We had been waiting to go to Kerala sometime but kept postponing due to some or the other reason. A colleague of mine visited Wayanad in second week of August and showed me the photos. I was just out of words seeing the atmosphere there and decided to head to Wayanad the next weekend.
I had only 3 days before the trip for booking the accommodation. Checked with few resorts but all were running full on the weekend of 21st-22nd. So I moved to hotels; Green Gates looked like a decent hotel in Kalpetta with good reviews on internet as well as here on Team-BHP. Checked with them and booked a deluxe room for 2K per night for two nights (plan was to leave Bangalore Friday morning and come back Sunday evening). More on the hotel later.
Thursday evening, filled up petrol from Shell and got the tire pressure, engine oil and coolant level checked. Got the car washed from my car wash guy and kept all the things ready to start at 5 AM the next morning.
As usual, we were running half n hour late for the departure (not bad at all by my standards though). Started from Whitefield at 5.35 AM towards Kalpetta, Wayanad. The route I took was –
Whitefield -> Mysore Road -> Mandya -> Mysore -> Bandipur -> Nanjangud -> Gundlupet -> Sultan Bathery -> Kalpetta.
There are some really beautiful fields of water-melon, marigolds (Genda in hindi) and bajra (probably) plantations just before Bandipur after Gundlupet.
The drive through the Bandipur national park and Muthanga wildlife sanctuary is amazing. A thick Jungle on both sides of roads and a slow drizzle just made it so much relaxing. There are lot of check-posts once you enter Kerala don’t know why. Reached the hotel at 12 noon – total 6 and half hours for a distance of 300 KMs with lot of breaks for breakfast, photography etc.
Plan for the day was to have some rest in the hotel and then go to some place in the evening (had jolted down the list of places to visit but had no particular plan in mind). Checked with the hotel travel desk for nearby places and decided to visit Banasura Sagar Dam 22 KMs away from the hotel. One has to go through the Kalpetta town and take a right turn at a junction near Chemmanur Jewelers to reach Banasura Sagar Dam. There are enough sign boards in English from there on till the dam.
The decision to visit the dame in the evening turned out to be a great one as the weather there was amazing. The dam is around a KM walk away from the parking place. The dam is called earth dam as it is made from natural things (mud, sand, rocks etc) only. It is really a huge dam with the wall about 1 KM long. The entire dam is surrounded by mountains and there are quite a few islands also inside the dam. Once you walk through to the end of the wall, you see a small ticket window for boating. They have pedal boat and a speed boat. The prices are reasonable at Rs 50/- for pedal boat and Rs 300/- for speed boat which can accommodate 5 adults. We were only two of us and hired the speed boat for 300/-. That was the most exciting experience of the entire trip. The boat does go fast on the water and the strong wind that day made it feel even faster. After boating, stayed there for another half n hour and then came back to hotel.
The photos here don’t do any justice to the mesmerizing view that we saw on that day.
Day 2 (Saturday, 21st Aug) starts at 8 AM. Both of us get ready and have breakfast at the hotel itself. Again check with the hotel travel desk to plan for the day and decide to head to Soochipara Falls and then to Pookote lake and Lakkidi View point.
To go to Soochipara Falls, one has to cross the Kalpetta Town and then there is a small circle where straight road goes to Soochipara falls and right diversion goes to Pookote Lake. The road from that point till Soochipara falls is just brilliant in terms of scenery. There are endless tea gardens on both sides of the road and you cross quite a few tiny mountains on the way. As we went further, the road became more and more narrow.
Some pics on the way to Soochipara falls.
As usual, the atmosphere at Soochipara falls was simply amazing. So much of fog that one can’t even see beyond 10-15 meters. The trek to the falls is around 1 KM going down the hill. The path to the falls is well paved with stones and there are steps for last 200 meters or so as it is very very steep.
Parking at Soochipara Falls.
Golu is all dirty going through the rainy roads. But he has not let me down at all in the ghat roads. He has been very very responsive whenever I needed more power from him .
At about half way through the trek, we started hearing the sound of the falls and that itself was enough to guess the amount of water flow we were going to see. Height of this fall is not very much compared to some other famous water falls here in south India, but the amount of water flowing through the falls was really huge because of monsoons.
