Sunday, June 05, 2016

Jungle Safari And Trekking Into The Wild at Konni Forest,Kerala

I was on the lookout  for an adventorous  trip  to enjoy the monsoon  in Kerala. That was when  I heard about Konni Tourism.

About Konni:
Konni, a forest village in Pathanamthitta, situated on the banks of the  Achencoil River is popular as the place for the purest breath of fresh air in Kerala.

The journey:
Started off  from Ernakulam South Railway Station at around 5 AM in Vanchinad Express.  We reached Chenganoor station at around 7 AM.  An hour's bus journey from Chenganoor will take you to Pathanamthitta and from Pathanamthitta,  a 10 km  journey to Konni.  Finally we reached Konni at around 9 AM.

A Brief Introduction to Konni Ecotourism:
Konni Ecotourism offers various activities to visitors. A visit to Elephant Training Centre, trek to Kattathipara, Jeep ride in Konni Reserve Forest, Bowl Boat Riding at Kallar river - all in a day will give you  unforgettable memories.

The Elephant Rehabilitation Center has many facilities including elephant viewing and elephant feeding. The center has elephant cases in various sizes and are built with strong woods. The trainers   train  the young and baby elephants. Visitors can make a close watch of these elephants and their behaviour. It is very interesting to watch the feeding of the baby elephants and their movements.

You also have an option of an Elephant ride with extra payment.

Took entry ticket for jeep safari and started our maiden journey in to the wild of Konni forest. En-route we had breakfast. We crossed the famous  Achencoil River. We had a pit stop near a rivulet for photo session.

Soon we reached Kattathipara tribal village. Our plan was to trek to the Kattathipara viewpoint to enjoy the scenic beauty.

The climbing gets trickier when we are  close to the peak. The trekking path was very tough.

Beautiful view of mountain ranges covered with meadows is a sight to behold. We were blessed with rain from the top of  the peak.

Soon we reached  the village and continued our safari. Our lunch was arranged in a house and we had to cross a small stream to reach the house.

After lunch we continued the safari.

In the middle of the forest, we found a 2000 year old temple which was identified by Archaeological Survey of India.  We were informed that there are many other temples also in the forest.

The vibrant green all around, tall trees and blue sky will surely mesmerise you.

There was a pond beside each temple. Recently Forest Department identified 24 Munira within the forest, thus proving  that there was  life inside the forest long  back.  It is possible that either people were attacked by enemies or vanished in natural calamities.

We continued our ride through the wilderness of the forest. There are various types of medicinal plants, herbs and small streams inside this forest reserve. We were on the constant lookout for elephants, bison's, deer, monkeys and birds but no luck.

En route there were few areas used for farming. I was excited to see the technique used to prevent elephants from destroying the farm produces. One cracker covered in a plastic cover is placed between two  pieces of rock  connected by a small chain. When an elephant touches this chain, the top piece of rock will fall ,thus causing the cracker to burst. This will drive the elephant away.

Soon we reached Nellikkapara Kotha view point. You will get a clear view of Kattathipara and other surrounding areas.

Spotted different kind of trees and species. It was nice to see the trees entangled with each other, creating a sort of natural art installation.

Spotted one wild Chameleon in the deep forest area.

Spotted red colored fruits which were used by the tribals. The colorful fruits were a delight to watch. The pulp inside the fruit is really sweet.

Soon we came out of the forest area. The 8 hour and 30 kms off road experience in the dense forests, which has the purest breath of fresh air in Kerala was memorable.

Out next destination was Mannera water falls.
The first glimpse of the Mannera waterfall.

A bath below the water fall  was a rejuvenating experience. But beware of leeches. I got a bite of leeches. Remember not to remove the leeches from your body. Instead if you  put salt on the leech, it will automatically get detached from your body.
The Mannera falls up close.
Our final place in the  chart was bowl boat riding or coracle rafting at Adavi Eco-tourism. In local language it is called  Adavi Kutta Vanchi  ride. It is located  5 kms from Mundomoozhi which is 13 kms from Konni. Situated on the banks of Kallar river, Adavi has about 5 km river frontage.

Riding time is restricted from  8.30 am to 5.30 pm.  A ride of 30 mins for 4 persons will cost  Rs.400.

The ride is a great experience where we get the feel of nature with  no sound other than that of the jungle .

Spotted one tree house which was constructed as part of a film shooting.

Of course, Konni is a  perfect getaway for all of you who want to breathe in fresh, clean air amidst the lush green woods with added flavor of adventure in the monsoon.