The hills in Palakkad district, Kerela, have a different and intriguing touch to them. Accompanied by a 100 meter waterfall, the cloud-touched peaks of Nelliyampthi hill ranges are indeed a sight to behold. Ranging from a height of 467 meters to 1572 meters, it’s also known as Kerela’s ‘suicide point’. Although the place is beautiful with an amazing sight, it is also quite dangerous and visitors should be careful and keep their safety as priority.
This point is in the highest part of the hill covered by wild nature all around. Waterfalls, animals, rain and the lot. If you are planning to travel it’s always best to go in the dry season. Nelliampathy is a infested with black leeches and the monsoon season will bring forth thousands of them. In the dry season there is hardly any.
To get to the top of the hill you’re car will have to pass through hairpin bends. Ten of these bends bends curve their way to the top of Nelliyampathy. These hairpin bends are not especially dangerous but like all hair pin bends you should drive slow and carefully. There are no barriers or fences to stop you from falling into the canyon. So driving slow and steady is your best bet. Other than that, all things are well and good.
There are a few waterfalls on the way if you need to stop for a drink and fill your water bottles. But you should again watch out for leeches and wild monkeys. Try not to get too close to the ground and maintain a distance.
Once you are over the hairpin bends you’ll reach a small clearing in between the wild where the trees and grass are less. This allows you to park your cars because your vehicle will not be able to go the rest of the way. You will need to walk.
After you park your car you’ll have to trek through a very narrow path. One end is a 1000 meter drop and the other ventures into a deep dense forest. Staying on the narrow trail is your safe bet. But the trail is so narrow that people have to walk one behind the other or, at the most, three can walk side by side. This isn’t a place for children or older people. It’s the destiny that calls adventure lovers to seek thrill and fun.
Nelliyampathi is mostly visited for the suicide point. It’s undoubtedly very dangerous and anyone who goes there must be under strict supervision. The ‘suicide point’ is a rock that juts out at the edge of the hill. It’s curved structure is slippery and the mud surrounding it is loose. There is no fence or restriction that prevents anyone from going further towards the edge. From there it’s a 1572 meter straight drop towards the ground. Accidents of people falling and children slipping are not rare in this area. Hence, it is much advised that visitors don’t tread towards the end under curiosity. Children and teenagers should be supervised by adults.
Staying at the safe zone the view from the top of Nelliyampathy is a sight to see. Blue sky touches the green earth. It blends in so wonderfully that one can’t identify where the earth ends and the sky begins. Going further from the suicide point, trekking along the way you ultimately reach a vast landscape. This is where the clouds float in to gently caress your cheeks as the wind passes through your hair.
From this point you can see the hundred meter waterfall. To continue further you need need a proper climbing gear as the land stops becoming leveled and starts going up and down wildly. If you trek further from this point you reach the waterfall.
For those ones where just seeing the clouds would be considered the last spot, there is another scenery awaiting for you. Once you return back to the starting point. Another few kilometers away from there is a hanging bride. Be careful while you take this road because this path has no directions and no people around to tell you which way you are going. It’s more into the wild than the suicide point and the only living creatures that would assist you if you are lost is the sound of the forest beetles and monkeys.
There will be a road that splits into two directions while taking this route. Take the one on the right, that goes up, and you’ll eventually be going in the correct direction. The hanging bridge is only accessible till just before sunset and is supervised by the locals. It’s easy to get lost in the dark and wild animals venture out at this time so visitors will be prohibited after the light goes out.
The hanging bride drapes above a gushing stream with strong currents that eventually lead to a waterfall. The other end of the bridge leads into a dense forest. Visitors are requested not to venture out far into the other side as its dangerous and easy to lose your way if you do not have the knowledge of the wild.
Nelliyampathy is known for its hill ranges and waterfalls. The trip to this place is an exciting ride to the last minute. Locals give traditional food in what seems to be hut-like restaurants and the scenery alone that accompanies you through the entire ride makes it worth it. It is a paradise for adventure seekers and the ones that love a good outdoor experience.
TIPS TO HELP FIRST-TIME VISITORS
- Drive slow and steady through hairpin bends. They have a clear curve and the road is narrow.
- On the way, there is a small restaurant that serves traditional lunch with authentic ingredients grown in their own field.
- There is a slightly heavy waterfall on the way. The water is clean and can be used for drinking.
- Be careful of the ‘suicide point.’ It is not restricted and you can slip and fall. DO NOT go towards the end.
- The trekking path is narrow. Stay closer towards the heavy forest side.
- Visit the hanging bridge after sunset (more details of this is given in the article).