Monday, July 31, 2006

Trek to Tambdi Surla waterfalls .. 29 July 06.

This is a brief report of the trek of the Nature Club of GEC to Tambdi Surla on 29 July 06.

Are you aware that there is a beautiful waterfall near to Tambdi Surla ?

It was 29 th of July, 2006. Nature Club of Goa Engg College decided to make it to Tambdi Surla this time. Trekking to the nearest waterfall which is at it's best during the monsoon.

The group of 40 nature lovers, Dutta on the wheels, were off at 8.30 am from GEC. On the way at the Farmagudi and Ponda new bus stand we collected more nature lovers. Aditya and gang, the organisers of the trek also got the food from mausi. The ex-BEs about 10 in number added lot of charm to the trek. Total 65 !

When we reached Tambdi Surla at 10.30 am, we made a quick visit to the temple, completed the formalities of ringing etc and came out. There was an arrow on the main road which pointed the way. One of the locals helped us by getting us to the first nallah. He bade bye and we were left to ourselves to find the way to the falls and back ! Oops !!.

The arrows marked in white paint by an earlier trekking group gave us the confidence to go ahead. The climb was a not so steep one, with enough of exictement on the way, LEECHES !! Clinging to the legs, pants, shoes, slippers etc.. Thank God it did not climb higher !

We could hear the roar of the waterfall from a distance but we could never see the majesty of it's fall till we got near. We saw some birds on the way. Being the monsoon, everything waas quiet, except for water dripping from the leaves of the trees. The famed British nature photographer Ray Wilson has setup this site. This link may give some idea to what this place is like in summer.

At 12 noon we were truly taken aback to see one of the best sights in our lives, the water descending with foam and spray on the rocks and forcing it's way through the rocks downhill. The wind was very strong near the falls, the spray of water got us drenched. There was no stopping the boys and girls. All got into the water, a little far from the base. Spent almost an hour and a half at the base. Some were taking snaps, but one common pasttime for everyone, was fooling around the place !

It was getting to be 2 PM and hunger set in. Seeing that it was not safe to let anyone be alone near the falls, we climbed back to a safe place. With the waterfalls as company under the drenching rain, all of us had lunch of pulav and chana curry. Mausi gives good and neat food everytime. Very tasty too.

It was time to say bye and we did not want to enter the water again. By 2.30 we started the descent. Quietly we started walking. By 3.30 all had reached got bacl to the base, Tambdi Surla temple. One more visit to the temple and some snaps later we were all seated in the bus. The bus started slowly and inched it's way through the forests before it came to Dharbandora, Tiska, Khandepar and Ponda. The leeches which were caught inside the bus clinging to the bodies gave us enough company on the return journey.

At the bus stand lot many of us trekkers got down to go to Pamjim and margao and the rest in the college.

Each trek is getting better than the earlier ones, one thing we can say for sure is that Goa has many many beautiful places we need to see. The Tambdi Surla waterfalls was a gorgeous sight which we shall remember all our lives. The sheer force of the water falling on the rocks, the spray and sound it created was terrific.

An experience which I would like to relive again ! Hope so with everybody else !

Thanks to all ex-BEs and our present engico friends, you made this trek, the first of the acad year 2006-07, a success.

Long live GEC Nature Club and long live the Engico spirit !

Georeg Easaw, a nature fan !

Friday, July 21, 2006

Shifting to Kuttikanam, Peermade, Idukki, Kerala ..

Eventhough I wanted to make some postings the past couple of weeks, it did not happen. The reason was our family has shifted to Kerala. I thought I was moving in a no-internet country, Kuttikanam.but it is not so .. Kuttikanam, Idukki is not a totally no-internet land. View this link for lots of info ..

Peermade, the final resting place of the Sufi hermit Peer Mohammed who came to this place with the Moplah traders centuries back, is the best hill station of Kerala after Munnar which is just a hundred kms away. Peermade was earlier the summer retreat of the Maharaja of Travancore.

It is the new place which I am going to after a couple of months. Going to live in royal opulence !!

