I was in despair for the last few travels were all in literally crowded commercialized regular tourist spots. I could not resist the invitation from some regular acquaintances and hence had to accompany them. My mind was propelled along the commercialization and pollution of nature I have to witness. I badly needed a day out in the wild. I would have chosen a hard core trekking or climbing to satiate my quest to De-stress myself in the lap of Mother Nature. It was then I got a call from Manoj Sir. He invited me to witness the hidden treasure inside the deep woods of Wembili forest range. It was an invite to the very less trodden paths of Pappanithodu falls. I have introduced Manoj sir to all of you in the Travelogue to Kolahalamedu. Just to reiterate Manoj is an active member com founder of the organization called Planet Green which is a networking of friends who loved travelling, nature, forest, streams, waterfalls, shola forest and what not in the nature. They gave birth to the organization as they realized the fact that “as soon as the last stream is poisoned and the last tree cut down humanity will realize that they cannot eat money”.
Being said Pappanithodu, most of you wouldn’t have heard of this in the past. Honestly I too haven’t heard till the time Manoj told about this falls in the last trek together. Pappanithodu though not in the tourism maps of Kerala could be the most highest of all the water falls known to us so far. (realizing the fact that there could be more of its kind in the hidden woods of western ghats unidentified and unexplored by none till date. To my limited knowledge Nyayamakkadu falls in Munnar to Top station road about 10 km from Munnar is the highest falls(recorded falls) in Kerala with a height of 450-500 feet. I believe i first noticed and photographed this falls during the Meesapulimala trek. But the very first stage of the Pappanithodu falls itself comprises a 600 foot vertical drop with two small hindrances in between. The other two stages of the falls is inside the deep woods which can be recorded only through an Ariel view.
On a fine morning I started from Kottayam In my bike to Yenthayaar. We have planned to start early in the morning so that we can get some good snaps of the falls in the dawn light. I reached Yenthayaar by 6.am and without much delay we started from Manoj’s house. In another 10 minutes or so we reached Wembili estate and were cruising through the Wembili Urumbikkara road. Right after 1 km in the first hairpin bend we can see the first two tiers of the falls from a long distance. It is a sight unmatchable but distant enough to give a hard fight to the lenses. On the second turn we need to take a right deviation into a muddy foot trail. It is almost 1 km off roading through the rocks mud and turmoil path before we come to the end of the motorable road. From this point we need to take a walk to the base of the falls which is almost 500 mtrs away. We parked the bike there and walked towards the falls. We could hear the roar of the water falls from this point itself.
The sight to which we walked into was magnificent. We were on the base of a huge falls (with reference to the height from which the water rolled down). There were two three cuts in between but the entire flow of the water was visible. Pappanithodu by all chance would surpass Nyayamakkadu falls in Munnar in its real self. Though the quantity of water is less it could compete with any other falls in Kerala in terms of height or might. As it was an over cast day and we were right on time to photograph water falls I could get some good snaps with excellent lighting. When we look up from the base of the falls the top most portion of the rock seems like touching the sky and the water seems to be falling from the heavens. Another interesting thing about Pappanithodu falls is that there are no deep or dangerous pools on the base of the falls. The base of the falls is just plain ground and bit of rock. Anyone can enjoy the water falls right at its bottom provided taking a bit care with the slippery rocks on the base.
Spend ample time there at the falls explored a bit of the surroundings and moved on to the next stages of the falls. This time it was not an easy task. We have to make a strenuous off roading of at least 4 Km into the Urumbikkara road and got into the woods parking bike on the road side. The remaining two stages were deep inside the woods and we have to trek inside the forest to get there. There were no definite trails to reach there. We have to cut our own way. The slippery rock boulders and thick undergrowth slowed us like anything. At times we had to crawl over rocks with the help of creepers to reach high places.
I was unhurt just because of the expertise that Manoj had in this part of the world. The feeling of being somewhere where no one reached so far was boosting my thirst to explore more. Having been explored all the three stages of the falls finally we got out of the woods by around 11 am and it was time to return. Another 5 km off roading was suffice enough to call it a day and I got out of the woods with the memoirs of yet another tough and risky day. I thanked Mother Nature for keeping me safe for the entire stretch. Now I pray for the long life of the pristine falls and the trails we moved around.
To trek this route please call up Manoj @ 9995317073