Monsoon Road Trip to Wayanad

Tripoto
30th Aug 2019
Photo of Monsoon Road Trip to Wayanad by Kanav Gulati
Day 1

Wayanad had always been on my bucket list. Infact, I really wanted to see and explore the wonders of Kerala ever since I came here down south to Bangalore.

The state of Kerala is not far from Bangalore and the drive is pretty scenic and not to be missed during the monsoon season.

Since 2nd of September was a holiday on account of Ganesh Chaturthi, my wife and I decided to take advantage of the long weekend and try to explore the Wayanad district.

Now the state of Kerala had been recovering from the heavy rains and floods, which almost made us cancel our trip. But after a couple of reassurances from the locals, we finally went on with our trip.

We started in the early hours, around 6:00am to beat the traffic on the Mysore road.

We took a halt at the famous Kamat Lokaruchi restaraunt for breakfast and head off for Wayanad via Mysore-Gundlupet-Bandipur route.

There is another route which goes through Gudalur and Mudumalai as well, but that adds up an additional hour to the trip. And since I was the only driver in the group, I decided to minimize the travel time.

Just before the Bandipur National Park, where we spotted huge fields of marigold and we had to stop there.

The colorful fields of marigolds

Photo of Wayanad, Kalpetta, Kerala, India by Kanav Gulati

After a brief photo-session and breathing in the delightful fragrance of the flowers, we moved on with our journey, through the Bandipur forest. After crossing the Bandipur forest and entering into Kerala, we stopped at a small joint in Muthunga to indulge in some delicious ghee rice.

Then with our tummies full and our souls being nourished by the greenery all around, we went on. After meandering through the narrow city roads of Sulthan Bathery, we reached Kalpetta at around 2 pm, where we checked into our Airbnb.

We were put up at Lush Green Stays, a serviced villa, through Airbnb and it was amazing! The house was secluded from the main city noise and traffic and was surrounded by nature. The whole place was awesome.

Lush Green Stays villa - Courtesy of Airbnb

Photo of Monsoon Road Trip to Wayanad by Kanav Gulati

After stretching our legs, we head out for lunch at the restaurant 1980s. Now maybe it was closing time for lunch and our indecisiveness to order, or maybe plain bad luck but the curries in our meal were cold. This diminished the culinary experience but we were hungry, so we ate.

Post our not so fulfilling lunch, we head out to Pookode lake. Where we managed to find a parking spot and took a lap of the lake.

The walk surrounding the Pookode lake

Photo of Monsoon Road Trip to Wayanad by Kanav Gulati

We did not indulge in any boating activities as we were still hungry and did not want to spend any more energy.

After an hour at the lake, taking in the sights, we head over to take a look at the Chain tree. As per the legend, there was a local tribal chieftain who helped certain British engineers in charting a way through Wayanad forests. The viceroy had earlier announced a handsome reward to anyone who would be able to build a road across the forest. In order to steal the credit, the British engineer murdered the local.

But the soul, as they say, is immortal. The soul of the wronged local, known as Karinthandan, started troubling passengers which resulted in a number of accidents.

Due to this, the locals called a sage who chained the soul of Karinthandan to a huge Banyan tree.

Rumour has it that the chain increases in length along with the tree every passing year.

The Chain tree. Look closely and you can see the chain dangling in the front.

Photo of Pookode Lake, Pookode, Kerala by Kanav Gulati

Keep in mind though, this is not a huge spot. It is just a big banyan tree at the side of the road. After this activity, we called it a day and headed back to our villa in search of dinner.

Now I don't know whether we were far from the main city, whether it was an off-season or maybe the routine, but all the shops started closing at around 7-7:30 pm. There are certain restaurants nearby though, which offer good food. But if you sometimes crave for a midnight snack, bear in mind to stack up on your essentials well in advance.

Bandipur national park

Photo of Bandipur National Park, Bandipur, Karnataka, India by Kanav Gulati

Kalpetta at night

Photo of Bandipur National Park, Bandipur, Karnataka, India by Kanav Gulati
Day 2

Sunday. 1st September.

