If you are in Kottayam and planning a one-day trip, Illikal Kallu could be the place for you. The sheer rock on the top of the hill, known as the Illikkal Kallu, or the boulder at Illikkal is easily one of the most prominent sights from any part of Kottayam. For ages, it has been one of those far away places - but now, after the road was tarred till the top of the hill, Illikkal Kallu is seeing a huge rush of visitors.
We set out at 4 a.m. to the Illikkal Kallu from Kottayam via Pala-Erattupetta-Thekkoye-Adukkom route. If you are, like us, travelling in a private vehicle, it will be better you check the fuel-level before leaving Kottayam. We could not find a single fuel station that was open during the wee hours of the morning till we got to Erattupetta.
After a fuel stop, we reached the foot of the Illikkal Kallu at 6 a.m. A slight drizzle accompanied us when we started our walk towards the Illikkal Kallu. Situated about 3500 feet above the sea level, we were awestruck by the majesty of the rock as we stepped out of our vehicle and walked towards its base.
There are many who come here for a trek to the top of the rock. The path takes you across the Narakapalam, which is a narrow slippery stretch up the rock. However, we preferred to stay in the valley and watch. When we reached the rock, we saw clouds floating by in the valley. Looking through the clouds, we saw a blue patch, which was the Arabian sea. We spent some more time near the rock, enjoying the drizzle and the chiming of the church bells arising from somewhere in the valley.
After a while, we decided to climb down from the hill - we had more plans for the day. The only solace coming from the thought that we would be able to see the rock from afar. We saw it standing tall as we headed out to Wagamon, our next destination.
We had our breakfast at Wagamon and then headed to Palozhukumpara waterfalls. The youngest and the most naughtiest of our bunch, the three-year-old Angela, could not control her happiness when she heard the babbling brook just ahead. She raced to the waterfalls and happily sloshed around getting her dress wet. Finally we managed to get her back inside the vehicle and drove to Elappara. After some time under a huge tree, we head back. On our way back, we took the Pullikkanam-Kanjar-Thodupuzha route.
After reaching home, we were taking a look at the various pictures of the Illikkal Kallu. I thought from afar, the rock looked like a woman who was sitting with her legs spread down the valley, while my better half said it looked like a monkey. One likened the stone to a monk while the other said that it looked like the hood of a snake. And then, we called in the baby and showed her the pictures. Her comment was – mamma, it is a rock, a very huge rock and that sums up the awe inspiring Illikkal Kallu.