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Old 8th September 2010, 22:10   #136
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Amazing TL, excellent narration complimenting the pictures. Hooked to this thread.
Thanks maximus.
Hope you like the thread.
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Old 8th September 2010, 22:34   #137
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Lalu, how did you make the bookings? Sent them money in DD in advance, etc? Was it an easy process? I suppose no one can take a room in Parambikulam WLS impromptu?
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Old 8th September 2010, 22:39   #138
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Lalu, how did you make the bookings? Sent them money in DD in advance, etc? Was it an easy process? I suppose no one can take a room in Parambikulam WLS impromptu?
I spoke with them. Confirmed the dates, blocked the accomodation. They gave me an Account number and did a online transfer of Rs1000 as advance. Once they recieved the money they confirmed the bookings.

Also 1 day before the check in, they promptly called me and asked what time am I expected, should we keep lunch if you are late etc. Amazing professionalism.

I have no words to congratulate the DFO Mr. Sanjayan, IFS for such a lively setup.

I am now told he is now being transferred to Periyaar. Gavi, needs him.
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Old 8th September 2010, 22:41   #139
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Also 1 day before the check in, they promptly called me and asked what time am I expected, should we keep lunch if you are late etc. Amazing professionalism.
Wow that is some professionalism indeed and that too with a government structure! Amazing.
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Old 9th September 2010, 01:12   #140
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Day 02, 21.08.2010
Parambikulam WLS

By 14:15 I took my Civvy from the parking lot of Anappady Tented Niche. Along with a new guide for the day we drove on towards Parambikulam. the idea is to look all aaround leisurely and to take the route to Kuriarkutty from Parambikulam by 17:00, so as to reach the machan by 18:00.

We stopped by near a Ration shop.
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The guide's home is behind. He quickly goes to tell his family he'll be back only the next day. The next day is Thiru Onam, and he needs to organise things at his home.

Mean while I get around clicking the Thunakadavu canal going towards the Sarkarpathy Tunnel
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Bamboos collected to make a raft
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Some canal pictures
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Guide comes back after promising his family of a good Thiru Onam celebration the next day. He requested me to drop him at Anamalai the next day on my way back from Parambikulam. He wanted to get Onam dresses and gifts for the kids. It was readily agreed and we moved on.

A little later we reach the Tree top accomodation near Thunakadavu.
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Moving on we reached Thunakadavu Dam by 14:45.

Thunakadavu Reservoir
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Thunakadavu Dam
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Civvy at Thunakkadavu Dam, Waste gates
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Sungam Range Forest Department offices
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After some photoshoots we rolled on again slowly. Immediately after the Thunakadavu Dam is the left turn to Kannimara Teak. It's around 4Km from here.
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The beautiful roads towards Parambikulam
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We reached the Dam View by 15:00.

Civvy at Dam View
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We passed Valley View by 15:15

The beautiful valley of Teak
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Beautiful
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Junior Power Puff Girl at Valley View
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Civvy at Valley View
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Finally we reached Parambikulam Junction by 15:30. We went to a nearby provisoins store to buy things for the night.

We got the stuff for making Chapathis and Egg curry.

I also got some bread and bananas for the next day - I never knew this will turn out to be a night mare




continued...
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Old 9th September 2010, 02:01   #141
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Day 02, 21.08.2010
Parambikulam WLS

By 16:00 we reached the Office at Parambikulam, showed my booking and got permission to go to Kuriarkutty. We have to go in the direction of Orukomban Range office and near to Salim Ali Bird Interpretation Centre
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Mean while I wanted to take a look at the Parambikulam Tunnel Entry. This tunnel takes the water from Parambikulam reservoir to Thunakkadavu Dam via a 6KM underground tunnel.

That area is out of bounds, but we got the keys and drove on. From the check post to the tunnel entry it is 4Kms.
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Immediately after the checkpost we saw a Sambar deer hanging from the tree . A leopard had hunted it down recently. Since traffic is not there in that route the Leopard is at home territory there.
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Shocked we drove on.


We reached the dead end of the road to the other end of the Parambikulam Reservoir.


It was an amazing place. All for ourselves, except for the fear of the leopard.


It was so beautiful we spent almost an hour there.


Power Puff Girls taking a drink break
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A small waterfall near the gate
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The gate to the tunnel
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The Tunnel Entry. The place where a bamboo is floating is the entry to the underground tunnel
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Views of the Parambikulam Reservoir
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Wifey enjoying the beauty of the place
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Power Puff Girls joins in after the drink break
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The Panoramas
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No body wanted to go form there. It was so beautiful. But the fear of the leopard, the slight drizzle and the dark rainclouds made us decide to go back.