The magnificent Soochipara Falls. Couldn’t take a decent photo of the falls as there were too many water particles in the air.
One thing that is very good about this place is, there are government people appointed to help tourists go to as near as possible to the falls. They were very very helpful and were helping each and everyone to climb down and up the falls. The entire are near the falls is very slippery and one has to be very careful while going near to the falls.
Soochipara Water falls.
We spent some time there and then came back to the parking place trekking up the mountain. The return trek was very very tiring. Because of the tiredness, we decided to head back to hotel and have lunch and some much needed rest before starting for Pookote Lake. As mentioned earlier, one has to take the right diversion at the circle outside the Kalpetta town. The road towards Pookote lake is NH 212 and is in very good condition. The road surface is very very smooth. The moment we reached Pookote lake, it started raining heavily. We just sat there for half n hour under an umbrella watching the beautiful lake in rains.
Pookote Lake. No more photos as it started raining heavily afterward.
As the rain slowed down a bit, we decided to head towards Lakkidi view point which is only about 4 KMs away on the NH 212 itself. Lakkidi is a small place outside the border of Wayanad district towards Calicut. The place is famous for the valley view. When we reached this point, it was very foggy and nothing was visible. So took a few pics and decided to go to Cafe Coffee Day we had seen on the way.
Lakkidi View Point completely under fog.
Spent about 45 minutes at CCD sipping hot coffee in cold weather. Decided to go back to the Lakkidi view point to see if fog cleared a bit and Bingo. There was absolutely no fog on the road and the view of the valley was just mesmerizing. There were clouds in the valley which were lower than where we were standing.
Lakkidi View Point after fog got cleared a bit.
Lakkidi View Point.
Yours truly with his second love @ Lakkidi View Point.
Everything changed within 15 minutes and a thick fog covered everything back. Decided to call it a day at 6.30 PM and headed back to hotel.
Drive back to hotel from Lakkidi View Point in thick fog.
Plan for day 3 was to visit Edakkal Caves near Sultan Bathery and from there back to Bangalore.
Sunday started on a bad note as wifey was not feeling well at all. Here stomach was really upset and she was in no mood to visit anymore places. Hence we decided to get straight back to home immediately after a light breakfast. Edakkal caves can wait till we decide ti visit Wayanad next time.
Started from the hotel at 10.30 AM and reached Bangalore at 5.00 PM. The return journey was uneventful except some heavy rains around Mandya which brought some smile to wifey’s face.
A couple of pics in Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary.
A small video on driving through Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary.
KMs Covered: 778
Petrol Consumed: 39.63 Liters
Type of Petrol: Shell Unleaded Normal
AC Used: Rare
Fuel Efficiency: 19.63 KMPL 🙂
Cost for Petrol: Rs 2325.09
Cost / KM: Rs 2.99
The Green Gates Hotel (Green Gates Hotel | Green Gates Hotel Wayanad, Green Gates Hotel at Wayanad, 3 Star Hotel, Hotels in Wayanad, Green Gates Hotel in Wayanad, Greengates Hotel in Wayanad, Greengates Hotel at Wayanad, Greengates Hotel Wayanad) never disappointed us in any way. Starting from booking the room till check-out from the hotel, entire process was very smooth. They have tie-up with a hospitality company Signature Holidays. When I booked the deluxe room with them, their executive from Signature Holidays came to my office to take the advance booking amount. He handed over me the brochures of the hotel which covered all the important details like, route from Bangalore to Hotel (with proper landmarks mentioned), a planning guide to places around Kalpetta with distance from Hotel and a recommended itinerary.
We were greeted with a nice welcome drink upon arrival. The guy at the travel desk was the most important and most helpful guy at the hotel (the entire staff was courteous).
The rooms were neat and clean. Bathroom and toilet were clean too. Bedsheets and other furniture was very decent, no complaints.
Food: They have good options for food. The buffet breakfast was really good with enough options like typical Kerala delicacies, bread butter jam, omlet, fruits, juices, tea coffee. Taste wise it was slightly less spicy for our kind of taste but was very hygienic.
Would I recommend this place to a friend? Yeah, sure.
Signing off. Over and out.