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Old 11th May 2008, 16:23   #1
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Default Trip to Nelliampathy

19/04/08
It was one hot humid Saturday that we deperately wanted to escape the heat. The nearest hill station being Nelliampathy which is hardly 2 1/2 hrs drive from our place, we hit the road on Sunday morning. Our original plan was to stay there and return on Monday morning but later I had to cancel the stay since I had to reach Kollam on Monday morning.

20/04/08
7.00 am
(1 hr being schedule)
I, my wife and our 2 yr old daughter in our beloved Alto started the journey.
Route -
Pazhayyannur -(19kms)- Alathur -(~10kms) Nenmara -(26km)- Nelliampathy.
7.45 am- Nenmara
(Had to stop in between for those baby things)
Our ascent to the Nelliampathy hills starts near the Pothundi dam.
Trip to Nelliampathy-dsc00195.jpg

There is a check post where you need to give your name and address.
The ascent starts. The road is so good that given an appropriate vehicle it would be fun to drive through those curves and n no. of 'hair pin' bends.

First thing to do - roll down the windows, switch off your ICE and enjoy the fresh air and wildlife (mostly noise of crickets).

Our little Alto
Trip to Nelliampathy-dsc00206.jpg

The long winding road

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Some more pics

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9.30 am
Reach Govt Orange and Veg farm. We were hoping to see some orange farms trees but were told that the farms are far inside. So we book our Jeep for the Manpara trip and head to ITL resorts for our breakfast. We book our lunch as well.

10.30 am
Sight seeing trip to Kesavanpara.
View from Kesavanpara.
Trip to Nelliampathy-dsc00222.jpg
Trip to Nelliampathy-dsc00223.jpg

11.45 am
Kesavanpara to Seethargundu.

12.15 pm

View from Seethargundu
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Despite the rich biodiversity, this is all we could manage to see from the wild life
Trip to Nelliampathy-dsc00256.jpg

1.30pm
Sales counter of Poabs Plantations where we enjoyed fresh strawberry juice bought some organically produced tea and some cole crops.

2.00pm
Lunch at ITL

3.00pm
Our Jeep is ready.
We start our journey (rather adventurous) for Manpara. The roads are almost non existant with steep climbs and only local Mahindra 4x4s ply through these route. They charge Rs. 500 - 600/- for a trip. I was told that recently someone tried with a Pajero but didn't dare to take it up to the top.
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The trail to Manpara
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Yes climbing over the rock.
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Its a short walk from this point. The Forest Dept blocked the road till top.
Trip to Nelliampathy-dsc00284.jpg
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Old 11th May 2008, 16:52   #2
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4.30 pm
Manpara
View from Manpara. One can see Kollangode from here. I was also told that during clear whether one can see the Palani hills as well.
It truly feels like 'ive touched the sky'

Trip to Nelliampathy-dsc00292.jpg
Trip to Nelliampathy-dsc00295.jpg

5 pm.
The climate is cooler. It was so enjoyable lying down on grass enjoying the sceneray. Although we wanted to stay there till sunset, our daughter wanted to run around and play, which scared me. All the three places are equally dangerous that little carelessness and you are history. Apart from that the nearby group of youngsters had started their booze songs and dance which had us feel uncomfortable. So we thought to descent.

(Although there are other families among the tourists, the major share was of students or youngsters coming for a booze. They bring in booze (although prohibited) stay late in the night, enjoy and return).

The descent through the same rocky path. Last time I had this experience was in a roller coster in some amusement park.
Trip to Nelliampathy-dsc00300.jpg

Another Jeep coming down the hill
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The wooden bridge on the way.
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Road 'paved' with tree roots.
Trip to Nelliampathy-dsc00311.jpg

Another view
Trip to Nelliampathy-dsc00316.jpg

6.00pm
Reached Orange farm.

6.15pm
After some refreshments, we said G'bye to Nelliampathy hoping that next time I return with a 4x4 to conquer the trail myself.

The sunset during our descent was so beautiful that we forgot to take pictures!! Altogether it was a wonderful experience. Wish we could stay there to see the sunrise as well!!!.

Maybe next time.

8.30 pm
Home sweet home.

(Note: Timings are rounded off figures)
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Old 11th May 2008, 17:18   #3
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Hey Dhar's - nice set of photos of Nelliyampatti! Hope to visit this place some time in the future. Thanks for Sharing. Your Alto looks good with those alloys!
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Old 11th May 2008, 20:07   #4
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Nice pics there Dhar's and do these hills come under the Southern region of the Western Ghats sector. Nice contours of hills and topography you have captured there.
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Old 11th May 2008, 20:53   #5
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From desert to green land in a day?

Where is this place? I mean near to Cochin/Kottayam?

And thats a lot of pix.

