A trip to Parambikulam has been on my mind for a long time. Bibin bro’s call came one evening when I was drinking black tea at my sitout. He asked about the next journeys along with the details. That’s when I came to know that their next trip is to Parambikulam. Bibin Chetan is accompanied by Sam Bro of New 10 Vlog channel and Sanup Chetan of the Journeys of Sanu channel. When they read this they will say that I have shown their age by calling them brothers, but don’t care about it for the time being.
I never expected that there would be an invitation to travel with them beyond the details. Nidhin, we four of us are going and you should come with us. An unexpected invitation gave me a lot of joy, but at first, I refused it, but they forced me to join them. So we agreed to go on the 29th of October and started our journey. The 5th person who was to come with us could not join the trip due to a leg injury the day before the trip. That would be the ultimate loss in Vineet Bro’s life. The reason for that will be explained later.
29.10.22 at 2.30 in the morning from Bibin Chetan’s flat, Kakkanad. Everyone arrived on time. Seeing everyone for the first time. Everyone shook hands and got into the car and started the journey. No one had slept much the previous day, so I thought that everyone would fall asleep soon, so I was wrong. Bibin was afraid of Chetan’s driving or because of lack of sleep. (It was not the case that we were hearing or seeing each other for the first time, but the intuition between us was active.)
Parambikulam is in Kerala but to reach Parambikulam you have to depend on Tamil Nadu. The trip started early in the morning as the goal of the trip was to capture the wildlife on camera and in mind. After passing through Thrissur, Palakkad, and Nenmara from Ernakulam, we reached Pollachi in Tamil Nadu and from there straight to Parambikulam.
Time 6.30am Setumada check post. It’s forest from here. A wild forest where tigers, wild elephants, wild buffaloes, deer, and so on roam. We are the first. Not only will the check post not be opened before 7 o’clock, but they will not let a single vehicle in except after the Tamil Nadu bus coming from Pollachi has come and boarded. The bus takes from Pollachi at 6 am. Only this one bus and one KSRTC from our Palakkad ply here. Ksrtc will leave the stand at 8 o’clock.
I was told that the time had passed, but the number of people and the number of vehicles increased. In the meantime, Sam Bro took the tickets for us. 30 rupees per person, 50 rupees per car, and 50 rupees per camera. Even after 7 o’clock, the bus did not reach here. The driver of the bus seems to have overslept. They opened the gate when I asked if they could let me in by 7 o’clock. Now you will remember that they opened so soon. Never has. It is requested from the time of arrival. Anyway, we are happy. Today we are the first to take this road. As soon as we took the car, the bus came with a full load behind it. Most of them come to see Parambikulam. Bibin Chetan is driving the car. We were all ready with our cameras.
A beautiful road, densely forested on both sides. The car took every hairpin bend
Went ahead. Very slow going. Before too much time, we were able to see Munagam on the way. Wild buffaloes. There is a debate going on about whether they are wild buffaloes or wild buffaloes, but we can call them wild buffaloes. If three people go one way, it will be 3g, but the slaves stand on the side of the road and eat breakfast without anyone. Bibin Chetan stopped the car by the side. The person in front of us raised his head and looked at us. Why have you never seen wild buffaloes? Anyway, we saw them for a while and started again.
Squirrels, peacocks, and many birds and animals that saw us without seeing us passed us by. Enjoyed the forest journey in my own car and reached the top slip. This is where the safari of Tamil Nadu takes place. There is a beautiful meadow there. It is a special beauty to see the herds of deer grazing in the early morning. We are not taking any safari here, we continued our journey towards Anapadi.
After traveling 2 km from the top slip, you reach the entrance of Parampikulam. From here to Kerala you have to buy tickets for people and vehicles. So I took the ticket and went to Anapadi. Private vehicles are allowed up to Anapadi. There are many stay packages here. Those who take it can go to Parambikulam with their vehicle and a guide will accompany us. We are staying here today. We have booked the island at home.
Parambikulam is 22km from here.
Safari bus is available to go to Parambikulam from here. The charge is Rs 300 per person. A 3-hour safari is available. Along with safari, there are many trekking packages. It is better to book all this online. We reached Anapadi by 8.30. Booking details are shown. Check-in time is 12 noon. There is time to take a trek. Asked about trekking. They agreed to provide trekking as there is a stay.
The guide will take time. I am very hungry and there is a hotel nearby. Idli and Dosa are available in the morning. So he ate that too and became sad. If I get 5 minutes of free time, there is a reason why I sit like this, only BSNL has a range here. Now the phone is rusted until the Setumada check post is over there tomorrow. To call home for a while, I took the phone from the lady at reception and called. We can use the phone of those who come with us in the house in case of emergency. So the guide came at 9.30. 2 people are coming along. An 8km forest trek called Bear path can be taken. Charge for minimum of 5 persons. The charge is 1500 rupees on weekdays and 1900 rupees on weekend days or holidays.
