There are many tourist places in Palakkkad and this holiday season I decided to cover most of them. Last Sunday, I went to Nelliampathy Hills. On the itinerary were Pothundi Dam, Kesavan Para and Seetharkundu.
Kesavan Para is a rock ledge in the middle of the Nelliampathy Hills. It provides a beautiful view overlooking the Pothundi Dam. Good for a picnic in a cooler or rainy season. Seetharkundu Viewpoint is a minor clearing in the wooded area overlooking the plains below. Seetharkundu is mainly known for tourist cottages and tea/fruit/vegetable plantations. Seetharkundu waterfalls cannot be reached from the Nelliampathy hills. The plains below in the foothills provide the entry for it.
First stop was Pothundi Dam. It is not as big as Malampuzha Dam but it is big all right. It is the height of summer now and there was not much water in the dam. On the other side of the water is a row of small hills – the Nelliampathy Hills. The dam was deserted at the top and most families took shelter in the park below. After a while, I decided to leave the dam for the tourist spots in the hills.
Pothundi Dam would be a good spot to visit during rainy season.
After taking this photo, the mobile phone ran out of charge. I brought my monster 20,000 mAH power bank with me and I put the phone under charge. So no photos or videos of the ascent. The road uphill reminded of Need for Speed games. In one place, you can see two small streams coming off a huge wall of rock. My guess is that during rainy season, these streams transform into reasonable waterfalls. In one NFS game, I have seen something similar. The road ended at a factory of AVT, the tea company. There the road forks into two. On the left, tea plantations and on the right, a footpath to Kesavan Para. I parked my bike and went up the path on foot. The footpath is covered on all sides by dense vegetation and was dark even at noon. A loud din of insects came from all sides. After a while the path cleared up and a large rock-covered area came. This is Kesavan Para. On the other side of the rock formation, there is ledge on the hillside where you can sit and view the Pothundi Dam. The hills you saw from the dam would now be flanking your sides. They rise for another hundred feet and you will be smack in the middle of it. I guess it must be magnificent during rainy season. Unfortunately, I have no photos of this place.
After lunch at a hotel, I left for Seetharkundu Viewpoint. This place is overrated, at least for one-dayers. If you plan on staying at one of the tourist cottages there, then it may be worthwhile. Because of the vegetation and the altitude, the place is much cooler than the plains down below. The place marked Seetharkund Viewpoint is a gap in the hillside where you can see the plains down below. I left after a few minutes. A tree struck by lightning in the area was more interesting. The phone was charged now and I was able to take photos and decided to record my descent.
This place reminded me of a level in Crysis 1, where you first attack a Korean military camp proper.
En route to Seetharkund, there are several tours arranged in tea plantations/factories and the vegetable/fruit farms but I did not take these tours. I was however surprised to know that there are tea plantations even in Palakkad.
A tea garden in Palakkad? Wow!
The descent was great and I could coast almost all the way down. On the way up, I saw some guys racing. One guy in a big bike gave the middle finger to a bullet and overtook him on a curve. I wouldn’t advise that to anyone. The ride downhill was fast but was still confusing. The tea farms have boards all over the place but proper road signs don’t exist. It was easy to go the wrong route. You can follow tourist vehicles but they can be very slow. On the way up, I saw a group of bikers thundering up a fork and then sheepishly turn around. So, it is better to rely on your own wits.
This must be the most boring unwatchable video in the world.
Update (2018-04-24): Apparently, there is a waterfall somewhere in Seetharkund but it is bountiful in rainy season.