Those who are already planning to go there for next TBHP, I will sit in one of your 4x4!
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Old 11th May 2008, 22:40   #6
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Excellent and superbly presented!
Thanks for the photos and writeup.

I'm planning on a trip to this side soon!
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Old 12th May 2008, 08:45   #7
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Smile awesome

Anna,

its too good , infact a bit scary too. how does the mahindra manage where a pajero cant. I think, it must be a driver's skill and guts issue, more than the vehicle capabilities.

well it is nice to see that such adrenaline pumping experiences are available in kerala. I thought such things only happen in discovery channel.

This reminds me of that munnar trip, where we hanged on to the outer rails of that mahindra jeep stuffed with people. well that doesnt come near this but still was good enough.
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Old 12th May 2008, 10:27   #8
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@ PVS - Thanks

@ VJMaverick - I think its the western ghats

@ JKdas - I'm sorry. Forgot to mention that. I was in Kerala on vacation during March - April. I live in Pazhayannur (Near Thiruvillamala), 45kms from Thrissur. Nelliampathy is in Palghat dist. For those coming from EKM side needs to take a right from Alathur on the Thrissur - Palghat NH. And yes. It would be a perfect place for TBhp meet.

@Speedzak - Thanks. Its a very beautiful place. Unlike other popular hill stations, you've got more of nature and very less of concrete jungle.
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Old 12th May 2008, 10:42   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rawkeron View Post
Anna,

its too good , infact a bit scary too. how does the mahindra manage where a pajero cant. I think, it must be a driver's skill and guts issue, more than the vehicle capabilities.
Yes. Its more of experience rather than vehicle capabilities. By the looks of it, I think a 4x4 Safari or Scorpio can easily make it. One needs to be careful on the ground clearance. But who would want a 10L - 35L car to thrash it against boulders? The whole ride is like sitting on an combination of reciprocating and rolling shakers used in research labs.
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Old 12th May 2008, 11:34   #10
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Arrow Cute Little Travelogue......

Hai Dhar's,

Tnx for that cute little travelogue......

Your photos caught the pulse of Nelliampathy aptly, the pictures of the track going up the hill is a beauty.

Looks like an inviting drive from Palakkad!!!

Happy Driving,

--Ramky
======
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Old 13th May 2008, 09:49   #11
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@ Ramky

Thanks.

Indeed its an involving drive from Palakkad.
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Old 13th May 2008, 14:25   #12
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Dhar's, lovely account. Drove to Nelliampathy in 1997 in my Mahindra Commander, could not get anywhere beyond whatt little was the town then. Every road going further was marked as a private estate road.

Where does the public road end now, and where else can you go on? In those days, one could not go even to Seethargundu.

How are the facilities to stay at Nelliayampathy? Is it possible to drive with forest department's permission to Parambikulam/Top Side from Nelliayampathy (a jeepable track does exist, I have been told, but not open to public without Forest Deptt permission).
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Old 13th May 2008, 15:03   #13
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Arrow Will Try To Find Out........

Hai HVK,

I'll try to make it on June 10th from Nemmarah and get some details. I've also heard about this road long back, when some bikers have made it to parambikulam and have been wanting to chek this out.

If rain Gods co-operate..... its in the bag.

--Ramky

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Dhar's, lovely account. Drove to Nelliampathy in 1997 in my Mahindra Commander, could not get anywhere beyond whatt little was the town then. Every road going further was marked as a private estate road.

Where does the public road end now, and where else can you go on? In those days, one could not go even to Seethargundu.

How are the facilities to stay at Nelliayampathy? Is it possible to drive with forest department's permission to Parambikulam/Top Side from Nelliayampathy (a jeepable track does exist, I have been told, but not open to public without Forest Deptt permission).
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Old 13th May 2008, 15:19   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Where does the public road end now, and where else can you go on? In those days, one could not go even to Seethargundu.
The public road ends at the gates of Poabs Estate. One needs to register themselves at the security cabin and proceed for Seethargundu and Manpara.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
How are the facilities to stay at Nelliayampathy?
There are a few good resorts and some more coming up. Many of the estates have developed their own resorts.
ITL Holidays,
Green Vallery Resorts and many more.
I was told the the resort (forgot the name) in Minnampara is the one to stay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Is it possible to drive with forest department's permission to Parambikulam/Top Side from Nelliayampathy (a jeepable track does exist, I have been told, but not open to public without Forest Deptt permission).
Sorry. I've no idea about it. I'll inquire b8 that.
Seems like a challenging off road track.
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Old 13th May 2008, 16:22   #15
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@Dharrs,beautiful write up and photos.Nelliampathy is really beautiful if you go inside and your photos validate this.In my teens i visited this place many times in my rx100.Thanks for the details.
Your alto looks really cute.

I think Poabs is no more having ownership of the estate roads as kerala govt is taking the estate over(not sure if this is correct).
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