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Sound of silence

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ON NATURE'S TRAIL Echo rocks
ON NATURE'S TRAIL Echo rocks

Where even a whisper resonates, writes Subha J Rao

It's two in the afternoon and not a great time to go trekking. But the forest guard who accompanies us through the tea estates assures us that Echo Rocks will be worth the walk. The path to the rocks leads through the relatively shady tea estates. Till we reach a pebble-filled path that leads downhill. It is difficult to get a grip on the loose earth as one enjoys a free trip on Nature's sliding board. Soon, you start taking in the sights of the world from a height. The tea bushes here are special. They are a new variety cultivated just for their buds. They glisten a golden yellow as the rays of the sun hit them. They have been so planted as to form a natural hedge overlooking verdant vales. From here, our destination is a 15-minute walk through fragrant lantana camara shrubs. If you go expecting to see some rocks that bounce off sound, you'll be disappointed. Echo Rocks are huge, gnarled rock faces with granatoid veins that alternate between pale rust and onion pink. The rugged façade is softened by the patches of green. There is a stillness all around and even a whisper comes back to you double quick. After trying out a series of greetings and catcalls, both you and the rock get tired and relapse into silence. Down below, you can spot the shimmering waters of the Pilloor Dam, the Western Ghats, a tribal village called Mallakorai and acres and acres of tea. This place is just right if you are on the lookout for a daytime getaway. How to go thereEcho Rocks is near Archiden. Drive down 8 km from the Kaatary check post, located on the last hairpin bend to Coonoor. Once there, anyone will guide you to Echo Rocks.

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