HAPPY New Year, Happy Pongal and Lohri to all of you and hope that all your dreams be fulfilled. I cannot go forward without mentioning that the last year ended in a gory way with the gang-rape and the following death of the 23-year-old paramedical student who fought for her life till the end. We saw the uglier side of our capital which is less safe for women and a series of sermons uttered by the politicians and so-called self styled god-men who conveniently put some part of blame on the hapless victim and not on perpetrators. One positive part of this incident is that we witnessed a huge protest against this atrocity and crying out for more safety for women. Anyway, I may be writing more on this topic in the next article.
Coming back to the topic, we ended the last year with a trip to Wayanad which is situated in the North of Kerala. It is about 6-hour drive from Bangalore. This hill station, which about 150 kms down from Coorg and close to Nilgiris is becoming one of the preferred destination for holidays. If we start early in the morning from Bangalore, we can comfortably reach before 1 o'clock. From the Mysore road, take the Kollegal Highway NH 766 to reach Wayanad. We had booked a homestay and we found it quite worth our money. Though the room was small, it was quite comfortable. The room was owned by a family who lived in a cottage amidst 100 acres of garden which had coffee plantations, arecanut trees and some other trees. The food that was served to us by the hostess is worth mentioning and as it was home-cooked, our tummies were safe.
Before hitting the room, we were advised to visit Edakkal caves, which was on the way. This is situated about 25 km from Kalpetta and is 1200 metres above the sea level. It is a steep climb of more than 1 km to reach the caves and we were discouraged by some who said that there is nothing worth the effort , but we went up. There were a series of well-constructed steps towards the end and when we reached the caves, we found that it was anyway worth all the effort. We enjoyed the trekking to the top and view from there was beautiful. The cave was full of ancient drawings and Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions which is said to date back to 8000 years. The meaning of the word Edakkal is 'the gap between the stones' which is true because there was a narrow fissure between the two huge rocks.
Trekking path to the caves.
Entrance to the Edakkal caves.
Priceless inscriptions and drawings on the walls.
The famous 'fissures'.