By 17:15 we reached back the office, gave the keys and proceeded to Sambar Machan in Kuriarkutty.


continued...
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Old 9th September 2010, 03:06   #142
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Day 03, 21.08.2010
Parambikulam WLS

We started on towards Kuriarkutty by 17:15 from Parambikulam.
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The route is thickly vegetated and no sun light passes through.
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Already it was 17:15, rain clouds, slight drizzle, twisty roads. The progress was slow. It is the area of elephants and bears. So no photo stop till Kuriarkutty, and decided to take some on the way back next day.

The villagers living at Kuriarkutty has to come to Parambikulam to buy provisions. While I was shopping by 15:45 there I saw a family at Parambikulam. Around 17:45 I see them walking on the roads to Kuriarkutty. No vehicles, they walk it out up and down. They have a short cut, but still it is 4Km walk one way.

Finally by 18:00 I park the car at the designated parking space.
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We cross the Old Tram way bridge.
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There is a Tram way trek for two days which starts from Parambikulam and treks upto some where near Peringalkuthu. I want to do it, and for that I have to come back without the kids one day.



To the right of the bridge is Kuriarkutty (Thellickal) River - [Right Bottom in Picture], to the left the Parambiar River(the canal carrying let out water from Parambikulam Dam) - [Right Top in picture], joins the Kuriarkutty (Thellickal) River - [left in picture] and flows ahead as Karappara river, which inturn is the source to the water that you see in Athirapally falls. So in effect it is here that the Athirapally water originates.
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From here we have to trek a little over a kilometer to the Sambar Machan.
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The road forks immediately.
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The road to the left will take you to Salim Ali Bird Intepretation Centre in a few meters. It continues further on to Perinaglkuthu (this is a part of the Tramway trek route) and further some to the Sholayar Vazhachal road. From here the road looks like OK, don't know what is the scenario after some time.


We took the right turn, and immediately reached a place where a few houses exists. This is one of the few inhabited areas here.
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We stop by at the tea shop, and hand over the provisions.
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We took the pillows and sheets from this house.
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From here we need to trek almost a kilometer inside the vegetated area to reach the machan.
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We saw a watch tower
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We encountered spotted deers on the way
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Finally we reached the Sambar Machan by 18:30PM.
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So we climb up and get settled. We had brought some candles and I had carried my torch. So we lit up and looked at the place. A platform made out of bamboos is to be used for sleeping. It has the space to accomodate 5 adults. We set our pillows and made some arrangements for sleeping. There is a toilet down nearby.

I kept my Camera bag and the food (bread and banana) at a corner.

Kids were enjoying the fun of no electricity, sound of the forest, the thrill of being on machan, and the likes.

By 20:00 our guide got us the chapathis from the teashop. We had a candle light dinner sitting on the floor of the machan and eating from teak leaves. It was an experience.

By 20:30 we decided to call it a day.

By 21:00 I woke up startled as there was a lot of activity inside the machan. The candles were not lit, so in the dark I was wondering what it could be. I was contemplating some monkeys entering the machan.

I reached out for my torch from the camera bag, and some thing small suddenly jumped around through my hands. I was scared to the core. It was pitch dark.

Gaining composure caught hold of the camera bag and took the torch. Switched on and I see the bag which had the bread and bananas are a mess. Mice - many of them, had attacked my food stored for the next day. Threw the entire stuff down below, and cleared up the mess and went to sleep. Lesson learnt, everybody hunts for food in the wild!!

I decided to keep the torch on, and tried to sleep. Sleep did not come so easily. After all in pitch dark a mice has scared the hell out of me.


And such Day 03 has come to an eventful end.

continued....
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Old 9th September 2010, 09:33   #143
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Lalu Amazing story and you are truly blessed! One to visit these places and secondly that all four of you guys are adventure freaks to the core! Beautiful.

The water bodies are a beauty. Nothing can be said more.
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Old 9th September 2010, 09:55   #144
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Lalu Amazing story and you are truly blessed! One to visit these places and secondly that all four of you guys are adventure freaks to the core! Beautiful.

The water bodies are a beauty. Nothing can be said more.

Thanks ampere.

I must admire my Power Puff Girls. Senior Power puff girl between the age of 4 to 6 would have walked atleast a 100Km in Europe, looking around places. My Junior has a great interest to treks, and is never scared of dangerous terrains. Her only deterrant is food, like all kids. And my wifey, at time is a very good critic, making us fine tune our plans, nor wander around unnecessarily and also partner in all these drives, equally interested to drive.

Hope one day with all what they have seen, they make a better choice and judgement in life.

Infact we continue on with our chores only looking on when is our next trip We kind of space our life in between the drives.

This keeps us busy and happy
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Old 9th September 2010, 10:07   #145
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Lalu, any km details? Distance from Paramikulam to Kuriarkutty, the Sambar Machchan, etc?

The huts by the water's edge that you have photographed near Thunakadavu - are they also hired out? I remember they used to dump lots of salt next to the huts at the edge of teh water - apparently, elephants like to lick salt when they drink water and that draws them to that spot, and the residents inside the hut have a ringside view!

