I was just going through the Google image search for some of the best places to go for trekking and I found this image of a waterfall right in the middle of the forest. Interestingly, this place is in ernakulam district and I have never heard of this place before. After having a discussion with my colleagues who were always ready for a getaway, we decided to explore Variyam Kuthu, a beautiful waterfall amidst the jungle.
The “Pooyamkutty” river separates the forest from the town. You have to get to the other side of the river to begin the hiking towards the waterfall. The whole forest is part of the mighty Western Ghats. Bamboo forests contribute to the most part of the mountains. This makes Variyam kuthu quite a haven for the wild Elephants. The place is gifted with beautiful waterfalls and Variyam kuthu is the biggest among the three waterfalls here.
At “mlavana”, a small town near thattekad, Ernakulam dt there is this jangar service on which we took our bikes to the other side of the river. The next stop is after some seven kilometres in the jungle and there are no proper roads to reach there. Somehow we managed to ride through the rough and rugged jungle route for about two kilometres. At a point uphill it became very hard to ride any further and the conditions of our bikes weren’t good either. So we decided to leave our bikes in no mans land and walk till the falls. Most of the places on the way to the waterfalls were having elephant dungs and foot prints. So we were worried about our bikes. Someone from the tribal village, whom we met on the way told us the place is a strong elephant territory. He said, you don’t have to be worried, the elephants here are scared of the humans. They come out only when it gets dark. So we started walking all the way to the falls, leaving our vehicles behind. We walked almost five kilometres and reached a tribal village which was near to the first waterfall. All of us were very tired and thirsty and thrilled at the same time and were busy getting the photographs of the waterfall. We couldn’t resist ourselves from getting down into the pool near the waterfall. Later on, the leeches were running the show. One of my friend was constantly attacked by the leeches, but he found it a good thing to be attacked by the blood sucker. We also heard some unfamiliar calls from the jungle. But never got a chance to see any wildlife close or film them. Not just elephants, other wildlife also find this place a haven. Sambar deer, spotted deer, monkeys, wild boars and leopards are very common sightings here, said one of the tribe we met there. Like anywhere else, you have to be lucky to spot them in wild. After getting back to the tribal village we came to know the variyam kuthu fall is another four kilometres away. By then we were all tired and we had our vehicles parked in the jungle which might be under the surveillance of the elephants. It was getting dark by then, so we dropped the plan of seeing the “variyam kuthu” falls and started walking back to our bikes. Then the only thing we had on our minds was to come back here again some other time and get to the biggest of the three falls.
For anyone who is a nature lover, this is a perfect spot to come. Even though we couldn’t make it to the variyam kuthu falls, the entire trip was a good experience. If you are planning a trip, go by a jeep or hire a jeep at mlavana. I am sure variyam kuthu won’t disappoint you.
PS : Please don’t consider this place as a picnic spot. Only visit this place if you truly love nature. Appreciate the tribal works and buy something from them if you could.
How to reach : Ernakulum > Muvatupuzha > Thattekad >Mlavana > then hire a jeep ( recommended ) > Variyam Kuthu.