Wayanad – Day 2

You can read about how we reached Wayanad and the first day of our trip here.

Our second day began with an early morning visit to Wayanad Wild Life Sanctuary. Muthanga Range of the sanctuary is around 30 km from Meenangadi. We decided to do the Jeep Safari in the morning since the chance of spotting animals is more. Jeep safaris are open from 7 am – 10 am (40 vehicles) and 3 pm – 5 pm (20 vehicles)  and are charged INR 500 per jeep (maximum 4 people can comfortably seated).

Jeeps ready for the safari

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Entry to the sanctuary is charged at INR 150 per person. A forest guard accompanies us in the Mahindra Jeep and acts as our guide in spotting animals. We were greeted with a large elephant which was being trained.

Elephant

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Then we sighted spotted deers, another deer with big antlers (not sure about the kind of deer), giant malabar squirrels, wild elephants, freshly imprinted tiger pug marks, giant mountain spiders.

Spotted Deer

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Deer with big antlers

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Malabar squirrels

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Wild elephant

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We were told that a herd of elephants chased a jeep an hour back or so. The entire safari takes up around an hour covering 5 – 6 km inside the forest.

Route inside the forest during jeep safari

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Highway passing through the forest

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Spotting the animals is entirely based on our luck. A museum is available in the sanctuary which houses photos of the flora and fauna which were taken at the Muthanga Range.

We headed back to our home-stay, had our breakfast and proceeded to Soochipara Waterfalls. The road journey to the falls itself is quite interesting. We left the coffee plantations and entered tea plantations and I must say, tea plantations look great than their coffee counterparts.

Tea estates

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It took around an hour to reach the falls. Entry is restricted between 9 am – 5 pm and entry fee is INR 20 per person and camera fee of INR 20. To reach the falls, we walked downhill around 1.5 km. It was a steady downhill which made the return journey a bit tedious. I was literally out of breath while climbing up and was helped many a times with a little shove during the climb. But the view of western ghats on the way to the falls make the climb worth while.

Western Ghats

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The falls had a decent amount of water and many foreign tourists were happily taking bath and sun bathing. We took customary photos, tried our hand at long exposure photography and returned.

Soochipara Waterfalls

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Our last destination for the day was Karapuzha Dam, which is near the town of Kalpetta.  This is also a big earthen dam and built on a tributary of River Kabini. It lacks the boating facility of Banasura Sagar Dam, but hey, Karapuzha is totally free of charge to visit – hence no complaints.:-)

Karapuzha Dam

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A walk down the few steps at the farther end of the bank leads us to the shutters/flood gates of the dam.

Flood gates of the dam

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I remember how we made a dashing run down the flight of steps and laughed like little children at the end. Places associated with nature always brings out the child in us.

Those steps 🙂

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I digress. The sun was about to set down, playing hide and seek with clouds and the water was glittering with sun light.

The dam was beautiful in a golden light

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Another sunset shot

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The guard started whistling for everybody to depart and we took our cue and called it a day.

You can read about the final part of our trip here (to be updated)

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Wayanad – Wonderful 3 days trip :-)

We were looking for a weekend destination, an easily accessible peaceful green place with less crowd and at the same time, which wouldn’t burn a big hole into our pockets. After much of googling, we zeroed in on Wayanad, a place in Malabar region of Kerala well known for its mountains, forests, waterfalls etc.. The climate of Wayanad is  favorable for traveling all around the year except during monsoons. Even during monsoons (Jun-Aug), people travel and have an unique experience. We decided to make a 3 days trip late in the month of January. Jan is much cooler and less crowded due to limited holidays. We finalized the places to visit, home-stay, travel tickets and booked a taxi which would be our mode of transport once we reach there. This is a simple narration of our trip to Wayanad.

A teaser of few photos taken during our trip

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We arrived early in the morning around 4 am at Calicut (Kozhikode) railway station. Our taxi driver was ready to pick us up in his Tata Indica car. Two hours later, we reached our home-stay at Treasure Trove, Meenangadi, a quite little town few kilometers down the main town of Kalpetta. The sun hadn’t risen for the day and it was still dark. Our host Reena ushered us into one of the two wooden cottages that were built a little further from her home. Bamboo planks diverged towards each cottage and we immediately liked the whole place. The cottage was made entirely out of wood and was spacious enough with two beds, a TV, closet to keep our things, bamboo chairs and a beautiful balcony offering complete privacy which opened up to the coffee plantation of our hosts.

Our Cottage

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Our balcony opened to this wonderful Coffee Plantation 🙂

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After a short nap and a few customary photos in and around the cottage, we began our day with a simple breakfast of idly + coconut chutney prepared by our host. Only disappointment in breakfast was the coffee that was served. It was prepared without adding chicory and was too bland and a taste not accustomed by us. You can check out the detailed trip log of each day here

  1. Wayanad Day 1 – Kuruwa Dweep and Banasura Sagar Dam
  2. Wayanad Day 2 – Wayanad Wild Life Sanctuary, Soochipara Waterfalls and Karapuzha Dam
  3. Wayanad Day 3 – Edakkal Caves, Pookode Lake and Lakkidi Viewpoint. (To be updated)

Wayanad – Day 1

First day of our sight seeing began with Kuruwa Dweep, an island located around 40 km from Meenangadi. It  has an entry ticket of INR 50 (INR 100 for foreign nationals) and a camera ticket of INR 25. Entry is  restricted between 9 am – 3:30  pm. A bamboo raft takes us from the entry point to the opposite side.

Bamboo Raft

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View of the island from the raft

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From there on, we are just left to wander on our own. Even with backwaters and trees nearby, the sun was too hot for us to enjoy the stroll. We were told that many birds and butterflies would flock the island. But we were disappointed to spot only one or two kind of butterflies. 😦

Path to stroll….

DSC_0152Little streams of water flows and a gang of college students were enjoying themselves in the little pool. We decided that we had had enough of the place and walked back. Perhaps the island is over rated or we visited during a wrong season. We would have skipped this place if time was a constraint.

The only good thing happened when we visited the island was lunch. Our driver had made reservation for vegetarian meals in a nearby home and they served us piping hot and delicious food in plantain leaf. We were impressed by the sheer variety of unlimited food that was served for a nominal amount of INR 80 per person. A museum was right opposite to this house showcasing art and crafts of the region. We decided to skip it and headed towards Banasura Sagar Dam.

Banasura Sagar Dam, second largest earthen dam in Asia is located around 40 km from the island and it took almost an hour to reach. Entry to the dam is restricted between 8:30 am to 5:45 pm and Boating hours is from 9 am to 5 pm. Entry ticket is INR 20 for adults and INR 10 for children. From the ticket counter, we have to walk uphill for around 15 minutes. A jeep facility provides transportation to and from the ticket counter for a fee of INR 100 (for 8 people). We preferred walking up and were duly impressed upon seeing the dam.

Uphill walk to the dam

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A long walk to the Boating Center

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Boating is charged INR 500 (for 5 people). The entire boat ride lasts for around 20 minutes. We were taken deep into the boundaries of the dam providing a real treat to the eyes.

Various views of the dam

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The sound of our boat tearing the waters, wind, the feeling of actually riding a boat inside a dam, a very huge area with blue waters, little sand mountains here and there, the sun setting in the backdrop of western ghats – it was an experience in itself.

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There is a cafeteria center and a small play area for kids also.

View from the dam

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After our boat ride, we headed to our home-stay, had dinner and a good night’s sleep. You can read about next day of our trip at a this link. (Link will be updated soon)