So the trekking started. As in all forests, the first host is deer. They stood alone and hid in the forest. The guide explains everything during the trip. Our trek is through the teak trees planted in 1938. The teak trees have all grown up. They are more than 80 years old now. Can we not see the beauty of a natural forest here? It is all teak. These teak trees were planted by the whites after plundering the natural forest here. Since it used to be a dense forest, all the wild animals are here. Footprints of wild buffaloes can be seen all along the walking path. Before he finished speaking, he saw a group of wild buffaloes ahead. They have been in the group since they were young. We copied their views for a long time and walked forward. At the end of the journey, there was a little more talk. That one conversation is a good visual that can be remembered forever. From a distance of about 50 meters on the trekking path, it was not a small person but a tiger that ran after hearing our talk. Seen by the guide. We all saw and turned on the camera and he hid in the forest. I searched for a while but could only see his leg scars. Everyone is happy about something. I was able to see a tiger for the first time while trekking. Up to 11 tigers have been spotted in a single day on safari. But it was the first time I was lucky enough to see him walking. Words cannot express the fear and excitement at that time.
We did not stop to curse that one moment when we spoke. Maybe if that one talk is not there, maybe we won’t be able to see the tiger. It is a great loss for Vinit Brok who was coming with us. So we went to the forest, happy to see the tiger and sad that we could not take a single pic. Now from here to home. There are elephants, crocodiles, wild buffaloes, wild buffaloes, and the story of an elephant murder.
After trekking, it was one o’clock. Due to the rush of people in the hotel in the morning, it is not possible to set foot. One of the two accompanying guides said goodbye. Another one will be with us until we return here tomorrow. Then it was certain that he would not get lunch from Anapadi. Now there is a hotel in Parambikulam. The guide called there and said food for 5 people. Reached Parambikulam at 2 pm. On the way, we will see the Thunakadav Dam and its reservoir. It is a beautiful place. The dam is in Kerala but the maintenance is in Tamil Nadu. Its water goes to Aliyar Dam. You have to travel 6 km away from the main road through the lower part of Thunakadav Dam to reach Kannimara South. But we are not going there. After going to Veedi hill, there is another trek. So without wasting time he reached Parambikulam. All bus services and safaris are available here. We have a short walk from here.
So after lunch, the car was parked safely, and started walking. Walked and reached the reservoir of Parambikulam Dam. From here we have to take a boat to reach home. A place with an impossible vibe. Some are doing bamboo rafting. The highest peak of Parambikulam can be seen in the distance. Then the water bed and some islands spread as far as the eye can see. But there is a reason why you can’t get into the water here.
I forgot to mention one thing. Food is not available in this package. If we tell the guide in advance, they will buy our supplies and prepare food for us. Walking like that, we reached near the water and there was a crocodile lying with its head in the water. Now, don’t you understand what it means that you can’t go down in the water?
When he was put on the camera, the call came “It’s raining, hurry up.” There are 5 people waiting for us by boat. They are also guides. Today they are with us. The bag was kept safe and the journey started. It takes about half an hour to paddle from here to reach the destination. The guide who joined us from here said that there are two horns in the morning on the island we are going to. At noon they swam to the nearest shore. There is a story about these horns that will be told at the end. So we continued our journey listening to stories and enjoying the beauty of the wind. Again he came ashore and saw a crocodile lying down. When he saw us, he jumped and hid in the water. In the next moment, someone who was with him saw the elephant in a hurry. He is one of the two people we mentioned earlier. Sam Bro put the 600mm lens on him and framed him. Went down to drink water. The other will see anywhere nearby. So he rowed and rowed and reached home. The only stay among several forested groves. We took all the bags and walked to the room. Quiet beautiful place. Currently, only deer live here. Other animals come swimming. Keeping all the things safe, we started trekking. Comes with two guides. The remaining four are going to prepare the food for us. The walk is along the banks of the lake with elephants, deer, and wild buffaloes on the far banks. It was dusk and the color of the sky turned red. No escape vibe. The teapots in the sky are reflected on the lake. A lone tree in the lake has nests of nymphs. A little further away, the boat we came from is standing swaying in the water. By that time, the second horn reached the shore. Both will swim to the next level tonight.
Sometimes we can even reach our destination. We enjoyed this view till dark and slowly returned to the room. The stay is for 5 people. By the time the bath was over, the food was ready. Had some food and talked a lot and slowly fell asleep.
By the time the morning came, it was very hot and black. After drinking coffee, we went for a walk again. The brothers said that they had heard the roar of the tiger till dawn. There is no one on the shores. By the time we got back to the room, breakfast was ready. So we ate food and said goodbye to the house. Just as we stopped to send them on their way back, a horn from yesterday came down and hid back in the forest.