Sunday, August 5, 2012

Athirapally,Vazhachaal revisited

                                       Athirapally,Vazhachaal revisited-July 30 2012
We  had visited Athirapally and Vazhachaal waterfalls in 2004.The bridge linking Vettilapara and Athira                                       Athirapally,Vazhachaal revisited-July 30 2012
pally had not been completed then and as such we had to cross the river by jankar.But we made our journey by car via Chalakkudy covering around 74 km.But  this time we travelled by car  from Perumbavoor  via Kalady,Manjapra,KPC’s (Kerala Plantation Corporation )Kallala and Vettilapara estates,Vettilapara bridge,Silverstorm junction ,Athirapally and then Vazhachaal.The total distance is only 46km upto Vazhachaal,against the 74 km along the Chalakkudy route.
     We four started from Perumbavoor by 9.30 am after breakfast.We had 3 bottles of fresh water, some snacks and fruits, 2 towels and 2 hand cameras.From kalady junction we turned to the right and from the policestation to the left.The road leads to Manjapra via Manlckamangalam and Chandrapura. There is very good road upto Manjapra.We turned to the right and drove via Ayyampuzha,Kollakkode etc to reach the KPC area.Here the entire land is owned by the Kerala Plantation Corporation ,The road is somewhat narrow but reasonably well maintained.The drive along this stretch of the journey is really enjoyable and evermemmorable.There are alternating oilpalm,rubber and Teak plantations on both sides of the road.There are narrow water streams flowing amidst these vegetations.In many places we found herds of cattle eating grass  in the estates .In several pockets we could see the long shedlike buildings constructed for the KPC labourers.In the central part of the estate is the KPC’s High School in Vettilapara.A few buses ( both private and KSRTC ) operate services through the estate from Aluva,Angamaly and Kalady.The oilpalm trees are the most beautiful sights.Here and there we could see ripe oilpalm kernels being heaped together for transportation to the processing cetres.As we drove  very slowly we reached the Vettilapara bridge by 11 am only.But it was a very pleasant and unforgetable journey. After spending some time over the bridge we reached the Sliverstorm Water theme park junction.We turned to the right and went straight to reach the Athirapally car parking area by 11 45 am.There were plenty of domestic tourists and a few foreigners.We saw several batches of monkeys both old and young to receive the visitors.But they were not at all troublesome as in some other places.Put together in Athirapally and Vazhachaal,there should be several thousands of monkeys.They walk majestically along and across the road,climb on the tall trees  and sit on the rooftops and roadside walls.While we were watching the rushing river water we found on the other bank of the river a few wild dogs catching a small monkey and killing it.Though we could see that only vaguely the monkeys near us saw it clearly.There was a commotion with loud screaming from several of their groups far and near.The protest show continued for about 15 minutes and gradually died out.
   The water falls that drop to the valley form mainly 4 streams in Athirapally.The water gets scattered by the several layers of rocks on the sides and present a wonderful sight.Later on our way back,we watched the falls from the rain forest hotel compound which was the closest and best sight of the waterfalls.
    By 1’o clock we left for Vazhachaal which was 5 km away.On this journey we saw the Charpa water falls which is midway between Athirapally and Vazhachaal.Here we find the water from the mountain top rushing down into the base which is much below the bridge from which we watch the waterfalls.We reached Vazhachaal by 1.30pm and spent about an hour there.The river flows in it’s entire breadth as a water fall flowig down in several layers reaching the Athirapally area.On the other side of the river we see high mountains with thick forests stretching to the TamilNadu border.The tickets bought in Athirapally is valid for Vazachaal also.No separate charge is realized here.To some extent we felt this duo is better than Munnar.On our return we had lunch from the KTDC hotel in Athirapally.Many of the items in the menu card were not available.We had to be satisfied with Veg.fried rice.
The return drive was also along the same route and it took 1 1/2 hours to reach Perumbavoor.We felt happy that our second visit to the same place gave us a new experience .We do recommend a family visit to this destination by all who can afford.