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Old 22nd April 2011, 09:06   #1
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Default A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar

On 15th of this month, on Vishu day I went to some scenic and exotic spots around Kochi. This was an eight to ten hour round trip to Thattekkad, the bird sanctuary, the Bhoothathan kettu dam and Edamalayar dam.

Thatterkkad where the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is located attracts many avid bird and butterfly watchers in the bird season usually in winter. We could spot only a couple of birds and being not our cup of tea can’t write or comment much on that.

But what is noticeable is even in this torrid summer, all these places are quite cool compared to the sweltering temperatures in other parts.

I must add that these spots are good enough only for an one time visit, compared to similar small time spots like Athirappally and Vazhachal, which are worth many a visits. This holds true only if you are not an Ornithologist of even a minuscule kind.

Points to be considered before embarking, though a day trip is to carry sufficient snacks and drinks along, as there are no eateries out there except small pan shop like joints, were tea or soft drinks may or may not be available depending on that particular day.

I will narrate and add pictures as soon as I finish resizing them. But mind you I am not an expert photographer but an aim and shoot one.

Last edited by rajeev k : 27th April 2011 at 01:29.
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Old 22nd April 2011, 09:39   #2
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Default Re: A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar

Waiting to listen in on details of routes that you took to this exciting part of Kerala.
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Old 22nd April 2011, 10:59   #3
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Default Re: A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar

We started off through NH 49 with the idea of reaching Kothamangalam through Muvattupuzha. My sister, brother in law and kids were joining us for the trip and I thought that the rendezvous can be at Kothamangalam. But my brother in law insisted on our joining at Perumbavoor itself saying that proceeding to Thattekkad is a lot easier from there. Though it turned out to be not true later on, I turned left from NH 49 after Choondy towards Perumbavoor.

A right turn from a junction couple of kilometers beyond, takes one to Perumbavoor while the left is to Alwaye.

That junction took me down memory lane bringing nostalgic moments of my hundreads rides in my Falcon scooter KRF 7942 (Vijay Super manufactured by Karnataka Scooters Ltd), from near Piravom, where I work to Paravoor, my native place. The difference is roads are quite good compared to the bumpy ones then.

We met them, waiting agonizingly in a shade in front of a closed shop for more than 45 minutes but the consolation was they had packed enough grub into their M800 for them to bite on.

We then drove through the Alwaye Munnar road towards Kothamangalam.
Bad driving?
A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar-1.jpg

We decided to visit Thattekkad first and proceeded straight past the left turn to Bhoothathankettu.
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Last edited by rajeev k : 27th April 2011 at 01:30.
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Old 22nd April 2011, 14:02   #4
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Default Re: A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar

Dear Rajeev,

I've moved your thread to the private assembly line forum where you can EDIT your posts, without any time limit restrictions. Please complete your travelogue, and then report this post to the Moderators when you want it moved back to the public travelogues section.

To know more about the Assembly line, click here (The "Assembly Line" Forum section).
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Old 23rd April 2011, 17:28   #5
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Default Re: A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar

The drive to Thattekkad, though short is a treat to the eyes. Take a look.
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Once a bad driver, always a bad driver.
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You cross a bridge into Thattekkad. The moment one step out, though only 35Mtrs above sea level, the coolness in the temperature compared to the coastal Kochi city levels is the first element to get noticed. The place resembles any other ordinary Kerala village, couple of small shops and the like.
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There is a Temple by the side of the branch of river Periyar crowded with large fish population. As fishing is prohibited here their breed is on the rise. Throw peanuts into water and even large fishes come and fight it out for it. A jolly good scene..
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Last edited by rajeev k : 27th April 2011 at 01:31.
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Old 23rd April 2011, 17:46   #6
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Default Re: A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar

The sanctuary is spread over an area of 25 sq km and is located between the tributaries of the Periyar river. One walks through this picturesque ambience into the thick sanctuary.
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The sanctuary flourishes not only in wildlife but also has a variety of plants. One can find teak, mahogany and rosewood in large numbers in this sanctuary. Such trees are responsible for the lush green cover that blankets the sanctuary.
A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar-13.jpg

