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Old 31st January 2010, 00:04   #61
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Default Vazhuvanthol Waterfalls

Vazhuvanthol Waterfalls
Vazhuvanthol waterfall is located around 41 kms from Trivandrum. It is on the route to Bonacord near Vithura. To reach the falls, one has to trek around 2.2 kms. The trek is mostly along level ground, but as you near the falls, the trek gets a bit uphill. Worth doing, in my opinion but with a guide if you are a first timer. If you are with family you need not go to the top of the falls as it may be a bit arduous, there are spots along the banks of the river where you can relax, enjoy, have fun in the water etc. with your family.

Route
Kowdiar CCD (0 km) - Nedumangadu (13.3 kms) - Iruthalamoola (26.8 kms) - Vithura (30.6 kms) - Deviation to right to Bonacord (32.5 kms) - Forest Checkpost at Vazhuvanthol WF (40.4 kms)

From Kowdiar go straight to Peroorkada, then take the road to Nedumangadu. Get into Nedumangadu town. Go past the Bus Stand and the road forks into two after a few meters. Take the right fork. It is a shortcut which will bring you to the main road past Aanaadu. Once you reach the main road take right & go straight. It will lead to Iruthalamoola where the road again forks into two - one going straight & the other going right upwards. Continue straight along the road which will lead you to Vithura Jn. From Vithura Jn. take the right & after around 2 kms there is a road going to the right which leads to Bonacord & Vazhuvanthol WF. There is a board also written in both English & Malayalam, so it won't be a problem to spot the diversion. From there it is around 8 kms to the Forest check post. The way to the falls lies to the right of the check post. But you will have to first register your vehicle's no: & your address & also pay the charges. At present the charges are Rs.35/- per head for visiting the falls. You can take your vehicle a further km along the trail to the waterfall, but then you will have to pay Rs. 50/- for Light Vehicle & Rs. 20/- for Two wheelers. After that you will have to trek the rest of the 2.2 kms to the fall. Oh! & camera will cost you another Rs. 25/-

Now for some pictures of the path & the falls
Start of the trail
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It says Vazhuvanthol Waterfals 2.2 kms

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Any one for playing Tarzan?
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On the way I met a local who had a bow which was modified to throw stones like a sling. They use pebbles instead of arrows.
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We Indians must be the worst people when it comes to defacing monuments and nature. Why can't people just come, enjoy, take loads of pictures and then just leave nature as it is?
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Jeepers Creepers!
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No, this is not the falls but this is a nice place for families to relax & enjoy.
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My Guides
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First glimpse
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This is the lower falls. From here the climb gets steadily uphill till you reach the main falls.

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The Main Falls
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Crystal clear, cool water
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Careful, the rocks have eyes!
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The path
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Really tall trees
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A hub in the rock face where one can sit cozily during rains
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The view
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Old 1st February 2010, 15:53   #62
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Hey Ranjith, nice pictures, close by this location i remember seeing a check dam near a temple would you be able to give more information on that place.
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Old 1st February 2010, 16:08   #63
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Amazing pictures there Nair Sir. Great write up too. +1 with the fact that Indians have a strange talent of defacing and destroying the historical monuments. Expecting more pictures and write ups will come from your end soon.
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Old 1st February 2010, 22:39   #64
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@Majic - Thank you for the encouragement. Are you sure the check dam & the temple is near Vazhuvanthol falls? AFAIK there is no check dam near to this falls. Also the road goes to Bonacord & there is no check dam en route there also. If you are sure, then I think I will have to go there once again ( to check the check dam & the temple of course)

@electricheart - How dare you call me Sir, Sir?
quote<Expecting more pictures and write ups will come from your end soon. >quote

Your wish is my command, Sir. Will post pictures & details of other locations. Pls. keep watching this space.
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Old 2nd February 2010, 11:21   #65
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Ranjith i am not sure it is on the same location, i remember the trip was something to Peppara dam in the morning and in the evening we went to this place, will try to get in touch with my friend and find the name of the place.
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Old 9th February 2010, 23:20   #66
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Talking no-travel, no-picture month ?

Seems to be a no-travel, no-picture month there Ranjith. What is happening? Your photoblog is the only treat for the eyes for many "away from home keralites" like me.
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Old 10th February 2010, 22:14   #67
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@electricheart - The month has just begun, boss! FYI just received information that the road to Ponmudi is open for regular traffic.
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Old 11th February 2010, 08:15   #68
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Nutty Nair, Recently I came across this thread.This is going to be very useful for me. I will be coming to Trivandrum for a week by this month end.

Good going man Keep it up.
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Old 22nd February 2010, 00:17   #69
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Default Trivandrum - Punalur - Shengottai

Trivandrum - Punalur - Shengottai

This trip was in my mind for some time now since I knew that the Thenmala route is one of the scenic routes from Trivandrum. But the intention to do this route by train arose the first time I saw the small meter gauge train plying this route. One of my friends did this route by train recently & he said that conversion work of meter gauge to broad gauge is being carried out in this route & that meter gauge will be stopped by March. Decided it was time to do this route & fixed a trip along with my friend. The first leg of this trip is done by bike while the second leg from Punalur to Shengottai is by train. Following is a photolog of the trip.
Route from Trivandrum to Punalur: Trivandrum - Ayoor - Anchal - Punalur (MC Road). The distance one way comes to around 80 kms.

