Kollengode is a village nestled at the foot of the Nelliyampathy mountain ranges in Palakkad district near the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. It is 26 km from Palakkad city. The area, which was known as Venganad in ancient times, later came under the sway of the Kollengode royal family who were vassals of the Zamorin. A number of sites which bear the stamp of antiquity draw visitors to the village, which is even part of the travel bucket list of Mahindra group chairman Anand Mahindra.
If you are taking the Thrissur-Palakkad highway to reach Kollengode, you will be travelling via the famous Kuthiran tunnel – South India's longest six-lane road tunnel - on the way. If you have two days, you can also club places like Kudilidam, Seetharkundu waterfalls, Thekkinchira, Chulliyar dam, Chinganchira Karuppaswamy nature temple, the renowned Chellappan Chettan’s tea shop, Vamala Bala Dhandayuthapani temple, Malampuzha dam, and Kava village alongside Kollengode. All these places are within a 40-km radius. Travellers must bear in mind that the roads to these places are narrow paths.
Exercise caution at Seetharkundu Waterfalls
Passing by the green-carpeted paddy fields of Kudilam, hurricane lamps, and huts, one can reach Seetharkundu waterfalls. On the way, the mountain range far away reveals a distant view of the waterfalls. One can walk to the waterfalls after parking the vehicle in the mango grove nearby which is visible from 1 or 2 km away. One has to bear in mind that the falls are part of the Cahuliyar River which swells dangerously during the rainy season and therefore, one should exercise caution while enjoying the falls.
Chulliyar Dam, situated on the Gayathri River in Muthalamada panchayat is known for its scenic view, especially during the monsoon season. Travellers on social media often share the stunning views from this dam that was built in 1960.
Chinganchira Karuppuswamy nature temple
From there, you can head to Chinganchira Karuppuswamy Nature Temple, which is interestingly situated inside a huge banyan tree. Goats and chickens are brought as votive offerings to seek divine favours here. It's also a popular shooting spot for movies, albums and more.
Chellappan Chettan's tea shop
This decades-old teashop, which still retains its vintage touch with a thatched roof, has been part of many Malayalam movies. Its ambience, complete with '60s Malayalam songs played on radio, simple tea and snacks, seating arrangements and more can take one back many years to enjoy a simpler time.
The Vamala Subramanyaswamy temple and the devil’s tree (pala tree) in front of it where the main scenes of some popular films like Hridayam, Kunjiramayanam, Deepasthambham Mahascharyam were pictured, were viral on social media. On the one side are paddy fields spanning extensive areas and on the other side is the Vamala temple high up on the mountain. The temple can also be seen as a dot from below the mountain. Those who climb the summit reach the foot of the devil’s tree first. The Nelliyampathy mountains and the valley below can be seen at a distance from Vamala.
Malampuzha Dam and rope-way
Malampuzha Dam and the rope-way open only after 2 pm. The aerial view of the dam is a sight to behold. After the ropeway ride, you can try taking a drive along the path leading to the back of the dam. The beauty of the dam comes into view on the one side and the jagged and protruding rocks on the other side. It is not safe to enter the water here but one can savour the sights by sitting on the rocks abutting the road.
Many films such as Odiyan were shot there in Kava, an area that has an abundance of black palm trees and is dotted with huge mountains. Kava is often called the gateway of rains to Kerala and it has many trekking trails and spots for shutterbugs to click away beautiful pics.