Places Visited :
• Edekkal Caves
• Jain Temple
• Chembra Peak
• Soochimara Waterfall
• Pookade Lake
• Banasurasagar Dam
• Meenmutti Waterfall
• Kuruva Dweep
Distance Covered: > 700 Km
After a long wait I got the best conditions for my Wayanad trip particularly a hike to Chembra Peak. I always wanted to do it on my bike and do camping but that doesn’t look like to be possible any more. Lately I have got slip disk problem and hence no more biking for some years and camping has been to prohibited to preserve the area and terrain.
Well, all this gave me a new friend my NANO. It looks small for such long and rough journeys but in actual I must say it has much more caliber then people oath it to have. With the route planned we (me and my wife) did the last minute packing and adorned the little cute nono with some travel accessories … GPS … travel cooler … some new mp3… and ready to go. It was not a very good time to visit Wayanad but we took the risk. One should probably consider October – February to be in Wayanad. Day 1:
As usual with my favorite planning we started early in morning to avoid city traffic. Thanks to “power house”, my wife, she made no delays like typical girls and got ready by time. She fixed some quick food for the trip and we were ready to hit the roads. 4:30 AM and it was me getting overexcited for another long trip after a long gap. Did Bangalore to Mysore in two and half hours. Filled the small tummy of nano with fuel and off to Sultan Bathery via Bundipur National Park. It was just awesome. Someone need to run thru it to realize the ultimate experience.
Ahh… how can I forget the tasty food the my wife fixed. Having your breakfast and enjoying the best of nature, what else could be so delightful.
Reached “Sultan Bathery” around 10:00 AM, checked in the hotel (mint flower) and had a refreshing hot water shower. Had some rest and we were ready for our exploration. Our first destination was “Edekkal Caves”.
To my surprise there were lots of lot people of all ages. Well very cunning to say but that was making the ascent very slow.
The better time to visit this place is indeed in morning around 9:00AM to 10:00 AM. It does offers you an exhausting hike so don’t forget to bring enough water and wear loose stuff.
Cave is comprised of a hall like chamber with some prehistoric wall carvings which are in fact the key thing to watch. You will not get anything out of the carvings but it’s a gud sight to witness the very early evolving civilization. For us it was full of rush, sweat and humid. Thanks to the exaggerated bathroom facilities which helped to cool down and relax. Now on we preferred to rest and then went to the “Jain Temple” which is very much approachable and is with in the town. The temple and its usage by Tipu Sultan got the town its name : “Sulthan Bathery”. Day 2:
This time because of some misguidance from locals we started late. Our destination was the most favorite “Chembra Peak”. We were told that the “VSS” doesn’t allow trekking before 9:00AM hence we started late. Once reached the nearest village “Meppadi” we still felt that we have come early. But to surprise were confirmed by the
VSS people that they allow trekking 7:00 AM onwards until 3:00PM. Anyways we got our trekking passes and the guide which is mandatory by VSS. One need to drive 7 KM from Meppadi which is very patchy road into the “Fatima’s Tea Estate”. On the comes the VSS check post from where you can collect the passes and the guide. The drive to the base point to the peak offers very nice views. We didn’t waste much time as it was getter hotter. We started the climb around 9:30 AM and managed to reach the first point of interest the heart shape lake around 10:30. The complete track is claimed to be 3 and half kilometers but the dry season it feels much more than that. Lake is at a distance of around 2 Kilometers from the base point. For beginners it’s OK to enjoy the views as the climb from here becomes difficult and steeper. The peak view looks really nice from the lake side and is good spot to click some memorable pictures of the solitaire peak in background. With intermittent break we were at the top in another one and half hours. It was really worth to
climb that far. Views are really nice and the satisfaction of standing at the top most peak is beyond description.
Sooner some dense clouds joined us with the message “to descent”. We followed… tried capturing as much possible while maintaining a fast pace. We were back to the base point at the parking spot in one and half hours. We had enough time for the day hence didn’t waste much time and started rolling down the tea estate, dropped back the guide to VSS station and proceeded to another need by tourist spot “Soochipara Waterfall”. Its around 13 Kilometers from Meppadi. Roads are OK the last 1 kilometer is little tight and patchy. You need to be conscious while driving to make it to the parking spot. Well, it seems like the long week end made it restless to everyone and we faced a huge crowd again. My sweet little nano somehow was able to sneak-in into a tight parking slot. We bought our passes and aah again a some little hike down to the waterfall. Thanks that the pathway is well paved up to the water fall. I must say it was our better timing to visit the
spot, it was just before the monsoon season and the waterfall had descent water to take a shower. Water force and height was in fact so good to encourage me to sit down and have a very soothing water message. What a great feeling after a very dehydrating hike of Chembra peak.
We spent some time there had some snakes at the parking spot’s side shops. 4:00 PM … seems like we have some more day light left, so started for another spot : “Pookade Lake” around 19 Km from Meppadi. It was getting shady by the time we reached there. It a natural lake surrounded by thick vegetation. A good place to spend time with family and kids. We called for night at Vythiri and dumped our heavy bodies in bed for a sound sleep.
6:00 AM the natural clock rang and we were on roads again. It was a very nice drive around the country side for Kerala in the Western ghat region. We headed towards our next destination “Banasurasager Dam” around 21 KM from Vythiri. Seems like 7:30 AM was too early for the local and we had to wait for another
1 hour to get the entry gate open. We made use of the time by having breakfast in nearby restaurant, circling around the area and enquiring about the places nearby. Banasurasagar is a good place for speed boat experience and some good views of nearby Malabar hills range but probably the nice time to be here is after the monsoon when the lake has to be full of water. For us it was very much dry and not very appealing. We clicked some pictures and pushed ourselves to next spot : “Meenmutti Waterfall” around 3 Km from dam. 9:30 AM is the opening time but this time the VSS people were kind enough to give use entry passes earlier (probably being the off season). This was really good. Very much into nature, tender and pure. We got lucky to be here early in morning, simply no cowed. We walked up to the stream to find some private place and we found one J some water play and back to roads. I will recommend this to visitors.
Our next destination was “Kuruva Dweep”. This is almost 40 Km from Meenmmuti Falls. River crossing on a bamboo raft is exiting. Best
time to visit would be after Monsoon or during winters.
It was getting late and around 4:00 PM we started to drive back home. GPS gave us another route that goes via Begur reserve forest. It was fun to drive until we faces a detour which was nightmare. Around 15 Km of stretch full of dug holes and mud was a killing punishment to me and nano both. With last breaths in battle we managed to reach home at 11:00 PM for a super deep sleep.
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