An Evening in Vellarimala
Vellari Mala lies at an altitude of 2200 meters is a popular hill resort around Kozhikode. It is also known as the Camel Hump Mountains. The land's beauty and topography is truly a trekker's paradise. It resembles South America's forest with no cicadas or Beatles and is popularly known as a silent valley.
The sound of chirping birds reached a crescendo as the darkness befell. Miles and miles of undulating forest covered with peaks seemed to guard the hillock in the diminishing light. The feeble wind blowing tickled us and I soon felt chill into the bones. After an arduous day’s hike in the dense forest we were standing on a cliff adjoining the hillock of Vellarimala.
Vellarimala forms a part of a high hill range of what is otherwise known as Camel's Hump Mountains, a part of the Western Ghats. Most of the hill range falls in the Meppady Forest Range of South Wayanad Division with some parts falling Thamarassery Range of Kozhikode Division. Vellarimala peak is at an altitude of 2050 meters while the highest peak of this range would be Vavulmala standing tall at 2330 meters.
The forests here grow till great heights of 2000 meters and above deep in the interiors of Kerala, we learned that the mountains here are higher than most of the Western Ghats, that, the shola grasslands so typical of western ghats do not grow in this part of the state, the absence of Crickets & even Cicadas in the forest resembled a forest of South America and was looking Eerie..!
Being jubilant and in an explorative mood amongst the members, I dashed into the thickets unmindful of fading light. I reached the edge of the vantage point and was soon into a clearing to appreciate the great views. Finally, was on top of the world even above the clouds. The clouds were repeatedly engulfing the high peaks and therefore I couldn't see much of the plains. I could see miles-n- miles of forest cover and distant peaks, most of them unknown. I could spot the Silver streamline of Olichuttam Waterfalls flowing down and the Chaliyar valley.
The changing colors in the sky promised me to witness a memorable sunset on the horizon. Unmindful of the risk I walked through the bushes and jostling for space I peeped through the foliage and lichens hanging from the protruding branches. Still, the evening sun seemed to be in a bucket of gold in the far horizon. It was a perfect silhouette and indeed synonymous with peak indeed.!. The peaks of Masthakapara, Chembra, and Wayanadu Mala glittered with a pinkish tinge. I stood gazing at the sky till the crescent moon peeped through the scattered clouds. I tiptoed towards the Campsite in the moonlight which was in yonder. Greeting mother nature for granting me a fabulous sunset and felt all my efforts were worthwhile..!. Suddenly a grunting sound and giant shadows passing in the bushes lit by backlight brought goose pimples within no time...!