Anaikatti in their local language means ‘a group of elephants’ is a small village placed in Coimbatore Forest Reserve Block of Coimbatore district that is on the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. As the name suggests, the place is famous for the majestic elephants of India and also leads to the famous Silent Valley.
We started our journey from Chennai to Coimbatore via my favorite mode of transport – the train! Sadly as the journey was through the night, we weren’t able to see the fluttering view the rail had to offer.
On reaching Coimbatore and after a heavy breakfast, we started on our road journey to Sterling Holidays – Anaikatti by the Siruvani on rented bikes.
Sterling Holidays – Anaikatti by the Siruvani
What a place! What a view! Located literally half a kilometer in Kerala from the border, we were happy just to say that we went to Kerala. The property was located right on the banks of the Siruvani river and we were lucky enough to get a room with a spectacular view.
Where the rivers meet
A few kilometers further along the Siruvani we were able to find a spot where it met a small rivulet of the Bhavani river.Becoming one of our favorite and most visited spot, the area had just about enough spaces for us to spread our legs and take naps.
The gates to the Silent Valley were about 50 kms from where we were staying and believe me when I say that the road is worth every second you spend on the ride. Pictorial!
We had to pay for the ride inside the Silent Valley that started at 8 in the morning and got over by 2pm.
True to its name, the valley was really silent and you had to stay really alert with your eyes and ears trying to focus on the directions from where various small sounds came from. The road inside was bumpy and through the thick flora. We were hypnotized with the tall trees, the wild bamboo, thriving little waterfalls and a few wild animals that we saw on the way. A few to name – the Malabar flying squirrel, tree snakes, monkeys, animal poop, various birds and the tribe of the jungle in their settlement.
We were taken to this view spot which must have been at least 4 floors up giving us the entire look of Nilgiris. As said earlier, we were absolutely hypnotized.
From there, we took a 3 km trek down to the river that passes through the Nilgiri – to the old dam site at Sairandhiri where the dam plan got canceled in respect to keeping the forest just the way it is. Now, there is just a small lanky wooden bridge that helps to cross the river. Else, all intact.
Random river dip!
On our way back from the Silent Valley and the big biryani lunch that followed it, we took our time on the road. Not missing any of the picture-perfect points on the way, we came across this beautiful glimmering river which was just like a painting that had come to life. A river – a bridge over it – forest on the sides – mountain ranges and the start of the river – clear blue skies – clear clean waters – cool climate – and us – taking a dip in it without a care in the world.
As we lay in the waters, the feeling was absolutely – at peace!
As we left the hotel with our bags packed, the only missing piece of the journey was fulfilled on the twisting and turning mountain roads – the sight of a wild elephant!
It seemed that he had wandered out of the forest and on the road to munch on the wild grass on the other side. He was huge and this was my first time looking at a wild elephant from just about 20 feet away. What magnificence!
And now this journey came and went as complete.