It is being a long time that I have packed my bags and went for an exploration. To be very frank I am such a person who loves to explore new places and discover the hidden gems in it. Usually, I used to plan solo trips. In my viewpoint solo trip makes you more courageous and helps you to understand more about the world and people. Till now I have visited many gorgeous places like Shimla, Manali, and Kulu in the north and in the south I have visited Kodaikanal, Meesapulimala, Vagamon, Munnar, Agasthyarkoodam. During my leisure time, I used to browse my social media accounts. And one day accidentally I came across a travelogue in Instagram. The travelogue was about trekking in one of the breath-taking hill stations called Illikal Mala in Kerala. More than the mountain it is the rock erected on the top of the mountain, Illikal Kallu lures every trekking enthusiast. The travelogue inspired me a lot. After trekking the famous hill station Agasthyarkoodam I decided to stop the exploration at least for a few months because I was assigned one of the toughest projects in my office and as a team lead I am supposed to dedicate my valuable time on it. But I don’t know how the images of Illikal Kallu changed my mind. The captivating images of the mountain propelled me to explore the place. As usual, I discussed my exploration of Illikal Kallu to my best friends. But to my surprise this time they expressed their desire to accompany them to the hill station. Even though I had decided to visit the place on my own, their wish changed my mind. Therefore we decided to avail of tour packages at cheap prices. We packed our bags for the trekking and also we carried a high-resolution camera with us. Before explaining about our trekking I would like to share some valuable information about the Illikkal Kallu.
Illikal Kallu is one of the captivating and scary hill station situated in 6000 ft above mean sea level in Meenachil taluk in Kottayam district. What makes the rock so amusing is half of the portion of the rock has been fallen apart. And the rest half is standing sturdy on top of the mountain. It will take three hours to reach the top of the mountain. Standing over there one could mesmerise the amusing panoramic view of the entire Kottayam district. With your sharp naked eyes, you can see a blue line indicating the presence of Arabian Sea. In adverse climatic conditions, it may not be visible. The Illikal Kallu is standing on three consecutive mountains. The first hill takes the shape of an umbrella and hence the hill is called as ‘Kuda Kallu’. People say that the hill consists of ‘neela koduveli’, a blue flower. The plant carries many medicinal properties and it is one of the most valuable medicinal plants in the world. The local residents tell that keeping the plant in houses will bring good harvest, prosperity and also it could cure any kind of disease on the earth.
Due to the presence of a small hunch on the second hill, it looks like a mushroom and hence the hill is called as ‘Koonu Kallu’. Across the rock, one could find two paths and their names are really interesting ‘narakapalam’ and ‘swargavathil’- ‘heaven’s door’. The two hills are connected by the narakapalam-‘a bridge to hell’. The bridge is named so because it is situated at a great height somewhat 4000m above mean sea level. Even though the path is scary it provides mesmerising images of emerald valleys and surroundings. The narakapalam leads you to an amazing part of nature which looks like heaven and thus the region is known as ‘swargavathil’. Some of the eye-catching attractions of the region are Illaveezhapoonchira, Kattikayam waterfalls, and Healthacation.
We reached Kottayam railway station and our tour guide was desperately waiting for us by holding our name cards. We kept our luggage in the cab and started our journey to Illikal Kallu. The journey was really awesome. After 2 hours of journey, we reached the spot. Our tour guide parked the vehicle half the way. Over there we saw many adventure enthusiasts getting ready for the trekking. We started our adventure. We started to ascend to the mountain and gradually the fog began to cover the premises. It became difficult for us. As time passed the fog became so thick that we were not able to see the person standing adjacent to us. Thousands of thanks to God finally we found a small rock where we all sat and waited for the fog to disappear. By 11.30 the sun began to shine brighter and slowly it unveils the region for us. We continued our exploration. We were so happy. After covering a few distances we used to pose for group photos and also selfies. Words are insufficient to express the beguiling charm of the surrounding nature. The whole premises will be surrounded by fog and dark clouds in the early evening. Seeing our fun activity our tour guide requested us to move fast so that we could return before the sunsets. This time we were very serious and without any break we ascended to the top of Illikal Kallu. The moment we reached the top of the mountain we screamed like a small child and expressed our joy. We were so happy and clicked a group selfie by keeping our fingers in ‘v’ shape- indicating victory. The hilltop provided mind-blowing images. We also visited the famous rock by crossing the scary and dangerous narakapalam. There were many a time when we supposed to fell down while crossing the bridge, each time we held each other’s arms firmly. After spending a few hours over there, we slowly descended to the slopes. The next day we also visited the famous mountain located near to Illikal Kallu, Illaveezhapoonchira. It is a valley surrounded by trees. And the most astonishing part is no leaves fall into the valley!
After spending one more day we departed to our home town. Before ending the travelogue I would like to sincerely thank Dream Holidays for curating such a wonderful tour package and making our holiday memorable in Kerala. If you want to explore Kerala, purchase their packages. They curate packages at cheap rates and even ready to customize!