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Old 30th April 2024, 00:46   #46
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Re: Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300

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Originally Posted by WalterWhite View Post
The route I choose to return home:

Back to the wide, open roads of Tamil Nadu. This is Cumbum - Kumily road.
Attachment 2599991

Penstock pipes in the Cumbus-Kumily Ghat road.
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Akira taking a short break guarded by Monkeys while I was sipping a hot tea nerar the waterfalls
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These three alone made me lose track of time. Truly, God's own country is blessed with some sights for sore eyes. The lush greenery was on another level altogether. Thanks, WalterWhite for sharing such astounding pics. It brought joy to an otherwise gloomy day
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Old 30th April 2024, 17:24   #47
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Re: Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300

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Originally Posted by mugen_pinaki27 View Post
These three alone made me lose track of time. Truly, God's own country is blessed with some sights for sore eyes. The lush greenery was on another level altogether. Thanks, WalterWhite for sharing such astounding pics. It brought joy to an otherwise gloomy day
Thank you for your kind words mugen_pinaki27.
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Old 19th May 2024, 05:06   #48
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Anyone familiar with Mamalakkandam will instantly recognize this government school, a prominent landmark in the area. I traveled to Mamalakkandam with my Lex (2017 Fazer 25, I'm now considering selling it and buying a new motorcycle specifically for city riding and occasional touring with a pillion). However, on that trip, I missed this school entirely. Since you need to take a detour from the main road to reach it, I wasn't aware of its location at the time. Now, with my new motorcycle, Akira, I wanted to try visiting this location again.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-m1.jpg
Would you believe this school is located in the Ernakulam district? Ernakulam is primarily known as a city, but yes, the Ernakulam district shares some hilly areas with Idukki.

Some cool details on Mamalakkandam:
Mamalakandam is a village located around 32 km from Kothamangalam taluk in Ernakulam district. It is located with an average elevation of 1200 meters above sea level. The village became a known tourist attraction in Kothamangalam Taluk, after some vloggers posted the village's government high school photo in social media, that has the Elampassery waterfall in the backdrop.

One delightful Saturday morning, I set out for Mamalakkandam. The journey included a detour to visit Bhoothathankettu Dam, which was well worth the slight change in course.

Route:
Kochi -> Kothamangalam-> Bhoothathankettu->Kuttampuzha->Mamalakkandam->Irumpupalam->Neriyamangalam->Kothamangalam->Kochi

Crispy Ghee Roast and Vada as breakfast from New Aryas - Thripunithura
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-f1.jpg

Reached Bhoothathankettu by almost 11.00 AM. Bhoothathankettu Dam entry point
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-b1.jpg

Bhoothathankettu Dam Gate 1
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-b2.jpg

Standing tall and wide across the Periyar River, the dam creates a breathtaking scene. The dam itself and the surrounding area are enveloped in natural beauty. It seems as though the structure has been carefully woven into the landscape, creating a harmonious blend of human ingenuity and the raw power of nature.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-b3.jpg

Periyar, at 244 kilometers, is the longest river and the river with the largest discharge potential in the Indian state of Kerala. The Periyar River, originating from the Sivagiri hills of the Western Ghats, is ultimately flows into the Arabian Sea.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-b4.jpg

Following a tip from the friendly vendors at the dam's refreshment stands, I ventured into a nearby forest said to hold a waterfall cascading down the other side of the river. With ample time on my hands, I couldn't resist exploring this hidden gem. The place is called Vadattupara.

The forest check post.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-b5.jpg

The narrow road saw little traffic, mostly just auto rickshaws and a few motorcycles. An electric fence ran along the left side, protecting the farm from animals.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-b6.jpg

The beauty of Kerala lies in these dense green forests!
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-collage1.jpg

Even though I enjoyed the lush green forest roads, I couldn't find the waterfall the local guy told me about. So, I decided to return from the majestic forests.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-b10.jpg

The bridge, paralleling the dam, connects Vadattupara and Bhoothathankettu.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-b12.jpg

Standing on the bridge, I could see the other side of the dam. Two of the shutters were partially open
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-b11.jpg

Into the untamed wilderness. The road to Mamalakkandam, narrow, broken, and occasionally spooky, beckons me onward.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-road.jpg

Reads : Mamalakkandam, Adimali, Munnar. Somewhere in Kuttampuzha - Mamalakkandam road.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-board.jpg

Wild beast taking a break in the wilderness..
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-fv1.jpg

The ride through the thick forest was a refreshing experience, even with the challenging road conditions.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-collage2.jpg

How did that Ninja 300 end up on those rocks? Look for the next picture to know how it got there.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-rock.jpg

Notice the road on the right side. It cuts through the natural rock formation. There's a slope down from the rock to the road, making it easy for Akira to get on and off. Well, the scenery was amazing, so I carefully navigated her to the rock, making sure not to scrape the bottom.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-rock2.jpg

These roads and the thick forests are tempting me to give it another visit. But not with Akira; it may be with a different motorcycle that has the ability to tackle bad roads.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-rv.jpg

Had lunch around 1:40 PM from a small eatery.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-lunch.jpg

Standing at the breathtaking landmark of Mamalakkandam, I was caught in a sudden downpour. Even though I had my rain gear, I found myself waiting under a nearby tarpaulin shed for two reasons: the scenery was absolutely stunning, and (let's be honest) I was a bit lazy about untying the bungee cords, getting out the rain gear, and putting it on. Eventually, after over 30 minutes of waiting and with the rain showing no signs of stopping, I had to face the inevitable.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-sc.jpg

The school and its surroundings. I am really jealous of the kids studying at that school.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-collage4.jpg

The return leg of the journey was even more stunning as the weather completely changed to misty after the rain. The road conditions were significantly better here. This road leads to Irumbupalam, where it merges with the Adimaly-Munnar road. Rain played hide-and-seek throughout the journey.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-collage3.jpg

Valara Waterfalls roars on the Adimaly-Munnar road, showcasing its might during the downpour.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-v1.jpg

Valara falls up close
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-v2.jpg

Cheeyappara waterfalls, also located on the Admilay-Munnar road, is massive and pictures don't do it justice. These two waterfalls fill the soul of every traveler during the rainy seasons.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-c1.jpg

Reached home around 6:30 PM. Overall, it was a fantastic experience! I'm already considering booking this place again for another day, but with a different off-road capable bike. That would definitely be a lot more fun. While my Akira handled the rough roads decently, I had to be extremely cautious due to the terrain. However, the exhilarating cornering capability and the refined, high-revving engine made the smooth Ghat roads on the Adimaly-Neriyamangalam stretch effortless. I spent most of the time in third gear, really pushing the engine. It handled it beautifully, no stress at all. Third gear easily gets you to the 120 km/h limit, which is more than enough for this situation. The most impressive part? The ultra-refined and stress-free performance of the 298cc liquid-cooled engine, even at 13,000 rpm – right at the redline!

Alright everyone, that's a wrap for now. See you next time!
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Old 19th May 2024, 11:06   #49
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Re: Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300

Good write up and awesome photos. I also visited Mamalakandam last week. Since it was raining, place was full of fog.


Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-bhoothankettu.jpeg

Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-munipara.jpeg

Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-munipara1.jpeg
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Old 19th May 2024, 12:18   #50
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Re: Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300

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Originally Posted by WalterWhite View Post
Alright everyone, that's a wrap for now. See you next time!
Great pictures and very good looking bike.
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Old 19th May 2024, 15:13   #51
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Re: Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300

As they say in Kerala, Monsoon, parippu vada and chaya… aaha
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Old 19th May 2024, 19:18   #52
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Re: Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300

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Originally Posted by WalterWhite View Post
Alright everyone, that's a wrap for now. See you next time!
awesome pics! I visited during the beginning of this year on Bella, my humble Meteor. I didnt visit the school but went to the river crossing where they ferry your vehicle across at Pooyamkutty. Sharing some pics :

Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-00rocky-pursuits.jpg

Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-01riverview.jpg

Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-03bird.jpg

Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-04chai.jpg

Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-04forest.jpg

Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-05adimali-route.jpg

Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-05hill1.jpg

Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-06hill2.jpg

Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-07ferry1.jpg

Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-08ferry2.jpg

Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-09ferry3.jpg

Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-10life.jpg
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Old 20th May 2024, 12:22   #53
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Re: Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300

