Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thottipalam - Asia's Numero Uno Aqueduct !!!

Hope you all enjoyed the trail to Padmanabhapuram Palace when we explored each nook and corner of the palace and was amazed by the excellent craftsmanship of yester years. For those who want to relive the experience, click here.

Time is now 10 minutes past 3 pm. So we have ample time to explore around before culminating our journey at Kanyakumari. But, Where to go? The options are Thripparappu, a water fall 10km from here or Thottipalam about which unfortunately I don't have much idea, except that it is Asia's largest aqueduct.
I have been to Thripparappu earlier and being a holiday I could imagine how crowded the place will be. So the only option is to pay a visit to Thottipalam.

The locals here are more than happy to help us in finding the direction and seems like it is not far away. We have to proceed in the direction of Thripparappu from Padmanabhapuram palace and then turn left after 10kms meaning which we will be on the village roads till we reach our destination. Let us see what is in store for us. The excitement of exploring the places unknown to us is something really special and the anxiety part is slowly setting in.

As expected we are now travelling along side a beautiful river and I cannot resist from stopping here.

It is the same mountain which we saw from the Indravilasom (click here to see more of Indravilasom) of Padmanabhapuram palace. The sound of gushing river, the flowing wind and occasional chirp of birds made all of us silently gaze. It seems like we can spend the whole evening here, but let us proceed to our intended destination. The roads are maintained well, with rubber plantations on both sides signifying the presence of water and fertilized soil around.

The road conditions are changing now and pothholes are slowly making its presence felt and alas now there are absolutely no roads at all. Seems like it is time for another stop as now on one side I could see some beautiful rock formations.

This shot reminded me of the "Parapally beach" near Quilandy in Kozhikkode which also had some beautiful rock formation overlooking the timelessly lashing tides. (Click here to experience Parappally)

Have a look at the roads too, how the tarred section terminated to this stretch.

Anyway we can move on. We have now travelled around 9 kms and a small T junction is in sight. We can take the left route as adviced. Roads are becoming narrower and the thick density of rubber trees restricting the passage of daylight is giving a haunted experience.

Are we on the right track. No one to ask. The route is good. No vehicles, steep and narrow roads. I am rolling down the windows. Just enjoy the sound of nature. Listen carefully and you too can hear the sound of water gushing down at a distance and the sound of insects occasionally rising their decibel levels. Still no signs of the aqueduct, but watch closely between those dense trees, a huge rock in the shape of an animal is happily resting.

Sights like this is making me feel like, we are on a trail akin to the "Evil dead" movie. Alas here there are some people. They are telling that we are in Thottipalam now, just move down through the right road. Oh did we make a bad decision, for we could see only a small canal here. In any case let us just proceed through the steep decline in a road which has the same width as that of the car we are travelling.

Oh!! we just passed a small children's park. Why a children's park amidst the village side. We can take a look after parking the vehicle.

Two giraffe models are happily inviting us to the park, kids are happy that they have a kids park at their disposal. Watch the place closely, what are those big pillars behind the Giraffe, it is huge, it is tall and there seems to be a bridge on top of it. Are we watching the aqueduct, if yes it seems interesting, let us walk ahead and see if we can get a more detailed view of it. Wow, we are nearing an open space and there seems to be a small bridge. Oh yeah we are on top of the bridge and now the Asia's largest aqueduct is right in front of us.

Standing tall amongst the woods, its contrastingly colored pillars making it look distinct from the greenery around, this has got a brilliant presence. We cannot quite make out from where it is starting and where it is ending.

Watch this frame closely and yes there is a way to get on top!! Wah that will be brilliant experience. This place is slowly getting into our heads as it is opening up more and more possibilities. We have already started a brisk walk towards those steps with my little one leading the way. He too seems completely excited at the prospect of getting up at such a height.

It seems to be a long way up.

But that is not going to deter us from going up. Let us start the climb up with the excitment giving us all the energy needed to reach the top. So just get ready to get another perspective of this place, a place not quite known as a popular tourist destination, but holds exciting promise.

We are half way up. Just look back

Watch how those pillars blend with nature, it is as if this bridge is dissolving itself to the greenery. The perspectives are changing faster as we move up. Again look back, it is just getting better and better, more and more things are coming to our frame of vision.

We are almost on top now and the adrenalin rush is getting to our heads too. But, as the psycologists points out, life is not simple, there are a lot of things which makes life not an easy proposition. Six or Seven neatly dressed up gentlemen are stationed on top. They seem to be the only visitors around. Most of them are in there teens or just above that. As we are getting closer to them, the smell of alcohol is all around and now we could very well hear bad comments being passed, directed at the ladies. All my excitement of getting to the top for enjoying the nature in a different perspective seemed to die down immediately and another kind of adrenalin rush seems to take a life. 

