Venniyani Mala – Treading on the footsteps of Victor George

Victor George, the talented photographer met his tragic death while trying to cover the landslide that occured in Venniyani mala in 2001.

We visited the place where a memorial is set up in his honor.

 

Trek to Irukallummudi – a lesser known peak

This time we carried along nothing except an umbrella. No bag. No camera. No food. No water. Just us – two souls on an unending quest for restlessness.

Route
Thodupuzha -> Thattakkuzha -> Cheppukulam

After an hour of journey from thodupuzha, we reached Cheppukulam. To start the trek to Irukallummudi, walk past the CSI church after the last bus stop.

Make sure you have some one with you who knows the way. Because the place is so thinly populated that you can walk hours and find no human being. the safe route is towards the left see of the church. But if you are adventurous, take the road to the right of the church.

Once you reach the top road, the view that awaits you is stunning. One side you a view encompassing poomala, kalayanthaani, keezharkuthu. The other side has the stunning view of muttom dam reservoir and ilaveezha poonchira among many other nameless peaks.

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A hitch-hikers Guide to Ilaveezha Poonchira

It came as a shocker to me! There is no “poonchira” now. Local people say that now the poonchira is lost to plantation. Even most of the people who live there don’t know if there ever was a poonchira. We always confuse the Police Wireless Station on top of the mountain to be the famed spot.

So this is a tour report of our hike to the Wireless station on top.

Route

There exist two routes to reach the peak. One starts from Kanjar and the other from Kanjiramkavala. We chose the route that starts from Kanjiramkavala as it provided an opportunity to hike. The route we took is like this:

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Juice Wala

The first weekend in Bangalore was a nightmare. For one thing, I woke up at 2pm on Saturday and for second the next day turned out to be even more boring. After a late lunch I wanted to drink some juice – just for the horror of it. I got into the first shop I saw. A small kid was the … well, um … the shop keeper.

I asked him. “konsa juice hein?”

The boy replied, “Sab kuch hein saab. Aapko kya chahiye?”

Oh boy! He got me there. I am highly uncomfortable when presented with more options than I can handle. I looked helpless around the neatly arranged pile of fruits. I picked the one that was kept close to me. “Thik hein. Pine apple de dena.”

“Ok Saab”.

I watched him slowly calculating everything in his mind and executing them in a slow decided manner. But when I saw the jar full of stuff I wondered whether he also wanted a glass.
And I was right. There was almost a glass and a half. And he made me drink all of it.

While I was sipping down the thick juice, I asked him, “Kal ka IPL match dekha? Kon jeeta?”

“Wo nayi team hei na … kya he … hain! Kerala, woh jeetey. Tendulkar ka century gatar mein!”

“Really? Mein kerala se hoon”

“Aap kerala se ho? Aap bahut gore ho!”

“Kyun? Kerala ka log gore nahi ho sakte kya?,” I asked him.

“Eisa nahi hein. Mere uncle ka wife hei na, wo kerala se hein. Bahut kaali hein. Uncle hamesha uski mazaak udatha hein. Boltha hein agar bijali chali gayi toh uski khali daanth aur ankh dikhthi hein!”

I smiled and left paying the money thinking about the poor woman who made all the Keralites blacks!

Trek to Meenuliyanpara

Meenuliyanpara is mountain peak from where we can see Cochin Port and parts of Trichur district.An enchanting atmosphere and natural beauty, this mountain offers a short trek that is enjoyable in any weather.

Route to Meenuliyanpara

Kerala -> Idukki -> Thodupuzha -> Vannappuram -> Pattayakkudi

Note: From Vannappuram, KSRTC bus is available. First service is at 08:15AM from Vannappuram. Be sure to get the first bus itself because there are only 4 services a day and one bus for all those services. Plus there are no replacement bus in case it breaks down. :-)

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Trek to Keezharkuthu

It happened! All my fears were misplaced.

Route

Udumbannoor – Pariyaram – Kaithapara

keezharkuthu - start of the trek

We started from Udumbannoor at 7AM towards Pariyaram. The trek to Keezharkuthu starts from Pariyaram. And Pariyaram will be the last place to stock up your supplies before you start the trek.

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Trip to Thommankuthu

Recently ( to be exact – last week ) I made a solo trip to Thommankuthu ( Wiki ). One fine sunday afternoon, I gunned my activa to life and hit the road towards Thommankuthu.

Route

Thommankuthu is about 20kms from Thodupuzha. From Thodupuzha, take the road that goes to Karimannoor. In the karimannor juntion, you will have to take a left turn towards Thommankuthu. There is a small board that gives the direction which is very easy to miss. So makes sure you take the turn.

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I’ve been busy

Just in case anyone noticed my prolonged silence in the blogging sphere, this post is for them. I was busy … clicking!

Yeah. I spent a good amount of money on a DSLR :-) This was long by many of my fan following (blah! blah!) and me.

A collection of my best clicks are shared at this link – clickography : a discography of my clicks! A detailed description of the clicks will be shared once a photoblog is setup at that address. Be sure to leave your comments. Be frank; I can take criticisms.

So before we part again to be seen shortly, here is a latest click from my cam.

chitrapuzha bridge along ernakulam kakkanad sea port airport highway

Visit my clickography for more inspiring works.

SPLASH

I got photo-tagged two months earlier. I made a promise to my tagger that I will come up with a similar astounding story as he himself did.

“What is photo tagging?” I don’t have a clear picture myself! But I think it can be defined more or less like – Select a picture from your picture folder and write its story. Even if it is this simple, mano has an uncanny way of explaining this in a much more complicated way – seventh picture of the seventh (or was it the sixth?) album in your hard disk ignoring the recurring picture folders in them!!

He asked for one picture – I am giving him six. I hope that would make up for the delay.

And here’s my story.


Chembra is almost seven thousand feet high. Three of us scaled it last February. We started as six and ended up at the top as three. Chembra is the most amazing climb I have ever been to. Cold moist breeze always sweep you. The view from the top is just fantastic. Kerala is indeed god’s own country.

Chembra climb is in three tiers – a short steep climb first, vast plain green ground follows and then the final long steep climb. After the first level, our water supply totally dried up. We had six bottle of water – one for each of us. No one had even a drop of water left. But luckily we were welcomed by a cold sweet spring on level two. Ramettan, our guide, led us to it. It was a carefully maintained and protected supply of underground spring by the forest guards. All for good reason – there is no other source for drinking water on that height.

We drank till we were full. When we were leaving the spot, it struck me – an idea for a classy shot. I asked Bonny to collect water on his palms and hit me with it; with Linson ready to film it.

All agreed. We were set. Linson made the call and – SPLASH! CLICK!

Bonny somehow managed to miss my face completely! Although some drops did fell on me. We tried again – this time bonny did better but the shutter was a split-second late in opening – lousy shot – bad angle – bad throw. We tried a couple of times more. By then I was really worried – I was getting wet and it will show on the picture. I didn’t want that. That would spoil the beauty of the shot. I knew we were losing it.

[click on this for a larger image]

I almost gave up when suddenly I thought, “What the hell! I will do the hit this time”. I became the hitman – me on bonny. Linson chose a much lower angle. All we had was one go. It was a tight call.

ONETWO THREEGO! SPLASH! CLICK!

… and it was perfect! We had an absolute beauty. Check it out.