Wonderful Wayanad

Wednesday, September 01, 2010 / Posted by Sharat / comments (7)

Wayanad is a district in Gods Own Country Kerala. It is situated in the north part of Kerala. There are several places to visit in Wayanad which includes few water falls, Caves, Dam, Viewpoints, reserved forests and many more. .

We left bangalore at 7am. We had planned to visit Edakallu Caves and Meenmutty Falls on the first day. Reached Gundlupete via Mysore at 1.30pm. We had fresh and sweet Watermelons on the way which were directly brought from the farm.

Muthunga reserved forest
We took diversion from Gundlupete-bandipur route towards Sulthan Batery via Muthunga reserved forest which is the extention of Bandipur National Park. Riding through the reserved forest was a relief from the very hot Bangalore-Mysore-Gundlupete road. We were in Sultan Batery at 2.45pm and searched many hotel for vegetarian food and finally we managed to find one.

Edkal (Light btwn two giant rocks)
Crowd @ Edkal Caves

Edkal Caves are just 10km from the Sultan Batery and we were at the base of cave in no time. Parked our bike and trekked over a km to reach the ticket counter(Entry ticket). There were many visitors waiting to get the ticket as it was long weekend. There was a long queue to get the ticket and enter into the cave. After a couple of minutes wait we managed to get entry in to the cave but again there was a traffic jam as the path was narrow and many tourists were waiting to return.

Edkal means Sun rays entering the cave between two giant rocks(thus the name Ed-Kal). We spotted the place and it was time to get back. Ours was the last batch entering the caves as it was already 5pm.

We bid goodbye to the caves and our next place to visit was Meenmutty falls but as it was getting darker we wanted a room in the nearest town Kalpetta. After searching lot of lodges finally we managed to get one for double the original price since it was year end. and we had not booked earlier  Eventhough the lodge is empty these people cheat everyone by saying that they are full. Its better to book well before we visit the place.

Boat @Pookat Lake
Pookat Lake

Tea Estates
Road to Dam
      Next morning we first visited Phookat lake which is 10km away from kalpetta. This is big and a beautiful lake. The lake also has peddle boat, motor boats. But we preferred to take peddle boat. After 20 minutes of jovial ride we headed back. Next place was Banasura Dam-The largest   earth dam in India. The ride to the dam was worth remembering. Excellent tea estate landscape, curved roads in good condition makes a deadly combination for bike enthusiasts like me..!!
Banasura Dam
Boating @Banasura Dam backwater

Banasura Dam is a wonderful place and should be in not to be missed list. The backwater offers speed boat facility also. We were unlucky as there was a long queue for speed boat. We decided not to wait for our turn and headed back.

As we left the dam we were misled by one signboard which read "Meemutty Falls - 3km". As the falls was in our list we headed to the falls. Took one guide to reach the falls as the falls was away from the parking point. But for our bad luck the falls turned out to be fake Meemnutty falls where we supposed to go...!!!! Finally after wasting valuable 1 and half hour we returned back.

Height of Accuracy..!!

Way to Soojipara
Soojipara Falls
Had lunch at one small town. And we were in Soojipara falls @ 5pm which is around 50 odd km from that town. This falls turned out be a wonderful falls amidst tea estates. Took bath at the falls and were back to kalpetta @ 8pm.

Kuruva Island
Next day early morning we left for Kuruva Island which is about 50km from Kalpetta. The ride was horrible. with no proper road to the place. And the place turned out to be even worse..!!! I would suggest not to visit the place ever..!! We hardly enjoyed the place and decided to leave for bangalore.

Border checkpost
When we reached Muthunga Reserved forest we encountered heavy rain and no place to hide. We took rest at the border checkpost but the rain was in no mood to leave us. Finally we reached Mysore @ 6pm all wet. Decided to stop in Mysore for a night and extend the tour by one day.

On the final Day we visited Ranganatittu Bird Sanctuary and back to Bangalore in the afternoon. 

Of all the place we visited it was Edkal caves, Soojipara falls, Pookat lake, Earth Dam were good and ofcourse our own Ranganatittu was very good.... We missed out on  trekking Chembra peak which is near Soojipara falls which will be conquered in days to come....

Myself @Ranganatittu
Toured Date:  25,26,27th December 2009

Members included: Anand Vardhan, Ravi Hegde, Shreesha and Myself

 For More pictures click below....

Wayanad(Kerala) Bike Ride

Moonlight Trek to Skandagiri

Thursday, April 29, 2010 / Posted by Sharat / comments (6)

Skandagiri or Kalavarahalli betta is 75km from Bangalore. We were 8 members Shrimanth, Kiran, Somanna, Lohit, Prabhakar, Raghavendra, Naveen and myself on 4 bikes. On a Friday we all met at Sigma Mall just after the Hebbal Flyover at 9pm.

Had Dinner at one hotel on the way. Started our journey at around 10.30 and reached Papagni Mutt(Base of Skandagiri) at 12.15 midnight. Parked our bikes at the mutt. There were many people asking for guide but we did not get one as I had been to the place earlier.

Started trekking at 12.30. Even though trekking is moderate it was very tiring as it was working day that day. We were trekking very slowly with countless breaks in between. At one point of time I saw a snake on the way and I was about to stand on it but suddenly I could sight the snake and stopped.

We reached the top of Skandagiri at around 2.30am. There were 2 shops preparing Tea and omlet for the trekkers and we had nice bread omlet and hot tea. It was time to have a nice nap till 5am. We all fell a sleep till 5am. The weather was chilling. Many had already gathered to watch the spectacular sunrise.

We packed all the belongings and were waiting for sun to rise. We were hoping to see clouds below us but it was not the case. Finally the light got brighter and brighter as sun began to rise. It was a wonderful sight.

We took couple of photographs and got down a bit towards a viewpoint. The place looked wonderful with few rock pillers. We managed to stand on the pillers and again a few snaps were inevitable...!!
Finally decided to trek back at 8am. This time we took a different but challenging path. This path reduced the distance by half but increased the difficulty by 10 times. walking on the rocks was getting difficult by each step. But the view was breathtaking.

We managed to reach the Papagni Mutt by 9am with couple of breaks for drinking Coconut water etc. The plan was to get back to bangalore but we then decided to go to Muddenahalli (Sir M.Vishveshwaraih's birthplace ). The village is hardly 10km from the Mutt.

We visited Sir MV's museum and Samadhi. And then it was the time to get back to Bangalore. In 90minutes we were in bangalore.

Panoramic view of surrounding hills from Skandagiri

Click here for all the photos
Skandagiri Revisited