Friday, 17 February 2012

A Trip to Wayanad - Kerala

Recently I had been to Wayanad which is in Kerala, God's own country. It was just 3 days weekend trip to get some relaxation out of our busy office schedule. Later I felt that 3 days are not enough to see entire Wayanad.
We (Me and My husband) left for Wayanad on 10th February 2012, Friday from Bangalore at 7.30 AM in our descent milege giving car Swit Diesel.
Wayand is situated just 290 Kms from Bangalore.
Our planned route was Bangalore - Mysore - Najangood - Gundalpet - Sultan Batheri (Wayanad).
We had breakfast in "Kamat Madhuvan" on the Mysore road in Ramanagar.  You can find Kamat Chain of Hotels along national Highways which serves very tasty food. These hotels are boon for travellers and are crowded always.
After the refreshing breaksfast we continued in our planned route. We reached Mysore around 12 PM. It was quite tough for us to find Calicut Highway and Nanjangood route as we were travelling in that route for the very first time. We took the help of mobile GPRS and some localites and headed towards Gundalpet. It was 1.30 PM and we stopped in Gundalpet for lunch. We couldnt see a good hotel in Gundalpet as it is a very small town. After  having lunch in a small hotel we took Calicut route ie, NH 212.
We entered Bandipur forest area immediately after Gundalpet on Calicut route, NH 212. It was pleasure driving in the forest area as you can see all those greenaries. As it was winter season, trees had begun to lose their leaves bearing a dry look.  You can see wild animals crossing the road without any fear. Luckily, we spotted a wild buffalo and it was waiting to cross the road. We stopped the car but could not take the snap of buffalo as it crossed the road very fast. You can see many caution boards which say "Wild Animals Crossing - Go slow", "No Parking, No Picnic, No horn". We enjoyed and loved this 15Km  drive in the forest.

Bandipur National Park Area

After crossing the Bandipur forest border, we entered "Muthanga" forest area which belongs to Kerala state. It is extension of Bandipur forest. From Muthanga it is just 13 Kms to nearest town Sulthan Batheri, where we had planned our stay. Sulthan Batheri is the biggest town in Wayanad district. We reached Sulthan Batheri at 3 PM. Our half day was gone.

Our Stay in Sulthan Batheri :

We had booked the hotel "Mint Flower" in Sulthan Batheri which was a 3 star hotel. It was very easy to find the hotel and check-in was very smooth. Hotel staffs were very cooperative but nobody was able to communicate in English. This is a very common problem you face in Wayanad. Hotel has a good restaurent. We had tea to refresh ourselves and took some rest.
Wayanad has many Home stays and Hotels. If you are going in a group with friends or with family members then I suggest Home stays otherwise Hotels will be good option. But some Home stays are in the interior region of Wayanad and difficult to reach. So while choosing Home Stays or Hotels always look out for accessibilty to nearby sight seeing places.

Tourist Attractions in Wayanad :

1. Edakal Caves
2. Meenmutty Falls
3. Soochipara Falls
4. Jain Temple
5. Pookut Lake
6. Banasura Dam
7. Chembra peak
8. Kuruva Island
9.Muthanga Wild Life Sanctuary

As it was already 3 PM by the time we reached hotel and only few hours left to dusk, we decided to visit places which is very near to the hotel. If you want to visit Wayanad then start early morning around 5AM from Bangalore sohat you can reach Wayanad around 11 AM and you can visit as many tourist attractions.
We took the help of our hotel reception to know the nearby places and went to visit Jain temple which is just 1 Km walkable distance from the hotel.

Jain Temple :

Jain Temple is worth seeing. It offers excellent piece of Jain Architecture. But it is sad to note that some parts of the temple are ruined due to several reasons. Temple and surrounding area was very calm with very less tourists. Temple guide told us that this temple was built in 13th Century and there will be pooja only once in a year on Mahaveer Jayanthi. He also told us that once upon a time Sulthan Batheri was belonged to Mysore region and Hyder Ali Sulthan ruled this area.
After visiting Jain Temple, we headed towards Karapuzha Dam which is just 10 Kms from our hotel.


The road to Karapuzha dam was certainly not good. We reached the dam around 5 PM. This dam offers beautiful scenery which is worth seeing. We enjoyed the surroundings for some time and returned back to the hotel around 7 PM.

