The next day morning I left the village a few minutes past 8 am as I woke up a bit late due to the previous day driving around. My destination today was Pachchaimalai. This is the first time I am driving to Pachchaimalai. As I drove, the winding roads that seemed to cut zig-zag through the verdant paddy field and the lush green on either side with the hill at distant was so beautiful that I stopped for a while and took a picture of a perfect village setting.
First I reached Uppiliyapuram and small town and picked up some fruits, biscuits and water as my friend had already told me that there is nothing I could get on the hill. As Pachchaimalai is located in a forest area the first thing I found was the check post and I had to sign in a register. The police man manning the check post was surprised to see me and asked me as to why I was there. I told him that I am from Chennai and would like to drive around as a visitor and come back. First he told me that there is nothing to see. I am sure he didn’t understand that people like me who live in T.Nagar, the central market place of Chennai, would be filled with euphoria even in the midst of just a bunch of trees and it does not have to be a lush green forest. I also found out that he was expecting some green from me and I indirectly promised him that he would get it on my way back.
|As I drove past the check post the both sides of the road was lined with think vegetation and setting slowly changed from village side to forest filled with bush and thorny plants.|
|As I drove up the hill, there were couple of scenic view points and I took a few pictures. As I went up the weather became very pleasant with cool breeze though the sun was still shining.|
|As I approached the first village on the hill I saw workers relaying the road and I had to request them to stop it for a while and drive over the gravel they were dumping to fill the gaps and make the road even. I asked the workers about what else is there beyond the road and they told me that there is a false behind the hill but I had to climb down the hill by foot and it was not possible without some local help. I just thought I would drive further and if I am lucky I would find someone to help go to the falls.|
|Then I reached a village called Chinnamangalam where I saw a few village houses but no one was out. I waited for a few seconds but decided to proceed further and reached the next village called Periya managalam and surprisingly found a few concrete houses and a few people walking around and even a few working in the distant fields.|
|I stopped the car and looked around and spoke to a middle aged man and asked him if he would help me go to the falls that workers laying the roads had told me about. He immediately called a few boys playing in the near by bushes and three of them turned and came running to me and they introduced themselves as Jeeva, Pasupathi and Harischandra and instantly started calling me Anna and were enthusiastic in taking me to the falls.|
|The next 3 to 4 hours were full of conversation and Jeeva was my real guide and accompanied me walking next to me and explaining the route and their work and the other two were a bit faster ahead of us all the time. The walk for the next 20 minutes appeared to be more or less in plains with plantations maintained by the village population including the boys’ families.|
|But as we approached a point that appeared to be the end of the plains, Jeeva directed me to look at a distant place and pointed out to the falls that we were going to see.On the way we crossed a small stream of water we had to cross and Jeeva told me that it was filled up to the waist a few days back due to heavy rain.|
|Suddenly Pasupathi picked up a Crab from the flowing water below our feet and I took a closer snap of it and this is my closest encounter with a crab in my life.|
|We then started climbing down the hill and initially it was easy with the path marked by the regular walk of the local villagers but as we moved on it was real forest with no foot path and we had to literally hold on to rocks and tree branches to climb down for the next 45 minutes. Jeeva asked me to remove my shoes as there was no clear way and the slope was getting steeper and steeper.|
|But in a while we could hear the noise of the falls, the water gushing down the hills and Jeeva helped me see the falls at a much closer distance.
And in the next few minutes we reached the bottom of the falls. Sitting at the foot of the falls, I must say that I went into a kind of meditative mood by the shear beauty and tranquility of the place surrounded by lush green mountains and the air filled with the smell of green all around and the body cooled by the drizzle from the splash of the water rolling down the hill and with no human presence in the near except the boys and I. So I thought it is better to let the pictures speak for the experience I had instead of my words.
The falls from a distance.Bottom of the falls. You can see the caved part where the water falls first and the rolls down the hills.
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