Kuttikanam – Azhangadu Trekking

 

Kuttikanam Trekking

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After the trek in Wayanad I was in search for a new location. There were so many location in bucket list and people were asking for conducting events in those location. But as those are already done I was reluctant to do it again. I was rechecking my contact lists. Called some possible places and was narrowing the list down into most likely locations. All of a sudden I got info on a camp site in Kuttikanam from a Coordinate. Called up the concerned team and enquired about the possibilities. Though their package was not as per our requirement I could convince them to give us a customized package as per our requirement. Thus Kuttikanam trek was getting materialized. Our plan was to reach camp site on the first day by noon. Camp overnight and do the trek on the second day. Close to 20 people confirmed soon after announcing the event. Reporting Point was at Peruvanthanam near Kuttikanam. I along with some people from Cochin started early morning and reached Peruvanthanam by noon. Most of the people were on the way and some reached.  From Peruvanthanam we had to travel to Azhangadu which is 7 Km away. Our hosts has arranged for Pickups from Azhangadu. By 2.30 all reached Azhangadu and batch by batch we were taken to Camp site which was at the foot hills of Kuttikanam hills.

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There was only one jeep there to do the shuttle ad hence it took some time for all of us to reach the camp. I preferred to be on the last batch so that I can ensure all are carried of. By 3.30 we reached camp site. People who have already reached were chilling out there. There were some adventure activities already there and they were enjoying there. There were tight rope walk, Military net, hanging bridge crossing etc. and some games like archery, Swings, Portable tennis and all. I was also happy that the team was engaged there rather sitting idle. Some people were engaged in birding. There was decent collection of birds also there in the vicinity of the camp site. Refreshment was provided at the camp as soon as everyone reached.

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After the tea and snacks we settled into respective tents and after a short while we had a plan to go for a small walk down the camp through a stream. The walk was refreshing through the plantation later entering into bamboo forest and then into the stream. The stream was almost dried up. There was a very narrow flow through it. The place was really wide with rocky patches covered in thick covers. Water flow was very little. There were some pools at some places covered in water. We moved further down into the stream which was flowing down wards.

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At some points the stream was wide.  As it was evening time light was less inside the canopy. We reached a dried up falls. But our guides told us that there could be water in the pool below the falls. We climbed down through the steep rocks. Rope was tied up in the end which was very steep for us to get down. As expected there was water down below. There was a pool down there where the water would falls when flow is there. It was deep at some point and shallow in most of the areas. Some of the people had a swim there but was insisted that only people know swimming should venture into the water. The place was very cozy and wild. All the sides were covered in big rocks and vertical walls. As it was getting dark and we went back to camp site.

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Everyone got refreshed back at the camp site. The tents were pitched in cemented platforms and were very comfortable. They had put beds, pillows, Lights, even chairs and table inside. It looked like a five star rated tent which was beyond our expectation. There was an open area behind the dining place where everyone can sit. Camp fire pit was also inside confined area so it doesn’t possess any threat of surroundings catching fire. The food was tasty and night was cold. Only thing which worried us was the forest fire that was seen on another peak from there. But the guides were sure that it will not come any near to us. Sleep was comfortably nice and warm with ultra facilities inside the tent.

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Everyone was awake by early morning. I could hear the noises from others as soon as I was awake. By the time the breakfast was getting ready we once again went to the adventure activities for a warm up. Had our breakfast and started trek with mild refreshments. The trail started behind the camp site as a jeep track later turning out into a one foot trail. Traversing through the plantation area we entered into the grass lands first. The ascend was steep from the very beginning. We could still see the smoke on the other mountain from the remains of last night’s forest fire. I was having a bad cold and was sneezing very badly. I wanted to stay back but could not think about leaving the team alone for the trek.

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Most of the people went ahead and I was keeping a gradual slow pace. There were intermediate shola covers but mostly the trail went through grasslands. After an hours trek we entered into some really thick shola and came out of the shola to a bamboo forest which was also very dense. There were some ascends as well as descends through the bamboo forest.  The trail was very thin and slippery due to fallen dry leaves. One side of the trail was steep fall and other a formidable wall.

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After some time we again entered into the grass lands. By this time we had acquired quite a bit of altitude. The ascend was so very steep and slippery at some places that ropes were tied up for us to get going. I was having difficulty in breathing. Last week I was having a chest infection and that contributed to my difficulty.  I later came to know from people that everyone was struggling with the steep ascend. The view become better and better as we attained more height. There were some vantage points on the way from where we could get classic views of the surrounding peaks and the deep valley. There was hardly a trail. We were moving through steep grass lands in symmetrical gaps. There was not even a small bush there to rest. The sun was at its best and all were sweating profusely. After an hours climb we could see some shola covers but as it was at the edges of the peak we couldn’t reach them. Besides they were far from our trail also.

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We were closing towards the peak and could see some prominent landscapes across the right side corner. There was plain portion towards our far right and as we climbed up the landscape become more and more visible. We reached almost the top of the peak and there were some fire lines there. In another 30 minutes we reached the top of the peak but was little disappointed to see the burned grass land and patches of still remaining shola covers. The landscape was still beautiful. We were ta the top of Kuttikanam Hills by then.

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The guide reminded me that the peak which we are standing is the prominent peak seen from Irumulachikallu. I remembered those days while we trekked to Kalthotti and gazed at this peaks from there. There were some farm lands high up there and there was a jeep track also coming from Kuttikanam May be. Spend some quality time there. We were well ahead of our timings and hence had time to chill out there. People went on exploring all nukes and corner of the place. Some people just sat on the edge of the peak and simply looked back into the deep valley.

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By 1.30 it was time to trek back. Slowly the spread across team gathered backed into one team and started climbing back. Steep descend was also challenging but was comparatively easier than ascending. The grass land was covered in one stretch and after that we had some small intervals in the shola covers.IMG-20190121-WA0101 IMG-20190121-WA0103 IMG-20190121-WA0104

We had our packed lunch on the way near to a water source.  And reached back to the camp site by 4.30 pm. It was time for a quick refreshment and pack up. We big good bye to our hosts. The trek was hard enough give us muscle pains and the views were good enough to give us goose bumps.  Bags were packed up and people with urgency to leave were send on shift basis. By 5.30 I along with some other people reached Azhangadu and took our car. Soon we were plying on the way to Kottayam. By 8.00 pm I reached back home.

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