Illikkal Kallu

Illikkal Kallu

Hi all, this time we planned to go to illikkal kallu. Illikkal Kallu became very famous recently. I’ve been to this place two years ago when there was no restriction for tourists. But now due to some accidents, the government has decided to put some restrictions and the tourists won’t be able to go near the rock which we could earlier. Anyhow this is my third of fourth visit to Illikal kallu. We as always planned to go there on a Sunday. This time there are two more people joining us. Me along with the photographer guy who was with there during our Malakkapara trip was joined by our colleagues itself, one a budding photographer and the other one a travel enthusiast.

 

As always we planned to go on our own bikes. We were four members in four bikes. The enthusiast came in his Honda Dio scooter. The budding photographer came in his vintage 100cc Hero Honda CD 100 (which should be in a museum for the torture it had as a bike). The plan was made Saturday itself. On Sunday morning we came to know that there is a Harthal (Strike) announced by one of the political parties on Sunday (In KERALA we should expect these on any moment). We came to know about it only on Sunday morning as it was a late declaration. But we were determined and as always we had our trusty bananas with us along with some candies. We are not staying together and hence decided to meet at Karingachira (Tripunithura). We all met at that place and luckily for us, there was a hotel opened there and we had our breakfast from that hotel and started our journey.

 

As it was a Hartal day there were only little vehicles on road and there were no buses or trucks which made our journey easy. In Almost one and half hours we reached Thodupuzha. From there we have to go straight through the road to Sabarimala. After almost 17.5 Km (Around 40 mints) from Thodupuzha you will reach a place called Melukavu. From here we have to take the road to left. There are sign boards showing Illikkal Kallu which is almost 15km from Melukavu junction.

Melukavu junction
Melukavu junction

Even though it’s 15km it will take you around 30 minutes to reach as the roads are narrow and it’s a rainy season the roads were not in good condition. We took the left turn and started our journey. The weather was very nice and we were cruising at good speeds. After almost 20 minutes we could see the first glimpse of Illikkal Kallu which seemed to be very far from where we were standing.  In between there are several by roads and we continued straight. After few minutes I realized that we lost our way and we were decanting instead of ascending. The budding photographer is a native of Kanjar, which is a place very close to Illikal Kallu. But he had that much confidence in me, that he blindly followed me and only when I asked whether we are on the right path, he realized that we aren’t. That time four of us stopped our bikes and started to check our phones for the navigation. As it’s not a town there was no network coverage for majority of the service providers. Only BSNL had coverage there and somehow we managed to get the internet and we realized that we have to travel 4KM in the backward direction. We went on the straight road where we were supposed to take a left turn. We all turned our bike around and started to return. That time two of the local guys saw us trying our best to calibrate our GPS, and they came near us asking where we wanted to go. We told them that we were heading to Illikkal Kallu. That time they told that we can travel backward 4km and go the normal route or we can go straight for 100 meters and take a sharp left on a concrete road which is narrow. We were not sure which route to take. Those guys told us to take the second one which is much easier to reach the main road even though the road is not that good. As they were that confident we believed them and went straight for 100 meters and there is a cashew tree on the left side of the road and from there we had to take left to the concrete road which was narrow and slippery. But the road was not that bad as we expected. Once we travel almost 1km the concrete road will end. For the next 100 or 200 meters it will be mud road and then again we will join the concrete road. After few minutes we reached very high altitude and we could see a beautiful rocky plain on our left. We stopped our bike there and went to explore that giant rock. It seemed like it was leading us to a risky cliff. But when we reached there we realized it was not at all dangerous and it was a slope instead of a cliff. We were at a really good height. We all took a lot of photographs from there and spent almost 40 minutes there admiring the view. We felt really thankful to those guys who guided us to take this route. This is not a tourist place, but it was as beautiful as any viewpoints which we used to see. There was a church below the canyon. The White church in lush greenery was a treat for the eyes. We actually don’t know the name of the place but if you are willing then ask some of the native people about such a view point and do visit.