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Originally Posted by Vmax1200 View Post
Good write up and awesome photos. I also visited Mamalakandam last week. Since it was raining, place was full of fog.
Thank you Vmax1200 for your kind words. Yes, unfortunately, fog will cover the beauty of this place. I'm glad I got to see the beauty of this place clearly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Draunzer21 View Post
Great pictures and very good looking bike.
Thank you Draunzer21 for your kind words.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kochikaran View Post
As they say in Kerala, Monsoon, parippu vada and chaya… aaha
Yeah, deadly combo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SithDefender View Post
awesome pics! I visited during the beginning of this year on Bella, my humble Meteor.
Thank you SithDefender for your kind words. Bella looks stunning, and you have shared some awesome pictures too. That work in progress bridge was a challenge for me to tackle with Akira. I missed clicking a picture there. Thanks for sharing these pictures. Now I can use this pic as a reference point to others who want to try this place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SithDefender View Post
I didnt visit the school but went to the river crossing where they ferry your vehicle across at Pooyamkutty.
This is new information for me. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 21st May 2024, 11:48   #54
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Re: Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300

Awesome pics.

Getting a "Kattan" chaya in front of Mamalakandam School evokes memories. Great route to ride.
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Old 21st May 2024, 21:34   #55
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Re: Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300

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Originally Posted by Mrs&Mr_Shenu View Post
Awesome pics.

Getting a "Kattan" chaya in front of Mamalakandam School evokes memories. Great route to ride.
Thank you Mrs&Mr_Shenu for your kind words.
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Old 30th May 2024, 05:02   #56
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Vagamon: A Unique Hill Station Alternative to Munnar

Vagamon is another hill station located on the border of Idukki and Kottayam districts in Kerala, offering a distinct experience compared to Munnar.

Here's what sets Vagamon apart:

Rolling Meadows: Vagamon is renowned for its sprawling meadows, painted a vibrant green and dotted with wildflowers. Imagine gentle breezes caressing your face as you wander through this verdant paradise.

Mystical Hills: Picturesque hills cradle the meadows, creating a serene and picturesque landscape. Often shrouded in mist, these hills lend an air of mystery and tranquility to Vagamon.

Sparkling Rivers: The meandering Meenachil River adds another dimension to Vagamon's beauty. Take a boat ride or simply relax by its banks, listening to the gentle murmur of water.

Before we move into the details of the trip, let me add a few lines about how my friend bought the Triumph Speed 400.

Speed 400:
A colleague at the office bought a stunning 2023 Triumph Speed 400 in Phantom Black/Storm Grey back in October. While our office is located in Ernakulam, his daily commute is significantly longer, stretching around 80 kilometers each way! He used to rely on the train for such a distance. I bought my Ninja back in July, and let me tell you, the news got everyone talking in the office! There are just three of us, but motorcycles are a big passion. We often discuss different bikes. Let's call ourselves Mr. X, Mr. Y, and myself. Now, Mr. X commutes by train, and Mr. Y has a Honda CB350 Anniversary Edition for his short 10-12 kilometer commute. Mr. X was also looking to get a motorcycle for commuting, but he was overwhelmed by the options at the time. But the arrival of the Speed 400 truly changed the game.

The launch price of the Speed 400, with its impressive 40 horsepower, surprised all of us. We anticipated a much higher price tag, but Triumph surprised us with an aggressive introductory offer, including a 10K cashback for the first 10,000 bookings. Luckily, my colleague was one of those who snagged the 10K cashback!

He picked up his new bike from the Kottayam showroom, which is located in his hometown. A week later, we planned a weekend ride to Wagamon. Since the first service wasn't due yet (at 1,000 kilometers), we figured the trip would help us reach that service milestone sooner.

Ok, now coming back to the trip:
The trip took place on November 4th, 2023. Started my trip at 7:00 AM, planning to meet my friend in Bharananganam. I trusted Google Maps for the shortest route, taking me through Kochi, Piravom, and Kottayam. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a slower option.

The roads were very narrow, and two-wheelers frequently cut out from side streets without checking traffic. Pedestrians also seemed less cautious, making for a more stressful drive. Overall, this route added a 30-minute delay to my arrival in Bharananganam. My friend had already arrived and was waiting for me.

