Freedom

unwind to potential

Wayanad – A travelogue

Posted by Rahul Narula on July 29, 2007

Start : Bangalore
Destination
: Kalpetta, Wayanad, North Kerala, God’s own country
Dates : 20 July – 22 July 2007
Travellers : Rahul, Reshma, Maanya and Himani
Travel Mode
: Self driven car
Distance & Route : 275 km via Mysore – Gundalpet -Bandipur – Sultan Bathery – Kalpetta. Route Map

After planning a bit too much finally I managed to escape to a short vacation the last weekend. The choice of place was easier to make as I wanted to go to a place I can drive myself. Though monsoon rains did their best to cancel my plans but it was too late for them to disturb my plan. Though there were a couple of places I looked at before chosing Wayanad, in the end I feel I took the right decision.

A day before was hectic packing and getting set for the early morning start on 20th July. I went and got the tank full and air pressure checked for my car so that I don’t have make unnecessary stops during my journey. Also bought some snacks, drinks that will help us munching on the route. I dont like too many breaks in my journey.

Start Day : 20th July 2007 Time 5:00 am We had decided to leave as early as possible to avoid the ever worsening Bangalore traffic and reach the place as early to make full advantage of the short time we had. Cafe Coffee DayFinally after loading all the bags in the car we started sharp at 5.30am. The decision to take a gamble to try the new coming up NICE road, which connects Bannerghatta road and Mysore road over Kanakapura road, paid off and within 20 mins from my start I was cruising along the Mysore Road around 100 km/hr. The early morning drive was like dream come true and had always hoped the drive could ever be even 10% as a pleasure on Bangalore roads as I was enjoying. Since we left home early we thought of stopping at the only one undisputed place on the Bangalore -Mysore highway i.e the Cafe Coffee Day(CCD) for a early sip. But my hopes seemed dashed when I suddenly realized that I had already left the CCD, I was planning to stop, a few kms behind. I was just repenting the lost opportunity to sip a chilled Tropical Iceberg, when I zoomed past a milestone reading CCD 1 km ahead. By the time I could understand what it was about I came across a new CCD on the left on the highway. I was delighted to see the new(new for me atleast) CCD outlet on the first floor on the Bangalore – Mysore highway near Mandya. I quickly went & grabbed a coffee for myself as no one else was interested in the early morning coffee.

The journey continued, with me sipping my favorite coffee and we crossed Mandya district on an excellent traffic less highway. As we were about to reach Mysore, we decided to take the Mysore bypass & had to follow NH212 road to Calicut. There was no problem taking the right road as there were lot of sign boards indicating the correct way. We crossed Mysore through the bypass around 8:00am and head towards Gundalpet. The Mysore -Gundalpet stretch is a single road unlike Bangalore -Mysore. But since it was early morning we managed to zip pass pretty quickly and reached Gundalpet around 9.00 am. On way to GundalpetFrom Gundalpet we took a right along with NH 212. After about 30 mins of not so good road, we entered Bandipur National Park. The road was very good in there and by then slight shower started which made crossing the forest area even more beautiful. Though we had thought of sighting a few animals on our way, but couldnt find any except a few deers. The journey was going as I anticipated and we reached Karnataka border and entered Kerala. The road got even better at the Kerala side. The distance from border to Kalpetta(our destination) was about 50km through typical Kerala greenary and cool breeze.

Finally at about 10.30am we reached our destination Hotel Green Gates just off NH212 on the outskirts of Kalpetta. The trip meter had clocked 289 km. We reached well ahead of our planned time. Though I had not had prior reservation, I took that chance due to the monsoon off season. I was just lucky to get the last luxury room in the hotel. To my surprise the hotel was fully booked due to a few groups. The place is really nice and the best part I liked was the hospitality of the service staff. On the way Himani was not feeling pretty well and we suspected food poisoning, we didnt wanted to take any chances. Hence on reaching the hotel we asked for a doctor and the hotel travel manager was courteous enough to accompany us to a nearby hospital. After thorough inspection by the doctor on a priority basis(thanks to the travel manager’s contact), she was administered some injections and a dose of medicine to keep her fine atleast during the trip.

We decided to rest for a while but Maanya had other plans. She wanted to have fun around, so we decided to take her to the children’s park in the hotel. The place was well accepted by Maanya and she had a lovely time with all the swings & slides. Maanya enjoying the slidesAfter about a hour play there we finally decided to have some rest. After lunch we decided to take the half day sight seeing which was included in the package we took at the hotel. We were given a personal taxi for a visit to places which included Pookot lake, Lakkidi point & Chain tree.Lakkidi Point in the clouds Though we couldnt enjoy the boating at Pookat lake thanks to showers that started as I was about to get the boat tickets, we had a very good time at Lakkidi Point. For about 5 kms our car was driven into the clouds and it reminded me of the dense Delhi fog in January (thanks I was not at the wheels). It was the most beautiful thing and each one of us had a very good time. After the trip we came back to the hotel and after the dinner we retired in our room.

