A Road Trip to Ponmudi and Agasthyamalai with Savaari Car Rentals
Chennai, Feb 21: I travelled to Trivandrum for my best friend's wedding at her ancestral home. Read on...
We arrived a few days early, since she had guests coming from all over the country - mostly old school friends such as myself, and the wedding was the perfect opportunity for all of us to reconnect again and go down the memory lane together.
At lunch one afternoon, as everyone discussed their new lives and hectic schedules, the bride-to-be suggested a road trip to Ponmudi Hill Station, which was not more than a three-hour drive from the city. Not wanting to miss the last possible chance of spending time with old buddies since soon after the wedding our friend would move to Canada, all of us office drones gladly agreed.
A road trip!, someone suggested, which sounded super fun, and so it was decided! We would take a road trip to Ponmudi, an exquisite and absolutely serene hill station, a short vacation each of us desperately needed.
The very next day, we booked a cab with savaari car rentals from Trivandrum to Ponmudi. The cab graciously arrived at our very doorstep, and our driver, having lived in Trivandrum his entire life, was equipped with vast knowledge about our destination along with that of the various hotspots along the way. And so we embarked on our cathartic retreat to the lush, mist-blanketed slopes of Ponmudi.
The best thing about road trips is not the destination, but the journey that fills you with an almost intoxicating excitement for what's to come, and with every turn in the road reveals the hidden gems of places you never even knew existed, making you feel alive in your very bones. The cab journey through the elegant, soft slopes made me feel like I was being cradled in the lush, emerald arms of the Western Ghats, surrounded by the crisp scent of tea plantations.
We took our sweet time with the journey, for our driver knew of various breathtaking stops along the way, and he happily played the role of a guide by introducing us to different picturesque locations that city folk like us hardly get to witness.
The Kallar River is a place I will never forget, with its waters flowing like silver silk glistening in the sun. Our first stop, the trek to the Meenmutty Waterfalls, was undoubtedly the most refreshing experience of my life. Situated near the Neyyar Reservoir area, a mere 2 km walk through tropical woods towards the falls provided me with an immensely soul-enriching personal escapade.
The scene upon the arrival to the Waterfalls was enough to leave me overwhelmed with the realisation of the majestic power embedded in the lap of Mother Nature. I truly enjoyed the walk, allowing my thoughts to wander as I gazed at aesthetic scenes of sheer tranquility before me.
Next stop on the itinerary, The Golden Valley, was a quaint place, perfect for a quick picnic, situated along the banks of the Kallar River, where one could take a cool dip in its crystal clear waters and cool off. Driving further through the narrow mountain roads and after covering a few more kilometres, we were finally able to reach the top, and enjoyed a mesmerising aerial view of the entire valley. The wondrous scene, enveloped in peace seemed to me an embodiment of God Himself, which magically took away all our exhaustion and stress.
The Agasthyamala peak is another attraction famous for its religious significance in Hinduism. The peak with its serene landscape, visited by pilgrims from all over the country, was named after the Hindu sage Agastya, one of the Saptrishis (seven rishis) of Hindu Puranas.
He is also said to be the father of the Tamil language - for he developed the first proper grammatical work in Tamil - and also of Malayalam. All this newfound knowledge about our country ignited a long lost enthusiasm for adventure in me, along with the curiosity to scale many more peaks like Ponmudi across India in the future.
The 20 km trek, which took around two days to complete, provided me with the priceless gift of savouring the unparalleled calmness that Nature is bound to offer if you truly pay attention to it, something that I found to be missing from my strenuous life in the city of New Delhi.
Commercialisation has robbed us human beings of the simple joys of life, and the ability to rejoice in the profound, fathomless depths of Nature's beauty. This trip became my temporary hiatus from the atrocities that modern life inevitably brings. We enjoyed every moment of this retreat, and were utterly grateful to our friend for introducing us to this seldom explored part of Southern India.
William Wordsworth rightfully said, Nature never did betray the heart that loved her. For to understand oneself, introspection is an essential step, and only in the midst of wilderness and natural environments can one listen to the whispers of the universe, and in the process, find oneself and the answers one seeks.
true lover of Nature, who turns to her in moments of turmoil, and recognises her importance in human life, will never find himself disappointed. And this is precisely what I discovered on this highly rejuvenating, soul cleansing road trip.
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