A road trip exploring the unexplored stopover destinations in Kerala


It was a Saturday and probably a holiday, just because I had bigger plans for Sunday I decided to drop my plan to get back home, which literally means I have a Sunday to spend at Cochin. It is obvious that I would not want to spend the sitting alone in my room doing nothing. I wanted to spend my day well but I too was not in a mood to stretch my legs. Planning a literal Kerala trip at this point in time was not something that practical. Even though Kerala housed a number of travel operators like Seasonzindia who would organise one-day trips I was a bit like broken and thus dropped the plan. It was then that I remembered of my to-do list that I had prepared when I moved into the city, after a while, I finally decided to go for a drive through the Idamalayar Dam route. Even though the dam site was closed for the travellers, tourist and visitors, all I wanted with this short drive were to explore the tempting beauty of nature that I have heard from a number of my friends who have explored the route.

Photo of A road trip exploring the unexplored stopover destinations in Kerala 1/4 by muhammed rashid

So, without much of planning and preparations on Saturday morning I woke, as usual, did my morning routine after which I took my camera, a bag and started my trip by around 8 am. To be very honest, the traffic till Thripoonithura was very crowded and it took me about 30 min to cover even the shortest distance. This tiring traffic became better after me reaching the NH. Though I didn't have many ideas of the routes, I knew some of the main deviations. It was on rout after reaching Moovattupuzha that the thought of breakfast crossed my mind but I decided against it. It was then I remembered an auto person who once directed me to some restaurant near the Kothamangalam High range junction during my trip to the Thattekkad bird sanctuary where I had a very bad experience. I guess a bad experience doesn’t fade that easily. After travelling for a bit more as I was not able to control my hunger I finally decided to have my lunch cum breakfast. After having the breakfast I started again with my road trip. After riding on the road to Keerampara for about 2km I noticed a signboard to my right which named Ayyappanmudi. Even though the name o the place was a bit familiar to me I was not able to recollect much of the place. All I could get after a bit of brainstorming was that the place was a rocky hill with an Ayyappa temple on top of the hill. I decided to check the place out when oil ride back if I had enough time. For the time being, I decided to stick on to my present project, Idamalayar. It was mainly the stories and descriptions of the place that if have heard from some of the best friends that attracted me to the place.

Photo of A road trip exploring the unexplored stopover destinations in Kerala 2/4 by muhammed rashid

After travelling for another few minutes I reached Keerampara from where I had to take a deviation to the left to reach my dream rout to Idamalayar. Whereas the deviation to the right would take you to some travel destinations like Thattekkad, Kuttambuzha, Urulanthanni, Pooyamkutti etc. The road I took went through the Bhoothathankettu Dam. I wanted to stop at the place too but later thought of stopping over when I return. After about 2 km from the dam, the route to Idamalayar became greener and thicker after I crossed a small checkpoint. In no time, I was travelling through woods and it was then that realised that all the praise that I heard of the place was not something that was exaggerated but was true to an extent. Even though the condition of the road to the place was not that good there was no traffic which made my ride a bit easier. After passing a point and confirming that the route I took was right I called up my friends to report them. It was then that they warned me about the presence of wild elephants on the road and that I won't be able to continue much to the sight as the place is closed for travellers to visit. As I was so well prepared to take in the loss all the advice fell on deaf ears and I continued. Moving forward it was then that I realised that the last building I saw on the way was the forest check post. After travelling for another few minutes I came to a junction which was really small that I was confused if it could be considered as one. From the junction, the board on the side said that the right deviation lead to Vadattupara and left one to Idamalayar and as expected I took the one to the left to see myself moving more into the wild.

Photo of A road trip exploring the unexplored stopover destinations in Kerala 3/4 by muhammed rashid

A number of different varieties of bird’s mostly migratory birds were flying around the trees as I rode through the place very slow enjoying the beauty of the forest, the birds and the wild. While moving deeper into the woods I made sure to be safer as I was expecting to see an elephant to block my route which as a matter of fact never happened for me. As per the information that I got from some of my close friends 10 km ahead I would be blocked by the forest officials still I chose to move forward. The ride was becoming scarier as I could get the fresh smell of elephant dung with proved the presence of elephant nearby. Travelling a bit more forward I finally reached the check post which was closed as expected with a watchman standing at the gate who was then staring at me. I tried to start a small conversation with the guard which worked. He gave me some information on when, how and where to take the permission for entry to the travel destinations ahead. After talking with him for a while I turned back and cover4ed a long distance without many stops except for a few clicks which I could not resist.

Photo of A road trip exploring the unexplored stopover destinations in Kerala 4/4 by muhammed rashid

After travelling for an hour or so I reached the Bhoothathankettu Dam where I had a stop. The dam was one beautiful place with great ambience and nature. When I reached the place I saw a local man fishing with some fishing nets in the reservoir. He tried his luck 3 times in the place but couldn't catch any fish. I watched him at the place for a while. After trying fishing in the place for another few minutes the fishermen left the place to try his luck at some other place. The time was around 12 at noon and I felt it be too early to call it a day. It was then I remembered the place that I left to explore the way back, Ayyappanmudi. The travel route to Ayyappanmudi was very visible and easy that I didn't have to get any help on the way. After travelling for about 3 km from the deviation I reached the place. Ayyappanmudi was a small hill with all greenery and natural beauty. Being a very small hill the place was not even a real challenge for trekkers and adventure lovers but would be one best spot for nature lovers and birdwatchers. 20 min walk from the base and I reached the peak of the hill without any much difficulty. The view that the place offered was marvellous for a small hill of the sort. One other attraction that the place had was a small temple with very fewer amenities which I assumed to be a place where the local people worshipped. From the peak, I could see a range of hills ahead and also spotted a number of migratory birds which according to me were rare. Roaming around the hills for a while I decided to head back to my bike as the place was getting hotter. After taking some amazing pictures of the place I walked down to the hill. Ayyappanmudi, the place, in short, could be taken as a place perfect to see the setting sun and travellers could enjoy a relaxing evening far away from the crowd and the city.

Starting from the place by around 1.30, with a break in between to have the lunch I reached back to Kochi by around 4.30 pm. It was after this road trip that I realised that the state housed a number of unexplored routes and destinations that anyone could explore with a bike ride. A Kerala tour doesn't just mean exploring the best travel destinations known to the travellers but can also be something different where any travellers could explore the unexplored routes and stopovers in the area. After reaching back to the room I went for a short nap promising myself to explore more of the unexplored in the state.

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