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Posts Tagged ‘Meenmutty falls’

Friday the 13th. An auspicious day :-). Saurabh and I had decided to go to Chembra (Waynad) for a trek. We were waiting for the bus at symphony theatre and so were others. We did not know anybody else. At last there came a known face – Janak, whom I had previously met at Saavandurga. Chandra and his group were the first to introduce themselves. Then came shubadha(If I remember the name correctly) and Eli who were on their maiden trek in India. Making sure everybody has arrived, we left MG road by 10:00 pm in a white bus named Greenline. After traveling for about an hour an a half we stopped at a dhaba for dinner. The dhaba was quite shabby and gloomy but people managed to eat something.

Route map

Route map


I don’t remember when we crossed the Kerala border for I wanted to stay awake and watch out for a possible elephant sighting but fell asleep. It was 6 in the morning when I woke up and we reached Kalpetta bus stand( Waynad district) by 6:30 am. After a round of tea we traveled to the Chembra estate located some 15km from Kalpetta.
Fit IN!

Fit IN!


We hired jeeps from the entrance of the estate to the base of Chembra. There were just 2 jeeps and 24 of us had to fit in. It was fun riding with 5 people plus a driver in the front row of the jeep and 2 sitting on the roof and 2 guys hanging behind the jeep . After a quick round of introduction, we shared the lunch packs and started our trek. It was flat muddy estate road with beautiful tea gardens till the watch tower.
Watch tower

Watch tower


Inside watch tower

Inside watch tower


Ramneek and saurabh were cribbing about jeep taking us half way and wondering how much of distance/altitude is left to cover. For their disappointment, the steep 60 degree never ending climb started right from the watch tower. Pit stops were scheduled for every 15 minutes. Water bottles were of great demand. Experienced Chandra’s group and we were ahead in the trail and it extended well over 2 furlong. Aravind was bossing over everyone shouting and screaming at people who were running ahead of the lot asking us to wait till everyone are at his visibility.
Chembra Peak

Chembra Peak


Half way up

Half way up


For you, with love

For you, with love


At half way we reached a plain stretch which had a beautiful heart shaped lake. We spent some time at this lake taking photos and cooling ourself. The chembra peak was visible from this place. Since it was getting very hot we did not want to waste time and started our ascent. The stretch got steeper and more difficult to climb. Surprisingly we met a German lady and a Canadian already on their way down. They would have started very early. We even had another group trekking with us and a bit ahead of us. A few girls of their group had decided not to climb anymore and had camped at a place and greeted us when we passed them.
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Peak

Peak

As we climbed further, the weather turned pleasant. Clouds started gathering around the peak and winds conditioned our tiredness. We finally reached the peak after 3 hours of climb. The peak was a small flat place. The group who were ahead of us were about to leave and we occupied the entire peak. After clicking a few photos and hoisting Karnataka flag(brought by Chandra and his friends) we opened our bags and unpacked the lunch packets. We were so hungry that otherwise impossible to eat MTR chapattis and cold channa masala/ panner masala tasted like mom made birthday dish. It started drizzling and with no shelter, it was fun having rain lunch.

Soon after lunch we started our descent. We moved down very quickly and were split into 3 groups. Chandra’s group were first to leave and went down at lightning speed. Myself along with a few followed them closely and rest were far behind. We reached the heart shaped lake and waited for them cooling out legs in the lake water. A first few took around half an hour to reach us and we could still see Janak and Poonam a mile away when it started raining heavily. We had waited enough and decided to leave before our cameras get wet. Rest of the folks who had just arrived stayed back for some rest watching the rainbow.

Sunset from Watchtower (sun?!)

Sunset from Watchtower (sun?!)


It was pouring cats and dogs and we were running at our destiny – The watch tower some 4km away. It was the only shelter which was in our reach. The bags already wet and our precious cameras in danger we ran downhill as if some mad dog chasing us. The trail forks were confusing and we were not sure if we are heading in the right direction in the jungle. Finally on seeing the tower we were relived. We went to the first floor and dried ourself. By now the wind speed had increased and so was the rain. We pity those poor people who were in the second batch who came half an hour after us completely soaked in water. We called up for the jeeps and waited for the rain to stop. Once it did, wasting no time we ran to the jeep. Since people were wet, we decided to send 2 batched in 2 jeeps and one jeep would come back to pick up the rest.

The clouds were afloat at or below our level though out our jeep journey from the chembra base to Meppady village. We reached our bus and waited a long time for other batch to arrive. Then went for some shopping – chappals fro those who had gotten water into the shoes, and for some food. There was some confusion for our dinner arrangement and it took an hour more to sort it out. Finally we went to a place half a kilometer away from suchipara falls for dinner – at 9:00 pm. Then came tragedy. No one were ready to pitch tents due to fear that it might rain. Though a few of us were against it, we had to go with the majority’s decision to stay in a dormitory. We traveled for another hour and reached a place called Ambalavayal and slept in one big dormitory.

Meenmutty 2nd stage

Meenmutty 2nd stage


Meenmutty 1st stage

Meenmutty 1st stage


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The next morning, after quick coffee at Ambalavayal we left to Meenmutty falls. We had breakfast in bus( bread jam). The meenmutty falls is located in some tea estate where we stopped our bus. Hiring a guide( yes, in kerala its mandatory) we started our trek to the 2nd step of the three step falls. The trail was very steep and guide looked more terrified than any of us. He scrapped our idea of going to the third step of the falls telling the route is very dangerous. We were disappointed on reaching the view point of the second step of the falls as all it had to offer was partially hidden view of the massive falls. The guide said we can get into water in the first step of the falls and hence we quickly started the ascent and reached it. The view was very pleasant and we spent no time in getting into water. The rocks were very slippery and in no time I saw poonam slip and three guys trying to rescue her in 10 feet something water. I was confused if they were actually trying to rescue her or push her deep into water. After sometime I learnt that two of them were tucking each other to come up and drowning themselves. Finally Janak and Aravind brought her to rocks. Till date I ‘ve been asking her for a replay ;-). We stayed in water for some half an hour and started our trek to bus. On reaching bus and gulping 2 liters of masala buttermilk I slept in bus enjoying cool wind on our way back to Mysore.
Mysore Palace

Mysore Palace


We stopped in Mysore and gave a short visit to the Palace. We did not go inside the palace but roamed around inside its compound for a while and left to Bangalore.

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