Friday, September 3, 2021

Via Attappadi Hills

Mannarkkad Town bus stand to Aanamooli Forest Check post - 10km.
Aanamooli Forest Check post to Attapadi Ghats View Point - 3.6km.
Attapadi Ghats View Point to Silent Valley National Park Entrance - 7.2km.
Silent Valley National Park to Aanakkatti Interstate(Kerala-Tamilnadu) Check post - 34km.
Aanakkatti Check post to Coimbatore - 30km.

Mannarkkad-Aanakatti-Coimbatore road is an alternate for Mannarkkad-Palakkad-Coimbatore road. The problem with the Anakkatti route is, it will take much more time even if the distance is very much the same. Anakkatti route also has multiple hairpins and ghat sections. Also, the Mannarkkad - Aanakkatti section of this road is not that good. 

Despite lived two decades in Mannarkkad, I went through this route only five times. This time also, I started early in the morning (best time in the day to enjoy the forest) from Mannarkkad and soon reached the Aanamooli Forest check post. Guards asked for passes (one of the side effects of Covid). They were a bit perplexed to hear that my actual destination is Bangalore; to confirm the same they asked for details about the routes I am planning to use. After a brief chat with them, we started our journey through the hills and hairpins. 

At the time of writing, the road is not that good in many places, there are many potholes in the road, and in some areas, it's very narrow. Soon we reached Attapadi Ghats viewpoint. By the time, fog thickened and the road was hardly visible. We stopped that and looked at the vast expanse of forest from there. Couple more cars stopped that and they started taking selfies. By that time, the rain started. We just sat in the car and enjoyed monsoon rain for some time. After that, we continued our journey towards Aanakatti. 

If you have time, make a stop at Mukkali to visit Silent Valley, National Park. This time I didn’t stop there. Don't expect too much from the park safari, only a small portion of it is through the core zone. However, if you are lucky you can see a lot of small wild animals including the savior of Silent Valley National park - The lion-tailed macaque.

Crossing Mukkali, we continued our journey towards Anakkatti. Kerala Tamilnadu border is here. Anakkatti is well connected with Mannarkkad, Attapadi in Kerala, and Coimbatore. From here we continued our journey towards Coimbatore. There is a number of brick kilns on the road, from there the view of hills is very nice. There is ample space in the area, in case you would like to have some snacks this is a good area to stop.