Published: July 14th 2011June 30th 2011
The Banasura resort
Misty mountais in the back drop
It’s now for a short trip to Wayanad in Kerala which is called God’s own country. This place is lush green among the mountains of the Western Ghats, at the top of the Deccan plateau around 75 kms from the shores of Calicut ( Kozhikode )
We took the overnight train to Calicut and thereafter a cab to the resort at Wayanad , a good four hour travel through lot of greenery.
Located at a distance of 76 km. from the sea shores of Kozhikode, this pristine hill station is full of plantations, forests and wildlife dotted with resorts. Wayanad consists of 3 taluks - Mananthavady, Sulthan Bathery and Vythiri. The district headquarters is located at Kalpetta. This area enjoys superb climate throughout the year. The mean average rain fall in this district is 2322 mm. Lakkidi, Vythiri and Meppadi are the high rainfall areas in Wayanad.
As the history goes it was here at Mananthavady that Lord Arthur Wellesley fought a guerrilla war with the Pazhassi Raja and British supremacy prevailed in the region for two centuries. When the state of Kerala was created in 1956; the southern region of Wayanad which was part of Cannannoor district
was attached to Calicut district.
Kalpetta, the region's district HQ was a major Jain centre. Lakkidi, its town at the entrance, is popular for its plantations. King Tipu Sultan, the legendary ruler of Mysore who bravely opposed the British, built a fort at Sultan Bathery in the 18th century.
Established in mid-1973, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary forms a network of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka on the north-east and Mudimalai of Tamil Nadu on the south-east. Rich in bio-diversity, the sanctuary is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, which has been established with the specific objective of conservation the biological heritage of the region. Consisting entirely of notified reserve, the sanctuary is very rich in fauna and flora.
The management of the sanctuary lays emphasis on scientific conservation with due consideration to the general lifestyle of the tribal and others who live on the fringes of the forest .
Wayanad is unique in that it is situated in an elevated picturesque mountainous plateau in the Western Ghats. The vast stretches of mist - capped mountains, green meadows of valleys, white water springs, blue water lakes and wild forests express the splendid natural beauty of
Wayanad. Perhaps what the visitor finds most endearing about this quaint little hill station is its large tribal population of about fifty-strong tribes and their fascinating lifestyle.
Travellers can stay at the tree top houses and mud huts and enjoy the thrills of jungle life. We preferred a secluded resort called the Banasura Earth resort .The highlight here is that it is built fully of mud and clay and no cement is used in the building and is one of largest earth resorts' in Asia . The rooms are good and also teh food. The caretakers Mr. and Mrs Rajesh are very friendly and ensure that your stay is quite comfortable. The web site is www.banasura.com
We chose a room overlooking the lake on a higher range and only constraint this time was the time ! we had very less time on hand. On the first day we went to the waterfalls nearby and I as usual trekked to the top with the help of a local tribal guide and came back through the other side of jungle ( inspired by the Man Vs. wild programme of Bear Grylls !! : ) There was not much of water
but the rocks were pretty slippery. After the trek we spent some time on the rocky shore and hit the resort back for a good lunch.
The next morning we did spend some time around the resort, it was raining and the whole place was superb lush green with fresh air and sounds of the morning birds. One could feel the freshness in the air and the urge to walk around. It was simply fantastic atmosphere.
The evening was the trip to the nearby Banasura dam and this place was really picturesque and superb. Got dropped near the lake and we got the tickets for the speed boat and this trip was indeed memorable. The mud island in the middle and the red clay shores add beauty to the lake. The sun was hitting hard on the face but it was quite cool with the breeze blowing over the lake.
The next spot was the Kuruva island which is a virgin forest and spread over a vast area of around 950 acres . This is purely an uninhabited ever green forest ! The island is surrounded by the tributaries of the river Kabani and is a favourite
tourist spot.. We took the ferry boat from the mainland. The return will be in a bamboo raft from the other side of the island. The journey along the river is very exciting. At some points the river is so shallow that one could sit down on the rocks and merge with the surroundings. This island is located 35 km away from Kalpetta.
Clicked a lot of snaps both at the island and at the boating spot. There is also a garden along the shores of the lake with tall trees and a ice-cream paroulr. We did enjoy the cone out here ! The evening was quite pleasant at the resort as it started drizzling and the lush green spot was more beautiful and we relaxed enjoying this scene.
Its better if we have around 4-5 days on hand to explore more in and around this town. One important we missed is the Pazhassi Raja's tomb and museum.
However this was again a woderful trip we had and one more place to add in my travel list !
There are more photos below