It was around 12:30, I got down the bus at Mundakkayam bus station.The place was filled with colourful private buses which was ready to go to the Hills and elsewhere.We both were hungry, we went to restaurant and had lunch.The bus to Kumily started at 1Pm, It was crowded and loud, slowly the bus started to catch up the hike trails of western ghats.I had a strong intuitive feeling from Muvattupuzha that this trip is going to be flamboyant, because the nature was fascinating with light rain and misty atmosphere.My feeling was not wrong, the hills welcomed us with grandeur like we are special.
O subtle valley, slipping in between
The shoulders of great sentinel hills
With smuggled silk of rainbow blossom sheen
And contraband of jeweled rills,—
We welcome you behind the pine-plumed ranks.—
You barter beauty for our thanks.
- In Covert by Ruby Archer
The rain started in the hills, our bus slowly climbing up through beautiful hairpins in Kuttikaanam, Small waterfalls started to appear in far away viridescent hills.We expected the Meghamalai to be beautiful not the way lead to it.The nature was overwhelming to us, And the journey to Kumily from Mundakkayam was mesmerising.Throughout the journey Arjun was talking about his father owned travel company,who was frequent visitor and a tour guide for the tourists.He also mentioned about a sweater which he forgot to take which was gifted to his father by a foreigner.By the time when we reached Kumily the weathe made a mystical transition, the weather was again sunny with cold breeze.
The present-day Kumily has roots in the colonial period of British Raj The area was once owned by the Thekkumkoor rajas in central Travancore and later when Marthanda Varma conducted his campaigns in central Travancore, regions including Kumily came under Travancore kingdom. Till the end of the 19th century, the area was given under control of Poonjar kings. But the drastic and significant changes occurred in the region by the advent of British powers. They obtained these regions from the local rulers and transformed the forestlands into cultivatable one. Large-scale production of cash crops like cardamom, Pepper coffee and cinnamon etc. were begun in the hilly terrains. Many people from in and outside Kerala were brought to work in these plantations.The town mostly speaks both Tamil and Malayalam very well, and it's also known for it's banana chips and chocolate bakery's etc.
Kumily is a multilingual town, people can speak tamizh and malayalam quite fluently.It's almost afternoon,we crossed the Kerala state border and got in into TNSTC bus which goes to Madurai.We wanted get down at Chinnamnnur, a town in between Cumbum and Theni.The geography changed expeditiously within minutes. The plains of Tamil Nadu was visible from the hairpins, and also changed drastically.The district of Theni waited for our welcome.The strong agriculture was visible everywhere from grapes to coconut palm, no wonder theni is considered most fertile regions in entire India.The bus was cruising at pretty decent speed,because of this humongous farmlands we lately realised about the speed of the vehicle.In a span of 3 hrs we had experienced different contrasts of geographical terrains.After an hour,we reached Cumbum town,The name Cumbum has derived from the famous temple of Lord Narayana (Cumbaraya Perumal) around which the town has been built. Viswanatha Nayak ruled as a part of Madurai Nayak dynasty.The Telugu governors of Vijayanagara Empire later flourished as kings of Madurai.The people of kambam and near by villages played a vital role in the Construction of Mullai periyar dam. When Colonel Pennycuick decided to divert the west-flowing Periyar (river)'s culmination in the Arabian Sea towards the East so that it could irrigate lakhs of acres of dry land depending only on Vaigai river which was mostly of perennial nature.The construction of this dam led to an eruption in farming.The agricultural land almost doubled and the life of farmers improved drastically.The people are mostly thankful to this engineer, who made their life prosperous and eliminated their impoverished lifestyle.
The bus reached Cumbum, the land of productive agribusiness. The town was full of the bustling market with fruits and vegetables and almost everything. Chinnamannur a small town is near, a small distance from cambium town. The agricultural was now changed into paddy lawns, After some time the stop arrived. We got down at Gandhi junction, it connects Bodinayakanur cumbum highway. Chinnamannur also is known as the base station for Meghamalai. The town is one of the major trade centres in the district and supports basic needs for a population of more than 1,00,000 people in and around the town. Chinnamanur in recent times is known for banana marketing. A processed banana from more than twenty units in Chinnamanur is exported to various countries. I have also noticed a decent number of gold and grocery stores. The town is surrounded by hills and paddy and sugarcane field, It has got a delightful climate, the reason behind this was unknown for us, though it was not on a high altitude. We saw a lot of jack fruit vendors across the town.