Category Archives: Nature
Thirunelli is situated in some of the pristine forest areas of Wynad district in Kerala state. This hamlet has just one standing structure of importance. The Thirunelli temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. You can read the Wikipedia entry here. Legend has it that Parashurama performed the last rites of his father Jamadagni here and to this date, Thirunelli is one of the few places in Kerala where last rites of departed souls is performed according to Hindu rites. The other places I know are Tiruvallam near Thiruvananthapuram, Chelaamattom, near Perumbaavoor and Tirunavaya (between Kuttipuram and Tirur) in Malappuram district. Thirunelli is a pilgrimage destination as well as a trekking destination. Google ‘Pakshi Paathalam’ and there are several blogs on it.
These are some pictures I took two days ago when I visited this place as a pilgrim. The images are not hi-res as I used my mobile camera.
While Kovalam, Varkala and Cherai beaches in South and Central Kerala have been on the tourist map for a very long time, the beaches of Northern Kerala have remained untapped, and is seldom visited even by those who live in South Kerala, let alone India. I took a trip to some of the beaches in Kannur district. They are all amazing, pristine and as awesome as the popular ones. In fact there is a beach where you can drive for 7 kilometers on the edge of the sea as the sand is so hard. I don’t think there is anything like that anywhere in India. Here are some snaps of my journey.
What you are looking at above is the ceiling of a cave! When I took a bumpy ride in a rickety Mahindra Jeep up the Wyanad hills, little did I realize that I was about to enter a cave that is 1500 feet vertically! I am talking about Edakkal Caves in Wyanad District of Kerala. This rock wedged itself after an earth quake 3000 years ago – Eda =Inbetween, Kallu =Stone in Malayalam, thus giving the cave name Edakkal caves.
Edakkal Caves are just off National Highway 212 between the the towns of Sulthan Batheri and Kalpatta in Kerala’s Wayanad district. This area is a part of the verdant forests that form the Kerala – Karnataka – Tamilnadu border. The approach to the cave itself is on a sheer vertical climb. You have to climb 2000 feet above MSL to be there. This is not recommended unless you have the fitness level to do rock climbing. The cave itself is not huge or cavernous (pun intended!), but should be about 1500 sqft floor area but the ceiling is really high! The cave etchings go back 2300 years.
The river is Meenachil, which takes a breathtaking but lazy turn at the backyard of my grand mother in law’s house. They have two sets of access ways to the river. The range of trees and plants they have are amazing- rubber ( of course!), jackfruits of 4 different varities- some of which are cooked raw and other eaten the old fashioned way after they are ripe, palms, drumsticks, bay leaf it is just endless. It was heartening to see that the food chain as we knew it continues to exist and flourish in this part of the world. Ettumanur is home to one of the best known Siva temples in south India. Hence there are some serious bulls out there who roam the backyards of the houses in the vicinity. And why not? There is enough food to go around, and there is enough place to leave your bullshit out! So next time the bull comes around, he has fresh vegetation to eat from, completely nourished by its own dung! Can’t think of doing things more organically.
I am blessed to be a mallu in that I can go home and be in the midst of nature! Don’t have to spend nervous moments figuring out hotels, food, things to do, what about the kids, blah, blah, blah! I go to my wife’s place, I have Thekkady, Vagamon, Kumarakom, Alleppy Beach, the backwaters of Kuttanad all within 4 hours. If I am still lazy to go to any of these places, I can just step out through the kitchen door, or quitely go down Grandma’s backyard and sit watching the river come by the bend!