Brahmagiri Hills or Valley of Dreams, A thrilling nostalgic travelogue.

I believe that dreams have wings. Every trip to nature was intoxicating with foam in my veins. That intoxication overflowed when photography came along with it. Brahmagiri trekking was part of a trip undertaken by a group of nature lovers called Green Cap. Along with the Green Cap that were trips that touched nature. As a group of 26 we traveled 255 km from Kodungallur to Thirunelli in Wayanad. Once you reach Kattikulam from Wayanad Mananthavady, the real journey begins from there. Thirunelli is 21 km from Kattikulam. The whole journey is through a jungle that cools the mind. Beautiful forest, where you can see all kinds of wildlife if you are lucky. It can be seen along the intermittent teak trees. Maybe this is such a beautiful road that it does not seem to be part of Kerala. Herds of deer often crossed our vehicle. We walked around enjoying the forest and its silence. 13 km before reaching Thirunelli, we reached the Thirunelli temple early in the morning after eating Unniyappam and Black coffee from Krishnentan’s very famous grassy tea shop which feels like reminiscent of the past. Room and dormitory facilities are available nearby. A place in the middle of a small forest with very little population and very few shops. That is Thirunelli. The main attraction of the place is the centuries old temple.

Thirunelli Temple stands against the backdrop of the Brahmagiri Hills in a very serene atmosphere. The river Kalindi flows close to the temple. We swam until we reached the edge of the cold river, which beats the ice particles, and headed straight to the forest office, about a kilometer away from the temple. We can go trekking directly and booked in advance. The time is until 9 p.m. Can’t go after that. We had booked in advance so everyone’s name was given and after a short description of what we had to do in the forest by the forest officer,and  started the journey at seven and a half.

Carefully proceed with each step into the woods. Despite all the precautions to be taken against leech due to the rains and cold weather in September, leech attacked us mercilessly like frantic Pakistani soldiers on the border. Leech was also a part of these journeys without plucking a single plant or hurting any creature. Defeating Leech, we walked on paved single-track roads, jungle streams, ups and downs, and only jeep lanes. The guide was describing his experiences while trekking a few days ago. Everything that they saw the elephants and all of them run away. After about 2 hours , drinking water from the creeks and collecting it in bottles as needed, we reached the Forest Watch Tower at the top of the hill after 3 km. There is a house for accommodation and a few tents. If you want to stay overnight there, you need a seperate booking from the Forest Office. The weather is changing every moment. The mist that caresses the body and the Brahmagiri that plays hide and seek in that fog. From here, one can see the Thirunelli Temple, which looks like a spot in a dense forest on one side, and the fields and the river Kalindi next to it. On the other side are green covered grasslands that embrace the Chola forest. The Brahmagiri hills rise above it like Thechikottukavu Ramachandran( a Popular Elephant in Kerala) who rose to the top of Thrissur Pooram.

After a short rest, get ready to travel again. The journey is now, absolutely adventurous. Steep meadow and one-lane road. Every step must be taken with a firm mind and body. Still about 2 km steep to conquer. Grasslands that stretch as far as the eye can see around the sidewalks. Elephant tusks scattered on the sidewalks as if they were seems like not so old. The walking speed was halved. Each object in hand began to feel a hundred times its weight. I put the camera to my chest and started traveling up again. Occasional rest. Looking down or looking up is a special feeling.

The surrounding mountains are a reminder that the feeling of God is also the best artist. They shone brightly through the clouds like a beautiful work, one after the other, painted in oil. The Kerala-Karnataka border is demarcated in the adjoining hills. Occasionally we saw herds of elephants and llamas. The guide said the presence of the tiger was nearby but could not be seen. After a full walk and rest we finally reached the top of Brahmagiri around noon. It was an indescribable feeling in my mind. Moments that fill the mind. Heaven is on earth. It seemed to me to be a valley filled only with dreams beyond description. From the top of the hill, I make a loud noice. Not just me, but friends too. I lay for a while looking at the sky. Sunbeams into the eyes, occasional drizzle, cold winds. Indefinite weather. Some emotions that pull you back without agreeing to go back. But after enjoying enough there and eating the snacks that were kept in hand, we returned without leaving even a small plastic there.

The descent was a leap of attention. After reaching the Watch Tower, descend again. Butterflies flying in different colors along the way. Birds singing in sweet melodies. The return journey crosses the cliffs and descents. As the sun began to set on the forest paths, the leeches hide somewhere. The sound of the passing stream became thinner. We returned to the Forest Office at about 3 p.m. Every setback brings a little sadness to the mind. When, Will there be a comeback? the question often strikes me. Yet each journey was a recognition that Colorful dreams that teach you to walk with nature and stay close to your heart.

Traveler :Bibin Raj | Destination – Brahmagiri,Vayanadu, Kerala,India