Kozhikode is the jewel in the crown of Malabar. The historic city has many unexplored gems that can put the travellers who want to savour the mystical beauty of nature into a trance. Onmanorama has kick-started a journey to ferret out the untouched bounties of nature that can provide mesmerizing moments to travel junkies. ‘Trip Calico’ is hitting the road to unravel the memories wrapped in the Kozhikode-origin ‘Calico’ brand of fabrics, which once upon a time took the world by storm.
The setting is purely idyllic with milky waterfalls stuttering down the rocks and the rainbow spreading its hues in the spray of water. The cascade looks ethereal and one could feel the celestial music softly wafting through the air. The pristine Thusharagiri, located in the high-ranges of Kodenchery panchayat in Kozhikode district, stands tall in this rocky amphitheatre.
Scouts for breathtaking views at Jeerakapara
Jeerakapara is replete with the charm of woodlands. The four waterfalls below the protected forest area in Thusharagiri have been favourite hunting grounds for the travellers for a long time. The tourist are always in awe of the second waterfall ‘Mazhavilchattam’; third waterfall ‘Thumbithullum para’, which bustles with dragon flies; and the fourth waterfall situated upstream amidst rock formations. One of the sights to behold is ‘Theinpara’, which has a majestic presence amongst the surreal cascades. Later, the name ‘Theinapara’ was anglicized to ‘Honey Rock’, which is a literal translation of ‘thien’ meaning honey and ‘para’ meaning rock. Filmmakers were quick to ride on the eclectic beauty of Thusharagiri as they canned many Malayalam movies including Yaadhavam, Bharanakoodam and Anubhooti at this place with wonderful natural settings.
The Kerala tourism department gave the appellation ‘Thusharagiri’ for the four falls. But presently, the tourists are only lucky enough to see the three cascades, and the big question is ‘where is the first waterfall’?
An eye for detail imperative
While travelling on the long winding road from Kodenchery to Thusharagiri, one can see mist enveloping the Western Ghats in the distance. A strong cool mountain breeze will rustle your hair and after noon heavens can open any time. The travellers have seen the picturesque waterfalls of Thusharagiri many a time but the local residents would vouch for the fact that no one get to see the first waterfalls. And now the endeavour of ‘Trip Calico’ is to unearth the first cascade.
En route to Thusharagiri from Kodenchery one could reach Transformer bus stop, which is 500m short of the final destination. A steep concrete path could be found on the left side of the main road and after driving 100m on that track one could hear the burbling river down below.
Rhythmic sounds of Chalippuzha river
The river in this region is known as Chalippuzha and later when it reaches Mukkam, it takes the name of Iruvanjippuzha, the same river that was a mute witness to the eternal love of Moideen and Kanchanamala. And as Iruvanjippuzha flows downstream it becomes Chaliyar river. The sight of frothy water gushing from the Mazhavil waterfall and flowing under the hanging bridge is indescribable. As the milky waters surge caressing the rock formations a mammoth rock, ‘Chakkipara’, stands in its way.
Space for drying paddy
In the olden days, Chakkipara was used for agriculture-related purposes by the local tribal people. The harvested paddy was brought to the huge rock, which had a huge mortar, in order to thresh the raw grains. The rock is also used to dry raw rice. Unfortunately, the local people are clueless about how the rock got its name Chakkipara.
A small dam
When the state electricity board was finding ways and means to start mini hydroelectric projects across rivers, the authorities concerned decided to build two check dams across the river near Chakkipara to source water for the Chembukadavu mini hydroelectric project. The view of water jetting from the small dams splashing on Chakkipara is soothing for the eyes.
Memory-laden iron bridge
The residents of the tribal colony in Vattachira, which is near Chalippuzha river, asked for a bridge to cross the river when Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) started constructing the dam in the area. Subsequently, an iron bridge was put in place so that the tribal people can travel on foot from Chakkipara market to Vattapara by crossing the river. But a portion of the iron bridge fell into the river after the 2019 floods ravaged the region.
Presently, Chakkipara wears a deserted look as the tourists directly go to the Thusharagiri tourist center. The cluster of rocks downstream from Chakkipara is a nightmare for travellers as many people have lost their lives there.