This is my first post about Kerala, my native place. Kerala which is well known for its exclusive natural beauty is visited by travellers across the world. I always wanted to write about my place, but not unless I have something unique and new. So as the first post, I want to write about an offbeat place in the Western ghats, the mountain range that stretches the entire length of this small south Indian state.
The western ghats are the major factor for the unique geography and culture of Kerala. The highest regions of the western ghats are locally called the “high range”, which includes many hill stations like Munnar, Thekkady, Vagamon etc..
Apart from the picturesque locations, "high range" is also famous for its large cardamom, coffee and tea plantations, and the famous Periyar tiger reserve. But if you are looking for a different experience here, there are a lot of offbeat places you should not miss on your next trip. Only the people living here know about some of these places. When you go deeper in search of such hidden treasures in these mountains, you will realise the real magic of this place.
Being born in Kerala, I was able to travel extensively through this mountains and western ghats have become my favourite destination over the time. I was able to explore many offbeat places in this region. I will be writing more about these places in coming days.
First, on the list- The place is called “Nirmala city”. In the high range, you can find many places with the name ‘city'. Don't expect anything similar to the real cities. By ‘city’ means the place have 2-3 shops and mostly some public transport connectivity.
‘Nirmala city’ is a small village near Kattappana. There is a small hike to the top of a hill from which you can have the best view of the catchment area of Idukki dam, one of the largest arch dam in Asia. This hill becomes more beautiful during the mass blooming of “Neelakurinji” plants (Stobilanthes kunthiana) once in twelve years. The blue 'neelakurinji' flowers will spread completely over these hills this time.
During my hike, halfway to the top, rain clouds appeared suddenly from nowhere and it began to rain. I didn't feel like running to some shade. Soon, small pieces of ice started to fall along the rain. Yes, it was hailstones.
Hike the hill expecting some good views of the western ghats and you will not be disappointed. Nirmala city is especially a good place to spend your evenings.
Nirmala city is about 5 km from Kattapana towards Idukki. Kattappana is a small town about 30 km from Thekkady and Kumili. Public transport is available from Kattapana. There is a chance that you may miss this place because there are no sign boards. So it is better to ask people around for the direction.
From the main road, an unpaved road goes to the top. You can take your vehicle, park near the only shop there and start the hike. Don't forget to carry enough water during the hike and bring back the bottles.
On your next visit to Munnar or Thekkady, find some time to explore some of these offbeat destinations. I can definitely guarantee a great time and some wonderful experiences.
Also read about Kookal village in Kodaikanal.
Keep following the blog for more information about many new places in the Western ghats.
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