In hindsight, I should have taken the Kanjiramattom-Thalayolaparambu road, which is wider and likely faster. Since I don't often travel to Kottayam, I wasn't familiar with this option. My friend filled me in on the better route.

We had breakfast at a restaurant in Bharanganam. We planned to visit three places: Illikkal Kallu, Vagamon Meadows, and Parunthumpara.
Illikkal Kallu was conveniently located on the way to Vagamon Meadows. We decided to visit Parunthumpara on our return journey.

En route Illikkal Kallu. 2 very different kind of motorcycles possibly in every aspect.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-1.jpg

When Akira meets the black beauty
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-2.jpg


Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-3.jpg

Illikkal Kallu: it was shrouded in fog, obscuring our view of the rock itself. However, the overall ambience was superb. After all, fog always adds a touch of drama, especially in hilly areas.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-4.jpg

Illikkal Kallu, translated as "single rock" in Malayalam, is a captivating natural landmark located in the Kottayam district of Kerala. The most striking feature of Illikkal Kallu is its appearance. It's a steep rock formation with a part of its peak seemingly shorn off, resembling a clenched fist.
Illikkal Kallu reference Image.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-963467586illikkal.jpg

Vagamon Meadows: the crown jewel of Vagamon, greeted us with a gentle drizzle as we arrived. Despite the slight rain, the place buzzed with tourists, all eager to soak in its beauty. It's no wonder; this is the kind of place where I could easily imagine spending countless hours, lost in conversation and laughter with loved ones. The beauty of the meadows was undeniable. Lush greenery stretched as far as the eye could see, punctuated by the sparkling drops of drizzle and the ethereal veil of fog that danced across the landscape. It was a scene straight out of a dream. The combination of the verdant landscape, the refreshing drizzle, and the hazy fog created an atmosphere of pure serenity. It was a place to simply be, to unwind amidst the gentle melody of nature and reconnect with loved ones. Vagamon Meadows became a haven, a reminder that happiness can be found in the simplest moments.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-8.jpg

Parunthumpara: By the time we reached Parunthumpara, heavy rain lashed down accompanied by strong winds. Thick fog also blanketed the area. Taking pictures would have been pointless due to the rain and fog, so we decided to skip it. We warmed ourselves up with a steaming cup of hot tea before making a U-turn and heading back.

Parunthumpara, also known as Eagle Rock, is a scenic location near Wagamon en route to Peermade in the Idukki district of Kerala, India. It's a small yet captivating place that offers mesmerizing views of the surrounding hills and valleys. The main attraction of Parunthumpara is the panoramic vista it offers. You can see endless stretches of green forests, mountains, and even a glimpse of the Sabarimala shrine during the pilgrimage season.
Parunthumpara Reference Image.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-12321477_649804735122310_5776476853482741157_n.jpg

The black and gold really complement each other, making the motorcycle look sharp.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-5.jpg

At a glance, the Speed 400 appears more compact than the Ninja 300. Its golden USD forks definitely add a muscular aesthetic to the Speed's design. However, the timeless design of the Ninja 300 remains flawless even after a decade.
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-9.jpg
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-10.jpg

It's noon, 12 PM sharp, yet the place looks like a dramatic late evening scene. All thanks to the mighty mist!
Akira is home | My 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 300-11.jpg

After saying goodbye to my friend for the day in Bharananganam, I took the Thalayolaparambu route on my return journey. However, the evening traffic and relentless rain made me a little tired. Despite that, Akira handled the traffic with ease. I occasionally felt warm air wafting up towards my legs, but it wasn't uncomfortable at all. The SMK helmet visor, even with the pinlock film installed, proved problematic in the rain. The fog began to form between the visor and the film itself. While there's a gap between them (which shouldn't be the case), it allowed moisture to creep in and obstruct my vision. Headlights from oncoming traffic scattered widely through the fog, forcing me to open the visor and ride in the rain.

Despite the fog, it was a lovely ride through Vagamon. Cruising on my Akira and slicing through the thick mist was an experience I won't forget. Vagamon's ethereal beauty, even veiled in fog, had a charm of its own. I can't wait to explore Vagamon again when the skies are clear!
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