24th to 26th December 2009

I was planning for a family vacation in some hill station. It was then I realized that I have run out of options in South India!! There were many places but not really ideal for a family outing. The “not so commercialized” hill station of Nellaimpathy in Kerala got my attention and a trip was planned.

The route I took was Bengaluru->Hosur->Krishnagiri->Dharmapuri->Toppur->Mettur->Bhavani->Coimbatore->Palakkad->Nelliampathy.

It took me eight hours to cover the distance of 360km from Bengaluru to Palakkad. This was much more than my estimate and I must say it was a tiring journey.

Landslide on the way to Nellimapathy

Nelliampathy is 52 km from Palakkad. The road crisscrosses trough several villages and paddy fields to reach a small town of Nemmara (25 km from Palakkad). Few km from Nemmara is Pothundi dam. The ghat road starts after the dam. Though the drive offered beautiful view of the backwaters, I first wanted to reach the place of stay. We checked into “ITL holidays and resorts”.

About Nelliampathy
Nelliampathy is a small village centered on the tea estates. The first place that we reach in the village is Kaikutty junction where the road branches into two. The road leading to the left goes to some good view points like Seetharkundu and Mampara. The road to the right leads to some places like Kesvanpara, Karapara and Victoria, the major tourist locations in the area. Our Hotel was very near to the junction making it an ideal place for visiting the places.

A small note
The major crowd in Nelliampathy is day trippers. If you are looking for solitude, best time to visit the “tourist points” is either during early morning or evening.

What we did
It was 4PM when we checked into the hotel. An half an hour of rest rejuvenated my energy level and I was back in action!! We directly headed towards Kesvanpara view point. A km from the junction is a small Temple. We had to walk for another km on a mud track to reach the view point.

The view point provides good view of Pothundi dam backwaters. Thanks to the haze, the view was not clear. But the place was devoid of any people and offered us a peaceful evening. It was a rocky surface and we had to be careful about Tanu who was jumping and running everywhere!!

Other than the resort, there are no eateries in Nelliampathy. Post sunset, the entire village enters into a “sleep mode”.

Next day I wanted to visit the highest view point of the area, the Mampara view point. But unfortunately the forest department had banned the public entry into that area. The Victoria view point also had restrictions from forest department.

I decided to try to go to Victoria. It was a fun to drive on winding roads surrounded by tea estates. After driving for several km, we had moved quite far from the last civilization point and were inside thick forest. The road condition was deteriorating and finally we reached a point where we could take car any further. The forest might be the part of Parambikulam.

We walked for a while but several deviations lead to confusion. As it was completely an isolated area, we decided not to venture further and decided to return. It was a nice drive and experience.

Next, we visited Seetharkundu view point. Located inside an estate, it is a popular place for tourists.

Post lunch, we headed to Karapara falls. It was again at a remote location. Parking the car, we walked for a km to reach a small falls. It formed an ideal place to spend some time in water.

We then trekked for another km to view a 400ft falls. I had though that we would directly enter into the falls but was little disappointed to see that waterfalls on a far away mountain. Anyway, the view from the place was good.

Overall, it was a nice day!!

Next day we started towards Palakkad. Since we had lot of time to spare we stopped at many places that offered good views.

The views got better as we neared Pothundi dam. A nice garden is maintained in front of the dam.

Where to stay?

ITL Holidays and resorts is located at a central location but still out of the huzzle and buzzle of the crowd.

A very expensive option is "Whistling trush bungalow".

I saw few boards like "Tropical hill resort" and "Greenland framhouses" but looks like they are in remote areas.

Where to eat?
Other than the places mentioned above there are no "decent" hotels!!

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