Another weekend!! and it was time to have some fun with family and we were doubly happy when we learnt that one of our family friends also will give us company for the day. The destination was still not chosen. Our requirements were to go to a place , where we have been never before, a place which gives us an opportunity to just relax and it should not be crowded. For a change I suggested to make a trip towards our neighboring state Tamil Nadu and explore some places near to Kanyakumari, since we new Kanyakumari will be crowded and we have been there umpteen times. The visual treat which we had for the next 10 hours since we embarked on our journey starts here.
Started our journey at 8.30am. Drove through NH 47 southwards of Trivandrum, through the busy stretches of Neyyantikara, Parasala, Amaravila and enter Tamil nadu our neighboring state. Our Destination was Udayagiri Fort which of late has a biodiversity park set up inside it. In the border roads of tamil nadu, the terrain is much similar to Kerala, apart from the fact that the plain lands are much more with some hills at a distance.
Our mile muncher taking a breather after 2 hours of journey, in the road near Thuckalay
We had to take a deviation Eastward after 3 kms from Thuckalay. Even though most of the sign boards contained only the local language Tamil, we were happy to find a big hoarding pointing to the Udayagiri Fort. Once we turned left of NH 47, the roads were narrow and hardly 100m into that road, we could see a big wall, but could not see any gates. After a 100m more we saw a small gate and enquired the security guard stationed there, about the Udayagiri Fort to which he answered that we have to park the vehicle outside and go in through that gate.
Did we make a mistake in selecting this place, for it seemed so small and no tourists were around. Even there was no parking lot, we had to park the car on the small road side. Neverthless we went inside. There was a ticket counter and ticket charges were very nominal @ Rs 5 per person and Rs 20 for camera. The security guard was very cordial and he explained what all things were inside and the way to go. Was impressed with the way he behaved.
The history of the fort was engraved in a granite just near the entrance.
This fort was basically a place for manufacturing military equiment like cannons and storing them. This also doubled up as a jail for war prisoner's under the King Marthandavarma's regime. Another interesting fact was to know about De Lannoy, who was captured as prisoner by Kind Marthandavarma, but who later became commander in chief of King's army. A Memorial tomb for the Captian Delannoy which contained memorials of his family members also is present inside this fort. Once we knew about the history, it became slightly more interesting to get a glimpse of the fort and DeLannoy's tomb.
The roads inside were neatly laid and we all are ready to take a stroll through these roads.
These beautiful peacocks welcomed us.
Outside the peacock's cage lot of swans were just wandering around. Our kids were excited at their sight.
These are lovely creatures and added to the attraction of the place which seemed to be well maintained.
We were walking around a pond which was there in the Fort when it was actually used by the Maharaja.
A kingfisher was seen resting on top of a crane's statue stationed at the middle of the pond. At first glance we were not able to differentiate whether both are statues or not!!
Soon we found out a park and the kids became real happy and spend some quality time there enjoying the park laid out in the backdrop of beautiful natural landscape and no other visitors.
This cactus plant was seen near the park.
Next to the park, beautiful deers were grazing.
After staying some time near these calm creatures, our stroll continued. Next in line were some love birds inside this cage.
There was a small building nearby, inside which there was a aquarium. The aquarium even though not so big, was big enough to keep ourselves and our kids enthusiasm high.
After aquarium, it seemed to be thick dense forest with beautiful and huge trees surrounding us. Not only the seniors, but also the juniors were enjoying the walk through the woods
Just watch these roads, who wouldn't like to have a stroll here
This tree captured my attention and the image was etched to my mind as well as my cam.
The road soon was joined to another track and we had option to go right or left. Towards our left we saw this view.
Who would not be invited to walk between those beautiful woods, if given a chance? We also chose that path, which seemed to extend some distance.
What we saw between those trees is this
A small flower was lying in the road, which seemed even more attractive when I captured a frame.
An old building was in our sight amidst the trees
Just before reaching this building there is a notice board, detailing about DeLannoy and his memorial tomb.
This is the DeLannoy' memorial tomp.
Inside there are memorials for Captain, his wife and children
We continued our walk through these beautifully laid roads.
Found a rope wound in the form of a net hanging on two trees. My curiosity allowed me to do this stunt partially. But it was truly enjoybale stay at the top
This road was nearing its end we saw two tyres hanged on the trees.
My kids were soon on top of the swings and enjoying themselves
We were back near the gate through which we were let in.
We spend around 2 hours inside this fort chatting, chatting and chatting. Overall this fort is really biodiverse, and a true nature enthusiast can enjoy to the core. We had a good time there and I was heaving a sigh of relief, beause this place was truly wonderful.
Beautiful pics and trip log of one more fort - Vattkottai - in the banks of Bay of bengal to follow