Malakkappara, a small town in Kerala was pretty cool and calm. Squeezed between the deciduous forests of Vazhachal and sprawling tea gardens, Malakkappara is a beauty on the Western Ghats of India. I was on my Kochi to Marayoor ride and here’s an extract of my journey, detailing my experience from Malakkappara to Aliyar Dam.
Misty mountains, winding roads, and pleasing weather captivated my senses. I had already started from Malakkappara with my backpack on my shoulders. Immediately after leaving the small town, the road was lonely and my joy of solo riding climbed high.
In a few minutes I crossed the forest check post and Malakkappara check post to enter Tamil Nadu (there is no entry fee… formalities are very basic too). My journey continued through the curvy roads of exotic countryside. When I took stops to relax, I made sure that I am close to the beautifully nurtured coffee plantations or graciously spread tea gardens.
Sholayar Dam was on my way with its vast catchment area. The road was so close to the dam and the water body that my tempting eyes did not let me continue without pausing there for a few minutes of gratification. Once again the lush green plantations appeared on my both sides and I joyfully rode my Royal Enfield Classic 350.
At Valparai, a much larger town than Malakkappara, I filled my fuel tank and continued. Valparai is almost 120 kilometers from Cochin International Airport. The town that stays on the valley of two hills have a few luxury hotels and many small hotels for accommodation. As a traveler, here you may find everything that you need on a travel (the basics).
Not very far from Valparai was a deep forest with tall trees. A few lion tailed macaques were searching food on the road and around. They were escorted by two forest department officers. I then recalled the fact that lion tailed macaques are endangered.
Soon after the lion tailed macaques, there came a couple of Indian boars. They fearlessly roamed on the road as I passed through one side. The roads were getting extremely curvy and I was starting to unwind the 40 hairpin twists between Valparai and Aliyar. A team of riders from Kozhikode greeted me and raced their way ahead. I followed them at a slower pace and stopped at Tiger Valley.
The name Tiger Valley attracted me and I started looking around for tigers. Unfortunately, my eyes lacked the luck to find even a small cub. Yet, the valley was incredible and resembled the great African savannas. When I started from Tiger Valley, I didn’t know that it was to stop soon.
A vast water body was visible to me several feet higher than it. I stood on a projecting platform to look down to see Aliyar Dam. The dam was not visible but its catchment area was pretty clear. My camera got attention from a few goats that grazed on thorny bushes. They stood bold and steady on the steeps.
A few more hairpin bends and I completed all 40 of them to start riding on the plane lands of Tamil Nadu. The landscape changed dramatically. There were no bushy mountains, tea estates or coffee plantations, but coconut groves. As I reached Aliyar Dam, a small town with many kiosks welcomed me. A small roadside restaurant selling fresh fried fish attracted my senses. I stopped my bike right in front of the restaurant and picked my choice of whole fish to get it deep fried. I was not finishing my journey there… I continued my ride to Marayoor via Thirumoorthy hills.
Useful Facts: Malakkappara to Aliyar Dam Ride
Where to stay?
When you are in Malakkappara, you can find a few home stays. There are no luxury hotels to stay in Malakkappara.
Valparai has some better hotels and some attractive cottage accommodations. There are also home stays and budget hotels in Valparai.
Aliyur is a small town adjacent to Aliyur dam. There are budget accommodation facilities in Aliyur.
|Map of Malakkappara|