Just like our other trips, this one too was without any prior planning or booking. The fun of travelling to an unknown place without any booking or any information, is an experience in itself. It all started with us waking up early on a September morning (or rather late at night). A quick check on the nearest destination, helped us to zero in on Wayanad District, in the north-east of Kerala, India,
Wayanad is set lofty on the majestic Western Ghats with altitudes ranging from 700 to 2100 Meters above mean sea level. The natural scenic beauty of Wayanad and its rich natural resources offer several opportunities for adventure tourism. The rocky hills and valley which make the very unique character of Wayanad provide a lot for catering to the ever increasing demand for adventure tourist.
We started off from Bangalore, at 5:00 AM. We had booked a cab since we dint have our own transport.
After deciding on the route, we selected the route C for our travel. Wayanad is at a distance of 289KM from Bangalore.
We reached Wayanad at around 12 in the noon. Our first destination was the Edakkal caves. These are 6000 yrs old caves with pre historic carvings on the walls. Height of this place is about 4000 ft. above the sea level. You need to climb stairs to reach the cave. The rocks are pretty risky. So be prepared for some strenuous climb up the rocky mountain. The Entry fees would cost you about Rs. 10/- .On reaching the cave, you can further trek for 1000 ft. at your own risk. There are no steps higher than this. But the view from there is quite a mesmerizing one.
We had planned to go to Meenmutty falls. But we were hard on luck. Being rainy season, most of the waterfalls were closed for the tourist. We were quite disheartened when we found that we would not be able to visit the highest waterfall in Wayanad.
After that we moved towards Phantom Rock. It is at a distance of 5.5 km from Sultan Battery. A lofty rock with a skull shaped rock on top of it. But there is not much to see nearby and best be avoided to save some time.
We reached Kalpetta at around 2:30 PM. Kalpetta is the district headquarters of Wayanad district. There are a number of hotels, resorts and home stays, rates ranging to fit everyone’s pocket. Since we had a little shortage of budget, we took up a room at Chandragiri Hotel. A double bedded room costed us about Rs. 920. The hotel was not such a luxurious one. But it was pretty decent in terms of hygiene and room service.
We skipped our lunch that day since we were more interested in visiting the various spots than eating.
We left for Pukkoot Lake at around 4:00 PM. This place is around 15 Km from Kalpetta. Entry fee costed us Rs 10 /-. Boating closes at 5:00 PM. Since we reached at 5:10 Pm we could not go for boating. I wondered if these people were so punctual about the opening time as well. As ways it was no use grumbling so we took a leisure walk around the lake. The lake is surrounded with lush green dense forest. But it is advisable not to take a walk alone after the dark.
After a tiring day we had our dinner at an adjacent hotel, Hotel Woodlands. The food was very cheap and tasty. Beef being a staple diet in most Kerala household, it is easily available. We being ardent fans of beef devoured down quite a few plates of local delicacies.
Early next morning we left for Suchipara Waterfall at around 7 AM. It is situated at a distance of 23 Km from Kalpetta. The Entry fees are Rs 20/-There are about 4 water fall in the same area. But we could only see Sentinal Rock Waterfalls, since the steps leading to the other waterfalls were too dangerous to go through. But we did manage to get a glimpse of the majestic waterfalls from between the trees. There are steps to reach Sentinal Rock Waterfalls. The steps leading to it is surrounded by lush green forest. We were told by a local person that it is not a rare sight to see some wild animals on the road.
Our next destination was the Kanthanpara waterfalls. From the Suchipara Waterfall we went to Mepaddi then from there we went to Kanthanpara waterfalls. The place looked a little dirty due to a recent land slide in the area. Most of the houses in the locality were broken down and it was quite a pity to see the poor homeless people.
Next on our list was Kuruva Island.It is situated 45 km from Mananthavady. This is a collection of 52 islands on the river Kabini . The total area is around 900 acres long. During the dry season one can walk across the Kabini river to reach the island. A guide would cost you Rs 100. You can also take a boat ride to the island. But we were out of luck even this time. Due to the heavy rain the entire the place was flooded and the island was submerged in the water. We could not go to the island as the boat services were closed.
We decided to head back to Bangalore. We took Route B to reach back to Mysore. The road back was pretty rough and it is advisable not to take this road as road is pretty rough.
The engravings on the walls of Edakal Cave