Wayanad - the name always tends to haunt anyone who loves nature; the beautiful hills, the step cultivation and not to the forget, the tea gardens and fresh spices. Wayanad is paradise for those who appreciate the nature's beauty.
It is one of the most beautiful destinations for a road trip, in the country. One needs to drive down to this place to discover the true beauty of this green paradise.
It's the beginning of monsoon in Bengaluru, and one is pretty much stressed out when they start to think about the never-ending traffic snarls that are in store for you. I decided to head towards Wayanad, the green paradise, as an escapade.
We planned it as a quick weekend trip from Bengaluru scheduled to begin on a Friday morning and to be back on Sunday night.
Bengaluru - Ramanagara - Mysore - Bandipur - Gudalur - Wayanad
An early start from the city, at around 5:30 AM we head towards Wayanad, which is situated at a distance of about 280 kms from the city. The first stop we make is for our breakfast at the much famed Kamat Lokaruchi in Ramanagara. After which we head towards the heritage city of Mysore.
The newly opened ring road before entering Mysore, is a boon for those who would like to avoid entering into the city and jump directly to the highway, taking you to the Bandipur National Park.
As we enter the Bandipur National Park, we chose to go at a slower pace in order to have a look at the various animals, which would come across the path and also for the safety of the animals who would cut across the highway.
We drove at a slow speed and the first to welcome us are the friendly Monkeys followed by herds of the Spotted Deer and Peacocks. As we head deeper, we find the gentle giants and my personal favourite, the elephants.
It is strictly advised not to stop your vehicles when you are inside the national park to click pictures or for anything else. Drive at slower speeds which for sure would be a boon to catch the beautiful sight of animals in their natural habitats.
And we leave behind the Bandipur forests and enter into Gudalur, a small yet a town buzzing with activities, after which we drive towards Wayanad, our destination. Our phones give us an alert saying that we have entered Kerala State. We also notice the sudden change of the environment.
From the dry lands, we are into a place filled with lush greenery and Kerala welcomes us with rain. We had pre-booked our rooms through OYO rooms, which indeed was very helpful. Our rooms were booked at the beautiful Wayanad Wind Resorts.
After dumping our bags and having a nice Kerala style lunch, we decided to head towards Pookode Lake. The lake is well-known which has boating facilities for its visitors. It is a beautiful place to spend a nice evening.
Our next stop was the Chain tree, it is a very unusual sight to come across a tree with chains dangling from its branches. A local myth says a local boy named Karindathan, provided his assistance to an English engineer to Wayanad. To take the sole credit of the discovery, the engineer is believed to have murdered the boy, whose spirit haunted visitors here, until a priest bound the spirit in chains on the tree.
After that we decided to head back to our cosy beds waiting for us.
After the nice 'hot puttu and kadala curry'(rice cake and curry) breakfast, we decided to head towards the much heard Edakkal caves. The caves is a must visit place in Wayanad. A word of caution - one needs to hike up a hill which leads you to the caves and that for sure will test your stamina but it's worth the trouble.
The cave is formed by two split stones with rare stone-age inscriptions on the rocks. The caves have three sets of petroglyphs which are of high value to an archaeologist.
After which we headed towards the Banasura Sagar Dam. The dam is built across river Kabini and is the largest earth dam in India and the second largest in Asia. Here again, one gets a chance to hop on a motor boat which takes you across the dam. One can also notice the Chembra peak on one side and Banasura peak on the other.
We had our lunch in a small hotel on the way towards the much famed Thamarassery Churam (Ghat). The ghat is technically the end point of Wayanad district and its exit takes you to Calicut District, but the drive across the ghat is a must do. It provides you with an incredible view of forests.
Our next stop was Wayanad Heritage museum for a quick dose of history and culture. After which we headed towards the tomb of Pazhassi Raja, the famous ruler who lead a guerilla warfare against the British East India Company.
After which we decided to give our bodies the much-needed rest and headed back to our rooms.
We decided to start our journey early, so that we could go past the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary on our way back to Bengaluru. After the breakfast and checking out our rooms, we headed towards the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary which shares its borders with Bandipur and Mudumalai forests. As we drove through the sanctuary, we came across Elephants, a herd of bisons munching away the grass and deers.
And then we head back to Bengaluru after enriching our minds and getting prepared to face the traffic snarls that are waiting for us in the city.