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Graduate in Maths, Postgraduate in English literature. Worked as a medical transcriptionist, also as a teacher.

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Wayanad Visit-More than what you can ask for!

Hi pals,
          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'.

View near the caves.

                                                                                              After that we were done for the day and slept like logs sans TV, internet and just with the sounds of night and huge trees surrounding our room. The next day we freshened up to explore more of Wayanad. We set out to visit Kuruvadweep, a small island situated 10 km from the north west of Pulpally. The island is small but evergreen and lush forest situated on the river Kabini. The tourists were taken on a raft from the boarding point and it is only about 2-3 minutes ride. Afterwards, we were left on our own to explore the forest and it is just a simple walk of about 45 minutes and towards the end we reach a stream of water. 
From a vista point on the way to Kuruvadweep.

On the way during the drive.

On the raft to Kuruva island...

In the midst of trees in the island.

At the end of the island.

After the lunch, we headed to Wayanad Wildlife sanctuary, hoping for a safari but we were not lucky as all the tickets for the safari were sold out for the day. We were advised to come there again the next day if we wanted a safari. We did not plan to come back there the next day as we may miss out other places there. The photos below were taken at a church opposite to the sanctuary.

From the Wildlife sanctuary, we entered the Karnataka border and went to Iruppu falls. This magnificent falls was visited by us before when we were in Coorg.  We spent sometime near the falls and headed back to our room as it was getting dark. 
The third day of our visit was the highlight of our total trip, as we did some heavy trekking after a long time. This was in a place called Chembra peak which is located near the town of Meppady and is 8 km south of Kalpetta. Before heading for trekking, we needed to take permission from the forest office and we were  provided a guide who assisted us all the way up to the peak. The trek to the top of the peak will take about  3 hours and the guide will prove really useful. The shoes suited for rough trekking will be ideal and equip yourself with lot of water. On the way to the peak, we got to see the Chembra lake which was heart-shaped. To reach the lake it is about 2 km trek. From the lake to the peak it will take another 2 hours. So, it is better to reach there early in the morning to conquer the peak and also to escape the scorching sun. As we reached the forest office only by 11:30 in the morning, it was already very sunny and we had to endure the harshness of the mid-day sun. We found that there were only very few visitors coming to this place as it was meant to people who were serious for an adventure, instead of casual visit for a few snapshots. The climb up to the Chembra lake is a rough terrain, and it will take 1-2 hours depending on our capacity and the zest for the adventure. After a lot of puffing and panting, we reached the heart-shaped Chembra lake and stopped there. It was late into afternoon, our guide told us it will take about 3 hours to reach the highest peak of Wayanad. We were in two minds, but decided to descend back. As a result of climbing up and enduring scorching sun, I developed sun tan.  We hope to go back there someday in order to conquer the highest 
peak. Climbing down was also a bit of a challenge, as there was a chance of slipping down at many points. It is always better to go in a group of like-minded people for an adventure like this. Before entering Chembra, we got to see lot of tea plantations which will remind anybody of Munnar.

Tea plantations before entering Chembra peak....

The heart-shaped Chembra lake dedicated to all the lovers....

The view of the valley from Chembra Lake.....

Our next destination for the day was Soochipara waterfalls which was situated in a place called Vellarimala in Wayanad. From the entrance it was about 1 km to reach the falls. After visiting Chembra lake, I found this place to be like a normal tourist spot with lots of food stalls and other shops. At the waterfalls, there were lots of people, mostly men, boisterous and  getting drenched below the  falls. The women and the less daring were content in just washing their feet in the water. 

Soochipara waterfalls.......

On the final day of our trip, we took a walk around the coffee plantations of our host. Spread over many acres, we could cover only a small portion of the orchards. 

Pepper plantations........
Male muscovy duck.........

From the mirror outside our room.....

Sit here and forget all the worries!!!

The cottage......

Jambakka (Wax apple or love apple-got this english word from Google).

With the remaining time, we drove to Banasura Sagar Dam. This is located about 21 km from Kalpetta. This is the second largest dam in Asia. We booked tickets for the boat ride, but had to wait for about 2 hours. But the motor boat ride, which was for 15 minutes, was very enjoyable. The water looked pristine and calm.

On the way............

Tributary of the Kabini river.....

Reminded me of Thekkady......

Dam seen from the boat.......

Our last spots were Pookode  lake and Lakkidi (or Wayanad view point).

Pookode Lake.....
A nursery at the entrance of Pookode lake....

Lakkidi point is situated on the border of Wayanad and Kozhikode.    This is also known as Wayanad View point. As it was close to evening when we reached there, the view of the mountains and the roads below was misty from the top. Nevertheless, the view of the greenery, the winding roads and the valley from the top was breath taking and it is a spot not to be missed.

Misty picture of winding roads........

Misty misty.........
On our way back to Bangalore, we spotted the elephant in the Nagarahole forest.

I hope you will enjoy. 

Thanks. Take care.


  1. Wonderful narration and great pictures of the trip. Enjoyed reading through it. Keep writing!

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