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A memorable trip to Anakulam and Mangulam

Jul 18 2019, by Admin

All I wanted in this trip to Munnar was to get discover some unexplored spots, get some fresh air and return with some unforgettable memories. It was my friend Rahul, a gypsy soul who suggested Anakulam and Mangulam as must visit places on my trip. Though initially a bit hesitant with the unfamiliarity of the names, I decided to proceed with his suggestions and off I went into the magical spots of Anakulam and Mangulam.

As I Google curiously to research a bit about the place, I came to know that the famous historical Aluva- Munnar route from the British period lead to the small and cozy Mangulam Panchayat, where lies the breathtaking small village, Anakulam which has undoubtedly stolen the hearts of many tourists and travellers. With the first five minutes of researching, I could definitely sense that this trip was going to change my life forever. The fastest route to reach Anakulam is to travel from Adimali and travel through Kallar - Mangulam route. Yet the most picturesque views are captured when you take the route through Lakshmi hills. Thereby I perched near the window seat of a KSRTC bus, enjoying each drizzling drop that fell on my face from the sky. Lakshmi estate is a lush green carpet that nature had spread in front of me. I could see endless stretches of tea gardens under the blue misty sky. Out of all the tea estates in Munnar, I personally felt that Lakshmi estate was the most beautiful one. As the gigantic bus wriggled its way through the hills, I spotted a historical rain fall calculator dating back to the colonial period. Though the ride was slightly bumpy, I managed to take some excellent pictures, thanks to my Gopro! The bus after reaching will reach Virippara proceeded to reach the scenic Anakulam through Mangulam.

The lake Nallathanni which flows from Munnar is located to the west side of Mangulam. It then proceeds through the borders of Ernakulum district to reach Periyar. Since the river flows through bamboo forests, the locals tenderly call it the ‘bamboo stream’. The main attraction here is the herds of elephants that occasionally come here to drink water. The water can be seen as bubbling from rocks in the middle. The stream which is believed to be rich in minerals and slightly salty is highly attractive for the elephants who reach here daily as groups. The other side of the bamboo lake is covered with dense forests. Elephants usually come after the sunset and after its dark. With many others, I too waited patiently to see this magical vision. According to the locals, there would be a stench known as ‘anachooru’ as elephants approach the lake. Far from a distance, the place which was slightly saturated with the cricket noises blended into a different realm as elephant’s roars and sounds of footsteps crunching bamboo sticks could be heard. Caught in middle of anxiety and fear, and curiosity, I witnessed a group of at least ten elephants drinking water from the stream.

Concerned about disturbing the pack, we watched them through the dimmed headlights of the jeeps from town which accentuated the beauty of these ivory skinned wonders. Baby elephants were fed by mothers through their trunks. I also saw naughty baby tuskers playing around in water. After watching the Jungle book, I also believed that elephants were ancestral creators of the forests. Being an ardent elephant lover, this place tops my top recommended spots in Munnar. It was surprising to know that elephants that come to drink water had never come to the human settlements or attacked any of them ever. These forests where elephants reside come under Anakulam forest range. I saw a beautiful waterfall as we went from Munnar to Anakulam, called as the Virippara waterfalls. Also known as Kainagiri waterfalls, it was too good not to stop. Nallathanniyar which plunges into Mangulam flows through Kainagiri rock into kainagiri waterfalls. Though there were some restrictions, they allowed us to play in the falls. Mangulam is abundant with many waterfalls that plunges from great heights and splashes into white foam. There is a long list of falls like Chinnarkuth, Kozhivalankuth, Perumbankuth, Nakshathrakuth etc. They all fall from at least a height of 200 meters.

There was an activity called ‘tiger cave’ where people can climb through huge rocks and caves. Climbing through the branches and walking through the dark tiger caves was indeed adventurous. Though I slipped and fell during the walk, it didn’t tamper with the fun of the trip. On the way, I saw the iconic bridge that the British made with Surki mixture to connect the Aluva and Munnar roads. The bridge under this huge waterfall, Perumbankuth was indeed a sight. Though the falls were irresistible, I restrained myself from going in as there were no handrails or safety precautions. One thing that I would cherish forever was the baths in the cold streams inside woods. I always had a fantasy to take a dip in a lake by the woods. In total, Anakulam, with a light breeze, wild woods and chilly streams has a special grace to it. With utmost sweet memories, I proceeded from Anakulam to Mangulam.

The first rubber tree in Kerala was planted in Mangulam. This is the only panchayat in the state that produces electricity of its own and sells to the electricity department. The powerhouse and other facilities for electricity making are located near Nakshathrakuth falls. Vestiges of Bungalows built during the time of Poonjar royal empire can still be seen in Mangulam. The very scene took me years back, and I fantasized a time when the royal family might have ruled the region. It has been told that precious pearls, gold pearls and worn out weapons were found from here recently. This placed is referred as ‘bunglavu thara’ by the locals.

Though Munnar is pretty popular to the world for its beauty, Anakkulam is an unexplored piece of heaven, a pristine spot blessed by nature. People generally except Anakulam from their list of places, but it is a place worth visiting and everyone spend at least one day for this beautiful place

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