Me & my friend started at 6AM from Trivandrum as we wanted to reach Punalur at around 8'o clock. The train leaves at 8.45 AM & we didn't want to rush in the last minute. Soon we were past Kesavadasapuram & onto the MC road. I was doing good speeds of 80 - 90 km/hr when we encountered fog in some places. Reduced the speed, the headlight was on anyway as the sun had not yet begun his journey for the day. Picked up speed again after the fog covered places & soon we were at Punalur at exactly 8'o clock. Took the ticket first, it costs Rs.8/head. Had a leisurely breakfast & alighted the train which was already there at the platform. We could see that broadening work was being done but from the looks of it, I don't think it will be completed in March this year. Now for some photos ( there are no photos from Trivandrum to Punalur as we were in a hurry to reach Punalur in time). Most of the photos were shot when the train was in motion, so pl. bear with me on the snaps. My respect for Thirthankar's shots have increased many fold after this trip.

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My friend, Narayan
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Trucks converted to run on rails
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The journey for around 2 hrs begins
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Shy Model
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Crossing
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Nice tree lined station at Bhagavatipuram
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Paddy fields & coconut plantations become visible once you cross over into TamilNadu.
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Chugging into Shengottai station
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To be contd in next post..
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Old 22nd February 2010, 11:00   #70
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Nutty Nair, that was a great trip on the Punalur-Schecottah train. In my chlldhood days, Trivandrum used to be meter gauge and was connected to the rest of the world only via Schencottah, and I've been on this track several times. It is nostalgic to see that the meter gauge is still running, thought it had been converted already.

Punalur used to have a loco shed (for steam locomotives) with coal shed and water tenders, and was a long halt for the steam-loco trains of the '70s. It was a striking contrast to come down to the TN plains at Schencottah - from the wild jungles to the red soils of the plains.

I think you must repeat this trip during the rains, the countryside will be splendid.
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Old 22nd February 2010, 11:01   #71
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Default Punalur - Shengottai

Pictures contd.
Loco shed at Shengottai
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Shengottai Station
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The train reached Shengottai at 10.50 AM making it a 2 hr journey. The return journey would start at 11.45 AM. But we didn't get bored as we had this little fella for company.
Fortune teller & his parrot
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I wanted to enjoy the scenery on the way back so gave my camera to my friend Narayan who made good use of it.
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We reached Punalur by 1.45 PM. Went outside to find the seat of the bike has literally turned into a "hot seat" due to the sun. Pushed the bike to shade & poured some cold water on the seat & waited some time for the seat to cool down to normal levels. Started the return journey & had lunch at Anchal. Reached home at 4.30 PM.
The Punalur - Shengottai route is a scenic route & should be done in meter gauge train if possible. I don't think the charm of travelling this route in a meter gauge train will be there once the route is relaid for broad gauge.
@hvkumar - Sir, just saw your post. I was saying the same thing about travelling this route during the rains to my friend when we were on the train. Actually I wanted to get down at Thenmala & trek the rest of the distance to Shengottai. There were so many missed photo opportunities that I was tempted to get down at Thenmala but the heat deterred me. Also my friend was not too enamored by the idea. But doing this route during rains will most certainly be awesome. And you are right about the striking contrast in topography, it is so easily visible. If it is possible, I will do the route during rains.

Last edited by Nutty Nair : 22nd February 2010 at 11:09.
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Old 5th March 2010, 23:03   #72
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Default Thrikadavur Temple Festival, Kollam

Thrikadavur Mahadeva Temple Festival, Kollam
Thrikadavur Mahadeva temple is located in Kollam district, quite close to the town itself. It is one of the most famous Mahadeva temples in Kollam. The annual festival falls in the month of Kumbham (February). The festival is spread over 10 days, but the "kettukazcha" or the procession of the horses is on the 9th & 10th days of the festival. There are 8 artificial horses representing 8 karas or regions.
I came to know of this temple through my cousin's husband, who is a native of the place. He invited me to visit the place during the festival period.The below photos were taken on the 9th day of the festival.

Route: Kollam is around 71 kms from Trivandrum on the NH Road. Once you enter Kollam town, go straight to the KSRTC stand junction. Continue straight on the NH to the next junction which is High School Junction. Turn right from this junction. Moving straight you will come across Thevally Bridge. Cross the bridge & continue straight to go to Kadavur temple.
Now for the photos
The Temple
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One of the artificial horses being taken around the temple
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A section of the crowd
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The Kodimaram (flag post) & the horses
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The procession of the deity around the temple
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Panchari melam
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Close up of the head
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Cute derriere
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The horses are stabilised by these people through the ropes
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Evening Sky above the temple
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Colourful balloons
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Hawkers with their wares
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Hope you enjoyed this dose of Kerala festivities.
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Old 5th March 2010, 23:43   #73
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B-E-A-Utiful. I loved the punalur - shencottah stretch.
Thirtankar. You've got competition.
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Old 6th March 2010, 02:03   #74
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Wonderful Thread!!! Thanks to your effort to make everyone know about hidden beauties around Trivandrum. Photos v.z tree lined train station, river flowing in front of temple are very nice, also photos taken during the trek to Vazuvanthol waterfalls brings back memories of my childhood days.
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Old 6th March 2010, 16:13   #75
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@MX6 - Thank you. Have to take tips from Thirtankar on how he got some of the shots from the train. This was my first attempt to shoot from a moving train & like i said before, my respect for Basu's photos has increased tenfold after this attempt.
@k-swifter - Thank you for the wonderful words. I will be posting more places in this thread itself. So keep watching this space.
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