lllikal Kallu and llaveezhaponchira – Hills Of Happiness
A perfect spot for an all-women trek, lllikal Kallu and llaveezhaponchira offer amazing sights of pristine nature, excitement of trekking and unimaginable volumes of freedom.
Happiness was visible on everyone’s face as the group kicked off the journey on a sunny Saturday from Vytilla, Kochi, to lllikal Kallu and llaveezhaponchira. In fact, it was an escape for all those women on board from their hectic routines. Hopes began to rise as the journey proceeded through the Thodupuzha-Muttam- Melukavu route. It took only a few hours to reach the destination on the outskirts of Kottayam district.
Then, there was a short trekking. Although it was an easy trek, a few panted while climbing. But, none of them was ready to give up and went ahead. But, every difficulty flew away from their mind upon reaching the pinnacle of the hill, watching the beautiful hill surrounded by mist. It was afternoon but the sun was gentle. The team had to wait a bit to move the mist away to get the clear picture of the hill. And it was amazing.
“We are 6,000 ft above the sea level now,” said Indu, tour operator. lllikal Kallu is an array of three hills and is a good spot for photographers. As the mist moved away, the team was busy discussing the shape of the hill. While for some it looked as if a lion lay on a rock, for others, it seemed the image of a sage. Security measures are tightened on the area post two deaths of persons and tourists are allowed only to watch the hill from the viewpoint. However, it was sad to see a group of boys venturing into the restricted area neglecting the caution board.
Sitting there for a while savouring the beauty of the hill, the team descended the hill to have food.
Next destination was llaveezhaponchira. It was quite exciting for the driver to pull the vehicle on the bends and at one point he had to stop as the road was damaged. Then, a jeep came from the DTPC cottage, where the stay was arranged. It was a quite a bumpy ride but everyone loved it. The peaceful cottage on the top of llaveezhaponchira was a wonderful place to spend time. A lot of myths are tied to llaveezhaponchira, a place where leaves don’t fall. It is said that there is a pond that Pandavas built for Draupadi and another pond where Seetha took bath.
What excited the women was the freedom the place offered. Laying on the rock at night looking at the moon and walking on the road under moonlight without any fear were icings on the cake. And everyone retired to bed. The climate was cold but not chilling.
The next day’s activities began with a morning walk to the peak of llaveezhaponchira to watch the sunrise. The colours of sun, greenery, chirruping of birds provided a perfect ambience for meditation. After breakfast, it was time to pack. The return journey began. On the way, there was a waterfall to complete the adventure list. And, there they were going back to Kochi with loads of memories.