We all are some way or the other movie buffs and love to watch a movie in the weekend after keeping aside the busy daily life pressures. Inside a multiplex, with high definition video and audio effects, nowadays, watching a movie is like a different experience which is hard to explain. Whatever we see on the big screens with all other light off is really appealing and if it presents wonderful scenery then our enthusiasm widens. Athirappally waterfalls in Bahubali and other movies was really a scene stealer and same like there are other places captured in cameras arousing curiosity among the audiences.It has been a year after the release of the big budget and book office cracker of ever time superstar, Mohanlal movie Pulimurugan where hunt of man versus wild was shot. After the release of the movie, people from different parts of places landed Kerala and were in search of the scenic place pictured. Audiences were moved by the wilder beauty of that place. They thought such a scenic splendor was in Munnar or Thekkady and started booking several Kerala tourism packages. The social media popularized the place and finally, its name was out.
The picturesque forest captured in the movie was Pooyamkutti, in Ernakulam district near to Kothamangalam. It was a real surprise to know that the forest was located in Ernakulam district instead of some other popular locations in Kerala.
Before Pulimurugan, Pooyamkutti has shown its eminence in another Mohanlal movie named Shikkar. The movie was not a blockbuster hit but still, the place was perfectly shot. It is after the Pulimurugan release, the popularity of the place soared.
Tourists especially, youngsters were so thrilled to visit the place and most of them planned a trekking to the inner skirts of Pooyamkuti forests. The social media's publicity was the main reason for more trekking to this place. The exact location is about 27 kilometers from Kothamangalam and to see the wilderness of the forest, a prior permission is needed. On the way to Poyyamkutti, there are many breathtaking attractions and after tasting its beauty, continue the journey to the abode of Murugan, the wild hunter. The route can be picked as Kothamangalam to Thattekad to reach Kuttampuzha and from there Pooyamkutti.
The Thattekad bird sanctuary is famous and is a bird lover's paradise. On the way, a visit can be made to this wonderful bird sanctuary. It is the venture of the great ornithologist, Dr Salim Ali and after a research in early times; he convinced Travancore kings that the place is abundant with a rich diversity of birds. This place is perfect for trekking too. Kuttampuzha is another location which is an offbeat attraction and not so popular. Kerala has several such places which are not so popular but its beauty is unexplainable and we can reap more memories from there. Some honeymoon couples demand privacy for spending their newly wedded days to enjoy nature and for them, these offbeat places can be preferred. Kuttampuzha is such a place that can be included in the honeymoon packages in Kerala. It is actually a tiny scenic hamlet in Kerala where people are involved in farming and other agricultural practices and are far away from the commercialization. It is the meeting point of two rivers namely Pooyamkutti and Edamalayar, hence the name 'Koodum' meaning meeting and 'Puzha', river. On must really appreciate the diversity of butterflies of this village with Gladey bush brown and Malabar rose varieties. To feel the chillness of the water, there are several bathing Ghats around the village. After filling your senses with a soothing village life experience, continue the journey to the wild.
Pooyamkutti and its forests belong to the Malayatoor forest division. The Pooyamkutti River is what separating the town from the forests. It is the tributary of Periyar River. The most exciting thing one can see here is the tribal villages inside the forest. One must take a 10 kilometers trek inside to watch the tribal world. The watch of bamboo huts and their happily living are quite thrilling to behold. One thing which is unknown to the world is that Pooyamkutty is the habitat for wild elephants and there are huge numbers of them inside the forests. Unlike shot in the movie, where tigers are the frequented wild animal here, the elephants are the villain but this a place where the humans and elephants have learned to coexist Tribal live in harmony with the elephants. One interesting fact is that the Pooyamkutty forests lye in the Western Ghats, connecting Eravikulam National park and Parambikulam wildlife sanctuary. Hence, this is the major elephant migration route, thus allowing a huge population of elephants to nurture here. The population of bamboo forests is another reason why elephants migrate to Pooyamkutti forests. There are fastly growing bamboo trees inside the forest and thus bamboo domination is more here. These forests are the breeding grounds for freely roaming elephants.
Another suggestion is that trekking can be done in the Pooyamkuty forests with your friends. Lucky are those youngsters in the Ernakulam district as they can opt it as a weekend trip involving great kind of adventure. For people from faraway places, visiting Kerala during holidays is suggested. It is really difficult for new ones in Kerala to figure out the place and hence seeking the guidance of tour planners is necessary and by choosing some attractive Kerala holiday packages, a guided trekking will be offered to the tourists. One thing you must be bewares of while trekking is the elephants. But as per the locals there, the elephants are really active during nights and are not often encountered in days unless a threat for their habitat occurs. To get inside the forest, jungle route is the only way after crossing the river. The elephants used to damage the crops and for protecting from which, electric fences are built at some locations. The avid trekkers can smell the fresh elephant dung on your way. They will come to the jungle route or tribal village at night and afterwards move to the banks of Pooyamkutty River. But this is not a sight that can be seen in daytime. Another interesting attraction here is the Peendimedu waterfalls which are 8 kilometers deep inside the forest. This is a very large waterfall, and realising its potential, a hydroelectric project named Indira Priyadarshini was proposed to cover 1000 MW same like Idukki dam but was changed to 210 MW later. The environmental issues and the threat to biodiversity are what lying as a hindrance to this project.
We have seen a bridge in the Pulimurugan movie and is the only way to cross the river and connects Poyyamkuty to Manikandamchal. Manikandamchal is a village and the bridge is named as Chappath by locals. The call of the jungle is characterized by the sound of langurs and macaques. To reach the tribal colony, 20 kilometers of a trek is needed and from where good quality pure and natural honey can be bought. Almost 100 tribes inhabit the village and a healthy interaction can give you a chance to get some tribal products. Never try to visit the forest during monsoons as the river will be flooded making the trek difficult and risky. It is best to trek after monsoons preferably after October. This is a ride to explore the locations of the Pulimurugan and witness the wildness of the forest in real.