Not everybody who has traveled to Athirappilly would have heard of Kurishumudi peak. High up in the hills of Charpa forest range, above all the evergreen grooves, lies a cozy meadow and some rocky plains surrounded by mighty huge trees, unexplored and unnoticed. A land, which hasn't heard of human habitats, ignorant about pollution and devoid of plastic waste. Breeze whistles through the leaves of figs, and milkweeds scatter in the air. But remember, you have to trek up to five and a half kilometers up the steep hill to reach this heavenly destination.
Your journey begins from Vettilappara Forest range office. Start walking off the road through a small avenue nearby and you are already at the foothill. Don't forget to carry enough water and some packets of biscuits, you are going to have a really tiresome path up the hill. The foothill is shaded by bamboo packs, their sharp and slippery leaves covering the ground. You need to plod six to seven steps to cover just one meter. Better carry a strong trekking stick for increased friction along your path.
Your loud footsteps crushing dried bamboo leaves would disturb the blue parrots (Malabar parakeets) and gray hornbills hiding inside the bamboo packs. The creaking sound of bamboo shoots in Gliricidia scented breeze, descending from the semi deciduous groves above, would make you want to take long breaths, which would take the forest's odor straight to your bronchioles. If you are still at your toe tip, a dry, leafless, rocky and thorny landscape is waiting just half an hour ahead of you.
You have no other go than tucking your trekking stick inside your backpack and climbing the rocks on all four. The unsteady rocks may rumble down under your shoes. Make sure you are wearing a pair of thick cloth gloves as large black scorpions are in plenty in the gaps. Half a kilometer ahead, you can find a landing area where tall leafless trees surround the thorny ground blanketed by dry grass.
Indirect traces of leopard-like droppings and paw prints could be seen here. The advice not to spend too much time here, is conveyed without much words. The wild animals can kill you, not to mention the blazing sun and its dehydrating heat.
Never lose your spirit, the perfect place to dry your sweat is a couple of strides away. If you do not decide to descend the hill, you will definitely feel proud of yourselves when you see the greenery at this hilltop. Here is where the wild trogons perch and Malabar pied hornbills build their cozy homes.
Here is where the mother of all milkweed plants disperses her numerous children to all lands below. When the fastest of breezes hit your face shouting “this new two-legged wingless creature is invading our land", giant squirrels, green whip snakes and vernal parrots will stare at you from their tree-holes. Yes, you are at the peak of Kurishumdi.
Take in the vista of the low-lying lands, all covered with clouds and snow. And no, there is no divine wonder awaiting you at the peak. Much like V. Madhusoodanan Nair said in his famous poem 'Agasthya hrudayam’: “At last we have reached the peak of life's mountain. but why is nobody around?
There aren't any sacred grooves here, nor is the sage Agasthya who guarded our souls all along the way up here.
The wind doesn't echo chants; nor do the herbs smells therapeutic...
Nor are there even boerhavia plants, which won over a thousand incurable diseases, amid the shadow plays of misery and grief!”
Kurishumudi peak offers you a sight at the untouched, pure wilderness of nature. which is truly a heaven on earth.