Romancing the rains at Kakkayam

Rains at Kakkayam

The rains have many hues and bring with it a multitude of emotions. It can be a heavy downpour that often catches you by surprise in the cities. Or that gentle pitter patter outside as you cuddle up with your favourite drink in your favourite place. The rains can assume any form, depending on your moods and how you would prefer to see it. It can be a welcome, gentle guest that lights up your afternoon with a poetic presence and evocative smiles. It can be that rambunctious gatecrasher who gets you sloshed in dirt, when you least desire it. If you are someone who loves the rains, a trip to Kakkayam, also known as Malabar's Ooty, might give you an yet another unknown experience of the rain. Here, when you stand below the canopy of the rain clouds to whom the mountains seem to murmur sweet nothings, you slip into a world of your own, enveloped in an undisturbed reverie in which the sweetness of each moment seems to extend without limits. Then, when the gentle rain falls, a sudden, elusive joy wells up inside you- like when you see the subtle tears of welcome of a dear one whom you just met after a long, long time. It takes about two hours to escape the hustle and bustle of Kozhikode city to reach Kakkayam, through the Narikuni-Thalayad route. There, close to the Malabar Wildlife sanctuary is Kakkaayam. Tourists are less here because the place has not been officially declared a tourist centre. It is better to go on a one-day trip because finding an accommodation here would be a hassle. However, the beauty of this place compensates for the lack of facilities that you might expect. On the way to Kakkayam, you pass through Kariyathumpara village. The views around Peruvannamuzhi Lake will charm you. Pastures of green grass interspaced with pine trees, small islands that are covered with trees and trees with no leaves all bring to your mind images that you could have seen elsewhere; like at Ooty or Thekkady. Walk on the grass barefoot to experience how nature rejuvenates you in an instant. The place, a favourite destination of filmmakers, is called Malabar's Ooty because it resembles Ooty in many ways. Moving forward, you reach the Kakkayam market and then head through the road through the forest. The views that the terraced mountains and the spacious valleys offer are unique. En route is the Urakkuzhi waterfall. However, reaching it is not easy because you would need to walk through the forest, braving leeches. When you finally reach the waterfall, you would find yourself at the top of the waterfall, not below it, which comes as a surprise. However, getting into the water is risky and best avoided. It is a favourite haunt of elephants, so it is not wise to spend much time here. If you stand in the surge area of the Kakkayam Dam, you could see the sea far away, provided the fog allows you to. While many come here to see the dam and observe birds in the Malabar wildlife sanctuary, some come here to experience the rain, to talk to the rain that walks slowly along the narrow paths, donning a foggy cloak.

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