The trip to Tamil Nadu’s red beautiful Sundrabhoomi called Kolukumala was planned before Corona. After getting permission to travel, Madura took revenge by setting up the first camp there. We all were happy that Munnar was cool and minus degrees. 21 people from 10 districts of Kerala left their busy schedules and returned to Suryanelli. Riju and Sambhu, the tiger cubs of Kannur, had left for Idukki a week ago. Due to construction work on Gap Road, we reached Suryanelli through Bison Valley. Tamil fluxes, posters and even the conversation was in Tamil, creating an impression of Tamil Nadu. The crowds and celebrations were as if they did not know that Corona had come. It can be said that there are no faces full of masks. We reached the resort through jeeps passing by and dogs walking around.
Many of the Changai of Malabar had already arrived there. The resort stands in a four and a half acre plantation. The plantation is full of orange, musambi, lychee and avgadro. The hills are full of green tea plantations. George Chetan gave juice made from oranges in the garden to everyone and accepted it. It was a good tasting juice with little sour taste. As some had not eaten, they traveled back to Suryanelli to buy food for themselves. The curiosity about the name Suryanelli prompted me to find out its origin. The beautiful name Suryanelli was born from the Tamil word Suryan Nalli Nadu or Sunless Land. In the meantime, our jeep driver named Muthu arrived and settled things and returned back to the lap of nature.
By the time we reached the resort, the friends had come to see the orchard. Many of them had oranges, Nelly and Musambi in their hands. I was also happy that they had a good viewing experience. When everyone shared the food together, the mind went back to the old trips. Absence of sun and cold weather brought hot tea. After drinking hot cardamom tea, I walked to the tea plantation where Kodamnu was nesting. Everyone was in good company while going through the tea plantations, saying sora through the small path and taking pictures. While Muthumani was busy taking hundreds of pictures, Annamma and Kuruvila were competing in making mud.
Nature is returning to slumber, giving the impression that the sun has gone somewhere, but it is dusk. From the concrete road, we slowly walked to the dirt road full of stone and soil in the tea garden. The hustle and bustle of the city and the incessant ringing of the phone had stopped somewhere in the distance. It goes without saying that the mist playing in the wind and the tea garden standing quietly filled our hearts. We all walked up the hill happily despite being hesitant to walk.
It is very true to say that travel opens up the mind. When the inner sorrows and problems were blown away by the storm and climbed the mountain, there was also an indescribable joy. Darkness has started to cover the entire mountain. Slowly we returned to the resort.
We were huddled around the campfire before the cold seeped in. We knew the fog was coming and filling all around us. One by one they began to unravel the knot of experiences and dreams. The depth and breadth of their desires came to be known when they all spoke eloquently. During the hot discussion, the cold outside was not noticed. In the meantime, two more trains from Thrissur came and joined us. I did not know that the time had passed in the conversation. After the meal, a round of singing was performed and Pulari of Kolukumala fell asleep dreaming.
The alarm went off at 3.15 am. He called others with hope. Kolukumala has prepared wonderful sights or will it be a day full of disappointment? Everyone left excitedly. Although the cold did not seem too much, but when the wind blew in the carriage, the whole body was shivering. These are the experiences that travel brings. If you enjoy every moment, there is no greater happiness than the journey. I don’t know if it is because you are standing alone. The journey is enjoyable on the flat road. While nature is sleeping, you are moving forward through the tea plantation in the forest while the light of the car cuts through the darkness. The car stopped somewhere in between. It stopped at the check post itself. The driver Muthuvannan went to get the papers OK. It’s past four o’clock, and the complex stands tall with the grandeur of the past made of granite
Office. The sight of two men in jackets and mufflers standing in the dim light of a neon bulb did not surprise me that much. Munnar and Kolukumalak are always cold nights. That’s why tourists flock regardless of the season.
After all the papers were done, the wheel of our vehicle slowly started moving forward. Gutters and potholes shook the vehicle and us, signaling that the tarred roads were disappearing. In the meantime, I was aware of the ups and downs. While everyone in the car was impatiently dreaming of the dawn and staring at the cobbled road in front, all my attention was on the jeep behind us. Maybe their vehicle is far away because they drove relatively fast. The sight of that yellow light shining in the darkness on the distant carriage as we drove through the sharp turns on the hillsides of the tea plantations was probably too beautiful to be captured by any camera eye.
