Kumily to Kottayam.
One of the most scenic and heartwarming routes to travel in Kerala. All the way from the high range to the backwaters. Kumily is very near to Thekkady and both of them can be considered as twin towns. Thekkady is famous for its tiger reserve and is a prominent tourist spot. Here one can do boating in the Periyar River and try to spot the wild animals that inhabit the reserve.
My bus starts from Kumily. I keep my windows open as a cool air is present and the wind is cooler and inviting. After ten minutes, the townish vibe is over and the bus goes through some sharp curves and inclines before hitting the tea estates. The English introduced them and now the hills are filled with them. The pristine green tea gardens are a treat to the eye and offers beauty and warmth to a traveler.
Many famous tea estates can be found here. Harrisons Malayalam, AVT, Poabs, etc have their estates here. Tea workers can be seen returning from their work and heading to their homes. It’s a typical country landscape, with small houses and people going about their nonchalant lives, gathering in the junction in the evenings to discuss the day’s events and politics. Hot piping tea is served in the small tea shops with delicious snacks and fritters t accompany them.
The estates stretch till Peerumede and slowly start to give way to rubber estates as the elevation decreases. A short stretch of pine trees line up the surroundings from Peerumede to Kuttikanam and one can spot some travelers exploring them and basking in their shade and numbers.
Almost all the time I have travelled in this route, I have witnessed this awesome cover of cool mist whenever I reach Kuttikanam. And this time also I wasn’t disappointed. As we were about to reach, the cool mist took over the road and increasingly made its presence felt till the town. The town was almost shrouded in the mist and people were seen fighting the coolness in the air and the impending cold and rains.
Now the route was a lot of downhill and it started to rain as soon as we left. I was finding it difficult to keep the windows open and had to finally put the shutters. The bus was revving down in top gear and the screeching of the brakes can be heard inside and the burning of the brakes. This was usual as the decline was long and arduous. I was occasionally stretching forward to see the road from the windshield and it was full of the rain patters.
The atmosphere was really cool. I was feeling sleepy too and I guess I dozed off. When I woke up, the bus was entering into Mundakkayam bus stand. A five minute halt here saw me take a loo break and stretch my legs. Half the journey was almost done. And this half was the most interesting and visually pleasing. It was more of rubber plantations and houses lining up the roadside from her onwards. Big towns were to follow in close distances and this made a change to the quiet countryside.
The roads were bustling with activity and saw an increase in traffic. The sun had set and it was dark and so this route I normally plug in my earphones and listen to some songs. And before I know it I have reached Kottayam. I get down in the stand and take an auto to my home. Happy to be back home. And happy with all the greenness nature offered me. The color green has this uplifting character and I have been made happy.