Day 2. Second Stop.
After spending a blissful half-hour at the Shooting Locations we hit the road again. A few minutes later, our driver cum guide pointed out the Kamaraj Dam. He told us that, this was where Mani Ratnam shot the final scene of Roja with Arvind swamy escaping from the Pakistan (other side of the dam) and entering India (this side of the dam). The Dam is closed and tourists are not entertained here. We continued and reached Pykara Falls a few minutes later.
Pykara is the largest river in Ooty. The Falls is a double cascade of 55 and 61 meters. Even before your reach the Falls the sight of the huge trees and the river flowing next to it takes your breath away. Its truly an image that will remain embedded in your head for a very long time. We took a long somewhat-winding steps down to reach the banks of the Pykara, right where the first cascade is. There's a Warning Board erected reminding the tourists of the slippery nature of the terrain including the number of fatalities recorded here. Its a very wise warning as we found out a little later with a personal experience. Thankfully we were well away from the waters when there was a tiny slip-and-fall resulting in a sprained ankle and broken slippers.
So here we were, enjoying the sight of the first cascade and suddenlywe saw this tremendously courageous/extremely stupid dog trying to cross the river right where the first cascade is. We really had no clue what in the whole wide world prompted the dog to cross the river, but he was doing it and doing it quite confidently too. For not a second he seemed to look like a trapped dog or feeling helpless. He was just jumping, swimming, strategising, contemplating, sniffing, sliding, slipping, recovering his way to the other side. The breadth of the river, we guessed it to be about 150 meters. Thankfully it was a happy ending much to the delight of the entire crowd who started clapping and whistling at the end of this ordeal.
After the doggy-antics we moved on to have a look at the second cascade. After finding the perfect vantage point to watch both the cascades, we were really thrilled by what we saw. Its truly a beautiful sight and therefore a must-visit if you are visiting Ooty. After a while we walked back and found a safe spot to wet our legs. Let me warn you again, that the entire place is very very slippery. After much care we went down to touch the water. Not suprisingly it was freezing cold, which prompted us to get out of it pretty fast. Before walking back to the bus we stopped to buy slippers(which were thankfully available) and some hot-hot mirchi and vazhakai bhajjis. We were about half an hour late and got some real nasty stares from our co-passengers. It was as if we had single-handedly spoilt their entire weekend trip by failing to report back in time. As for us, we didn't bother much :-)
All in all, great place to visit. The only downside however is the dangerous terrain that will keep you away from enjoying the river.
Must-Do: Take pictures of the beautiful locale. Use the "Open" Trash Cans provided.
Must-Dont: Throwing caution to the wind.
Must-Buy: Try the hot Mirchi and Vazhakai Bhajjis. Entry fee of Rs. 2.
Watch-Out: Stupid river-crossing dogs, slippery rocks/stones/earth/trees/leaves and everything that you can touch!
My Rating: 7/10