Some of the beautiful things in life come with a price tag. And this month we take you to witness and savour one of Kerala’s immaculate sights in the hill district of Wayanad. Of course, it is a bit challenging for your legs. And the best time to be there is just after the rains in June / July. By now, you might have got a hang of what is in store? Yes, it has something to do with water. It is just not water, but a milky way, tearing apart the dense greenery of Wayanad forests. The Meenmutti waterfalls, gushing down and then flowing in cascades further down its course is an awesome sight to watch from the Neelimala viewpoint near Vaduvanchal in Wayanad. Reach Chundale before Kalpetta in Wayanad District and take the Ootty road to the right that goes via Meppadi and on reaching Vaduvanchal turn right. It is best to hire a four wheeler form here to reach Neelimala view point. After three kilomteres drive from Vaduvanchal, the road turns to the right and climbs up a rugged road to reach the base of a tribal settlement, surrounded by coffee plantation and pepper vines. Get down, pick your backpack, put on your trekking shoes and of course keep a good camera. On the way up to the Neelimala viewpoint, one would have the company of the coffee plantations on either side and further up, small holdings of ginger and areca nut. The sides of the path leading to the view point is also dotted with small bushes of purple flower plants and also chirping sun birds and other varieties of small birds darting in and out of the bushes. Completing the first part of the ascend, which is about half a kilometer, the trekking path gets narrower and goes down before it climbs up again. Now the vegetation on the sides changes to tall, wild grass, including the lemon grass variety. The narrow path goes further up and suddenly opens up into a panoramic view, with the mountain folds of the Western Ghats on your left and a hill slope replete with grass and studded with boulders on the right. You have reached the Neelimala view point. Have a brief stop. Catch your breath. Feel the cool breeze in your hair, as it dries out the sweat. Take a look around to spot some butterflies with rare colour and size, gliding down the slopes and sometimes going behind the mist. As you remain there, your ears slowly get receptive to a rumble down the valley. If you hear it, take the narrow path going down to the left. Make your way through tall grasses leaning on to you. Move gently and watch out for slippery rocks and pits. Meandering to the left, the path would lead you to a spot, where you would find yourself standing behind a rocky spur with the rumbling noise becoming intense manifold.
Carefully make your descend down and move towards the middle of the rocky spur. It would take some time for you to believe the mesmerizing sight that is right before you. Down flows a track of white water, flanked by evergreen forests. A sight you would never forget. Get your best shots and take in its pristine beauty as much as you can. As you watch the unforgettable sight of Meenmutti waterfall, an occasional blanket of thick mist could block your sight. But, do not get upset. Wait for some time and as the mist clears out, and on occasions the sheet of mist would split open to reveal the waterfall, which is yet another delightful thing to watch.
- Nearest railway station: Kozhikode, about 80 km from Vaduvanchal.
Nearest airport: Karipur International Airport, about 95 km from Vaduvanchal.