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Old 26th August 2012, 12:24   #1
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Default Wilderness Weekend @ Wayanad

We drive around a lot, often on a whim (meaning we eventually figure out a way to a great place!) and at times planned (meaning we know where we are headed). We normally seek out destinations where the drive is equally interesting. So when we got a rather very long weekend recently, we picked a scenic route to Wayanad. A couple of minutes on Google Maps, and we have our plan in place.

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The quality of roads in this route were surprisingly very good, so was the quality of the scenery. Barring our spirited run on SH17, we ambled around lazily most of this trip on our trusted workhorse, or should I say "snowman"?

Wilderness Weekend @ Wayanad-wayanad_1.jpg

We encountered very little wildlife on the main road in Bandipur, and we were told that the safari that the forest department runs is no longer available owing to a recent court directive. Every time we found ourselves driving through a village our 5 year old kept a tab – A-nadu, B-nadu trying to work her way to Y-nadu! We reached this place when she got to Xanadu!

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This place is literally Xanadu (a really nice place, for those who may not be familiar with Mandrake's wonder home) – thanks to its wonderful location, and the sheer passion with which the place is run. Planted in a corner of a 125 acre property in Panamaram, Ente Veedu offers enough options to do a lot of things, or do nothing at all if that is what you are looking for. We found this place on Lonely Planet guide - proved yet again that you can't go wrong with their recommendation!

The view from our room’s balcony was the perfect descriptor of Wayanad – 'Vayal Naad' or the 'Land of Paddy fields'.

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While Wayanad has plenty of touristy destinations that could fill up a week’s itinerary very quickly, we chose to take it easy and picked just a couple of places that caught our fancy. Essentially, we spent a day each driving around the three hubs in the district - Sultan Bathery, Vythiri and Mananthvadi.

A short stroll through the plantation led us to a Jain Temple that clearly had seen its grand day a couple of hundred years ago. Apparently Tipu Sultan used this as a store house for ammunition (Battery) – that’s how the nearest town gets the name Sultan Bathery.

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We were told August is not really the season to come here, but the odd sprinkle did make the whole affair more enjoyable. Banasura Sagar was simply beautiful, and the speed boat ride there was fun. The serene Pookote Lake and the biodiversity around it were amazing, so was the misty view of Chembra peak from there. And the incredible views from the winding roads on Lakkidi Ghat road is a must see.

Pookote Lake - a large fresh water lake that's home to blue water lily and the super-food spirulina among others.

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On our way to Nagarhole, we took a detour to Iruppu falls on impulse , but figured that we did not have enough time to go down to the base of the water fall since they close the place at 5PM. The view from the road is indeed enticing.

Wilderness Weekend @ Wayanad-iruppu.jpg

“Now I agree that we are in a forest!” exclaimed my daughter when we finally encountered an elephant in the wild at Nagarhole, barely a few feet away from our car.

The big fella stared at us once, and royally ignored our presence for the next few minutes that we lingered on there. Then we found more of his kind en-route, and many more deer, antelopes, snakes, mongooses, peacocks, fowl and a whole bunch of other birds.

I guess the reason for our good fortune at Nagarhole (unlike Bandipur) was timing - we entered the National Park at around 6PM when they close the gates for all vehicular traffic, so the reduced noise and human activity does seem to help more sightings.

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This was a fun trip - I will recommend this itinerary anytime for those who are looking for a wilderness getaway for a weekend.

On day 4 when we got back home late in the night - the trip meter had just about crossed 800kms and the odometer at around 27,000kms.

Last edited by xoom : 1st September 2012 at 15:32. Reason: added some annotations
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Old 27th August 2012, 18:59   #2
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Default Re: Wilderness Weekend @ Wayanad

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I agree with you that Wayanad is an ideal escape for wildlife lovers, especially if they are on a short holiday. If you are not looking for the touristy pleaces, you should try Thirunelli temple - still one of those untouched areas in Wayanad, ofcourse there are a few shops and all near there, but the temple & the papnashini stream is a good visit. The road to the temple is also very nice, teeming with wildlife and almost always deserted.
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Old 27th August 2012, 19:33   #3
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Default Re: Wilderness Weekend @ Wayanad

I have stayed in this Enteveedu during 2008 new year. Just curious, how much do they charge now for a night?

In 4 days, yes you have selected wonderful for the visits. Are you planing to add more details and pics for the places you visited?
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Old 28th August 2012, 01:26   #4
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Default Re: Wilderness Weekend @ Wayanad

Xoom, Thanks for sharing, the first picture is stunning, will you be sharing more pictures? if yes keep them rolling.

Cheers

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Old 30th August 2012, 22:23   #5
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Default Re: Wilderness Weekend @ Wayanad

Quote:
you should try Thirunelli temple - still one of those untouched areas in Wayanad
We indeed visited Thirunelli on our way back, and I agree with you. The dramatic way the view unfolds behind the temple even as you climb up the last couple of steps is awesome. This is a Vishnu temple from the 9th century, and the hills in the background is from the Brahma-giri range. I am told that there is an equally old Shiva temple in the vicinity which is not easily accessible.

Wilderness Weekend @ Wayanad-thirunelli.jpg

Quote:
Just curious, how much do they charge now for a night
We paid INR3500 per night.

Quote:
Are you planing to add more details and pics for the places you visited?
View from Lakkidi Ghat, which I believe is one of the wettest places in India. Another place of intrigue in the vicinity is called Chain Tree - apparently the spirit of a local guide who was killed by some Britisher is chained to this ficus tree.

Wilderness Weekend @ Wayanad-lakkidi.jpg

Banasurasagar Reservoir and the misty background. This nice water body with its islands are an outcome of the dam on the Kabini tributary, which I believe is the largest earthen dam in India.

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We found deer in hordes at Nagarhole, that it kinda started getting routine. It also makes one ponder if the local ecosystem is getting out of balance - may be the wilder animals up in the food chain are dwindling (or may be I'm saying this just because we did not spot any tigers!).

Wilderness Weekend @ Wayanad-deer.jpg

Last edited by xoom : 1st September 2012 at 15:24. Reason: more annotations
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Old 3rd September 2012, 11:56   #6
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Default Re: Wilderness Weekend @ Wayanad

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 21st June 2014, 10:42   #7
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Default Re: Wilderness Weekend @ Wayanad

Was in Wayanad again earlier this week. It's even more beautiful now with the monsoon rains checking in. For those who are looking for a weekend getaway from Bangalore, good time to go if you don't mind the rain.

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Old 21st June 2014, 13:01   #8
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Default Re: Wilderness Weekend @ Wayanad

Where in Wayanad did you stay this time? Waiting for the photos.
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