Anusree Divakaran

Spending a Sunday inside the four walls of my hostel is never a fun thing to do. Instead, roaming around, exploring places, and setting me free, feels good and helps in starting the upcoming week afresh. And, that’s why I prefer packing by backpack and setting off to a destination hitherto unexplored, every weekend.

The last weekend spent well was the one on which I visited the celebrated Ponmudi hills and the Meenmutty waterfalls, with my roommates for company. We had to take the KSRTC bus from Thiruvananthapuram at 5:30 AM. Those of who think it’s too early, it is not. By around 7:30 AM, we reached Ponmudi. And, we had a lot to explore, so reaching early is better.

When we boarded the bus it was almost full and I thought we would have to stand all the way to Ponmudi. But we got seats after 10 -15 minutes. I was really sleepy and we had to travel for like two hours – so I was kind of dozing off until I saw the huge hill we were approaching. The hairpin roads which followed were scary but the green lush that bordered the road took over to make me enjoy my trip.

The only thought, remorse actually, I had in my mind from there on was that we should not have come by bus. And if we were riding in a car, we would definitely stop by just to enjoy the views. With each turn, I got to see a more stunning view which left me awestruck that I even forgot to capture the moment with the camera. I must tell you no picture would ever do justice to the view. I would have walked all the way up or a bike ride would have been great. Anyone would have stopped frequently just to enjoy the view.

Another thing that fascinated me was that, though the sun was beaming in the sky, not a ray of sunlight fell on the tar topping along which we were cruising along. The trees had formed a thick canopy and would not let in any of the ray. Unlike the other areas in Thiruvananthapuram, especially my hostel, this place was cold, and I guess the trees and the altitude had a role to play.

The bus journey ends in front of the cafeteria and from here you have to walk. From then on, more enchanting views await you.

At Ponmudi, you get to experience 3-4 different treks, at least I felt so. Even though these are all small treks one can enjoy it thoroughly. What I heard often was that you get to see all seasons here and not often will you see the fog and the clouds kissing the hills.

It’s all about luck. And I was lucky enough. When we started climbing the rocky hill on the left, there was no fog. But the fog suddenly appeared out of nowhere and moving past us it went on to cover the watchtower  on the hill opposite to the rocky one on which we were standing. The sad part is that the watchtower here is closed.

Through the entire trek, it will be greenery and greenery alone. If you are a fun loving person and love to just walk around, Ponmudi is the place for you. And for those who are lazy ones, this wouldn’t be so. You can explore a lot here. The views are spectacular. You would get to stand breathless (because of the walk), wonderstruck at the beauty of nature. The rocks with the green grass toppings add beauty to the hills.

Ponmudi kind of awakens the photographer hidden inside you. It was almost 11  AM when we finished with the trekking, exhausted and hungry. We went up to cafeteria fed our tummy and waited for the next KSRTC bus to take us down. We had more plans for the day.

Kallar was our next stop, from where we had to trek to the Meenmutty falls. The trek to the waterfall was tiring. We had to walk for almost 1 – 1: 30 hours to reach the falls through the forest region. The view throughout our walk was astounding with the green canopy, rocks and long grown roots of all the trees.

On the way, there were places where we could get into the streams and enjoy the cold water. We did not stop instead we walked all the way to the falls, which turned out to a bad idea. The waterfall was not worth the walk and we were not allowed to get into the water there as it was dangerous.

While returning we went down to the places where we were allowed to get into the water, sat for a few minutes. The water was ice cold and soothed our exhausted limbs.

Carrying a couple of water bottles would be a great idea while on a Meenmutty trip. We did not carry water, and we regretted it as we were not able to buy anything inside the forest region. Plastic bottles were not allowed inside the forest area. The first thing we did when we reached outside the forest was to buy a bottle of water. It was almost 3.30 PM when we emerged out of the greenery.

The return journey was hectic as the KSRTC bus was crowded and we had to stand all the way to Thiruvananthapuram. Wish there were more buses plying between the city and the serene hill station.

  • Pix clicked by the writer

By Manoj

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