What am I upto. What should I do now? Start a brawl with them. Afterall what am I going to gain by giving them a mouthful, will they change because of that? The end result will be that my mood will be spoilt. My young one is still climbing up happily and so is my wife. Good sense prevailed soon and my mind is quickly gaining composure and I am beginning to think that these guys are talking in a language which I don't understand. Watch the guys who thinks drinking in public place and showing off is the best thing to do in this world.

It wouldn't have bothered me, had they minded their own business enjoying the company and the drink they are having. It really goes out of hand when they cross the border of our privacy. Wonder when these fellows will get a lesson or two on respecting the privacy of others.

Let us move ahead and thank God, now I am feeling better, I can feel the wind, I can feel the fresh air, I can hear the sound of gushing water and my eyes are energised by the lush greenery around.

We are now on top of the steps, but before we proceed any further, let us just get some technicalities of this wonderful aqueduct and this sign board gives an insight to the specifications.

The height of the pillar is an awesome 100 feet (approx 30 meters). Length of this bridge carrying water is a whopping 1200 ft or around 400 meters. There is a duct for carrying the water from this mountain to the next mountain. The duct has a height of around 7 feet. Apart from the duct there is a walk way too, through which we will be walking in a short time from now. Before walking on top of the bridge, let us walk a little back wards and see from where water is being fed here.

A neatly built canal ferries water upto this point, from where the aqueduct carries over, taking up the responsibility of guiding the water to the next mountain, so that people living in the mainland on the other side gets enough water for agricultural as well as daily needs. Whoever has thought of this concept in the 1960s deserves a pat in the back, for we could see lot of farming projects on the other side of the duct, a sure result of the availability of water.

Let us start our stroll through the walkway along side the duct. Have a look at the waterway and the walk way.

It is a long walk, but will any one complain. I am still not ready as I want to take some more snaps from the starting point itself. Is this a never ending walkway.

My little boy cannot wait anymore as he is not finding it quite logical to stay put at the starting point. He started his stroll immediately and we have to follow suit. The view is nothing short of awesome and I am sure I will find myself short of words to describe the moments ahead of us.

This stroll is surely going to take a lot of time as the view which we get from this height and the wind blowing across is simply a great experience.

Let us get a detailed view of what is there on both the sides. Towards one side it is plain lands with loads of coconut trees and a strem gushing in through its middle.

The other side gives a completely different outlook because of the presence of undulating terrain culminating at a big mountain.

The height at which we are walking is making everything look miniscule. Our car is presenting itself as a contrastingly colored toy amidst the greenery.

My son, unfazed by the height was feeling it really interested to walk briskly at this height and he wants to be the first one to finish this mighty long trail.

My wife had other plans, she was enjoying the coolness of the water running down through the duct.

It has been a long time since we started this stroll, but both me and wife has till now completed only a quarter of the total length.

Let us walk further and see how the ambience changes, how the frame changes, how the scope of vision changes.

The width of the stream in the middle of the plain lands towards the right of our strolling path seems to be increasing.

Watch closely the rock formations visible from here.

The path of the stream on the other side is more and more visible now.

The steps through which we climbed up also is presenting itself as a beautiful figure.

Now we are in the middle of the aqueduct. Let us see the scenery on both sides now.

Picture perfect and the enthusiast in me is simply refusing to proceed ahead. By this time my son has already reached the other end, with my wife's sister giving him company.

The stroll is yielding more and more new findings. Towards the other end there is a watch tower kind of a thing. Steps at the other end of the duct passes through the watch tower.

Slowly but steadily this is turning out to be an experience which we never really thought of when we embarked on this trip and sure this will stay in our minds for a long time to come. By this time only we two were on top of this beautiful bridge and needless to say the ambience is perfect to reliven all those romantic moments, making the stroll a great experience.

We are now right on top of the watch tower and it is interesting to see a watch tower from top, something we might not have seen unless in an aeroplane.

To make matters more interesting and more colorful, a beautiful kingfisher was in sight and the photographer in me is quickly aiming for a shoot which will surely do no harm to this beautiful little creature.

We are now at the end of this really long and marevellous aqueduct and it is not bad to have a look back through the path we tread.

Also featured in the above frame is the walkway down. Hey what is that wooden box which is found aplenty on the plain lands around.

One guy is around trying to ask something to us. He is asking if we want natural honey. He is telling that the honey bees are brewed in those wooden boxes. Aha so there lies the answer. But we are in no mood to buy honey. It is 5pm now, a good one hour since we started the stroll. Even the climb down is exciting. Watch these pillars standing in unison with the approaching watch tower too in the frame.

The steps through which we climbed up is also visible at a distance.

We are nearing the watch tower.

My little one is yelling to us from the park underneath. He wants us to make it little more quicker, since he is waiting there for the last 20 minutes or so. Let me just quickly climb down the steps from the watch tower and join the little one.

