Fog, wind and Meesapulimala

Hey friends,

Its been quite sometime I have been away from blogging. So I have decided to take you to a less explored yet beautiful place ‘Meesapulimala’.

Meesapulimala trek

God’s own country, Kerala regain its charm with monsoon. With greenery everywhere, she looks like a bride in a green velvet gown. Meesapulimala is a trekking spot in Munnar. Though December is the best time to visit the place, Monsoon trek has its beauty.

I chose first week of june to visit there because of 2 reasons. First is that I love rain and I believe nature looks its best during rain and second one is leeches will be less ( which is quite prominent in these areas after rain).

The trek is organised by KFDC ( which is under Kerala government). We were a group of four and booked the trek online from http://www.munnar.kfdcecotourism.com for a day.

Base camp.

They have 3 options for accomodation. Base camp and sky cottage from where we have to trek for 8km one way. We booked Rhodo mansion which is more expensive compared to other options. I personally suggest this as these are beautiful cottages with breathtaking view. Moreover the trek distance from rhodo mansion to Meesapulimala is only 3 km and we can spend more time at the peak without time constraints.

We were asked to report at the KFDC office which is situated at a distance of 2.4km from Munnar town after lunch by 2pm. From the office till rhodo mansion the transport was provided by KFDC as the road enroute was quite dangerous. We thoroughly enjoyed the 28km jeep ride and stopped in between for tea and snacks and yes ofcourse we couldn’t stop us from clicking couple of pics as whole way was a treat to one’s eyes. Rain and fog added the beauty of the place.

 

After 3 hours of drive we reached the picturesque location of rhodo mansion. We were literally shivering as the temperature was 12 degrees and quite windy. Our guide Mr Rajan and the caretaker Mrs Selvi were amazing hosts. They welcomed us with a hot cup of tea which was must required in that weather. That evening we spent there enjoying the view and the delicious hot dinner cooked by Mrs Selvi.

vlcsnap-2019-06-17-08h25m30s100.png

Rhodo Mansion

We started our climb at 7:30 in the morning next day after a hot cup of tea. The weather was quite rough with rain, fog and strong gust of wind all over the place. Initial 1 km and the last leg of the trek was a bit steep, otherwise I can call it an easy to moderate trek.

The climate was changing constantly with every stage of trek. Initially it was foggy with mild breeze and towards end of the climb the wind was so strong, we were struggling to balance and stand. All four of us were walking holding on to a woollen shawl in a line so that wind wont push us down from the cliff to the abyss below.

vlcsnap-2019-06-17-08h24m28s016.png

The climb down was quite dangerous and we were struggling to stand on our foot. One point of the trek we literally felt that the wind is going to lift us. The experience was once in a life time one. The next half an hour of the trek was pure adventure. Pushing ourselves against the wind and climbing down holding on to each other was a strenuous task.

Our Guide – Mr Rajan

The magical view during the climb was enough to forget all the risks we endured and the gratification we got after successfully finishing the trek was undefinable. Our caretaker pampered us with a delicious lunch once we reached back and then it was time to say good bye to Rhodo mansion. We left the place at 2 in the afternoon promising ourselves that we will visit this place again soon…

Mauritius getaway Day-3 (Casela park)

Hey friends,

      I am quite excited to share my Casela park experience with you. This was the best day among all days I spent in Mauritius. Casela, the world of adventures ( That is what it is known as) quite deserve its name. It is totally a world of adventures. It is a perfect spot for all age groups. I am sure no one will leave disappointed from this beautiful place.

casela-world-of-adventures (3)

You can enlarge to see what all they have to offer.

The park is spread over 14 hectares of land and offer so many activities including animal interaction programs, jungle safari, quad bike and much more. As all activities are scheduled at specific times, we have to choose accordingly what we want to do. img_3001

I started from Trou d’Eau Douce at 8:30 and reached Casela around 10. It was a 57 km drive. As I have already scheduled mountain adventures for the afternoon, morning I decided to go for jungle safari. The whole park was beautifully designed and maintained. The first sight as soon as I entered was a beautiful fish pond.

img_3062

When I walked further I came across peacocks and huge tortoises maintained in natural settings. The whole area is quite calm,neat and clean. I was lucky enough to come across a dancing peacock too on my way to bus stop for jungle safari.img_3295

The safari bus took me through that area of the park where animals are kept in their natural environment. Deer, Rhinos and ostriches were freely roaming around there. They were not scared to come near the bus too. I felt as if they were giving us a good view of them. It was a great experience for me as I have never seen an ostrich this close and not inside a cage.

img_3429

img_3397

The Safari bus took us next to tiger and lion zone. Tall observation points are built near the fence where we can get a good view of them. There were activities like walk with the lions which I couldn’t do as I have already scheduled that same time for mountain adventures.

img_3472

By the time I was done with jungle safari, It was almost afternoon. After lunch I went to the pick up point for mountain kingdom. I had already booked for Canyon swing, Nepalese bridge and Zip line. They provided me with the safety harness and helmet and took through a jungle to the platform for canyon swing. I was so excited when I saw the view. The platform was built on a mountain top, and the swing was  between two mountains with a stream flowing below. It was a breathtaking view and an adrenaline rush experience, jumping from top of a mountain and swinging to and fro on a rope above the stream.

img_6733

Platform built for canyon swing

img_6340

Next was the Nepalese bridge. Narrow wooden planks arranged in a line connecting the two mountains, suspended high above tropical lush green forests, twisting and turning when you keep your foot on it. I felt as if I was walking in air. 350 m Nepalese bridge was quite a thrilling experience.

img_6734

036-DSC_9249

After this exhilarating air walk I have been taken for Zip line where I got a chance to enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of the environment. There was 5 Zip lines with 5 different views. Though zip lining was less thrilling as compared to the first two, the view was quite soothing and stunning.

