Sunday, June 19, 2011

Deadliest falls, diving into the mouth of the devil.

It was last friday evening and we were planning to go for a swim at a near by club in Chennai . When we reached the place, it was like a water buffalo convention. The pool was packed. We came back home and thought we should find a nice spot to swim with peace and less dirt.

So we packed our backpacks and set to the western ghats near ‘Perumal Malai’ a mountain range near the forests of KodaiKanal , in Tamil Nadu.We reached the valley around 4 in the morning and explored the village to find a spot to stay.

I prefer finding a small shack and live there but my friends were little uncomfortable staying in shacks and cabins. We found a small resting place called the elephant valley resort. I did not pay much attention to the ambience or anything but was keen to hit the woods asap.
We dropped our bags, picked up our trekking kit and left. Had a map of the forest, took the copy from the forest officials and a nav-compass. A local farmer as the guide and we moved into deep jungle.
We had to cross about three mountains to see the tallest waterfall. It is not a usual tourist spot as the trek up and down is too difficult for regular tourists or for a film crew. 

The highlight is that there were at least 50 deaths recorded in that spot. Includes couple of Germans and British tourists. The falls has a cave where the water falls that goes more than 500 feet down into the earth and no one knows where it ends. Once a rich businessman from Andhra Pradesh dived in and was caught by the whirl and sucked him into the cave. Deep sea pearl divers from tuticorin were brought in to find his body but even they feared to go as the currents were too strong.
 We stopped at a safe spot and had  a peaceful swim.

We did not go close to the fall, we swam away from it. We can’t afford to die this early or this way.
We found a cave were we took rest. Believed to be the cave where Pandavas once lived during their 'vanavasam'. Have the image on this post
And by evening we climbed another mountain to avoid crossing elephants and bisons . Walking by the foot of those mountains you are sure to be roughed up by an elephant or something.
When we reached the top, i saw rock slabs over the tall grass, a very ideal place to rest and view the sun set. I climbed on to one of the rocks and sat. The guide smiled and said, “do you know where you are sitting?”, “you are right now sitting on a 4000 year old home of a hobbit“
I slowly stood up and I could see atleast a dozen more like them over the hill, a small hamlet of those hobbits once lived here.
The homes of the lost hobbits of India.
To be continued…

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