Here's a usable tip to those who recently flocked to Kasaragod from across Kerala to attend the State School Youth Festival. If you want a break, go to Ranipuram, a scenic spot that represents all that is good with the northern district.
The hilly terrains of Ranipuram has earned it the sobriquet of the 'Vagamon of the North.' The village is located on the border between Kerala and Karnataka. Cross Ranipuram and you are in the picturesque Kodagu district of Karnataka. You can watch the forests of Talacauvery from atop Ranipuram.
Ranipuram is 65 kilometres away from the Kasaragod town. Start from either Kasaragod or Kanhangad early in the morning and you can reach Ranipuram within two hours. Get a permission from the authorities and you are free to walk the rolling meadows. Oh wait, you have to cross the shady shola forest to get on the meadows.
The shola forests that borders the grasslands are biological hot spots. Do not be afraid of elephant droppings. You are in elephant country anyways.
A walk through the shola forests is energising and recharging. You have to negotiate a narrow vanishing path that winds up through rare trees. When you come out to the meadows, you will be surprised to see the grass standing up to your waist. The vast meadows provide an open invitation. You can choose your path.
You can trek up the rocky cap of the meadow for a bird's eye view of the mountains yonder. You are watching over the Kodagu hills. Resist the temptation to venture beyond. A group of students who yielded to the temptation were lost for four days. Shola forests have a reputation to be seductress.
Ranipuram is a must-go destination, given its easily accessible location and its position atop the Western Ghats.
However, tourism is not well-developed in the area. You are in charge of your safety. Never wander away from the path marked by the treading of earlier travellers. You may be lost in the thick forest.
Do not let the cool clime betray you. You are as prone to sunstroke as anywhere in Kerala. Keep an umbrella with you. And lots of drinking water.
It is a good idea to keep your sack stocked with cookies and chocolate.
Never leave any plastic items on top of the hill. It is your responsibility to dispose of them in safety bins after you have got out of the forest.