Welcome to eXploreSouth-A blog which explores the Unexplored natural beauty of 'God's own country', Kerala. Search here for the Tourists places in South INDIA. Explore the untouched calm beauty of Nature here... Read and Plan a trip, all assistance under one umbrella...!
While Planning a Trip to Any of These PlacesPLEASE DO NOT BRING ANY PLASTICS; THESE ARE PLASTIC FREE ZONES. REMEMBER,Under the Wildlife Protection Act, one can be penalized up to amount of Rs. 25,000/- and an imprisonment upto seven years for the wildlife offence. Please don’t add your name in the list.
Again another travelogue of my trip to Bangalore, but this time from Kannur. Actually this is not a travelogue, but a route explanation. Literally saying there are nearly 5 or 6 routes to Bangalore from Kannur. But my aim is to introduce a shortest route with good road conditions and less traffic. For that only I chose the Makkoottam Ghat/churam road. First we will discuss about this Route, how to go and what all are there to see en route. Then I will brief about the other routes which can also give your eyes a feast en route...!
It is the shortest route to Bangalore. This will take nearly 7 and a half to 8 Hrs drive to cover this distance (whatever car you are driving). Even I took nearly 11 Hrs to cover this in my Alto.
To help every viewers, I am starting this trip from Kannur Town. First we need to reach a place named Mele Chovva. This place is just 4 or 5 kms away from Kannur Town, en-route toThalassery. From there take a left turn towards the Mattannur road (SH). Go straight to reach Iritty. From Kannur it will take nearly 1.15 hrs to cover this 40kms stretch, because of heavy traffic in town. But after Mele Chovva, the 23 kms to Mattannur is a less traffic road, and is in good condition.
Iritty is a less traffic but large town. One can find many hotels for refreshments there. ATM and hospital facilities are also available there. Iritty is having one of the most ancient bridges built by British's. After crossing this bridge turn towards right, and now one will be at Thalassery-Coorg Highway.
Now head towards the Koottupuzha Bridge, which is the border for Kerala and Karnataka. This bridge is nearly 13 kms away from Iritty. It is a small bridge with one end in Kerala and the other end in Karnataka. After crossing this bridge, the journey is through a forest like area.
Makkoottam Churam or Makkoottam ghat road starts from here. This one is, one of the most beautiful ghat roads towards Bangalore. Always take care of the speeding heavy vehicles coming down and always expect a speeding crazy car in wrong side at the heavy curves. One can take regular stops to enjoy the beauty of wildlife and to capture some extra ordinary snaps.
After 21 kms through this ghat one can see a lake on the left side, after that a check post. From that check post, the road will divide into two, and both road will lead you to Mysore. But the left turn lead you to Virajpeta Town first, which will give you an extra 30kms drive and time loss. So better take the right turn. When I was going, the road was not in a good condition. This 12kms stretch will lead you to the Virajpeta-Mysore SH.
Now head towards the Hunsur Road for nealy 75 kms. After that one can see a Atomic Energy Junior college at the right side of the highway. After 1 km the road will split into two, a 'Y' junction. Take the left road, towards KRS Road. The other road shows Hunsur Road, but don't take that. That will lead you to the Ring Road Mysore and its heavy traffic.
But the KRS Road avoids all these traffic problems and is the shortest route too...! Now stick on the same route upto Bangalore, the sign boards on the sides will give you more courage to press your accelerator more, and is a best road to cruise through. But remember safety first. Many humps are placed to stop such cruisings and are little bit large too. So take care at humps, otherwise expenditure on your vehicle will increase.
Always plan your trip, in such a way that you will reach Bangalore after 9 pm or before 8 am. Otherwise you will be stuck at heavy traffic.
Know your vehicle well, that will help you at the heavy bumper to bumper traffic in Bangalore. One expect bikes and autos at anytime on your either side.
Another unexpected trip happened to me last week, clearly on last Sunday (16/09/2012). Actually, I made the suggestion to go for a trip on Sunday to any nearby place, because many times, whenever I open my Facebook profile, I think about changing my profile pic. But I didn't get any. So I planned for a trip. When I told this to my roommates, one of them gave a suggestion to go to Valparai. We, four agreed with that suggestion without any second thought. The next step is to find out a car...! But it was the difficult part, and we got one on Saturday night only.
