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Kerala Travelogue: Athirappilly Falls

Skipping a long awaited trip back home, I decided to spend a week travelling the different parts of Kerala in the last term break. My folks liked the idea and decided to come down south to experience God's Own Country.
Day 1 of our trip began with Athirapilly Falls. Nicknamed the 'Niagara of India', this is a 24m high waterfall on the river Chalakudy flowing in the Vazhachal Forest Division. It is around 70 km away from the city of Kochi and it took us around 1 hour 30 minutes to travel from Kochi airport to Athirapilly via car. We had chartered a taxi for the entire duration of our 7 day trip.

We arrived in Athirapilly district at around 3pm in the afternoon and after getting off at the entrance, made our way by foot towards the Fall. The trek to the fall is around 2 km and is steep initially and then moves downhill. Its quite a rocky terrain through the forest areas and it is advised to wear shoes, I wore slippers to the fall and got myself a bad footache (However, I couldn't help but notice some ladies wearing high heels to a trek!). You are accompanied on your journey by monkeys who are always more than eager to grab hold of anything that you are eating, drinking or disposing off! As you go down, you can start hearing the roaring sound of the falls and it gives you immense encouragement to run down that last mile.

The fall itself is magnificent! Listening to the water as it hits the rock and watching the tiny mist rise from the river is a blissful feeling. Watching the water hit the rocks with such force you are reminded of that line by the Joker from The Dark Knight "When an unstoppable force meets an immovable object".

By evening the place gets crowded with excited tourists from all parts of the country- I could easily make out several Delhite, a Bengali family and of course a few Punjabi families- each eager to get there pictures clicked in front of the awesome falls! There were also a couple of paid photographers who took your picture for a nominal charge.
There were huge boulders on the side of the river where we were standing and one had to climb several boulders to get to the falls. I was surprised to see that even old ladies showed such agility in climbing these boulders to reach near the falls. Although you can't get to close to the falls as the region is cordoned off for safety reasons, but that doesn't spoil this nature's beautiful wonder. However, would did almost mar this beautiful sight were the half naked men showing their potbellies, bathing near the stream flowing out of the fall. But, after living in India, you are used to such things!

There are plenty of small resorts nearby to spend the night, and some of them have even have the river flowing across their backyards, where one can spend lazy evenings around a fire or go in for an early morning bath.

The stream behind the resort we stayed in

Athirappilly is a must go, for anyone visiting Kerala. What's more it is also the place where Mani Ratnam chose to shoot his 'Raavan' because of the scenic impact this place has on anyone who visits it.

Posted by animan2715 09:02 Archived in India Tagged waterfalls Comments (0)

Kerala Travelogue: Kappad Beach

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So this is my first official entry as a part of the Kerala travelogue series, where I will try and describe the different places of interest that I have visited during my stay in Kozhikode.

I think it is only appropriate to begin with the historically significant Kappad Beach. What is it's significance? Well, this little place is the real gateway to India! The place where the portugese explorer Vasco da Gama first set foot in India on May 20, 1498.

However, my own journey to this place was a lot less planned than Vasco da Gama's. It was a late Saturday night and we had just wasted a precious holiday at K, lazying about. So at 2AM in the night we suddenly realize we have to go somewhere. Kappad beach is the first place the uninitiated in our Kampus go to, so be it for us as well. We ordered for a cab at around 2:30 in the night ( this is normal around here), gathered a bunch of the batchmates and at 4:30AM, we were off to Kappad.
Kappad is around 40 KM from Kunnamangalam where our campus is situated, a 45-60 minutes drive in the early hours of morning.

I hadn't visited many beaches before. The ones I did were mostly dirty, crowded and commercialized. But, Kappad was different maybe because the our driver took us to a less frequented spot where we could enjoy the beach for ourselves. It wasn't a sunny day, on the contrary when we arrived it had started to rain. It wasn't exactly like what I had imagined (influenced by the beaches shown on Baywatch :P). But, standing in front of a vast ocean with nothing in sight for miles is an incredible feeling altogether.

The beach itself was grainy and the sand was full of broken minuscules of sea shells. The waves that they were strong and all excited we went head on to it. We splashed and we crashed as the water came towering upon us. When the waves hit you, it can knock you off your feet and sometimes knock your glasses of your face, a fact that I unfortunately realized too late as the waves took my SQUARE RIMMED glasses with them! A great loss indeed. ( Glasses you shall be missed!)
There were giant boulders lying around in the beach and the giant waves hitting them reminded one of the old R.L. Stevenson stories.The part of the beach we stopped at had a huge rock overlooking the sea. We all trekked up to it and relaxed as the light rain drizzled upon us.
While coming down I decided to be adventurous and went towards a part of the rock where the waves were hitting really hard. I wanted to stand there and 'feel' the waves. But, as it happened when i got there, a huge wave hit at the precise moment bringing along with it a Crab which almost hit my face. So much for adventure, I ran back like Scooby doo after seeing a ghost.

Kappad beach is a great beach to relax specially on a sunny day. We'll probably make another trip there sometime soon and this time we'll definitely take a look at the actual stone where Vasco da Gama is said to have stood.

Posted by animan2715 09:01 Archived in India Tagged beaches Comments (0)

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