Bordering forest reserves, the Mahagony Thottam here is resplendent with innumerable Mahagony trees intimidatingly staring down at you. A short trail meandering through the tall trees with bird calls in the distance made it a delightful walk from the information counter. Swirling branches, the sunlight filtering through the canopy, fallen tree trunks and the rustling foliage made it seem like I was deep inside a forest. The wind swishing once in a while, and the chattering of the monkeys made it all the more engrossing, until the break of a laughter among a few visitors behind brought me back to the moment.
Strolling further, while dodging past the trees, I could hear the gurgling of waters as we neared a clearing. Soon, I was staring at the Periyar, flowing relentlessly, and the water glittering like precious stones. Despite the sun blazing away, I waded into the cool shallow waters, placing my feet with caution over pebbles, some of which were round and smooth, while a few not so much. While the waters at Paniyeli Poru are gushing, and with dips, under currents and whirlpools, it is much calmer here, and you can into the waters, which are mostly knee high. Making myself comfortable on a protruding rock, I gazed at the flowing waters, greenery along the opposite bank, and pebbles, which were so visible through the waters. The water was so pure and clear that the pebbles seemed like they were right on the surface, and not a foot below. I sat there for a while in the midst of the peaceful surroundings, watching in oblivion the Periyar flowing away.
How to reach Illithode:
The closest city is Cochin, which is 60 km away from Illithode via Aluva and Malayatoor. Cochin is well connected to other cities across India by trains and flights. It’s ideal to take your vehicle or a private cab to get to here.