Romancing Wayanad-I

Getting drunk on the fresh air

Getting drunk on the fresh air

​​Approaching Lakkidi View Point

​​Approaching Lakkidi View Point​​

The ghat section

The ghat section​​

Beauty of western ghats

Beauty of western ghats

We moved towards Wayanad from Kappad Beach looking at Kerala countryside. Within half an hour we could see the Western Ghat ranges engulfed in clouds & fog. Shaiju suggested that we should take an alternate route to cross the ghat section as we will reach directly to the 4th hairpin bend of the ghat section but I reminded him that I don’t want to skip Lakkidi view point. As we proceeded via this shorter alternative route we came across a waterfall. I insisted for a photo stop but I didn’t know that we will be chasing many such stunning waterfalls in our Wayanad trip.​​ ​​

Hemant taking the position

Hemant taking the position

​​ I couldnt resist a pic too

​​ I couldnt resist a pic too​​

Thamarassery Ghat Section view

Thamarassery Ghat Section view​​

Lush green vegetation

Lush green vegetation​​

An old British Era milestone

An old British Era milestone

 Wayanad ghat road is one of the best as per Indian standards. My much awaited Lakkidi View Point was finally unwrapping its beauty right in front of my naked eyes. I was truly dumbfounded to see these spectacular vistas of the valley & well marked hairpin bends of the Thamarassery Ghat Section. I could see lush green vegetation in floating clouds. Lakkidi View Point gave an idea what Wayanad will offer to my wanderlust soul.

As we had only two days in Wayanad, we decided to go directly to Edakkal Caves. The surprises continued as no guidebook have mentioned that Wayanad has beautiful lush green tea plantations as scenic as Munnar or Ooty.

​​ We had a quick lunch in a highway side restaurant & reached Edakkal caves. The trek to Edakkal Caves was hard beyond our expectation with many winding paths and series of staircases. When we reached at the top the reward was super fascinating. I could see the innumerable shades of green. The pregnant clouds, the gray white & sunless sky, distant harsh mountains & the vast green meadows made my heart grow wild with nature.​​

Climbing to Edakkal Caves

Climbing to Edakkal Caves​​

Mubarak on the Edakkal Trek

Mubarak on the Edakkal Trek​​

View from the top at Edakkal Caves

View from the top at Edakkal Caves​​

Edakkal Caves

Edakkal Caves

 The structure of these caves reminded me of my visit to Batu Caves, Malaysia. The Edakkal Caves are home to Stone Age writings & petroglyphs dating back to at least 6000 BC. It means that some of them are at least 8000 years old.​​

Stone age carvings

Stone age carvings

 This area was once situated on an ancient trade route & was inhibited even in Neolithic prehistoric age. The Stone Age carvings are very distinct & clear even today. The information board stated that such carvings are very rare & Edakkal Caves are the only example in Southern part of India.

Stone age carvings inside the caves

Stone age carvings inside the caves​​

Another view from top with the Fantom Rock ...

Another view from top with the Phantom Rock …

Getting down from the caves

Getting down from the caves

 I felt that all the efforts & hard work to climb up this place were paid off handsomely. Flabbergasted by these carvings I even wondered if it should be added to the World Heritage Site list.

          While returning back we took a diversion to Sunrise Valley on Shaiju’s suggestion.

On way to Sunrise Valley

On way to Sunrise Valley

​​ On the way we saw a notice posted by Forest Department saying that the valley is closed for tourists. We decided to take a chance & reached near the valley. To our bad luck the forest officials didn’t allow us to go to the exact view point but Shaiju somehow took us to a spot near the valley through tall grasses & woods.​​

Shaiju leading us in woods

Shaiju leading us in woods​​

The elusive Sunrise Valley

The elusive Sunrise Valley

We had no choice but to be contented with only a few glimpses of the lush green valley with multiple waterfalls. Surprisingly I got a “Welcome to Vodafone Tamilnadu” message on my mobile phone. Shaiju informed that the valley is very close to Nilgiri District of Tamilnadu.

Our next stop was Kanthanpara Waterfalls. En route I couldn’t resist few photos in beautiful tea plantations. I was gifted with few love bites from the friendly leeches.​​​​

Tea Plantations of Wayanad

Tea Plantations of Wayanad​​

Tea Plantations of Wayanad

Tea Plantations of Wayanad

​​

No guidebook mentioned the beautiful tea plantation

No guidebook mentioned the beautiful tea plantation​​

No guidebook mentioned the beautiful tea plantation

No guidebook mentioned the beautiful tea plantation

By the time we reached at the beautiful Kanthanpara falls, it was already closing time for the visitors.

On way to Kanthanpara Waterfalls

On way to Kanthanpara Waterfalls​​

Kanthanpara Waterfalls

Kanthanpara Waterfalls​​

Milky Kanthanpara Waterfalls

Milky Kanthanpara Waterfalls​​

Streams near Kanthanpara

Streams near Kanthanpara

We took many photos of the waterfall & drenched our tired legs into the cold water of the stream above the waterfall. It was truly therapeutic.   On our way to the Planet Green Plantation Resort we could see the elusive Chembra Peak playing hide & seek with us. Shaiju treated us with a Thattukada style tea at a village called Chundale.

​​

Thattukada style tea

Thattukada style tea​​

A vegetable shop in Chundale

A vegetable shop in Chundale

 We were warmly greeted by the staff of the Planet Green Resort. Our adrenaline-filled day came to a lovely closure with Malabar Chicken curry over a dinner table chatting about the history & culture of Wayanad with well-versed Mr. Radhakrishnan from Planet Green.​​

Malabar Chicken Curry

Malabar Chicken Curry

Before hitting the bed I couldn’t resist a walk over to the balcony & looked in the direction of mysterious Chembra Peak in dark……….​


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