Edakkal Caves :

Next day morning we started to Edakkal Caves arund 9.30 AM. Distance from Hotel Mint flower to Edakkal Caves is just 12Kms. This is very popular Tourist destination in Wayanad. This is the place where our famous Kannada film "Edakallu Guddada Mele" is picurised. We reached Edakkal hills around 10.30 AM through Amabalavayal and Vaduvanchal route.we have to take entry tickets to see Edakkal Caves and entry is permitted after every one hour. So we had to wait till 11.15 AM to start our trekking to Edakkal Caves. Edakkal Caves are situated 1000 Metres above sea level. To reach caves we have to trek in the hills for an hour and trek path is very steep and dangerous. Finally we reached the caves. Inside the caves we can see some pictorial wordings of stone age. View from top of the Caves is simply fantastic. Edakkal Caves has 7000 year old history.
We started climbing down the caves and hill. When we reached our car, I was totally tired and sweating due to rising heat. I thought Wayanad has cool weather in February but I was wrong. It was hot comapred to Bangalore weather.

Soochipara Falls :

After seeing Edakkals Caves, we headed towards Soochipara Falls, also called Sentinal Rock Water falls. Distance from Sulthan Batheri to Soochipara falls is 43 Kms and from Edakkal caves to Soochipara Falls is 30 Kms. It is situated near Meppadi. We reached Meppadi around 1.30 PM and searched for a good hotel to have lunch. But here one can't find pure veg hotel. There are many small hotels with veg & Non Veg food. After having lunch, we started again to Soochipara falls which is 20 Kms from Meppadi. You can enjoy lush green tea estates both the sides of the road. Most of the tea estates belong to Harrison's Malayalam Tea Company.
We reached Soochipara falls entry area at 3 PM and took the entry ticket, 25Rs/per head + camera fees. From here it is 2Km trekking again in the jungle to reach the falls. Soochipara falls offers beautiful scenery. You can take bath and also swim. This falls is more than 200 meters in height. We started back to hotel around 5.30PM. We were totally exhausted because of trekking in Edakkal Caves and Soochipara Falls.
We reached hotel around 6.30 PM.
Please avoid taking children below 5 years to Edakkal Caves and Falls. It is impossible to trek with children. We had not hired any tourist guide. We were depended on road signs and boards to reach destinations. As a result we lost our way many times but local people were kind enough to guide us properly.
So, I advice you to hire a tourist guide.

Next day, Sunday morning we couldnt get up due to heavy body pain. I had no experience of trekking earlier. There were many places to see like Chembra peak, Meenmutty falls, Banasura Dam etc. We came to know that one whole day is required to trek Chembra peak and also Kuruva Island was closed for tourists due to death of three tourists. We thought of returning to Bangalore considering the driving  and next day office duty. We started from Wayanad to Bangalore at 10 AM with good memories. Reached Bangalore at 4.30 PM with 60Km speed.
If you are a trekker and love trekking then Wayand is the best tourist destination as it offers many hills and peaks. You can see many beautiful churches also. My native place Uttara Kannada district also has many tourist attractions like falls, hills, temples, beaches etc which are more beatiful than places in Wayanad. But Kerala Tourism board is one of the best managed tourism bodies in India and they market Kerala in all the ways and in all the sense.


Kerala Tourism said...

Kerala is a place with many good destinations to visit and enjoy the vacation. India Tourism provides many opportunities to see all the natural beauty in India. In Kerala Tourism tourist will get all the opportunities to see the Kerala destinations like backwaters, houseboats, temples, etc.

online bus ticket said...

Thanks for sharing the post! Get the Best Online Bus Ticket Reservation Services in all over India in one step with Ticketgoose. TicketGoose is not only providing the Online Ticket Booking Services, it is providing services like what are the places to visit in each and every state. We had Travel agents to contact in each area for all states.
Online Bus Ticket

reshma M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hai Baji said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hai Baji said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
indhu M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Baldeo Yadav said...

I read your articles. It is simple but very accurate info… Many thanks for sharing this one.
Online Pet Shop

Renu Sures said...

Just returned from waynad your timing for eddakkal caves was accurate savedescription us great deal of time thanks

Khushi R said...

Nice post on trip to Wayanad. Its a beautiful place in Kerala and is a must visit. It is home to many endangered species and the places to visit in Wayanad consists of many religious sites. Do visit the place to have a wonderful holiday.