can only read it when my boss goes out of the office as I'm supposed to be working non-stop from 9 to 5. When I hear my boss's footsteps coming back into the office I have to immediately close your blog and pretend that I've been working, and these hasty exits are the reason why I'm often late in posting my comments. The boss has gone out to lunch while I'm typing this! Looking at your great pictures and reports on the greenery are soothing to the eyes and mind when it's cold here in the UK. I was in Marayoor, Salem, Mysore, Bangalore, Chalakudy and Allepey last month. I'm still working on my quest to settle...

    1. Oh My....I think you are the most adventurous reader of my blog Chris Ward :D

  4. awesome .really loving your blog.. came while googling for meghmala and now reading all ur posts...

    1. Thank You Very Much Ginoy George


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