Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Saturday, Feb 11, 2006
Google



Metro Plus Tiruchirapalli
Published on Saturdays

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Madurai    Mangalore    Pondicherry    Tiruchirapalli    Thiruvananthapuram    Vijayawada    Visakhapatnam   

Printer Friendly Page Send this Article to a Friend

Nature's tapestry

If you have a fascination for the wild, writes PANKAJA SRINIVASAN



TREKKERS' DELIGHT A view of the slope that leads to Yaanai Pallam PHOTO: K. ANANTHAN

It is first just a shimmer in the distance. After a while, a cluster of rooftops appear. That is Yaanaipallam — loosely translated as `elephant hollow'. The bird's eye view is from a place close to Pilloor Mattam in the Nilgiris.

So far, so good. The scenery is spectacular. Tea bushes cover the slopes like a green quilt. A gentle sun, a fragrant breeze, a bottle of water and some munchies — with soaring spirits, one realises that the first part of the trek is downhill. For city lubbers that is a relief.

With a spring in my step and a song on my lips, I set off. Chandrashekhar, a forest department official, was my escort.

He said he would take us through a short cut. Things couldn't have looked rosier. Half way through, we hit upon the main road.

A few strides down and enthusiasm flagged — loose pebbles, uneven terrain, a narrow path and we were nowhere near Yaanaipallam.

Irula hamlets

Meanwhile, in the distance one could spot the Edassery Bungalow, a relic from the British times. Chandrashekhar pointed out little Irula hamlets dotting the forested slopes — with picturesque names such as Korungu Medu, Sadayan Kombai and Chinnalamkombai. He also identified various herbs used to treat wounds, migraines and more.

Chandrashekhar recounted how Yaanaipallam got its name — elephants regularly came to feast on the jackfruit that grows in abundance there. On the opposite slope there is a flash of silver — it is a stream that winds down to lose itself somewhere in the forest, also home to bear, deer, bison and wild boar. Birdsong, fluffy clouds, an eagle soaring in the sky and blissful silence — it was almost worth the painful trek.

How to go there

Take the road that winds into the hills at Kaatary at the last hairpin bend before Coonoor. Thirteen kilometres away is Pilloor Mattam. Park your vehicle there or at a nearby shed about seven km away.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Madurai    Mangalore    Pondicherry    Tiruchirapalli    Thiruvananthapuram    Vijayawada    Visakhapatnam   

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |



The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | Sportstar | Frontline | Publications | eBooks | Images | Home |

Comments to : thehindu@vsnl.com   Copyright 2006, The Hindu
Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu