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Old 8th February 2012, 02:55   #1
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Default Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..

I live in Wayanad. But have I known it to the fullest? Well.. NO, as in the past 15 years I've lived here, I could only be here for the last 3. And those years, had me busy setting up work and life!. Few months before, something auspicious happened - I got a Jeep. .

Now, there was a drastic change in the way of life after the Jeep came in. The 'Jeep experience' was quite new for me and wife, and we pretty much fell in love with it!. Especially the topless experience. So now.. everyone in the family started looking for some lame excuse to go out!.. and that.. my friends.. marks the beginning of this thread.

This thread will basically include some details, pics, routes, stay options, the pros and cons, some mentionable experiences, what little history I know, etc.. etc.. about some places I have visited recently, and which I feel is worth a visit (in Wayanad). I will try my best to give a clear picture of the location through words.

Fellow bhp'ns, please do chip in with your valuable inputs regarding some additional information about the details given here.

Last edited by dhanushs : 8th February 2012 at 16:46.
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Old 8th February 2012, 15:18   #2
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Default Re: Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..

Kumuzi: Along The Forests of Muthanga!

Location: Latitude 11 39.4N and Longitude 76 22.0E

We've always loved the forest, but found it too boring to drive along the highways along with lots of other sightseers. So, we set out in search of some good areas, where we have our privacy, safety (from rough men, not animals), which is legal, and can have lots of fun!!.. And, guess what?. Found the perfect place!!.. Kumuzi, Near Muthanga.

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-kumuzi-location.png
Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-muthanga.png


I'm sure that most of you who have visited Wayanad, must have been to Muthanga, and some even went for a drive into the forest. Well, as of now, the official drive through the forest (Muthanga), is a clubbed trip with public, in a taxi Jeep. While it certainly is fun, we really cant take our own sweet time to take pictures, or have some real privacy and enjoy the nature, which is sooo much fun while you are in the Forest.

Now, a drive to Kumuzi gives you almost what the official Muthanga ride offers (this ones a bit shorter), but even better, you can take your own vehicle (Preferably an SUV), and no one will be there to push you to keep going. You can spend the whole day and even better, a whole night, if you like!!.. (Well, it does take some courage to be up in the night). The best thing about this route into the forest is that, its only you and your group. You can take your own sweet time to do whatever you would like to. Take photos, enjoy forests, enjoy wild life (with caution, as sometimes it might prove to be dangerous). AFAIK, you need no permission to go through this route, as it connects Kumuzi, where about 30-40 families live. Moreover, as its away from the highway, there is a very high probability to spot wildlife, of all sorts. (Well, the pictures do no justice, as they include only 0.1% of what we have spotted, but, that was what I could manage best). Also, if you decide to stay in any of the two (?)homestays, the host there can be your guide for a safe and fruitful forest trip.



The way, into the forest. From the highway. This diversion is just after (about 50 meters) the Muthanga sales tax check post, while coming from Bangalore.
Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-1.jpg

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-2.jpg

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-3.jpg

A couple of Kilometers into the Forest:


Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-4.jpg

A Panoramic view:

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-panorama-1-copy.jpg

A Video: which might give an idea of the trail. Please note that this video was shot a week before, and these days the forest is VERY DRY. The feel is entirely different when you come during monsoon. It just amplifies the feeling of nature!



To give an idea about how the forest look just a month before, in December:

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn4999-copy.jpg

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6012-copy.jpg

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Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-exploring-wayanad3.jpg
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Old 8th February 2012, 15:43   #3
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Default Re: Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..

The Route @ Night!

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A video of the drive @ Night:


Last edited by dhanushs : 8th February 2012 at 15:59.
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Old 8th February 2012, 16:41   #4
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Default Re: Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..

Stay options in Kumuzi:

Well, if you didn't get enough of the drives through forest, you can opt to stay in any one of the two(AFAIK) home-stays in Kumuzi.

Both of them are managed by the locals, and are nowhere near professional. Its a just two houses, with some furniture. But, the good thing is that, its maintained pretty well, has all the basic necessities, good beds, good bathrooms, clean kitchens and everywhere is clean and hygienic. The best part about staying the night in any of these places is that, you get to roam around the forests at night, when there is a better chance of spotting elephants and other wild animals.


