The Monsoon Trails in Kerala was initiated and organized by KJC, had an equal participation from neighboring states Tamilnadu and Karnataka. This trail fulfilled the craving of Jeepers to drive through lush greenery and rainy off-roading over the slushy paths. Jeepers also had an opportunity to steer through the dense jungles of Idamalayar reserve forest.
The journey started from their respective cities of 3 states to meet up for lunch at a river side resort in Pollachi. All Jeepers were welcomed by a scrumptious lunch and a foreword / guidance to all Jeepers about the route to take, safety advices and off-roading instructions by FCA Team. A Jeep merchandise stall was also made available in the venue with lot of interesting stuff for Jeep fanatics.
A welcome kit consisting of snacks and emergency gears for insect / leeches care was placed in each Jeep. The convoy lined up to their assigned positions and moved forward through the Aliyar dam and Aliyar reserve forest to reach Valparai. The convoy of 32 Jeeps cruising through the towns and villages, astounded the onlookers and many came forward to question as what was going on. The convoy was give an almost a green corridor path by the pedestrians and by on-coming traffic – with dozens of cameras capturing us.
The Monkey falls greeted us to start our climb up hill to cover the strenuous 40 hair pin bends to reach our respective destinations. En-route we passed through a few famous places like Carver Marsh statue covered under scotch mist, breathtaking view points to overlook at the overflowing river and Muneeshwarar temple. All Jeepers were accommodated in the best available resorts of Valparai and the age old well maintained bungalows. After a quick freshup and couple of Jeepers taking a quick walk through the tea plantations greeted by lot of Leeches and Bison, headed to group dinner and cocktail at Directors Bungalow. Jeepers exchanged their experiences and winded up on time to retire to bed as scheduled.
Day 2 started off early with Jeepers lining up by 5:30 AM for the 4 kms off-roading trail through the Briar’s plantations which was exclusively made open for Jeepers – another great endeavor by KJC organizers. Everyone were astonished by the capabilities of their beast cruising through the slippery slush, bouldering the rocks, crossing the water logs and climbing the unimaginable steep slopes. After a fresh tea break at the peak all of us headed back to our respective bungalows / chalets and tents for the late breakfast.
A quick lunch at Director’s bungalow and everyone lined up for the next journey through the reserve forest to the Athripilly falls. All Jeepers were disappointed when the scheduled trip was about to be cancelled due to road closure through the narrow lanes of forest due to falling of trees and a local bus veered off – blocking the road. When everyone were about to turn back their Jeeps, the organizer got a green signal from forest officials to enter the forest area and those officials were kind enough to lead our convoy for few kms. The view through the dense jungle ride was astonishing with a few water crossings and whispering birds / animals all through, also a few resonance waterfalls on the way to main water falls.
The entire forest roads were filled with and only Jeeps all through, as this was limited entry roads with pre-approvals to drive through the jungle. The most highlighted scene of this trail was we keep seeing boards everywhere like elephants crossing / animals crossing, but for the Jeepers it was unique sight as if the elephants were warned with a board “Caution – JEEPERS crossing please give way”.
The next stop at Rainforest resort opposite to Athripilly water falls hosted a grand dinner exclusively for us, with very tasty and live counters of local delicacies. The view was mind-boggling from our seating area and we could feel the showers and mist from the falls. There comes the end for another fabulous trail and respective Jeepers departing to their schedules or stays, clutching lot of memories from the drive.
The additional stay for BJC and MJC was well spent witnessing the spectacular FIFA finals on big screen with Champagnes, Beers etc. Everyone back to home shared their experiences of the Trails and thanked whole heartedly the organizers for putting forward such an exceptional show, the last liner uttered as usual – when and where is the next trail..
Original Agenda and Itinerary:
Kerala Jeep Club has planned a Monsoon trail during June/July. This will be a great opportunity and experience to enjoy the drive through the natural beauty of Gods own county during the splendid rains in Kerala. This will be planned along with Bangalore Jeep Club and Madras Jeep Club, including participation from south members as well as from other club members who wants to drive down to Kerala.
Depending on the availability of space for co-passengers in our jeeps, the invite will be extended to North, West and East members so that they can fly down here and join one of the jeeps and enjoy the drive.
Dates Planned: 14th and 15th July
Route Planned: Pollachi -> Valparai -> Athrimpally
- 40 hairpin bends to reach Valparai from Pollachi
- 55 kms from Valparai to Athrimpally through core forest.
- Offroading Trail planned at Valpari Briar Plantations
BJC & MJC:
- BJC to start by 6:00 AM from Atibelle Toll Plaza, Bangalore
- MJC to start by 4:00 AM from Poonamala Toll, Chennai
- Break fast at Sai Sangeeth , Dharmapuri by 8:00 AM to 9:00 am.
- 9:00 AM drive to Pollachi
- Lunch at Pollachi by 1:00 PM (Place: Sakthi Resorts), SAKTHI RIVER RESORTS INDIA PVT LTD, 10th km , Opp to Subbe gounden pudur pirivu,Meenkarai Road , Trissur Highway , Pollachi.
- Meet at Saravan Bhavan , Vadakkencherry for Coffee at 10:00-10:30 AM
- 11:00AM Drive to Pollachi. Reach SAKTHI RIVER RESORTS by 12:30. Have early lunch before the MJC and BJC. Once MJC and BJC arrives, KJC will help with stickering the vehicles, arranging convoys etc
Starting Point of Drive: Pollachi (on a Saturday, 14 th July)
- Once MJC and BJC arrives, KJC will help with stickering the vehicles, arranging convoys etc
- Sub convoys will be arranged depending on your assigned place of stay with an admin vehicle for each sub convoy
- Starting point of drive from SAKTHI RIVER RESORTS by 2:30
- 2:30 PM drive together to Valpari. This is a 2 hrs scenic drive with 40 hairpin bends.
- Reach Valparai by 5:00 PM
- Each team will go to their respective assigned resorts/Bungalows to get fresh
- Stay is arranged at multiple bunglows like
- Stanmore Bungalows, Briar Group
- Monica Bungalows, Briar Group
- Sirukundra Bungalow, Briar Group
- Fair Villa Bungalows, Briar Group
- Directors Bungalows , Briar Group
- Soul Bungalows, LNB Group
Meet for Dinner by 8:00 at Directors Bungalow
- Breakfast 6:30 to 7:30 at their respective bungalows
- 8:00 AM Trail through Briar Bungalow plantations.
- Lunch 11:00 to 12:30 at Directors Bungalow.
- 1:00 PM drive to Athrimpally. This is around 60 KM scenic drive through Sholayar forest to reach Athrimpally.
- 3:30 PM: Reach Rainforest Athrimpally for dinner with lake access and waterfall view at Rainforest Resorts, Athrimpally
- 8:00 PM: Bangalore and Madras group will move to Trichur for Sunday night stay at Casino Hotel and for the screening for World cup Finals. Kerala group will disperse (any one requesting stay will be provided a Sunday stay).
- Vadukumnathan Temple visit for those who wants at 6:00 AM
- Morning Breakfast at Casino. Start from Trichur by 8:00 AM to Bangalore and Chennai
- Teams will drive back to their respective places