Travel Story Contest#1 – An unforgettable journey to the lap of Wayanad!September 15, 2017
Author: Vignesh H Kashyap | Bangalore.
“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.”
This is exactly what my friends and I decided to do, to learn from the beautiful hills of Wayanad. It was our semester break and we needed one too. Wayanad seemed the perfect place to visit in January and it wasn’t very far from Bangalore, but first we had to make arrangements and look for a place to stay. Since it was the ideal time for visiting Wayanad coupled with the fact that our plans were sudden made it difficult to find accommodation initially. Just when we gave up on finding a good place to stay, we found a place called “Le Villagio Holiday Apartments”. We looked at the pictures which were put up online, and felt it was too good to be true. Little did we know that we would get available slots. We called them up hoping that our holiday wouldn’t end even before it started. Luckily the manager picked up instantly. When he said accommodation was available, it was music to our ears. All that was left to do now was to pack our bags and leave.
The roads being in excellent condition made the drive from Bangalore to Wayanad pleasant. We checked in and believe me I am not kidding when I say the apartment was way above our expectations. Extremely well maintained and clean, with facilities like WiFi, LED TV, Kitchen, Refrigerator, room with a view, well I can go on and on. The manager was very friendly and gave us an idea about how we could cover the endless list of tourist spots in Wayanad. There are plenty of things to see but the first-time visitors here do not realize that the distances in Wayanad are huge. More often than not, they end up just spending a lot of time on the road, rather than at the tourist destination. Most of us unknowingly, pick hotels and resorts that are not close to the places that we really want to visit. One important thing that we must do when planning a trip to Wayanad is to understand the key tourist attractions in Wayanad and then look for accommodation that suits us-keeping in mind the proximity to our list of attractions. Fortunately we went by car and did not face difficulties in this regard and also “Le Villagio” is perfectly located and makes it convenient to travel around.
We first decided to visit the Banasura Sagar Dam. Banasura Sagar Dam is second largest earth dam in Asia and largest in India, which is completely made with mud. There were many tourists including school children climbing steps and returning from the dam. When we reached the top, we could see a vast body of water which took the direction of the wind to for gentle waves. Boating facility is available for taking us to the island. Speed boating is more adventurous and thrilling. A beautiful garden with statues and sculptures is a suitable place for photography and perfect for relaxation.
Kalpetta is the main town with lots of resorts and restaurants in Wayanad. Access to waterfalls, lakes and dams from Kalpetta town is a lot better.
With Kalpetta as the center point, you can visit Meenmuthy Falls, Soochipara Falls and the Kanthapara Falls- each of them unique in their own way. All these are quite spread out and covering them in a single outing may not be the best idea.
Meenmuthy Falls are around 30kms from Kalpetta. The best part about seeing them is the lovely 2 km trek that needs to be done to reach it. The Soochipara falls or the Sentinel Falls are also 20 kms from Kalpetta. The drive to these falls is amazing with lovely green tea estates along the road. These falls require a trek too. The water here falls along three-tiered rocks into a pool, which is great for some fun in the water whilst here.
Chembra Peak is at a height of 2100m and is one of the key attractions of Wayanad. This peak is around 10kms from Kalpetta and is a well known for trekking- and the trek is not too long but moderately difficult. Permission from the forest officials must be taken and a small entry fee is collected. Trek is allowed between 7am to 2pm and one has to return back by 5pm. Watch out for the beautiful heart shaped lake on the way to the peak. From the top, you can get a glimpse of Wayanad & Kodaikanal.
You can also have a lazy evening on the banks of the Pookot lake, a fresh water lake surrounded by lovely green trees. There are boating facilities as well as activities like rock climbing and zip lining. The zip line is a must do activity and makes you skip a heart beat, but is a breathtaking experience and extrememly safe.
Another interesting and fascinating attraction of Wayanad are the Edakkal Caves. There are several legends around these caves – one of the caves being formed by arrows of Luv and Kush. The inscriptions in the caves are said to belong to the Early Man’s Age or the Neolithic Age. This is the only place in India, where such dated inscriptions have been found.
12kms from the main town of Sulthan Bathery is the Muthanga Wildlife Nation Par, home to some amazing wildlife – free roaming elephants, deer, bears and tigers. This park is also called the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary is open on most days and you can take a small ride within the same. The Forest Officials also organize elephant rides – if you are really keen for one.
One must be thinking if visiting all these places gets you tired. But the truth is when you are enthusiastic about travelling and visiting new places, everything else becomes secondary. One can fall asleep almost instantly in the luxurious bedding that Le Villagio provides. There is a children’s area with slides, swings, see saws and even a tree house. So it is perfect for a family stay as well. We were also told that the swimming pool was under construction. Sounds perfect right? Trust me, it is. Waking up to the sumptuous healthy breakfast they provide is the perfect way to start the day. Can’t wait to be back here the next time I visit Wayanad. Enhanced the entire Wayanad experience and one worth remembering. Thank you Le Villagio.