Thollayiram: the word means 900 in Malayalam. Deep in the woods of hilly Wayanad, the virgin district of Kerala, lies a village that bears the name – a paradise for those who seek blissful solitude, far away from the maddening cities and crowds.
Dense forest on one side; on the other, a plantation blanketed by darkness, beating the forest in its mystery and charm. It's deep and dark even at noon. That's Thollayiram, where silken fog and chilly winds cool the soul.
The route itself is an intimate experience with Nature. Take a ride from Kozhikode to Ootty, passing through Meppadi, the scenic hill station on the route. From there, go straight to Chooralmala road, and then to Kalladi Makham. A little ahead, there's a bridge; turn right from there to a local road. From there it's a climb that leads on to the wonderland of Thollayiram.
A four-wheeler is ideal. However, one can enjoy the unspoiled beauty of the land and experience its joys undiluted. The area is bordered by a beautiful cardamom plantation, where huge trees provide a cold roofing. Even at noon, one hears the mass noise of crickets. The woods are in full glory on all sides, with trees in thick formation.
The woods are indeed lovely, deep and dark. There’s a large variety of birds, butterflies, flowers, creepers here. If you feel adventurous, clamber up to the exotic view point, and take in the pristine beauty of the hills and green forests.
Not to miss: the small lakes on the way and water streams with crystal clear water. Further up is a waterfall, where pure water from the forest streams flow down in force, stirring up foam - a heartening sight indeed.
Trek to the end of the road and you reach a very old tea estate. which has a beautiful surprise in store - another waterfall, hidden in the mystery of Thollayiram.
Warning: one needs proper permission to enter this place as it is under the forest department. And the ride is pretty hard indeed.
Our reader Niyas Mavoor and his gang of friends made a trip to Thollayiram some time ago. Click here to know about their trip.