A trip to the wild when the winter slowly sets in is a unique experience, especially when the destination is the picturesque Nilgiri mountain range. But the greenery gives way to a reddish landscape during this season. Still, the forest path through Theppakkad and Masinagudi offer stunning sights. When you have companions who love travelling, the trip becomes more enjoyable.
Some 17 km along the Mysuru road from Gudallur, you will be in Theppakkad, where the path bifurcates. Straight ahead is the road to Mysuru, while a right turn leads to Masinagudi and Ooty.
Masinagudi is about 7 km from Theppakkad, from where a road turns left to Moyar. There are several interesting scenes of the wild along this path that takes travellers to Moyar Dam. The path is deserted except for some safari jeeps. A rivulet flows parallel to the road through the forest and the greenery constitutes mostly shrubs.
Deer graze all along the path, where small shrines are also seen. Lamps are lit in front of many of these shrines. Elephant herds and bison are also seen in the area, along with peacocks. The Moyar Dam is 8 km away. The water in the reservoir is crystal clear and there are a few small islands having some trees. A few trees are present on the banks too but, they have shed their leaves.
The small dam is located on the border of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The area is blessed with natural beauty and a cool breeze blows all the time. Sheep belonging to local farmers wander in the area. A village where modernity is yet to arrive is located close to the dam. Some of the houses have collapsed after the residents abandoned them. A dilapidated church is also seen in the village.
While returning from the place, travellers will again be greeted with sights of the teeming wildlife in the area – deer, peacocks, elephants and bison.
Muthumalai wildlife sanctuary
It is one of the sanctuaries having the biggest populations of wild elephants. Muthumalai is located in the Nilgiri hills and a road with 40 hairpin bends through the Sanctuary takes visitors along the Kallatti Ghats to Ooty. Even while travelling through the forest road, the view of the Nilgiri hills will greet tourists. In Ooty, there are several attractions but to be close to nature one has to skip them all and head to Manjoor. The path lies parallel to the Ooty heritage train track along eucalyptus groves.
Manjoor is a small laid back town which is unpolluted compared to Ooty. Food can be had from here before heading to Mulli. The route is via the ghat road where bison and wild squirrels thrive. Monitor lizards can also be sighted.
The return trip to Kerala touching Mulli in the evening hours presents amazing views of the distant hills. Windmills give an eerie feeling to travellers. By night, Thavalam can be passed and descending the ghat road, Mannarkkad, which is not far away, can be reached for heading home.