A Travelogue - Manjolai and Kudiraivetti

Again Travelogue is on a trip with Sky Scrapping Hills... It gives me great pride and joy to bring you a travelogue of my trip to Hills. But I must say writing it was not my cup of tea, and so I ask you to please bear with me artless efforts.

Back to 2009 Middle ; I was incidentally saw the documentary at Vijay TV about Kudiraivetti and it's places. Well narrated documentary made me up and making flashing light as on when week end and holiday comes. From then on, It's is my prolonged wishes and urge to reach that spot to explore nature and bringing to your eye sights.

For company I called on my friends "X", and "Y". X had not been keeping well and quite pessimistic about the whole thing. Y had personal commitment and expressed his deep concern for non availability. I have decided to roll out irrespective of company. It has to be done within the weekend combines with August 16th. As a pondicherrian, we have been remembered 16th August every year, the merging day with India from French Government. So It's has been a declared Government holiday for Pondicherrian. I have the 3 handful days of holiday start from 14, 15 and 16th August 2010. Meanwhile, I understood that the other group of friends were going to Kutralam and Kanyakumari. So the Plan was to go with them till Kutralam and then decided to go to Kudiraivetti alone.

Giddy up!
13th August 2010: 
After the end of office hours; I was taken communication details, maps and other tools which are necessary and vital role for success of my trip. 20:20hrs, Started to Kutralam; A new and 3 months old, Mahendra Traveler, 15 seated van took us - 13 Member squad to Kutrallam. A well laid NH 45 has made easy to do for speedy and safe till Madurai.

14th August 2010:

5 Falls - Kutralam:
From Madurai, We routed through Tirumangalam, Srivilliputtur, Rajapalayam and reached Kutrallam at 4:45am. The drizzling rain and chilled wind has welcomed us with little shivering chillness. Without second thought, We decided to have with 5 Falls (Aynthu Aruvi). Water falling force was good and we enjoyed from 5:00 to 7:30am.
Aathiyar Falls
After Kuralam, We moved 40 KM to Aathiyar Falls, The water force are moderate, Rocky falls one must go with more cautions with steeper rock. We took bath for a while and eye catching nature.
Tiruchendur Murugan Temple: 

We had reached Tiruchendur by 16:45hrs and it was 55 KM from Tirunelveli. We had spend almost 4 hours. We had nice dharsan along with special pooja sat infront of God. The Temple construction, renovation and beach is good and very much enjoyable too. The Temple surrounding environment is pritty much neat and good. After having dinner 20:45hrs; I said good bye to my friends; they headed towards Kanyakumari. I headed towards Thirunelveli

15th August 2010
ODD Night at Thirunelveli Bus Stand:

After spending little time, I had started and reached Thirunelveli new bus terminal at 22:55hrs. The worst part was started from here. The height of the wonder is, There is no lodge and hotel within 4 KM radius from Main BUS Terminal. The security frisk was high due to 15th August. The time need to spend at bus terminal was 4:30 hours. I was pretty much tired due to round the clock travel along with Falls bath, If I flat by sleep, It was very difficult me to wakeup by early morning 3:15hrs. Decided to stay with Bus Terminal. The consistently got warning message from Police for awareness of the pick pocket and theft. I had sat in waiting chair infront of Police control table and made me half way sleep. It was a new kind of experience which teaches me some kind of knowledge. I was remembered the Move “The Terminal”.  It was a bit long night for me while spending odd hours without doing task.

3:30hrs; I was woke up from my sleepy mind and tired body, had some little fresh up and make myself ready for upcoming ventures. I was shopping at 3:45 hours at Mani Shop which is well known in bus terminal, when I was exchanged conversation, I have got useful tips from him about approaching nature spot at Kudiraivetti. The Shop gentleman has given nose powder and oil which helps to prevents from blood sucking insects. I had spend useful time with him, in between 4:00hrs The bus Route No:133A – Tirunelveli to Kuthuraivetti approached bus terminal. I had conveyed thanks and rush towards the bus to catch my seat at front row.

4:05hrs: The bus has started from Bus Terminal, Seat No: 3 was mine; Bus fare to Kudiraivetti is Rs.35/-. spontaneously I had rotated my eye like 360 Degree angle camera to search any travelers has came in the bus like me. The answer was YES!!!. 3 Member team from local kovilpatti had traveled with me. We were exchanged few words, I was so sleepy due to overnight odd hours and tired. After an hours of travel by 5:45hrs the bus reached forest check post, entrance of the hill ghat starting point. The bus driver has logged the timings in register and we were continued the travel by passing Manimuthar DAM and Falls.

The roads lead by the ghats is more dangerous. The very narrow roads never witnessed any safety pillars and symbols at entire path. The bus driver and conductor are friendly to villagers and passengers, like my earlier Megamalai visit. The driver has 15 years of experience in this route, so he droved more caustically and easily, even in difficult hard steeper and sharp hair pin bends. The climate and atmosphere has completely changed when the bus reached step by step layer heights. The Bus has reached Maanjolai, a small village at 7:45hrs, It has a Police Station too. The driver and conductor has taken cup of tea meanwhile I was busy with my Nikon camera.

