An Unplanned Road Trip to Kerala

20th Jan 2016
Photo of An Unplanned Road Trip to Kerala 1/10 by Rahul Raghunath
A beautiful Road in Munnar
Photo of An Unplanned Road Trip to Kerala 2/10 by Rahul Raghunath
Anamadi Mountains
Photo of An Unplanned Road Trip to Kerala 3/10 by Rahul Raghunath
Anamudi Mountains
Photo of An Unplanned Road Trip to Kerala 4/10 by Rahul Raghunath
Jumbakonam Degree Coffee
Photo of An Unplanned Road Trip to Kerala 5/10 by Rahul Raghunath
Krishnagiri Roads
Photo of An Unplanned Road Trip to Kerala 6/10 by Rahul Raghunath
Muntupetty Lake and Dam, Munnar
Photo of An Unplanned Road Trip to Kerala 7/10 by Rahul Raghunath
Photo of An Unplanned Road Trip to Kerala 8/10 by Rahul Raghunath
Roads at Munnar
Photo of An Unplanned Road Trip to Kerala 9/10 by Rahul Raghunath
Sunrise at Vattakanal
Photo of An Unplanned Road Trip to Kerala 10/10 by Rahul Raghunath
Sun Rise at Vattakanal

After yet another barbecue party, me and three other friends, slightly tipsy from those 4 extra beers, decided to make something of our days that was spiritually more gratifying that dinner party's and alcohol. Having just finished the book Zen and the Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance, i suggested that we go a road trip on motor bikes. I'm the kind of person who loves to plan big. I'm very good at planning, but it took my other friend to put it in action. Within the next hour, drunk as they were, they arranged for four motor bikes, all in the Enfield variation, and demanded that we all leave as early as possible the next day. We planned to leave at 4 a.m the next day to Anamudi Mountains and to scale it. How we would get there, where we would stay, what we would do, was all left to any whims we may feel at any future instant. And so the next day, at 4:00 am, in the morning, we left Bangalore amid dense fog and a 16 degree climate.

The beauty of Motor Bikes is that it puts you bang in the center of the environment, to experience it, as opposed to a car that encloses you out of the environment and allows you to see it only from the windscreen view filed. Sort of like a television. On a motor bike, you feel the wine, the hum of the 350cc engine and you can feel the hard road any time you wish. When you are part of the environment, you experience it better than any other way. Another added advantage is that it allows you to think about anything without feeling like you're wasting time. With no one to talk to, and a little focus, you can think about the important aspects of life and you're bound to find answers.

The itinerary is listed under said tabs. Since to was unplanned, we hadn't packed appropriately. I usually carry a tiny note pad and a pen to make note of every place that we visit and as to how it made me feel. This time, since we planned and decided to leave in a very short span, i managed to leave my notebook at home. We discovered many great restaurants, lakes, rivers, brooks, hills, museums, tea fields and people that have all gone undocumented, but the emotions are still strong in my mind.

Every place we visited has it's own history, culture and secret. When the trip is unplanned, there's nothing to look forward to, no clock to adhere to and no dead lines to meet. We can stay where we find lovely, leave when we find it uncomfortable. Such trips gratify the soul in ways that are different that planned trips. Unlike a planned trip, the only itinerary of a place is to fulfill your heart, as opposed to time and locations and things-to-do. We spoke to a lot of farmers, who spoke vividly about elephants and the little incidents that happen in daily life that we take for granted. We had the most soul satisfying food from both, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

The trip left us satisfied. It taught us lessons that we could take back to our lives in Bangalore. I would really suggest such a trip. It's an experience that cannot, must not, be put into words.

If you have any questions, leave a comment or email me :)

It's tradition to make a stop at Krishnagiri every time we make our way from Bangalore to either Tamil Nadu or Kerala. It's a nice little spot with a view of the hills. We always make it a point to have Pongal and Vada at one of the eateries. And of course, we finish with a good coffee. We reached very early and it was quiet, with just the grinding hum of the restaurants mixer, and soft tunes from a temple near by. The perfect place to set your mind straight.

Photo of Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu, India by Rahul Raghunath

The kumbakonam Degree Coffee is a speciality here. Served in a brass tumbler, legend has it that it is maintained and consumed at a particular temperature that is just right for the consumption of the local filter coffee. Pair that with a cigarette and it was a match made in heaven.

Photo of Salem, Tamil Nadu, India by Rahul Raghunath

Pollachi is a little town in the Coimbatore district, or as the locals call it, Kovai. Once we rode away from the market places and the city, we stumbled upon this wonderful lake. Owed to the spontaneous nature of our trip, we do not yet know the name of the lake but it was wonderful. Clear waters surrounded by lush green grass and trees. One could tell we were close to God's Own Country.

Photo of Pollachi, Tamil Nadu, India by Rahul Raghunath

Rolling hills, dense fog, green plains, blue waters, wild life, undulating tea plantations, silence, clean air, cool weather, good roads, wild dogs, swaying coconut trees, wonderful people, an interesting history, a rich culture and fantastic story tellers. When you have all this to be experienced on a motor cycle, there's nothing more you could ask for.

Photo of Munnar, Kerala, India by Rahul Raghunath
Photo of Munnar, Kerala, India by Rahul Raghunath
Photo of Munnar, Kerala, India by Rahul Raghunath

Being the highest peak in India outside the Himalaya's, Anamaudi is truelove breathtaking. It isn't like the mountains you see in the northern district of India, covered in snow like a fairy tale, but is rather lush green and smooth. Surrounded by random water bodies and greenary, Anamudi makes for a pituresque location at the least. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to go to the top due to elephants and expected bad weather. We stayed a while and allowed it to humble us.

Photo of Anamudi, Kannan Devan Hills, Kerala, India by Rahul Raghunath
Photo of Anamudi, Kannan Devan Hills, Kerala, India by Rahul Raghunath

It's everything Kodai offers (I would argue to say it offers more) after removing the throng of tourists that has changed the very landscape of culture of the place. Called the Little Israel of India, it houses some of the most beautiful locations I've ever had the blessing of visiting. I wish now that i had a pen and paper to document the places we visited. We stayed the night at a little lodge and got to witness what was easily the most stunning sun rise yet.

Photo of Vattakanal, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Rahul Raghunath
Photo of Vattakanal, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Rahul Raghunath
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