The Meenachil river (made famous by Arundhati Roy’s novel, The God of Small Things) is named after the Goddess Meenakshi of Madurai, meandering through hills, plains and valleys of Kotayam Dist in Kerala, it flows east to west from the hills into the Vembanad Kayal (lake). Townships, religious institutions, industries and markets have flourished on the entire stretch, blessed by its waters.
A quick read and I yearned to visit this place called Teekoy, for its unique name, its proximity to Marmala (Mala is hill in Malayalam ) considered the starting point of the Meenachil river. Marmala is clandestinely located inwards, through Teekoy village, a stone’s throw away from the beautiful hill station of Vagamon. Teekoy is also the gateway to the High Ranges of Kerala.
So without much adieu, I set out for Teekoy. Visions of watching the Meenachil river spring out from between the hills drained out in vain. Rivers in South India are rain fed and not perennial. The small trickle that swayed between rocks created just a pool here and there!
Locals informed me about the existence of a tunnel diverting the waters of the spring to a nearby dam for power generation which is safely kept out of bounds from intriguing visitors. The excess water is allowed to flow, just the right measure for the few families living downstream. “Come the rains and its a thing of beauty”, they all said in unison “Vellachattam ( waterfalls )”, the kids screamed in excitement .
A rusted cantilever bridge across the Teekoy river stands testimony to the English influence amidst vast tracts of rubber trees. Tappers carry their collect to the nearby Teekoy rubber factory, the pungent smell from processed rubber lingering forever.
A lonely road zigzags west of the river path providing prolific and panoramic views of the hills ahead. The cool breeze urges you to walk along and bask in the many flavors of nature.