A Meghamala journey during the road less period. A thrilling travelogue for those who loves nature and adventures

Last updated on January 28th, 2021 @ 07:32 pm

Meghamala is a place that has been firmly entrenched in my mind for many years. As a nature lover, these mountains, which are very different in lifestyle and culture, have always given me beautiful views that I can keep in mind. This time we are taking you to that age old Meghamala Yatra.A reunion of dear friends, two people leaving the radio station where I work, to give them an unforgettable day in their lives. The aim was to find a place that no one had ever seen or heard of before, and then went off there. Then I came to know about a place called Meghamala in Theni district. I had no idea how to get there at a time when the internet or Google Maps were not widespread, and had no facilities to stay, but the constant landline phone calls eventually got a bit rusty. The landline phone number of a tea shop that was there in total was. When I typed that password on the phone, I called on all the gods with a full heart and prayed that the password would not go wrong. After hitting all the numbers, luckily I was not told to try again.

From Thiruvananthapuram, those copper wires were converted into my prayer electronic signals and quickly delivered to a tea shop on the top of a hill hidden in the jungles of Tamil Nadu. Never in my life have I called my first sweetheart so passionately. Behold, those sound waves are ringing in the phone. For a while there was a Tamil voice, and it still rings in my ears. “Sir Sollunge Sir” .. that was Meghamala Murugan, Meghamala was not a tourist destination so there was only one panchayat cottage to stay. I will give you a room if you need it. The first door to Meghamala opens there.We have a carriage with us from the time our friendship circle started. The company stopped production but we were not ready to dismiss him. So the four bald tires set off from their hometown of Varkala at 10 am

Everyone has the same question in mind, should this flying saucer. My answer to appease them. Get something on the go. This is the thrill of the journey. If nothing else, we were all bachelors, and lunch and tea were on time as our vehicle punctured twice in the afternoon in the Mundakkayam and in the evening in the Kumily. At around 5.30 pm,We  reached Chinnamanur on Kumily Theni Highway. There is a small road to the right from there to Meghamala. It was 6.15 when we reached the check post at the foot of the hill through that narrow path.

Being a forest, there is no entry from six in the evening to six in the morning. The officers who were not at all interested in deporting us were finally persuaded anyway. But still got a a warning. “You have to go at your own risk”. It is also the time when the carts that went to the plantations with the morning workers return. The condition was that we would be deported only after they were all gone.

Several workers arrived from top to bottom in tractors, jeeps and lorries. We were finally allowed to pass by after making sure that all the trains had arrived by 7:30 p.m. Desolate road that stretches for miles. The infinity of distances is spread over all distant distances. Distances recede. Can’t even find anyone to ask for directions. There is not even a placeholder board. As we started to climb the pass, the thicket of forest, darkness and cold came. On the way I started seeing steaming elephant carcasses. They are more likely to hit the road as human travel time has passed. Suddenly, the driver stopped the car when he heard the sound of trees breaking. He saw a lone wolf in the woods, and when he saw us he listened intently. Seeing that things were not going well, we quickly took the car forward. Everyone’s heart rate increased with each subsequent bend.

The last time those roads were tarred was in 1980, and I was lucky enough to see a few pieces of metal as a monument to the old tar on the way over twenty-five long years. However, the vehicle was traveling at a speed of less than 10 km per hour. Eventually, I got scared through the 20 km forest and reached the Meghamalai Highway Dam at around 11 am. We were all relieved to see the first light on the road and the next shot exploded. The next tire was also punctured.

The bone-chilling cold outside. It was pitch dark everywhere except for the fire in the dam. The moon and even the stars are blindfolded. A neighborhood with no people or shops. So we decided to replace Stepney ourselves. All but one nut of the punctured tire was loosened and only one could not be shaken. In the end all eight held on to the spanner. The nut has no movement other than the cart. Time 12 o’clock, the moment the twist occurred like in a horror movie. Everyone began to feel fear inside. Elephants and leopards cannot be seen even in close proximity. To this day, there has never been such a scary scene on a trip. Unable to decide what to do or where to go. The four of us stopped near the car and the other four of us walked nowhere. Tap and block for a while and move forward holding the darkness together !.

Good luck! Like angels, two men sit in front of the light of an old building and play the lottery. Were workers at the Highway Dam. We teamed up with them for help. Arriving with the tools at the dam, they used a spanner weighing ten kilos in their hands to break the nut and help change the spare motor wheel(Stepney). From there it was 2 km to our accommodation. Stepney condition was so bad that the road was full of stones, so everyone decided to walk behind the car instead of getting in the car. Then the call of the angels of God came from behind. Be careful, there was an elephant on the road last night. When I heard this and looked back, all the eight people were in the car like in the movie. Anyway, at the end of the day, we arrived at the lodge safely. It was not long before everyone was curled up in their blankets because they were so tired and shivering.

When I opened my eyes in the morning in the harshness of the cold, I was shivering like I had a fever. Before Meghamala woke up to escape from it, I took my camera and left. Everything later was like a dream. Blue water spread out in front of the eyes. Tea plantations abound on the sloping hillsides. We walked towards the lake where the waves of snow were rising. Snowdrops fall from the leaf litter of the frozen trees. Snowdrops clung to the grass below. The atmosphere is covered with snow. Makes you fall in love with even the most painful thorns. Slowly I walked through the grass, which lay like a frozen mattress, and stepped into the lake, as if I had been electrocuted. The bitter cold of that water ran into my nerves and made my whole body tremble. Immediately regained my footing and escaped the impact. That natural beauty, which no one captures much, was captured by my camera and presented to me as pictures without leaving a single pinch.

Has anyone ever seen a puncture shop as a temple and a church, and a puncher shop owner as a god? But it was a day we saw. Because the only stepney tyre was already punctured. That was what surprised us on top of that mountain. At the top of the hill, there was a panchayat guest house, a tea shop and then a puncture shop. Anyway, when  went to repair the tyre puncture in the morning, when we saw his sneering look , we realized that the wire-only tire was no longer running. In the end, he gave us a better tyre for 250 rupees.

After breakfast at Murugan’s Tea Shop, the only hotel there, I saw the Tuvanam Dam behind the Panchayat Guest House. On the way back like an unfulfilled dream, nature asked me a question. ‘Nature gives everything to human beings, just as a mother’s breast milk leaks when a child begins to starve. However, do we recognize that nature?……..

Distance: 75 km from Kumily, Kuttikkanam 122 km, Munnar 120 km, Kottayam 184, Ernakulam 207. Places to visit in Meghamalai: Highway to Lake, Manalar, Huvanam Dam, Upper Manalar, Venniyar, Vattaparai Maharajamettu