A wonderful Wayanad weekend, from Bangalore

What a wonderful Wayanad weekend we had!

Would you believe it if I told you Onam, good food and trekking all go together? They can, as we discovered this Onam weekend, as we drove down to Wayanad, one of the most beautiful districts of Kerala. Green it is; this monsoon God’s Own Country seemed greener than ever. Six hours drive from Bangalore and we were at Vythiri Resorts bag, baggage and kids. With two full days in hand we decided against rushing from one spot to another.

Wonderful Wayanad Weekend Day 1

Our first destination was Pookote Lake, three km from Vythiri. Pookote Lake is a large natural, fresh water lake surrounded by hills and meadows. This water body definitely requires a mention and a visit as it is in the land of back waters! It is a typical picnic spot with boating facilities, horse rides for children, an aquarium, handicrafts and spices counter and even a small nursery. A boat ride in the lake was relaxing. We headed towards our next stop, even as locals were pouring in, keeping up with the festive spirits.

wonderful Wayanad weekend pookote lake Pookote Lake
wonderful Wayanad weekend with kids Pookote Park

Lakkidi receives the highest annual rainfall in Kerala. This spot is two km from Pookote Lake. It gets the second highest degree of rainfall in the world, but that day we were lucky to have clear view of the valley down as the weather was good. Situated on a hair pin bend of Thamarassery ghat road, the view we witnessed from the sight seeing point was simply mesmerizing! Stretches of greenery as far as the eye could see, black serpentine roads winding up the hills and miniature trucks plying on them. The air is so fresh and pure that you will be tempted to practice pranayama right there. Very very rejuvenating for the suffocated lungs from Bangalore! Fifteen minutes’ halt is not satiating, agreed; we nevertheless proceeded ahead with contented senses and captured images.

Soochipara Falls at Wayanad

Was nature competing with herself? This fall is 22 km from Kalapetta. We covered it in a local jeep. After that we were on our own. The two km down hill trek to the falls was easy. (Be a little cautious while maneuvering your limbs on moss laden rocks in the last stretch). The trekking path was litter free; we passed not a single soul, not even a chaayakada (teashop)! The 200m fall that we witnessed there was a big reward for small effort. Drink in the awesome backdrop and roaring sounds – gentle and soothing to ears ‘tuned’ to city-sounds. We brought out reserves of self control, so that we didn’t end our weekend break soaking in the pool where the falls bottom out. Trekking back uphill with just memories of sights and sounds was tiresome, but there was cool refreshing juice waiting for us at the parking lot.

wonderful Wayanad weekend soochipara falls Soochipara Falls

Wonderful Wayanad Weekend Day 2

Next day we headed to Edakkal caves. Edakkal in Malayalam means the stone in between. This was again a 27 km drive in a local jeep from Kalapetta. We got off at the foothills of Ambukuthimala near Ambalavayal. From there we were taken by a forest department jeep a further 1km uphill. The remaining 200m was a steep climb up the mountain. Huffing and puffing we reached a cave only to be told that the actual one is 100m further up. The next 100m vertical climb through rocky path was adventurous and challenging.
My seven year old enjoyed crawling and creeping over the rocks to reach the caves, even as the elder sibling put up valiant, more dignified efforts. Helpfully, steps are cut into the rocks and metal ladders are fitted wherever the stretch is narrow. Carry some water as throats will be a bit parched by the time you reach the cave.

wonderful Wayanad weekend fissure Natural Fissure

wonderful Wayanad weekend cave ‘Edakkal’

The actual entrance is just five feet by four. What looks like a cave is basically a rock shelter formed by two huge rocks on either side, with a third enormous boulder forming a sort of roof resting on them. That is how the name Edakkal. This cave is separated from the adjoining mountain by a narrow gap, of may be one meter or so, a natural fissure. The cave is thus well lit and airy.