Known for it's excellent educational facilities, Kuttikanam has the Marian College offering MBA. MCA and other allied courses. It is a very reputed institute run by Roman Catholic priests. The state govt run Institue of Human Resources Development, IHRD has a number of computer courses to offer. The state govt syllabus Mariagiri high school and the St Pius X ICSE school with 11 and 12 th stds are run by Roman Catholic sisters. The Mar Baselios College of Engg at Kuttikanam, (Pothuppara to be exact.., 5 kms from Kuttikanam), in a sprawling 77 acre campus in the midst of tea gardens, is an engg college which has come up in the self financed sector and five years old run by the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. It is the only fully residential engg college in the state of Kerala, with three big hostels for the students and the only one to offer faculty accomodation. Presently only govt engg colleges offer this facility in the state.

There are five branches of engg there, ETC, Comp, Applied Electronics and Instrumentation, Electrical and Electronics and Mechanical Engg with a total intake of almost 1000 students.. I am joining there as Professor in Mechanical Engineering by end September '06. The present HOD Mechanical and Principal is Prof E V Mathew, retired Professor from TKM Engg College, Quilon.

Anila is very thrilled to be near to her hometown of Kottayam. Me too. It is indeed a great feeling to be back in the land where your forefathers have breathed and walked, to be back in the land where your childhood days bring fond memories of jackfruit, mangoes, tender coconuts, walking between rubber trees, cashew nut trees etc..

Jobin has joined 9 th std and Chinnu in the 2 nd std in St. Pius ICSE School situated at the Kuttikanam junction. Chinnu has to learn Hindi and Malayalam , while Jobin does not have to study Malayalam. The syllabus is a bit tough, and the kids are okay to it. Anila and kids are presently staying in the campus in B3 quarters.

Kuttikanam is a cool place. Anila loves this place very much. We need to be careful about leeches which are plenty in this area. They silently take away blood from your body and neutralise that chemical in the blood which promotes blood clotting. The result is that for a few minutes you will suffer loss of a smal quantity of blood. A bloody socks, inside of shoes etc can result.

The nearest town is Elappara 4 kms towards Kattapana and Pambanar 8 kms towards Kumily. There is a good mix of Tamil cuisine, culture and language in this area. Peermade town, 4 kms away towards Kumily, has a small govt dispensary, the only medical facility nearby. That could be a negative point. But the other side of life in Kuttikanam is that one can never fall ill. The place is such healthy !! Elappara has a branch of SBT. The ATM of this bank is in Kuttikanam and that is a great blessing !!! Anybody going to Thekkady, the elephant reserve from Kottayam has to pass through Kuttikanam.

Munnar, the world famous hill resort is just one hundred kms away, lying north of Kuttikanam. Kuttikanam is also 1000 m above sea level. The nearest important town with shopping facility is Mundakkayam in Kottayam. One can go to Ernakulam vis Kanjirapally, Pala, Mulanthuruthy and Piravom, it takes approximately four and a half hours to reach Ernakulam from Kuttikanam. Travelling through this route is so lovely , especially during rains. The roads are lined with ruber trees on both sides for almost three quarters of the journey. No wonder this part of Kerala is the largest producer of rubber in Kerala and the people are equally hardworking.

Transport is one thing one need not worry at Kuttikanam as there are buses plying through the picturesque mountains to Kottayam and Changanassery every fifteen minutes along this route. Buses come from Kattapana or Kumily. St Josephs Engg College at Pala and Amal Jyoti Engg college at Kanjirapally are the other two reputed Engineering colleges run by Catholic priests in this area.

Kuttikanam has a gracious cover of mist in the mornings.

In a lot of ways Goa and Kuttikanam are similar. The only differing point is in the temperature. There is greenery everywhere in Goa just like in Kuttikanam. While summers are hot in Goa it is very pleasant in Kuttikanam. I will continue in Goa for another two months before packing off to Kuttikanam.

The place is very healthy, with no pollution at all, no dust and allergy free !!

There is cable TV beaming almost 30 channels. The BSNL telephone link is quite weak, but it is compensated by a very strong presence of Airtel (GSM ) and Reliance (CDMA). We have an Airtel connection at home 0999-500-5945.

We hope the stay there to be pleasant and trouble free.

So till my next post, Bye,

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