Some pics of the stay:


Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn5953-copy.jpg

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6471-copy.jpg

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Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6461-copy.jpg

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Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6466-copy.jpg

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6473-copy.jpg

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn5011-copy.jpg



If you are more than 4 (one family) then you can take the 3 bedroom house, which costs 3.5k/day. Irrespective of the number of people. If you are a group less than four (a family) then you can opt for the smaller one bedroom house, which costs 2.5 or 3k (I don't really remember)

You get complimentary breakfast, but don't expect anything ground breaking. Just normal 'naadan' food. Also, one drawback about these places to stay is that, they don't have any shops or hotels nearby (obviously, as they are inside the forest), and the stays are not really equipped to handle our stomachs. So, it'd be better if you buy some ready made food from hotel, or even better, you can get all the raw materials, like meat or vegitables and prepare it there. The host is a good (not the best) cook, but.. if wish so, you can make your own soup!!.. The experience of preparing the food outside, just at the edge of the forest, at night with loved ones is priceless!

Contact:
Prajosh: 096-45-901561

Note: Both of them don't speak English much. If you have any difficulties in communication, do PM me. I might be able to help.

-----------------------------------------


P.S : - Whatever you do to enjoy, please don't litter the forest and surroundings. Its too good to be spoilt for the sake of our enjoyment.

P.P.S:- Carry a powerful spotlight, which makes spotting animals all the more easier. The images dont do justice to the number of spottings we had in these areas. Lets say, the images are just 0.01% of what we saw!

Last edited by .anshuman : 26th February 2012 at 11:04. Reason: Edited on request. Thanks
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Old 9th February 2012, 03:37   #5
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Default Re: Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..

Seethamman kundu: - A Divers Paradise.

(Location: Search Google Maps for: 11 29 2N, 76 9 27E)


Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-seethammankundu-locationn.png

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-seethammankundu-location.png


A couple of days back, the 'wander-bug' bit again. .This time, it was my friend who suggested we go check a place, which was least visited in Wayand, but was pretty good. Judging by the name, I wasn't expecting much out of the place. Moreover, we had to travel a bit, to reach there. But then, it was somehow related to water, and that.. got me all interested. and hence.. begins the Seethammankundu journey!

Seethammankundu is a natural pool, where Sita Devi, is said to have taken a dip. Other than its Mythological History, this place is also said to be a Divers Paradise. This Natural pond has crystal clear water, and depth ranging from 30 feet to unknown. The depth of some areas of this pond is still to be known. The best part of this pond is that along the sides, there are non protruding rocks, from which, you can Dive deep into the water. If you are skilled enough, then its absolutely safe!. No protruding rocks below the water, as well. (Well, with a minimum depth of 30 feet, it wont matter). I haven't seen the place during monsoons, but it looked a bit risky, to indulge in such activities during rain. The width of the pond too, (an ~oval with about ~30 meters dia) is just perfect for swimming around.

It can be included in your itinerary, if you are staying some 10-20kms within this place. Or you just love water. Cos, AFAIK, I haven't yet been to a place which allows to enjoy diving to this extent, safely.

Last edited by dhanushs : 9th February 2012 at 03:44.
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Old 9th February 2012, 04:20   #6
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Default Re: Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..

Now, Picture time!

Another good thing about Seethammankundu, is that the route to it, is very scenic, and you'll not only enjoy the place, but also the travel towards it. While coming from Sulthan Bathery, through Ambalavayal, you do get some enthusiastic ghats too.

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6517-copy.jpg

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6520-copy.jpg

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Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6526-copy.jpg

And some curvy roads through tea estates! The tea estates are also surprisingly relaxing and a treat to watch!

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6528-copy.jpg

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6532-copy.jpg

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Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6557-copy.jpg


The Picturesque tea factories en route are just awesome!

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6565-copy.jpg



Follow Google Maps till you can. If there is any doubt, just ask the by standers. The locals in this area are happy to help. The exact spot is just about 100 meters from road side, so you don't need to worry about walking long tiresome distances either. You also get a good parking spot in the estate office, so being a car lover, you don't need to worry about your car getting bumped by other vehicles by parking on road side.

The way to the spot:
Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6568-copy.jpg

Now, isn't this beautiful!
Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6570-copy.jpg

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6571-copy.jpg

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6572-copy.jpg

Notice the water: Its crystal clear. Its really soothing to see clear water in today's polluted environment.

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6575-copy.jpg

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6580-copy.jpg

Seethammankundu, the spot. Notice the rocks, and how perfect they are for a Diving exercise.

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6581-copy.jpg

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6582-copy.jpg

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6583-copy.jpg

It is said that pre-independence, Britishers used to use spring boards to Dive from this location.

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6594-copy.jpg

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6595-copy.jpg

We took a short dip and spent some time enjoying the place.

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6609-copy.jpg

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6626-copy.jpg

Afterwhich, we turn back. In all, a pleasing place.

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6632-copy.jpg

Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6641-copy.jpg
Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..-dscn6647-copy.jpg
A definite visit if you love water, or else, visit if you are somewhere near it.

Last edited by dhanushs : 9th February 2012 at 04:21.
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Old 9th February 2012, 08:03   #7
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Default Re: Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..

Mods note: Thread moved to Travelogues section. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 9th February 2012, 10:06   #8
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Default Re: Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..

Wonderful pictures and narration sir!!! I do not know if I would want to travel in a forest in a open top as I have a fear of some animal falling on me from top . The water looks very inviting, even though I am not a swimmer. Looking forward to more such hidden places and will hopefully get to visit some of them atleast some time
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Old 9th February 2012, 10:10   #9
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Default Re: Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..

Lovely pictures, lovely drive and best of all its so much refreshing to see green all around. The road to the HomeStay looks like an adventure in itself, us mortals driving Civis and Balenos can only dream about reaching there without any damage.

Is that the only way to get there, or there is a more saner for Sedan way as well?
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Old 9th February 2012, 10:23   #10
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Default Re: Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..

Wonderful log Dhanush!!
Next time, I think I will be coming to Wayanad and will trouble you to take us around .
Looks like some very quiet and nice place to spend a few days in Kerala at peace.
The Jeeper bug has hit you hard, isn't it?
Have fun!!

P.S: Congrats for the D-BHPian, just now noticed it
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Old 9th February 2012, 10:58   #11
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Default Re: Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..

dhanushs - Thanks for sharing; looks like a wildlife traveller's paradise in wayanad.
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Old 9th February 2012, 13:19   #12
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Default Re: Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
The road to the HomeStay looks like an adventure in itself
The best thing about the place is not the stay, but the night rides. It just, cant be described.
Quote:
Is that the only way to get there, or there is a more saner for Sedan way as well?
Yes, there is another way to the homestay, but I wouldn't call it saner. During summer you can take your car through it, but not during the monsoon. The road is broken, but still driveable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordmanchau View Post
Next time, I think I will be coming to Wayanad and will trouble you to take us around .
Sure, I'm still learning the places here. Will keep this space updated.
Quote:
Looks like some very quiet and nice place to spend a few days in Kerala at peace.
You bet!
Quote:
P.S: Congrats for the D-BHPian, just now noticed it
Thanks!
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Old 9th February 2012, 14:34   #13
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Default Re: Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..

Good thread to complement your D status.
BTB, how far is Seethammankundu from Sulthan Bathery? I plan to drive to Madikeri by the month end.
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Old 9th February 2012, 17:32   #14
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Default Re: Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..

Super start

This was probably what i was waiting for as I am looking to settle down in wayanad one day, though I am from Bangalore. Every year when i come down to India for holiday, I make a trip to wayanad as it a favorite destination for me.

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Old 9th February 2012, 18:32   #15
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Default Re: Wayanad - 'Gods Own District' in 'Gods Own Country'!!..

How I badly wish to live in such places!! You are one lucky dude..
Keep sharing your experiences here.
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