I’ve always wondered why Kerala has always been called “God’s own country.” Ever since the travel bug bit me, Kerala topped my bucket list and only recently did I hit the roads of Wayanad and boy, it was way too amazing.
NATURE AT ITS BEST!
Little do we all realize that as the territory of luxury villas and multi-storied apartments keeps expanding, and as the number of shopping malls, boutiques, cafes and disco clubs multiply, the place we live in becomes a cement jungle. I should say I was awestruck when I entered the serene forests of Wayanad, not only did it give me abundant unpolluted oxygen, which by itself is a rarity now, but it also boasted a spotlessly clean environment. No plastic covers, no broken alcohol bottles, no garbage lying around, in general it was nothing like the most of other places. People in Wayanad also make sure they have a garden. There were so many bougainvillae as I rode past the place, I should say each house resembled a botanical garden.
As I wandered deep into the woods, I noticed how nature gracefully blended with the district. I was in a trance, blissfully enjoying a relaxing gush of the waterfalls , the buzz of insects and the chirp of birds. And hey! I spotted a few sparrows too, and that’s when it struck me to switch off my mobile phone. Going offline while travelling ALWAYS makes you feel great, uploading photos can wait :P Real enjoyment is when you look at mother nature through your naked eye, not through a gadget’s lens. Here’s a list of the must-visit places in this lush region that’ll make you go aww!
About 1200 meters from sea level, you’ll have to trek to reach this rock shelter. Not just trek, you must climb up a huge array of steps which eventually will leave your calf muscles aching because of all the extra work! Even if it’s burning hot outside, once you step into the caves, you’ll surprisingly be welcome with a cool temperature. As you look around, you’ll find undecipherable carvings, you’ll suddenly feel drawn to civilizations that existed ages ago. Ever been sun kissed? The sun beams on a spot right in the middle of the caves, while the rest of it remains dim and cool. So what more do you need to kiss the sun? Step in the spot.
You’d realize how much of a tiny spec you are of the universe when you look at this marvelous three layered waterfall. What they’ve now termed “fish spa” (only to make money) wouldn’t stand a chance if you dip your feet into the crystal clear refreshing water there, you’ll end up giggling as fish nibbles all the dirt off your toes and better yet? A dip inside the waterfall would remove the dirt off from your very soul. That’s Mother Nature, for you:)
BANASURA SAGAR DAM:
How long has it been since you went for a long run? How about running on a road stretch on India’s largest earthen dam? With the islands of the Banasura hills in the background, as breeze ruffles through your hair, rest be assured that you’d rejoice jogging. And wait! There’s more. Speed boating in the dam becomes exhilarating as you take a 360 degree spin amidst the water, or the whoosh-whoosh adrenaline rising thrills when your boat steers left and right, ALMOST toppling down ;)
The phrase “Into the woods, dark and deep..” would make perfect sense while you maneuver through these intensely dense islands where there would be absolutely nobody in sight, all you’ll be able to see is plants, dense shrubs and trees growing along the boundaries of the Kabini river. And oh! Remember to take a deep breath and devote yourself to healing calmness for there would be pin drop silence, except for the lullaby of scenic greenery. This island houses very rare species of plants, birds and animals, the REAL owners of the jungle. Keep looking out for them, you might even catch a sight of a few, if you’re lucky.
Cycling around a lake that rests in the bosom of lush green forests and mountain slopes, is a welcome change to get away from the ruckus of a mechanical world. Take a break, and stroll along this fresh water lake to unwind and relax.
And last but never the least, it’ll be crime if I don’t tell you about KERALA’S FOOOOOOD!
The best thing about Kerala is you don’t have to walk into these fancy restaurants that offer mediocre limited menus, ceramic plates and toothpicks. Come on! You’re in god’s own country, so get ready to be served delicious food on plantain leaves for a full course meal that’ll leave you asking for more! Opt for Kerala messes, ALWAYS, because they’re the best! The meal starts with at least 4 varieties of freshly cooked vegetables, with just the right amount of spice. In Kerala, fish curry and fish fry are mandatory, and more like a trademark, food there is cooked in coconut oil which again makes it tastier. If you’re done having a full fish fry, get ready for one more, refilling happens automatically because it’s a custom there to never let a person leave the place unsatisfactory. You’ll almost be short of breath when you reach the final course of buttermilk and rice, spiced with a fried chilly, which you’ll eventually gobble up. It’ll seem unfair to waste food, it gets tastier in every consequent bite you take.
As you struggle to get up with your tummy full, a plate of cut watermelons and a whole banana will await you. And guess what? There’s a whole lot more to explore in Kerala, so what are you waiting for? Go ahead and book that ticket!
P.S: Don’t leave Kerala unless you taste ‘pazhampori and chaaya’, you’ll start writing your own blog on Kerala, I promise!