Off road adventure trip From KOTTAYAM to URUMBIKKARA, KERALA
A day to wander aimlessly, to take bath in the waterfalls, make a tent on the hill tops, to feel the rain and the snow, to sleep watching the stars.A dream destination and a wish to go for a long journey to do all the aforesaid things finally came to a halt at Urumbikkara which was 100kms from our hometown. The beautiful place gifted by nature is located at the border of Kottayam and Idukki districts.
Urumbi Hills or Urumbikkara is a majestic, mystical green hilltop located in the south part of Idukki district between Vagamon and Kuttikanam with the Enthayar village in its background.
We started early in the morning.The ride was conducted by Royal Enfield .Our group consisted of 10 bikes. We took the route via Kottayam, Pala though Urumbikkara’s valley town Enthayar. We had breakfast from pala town where we packed some food so that we can have our food in the middle of our ride.
The tar road disappeared; the road ahead was very bad with potholes. The rubber estates ended. Now you can see the forests with some houses in between.We road is almost 10kms and it took 2hours to cover it.
Urumbikkara was once laden with plush green tea plantations and rubber estates run by the British. After some kms we saw a deserted tea factory known as ‘Saipan Bangalow’. The factory was built with rocks and iron sheets.We can see the inside of the factory through the window bars. We saw the remains of machinery and other stuff inside.this abandoned tea factory evokes the remnants of a glorious era.
A motorcycle is the best vehicle to enjoy this thrilling trip.On our way three of bikes got punchered. We got it repaired and continued our ride.Further trials were so tough and somehow we managed to finish.On the way I lost my balance and my bike fell down. My friends helped me to lift the bike.My bike’s tank got a minor scratch and mudguard got a small dent.On that moment I understood the importance of Turbonix crash guard. If I had Turbonix crash guard it would never happen.As we begin to climb upward through the rough roads,In between we came across two waterfalls Madammakkulam and pappani waterfalls.
Madammakkulam,a small waterfall, doesn’t show itself to the outsiders that easily where we took a bath and it refreshed our mind fully.We took a 1hour break and we had our lunch there meantime we dried our wet cloths on the rocks. And another Pappani waterfalls , which meander through the jet-black rocks, beckon you to enjoy its mesmerizing charm.
The lone tea shop on the forest path at Urumbikkara has been a favorite evening hub of the locals for the last seven years. Saseendran would open his stall only after 3 in the afternoon and would keep it open until 11 am the next day.Time was around 4:30pm and we had tea then Continued to ride aiming to the top station.
The climate has started to change. The light faded and the snow started falling . After riding the rough rock paved path for almost 15 kms we reached the top station at 6pm. Our plan was to stay there for one night.We had brought five tents and we started looking for a perfect location for staying, At last we found on top of urumbi hill.The temperature was around 8°c and it went down to 2°c on midnight.We had made fire to resist the cold.We slept in tent Each tent consist of 2 people and we slept easily because of our tiredness.Throughout the night it was raining heavily.On the next day morning we had a breathtaking view from the urumbikkara top station.the sunrise view was mesmerizing. We are on the top of the hill and we are looking from above the clouds.
Later we dismantled the tent and packed our bags.and we left urumbikkara 8am. We had our breakfast from mundakayam. On the returning way we also checked-in to ramakkalmedu, palkulamedu,chathurangapara.
We had our lunch from Idukki and we returned from Idukki by evening.reached home safely by 9oclock night.when I reached home while removing my boot I found a leech sucking my blood took it and burned it.and from now on by the time when I see that scar caused by leech bite.i will remember the whole story of urumbikkara journey.
Good thing about Urumbikkara– Natural beauty, Fresh air, Less human intervention
Bad thing about Urumbikkara– Graveled road, Wild animals intervention
Trip plan– Reach Urumbikkara top station before 6pm or before sunset.Take enough packed food.Take your tent to stay.
Trip route map– (from Kottayam)
Kottayam > Pala > Ethenyar > Urumbikkara > Mundakayam > Kanjirappally > Kottayam
Road condition– unpaved off-road trails.jeep or 2 wheeler recommended
Issues faced during trip– Tyre punchers, dehydration,leech bites
Tips for riders– Take enough water and food,puncher kit is mandatory, rain jacket and pants,tents should be taken.first aid kit and safety gears should be worn.
Trip expenses– (for 200kms & 2day ride)
Petrol- 800₹, Food- 1000₹- (for 2day) tent accommodation free
Total expenses below 2000₹