One of the many benefits of staying in an Airbnb instead of a hotel is the flexibility of food options. We decided to cook up a beautiful breakfast.

Photo of Monsoon Road Trip to Wayanad by Kanav Gulati

After filling up on coffee and eggs, we head out to see the Eddakal caves. The drive took 40 minutes which is okay.

What came next was a bit challenging. After parking your car at the designated parking space, you have to hike up the road for about 1 km, and mind you, the road may be smooth, but it is a bit steep. So do keep your good pair of comfortable hiking shoes along.

Photo of Edakkal Caves, Nenmeni, Kerala, India by Kanav Gulati

After the 1km hike, there are stairs. A lot of stairs. Be prepared. After you reach the top, you'll see the view and realize the climb was worth it.

The caves are good, there are certain inscriptions on the wall. Take a good look at them instead of just taking selfies, which most of the public does. Enjoy the view of the hills and the forest, energize yourself and descend when ready.

Photo of Monsoon Road Trip to Wayanad by Kanav Gulati

It started raining as soon as we reached the foot of the stairs. Lucky for us we were carrying rain gear with us. We managed to walk a bit and then took shelter in the roadside joint to indulge in some hot lemon tea and Maggi.

There are lot of shops along the way if you are looking for spices and/or souvenirs. Do bargain, but reasonably. After the visit to the caves, we were now in search of lunch.

We stopped at Hotel Mount Avenue and gorged on the good food and rejuvenated ourselves for our next stop.

The next stop was the Wayanad Heritage Museum. This is a pretty small stop with not many displays, but the things that they have provide a good insight to the Wayanad's history and culture. The museum closes at 5 pm, so plan accordingly.

After the museum, we decided to do a fly-by of the Phanton rock. Knowing full well that it'll be closed by the time we get there, we just wanted to see the place. After a fleeting glimpse of the Phantom rock, we headed back to our villa and drank a hot cup of masala tea as the rain poured over Wayanad gently.

For dinner, we headed back to the 1980s restaurant, as everyone should get a second chance. We ordered pepper chicken and I am glad to say that we were not disappointed. The dish was amazing!

After a belly full of scrumptious chicken, we headed back to our villa and called it a day.

Panoramic view from the top of the caves

Photo of Wayanad, Kerala, India by Kanav Gulati

Edakkal caves - Inscriptions

Photo of Wayanad, Kerala, India by Kanav Gulati

Eddakal caves

Photo of Wayanad, Kerala, India by Kanav Gulati

Eddakal caves - Entrance after the 1KM hike

Photo of Wayanad, Kerala, India by Kanav Gulati

Lemon Tea

Photo of Wayanad, Kerala, India by Kanav Gulati

Rains on our way down from the caves

Photo of Wayanad, Kerala, India by Kanav Gulati

View from the Museum

Photo of Wayanad, Kerala, India by Kanav Gulati

Our group

Photo of Wayanad, Kerala, India by Kanav Gulati
Day 3

Monday. 2nd September

After a good night's sleep, we decided to soak in the beauty of Wayanad to the max before leaving for Bangalore. We decided to explore the villa estate and get mesmerized by the greenery all around.

After the energizing walk around the villa, we had Maggi from breakfast and checked out of the villa. We started for Bangalore at 11 AM. After a lunch halt just outside Mysore and a coffee break at Ramanagara, we managed to reach home at 6:30 PM.

If only the Bangalore-Mysore stretch can be upgraded a bit, then the travel time would be reduced to some extent. But all in all, it was a good trip and we all enjoyed a lot.

Coconut trees in the villa compound

Photo of Wayanad, Kerala, India by Kanav Gulati

Coffee plantation in the backyard

Photo of Wayanad, Kerala, India by Kanav Gulati

Greenery all around

Photo of Wayanad, Kerala, India by Kanav Gulati

The hills in the mist

Photo of Wayanad, Kerala, India by Kanav Gulati

Monkey business

Photo of Wayanad, Kerala, India by Kanav Gulati

Nature

Photo of Wayanad, Kerala, India by Kanav Gulati
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