It’s a place that has not yet been captured by Google’s spy eyes, which is always the best to find every area on earth. A forest that is reluctant to let in even the sun’s rays. It is a 30 km thick forest area that is still unknown to the world. More than 50 wild elephant within a radius of 10 km. Reptiles that come and bite even the shadow. King cobras, Other unnamed animal species. According to the latest figures from the Forest Department, there is no other dangerous area where so many wild dangerous elephants are found. “Dangerous, The Most Dangerous Destination”. Not surprisingly, this place is not in Africa or the Amazon. Here in our Kerala, in the lap of the mountains in two districts. An area bordering Idukki and Ernakulam. The highway used by local kings in the past only to save their lives before defeat in unexpected wars.
The death road which is once used to travel from Kochi to Kothamangalam, Thattekkad-Bhutathan Kettu to Munnar, through Kodaikanal, Mysore and Madras was closed today. The value of the life of each citizen is so precious and it is the responsibility of the state to protect it. Before you get into this jungle trail that is unknown for today, you should get to know Mamallakandam, and the Puyamkutty forest Adjacent to it. In the midst of all this, you should have to walk through the coast of the Kuttampuzha river, which flows and splashes, between all of this.
The Vespa scooter, which was booked, will be available on Saturday evening. Then we decided that the weekend trip was in it. There is nothing more beautiful than a bike ride to know and experience the jungle. I stopped the scooter at the Chembaraki petrol pump on the Perumbavoor route, and asked to fill the fuel tank. The tank was full for 430 rupees. I paid Rs.500 and told Fathima to buy the rest, and I shifted the bike to the side. Pathu, who came with the rest of the money, said with a laugh: ” The boy has given 170 rupees instead of the remaining 70 rupees. Come on, let’s go”. The frequent increase in petrol prices and may be the loss of Rs 100 from the owner of the pump is not a big moral issue these thinking’s may have made her act like this. Many of us think like that. But that is wrong. The working method of the Petrol pump is to deduct such cash shortages at the closing time each day from the salaries of the staff. What will happen to the poor Bengalis like this, who get five or six thousand rupees a month? Please no one forget this. I parked the bike and went to the Bengali boy who had filled petrol for us. Ask one more thing and make sure how much petrol he was filled. Rs 430, he said in understandable Malayalam. “Then there is more than 100 rupees in it” I said. Poor boy, he had became so panic and the same time might be little happy. At that time the manager came from inside and asked, ‘What’s the matter? I said “No, he gave 100 rupees more and I returned it”. When he heard that, he angrily looked at the boy. Then I said: “leave it yar, don’t scold him it’s just a mistake leave it”. I did not like his expression or body language. So I said it so harshly. Then he said “yes sir its ok”, the middle – aged manager laughed and left the scene very quickly.
Perumbavoor town is not busy as it is Sunday. Most shops are closed. I don’t know if the girl in the car which parked near to our bike at the signal was looking at me from time to time. After Kothamangalam and Thattekkad, we are greeted by Kuttampuzha, the lifeline of many places, as we proceed along the road shaded by the shade of the trees. Through some mountains, through many forests, sometime as streams, creeks, and finally a river, and then to the place called Kuttikkal, where Kuttampuzha fall in love with the Periyar, and then flow together. If you go straight from Kuttampuzha, you will reach ‘Puyam Kutty’ forest. Puyamkutty forest is what we have seen and known through the historical film Puli Murugan. Years ago, IV Sasi’s film ‘Eeta’ was also shot in this forest. But it was through Pulimurukan that we were filled with joy at seeing the forest. I have to go but from Kuttampuzha to the right, to the heights.
The alloy wheels of the 11-inch Vespa scooter, along with its tubeless tires, began to make their way to Urulan Thanni and then to Paradise, which is surrounded by mountains called Mamalakandam. 9 km – Route from Urulan Thanni to Mamallakandam via Pantapra. That half-hour journey that you will never forget once you go. In the beginning, you can see isolated tribal villages. Then the place is utterly desolate , the beginning of the beauty of the forest. A clean, paved road that allows a four-wheel drive vehicle to pass through. Occasional elephant dung, dry and non-dry. Occasionally there is a flurry of birdsong.
The occasional unbroken silence, the mystery. For a moment even the streams seem to be in a sleep. In the midst of that fear, there is a thrill too, a pleasure to be had through it. The words that are born in my fingers are not enough to describe. After some ups and downs, curves and descents through the forest. Mamallakandam is still inhabited by a group of people who still worship the “Muniyaras”. When it is not raining, the tribal people worship together, They believe that it will rain if they put wild honey and stew in the muniyaras. Forest on all four sides. Mountains all around from any position. Above it are streams flowing like silver thread. Where they originate or where they fall becomes a wonder to the eyes. So asked and asked from the inter roads through the inter-roads. It’s a habit to ask a lot to people on every trip. Cocoa fruit grows on the trees along the way. The tribal children lovingly handed us a fruit as we entered into a hut, may realized that Pathu wanted it.
After Mamalakandam we reached Ilamplassery. That’s where the check post is. The gateway to that 30km mentioned above. The beginning of the old highway that leads to Munnar. Home to the largest number of elephants and snakes in Kerala. Officer Ali Mohammed, who was busy at the check post, did not let a single one pass that way. I got acquainted and shared and understand more about the forest and got an assurance from that officer when the time to go back. Whenever he goes that way with the help of the Tribes, he should take me with him. I have to go on a trip that way at least once. I’ll be back, sir, at that time for us you must open this check post.
Route – Ernakulam ⏩ Aluva ⏩ Perumbavoor ⏩ Kothamangalam ⏩ Thattekkad ⏩ Kuttampuzha ⏩ Urulan Thanni ⏩ Pantapra Mamalakandam ⏩ Ilamplassery = 96 km
Traveler : Danish Riyas and Wife Paathu