The sight of the magnificient pillars which holds the aqueduct is awesome.

Slowly but steadily we are walking back towards the vehicle, but with tremendous sense of excitement of having experienced the NUMERO UNO Aqueduct of Asia, the duct locally known as Thottipalam and has another official name as Mathur Aqueduct, this one too like the Padmanabhapuram palace is also built to stand the test of time serving one of the basic necessities of the homo sapiens.

Time for us to move ahead to the final destination of the day where we will be spending the night today. Please do join me for the next leg of this journey tooo.(Click here to view the next part of this story)

Hope you also enjoyed the stroll through the magnificient aqueduct, the height of which is sure to impress upon anyone and it is a place to be felt than be read and seen in pictures.

Quick Facts

Name of the Place:
Mathur Aqueduct (Thottipalam)

How to Reach:
From Thiruvananthapuram take Nagercoil Route, Turn left at Marthandam/Azhagiya Mandapam ask for directions

From Nagercoil take Thiruvananthapuram route, Turn right just before Thuckalay, pass through Padamanabhapuram Palace and then ask for directions

Other nearby attractions (click on links to explore the places)

Padmanabhapuram Palace

Udayagiri Fort
Thripparappu falls

Time to spend at this location
2 hours more than enough, Chose a season just after the rains

Posts You might like (Click on caption to take a virtual tour)

" Pick of my pics "

Idukki - An engineering marvel


Tinku Sharma said...

Hi Subbu, thanks for sharing all your photos,your experience and all the details about the places. I sincerely following your blogs last 1 year. your commitment towards your blogs are appreciate. Hope you will share many more photos days to come.
Thanks and Regards
Tinku Sharma

Anu said...

wow!! this is splendid! thanks for taking us along on this journey... the pics made me feel I was right there!

AswathiBabu said...

Very informative post

My Thoughts...My Views said...

Nice Pics!! said...

Hello Tinku Sharma
Oh that was a truly encouraging comment. Thanks for your best wishes and your support.
Thanks and regards
Subu said...

Hi Anu
I tried to bring my blog readers along with me and thanks to know that I succeeded in it a little bit.
love and regards
Subu said...

Hi Aswathybabu

Thanks a lot.

best regards
Subu said...

Hello "My thoughts and My views"

Thanks for dropping in and for commenting. Comments acts as a catalyst to post more and more new topics.

Thanking you once again


chitra said...

Thanks for visiting my post. I just glanced thru' the photos , shall come back again to read them. I have to read Ka. Kumari part -1 also. I am in the midst of some work. I love your blog. see you.

Renu said...

Lovely pictures..Kerala looks so beautiful with dense vegetation, so much of greenery all around and then you have captured kingfisher too:)

Amin said...

Tank You very much for all these.
Wonderful photos,places,and post!

Anonymous said...

Hi Subbu
Excellent narration. Had been to this place a year back. We took a diversion from Martandom and visited Chithral, Thiruvattar, Thottipalm , and Pechippara dam.
Alcoholics are a nuisance everywhere.They create physical and verbal pollution.I am really ashamed that most of these guys are from Kerala only.


Amin said...

AS usual very beautiful!

Sridharan said...

It is good account of the visit...!
I visited Mathur hanging bridge and Padmanabhapuram Palace last year and got reminded of it, seeing your blog..! I have a blog on it too and I love the Nagerkoil belt..!
I am following your interesting blog..Subu..! said...

Hello chithra
Thanks for you visit. Please do visit the blog and let me know your views. I value your opinion a lot

thanks and regards
Subu said...

Thanks Renu for the nice words. yes kerala is beautiful with all the greenery which is soothing for eyes. But then Thottipalam is in our neighbouring state Tamil nadu which is also beautiful!!

Thanks and keep visiting !! said...

Hello Amin
Thank you very much. Appreciate your continued support and encouragement for my blog.
Subu said...

Hello Rajesh
Thanks a lot for your visit and your comment. I am yet to visit chitral, thiruvattar and pechipara dam. Thanks for these pointers. I have a place to visit during one of the weekends.

best regards
Subu said...

Hello Sridharan
Thanks a lot for your visit and for following my blog.
have a pleasant touring experience here.
Subu ps

Anonymous said...

Hi Subu

good narration and pictures

picture of kingfisher is best

thanks said...

hello Krishna
Thanks for your appreciation

best regards

Rajesh said...

Wonderful place.

Anonymous said...

Hello Rajesh
Thanks a lot for your visit and your comment. I am yet to visit padmanabhapuram,kumarcoil,chitral, thiruvattar and pechipara dam. Thanks for these pointers. I have a place to visit during one of the weekends.

ajith said...

Dear Subu...

Happened to see ur blog and ur illustrations of thottipalam..
Thanks a lot as Im planing to visit Padmanabhapuram, thripparappu etc, this vacation..




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