“Hold on tight. A bumpy ride is waiting us ahead.”
We paid little attention to driver Mani chettan’s warning as his four-wheel-drive vehicle started its journey to Keralamkundu from Kalkund in Malappuram tearing the heart of Manaliyampadam hill.
Since we used to travel on well-laid roads most often, Mani ettan gave this hint about the uneven path.
My head hit a rod as the jeep negotiated the rough road at Anathampadi. I now realised what Mani Ettan meant a while ago.
Anyway, the hit woke up the traveller in me and I started scanning the sceneries. On both sides of the path was thick vegetation and hills were seen through the trees. Captivating sceneries started appearing as we passed each bend on the road. We feel the chill in the air. Our guide Shinto mentioned us about a mighty curve on the way called ‘Supran bend’. This curve is too dangerous for the travellers given the number of vehicles met with accidents while negotiating the spot.
Travellers depend on the four wheel-drive vehicles as they cannot take their vehicle along. It needs great expertise to negotiate this stretch. This is a perfect drive for those who love off-road journeys. Our Jeep passed the Supran curve blaring the horn as a mark of respect.
On the way, my eyes caught the sight of a mighty banyan tree. Interestingly, the tree was standing around a mighty rock. Is the tree hugging the rock or vice versa, I asked myself. The rock was completely covered by the roots of the banyan tree. I felt they were lovers.
We reached Keralamkundu by traveling 2.5 kilometres from Kalkund.
We took an entry ticket for Rs 10 and started walked towards Keralamkundu. Initially, we thought that the waterfalls were located atop the hill. We had to descend the path to reach Keralamkundu. We could hear the thundering voice of the waterfalls as we inched closer.
A strong iron bridge leads the travellers to the waterfalls, which is on the Olippuzha, a tributary of Kunthipuzha.
More than the waterfall, the peculiarity of the location attracted me the most. Olipuzha is falling into a mighty pool which Malabarians call as 'Kund’. Olippuzha transforms itself to a pool after flowing down the rocks. The pool provides a refreshing experience owing to its crystal clear water. During monsoon and heavy rains, the Keralamkundu waterfalls will bear the fury of rain is a treat to watch for all nature lovers and adventure freaks. The steep rocks surrounding the pool forms a natural wall and the green creepers dance to the tune of the thundering waterfalls falling over the rocky cliff to a vast pool.
Though I wished to dive into the pool, security official Pappan stopped me saying that the entry was temporarily restricted. Before leaving the spot, I took a decision -- one day I will return to Keralamkundu to take a dip in Olippuzha.
Reluctantly, I started my return journey. I could still hear the chattering of Olippuzha.
(This trip was conducted in the month of January. Later, it was learnt that visitors are permitted to enter the poll from February.)