His head had hit the wagon many times during the jolting journey. But it is only natural that the journeys to the most beautiful sights should be difficult or extreme. It is probably on the journey that man forgets all his worries and lives as a green man, talking openly and shouting with joy. That’s what makes travel a medicine for many people. As the height increases, the cold is slowly coming, and when the cold wind comes in between, what can I say other than oh cool. The joy of that moment is beyond description.
Time was passing again, and the villages of Theni, waking from their slumber, were illuminated by the silver light of electricity. Below Kurangani mountain and the village of Malayitavarate, the dim light of the neon bulb began to flicker, heralding the arrival of dawn. Unknowingly, I looked up at the sky and was surprised at what I saw. The sky was full of stars, and the moon was welcoming me like a coconut tree in the starry sky that I saw after many days.
Without walking to Kolkumala across the rough road, the jeep continued its journey with us to another mountain slope. The distance is worth walking and nature is waiting to come out from the darkness. Walked up the mountain in the dark by torchlight. All 21 of us walked in unison along the cleared mountain path. A water channel has been formed all along the way. It is flowing down from the upper mountain. He often slipped in the freezing water. In the early morning snow, the whole tea plant was covered with snow particles, and the inside was warm and cold.
As the length of the walk increased, there was a doubt that the path had gone wrong. But we walked forward. It was dawning, we waited without batting an eye for the eastern horizon where Arunan was waking up with the dewdrops blowing away the sedge grass. Only Kolkumala and a small mountain were in front of us. Now is the glorious arrival of Surya Bhagavan, and the mind is still with nothing else in mind. I witnessed the visual feast of Arun rising slowly with golden light, spreading red color on the eastern border, covering all the mountains of the east with a silk coat of mist and giving a heavenly feeling.
A joy where the mind and body dance in bliss. With an indescribable feeling, the sun rises and a canoe rests in the sea of misty clouds. Although the scene only lasts for a few moments, it has become one of life’s indescribable sights. The sun’s rays are breaking through the snow clouds. As the light fell, the views of the western slope started to become visible. The forest, the tea plantations in the valley, the match nests standing side by side, the jeeps coming up the mountain like snails, the sky beautiful with dark blue color and the huge mountain range standing on the western border were looking in wonder.
Kolukumala Kolukumala is a mountain range that stands tall like a giant warrior. It can be said that there are no grasslands in this high mountain. The difference between this mountain is that it stands steeply and has a deep crater on all four sides. Perhaps Kolukumala is a forbidden mountain that cannot be climbed and must be watched as a spectator.
Slowly we went down the hill, Annamma and Anju kept going down the hill and fell down every now and then. The paths that we walked in the dark were rich with tea plants on both sides. Seeing the flowers blooming here and there, we walked up to another mountain, and the moment we stood above the fog like cotton balls was like heaven. He was looking around from the top of the hill. A cool breeze is blowing. In the east the sun shines brilliantly on a mattress of fog. The mountain range as far as the eye could see was covered with fog. The red flowers of the dendron tree stand tall in the tent of snow. Nature had created another wonderful world for us with the blanket of fog on three sides except the western slum. It can be said that the world is covered with white water except for the mountain range on which it sits. The sun’s bright rays are striking the tent of clouds. The sight of the mist flowing around us like an ocean of milk is very pleasant. One of the views that no one longs for in life, the feeling of leaving earth and reaching heaven was gifted. We, who have come as guests of this visual feast prepared by nature, are brought down the mountain full of heart. Despite the terrifying valleys, these views will leave anyone in awe. The world’s highest organic tea factory in the middle of distant tea plantations also stands proud. The higher the altitude, the better the taste of the tea, it is a fact of nature. We walked down.
Everyone was curious about the sight of Singappara or Puliparra nearby. We walked along the small single track on the hillside in search of Kolukumalaya and Singappara seen from afar. Although there are not many curves and small climbs, nature has prepared everything here like a good chef. Far away in the Korangani mountains, the fog is coming and blowing away in the wind, although the sun is shining, the cool breeze and Koda have given us a pleasant weather.
After the small grasses and trees we reached the top. Not far below we can see Pulipara and people crowding around for photos and a little further down Kolukumalaya which witness one of the best sunrises in human history. It was a small place and it was generally crowded, so we went down without spending too much time. Ashechi was impressed as she managed to conquer the mountains and beautiful views with determination despite being out of breath.
Now the return is two days of Suryanelli, Kolkumala, Meeshapulimala roaring in the distance, cool off-road trip and my Chung changais together gave me memories that I can never forget in my life. He descended the mountain with the conviction that the next journey would be to conquer Meshapulimala, filled with the light of the journey.