I had a conversation with driver and conductor about their service and experience with this hill station. After the Maanjolai, from then the entire path is more n more scenery, Plantation and thick greenery. The drizzling rain has stared entire stretch till Kudiraivetti. Oothu is the notable village before to dead end of Kudiraivetti. The bus has reached the Kudiraivetti Clinical Center at 8:35hrs. I departed from the bus, but other 3 member team from Kovilpatti not decided to get down and they want to continue with the return bus. I have been informed that I have to walk till oothu to get the transport, Till 6:00Pm no public transport facility from Kudiraivetti. I decided to walk to Oothu - 5 KM Jungle. 

Kudiraivetti clinical centre is running by Bombay Burma Company Limited for it’s workers and staffs and near to that I was witnessed Attendance Punching office for the workers. Just while before reaching Kudiraivetti, They have celebrated India’s Independence day with Flag Hosting. I was very much happy about that the way they are celebrating even in deep forest, and life strugleness. I had great solute with pride. 

Kudiraivetti; How comes the name is a big quesion mark in mind, while finding the answer, The Villagers told me that earlier in kings age; they had horse training campe at this place. After some incidents the horse were killed by opponants for some reasons from then on Kutheraikatti (Making/Living Horse in English) was become called as Kuthuraivetti ( Killing horse in English). It was nice and interesting story, I don’t know how for it’s true.

The Facts and Ghats:
This quiet Hill resort in the Western Ghats is about 6000 feet high. Maanjolai is the nearby town and is an ideal summer resort. It is 50 kms from Ambasamudram. This hill station may also be reached from Nagercoil. One can reach Lower Koodhaiyar by winch. There is also a road from one place Balmore to upper Koodhaiyar. This hill resort offers a panoramic view to the tourists. Important locations are Oothu and Kuthiraivetti etc. They are the best viewpoints.

The guesthouse of the Travancore Royal Family is located here and is called "Muthukuzhi Vayual." The approach road begins from Manimutharu and Ambasamudram to Kodaiyar and Manjolai. Regular bus services are available from Manimutharu and Ambasamudram

Best Time to Visit: Jan to May and August to October
Bus Timings
from Tirunelveli New Bus Terminal: 4:00 , 1:30pm and 3:00pm (4 Hours Travel)
Distance Chart
From Thirunelveli to Kudiraivetti : 57 KM
Manimutharu to Kudiraivetti : 37 KM
Special Note: Food and Necesary things should be pack up before going
For Stay one must get prior permission from forest officical since it has comes under Reserve Forest.
For using Public Transport BUS no need get permission

Contact Details: 
The District Forest Officer 
Tirunelveli Division
North Main Road
N.G.O.A Colony
Phone: 0462 - 2553005
Fax : 0462 - 2553605

Stay Room: Forest Guest house is available to stay Rs.1500/day for 6~7 Persons.

I walked towards view point, but i couldn't able do easily due to heavy wind resistance. It was very seneric and i was enjoying, the drazzle has stared.. but move forward to view point building. From there one can easily watch the both DAM - Manimuthar and parapai dam. The lovely nature has creatcing more attraction to Kudiraivetti. Forest Guest is near to the view point. I was approched guest house and had exchange of conversation with forest guard, understood that some group of team from trichy staying with the Guest house. 

Handy Statistics:

WIND blowing at tremendous speed:
[1] In Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserver [KMTR]there is one place called 'SENGALTHERI' which has to be reached from Kalakad. Only jeep track is available and it is UN declared bio reserve area. During South West monsoon period if you happen to go there you can experience the WIND blowing at tremendous speed. [45-50 kmph guesting to 90-120 kmph] The speed is capable enough to strip your dhoti and you can NOT stand eract without hold a mast or rock. I have advised the Forest Ranger there to install wind mills there for power production. But as this is an UN declared bio reserve TN Forest Department and TVS group which was having an idea of establishing wind mills there could NOT do so. This is the catchment area for Manimuthar river. There is a forest guest house there at SENGALTHERI built in 1909]
Heavy Rainfall Region:
[2] Secondly near Manjoli estate there is a place known as Kuthiraivetti [this is one of the heavy rainfall regions in this area, apartment upper Kothaiyar which falls in Kanyakumari district where annual rainfall easily crosses 5000 mm] Here in Kuthireivetti, in November 1992, I think, one day annual rainfall of about 99 cm occurred on 11 Nov 1991. But this was NOT accounted properly . The Bombay Burma Trading Company is [Wadia Group] owning the Tea estates there. Perhaps they may be having rainfall records. Or the PWD, WRO, MANIMUTHAR DAM may be having records to this effect.