There was no confusion in selecting the route, because one of my roommate did this trip already...!
The route we selected is:
Karunya Nagar (Coimbatore)- Thrissur- Vadakkunnatha Temple- Holy Land Church, Chalakkudy- Athirappally Waterfalls- Vazhachal Waterfalls- Valparai- Sholayar Dam- Aliyar Dam- Pollachi- Karunya Nagar(Coimbatore) - A total of 420 Kms in 1 day.
Atlast the most expected moment came, car was ready (a taxi, Tavera) and our team includes 7 members, my roomates (Jais, Seth and Anoop), my classmate Sarath, and friends Saju and Bhabani. Actually Bhabani is from Orissa, he is going to Kerala for the first time, and it was the prime attraction of our trip too...! We all woke up at 4.30 itself, done a quick bath and now all set to go...! And we started from here, at 4.45 am. We and our driver need a warm up in that cold atmosphere (don't mistook anything), we took a short stop at Alandurai, and had a strong COFFEE. Then its enjoyment time. As usual the Coimbatore-Palakkadu highway is very beautiful with both sides full of hilly areas and greenery. Actually our driver was an experienced one, he cruised through the road.
After Valayar Check Post, within half an hour we crossed Palakkadu Town. The road from Palakkadu to Thrissur was/is in very bad condition, but our driver made it with very ease, and whenever he got good roads, he cruised. And we reached Thrissur nearly at 8.30 am. We told our friend Sarath to wait there, being he was in his home for holiday. At that time our Orissa friend told us, that he need to visit any temple before starting the trip officially. But we only know that we are now at 'Cultural capital of Kerala', and we decided to visit Vadakkunnathan Temple, which is famous for Thrissur Pooram. Myself and my friend went inside and offered our prayers. He was very happy to see the old Temple and the structures. But the main thing that made him more happy was, he is going to start the trip with blessings of Bhagvan.
Then we went to Bharath Hotel, a famous vegetarian hotel in Thrissur Round, near Ragam Theater. We had a nice breakfast there and we waited for our friend. At 9 am he came, and we started our trip officially.
Next to go was Athirappally. But it was Jais' suggestion that on the way there is a church, and being it was Sunday, it will be good to visit that church also. So we went to Chalakkudy, Holy Land Church, where Jesus Christ's life is Sculptured and it was really a great experience for all of us. It was made very carefully, and very beautifully. We spent nearly half an hour there. Friends made their prayers there, and we started again to Athirappally.
The route to Chalakkudy and then to Athirappally is in very good condition, and Chalakkudy is just 30 kms away from Thrissur. From Chalakkudy, you need to take a left cut to state highway, and some more left and right cuts as shown in map, that will lead you to the Athirappally Road. Just 31 kms ride, roads are little bit curvy and in some places roads become narrow too...!
From Athirappally, we need to take tickets to enter into the waterfalls area. Nicely made entrance will welcome you, some small small tea shops, snacks shop and hotels are there. Also, that area is having good parking ground too, but the driver need to be very much skilled to park the vehicle in between the trees without troubles. After an easy parking (I told already, our driver was that much good), we started walking towards the waterfalls entrance. Took a group photo, and then a small walk, through the forest, through the nicely paved land...! Monkeys are the main attractions, or main animal one can see there. So please keep in mind and take care, not to keep any food items on your hand or your children's hand.
For more information about Athirappalli and Vazhachal waterfalls, how to reach there, and where to stay, please see this post too...!
It is really a rocky area, and we went to the top of waterfalls first. The beauty we saw, we enjoyed there, cannot be explained in words. I think photos can explain it well. people can go to the waterfalls too, where the film shootings regularly happens. That area is superb with water shower, and one cannot differentiate whether its water or it is mist...! We got very good company there; lots of tourists were there to enjoy the nature's beauty at its best. All were having very good cameras too, and that is what we missed a lot, and a good photographer. But we were having a 12 megapixel camera, given by our classmate, and we tried to explore a lot with that. Thanks to that friend...!
