It was a hot day when we left Trivandrum . The weather turned mild as we drove up the winding road to Nedumangad. As the car turned away from Nedumangad town, I caught a glimpse of massive Thirichittoor Rock. Thirichi means 'turn' or 'return' in Malayalam. The monkey god Hanuman lifted this rock seeking a life saving herb but realizing it was wrong hillock he put it back and the name stuck.
We turned off the narrow main road, the sign above the gate says 'Silk Estate'. Before the Indian independence this was a mulberry plantation, the estate still bears the name. We stopped before a beautiful bungalow, it is surrounded by a rubber plantation. About 10,000 rubber trees the plantantion worker giving me tour told me. I never seen how natural rubber is made, all I know is what I seen in books and on television.
Rubber is collected in small cocount shells from the tapped tree. It is mixed with water and few chemicals, allowed to conceal in large flat bottom trays. Later water is rinsed out mechanically and the rubber mats are cured in large boxes with wood fires. This process of making natural rubber must have remained unchanged in decades.
I hope to visit this beautiful place once again. For now I head out for dinner and a evening walk in rain.