The splendour of the blue mountains, the swooning beauty of the sea of blue buds beneath and the airy blue above....drowning in all the beautiful blues
I reached Munnar town and drove onwards to the Top Station Road. I crossed the Mattuppetty dam where the regular tourists were boating and enjoying the picturesque waters framed against the mountains. I reached the Swiss Dairy farm. Unlike last time I was lucky in this drive, for the bovine beauties were out in the fenced grasslands, sedately enjoying their outing in the green dales. Passing Echo Point and Kundala Dam, both tourist destinations, without stopping I drove forward till human population dwindled to a point where I had the cobalt sky and emerald land to myself.
The tea gardens slowly receded and I surveyed the tranquil mountains around. Soon I reached Top Station Road where you take a detour to a place which is a pleasure to behold on misty mornings and starry nights. A point, where the mountains touch the sky, and the clouds trail in and out of the deep green valley below, in serpentine coils of smoky mist.
I drove on to the Pambadum Shola National Park, parked my car and contacted the forest officials on duty. I had booked a cottage in the forest. Along with a guide I trekked for half an hour to finally reach the camouflaged cottage surrounded by a deep trench. There were dark mysterious woods all around and I could hear far away animal calls. It was one of the best evenings ever, sitting amidst a brooding forest and watching the darkness creep into the valley and up the slopes towards me and the darkening trees. Totally cut off from civilization, I heard the call of the wind and the wild and was thrilled by a quickening pulse that responded with some kind of primitive ecstasy to the wild nature around me. It was bone-chilling cold and I could hear the wind howling like a possessed woman in the trees up in the mountains. I woke up to an enchanted morning. After drinking the lemon tea brought by the forest guide, I decided to trek down and then drive to Kurinjimala Sanctuary. I was reluctant to leave my forest abode, but the passion for neelakurinji won the toss. There were wild bisons grazing in the grasslands below and I eyed them warily. But the guide assured me that all was safe.
The drive did not take long and I passed Vattavada, another beautiful village, Edenic in its tranquility. Vattavada has now become a haven for vegetable cultivators and orchard planters. The Kurinjimala Sanctuary is situated in Vattavada and Kottakamboor villages and was commissioned to preserve the Neelakurinji bulbs in a protected park. I reached the park and was amazed by its serene beauty. A number of little hills were covered in a blue aura as the kurinji spilled its beauty onto the soil. The blooming had just begun here and I could see that in a few days these hills would be transformed into molten blue and violet hues. As I sat on a little hill surveying a world that lay so beautiful and mesmerizing at my feet, I felt that my cup of joy was overflowing. One can only see so many sublimely beautiful sights in a lifetime and I think I am at peace now, to just sit and stare into a horizon where the bees are humming sensuous tunes to their beloved buds. There is a cold nip in the air, but the host of flowers brought in a warmth that suffused my veins and would motivate me on all my journeys ahead. From the deep blue of the oceans, I had travelled to these indigo fields of beauty atop the mountains of Kerala. The aquamarine blue of the skies today remind me of the shores I had left behind. But in compensation was this azure magic that would be etched in my memories. Long after I leave their divine presence, they would appear in my mind’s eye, a neelakurinji blue that would dye my thoughts and dreams for all the rest of the living days of my life…..
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