The next day I was surprised to see myself wake up at 7am. My mornings in Bangalore starts not before 8:30-9:00 usually. Reshma and me decided to go for a early morning walk around. It was a good pleasant walk. After which we decided on the days plans. After talking to people I figured out that the only places we can visit during this season was Soochipara Waterfalls and Edakkal caves. There was not much fun going to other places like Kurupadweep, Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary as it was monsoons and I heard that Wayanad received the highest rainfalls in the last 11 years or so. So I decided on Soochipara Waterfall as the place to visit as we were told Edakkal caves can be covered on our return journey. Soochipara Water Falls

We began our pursuit to Soochipara Waterfall which was around 28km from hotel. The drive was awesome with tea gardens laid as the green carpet. Tea gardensOn reaching the place we came to know about the dangers involved for reaching the fall with leaches around and the treacherous hilly, slippery trek. But since we came here we decided to take a go and weather was holding good for us. It was indeed a very risky trek especially with me holding Maanya. It is very ill maintained and I would say no more that 5 ppl can stand there to see the fall. I would say I will thank God that he made our visit possible. I would frankly advice people with kids to avoid this. After returning back fully tired to the car and resting for about 30 mins we headed back. On reaching Kalpetta we thought of having some lunch and then we thought of visiting Banasura Sagar Dam. Though the speed boating would have been the best thing to do there, we were out of luck as the boating was temporarily stopped due to heightened water levels. But we didnt repented going there and enjoyed the scenic beauty to the fullest. We had to hire a jeep from the entrance to the dam site. View from dam siteI would advice families especially with children not to think twice about taking the jeep.

The day’s journey was coming to the end. I decided to relax for a while in the pool when we reached hotel and the day came to an end after a delectable dinner. Since Himani didnt wanted to take any chances with food she used to visit the kitchen and request for stomach friendly food like kichidi. I was surprised to find the chef obliging her on more than one occasion and that too at no extra charge. I was really impressed with this gesture.

I could again manage to wake up early the next morning. We had to depart today and after having breakfast we checked out around 11am. On the way back to Bangalore we had to cover Eddakal caaves on our way. On reaching Sultan Bathery, we had to take a right for Edakkal. The road was good for the most part but got very narrow for some part. It was fun driving here too. After reaching the point till where we could we were told about the caves by a localite student who agreed to our guide for the caves for Rs 100. He also advised us to hire a jeep for a further about a km before we can walk further. I think it was a sensible decision we took once we began the upward steep journey. The teamThe return fees for the jeep was Rs 70. By the time we reached the point from where we had to walk to the caves, it had started drizzling. On reaching the cave entry point Himani had already given up & decided to go any further. So leaving Maanya with her Reshma, the guide & me decided to go futher. On crossing the 1st cave Reshma had given up sighting very difficult upward climb. So the guide who was very courteous helped me to the second cave. The name “Edakkal” literally means “a stone in between” and I was facinated to see the design. I didnt stopped there for much longer as Reshma was waiting just after first cave and Himani was there at the cave entrance. We quickly came down from the caves. After having tea we began our return journey to Bangalore.

On the way back we encountered heavy rain from Mandya till outskirts of Bangalore. I stopped at the CCD(the one I missed on my onward journey) but decided to have some meal at Indradanush. After waiting for rain to stop, which didnt, for about 30 mins we decided to continue. We reached back our home at 8.45pm ending our eventful weekend getaway. It was a memorable trip for us also being the first highway driving for me from Bangalore.

Odometer reading:  719km for the entire trip.

If you managed to reach here and wanna experience a bit more of beautiful Wanayad, visit my Picasaweb Gallery

Advertisements

10 Responses to “Wayanad – A travelogue”

  1. Pankaj said

    Hi Rahul,

    Nice Post ….i am also planning to go to wayanad this weekend …
    can you tell me how did you reach NICE Road from Bannerghatta Raod ( how far we need to go to reach NICE road and do we need to cross the National Park for that?)

    my mail id is pankajdharmik@yahoo.com

    -Pankaj

  2. geeta said

    Hi Rahul
    That was a great place.
    We have decided to go on this weekend, can I have the Greengate Hotel no. please ?

  3. Rommel said

    Very well written account.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Cheers,
    Rommel.

  4. Saish said

    Where is the Mysore bypass road ? Is it Bannur or is it much closer to Mysore ?

  5. we’ve plans to go on a similar trip, but only 2 days as against 3

  6. Nice pics…I was there recently…its really a big district and lot of places to see…

  7. alan said

    Hello Friend

    I like this blog of yours.

    Pls see my blog on ‘Wayanad’ : http://wayanadtrips.blogspot.com/

    Can you link me if found my blog informative

    Alan

  8. aksa victoria said

    hey nice blog !!!
    im planning 2 go 2 wayanad dis mnth. thnx 4 ur help

  9. […] https://techmech.wordpress.com/2007/07/29/wayanad-a-travelogue/ […]

  10. Arun Nath said

    I have visited Wayanad last week, and it was awesome. I checked this post before the trip. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: