In conversation with Rajesh Raman
of Theera Ulaa Travel
This month we feature Rajesh Raman who is a Travel Vlogger – he initially started his vlog to share his travel diary with people interested in finding newer and undiscovered destinations.
This story is about travel, and what inspires Rajesh to take a break from work and head out with his Theera Ulaa team. He says he has been to 25 states in India and wants young people to escape from the four walls of their cubicles to experience the world outside and the beauty of travel.
Rajesh has an engineering degree in computer science and runs an academy offering entrance exam coaching, digital marketing and stock marketing training in Coimbatore.
This is a two-part series of our interview with Rajesh, and here are some excerpts from Segment One.
What is the meaning of “Theera Ulaa” and how does it relate to travel?
“Theera Ulaa” is an interesting phrase meaning your ‘never-ending journey’. And that is what we want life to be like for you - to meet new people, discover new places and experience new cultures.
And it all began during our college days when we first discovered our wings – ours was a small group of friends who were like-minded and consumed by wanderlust. We started operations as a travel advisory using the online video format; soon we wanted to add useful content and information. (Everything someone would want to know without calling a travel agent.)
Initially we were just a two-member team – I had Rajesh Anandh as my founding partner. He is a highly skilled cameraman and my business partner as well. We soon had other friends joining our team and take on clearly assigned tasks to improve the quality of our stories.
Could you describe one destination that is a nature lover’s delight?
Meghamalai (also known as Wavy Mountains) is located in Theni District and is 130 km from Madurai – it is also easy to reach from most cities in Tamilnadu. Meghamalai is often described as a nature lover’s paradise with dense virgin forests and visually delightful waterfalls. If you are a bird lover, please wing your way to a location that has rare bird species sighted (and) identified by bird watchers.
This is a popular destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers because of the natural wild-life habitat and the picturesque hill station setting. Especially if you are looking for trekking in permitted areas and have the patience to wait for your much anticipated big game sighting.
The tea estates here go back in time, and reminiscent of Britain’s imperial tea plantation imprint - the locals who live here are largely tea plantation workers.
Places to see include the Highwavys Dam, Manalar river, Maharaja mettu, and a sprawling lake nearby.
The kind of food you can look forward to: A wide range of cuisines to choose from – including authentic Chettinaad at the local restaurants.
Can you talk about one hill station destination for outdoors and camping?
Ramakkalmedu is a hill station and a hamlet in Kerala’s Idukki district. It is also known as ‘God’s Own Hill Station’ providing a bird’s eye view of the hamlets and villages nearby.
The vast green carpet hill-scapes and pure mountain air make Ramakalmedu a refreshing option if you are looking for a holiday with a difference. Peaking at 3,500ft above sea level, Ramakalmedu has become a popular trekking destination over the last few years.
Places to see include Kuravan Kurathi Statue, Ama kal para, Thooval Falls and a windmill farm. Tourists and visitors will love the setting and ambience of the windmill farm. Pushpakandam and Kuruvikanam near Ramakkalmedu are known for private holding wind farms.
The kind of food you can look forward to: Kappa Biriyani, Puttu, Kadla Curry and Meat Fry are the local specials – served at hotels here.
Places to stay: Options include tent stays and hill top cottages for adventure seekers. You could also go on a jeep safari at night.
Can you talk about a holiday destination for bikers and adventure seekers?
Kolli Hills or Kolli Malai is a small mountain range located in central Tamil Nadu and spread over the Namakkal and Tiruchirapalli districts. The mountain range rises to 1200 metres and covers a really vast area. Koli Malai is 45 km from Namakkal and 120 km from Trichy.
Kolli Malai is popular among nature lovers, hikers, trekking clubs, and bikers because of its challenging hair pin bends. It is also a popular destination for meditation practitioners – because of the sadhu community living deep inside the forest - many tourists come here to discover their lifestyles and practices. The hill slopes are a good source for medicinal herbs and plants.
Places to see: Agaya Gangai Waterfalls, Arapaleswarar Temple, Peryaswamy Temple, Ettukai Amman Temple, Horticulture Farm, Herbal Farm, Boat-house, Pineapple Farms, View Point, and the Telescope House. The Kollimalai market is also an interesting stop-over.
The kind of food you can look forward to: Authentic South Indian at the many restaurants in and around Kolli Malai. (You also have fusion food for those who want something different.)
Places to stay options include local resorts that are fairly comfortable and easy on the tariff.
A message from Rajesh on looking beyond what you can see . . .
Everyone starts their pursuit of happiness by taking the next logical step in life. Go to school, find a job, get married and … retire. In that logical journey they forget to connect the dots and enjoy life. It’s only when people retire that they think of looking at what they have missed out in life. Some choose the path of spirituality, while others look at their diaries, planners and bucket lists. So, here’s my advice to you: Stop dreaming about your bucket list and start living it.
Finally, I would like to appreciate the efforts put in by AIRDA’s content team for reaching out to us and sharing our story – this means a lot to us and could be useful to all the travel lovers out there.
This is Segment One of our interview with Theera Ulaa – watch this space for Segment Two.
All images used are courtesy of Rajesh Raman / Theera Ulaa
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