View At Way to Illikkal Kallu
View At Way to Illikkal Kallu

After spending 40 minutes and taking hundreds of photos we started our journey after having the bananas we brought with us. Soon we reached the main road and from there we took right. In 20 minutes we reached the base of Illikkal Kallu. From here there is almost 3km to the top. Earlier we were able to take our vehicle to the top. But since February 2017 Kerala government restricted the access of vehicles to the top and we have to park our bikes there. Have to take an Entry pass of rupees 10 per person and a parking Fee of 10 for Bike. There are Jeep Service to the top which cost 20 rs (to and fro) per person. If you are willing to travel in Jeep then you have to take the pass for that from the very same counter which is situated near the parking space. It’s just 1km max to the top and we decided to walk. We would suggest you to walk if you can as you can enjoy the view. Else you should go in jeep and return by walking so that it won’t be tiring and you can enjoy the views better. The climate was good and we didn’t feel any tiredness. I and the budding photographer came here multiple times before and we knew how it would be. Generally there will be lots of fog covering the rock. But this time it was a very bright sunny day and the Rock was very clearly visible.  There are 4 or 5 small tea shops at the top from where we can have snacks like omelette and tea etc. We all had omelettes and lemon juice and it’s not that costly. It was not that cold. Usually we used to have hot tea from here, but this time it was very sunny and we were thirsty so had lemon juice. The tea shop was run by a husband and wife, as per them we were the first to come to that place on that particular day. Usually on hartals there used to be many tourists. This hartal was announced at the last moment this time and lucky for us there was none other than we four at the top. After having our refreshments we started our climb. It’s just a 50-meter climb to the top.

Illickal Kallu View
Illickal Kallu View

Now there are iron fences at the top which restrict tourist to go near the rock. For someone who saw Illikkal Kallu before this restriction, it’s hard to stop at the newly created fences. Still, for the first time people it’s a treat to watch. To admire the beauty of the giant rock followed by deep valleys on all sides. We were telling the newbies (Travel Enthusiast and The Photographer) that it’s a different scene once the fog appears.  At Illikkal Kallu it takes minutes for the fog to come and cover the rock. Within ten fifteen minutes fog started to appear. Soon the Giant rock was covered with Fog. Even though the other two didn’t believed us earlier when we told about the beauty of Illikkal Kallu covered in fog, when it really happened we could see the excitement in their eyes and both of them looked at us with a smile realising how beautiful it is to see the fog covering the giant rock as if there is no rock at all there. It’s a terrific feeling of being there at the top without any crowd, which rarely happens in such tourist destinations. You should expect high speed winds when you stand on top.

Now there are iron fences at the top which restrict tourist to go near the rock. For someone who saw Illikkal Kallu before this restriction, it’s hard to stop at the newly created fences. Still, for the first time people it’s a treat to watch. To admire the beauty of the giant rock followed by deep valleys on all sides. We were telling the newbies (Travel Enthusiast and The Photographer) that it’s a different scene once the fog appears.  At Illikkal Kallu it takes minutes for the fog to come and cover the rock. Within ten fifteen minutes fog started to appear. Soon the Giant rock was covered with Fog. Even though the other two didn’t believed us earlier when we told about the beauty of Illikkal Kallu covered in fog, when it really happened we could see the excitement in their eyes and both of them looked at us with a smile realising how beautiful it is to see the fog covering the giant rock as if there is no rock at all there. It’s a terrific feeling of being there at the top without any crowd, which rarely happens in such tourist destinations. You should expect high speed winds when you stand on top.

 

If you are planning to visit (For the first time) then go there on a bright sunny day you would be able to see how deep the valley is (Even though going there on rain is a separate experience). So I would suggest you go there around noon and spend at least two hours there. If you reach there by 2.30pm then hopefully the weather will be clear and there will be the sun. You could see the depth of the valley, by 4 or 5 pm depending on season fog will start to appear and you might be able to see the other view in which the rock is fully covered with fog. After Illikkal Kallu we departed to our next destination which is Ilaveezhapoonchira.  That will be covered as the Next travelogue.

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