Keeriparai and surroundings which is almost 80KM from Trivandrum seems to be an ideal weekend relaxation spot for those who are interested in silence as well as a bit of trekking. The route to reach Keeriparai from Trivandrum is via Marthandam- Surlacode-Thadikkarakkonam. Alternate route is via Kattakkada-Kallikkad-Vellarada-Tripparappu-Surlacode-Thadikkarakkonam- Keeriparai.
On a Saturday afternoon we four, I, Shinu, Anoj and Sreekumar moved to Keeriparai in a Wagon R through the second route which is more picturesque. Although it was raining slightly the drive was sensational. It took three hours to reach there as the road was not in a good shape. When we reach Keeriparai Jn , Vincent, the jeep driver with whom Shinu keeps good contacts, was waiting for us. He informed us that one Maruti car got stuck in the river water and we rushed to the location to find out how it happened. The Maruti car owned by a Tamilian was taken to the other part of the river in the morning when the sky was clear. Later when the rain started water gazed through the stream and while trying to come back through the same path, the car got stuck. Luckily the passengers were all safe. With the help of the JCB and efforts of so many people around, the car was brought out safely before darkness.
There is a small temple where the road from Keeripari ends. There is a small waterfall as well. Our main intention though was to go to Maramalai which is a private 42 acre estate in a hilly area. It required almost two hours of drive in jeep through the rocky road. We parked our vehicle safely near Vincent’s house and reached Maramalai in Vincent’s jeep at about 8.30PM. It was absolutely dark and our accommodation was arranged in an estate workers shelter. We had to prepare our dinner and all with the help of the estate workers and we had a good time spending time talking to them. Although we were late to sleep myself and Shinu woke up early in the morning before sunrise. The beauty of the mountains around in the early morning sun rays was stunning and we could gasp the flora and fauna of the place with the music from lovely birds in the background. While we were engaged in taking snaps and having shower from the little waterfalls within the estate premises, Vincent was preparing breakfast for us.
After breakfast we returned to Keeriparai. As Vincent had some other engagements we decided to move to Olakka Aruvi which is a known waterfall in the locality. Olakka Aruvi is almost 10KM from Thadikkaramkonam. To reach the waterfalls one hour trekking through the forest area is required. When we reached almost half a stage to the waterfalls, it rained heavily. We had no other option rather than walking in the rain. Luckily our cameras were safe in a plastic bag. We reached to the top of hill in one hour time and to our surprise there were lot of visitors (mostly Tamilians) in the place. This waterfall is as dangerous as its beauty. Although we couldn’t enjoy a shower, as the rain “helped”, the sight was exiting.
After spending almost an hour on the top we returned to our vehicle and changed our dress which was totally wet and cleared off the place to turn back home before late night.