Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mankayam - Rejuvenation guaranteed

Feeling jaded by work pressure at the end of the week? Want to go some place where one can just relax and rejuvenate oneself? Head out to Kalakayam Waterfalls near Mankayam.

Mankayam is situated near Palode in Nedumangadu taluk at a distance of around 50 kms from Trivandrum. Mankayam has two waterfalls viz., Kalakayam and Kurisadi waterfalls which are fed by Mankayam river which is a tributary of the river Chittar. An eco - tourism project which involves the locals known as Mankayam Eco Tourism Project has been initiated by the DTPC. Under this project, a Vana Samrakshana Samithi has been constituted and locals are available as trained guides for leading treks to Varyadin Mottai and Ayampara. They also ensure that plastic and intoxicating substances like liquor are prohibited in the area.

The route: Trivandrum - Nedumangadu - Palode - Peringammala - Guard Station (take the left from here) - Mankayam.

Total Distance: From Trivandrum, it is around 50 kms.


1) Kalakayam Waterfall
2) Kurisadi Waterfall
3) One day trekking to Varayadin Motta, where at the top one can see Nilgiri Tahr, the endangered species of wild goat.
4) Half a day trekking to Ayampara waterfall covering Iruthalamoolai - Ayampara
5) Braemore

During rainy season both the falls, especially Kalakayam WF swells to spectacular size. There is a bathing ghat near Kurisadi WF where one can take a dip during the monsoon season. During the monsoon season it is risky to get into the water, especially near Kalakayam.But during other seasons, one can easily take a dip in the waters near Kalakayam and Kurisadi.

Braemore is a privately maintained estate around 8 kms from Mankayam. One has to pay an entry fees of Rs. 50 per person and Rs. 200 for cars (I'm not so sure about this now as it has been some time since I visited Braemore and hence don't remember the rates correctly). But I remember that it was slightly on the higher side. A small walk behind the old but well maintained estate bungalow takes us to a small but beautiful waterfall inside the estate where one can take a dip without any disturbance.  But Braemore is a separate destination altogether which requires another travelogue.

Me and my friend Narayan started late from his house in his Bullet. We filled fuel from Pattom and took the Marappalam route to reach Kowdiar. As it was past 10.30 in the morning, the Sun was beating down mercilessly on us. We stopped for a cup of tea at Chullimanoor and then took the left turn towards Palode. Narayan had taken his lunch along and I purchased my lunch from Hotel Mohabbat at Palode. A U turn at Palode junction saw us on our way to Peringammala. After Peringammala came a small junction called Guard Station from where we had to take the left towards Mankayam. We reached Mankayam at around 1'o clock. We paid the entry fees ( Rs. 20 per adult and Rs. 5 for the bike) and proceeded to the falls. There was already a group of people at Kurisadi falls so we continued towards Kalakayam after taking some photos of the lower fall.

Guard railings and steps are present through out the way to Kalakayam. When we reached Kalakayam we saw that there was already another group in the water enjoying themselves. Due to the dry season the quantity of water in the falls was very less compared to the rainy season. I have been here during the rainy season and I could hear the roar of the falls at that time from far away itself. But this time it was a gentle sound and the water collected in a pool just past the fall so that one could easily take a dip there. And that is exactly what we did. After taking some photos and chasing an elusive butterfly for its photo, both of us got into the water. The water was real cold even during the afternoon and we enjoyed lying immersed in the water. After around half an hour both of us had our lunch and after that we started back towards Trivandrum by around 3.30 PM and reached home around 5'o clock. Thus ended a short but rejuvenating trip which helped in recharging the batteries.

Our ride resting at Mankayam

Eco-friendly bamboo benches

The lower falls

Bamboo Hut

Start of trail to Kalakayam

On the way we can see number of small falls in different levels.

Railings and steps all the way to the falls

First glimpse of Kalakayam falls

Light & Shadow

The reflections of the sun on the water made for some interesting bokehs.

Not only the water, the light of the sun on the green leaves was also presenting me with some interesting photo opportunities.

Yours truly with the Bullet.

Hope you guys enjoyed going through the log and photos.


  1. Hello Ranjith
    Its really nice and I got a clear vision of Braemore from your blog. Thanks a lot.
    Being a first visit your Blog helped me a lot. Thank you !!

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