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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Parambikulam Wild life Sanctuary - Part 1

12 June 2011: This happened to be our 36th wedding Anniversary Day ! We planned to do something unique - instead of the customary celebration at home or going to a nice restaurant. We decided to take a day trip to the Parambikulam wild life sanctuary. We left Coimbatore around 7.00 am. We reached Pollachi around 8.15 am then turned towards Trichur Road and motored another 40 Kms via Zamin Uthukuli (famous for butter) & Vettaikaranpudur, to reach the foothills of the Anamalai mountain Range. At the checkpost at the foothills we had to back entry tickets for Top Slip- From thereon it was an 8 Km ghat road ( this road was mostly kuccha) with several hair pin bends. The last few Kms of the climb there were thick bamboo groves on either side of the road - see pic below.

See above some shots taken at Top Slip.
From there we traveled another 3 Kms to the Kerala Border where the Parambikulam Sanctuary begins. We had to wait for about one hour at the Forest Office. At 11.00 am we boarded a special bus which was to take us through a 3 hour drive through the Sanctuary. This was one of the most exciting, exotic & scintillating trips we have ever undertaken.Pics above: 1. Checkpost/Forest Office 2. Waiting for the Bus 3. Bus enters the Sanctuary - Tour begins. Almost immediately after we took off we found spotted deer (see pic below)We also sighted a black bear but from a distance. Then we reached the Thunakadavu Dam & reservoir where we had a brief stopover. Pics below were taken at this spot. Magnificent Views !
Next we proceeded through dense forest area. Our route was lined with teak plantations - we came across more deer groups. We saw a couple of stags with large antlers indulging in a stag fight. We were taken to the Kannimara Teak Tree - believed to be over 450 years old, the largest living teak tree in the world with a girth of 6.57 metres and a height of 48.5 metres. Kanni - Mara means virgin tree. According to an old tribal legend when this tree was axed blood oozed out - since then it has been worshiped as a sacred virgin tree. A truly magnificent specimen.(See pics below) ---To be continued ( for official website log onto : www.parambikulam.org)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Kodanad View

1 May 2011: This year May Day fell on a Sunday. We had not gone on a long drive for quite awhile and we took a spot decision to take a day trip to Kothagiri in the Nilgiris. Kothagiri, which is around80 kms. from Coimbatore is a small unpretentious town which has a salubrious climate. It forms a triangle with Ooty and Conoor. Situated at a altitude of 1750 metres it is one of the lesser frequented hill stations. Kothagiri derives its names from the Kota Tribes - who are the traditional artisans who are experts in the art of pottery & terracotta baking.

From Kothagiri we drove 18 Kms to Kodanad - it was a spectacular drive with through well manicured tea gardens. The Kodanad estate measuring around 20 acres is currently owned by J.Jayalalitha the Hon'ble Chief Minister of Tamilnadu. Here are some of pics taken enroute to & at Kodanad. The four chaps in traditional attire are Irulavar tribals who actually live in the valley deep down. Many of these tribals have taken to snake catching for a living. These four though work on banana plantations.