It is journey time again….to the wild and untamed forests and mountains. Called “Kovai Courtallam”, this forest reserve is a part of the mountains of Western Ghats. It is famous for its waterfall, which also goes by the same name “Kovai Courtallam”.
The way to Kovai Courtallam is marked by small towns and villages. No hurry here, everything here is calm and slow. A typical village morning, with people greeting each other, discussing newspapers and chatting away under a huge tree at the center of the village.
Leaving behind the villages, rest of the way is dotted with farms and coconut grooves. Welcoming visitors to the forest is a small creak. When water flow is less, this creek can be crossed by cars. But on other days, it is too forceful to let vehicles pass by.
Tourist crowds and noises keep away wild animals. During heavy tourist inflow, it is safe to walk into the forest by ourselves. Duirng other times, wild animals frequent the trekking paths. Having a tribal to guide the way is the safest bet when tourist flow is less.
Signboards like this dot the entrance… This one is a poem written the regional language, on the importance of forests and protecting them.
Path to the waterfall is a small trek along a narrow path on the mountaneous terrain. There are rows and rows of tall trees on either sides with dense under growth.
Tree barks here are pealed away here and there… reason being elephants 🙂 These tree barks are elephants’ favourite food. They stripe away bits and pieces of the bark as they walk through the forest.
Variety of trees in these forests are amazing… They are all huge, growing on rocks or soil, fusing with one another, racing to reach the sky. They grow wild without any restraint.
It takes a 30 minute walk to the get a glimpse of the waterfalls… Gushing and flowing down, the falsl seems to be alive with a spirit of its own. She is as wild as the trees around, winding her path around big rocks and eroding small ones to pave her way.
Starting as a small canal of water on top, widening as she flows down…
This waterfall is the source for River Noyyal that flows through Coimbatore. This river merges with River Bhavani, which in turn merges into River Cauvery before reaching its ultimate destination, the Bay of Bengal.
This is a view of River Noyyal a little below the mountains. View of the samr river as it flows through the insustrial towns of Coimbatore, Tiruppur and Erode is a contrast to this. Pollutants and dyeing effluents pollute it beyond recognition.
Fortunate are those who get a glimpse of the river close to its source. Its pristine beauty sourrounded by coconut trees, with the trumpeting sound of elephants from forests afar… It is sheer bliss.