Manaska Mukhopadhyay, a research scholar of Jadavpur University recently took a refreshing trip to South India. His trip involved the rivers, the hills, the waterfalls and many more. Manaska narrates his travel story and decides to pen down his experiences for our viewers…
“South India” – this two word phrase is strong enough to engage one in a deep imagination from crossing the Godavaris, climbing the Nilgiris, roaming in the tea gardens to basking in the sweet sun of Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea and the various mouthwatering delicacies.
Flowers at Ooty Botanical Garden
Our trip to South India was nothing less. We started our journey from Kolkata towards Coimbatore on 21st June night and reached our destination after long 2 Night 2 Days journey. There are many trains and flights to South India one can opt for. Bright sunshine with cool countryside breeze welcomed us at Coimbatore where we were going to stay for the next 8-10days. The city of Coimbatore, a miniature of the whole South India, is itself a place of tourist attraction with the fragrance of Madurai Malli, their traditional name of Jasmine, floating in its air.
Our trip started with a visit to Malampuzha dam in Kerala. It is about two and a half hours journey from Coimbatore, crossing the border between Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Malampuzha dam is the largest reservoir in Kerala, situated in the Palakkad district and crosses the Malampuzha river, a tributary of river Bharathappuzha, Kerala’s second largest river. The scenic beauty of the reservoir can leave anybody speechless and is multiplied by the cloud laden hills of the Western Ghats in its backdrop. A trip to Malampuzha reservoir during monsoon is enough to delete the hustle-bustle of a busy city life and bring a feeling of peace and calm solitude. The reservoir also contains a Hydel power plant governed Kerala State Electricity Board. Our next location was Siruvani waterfalls. It is situated about 40km West of the Coimbatore city in the Western Ghats. The waterfall and an adjacent dam were built across the Siruvani river flowing in Kerala. The dam was built by the Kerala government with aids from Tamil Nadu government to supply drinking water in the city of Coimbatore. The waterfall is surrounded by dense reserve forest. Siruvani is famous for its sweet and high quality fresh water used for drinking purposes. Unfortunately, our trip to the waterfall was curtailed due to restrictions issued by the dam authorities because of a week long continued rainfall leading the zone a highly accident prone one.
South India trip is incomplete without a visit to the backwaters of Kerala and the beautiful hill station of Ooty. The Kerala backwaters are a series of salty brackish lagoons of the Arabian Sea found in the western side of Kerala. It is best to enjoy the backwaters by staying in and around the city of Cochin. There are lots of hotels, guest houses and resorts for tourist available throughout the year. The beauty of the backwaters is best expressed during the early morning and during the sunsets. The scenic beauty of Kerala is well supplemented by the awesome foods, the best to me being the Appam, a pancake made from fermented rice batter and coconut milk, along with Ishtu, a vegetable soup cooked in coconut milk. Ooty, or the queen of hill stations, as it is known more popularly, greeted us with the fervent aroma of the famous Nilgiri teas, as we travelled the snaky roads along the Western Ghat hills from Coimbatore to Ooty. It is situated 80km North of Coimbatore and is about a 4-5 hours journey by public bus available from the city itself. Ooty has always been a prime attraction for tourists, photographers, travellers from around the globe, with tourist spots like the Pykara falls and lake, Ooty lake, Ooty Botanical Garden, Rose garden, Mukurthi National Park to name a few.
Hoarding outside Pykara Lake
A trip to South India during the winter holidays is a perfect destination for the adventurous Indians. A 2 weeks holiday will be a great pause from the daily mechanical urban life.
I have currently joined as a research scholar in Geological Sciences at Jadavpur University. Previously I had completed my post graduation from Jadavpur University and graduation from Durgapur Government College. Apart from educational side, I am strongly passionate about Photography and intend to take my art to a professional level in the future, if possible. My favorite genre is street photography, though I love travelling a lot.