Last edited by rajeev k : 23rd April 2011 at 18:15.
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Old 24th April 2011, 00:46   #7
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Default Re: A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar

Thattekkad is made up of dense tropical evergreen, deciduous forest housing a population of many species of exotic birds. This globally acclaimed bird sanctuary owes much of its fame to Dr. Salim Ali, the internationally renowned ornithologist. It is the exotic microcosm of the country’s bird population that brought Dr. Salim Ali to this place. His efforts were instrumental in the formation of this sanctuary to a large extent.
Spread across 25 sq. km. the sanctuary lies between the tributaries of the river Periyar like a peninsula.
Thattekkad also has extensive plantations of teak, rosewood, mahagony, etc. The dense forest is also the home to many animals and reptiles.

We started our stroll towards and into the sanctuary. On the right side we could see caged deers, a part of a small park and zoo maintained by the state forest department. We thought of going to that area later on our return and walked past.

The entire left side is so picture perfect a setting as can be seen.
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Once we are inside the lush and thick woods the clatter or chatter of birds fill the green ambiance. Without any homework on birds one would be totally lost and aimless in here.
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We went into the thick green jungle which is quite a natural setting.
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We were walking through the Salim Ali Nature Trail.
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There is a three storied watch tower deep inside the Sanctuary with two beds, a toilet and a kitchen. No electricity here but there is are a few solar powered lamps.Night stay here in the pitch darkness will be an out of the world experience.
Attached Thumbnails
A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar-22.jpg  


Last edited by rajeev k : 24th April 2011 at 01:24.
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Old 24th April 2011, 11:46   #8
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Default Re: A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar

While returning from the thick woods, saw a remnants of the boat (see the first pic) that capsized more than 2 years ago drowning 15 students and 3 teachers of St. Antony's UP School, Elavoor. T
A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar-24.jpg
This ill fated boat was carrying more than its capacity and was told that when all the occupants shifted to one side for some sighting the boat lost balance and overturned.
Very sad indeed.

Boating has not returned to Thattekkad since then.

We then went straight to the forest department run zoo. The forest dept has a seminar hall in the vicinity which can handle about a 100 participants.

The zoo has a couple of monkeys and deers only other than some birds.
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See the Peacock in all its majestic splendor and which is exactly why it is our national bird..
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I vividly remembered my school days when a strip of the peacock's feather was so precious item to own and who has one used to keep it inside books on the superstition that it would multiply and the first to-do in the morning was to confirm if it did so. Nostalgic moments again.
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It is said that Peacock has the uncanny instinct of predicting the arrival of the rain. And rain did come later in the day drenching us.
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Last edited by rajeev k : 24th April 2011 at 20:13.
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Old 25th April 2011, 23:11   #9
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Default Re: A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar

Headed to Bhoothathankettu straightaway from Thattekkad and decided to have lunch somewhere on the wayside. Looking for a suitable space reached Bhoothathankett. There is a temple and had a quick bite under a tree on the outside of the temple. The road heads straight to Edamalayar from there. Thought of proceeding to there and decided to explore Bhoothathankettu on the return leg.

The drive to Edamalayar was an enjoyable one along the narrow road through thick woods.
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A water tank on rocks.
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Last edited by rajeev k : 26th April 2011 at 07:09.
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Old 25th April 2011, 23:29   #10
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Default Re: A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar

Went to the Edamalayar Power Station but entry was not allowed without prior permission from the State Electricity Board. Photography was also not permitted there.

The Tail Race.
A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar-58.jpg

The Edamalayar dam is a KM away and is a picture postcard location like all dam/reservoirs. Everyone was longing for a cup of tea and excited on seeing a small tea shack. But alas! stock answer from the tough looking tea maker "No milk, only black coffee" dampened the spirit but the place was so mesmerizing, infusing a feeling which even the best of teas from anywhere in the world would have given, a feeling that made us come alive and kicking again.
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There were a number of small groups out there with a lot of youngsters who have come on motorbikes.

