Agastya mountains can be accessed from both Tamil Nadu and Kerala side.The Agastya mountains are known for their abundance of rare medicinal plants and herbs.The Agastyamalai Biosphere Reserve harbours rare flora and fauna.
We started our journey from Neyyar Dam from the Kerala side.We obtained the necessary permission from the forest department.A Kani tribesman was sent along with us as guide.We boarded a boat at Neyyar Dam at 9Am and reached Kombakkani,a 30 minute ride.Then the trekking started.It was quite hot since we were still in the plains.Our destination was Cheria Meenmutty waterfalls which was around 15 km away from Kombakkani.Meenmutty is a Malayalam word which means "end of way for fish".The fishes can no longer swim upstream as the water cascades.There are many such Meenmutties in the jungles of Kerala.
Scene near Cheria Meenmutty...
When we started from kombakkani it was quite dry and no trace of water could be seen.But once we reached Cheria Meenmutty we were welcomed by a beautiful waterfalls and crystal clear water.We all had a refreshing bath in the river.
Our idea was to trek further and stay at Valia Meenmutty(Big Meenmutty)which was a further 10 km uphill.It seemed that nature didnt want us to go any further since it rained very heavily.We got into the comforts of a forest rest house at Cheria Meenmutty and spent the night there.
The heavy downpur changed the face of the Cheria Meenmutty waterfalls.It became brownish in color and the amount of water gushing down was considerably increased.It is dangerous to dip in the river at such occations and we stayed by the shore.
Evernthough I have named my trip as 'Trekking Agstya Mountains' we returned the next day.This time we didnt climb the Agastayrkoodam.
On the way back we were greeted by a baby Chembadutha snake.This is definitely elephant country but unfortunately we didnt bump against a herd!(or fortunately).I am impatient to make another trip to the beautiful Agastya Mountains....