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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