We could see rain clouds gathering and remembered the dancing pea cock.
After a brief while started on our return leg.
A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar-63.jpg

Heavy rain lashed soon after which made the drive more enjoyable. The summer rain lifted our spirits further.
Saw the guys on bikes taking shelter from the heavy downpour en route, under culverts and under thick trees.

Saw a "spiritual" threesome braving through the rains at a fast pace dancing and howling all along.
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View through the left ORVM.
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Rains subsided by the time we reachedwe reached Bhoothathankettu. So decided to trek into the thick forest even though it was getting late. A guy approached as guide (He claims he is a bonafide one and shown an ID card).
Bhoothathankettu is famous for its natural rocky topography, which according to myth is believed to have been built by bhootams (spirits/demons). The place, which has a vast virgin forest, today hosts a dam and an opportunity to venture in.
A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar-66.jpg
Attachment 535981
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Hurried through as it was getting dark and the threat of further rains was looming large.
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This cave can accommodate a 100 people and inside one can stand straight though entry is short.
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The guide who went in and demonstrated. (We did not follow him. scared? No)
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But it rained heavily before we could rush back to safety, all us got so wet and drenched and the newspapers I had.in the car helped in protecting the seats getting spoiled (After all car also is to be cared for)

The drive back was uncomfortable in the wet dress as we did not carry dresses or enough towels along being a day trip. We learned the lesson the hard way.

Decided to have dinner though a bit early at 1930 hrs being so hungry and drove straight into this joint at Alwaye, for a sumptuous one at that.
Food wasn't bad really.
A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar-78.jpg

We parted our way to our respective dens in opposite directions happier in the knowledge that the day was well spent.

Last edited by rajeev k : 27th April 2011 at 01:24.
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Old 27th April 2011, 20:56   #11
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Default Re: A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Waiting to listen in on details of routes that you took to this exciting part of Kerala.
Many Thanks. Your words were inspiring enough for me to complete the whole episode in almost one go.
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Old 27th April 2011, 22:15   #12
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Default Re: A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar

Nice pictures rajeev. Brought back a lot of memories. My family lives not very far from these places. I visited bhoothathankettu sometime in 1986 (if my memory serves me right) from our school. And that cave was part of a malayalam movie (cannot recall the name) where an elephant that runs amok, tries to kill a person and he slips into the cave and the elephant finally gives up. The elephant was the central character of that movie. I also did not know that the cave was this big from the inside. I am planning to visit Kerala in July and will try to make a trip to this place.

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Old 27th April 2011, 22:40   #13
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Default Re: A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar

These places were in my radar for a long time. Twice was very near to do the same, but some timing constraints made me drop them. Great pictures, and gives me the required info too. Great log.
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Old 30th April 2011, 22:25   #14
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Default Re: A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar

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Nice pictures rajeev. Brought back a lot of memories. My family lives not very far from these places. I visited bhoothathankettu sometime in 1986 (if my memory serves me right) from our school. And that cave was part of a malayalam movie (cannot recall the name) where an elephant that runs amok, tries to kill a person and he slips into the cave and the elephant finally gives up. The elephant was the central character of that movie. I also did not know that the cave was this big from the inside. I am planning to visit Kerala in July and will try to make a trip to this place.

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These places were in my radar for a long time. Twice was very near to do the same, but some timing constraints made me drop them. Great pictures, and gives me the required info too. Great log.
These places are worth to spend a day only unless you are an ornithologist.
During winter lot of migratory birds also inhabit Thattekkad.

Last edited by rajeev k : 30th April 2011 at 22:28.
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Old 30th April 2011, 23:23   #15
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Default Re: A day trip to Thattekkad, Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar

Every travelogue of Kerela has always something new to show just like this gr8 travelogue.
Laluks sir, please let us know the dates when you are planning to go so that we get to chug along (like a group) with you and learn some wisdom from your travels, if it is ok with you.
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