I belong to one of the most beautiful states in India, Kerala, which is a hot tourist destination, even nicknamed as ‘God’s own country’. But, being from the place itself, we are used to the abundance of nature and color around us, and take them for granted. So, when my children visit Kerala, they would be completely bored with being in the same place. They couldn’t understand what all the hoopla was about Kerala. So, we, my parents and me, decided to give them a taste of Kerala and decided to go on a one day trip to a nearby place in Thiruvananthpuram.
Googling the same on internet, came up with a couple of popular places like the Padmanabhapuram Temple, Museums, Zoo.. all popular. But we had already visited them and it was crowded with tourists during the summer vacation. But it is still worth a visit. Anyways, we zeroed in on Neyyar Dam and a sanctuary near by. Next we called up for a vehicle and the driver recommended the place ‘Ponmudi’. Now my family had heard about it but never been there. Checking the same on internet, gave some beautiful images.
And so on a Saturday morning around 7.30am we left home. It was an odd group. Two senior citizens – my parents, two juniors – my sons and then middle-aged myself. The driver was in his early twenties. We carried water bottles, juice packets, fruits and some biscuits.
Post two hours, we halted at a place called ‘Meenmutty falls’. Frankly, its not on the internet, atleast not the one near Ponmudi. The place is maintained by the Forest Department. We had to take entry tickets costing Rs. 20 per adult and Rs. 10 per child below 12 years. And if we are carrying plastic bottles, it has to be declared and paid a deposit of Rs. 50 per bottle. They put a sticker on the bottle. Once we are back and show the sticker bottle, the deposit is returned. It’s a very effective way to prevent littering. As soon as we entered, we could see the stream which has the water flowing from the waterfall. The stream is full of neat boulders, the sides are left as completely wild. We can see the crystal clear water flowing into the stream. w
To see the waterfall, we had to trek for another kilometer and some more on the small hill to reach the top of the waterfall. The path is left wild with roots as steps. The place is fully surrounded with wild sounds of crickets, birds, chameleons. We see many centipedes on the way. I was even bitten by a leach, and though the leach was happily filling up with blood, I did not even feel it. One of the forest guards, saw it and removed it. It felt like you are actually walking in a forest. At gaps of 250 meters, there are seats provided with a forest guard as well, to rest a bit. And finally, we have to cross the stream stepping on the ice cold crystal clear water, at a higher point and climb a bit more to reach the waterfall. Did I tell you the gushing waterfall is stunning?
By the time, we came back to the foothills, we were exhausted. The kids had a blast as they have never been in this kind of setting. The place is very well maintained, with no litter on the walk ways and adequate resting places. The place is left as natural as can be. We rested a bit, had some snacks too. It was good that we carried them as there was no shop or restaurant nearby. By around 11.30 am, we were through with Meenmutty falls. And then we proceeded to Ponmudi hills. And that is another post.