Wayanad is a beautiful place for solo backpacking or a road trip with friends or even for a luxurious leisure trip to escape into nature from the pollution, traffic jams and routine life. Look at my 3 day itinerary for Wayanad, when I went for a backpacking and a little bit adventurous trip, which I managed to complete with expenses close to 4K. For a detailed Itinerary, please read the below paragraphs.
The Western Ghats always mesmerise me for it’s natural greenish beauty and for the fact that they have a rich biodiversity and is a host to bio-hotspots. Wayanad is in my 2016 Bucket list and it was time to tick it off as soon as I received my 8th semester scholarship from my college. Wayanad district has lots and lots to offer for all types of travellers. For adventurous trip, one can go for a trek at Chembra or Banasura hill. If you are a nature lover and prefer a serene environment to sink in, you can go for boating in Pookode lake/Banasura dam and visit Soochipura waterfalls. If you are a history lover and like to visit archaeological spots, you can go to Edakkal caves/Jain temple. If you are in a mood for a ride, you can go for a cruise through bandipur forest to spot wildlife. If you are going for luxury leisure trip, you can book a cottage in Lakkidi Village resort to stay at a height to watch clouds passing by as you relax. Owing to my lack of time and budget, I could only visit south Wayanad and this was my itinerary.
I was coming from Hyderabad. I got down in Bangalore in the morning and took a Kerala KSRTC bus to Kalpetta at 8.30 AM. After a beautiful drive in Bandipur reserve forest, where I got lucky enough to spot some elephants grazing by the road, I was in Kalpetta by 2.30 PM. I booked a tent-house for myself and checked-in and took a bath. I was on the streets looking for a wholesome meal.
The Kalpana hotel came as a saviour and I had a wonderful meal here. The thali (Bakshanam) was priced at only 45 INR. Bhakshanam for Lunch had Rosematta/Kerala Matta Rice, Raw Banana stir fry, Coconut-Drum stick stew, Rasam, Pal Payasam, Beetroot fry, Papad, Pickle and a meen(fish) curry.
That entire day, I was roaming on the streets and hogging on street food. In the evening, I had Pattri ( Poori kind of item which is made with rice flour). The coffee was not as good as it was expected. But the elakka chaya (Cardamom tea) was something that they’re very good at. Once the light was fading away, I returned to my tent house and had pazham pori on my way. It is a light sweet-salt snack, which is a batter fried banana.
After a good amount of conversations with strangers and locals and building my itinerary for the coming days, I started on a quest for dinner on the streets. Puttu, appam, beef-roast, porotta are the quintessential dishes of Kerala and they take rice in various forms. I had puttu and appam with veg stew and a steaming hot sulaimani chai before I go to sleep.
Next morning, after a load of appam and idiyappam with kadala curry, I got a bus to Meppadi and hired a Jeep on shared basis with fellow travellers to Chembra peak and Soochipura waterfalls. The Chembra is an easy/moderate trek till the heart shaped lake and it gets creepily steep after the lake to the peak. Unfortunately there was an issue with a bird species becoming endangered, so we were not allowed to trek further. The Chembra was stunningly magnificent and that was an amazing trek although it was only 6 K.M.s that we trekked. The view from Heart-shaped lake was stunningly beautiful. The Soochipura waterfalls is a beauty to watch as the water slide down on huge rocks from a height. One has to walk for 2 KM or so to reach the water falls. By evening, I was in Kalpetta to try out the remaining street food joints.
The Mappila cuisine of Kerala has influences of Arabian cuisine. Although I had not much options to try in Mappila cuisine in Wayanad. There were many shawarma joints in the town and this ‘1857: New hotel’ serves mandi. Some of my co-travellers wanted to try it and I too went with them. They had a Chicken Mandi which again was done with Kerala matta rice. I had motte curry and egg biriyani and it was time to hit the bed for me as I was very tired.
On Sunday, I got up early and got a bus to Lakkidi to watch the amazing view point and saw the meandering roads as the fog was slowly rising up to make the sun rays kiss the ground. A bike ride there would be a million dollar experience. From there, I went to Pookode lake to do some boat-riding. Although it was fun in the beginning, I understood it would be better in the evenings. I was damn hungry by then. As soon as I came to the road from Pookode lake, I spotted a local shack serving breakfast.
I had Mashed Tapioca/kappa with spicy chilli chutney, Neyyappams (A deep fried jaggery-rice and banana preparation) and malabar parotta with egg curry. They were unbelievably delicious and the whole bill was 95 INR.
My trip came to an end and went to Bangalore by bus that I boarded in the after noon and boarded bus to Hyderabad there in the evening.
Avoid visiting waterfalls and other tourist places on Sundays.
All historical places would stay closed on Mondays.
If you are a Cruise freak, you can come to Mysore and rent a ThunderBird from RoyalBrothers and have an unforgettable ride of 176 KMs, where you have to cross bridges, forests and hills.