After spending a good time in water, its time to take a leave from Athirappally. On the way back we enjoyed the play by a mother monkey and her two children. It was 12.15 noon, and we have to take food from there, because after that there won't be any hotels before Valparai. So we searched for a hotel, and we got one whose windows opens to the direct view of the sparkling waterfalls. We had a great Kerala food there.
Now its time to move on to Vazhachal waterfalls, which is just 8 kms away from Athirappally. We parked our vehicle, nearby the Check Post. Entrance is made of bamboos just like what we saw there in Athirappally. After taking group photo we entered into the nicely made garden. There they made a beautiful garden and arrangements for seating also. So people can enjoy the calm and quite waterfalls by sitting in the shore itself. Just like Athirappally this area is also a must watch. After taking some great snaps (still its the hot photos in our Facebook profiles, gaining lots and lots of 'likes and comments'...!) we walked back to the car.
At Vazhachal, there is a Check post by Kerala Govt. The police officers will check the vehicles thoroughly, and we need to give Driver License, number of Plastic Covers and plastic bottles. If any liquor is with you, that may become a problem. They will give a pass, that have to be submitted at Malakkappara Check Post. Then only they will allow you to cross the border. The superb forest route starts now. The roads are in good condition but very narrow, only one car can be passed at a time. One can expect vehicles from opposite side at any time too, that may be cruising car, SUV, a Bus, or a Heavy Lorry. Whatever, other than a small car comes opposite to you, giving side is little bit difficult. AS told already road is that much curvy, and is little bit accidental too. So slow or medium driving is better, with that one can enjoy the real greenery of nature, small small waterfalls, waterbeds and thick forest enroute.
Valparai is 60kms away from Vazhachal, but one must take nearly 2 and half hours to cover this distance. On the way one can see the Pipe House of Sholayar Dam and its pipe lines. We got a good rain on the way, and the road automatically gave way to mist. It was a nice experience. The road becomes slippery, and we found some bikers struggling. Also we faced some tight situations with two cruising Innovas.
After Malakkappara Check Post, there also we need to give Driver's License and Vehicle number, we took a small stop to warm up ourselves. We bought some traditional food items to eat and we ordered for coffee, a strong coffee...! With that misty cold environment that coffee was a must thing for us and especially for our driver. After spending half an hour we started our trip again enjoying the nature and cracking jokes inside the car. On the way to Valparai itself, one can see the Sholayar Dam reservoir. The Tea estates greenery starts now. Both sides of the road was filled with nicely arranged tea plants. It was really a nice scenery, that looks like Munnar or better than Munnar.
Next we reached Sholayar Dam, which is 20 kms away from Valparai. It is having a large Reservoir, and the shores of river looks good, fully covered with green dense forest. We spend nearly half an hour there, taking many photos with the green and blue sceneries as background. We are now on the way to Aliyar Dam. The most beautiful and challenging road starts here. Aliyar dam is nearly 50kms away from Sholayar Dam. That long stretch includes 40 hair pin bends, which makes the route most challenging to a driver. Not only the hairpin bends, one can expect sharp and small bends also. Literally on the way, there is no straight roads...! On the way there is a View Point, from where one can see the curvy ghat roads and a distant view of Aliyar Dam. And atlast we reached Aliyar Dam at 5.45pm. There we need to take tickets to enter into the Dam site. They won't allow anybody after 6 pm. Fortunately we got permission to enter and to stay there upto 6.30 pm. We walked through the nicely maintained garden and climbed up to the top of the Dam, from where we can see the Reservoir. We walked through the Dam, took many photos, and spend a lot of time there, only because that was our last place of visit in this trip. There we saw many enjoying Boating through the dam. But we were not at all interested in boating, we were all busy with taking photos and making the atmosphere noisy. Actually we didn't expect that we can cover all these places in one stretch. The full credit goes to our Driver.
And the sun starts changing its color to yellow, then to orange and is ready to hide from us...! And its time for us to leave the place too.
Now nothing to think, its time to go back to the starting point, Karunya Nagar, Coimbatore. For that we need to go by Pollachi. We had a heavy food at Pollachi, and our car started to cruise above 110 kmph, and we reached Karunya Nagar at 9.30pm.
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