Interiors of Edakkal cave

Once inside you will find you’re face to face with history. Both sides are engraved with human and animal figures from floor level to roof. Most conspicuous was the figure of what seemed to me that of a man with an extra long left hand and a bent right hand holding an unclear object, and raised hair. Wonder who the model was! Perhaps an ancestor of 7-Up’s animated cartoon mascot? I will eagerly await historians’ verdict…we were told that those inscriptions and engravings date back to 4000BC and as yet undeciphered. History waiting to be rewritten!

wonderful Wayanad weekend rock carvings ‘Human Figure’

The trip downhill was equally tiring and adventurous, because by then fear had set in. Along with darkness – what if someone misses a step? Well you won’t actually roll down the mountain, but you are sure to show signs of a fall here and a bump there. My considered opinion – the trip can be a good practical lesson for students getting introduced to the subject – History.

The morning after was Onam. Now I know what King Mahabali gets to see every year during this period of plenty. I too had a choice of Onasadya offers to nicely round off the extended weekend of unique Kerala treats: Nature and weather at their best, and satiating feasts for all the senses. I returned home with wonderful Wayanad weekend memories.

Fact File: How to get to Wayanad

By Air: Closest airport is Kozhikode, 100kms from Wayanad.
By train; well connected by rail, nearest station Kozhikode 110 km from Wayanad
By Road: well connected and can be easily accessed from any part of Kerala.
By road from Bangalore: Bangalore – Mysore – Gundlupet on NH-212 – take the turn west towards Sultan Bathery – Kalapetta – Vythiri town The distance is 281kms, it takes 5 and 1/2 hours approximately.

More places to see near Wayanad

Most noteworthy sites are:

Chembra Peak
Kuruva Island
Muthunga wild life Sanctuary
Pazhassi Raja Tomb
Kanthanpara Waterfalls
Banasura sagar Dam
Sentinel Rock Waterfalls

Entry tickets to Edakkal caves – Rs. 10 per person
Entry timings – 10: am to 5: pm

More resources: http://www.wayanad.com/, http://www.keralatourism.org/

Travel Tips for Wayanad

Food – carry if you like, your garbage – carry you must.

Carry water for climb to Edakkal caves.


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18 Responses to “A wonderful Wayanad weekend, from Bangalore

  • Hey Indrani,

    quite an informative piece on waynad i must say.you have made the place look and sound very picturesque and interesting.Quite stimulated to visit the place.

  • Wow! Indrani.. leave it to u to discover places… nd I want to go to Wayanad again to see those places that I missed but described so well in ur blog..

    pranam 🙂

  • A post rich with knowledge and cultural history of places. Very well put and illustrated with pictures.

  • A great post on Wayanad.

  • Wayanad is one mesmerizing place..
    I have missed visiting a few places, hope next time I cover everything you have mentioned ..

  • I loved Wayanad when I visited it in 2013 and Edakal caves was awesome. Great post, Indrani.

  • Nice place to visit. Like the pics

  • A great post on Wayanad. Loved the clicks. 🙂

  • Maniparna Sengupta Majumder
    2 years ago

    The picture of the fissure is great and the carvings on the cave walls look so interesting. . ! Must be a great weekend destination… 🙂

  • The reflection shot is great..! Interesting place holding history of eons ago…OMG 4K BC. The carving does look like Fido Dido of 7 Up 🙂 I guess this is a great weekend destination to explore nature, history and of course your physical endurance with lot of trekking.

  • I see that it is an old post but it is till so mesmerizing with the lovely tour diary and the awesome pics…wynad retains its natural charm even today and has tourists flocking to the place.

  • Nice read, Indrani.

  • Park with our map looks beautiful and prints of cave too.

  • Wayanad sounds adventures and except the lake, other places seems to be little tough to reach! I really want to explore this place sometime… glad u enjoyed, along with the onamsadhya

  • Great to read, Thanks for sharing 🙂 Beautiful pics.
    Loved the new look of you blog.

  • The relaxing vibe comes right through the pictures, would love to go here some day 🙂

  • The Edakkal caves must have been a great experience. Great post Indrani!

  • edakkal, means the rock situated between( a space)

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