I was planning for a solo drive for a long time. i was inspired by a solo trip by a guy from punjab. he has made a solo trip from punjam to kanyakumari. i was actually making a solo trip to pondicherry in the 2nd week of august. but due to some constraints i had to change the location to some places near by. then i selected this place Manjolai. I had come across this place during our earlier trip to mundanthurai tiger reserve. before that i had written a letter to the project tiger office in mundanthurai to give permission for me to enter to this place. i knew a officer over here and he gladly gave me the permission officially.
i had to drop my wife in tirunelveli to write a exam and then im a free bird till evening.
the companian for my drive is my manza. lol.
from tirunelveli, i had to go to ambasamudram to get my permission letter from the project tiger office. the permission letter was readily available over there. got the letter and took some photo copies of it and then headed to manjolai.
from ambasamudram had a drive till kaladikurichy and from there to manimuthar. in the manimuthar dam entrance, i have to show the permission letter and pay the pass.
for vehicle they charge 15 rs. for camera its 15 rs and for each person its 15 rs. he forest official asked me how many people are there with me, i said im all alone. he was quite surprised to see me. i love to travel alone always. he asked me if i love the forest. without wasting a single milli second i said YES. from manimuthar dam i had to go to the manjolai via the manimuthar falls. in the entrance of the falls, i had to show the copy of the letter to a forest guard he then opened a small gate. now its into the forest. the roads are now steep to climb. i had to ride the car in the 2nd gear. the climate too began to change. i was feeling around 35 deg in the low areas. the temperature began to fall. i can feel it.
i was driving, driving, driving. cannot able to spot a single vehicle comming from opposite side. then after time the entrance gate of the tea estate comes. i had to show the permission letter and even that security was quite surprised to see me alone driving in this place. now i have to travel to a place called kudiraivetti. from the main gate to udiraivetti its nearly 26 kms. travelling this 26 kms will take nearly 2 hours as its steep roads. according to my knowledge kudiraivetti is the highest peak in this manjolai hill station. not so sure if its correct or not. i had to travel to a towns named manjolai, naalumukku, oothu and then travel to kudirai vetti.
on the way to naalukukku i saw a beutiful place. its a golf cource i believe. but entry is prohibited. there is a small lake near to the area. its awesome. had spent some 10 min over there and spoke about manjolai to the security guard. i then headed towards naalumukku.
on the way i asked several people where is naalukukku they said its 1 km 2km 5 km. but road is going on and on. i got a doubt if im travelling on a wrong route. but i met a officer in the tea estate, he explained me the route very clearly that its better to avoid asking any one. after some driving reached naalumukku. its a small town. the people who works in the tea estate stays here.
from naalumukku there is a road which goes to kodayar upper dam. the lower dam is in kanyakumari dist. for going to kodayar we need to get permission from the EB office in kalakkad. i enquired about kodayar in naalukummu. the locals said its not so worth to travel over there. then i continued my drive towards kudiraivetti. on the way there is a place called oothu. there were two boys playing around i just waved my hands. they asked me where im going. i asked them to accompany me if they are free. they came along with me. they shared many things about the forest. these two boys are studying in a school in manjolai. i asked them what would they want to become. one boy said collector and another boy said civil engineer. awesome !!!
now the roads become really worse. felt really bad for my manza. anyways, she did not cry. atlast from a distance saw a watch tower and whooooo.. this is kudiraivetti. beautiful place. from the watch tower can able to see manimuthar dam, karayar dam. these boys showed me some hills. i think some 3-4 hills. they said these are the places that you have travelled. oh my god. amazing. the winds in kudiraivetti is very strong. it will push you down in some occasions.
can able to see lots of wastage over there. the people who travel over here just drop here. dear people, please dont throw any wastages over here. just respect the nature and the wild life.
its now time for me to return back to home. dropped the two boys in oothu and then had a drive till the main gate of the estate. in the entrance office they sell tea. i bought a organic tea named oothu tea. just 200 gms cost around 150 rs. its purely meant for exporting. then i travelled via the manimuthar falls and manimuthar dam and finally reached tirunelveli at 4:45 PM.
it was a great experience for me.
distance from the manimuthar dam to kudiraivetti is 35 kms. so readers, do get confused at any cost.
i had a talk with a official in the tea estate. he said he will arrange a stay in the EB Guesthouse next time and arrange for a night trek in the forest. i hav his number too. may be i hav to plan a trip there very soon.
climate is fascinating. hardly 25 deg in the day time. but in the morning it would be 18 deg.