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Journey to the Hiranges

February 13th, 2006

I am just back from a long journey to the high ranges of kerala. In fact Idukki is my home district, even though I am away from there for a long time now. My destination was a place called “Chempakapara” and my plan was to attend the marriage of one of my cousins. I started out in the early on 10th February and reached Thodupuzha around 11 am. Visited my uncle. He gave me two of his latest books.
I left his place around 2pm. The upward journey from Moolamattom to Kulamavu is exciting. There are 12 U turns on the way. I was a frequent traveller on this route during 1997-1998, while I was working in Model Polytechnic Painavu.
You can see a lot of surrounding places as you climb up. It is seen that there are some new tourist resorts on the way.
Once you reach Kulamavu, the bus crosses the Dam and enters into the forest. The bus journey through the forest is really refreshing. I was looking for wild elephants, but I could not spot any. The summer is slowly coming and some of the trees are showing signs of it.
I reached a place called Karimpan at around 3.30pm. Then, the further journey was on a Jeep. The jeep moved through narrow and dusty roads for about an hour. Many of the passengers were looking at me. It seems most of the people know each other and a stranger is easily spotted. The journey on the Jeep was really exciting. The driving was rough and many times the vehicle was passing through the edges for huge gorges. I reached my destination at about 5pm. I had to walk for about 15 minutes.
My cousins place is really good, located on a hill and surrounded by greenery it was real fun to stay there. Several of my relatives were present. There was a small liqueur party too. Locally brewed stuff was served along with beef and tapioca. I tried to tune my VHF handy. I thought Kodaikanal was very near, but I could not hear any stations.
Asha , whose marriage was to take place the next day, was brimming with joy. Ponmudi , where the marriage was to take place was some 20 kilometers away. The marriage party started around 10 am on 11th February. There were around 10 Jeeps in the party. The trip to Ponmudi was also interesting. We crossed Chinnar and travelled through numerous hair pin turns.
The marriage was a routine affair, except for a beautiful song sung in Anantha Bhairavi. ( I am hearing it for the first time in a church). After lunch I caught a bus to Adimali and reached my home at Thodupuzha around 6pm.
The journey to Idukki was really refreshing. I think I will revisit the places again.

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