Wayanad: In the lap of nature – Part 1
Overview: Weekend was approaching and we made a quick plan to visit Wayanad. As it was already Thursday and we were planning to reach there on Saturday, we could not book any resorts as well. All the buses were also full so no reservations. So either we had to postpone the trip or we had to make it more adventurous. We chose the latter option.
We went to the Mysore road Satellite bus station in Bangalore hoping to get some seat in any bus. A KSRTC Rajahamsa bus was about to leave to Calicut which was full. The conductor also told that all the Karnataka KSRTC buses were full. We went to the Kerala KSRTC enquiry and were told that there is an ordinary bus at 11:30pm. We decided to take that bus. The moment the bus came to the platform, there was a chaos around and everyone was pushing each other to get into the bus. Both me and my wife managed to get seated together fortunately. The seats were also not very comfortable. No back rest and the seats were at right angle. So somehow we managed to get some little sleep.
The bus started at around 12am. We were supposed to get down at Kalpetta which is the district headquarters.
Day 1: We reached Kalpetta at around 5am and found that there is no proper bus terminus. There was a major bus terminus at Sulthan Bathery which we had already crossed. We searched for some hotels and fortunately got a decent hotel to stay in. We checked in to the hotel and relaxed for a while. We booked a cab for the day to roam around.
We started at around 9am from our hotel and the first place in our list was the Banasurasagar Dam. We went to the dam and it was a huge reservoir and we hired a paddle boat for some fun. It was really nice to be in the middle of the lake with hills in the background. We were boating for around 30 mins and then came out to proceed for the next place.
The next was the Pookot Lake. It is a large freshwater lake with green mountains in the background. Its very popular among tourists in Wayanad as was evident. There was an aquarium and green house inside the lake premises. The aquarium had a rich collection of various breeds of fish. After visiting the aquarium we decided to have a stroll along the lake. We went into the forest for some distance and then returned back.
The next place was the Lakkidi view point. Before that was an interesting Ficus tree which is chained. There is an interesting story behind this. Legend says that there was an tribal person who guided a British Engineer to this place. To take the full credit of this discovery, the Britisher killed the tribal person and it is believed that since then his ghost haunts the entire place. To get rid of this ghost, a priest chained it to this tree and since then this tree has remained chained and hence the name Chain Tree.
Then further down we went to the Lakkidi view point which was really fantastic. We could see huge mountains on all sides and the curved roads could be seen at a distance. It was terrific and one can spend hours together admiring the beauty of nature. We then took a break for lunch near Lakkidi.
Post lunch we proceeded towards Soochippara waterfalls and the route was through a number of tea estates. It was really beautiful to drive through the tea plantations. We reached Soochippara falls parking lot at around 2:30 and had to trek for around a kilometre to reach to the base of the falls. As we were trekking through the woods we could hear the sound of the waterfalls and soon we could see the falls in full flow. Even though it was not the peak rainy season for the falls, it looked really beautiful with plenty of water. We went close to the falls and played for a while.
This was the last place for the day and we decided to head back to the hotel in Kalpetta. On the way we stopped for a while to enjoy a walk into the tea plantations. It was really great to walk inside the plantations with rich green colour surrounding us. We could see greenery in all directions and was really enjoyable.
How to reach: Easily approachable by road and rail. Take the SH17 Bangalore-Mysore highway. From Mysore take NH 212 till Gundlupet and turn right towards Kalpetta.
All buses towards Calicut halt at Kalpetta and Sulthan Bathery. Buses are available from Bangalore and Mysore.
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