Jungle Walk in Rainy Forest:

9:00hrs: I was stared to walk from Kudiraivetti to oothu - 5 KM through deep forest, The rain was sizzing, Wind was blowing at tremendous speed, Trees are making tremendous sound due to wind. It was a rocking adventures trecking, the 5 KM walk in dense jungle was making and feeling good at it's maximum level. you can see in TV - Discovery or National Geo. Channels for this adventature, But this time i have got an opportunity to explore the nature with rain forest and made me to make more wet condition. Irrespective of weather condition my Nikon camera works hard to take some lovely snaps over that to bring to your eyes specially for you. No vehicles, No Peoples and No Animals were passed during my 55 minutes travel. The explorations and experience was amazing, I have enjoyed each and every seconds of my foot moments and I liked the way the natures and it's best. I have gone through Sky scrapping Trees, Tea Plantation valley, birds sounds, Many more unknown trees - alone with more enjoyment. It's a gift from Kudiraivetti. The words are not there in any world language to express my happiness and experience. Really Good Indeed!!!.

I had walked through about 55 minutes in rough steeper and down hill roads. The cold climate made me more healthy and checked my stamina level to the core. Eventhough I have water, I never need to take even a sip of water to mouth. I have not taken any foods since yesterday night. I have not felt tiredness and my energy level keeps high. My regular exercise makes my stamina level high, so I request you all to take regular exercise irrespective of any constraint.

10:00hrs: I had Puttu ( made for Rice flower) from kerala style Tiffin center. This was the first attempt to eat food - Puttu with Sugar,Papad and banana - Kerala type food. Healthy food indeed!!!. Near to 10:30hrs, A Mahendra Jeep and traveler Van approached, Group of people stormed to the hotel. From the group, one Gentle man enquired me that are you coming from pondicherry. Yes, I replied. He has expressed his concern toward me how you are coming alone for this kind of deep forest. With great care and kindness, He asked me to join with them for rest of the travel and I agreed. His name is Mr.Paranikumar, A notable business man from Trichy.

Drizzle rain and wind was continued to the core.....I have joined with jeep travel along with Mr.Parnaikumar, Mr.Mahendran, Mr.Pandiraj and other 2 friends. The little old jeep has got great pickup and doesn't have any side doors and closers, only top was covered. The Drizzle, speedy wind, cold waves have created more shivering experience, doorless jeep makes more rainy water came inside, it keeps us to wet. The open Jeep has created more enjoyable with lovey nature and it's creation.

We went to Kodayar and DAM, which is under control of Electrity Department, The secuirty restrication has restricted my nikon, unfortunatly I have never taken any snab over that. A very nice to place to see and enjoy. The climate was not favour to us, Rainy and visiability level becomes low makes us to short cut our tour and make us to get down from the hill.
The Golf course and it's lake will attract to everyone those who are crossing the path. Thick Greenery with slope along with water and trees creates heven in the earth.
As I said earlier, the road conditon are very very bad and makes us to slow progress towards downhill. Mr.Paranikumar, Mr.Mahendran and Mr.Pandiraj were more friendly to me and we have nice chit chat, brought some nice jokes and exchanged everyone's experience. We were attracted by Wooden bridge. Nice and looks good, My nikon had created it's best shots.
Mr.Paranikumar and team was stayed overnight and made Night safari. They have luck and spoted Deer, Bison and other animals. 

We had small break at Manjolai, Luckly we had found broken fuel tank in our Jeep. It has took some time to rectify the same. I understood from the friends that while coming also the Jeep has created more problem, They know some basic knowledge to repair so managed without any hassels. 

The driving road conditon is not as much easy compare with Kodaikanal, Ooty and Valaparai. Mr.Pandiraj has droven very carefully and followed all traffic rules. Finally, At the down hill we have reached Manimutharu Falls.

Manimutharu Falls:

We had spend couple of hours with moderate water falls, It has 80 feet deep water, So one need to have more attention and careful bath.
15:45hrs; We reached the forest check post at down hill. Again we went to Kutralam 5 falls and had nice bath over it, Water force was good compare with earlier day. 
We took alomost 3 hours for water fun.
19:00 hrs, We have stared to Trichy via Rajapalayam, Srivilliputtur, Madurai. We had a night dinner at Madurai - Murugan Idli Kadai.

16th Augst 2010: 2:00hrs; We reached Trichy safely.

I expressed my sincere gratitude to Mr.Paranikumar & co. I wish to register their kind extended support, Help and extent guestors, hospitality throught out the tour was incredible and amazing. I love to have and continue such kind of friendship in my rest of life time. I remembered the quote every jounrey makes a new friendship. 

Photo's From Left:    Mr.Mahendran, Mr.Pandiraj and Mr.Paranikumar

Till 3:00hrs; I couldn't able to catch a bus to Villupuram/Cuddalaore/Pondicherry since it was a sunday night. I went to railway Junction and took 6:30 Pallavan Train villupuram ticket. I availed AC Rest room factilty and had nice sleep till 6:00hrs. 

I reached Villupuram by 9:20 and Pondicherry - House by 11:00hrs.

With a Great memories, Experience and New Friendship, it's time for me to sign off.

If you have read till this point, I appreciate you and love your valuable feedback. 

More to come..

P Karunagaran