Monday, October 31, 2011

EDAYILAKKAD REVISITED








                     No one will ever imagine that nature will open up a magic world beyond the sleepy road. You will feel you are in another dimension-in another world where the sky, sea and space merge together. The smell of the clear river, the vision of a distant fishing boat and the vapour arising up from the water surface- all have a mesmerising effect on you. The dirty road with potholes end up thus before a panoramic view of the kotty jetty-here we have to start a days journey to Kavvayi Lake ,Edayilakkad and then to Ezhimala Naval Academy.The start is perfect. The sky was a little cloudy and the jetty was deserted when our 55 strong team from Kannur University arrived there. After the initial ice-breaking every one became so excited about this journey. The distant noise of the boat was a welcoming sign. The kids joy found no bounds when everyone got into the boat-the elders were a little scary with tension writ large on there faces remembering the incidents of boat tragedies in the past. Some were furiously locating life buoys in case of emergency. 

The situation was some how got relieved when a couple colleague eased the tension thus
Husband to wife
video
 “Don’t think that I will rescue you with my life if the boat sinks as in titanic- I will find my way back alone”
The wife quipped “I am sure you will not - My ATM card is in my inner wallet”
Kavvayi is the old district head quarters of Kannur. At a time when road traffic was a distant reality every one used the water ways. From Vadakara to Neeleswaram there was hectic traffic on those days .The Ali Raja of Kannur owes the credit – It is he who constructed a canal-Sulthan thode- connecting payangadi and ezhimala waterways. After road traffic became a reality every one forgot this path until the Nayanar ministry reinstated the traffic with KSRTC boats. That too does not last long since the canal required constant dredging.
If you have never travelled through these serene waters you have missed something very great in your life. Tranquillity prevails every where. The boat traverses in between Kavvayi and the numerous islands, Valiyaparamba, Edayilakkad, Ayitty etc. Valiyaparambu is the longest panchath in Kerala with 27 Kms length. At some places its breadth is only fifty meters. The people living here are the most blessed ones. They could rise from there sleep seeing the river on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west, brush there teeth on the riverbank and have a chat with their beloved on the sea shore in the evening



The excitement reached its peak when isolated small islands came into sight. The factual information about a small island dotted with coconut palms in which a single lady- Lakshmy -the female Crusoe of kavvayi -lived long all alone, was very fascinating -Now she has shifted to the main land. She even attended the literacy classes in the main land in her small boat, daily.
Edayilakkad Island is a heaven. Here time stands still. You are in touch with nature. The gentle breeze, the waves of the lake tell you only one thing- You are overloading yourselves. Your solace is in mother natures lap. The beaches are dotted with coconut palms  and the atmosphere is serene. 

Here you could travel across any compound without being raising any eyebrows, because this is the old Kerala culture. Walls came into our lives and compounds only lately. In Edayilakkad there is a sacred forest the 'Nagam' which is inhabited by a number of monkeys. Monkeys wait for you to be fed. You will get eatables for the monkeys from nearby shops.
Edayilakkad is now connected to the mainland by a bund separating the river into two worlds. This could have made a very devastating effect on the sea life.

Our bus was waiting in Edayilakkad. After lunch at Payyannur, we went to the Navel Academy. An Officer entrusted to take us around the academy accompanied us. It is entirely an other world - spanning across 2500 acres, the land has been converted into a new habitat with numerous buildings. Ships and helicopters that took place in warfare welcome the guests. There is also a stable with numerous horses.

The Ezhimala beach is neat and clean. Our photography buffs have a tough time managing a plethora of images simultaneously. The old light house in Ettikkulam speaks vehemently of the ship mishap once occurred in the seas. The breathtaking scene from the light house will be a solace at times of turmoil. 








Friday, October 14, 2011

KOORG-THE MISTY HEAVEN

This pooja holidays we decided to visit KOORG. We had occasions to visit Koorg earlier but this time we decided to take a circular journey –Iritty to Kushal Nagar via veerajpetta and siddapura and then to Madikkeri and back to Payyannur via Bagamandalam. The journey to Kushal Nagar was very tiresome as the roads proved very hostile. But once in Kushal nagar we were at home. Mr. Mani who is a baker there, a close acquaintance of Mr. Surendran has made all arrangements for our stay. Once settled we started off at 4 pm to Nisargadama a park which is some 3 km from Kushalnagar,. It is a beautiful picnic spot housing a deer park. 

The Kaveri winds through thick vegetation circling the park and one has to enter the park through a hanging bridge. A group of small children playing in the water reminds one of natural ways of entertainment in these days of paid water theme parks. There are some bamboo "machans" on trees, but the best part of it is the river is on the back-side. If you want to go for elephant ride at Nisarga Dhama, please remember to buy ride-tickets along with your entry-ticket before you get in. Being aholiday the park was crowded so we decided to move on

Our second destination was the monastery in Kushal nagar for which the town is famous for. Some 3500 Tibetan monks live here. Their Golden temple is indeed a replica of Tibetan temple architecture. A number of lamas could be seen encircling the temple complex. The inside of the temple with three huge sculptures one of Budha and two of his disciples is an owe inspiring sight. We sat for some time observing the monastery and understood that there is no one controlling the crowds . It appears that you are ina foreign territory once you are in the temple premises.


We had a sound sleep at the hostel after our meals thanks to Vijayan who has taken some pains to come all the way from Goa to join us.
Next morning with Peethambaran, I set out for a morning walk through the streets of Kushal Nagar. Like any other town of Karnataka the streets were deserted and the town was very lazily awakening to a busy day.
After breakfast we set off to Madikkery. Abbey falls is in the way. The climate was very fine. The beautiful falls is 8 km from Madikeri . Abbey means "falls" in Kannda. The falls are inside a coffee plantation. Abbey Falls is a breathtaking waterfall where the Kaveri river cascades down a rockface. There is a hanging bridge across the gorge which offers a good view of the falls. As we reached there in the morning some of the brave youths have started to take bath in the cascade. But a policeman who reached late blew his whistle and started to beat the boys mercilessly .After a series of accidents, taking baths in the falls has been forbidden.

We spent some time in abbey and started early on the insistence of Sasi. We reached Madikkeri amidst the dasami celebrations, at 11am. There were processions carrying huge idols of deities on the streets. There is nothing much to be seen in Madikkeri except Rajas Seat and the Fort.
Rajas seat is a picturesque valley view point which the Raja used to frequent for seeing the sunset. The fort is in ruins and houses many Govt. Offices.

We went to Talakavery in the afternoon. This indeed is a heaven. Thick Clouds descended from Brahmagiri, completely covering the pilgrims in a holy ablution. Many were taking the holy bath in the temple pond wading through the water and the bewilderment of a child carried by a couple having a dip in the cold kaveri was enchanting.