The link that you had given earlier - about the tramway trek - erroneously mentions that there is only a road from Parambikulam to Peringalkuthu, but as you also say, there is also a road to Sholayar. Any distance info about the 2 routes? There is also supposed to be both a trekking path and OTR trail to Nelliyampathi - any info on that?

Are they using solar lights in that region - I have seen forest guards at Sholayar use them?

Any boating in the reservoirs?
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Old 9th September 2010, 10:58   #146
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Lalu, any km details? Distance from Paramikulam to Kuriarkutty, the Sambar Machchan, etc?

The huts by the water's edge that you have photographed near Thunakadavu - are they also hired out? I remember they used to dump lots of salt next to the huts at the edge of teh water - apparently, elephants like to lick salt when they drink water and that draws them to that spot, and the residents inside the hut have a ringside view!

The link that you had given earlier - about the tramway trek - erroneously mentions that there is only a road from Parambikulam to Peringalkuthu, but as you also say, there is also a road to Sholayar. Any distance info about the 2 routes? There is also supposed to be both a trekking path and OTR trail to Nelliyampathi - any info on that?

Are they using solar lights in that region - I have seen forest guards at Sholayar use them?

Any boating in the reservoirs?
I'll post the GPS trail soon.

A kilometer before reaching Parambikulam Junction, you have to take a right to Kuriarkutty. The tramway Bridge and the fork is around 9Km from here.

From that fork take right and immediately you get the Kuriarkutty inhabited areas. From here 1 Km to Sambar Machan.

Take left and continue, it continues as a part of the Tram way trek, and Jeep trails as shown is available. I was told it goes on till Peringalkuthu. From here it is a days trek till there, so we can assume around 20Kms from here. The forest jeeps bring these trekkers back from there on the end of the trek, so it is motorable to an extent till there.

The distance info is not very much known. I really want to get deep there and trek some day. Tramway trek is in my list. Also I want a guide who can decide the plan, the normal stuffs might not be the one we will be looking for in this case.

Nelliyampathy has a OTR as far as I understand joining at Anappady. Never saw this, so it is only hearsay information. This info was from Nelliyampathy. One of the guides mentioned about a local tribe from that region walk it down normally.

Solar lights are available. In fact the house I have shown from where we took the pillows,etc.. has a lot of panels on its roof.

Bamboo rafting is available at Parambikulam Reservoir, and Boating at Parambikulam Dam

That tree top at Thunakadavu is also rented out. It costs 4000 a night and can accomodate only 2. Extra beds are difficult and hence with two kids, it is not feasible.

The guides told me the salt issue is strictly given warnings by the DFO. Since the elephants also dig up the place till the saltiness is lost.

Last edited by laluks : 9th September 2010 at 11:00.
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Old 9th September 2010, 12:04   #147
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Lalu, thanks for the info, but I am curious about one thing - how do they keep snakes out in these places? Sorry to have asked but I suppose they are a big threat, especially in the rainy season.

I think the strategy of pricing the Parambikulam huts/machans high ensures that only the serious traveller comes there, and keeps away the day-trippers and the drinking squads!

From the time I first saw the Orukomban Range - "Orukomban" means the dangerous single-tusked elephant - when I first visited Parambikulam in 1988, the place evokes feelings of danger, majesty and wilderness.
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Old 9th September 2010, 12:23   #148
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Lalu, thanks for the info, but I am curious about one thing - how do they keep snakes out in these places? Sorry to have asked but I suppose they are a big threat, especially in the rainy season.

I think the strategy of pricing the Parambikulam huts/machans high ensures that only the serious traveller comes there, and keeps away the day-trippers and the drinking squads!

From the time I first saw the Orukomban Range - "Orukomban" means the dangerous single-tusked elephant - when I first visited Parambikulam in 1988, the place evokes feelings of danger, majesty and wilderness.
There used to be a very famous Onti Kombu in the Bandipur forests who used to majestically roam the areas around the Gundlupet - Gudalur main road creating terror for both the locals and new comers alike. Unfortunately the poaches did not spare him as well.

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The guides told me the salt issue is strictly given warnings by the DFO. Since the elephants also dig up the place till the saltiness is lost.
I was told it used to be common practice to dump salt close to the river banks at Thekkady during the times of VIP visits in order to increase the possibility of sightings of wildlife. Similar strategy was adopted by Karnataka Forest department to have artificial salt licks in the tourism area of both Bandipur & Nagarhole forests.
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Old 9th September 2010, 12:31   #149
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Great Pictures. I think this Sambar Machan is the same tree house where we trekked past when we went to the Teak Tree. The Guide informed us that we should be here on a Full Moon day. He also said there would be a 100% chance of sighting a tiger. If ok with you, will post a couple of pics from when I went here.
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Old 9th September 2010, 12:36   #150
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Great experience there Laluks. Superb place to stay in the middle of nature. Thank you for opening up this location for us to visit some time in the near future and experience.

Highly appreciate your patience to details and narrating them.

thanks.

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