Leaving Chennai at daybreak, the street to Theni within the southwest of the state, from the place one can cross by way of Idukki district in Kerala, is simple . Tiruchi, Dindigul and the toll highways, a distance of roughly 550 km. The truth is, you don't drive by way of any of the most important cities, because the freeways largely bypass them. 125 km from Chennai, an enormous crowd is gathered in an indescribable village by the facet of the street, with a big troop of police current. The group celebrates "Shani Peyarchi" – Saturn's transit from one planetary home to a different, celebrated each 2.5 years. It's attention-grabbing that masks are nearly non-existent, as is social distancing. Many cops put on the masks, however few don’t trouble to put on it appropriately.
The interstate border
The standard route from Theni to Idukki district is thru Kumily, about 10 km by forest street from Ghat; however we have been turned again on the first forest checkpoint after Decrease Camp, a village the place the climb begins. The guard reveals a discover from the opposite facet of the barricade which signifies that bridge repairs are in progress; the street is prohibited for 10 days till January fifth. He helpfully asks us to take another path to KambamMettu [Kambam Height/Top], which we find and duly take. Once more, there’s a brief, steep climb of about eight km, on a slender street with visitors in each instructions, and 18 hairpin turns [switchbacks in US parlance] and automobiles descending at reckless pace. However the vacation spot, KambamMettu, is quickly reached; one final curve and that's it.
KambamMettu is a small city (village?) Positioned half in Tamil Nadu and half in Kerala. We hit the border checkpoints, mentally ready for grilling by overzealous officers and police, however the passage is open, unguarded, obstacles lowered on each side. There's a cop from Tamil Nadu too busy writing one thing to even check out us; its Kerala counterpart additionally doesn't appear serious about a automotive with a TN license plate. There we’re, we cross the border in a flash, and we head to Kattappana on our method to Upputhara, a couple of two hour drive. No fuss, no frills, no drawback… I can't consider it, however we'll take it. A pal from Theni District had already reported the identical on the Kumily border submit, Thekkady entrance gate, a couple of week earlier. The truth is, he mentioned it was not like a visit a month in the past, when it was a 2 hour ordeal earlier than crossing. So the laws on paper, however the actuality on the bottom is one thing else!