Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wonderful Wayanad!

The Place:

Wayanad is a hill station in Kerala, located at a distance of about 280 kms. from Bangalore. The place is famous for scenic beauty and pleasant weather.

When to visit:

The best time to visit this place is during the months of winter. It is hot and humid during summer months. Monsoons are severe in these regions and hence it would be difficult to see places even though the scenic beauty is at its peak during these months.

Starting off..

We were to leave to Wayanad from Guru's place on friday night. However the start was a delayed one because Ravi and myself were late to leave the office. We were later informed that we would be leaving from Vikas' place. It was night 12'O clock by the time we left.Vikas' place. After having left from Vikas' place, we picked up Vinod from his place and continued the journey.

Taking a break at Nagarahole checkpost:

We drove through Mysore road, and reached the Nagarahole checkpost. There was an alternate route to Wayanad which could avoid Nagarahole checkpost, but we decided to take the route through the forest as this would facilitate us to have some sleep.

We reached the checkpost by around 4:00 am. We had 2 hours at our disposal. Some of us got busy with photography though. We could hardly sleep during this duration.

Back to travelling...

We continued our journey once the check post opened at 6 in the morning. On the way through the forest, we came across a number of deers (as usual) and a few birds. 

We came across an elephant at one place. We stopped the car at a safe distance to click some snaps of the big guy. (Note: People are not allowed to step down from their vehicles anywhere in the forest.)

After crossing the Nagarahole forest, we entered Wayanad. Guru had booked a home stay at Padinjarathara, Wayanad. We halted our vehicle to call up the Home stay guy Binny for directions to his place (Note: Its better if atleast one guy in the group can speak Malayalam).

After getting directions from Binny, we reached the home stay. The location of the home stay was very scenic with mountains all around and a tributary of the Kabini river in front of it. We paid INR 3000 (Total) for the home stay for a day. We took some time to freshen up and got going by 9 in the morning.

Banasura Sagar Dam

We had our breakfast in a hotel near Padinjarathara and headed towards out first destination Banasura Sagar Dam which is built across the Karamanathodu tributary of the Kabini.

The location of the dam is very scenic with the Kabini river surrounded by hills all around. One would have to pay a nominal entry fee to enter this place. Jeeps are available to carry people to the dam. We chose to Walk up to it.

Boat rides are also available here to give you a closer peek into the scenic beauty of the Kabini.

There is a well maintained nature park where one could find a variety of  flora. It was afternoon when we decided to leave the place and head to our next destination.

Soochipara Falls:

We were next headed towards Soochipara Falls which was about 40 kms. from Banasura Sagar Dam. We faced a lot of problem asking direction from locals as a lot of them were not aware of this place.It was nearly 4 when we reached there.

Guru and Ravi bought us the entry tickets which were about INR 5 per head. We got to know that the place would close by about 6 in the evening. It is a downward route from the entrance to the falls and takes a decent 15 minutes to reach the falls.

Once we reached the falls, Guru, Yagnesh, Vinod and Prashanth got down to play in the water. In the meantime Ravi, Vikas and me decided to stay back on the rocks and splash water on the remaining. The place is extremely slippery, so be extremely careful if venturing into the water.

It was about 6 in the evening when we left the place. We bought food on the way for the dinner which we relished after reaching the guest house. Its a bit difficult to find good vegetarian food here, so veggies might find it to be a problem. We had a lot of fun during the dinner as we also celebrated our friend Prashanth's birthday which was to be on the next day.

Next day morning, we were headed towards Bangalore where we reached by around 7 in the evening.

Trip summary:

Destination: Wayanad

Best time to visit: Winter months

Expenses per head: INR 1500 per head

Distance from Bangalore: 280 kms.

Other details: Knowledge of the local language (Malayalam) would be an added advantage.

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