Nelliyampathy is a locally famous hill station in Kerala, located in the Palakkad district. It is very easy to ride to the top of the hills as there are not many hair-pin turns, quite contrary to the other south India hill stations like Kodais or Ooty. There isn’t a lot to see in Nelliyampathy, so it is a quick weekend getaway for you. I would say do not waste your time at the Pothundi Dam en-route, rather go straight to Nelliyampathy. It is not yet a very popular tourist destination, so there are only a few good hotels/resorts and restaurants. So you have to make your reservations well in advance because these days the number of local tourists flocking to the hills on weekends have increased but very few to serve the need. Otherwise you will end up paying too much for the cheap places with limited facilities (like I had, on this trip). Also make sure to include at least your breakfast and dinner because there are not many restaurants open outside except for those tiny tea shops meant for the tea/coffee estate workers. November to January would be the best time to visit Nelliyampathy as it will be cold and foggy in early mornings and evening/nights.
Here comes some photos of our trip to Nelliyampathy on the last weekend.
This was shot from the cottage that we stayed in. It was twilight already by the time we got to the cottage, which required us to park the car in town and get on a jeep because this place was in the middle of the forest. Even though the location was superb, the cottage was so expensive for an old and unclean place. But we were left with no choice because almost all places were full in that weekend (thanks-giving has come to Kerala?), yet we couldn’t complain much because of the location. We spent a whole night out doing barbecue, singing our favorite movie songs aloud. Some of us could see bison herds in the early morning in the nearby hills.
The famous jeep ride through the forest! Whenever you mention the name Nelliyampathy, those who had gone there would instantly recommend this adventurous jeep ride through the forest. You need the forest department’s permission for that but you can easily grab one on the way which your jeep driver would get for you. And don’t take it if you are unwell because it shakes your body towards all sides throughout the journey. One heck of an experience. If you ever visit Nelliyampathy, you gotta get on one of these. If you are lucky, you can spot some wild animals too. We saw some deers (and lots of monkeys but that doesn’t count, I suppose) on the way and traces of destruction caused by a wild tusker who is now the talk of the Nelliyampathy town. The locals call him “chilli kompan”.
The first peak/viewpoint on the jeep ride inside the forest. Don’t get fooled by the pic, the view is awesome when you are there.
The travel mates at the second peak/view point along the journey.
And me too! A bit shaky in that cold wind that blew strong but one for the memories. Regardless to say, the view was awesome!
We found many such abandoned and partly destroyed quarters like this one in the forest. It will be a photographer’s delight for some.
The famous AVT tea estate, on the way to Karappara waterfalls. As we stopped by at some of the empty places, some of us were bitten by the leeches also, so watch out for that.
We saw the Karappara waterfalls, but locals told us that there is a less touristy spot nearby where you can take a bath in the clear water or just simply enjoy the view in the silence. So one localite escorted us to this place and it was super cool! The place was quiet, the water was so cold, and if you have your drinks stocked up, this is heaven on earth. So once you are near Karappara waterfalls, don’t forget to ask the locals for this route. We also got some awesome Kerala meals with the help of this guy.
Another view of the place.
This suspension bridge was inaugurated just a couple of hous before we came to the place. This was also near Karappara waterfalls. It has a nice view of the waterfalls from on top of it.
And that summed up our one day trip to Nelliyampathy this year.
Day 4 of the Black and White challenge for which I have to post a B/W photo for 5 days. This was found on the bottom of a ceramic cup. ‘China’, made in India and called Bharat.
Day 3 of the Black and White challenge for which I have to post a B/W photo for 5 days. This one was clicked at Trivandrum Central railway station.
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This is Day 2 of the Black and White challenge for which I have to post a B/W photo for 5 days.
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When I went to the backyard for a quick and easy shot to host the Black and White photo challenge in Facebook, found this new sprout at the end of a dying stick of our pepper plant. That was so hopeful a thing to see in the morning. Made my day.
A visit back to your school invokes nostalgia so much. After finishing high school in 1994, I went back there only once. I would pass by the school quite often, as it is just 2 KMs away from home, but never felt like walking in there. But last week, I thought I would just show my 3-yrs old son around the school as he would always point out and say “here comes your school!” whenever we passed by.
Sree Narayana Boys High School, Kanimangalam, was and is a modest school. There is a story behind why I joined this school that is about 2 KMs away from home while having an English medium right in the back of our house. I was a school topper in the lower primary school which was also nearby. That school was run by nuns and they made a deal with this other school that I would get admission there from 5th standard onward, because my family couldn’t afford the school fees and they would have to admit me for free. The founder of that school was an old man clad in monk-like saffron clothes whose name was Acharya J C Chirammel, also known as “Chaakkoru Maash”, and he readily agreed to take me in. But then he passed away in a road accident. His son was a priest and he denied the help offered by his father (very priestly indeed). So we had no choice but to move to a school where we did not have to pay for education. That is how S.N. Boys School came in to picture. I have mostly good memories of the school. The teachers were kind, the atmosphere helped grow the extra curricular activities and got some good friends who still remain good friends. Here are some pics.
This place that looks like an abandoned historical site was once abuzz with the chatter of students and parents. The stage you see in this picture has witnessed many school anniversaries, youth festivals and send-off meetings.
Next to the old and abandoned stage is a portion dedicated to teach children the basics of farming. There was a student who was watering the plants. I also met the current school head mistress there. She is an alumni of the S N girls school next door. She asked me whether there were enough children in our batch. There were plenty of children in each class room in our time. She said now there are very few students. The surge of modern schools has resulted in this. The class room you see on the right is which used to be my 6th standard class. One of our teachers was K V Sreedharan Master, who is a former BJP chief of Kerala. He had a hoarse voice which, as the children used to say during that time, was a result of police beatings during the times of Emergency. He retired the next year, when I moved to 7th.
This is how the old and infamous ‘kokkaRNi’ looks like now (‘kokkarni’ is sort of a farm pond). There used to be a time when this place was a camp of the notorious senior gangs in the school. They boozed and smoked beedis and weed here. They also used this as a rear entrance to the girl’s school next door even. Other children did not dare to go to this part of the school when there were seniors around.