194-DSC_9388

The staff were sweet, pleasant and encouraging. Safety was taken utmost care along with that they created a pleasant and happy environment. They all became my good friends by the time I finished my activities.

img_6496

My pickup back from mountain kingdom was ready by the time I collected my photos. It was hard to say good bye to those amazing people I met and Casela park. It was totally an exciting day. I had my excitement and smile still on till I reached my hotel room.  A wonderful experience you should never miss if you are planning your vacation in Mauritius.

Ugrana caves…

Nature always surprised me with a bundle of knowledge, excitement and bliss. Ugrana caves are situated near Karinjeswara temple located near Bantwal, Mangalore. ( I have already did a blog post on Karinjeswara a month ago – “way full of surprises” <- you can read how to reach there and more about the location here).

Ugrana caves were also part of my plan during my last tour. Unfortunately adverse weather conditions forced me to postpone it to another day. Thankfully my wait was not too long. Day before when my friends asked me to plan a short getaway nearby Mangalore, there was no second thought. So finally yesterday morning we were on the way to this amazing destination hidden under the deep forests of Kodiyal hills.

IMG_1838

The way to the caves was quite easy with proper steps to climb. After climbing around 100 steps we reached the cave, which is totally inside the forest. The cave was comparatively a small one (around 2 meter) where you have to crawl and there is no light inside. Outside the cave we saw a demolished wall which might have been constructed to make a cover for those who might have stayed inside the cave. I searched for the history in google, unfortunately couldn’t find any. The temple Karinjeswara near this cave has a history connecting all 4 yugas  ( Satya/Krita , Thretha, Dwapara and Kali ). So we can assume that even this cave is part of these historical stories.For your information, a yuga is considered as an era in epics of Hinduism.

IMG_1712

Ugrana cave entrance

More than the cave, the huge rocks and forests fascinated us more. We walked around exploring the place and found a small way through the rocks which led us to a breathtaking forest area surrounded by tall trees, huge rocks and creepers.

IMG_1796

IMG_1726

It was difficult to climb these rocks and find the way out. Our excitement to see what is there ahead of this passage kept us going. the nature didn’t disappoint us. a spectacular view of a dense forest was awaiting us.

IMG_1766

We walked further ahead through the forest, capturing images and admiring the beauty and wondering about those people who would have occupied this area years before..

IMG_1750

Just like you, even I was wondering whether anyone lived in this area before. I got the answer for that question there itself. We found carved stones in different shapes, but couldn’t interpret and guess what it might have been used for. If you have any idea what this might be, do share your views with me in the comments column. I am really excited to know.

IMG_1769

Though the magnetic charm of the place was holding us there, we were running out of time as already evening sun rays started kissing the forest and the place was getting dark. After making the promise that we will come back soon to explore more we said good bye to Ugrana caves…

Cauvery River Rafting…

Coorg in Karnataka state, India is a major tourist destination in south India. She is blessed abundantly by nature in the form of luscious green hills and water sources. This gives her opportunities to host various adventurous activities like river rafting, hiking, trekking, zip-line, rappelling, camping, quad biking and much more. As of now I would like to share with you my River-rafting experience in Cauvery river, Kushalnagar, Coorg.

IMG_0077

Starting point of rafting in Cauvery river

After enrolling our names and finishing necessary formalities we were given our raft and a guide to assist us. As any other activities, before commencing, the guide gave us a briefing which included how to hold the paddles, expected commands to row forward and backward with a demo of it and finally about the risk level of the activity. Our trail was 5 km long. At the starting, around 500 meters, water was still and we rowed freely and was given permission to get out of the raft into the river with life jacket on. When the journey advanced we had to face rough currents and swift waves which added a pinch of adventure into the activity.

IMG_0080

After 1 Km , awaiting us was rapid surfs, narrow passageways, rocks and small waterfalls. At few places we really felt that the raft may go upside down or turn to a side. especially jumping down the waterfall was really an experience. We were holding tightly to the handholds on the sides of the raft and was soaked completely when the raft found its way through these mini falls. It was really exciting and thrilling.

IMG_0076

The Rafting trail 

The guide stopped the raft in between for us to click photos and enjoy the scenic beauty of the location. Water gushing through the rocks to form the fall was a breathtaking view. We totally took advantage of the short break to explore the stunning small island formed by the rocks and click photos of us as well as the place.

IMG_0078

View from the Island in the middle of the trail.

IMG_0081

It took 2 hours to complete the River-rafting and we came out with the satisfaction of experiencing an exhilarating and exciting activity  which was truly overwhelming. Though I was little concerned about maneuvering as I was doing rafting for the first time, on contrary to my anticipations, it was quite easy under the direction of the skilled guide. The bewitching beauty of River Cauvery added with the adrenaline charged rafting made my  trip an exquisite one.IMG_9762