Mind Speaks – Flowing against the flow – Do we really care for our nature

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Mind Speaks – Flowing against the flow – Do we really care for our nature

One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Kerala and for that matter in India, Athirappally and Vazhachal falls generate plenty of tourist interest. Any time you visit the falls, you will see tourists in plenty, including those from outside India. It is one of the most favorite spots amongst tourism promoters.

Athirappilly Falls is a part of Chalakudy river and it is approximately 80 feet in height. Athirappilly is easily reachable from Chalakudy by taking a vehicle for rent or by bus from the Chalakudy private bus terminal. This area is the only place in the Western Ghats where four endangered Hornbill species are seen. The Western Ghats is one of the most important biodiversity hot spot in the world.

The falls situated amongst thick forestation, filled with a wealth of wild life and plantations. They include special plants, trees and even butterflies, and varieties of birds. The area also has good fairly large presence of wild elephants, deers and monkeys, who at times, visit the road towards the falls. The same stretch extends towards Tamilnadu and easy route to Pollachi connecting Chalakudi. In order to prevent accidents and for the safety of the animals as well as the road users, traffic at night is restricted on this road.
It is one of the best feeling you every get as you go nearer to the falls. From the top as well as the side extension slippery pathway reaching the downside of it. One has to be cautious not to go nearer to the edge, if on top and also get closer to the falls, if viewing from down. There are forest guards posted to monitor erring visitors, whose life may be in danger, due to a slippery rock, or due to sudden increase of water flow due to water level adjustments happening at the dam above or even due to big timber blocks being washed down from the mountain tops as a result of heavy rain.

In most cases, the visiting tourists are obedient and they silently enjoy the beauty and have a quality time at a very nominal visiting charge and then return. However, you may get to see some unruly crowd who may break glass bottles on the rocks or throw away plastic bottles deep inside the forest.
Do they really care about the safety and harmonious continuity of their fellow beings or even the silent living beings around? Realistically speaking no. It is very interesting to walk around the falls and forest nearby with support of guides and you may get to see several wild animals.
However, a look around during a recent visit and a walk through the deeper side of the falls downside invited our attention to the area being used a free dumping ground for plastic bottles and other trash.

I can never conclude this write up about this beautiful place and some of the regular faces I get to meet each time I visit. They are in plenty, and although surrounded by waterfalls, they too have to rely on the water droplet and stream of water from the spills and falls. The opportunities and experiences we get watching them are enormous.
For example, the click above. The first one resulted in me getting into the first five of the Malayala Manorama Jeevajalam competition in 2008.
It is time we start caring about our mother nature and perennial source of water. It is precious and rate at which it is depleting is faster than the one that which takes the bottle you throw to reach the ground.
Enjoy the beauty of the falls from the down and the stream of water travelling towards it and along with the flow, or rather against the bigger flows. In a way, we have to unite to do the same to keep our environment neat and clean.

Access to clean water is not just a human rights issue. It’s an environmental issue. An animal welfare issue. A sustainability issue. Water is a global issue, and it affects all of us. Care should be taken by all to preserve the serene nature and all efforts should be taken to keep it as clean and safe possible for all inhabitants around.

Ramesh Menon
Abu Dhabi
This blog is created as part of the Blog Action Day 2010 – Water