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Old 9th July 2013, 21:15   #1
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Default Civved : Wayanad

Christmas generally is a quiet family affair, and with kids growing up fast it also means some time to go out for long holidays. The Christmas and New Year of 2012 was planned to be at Goa, but on the spurt of a moment we thought, why not drive to Goa via Wayanad

Well, I had only once driven through Wayanad before this, and that was in the year 2009, and it was midnight, which saw me driving through the periphery of forest which was devoid of roads via Tholpetty, Kutta, Gonikkoppal, Hunsur to Bangalore. I encountered wild elephants, got scared with absolutely no vehicles that night on that route with my Civvy, and thanked our lucky stars to have reached Hunsur safe. This kind of gave a strange attraction to the place! Made me always feel that Wayanad is a thick forest!

But as usual the other plans got priority and Wayanad went on being elusive till that strange evening in 2012 when we decided to drive to Goa via Wayanad! That was the evening when a good friend called for a meet at Wayanad, where all his fan club members would meet. No guesses for who the good friend is, he is our own HVK.

So the plan was set, we would drive out to Wayanad on 22.12.2012 and would be there till 29.12.2012, discover Wayanad and meet HVK and then continue on towards the New Year bash at Goa.

On researching about Wayanad, it was like a box full of surprise. There were many reserve forests around Wayanad, Wayanad had a few dams, Wayanad had a few lakes, Wayanad had a few mountains, Wayanad had tea estates, Wayanad had paddy fields, Wayanad had caves, Wayanad had rivers, Wayanad had an island! Well Wayanad details turned out to be so much exciting. Does this mean Wayanad is a mini Kerala in itself except for the back waters and beaches? Well that was what we set out to explore! And Wayanad being just 300KM from Bangalore added to the excitement!

Wayanad here we come!

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Old 9th July 2013, 21:37   #2
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Default Re: Civved : Wayanad

A few details about Wayanad before continuing with the log.

Quote:
Wayanad District in the north-east of Kerala, India, was formed on November 1, 1980 as the 12th district by carving out areas from Kozhikode and Kannur districts. Kalpetta is the district headquarters as well as the only municipal town in the district. The region was known as Mayakshetra (Maya's land) in the earliest records. Mayakshetra evolved into Mayanad and finally to Wayanad. The Folk etymology of the word says it is a combination of Vayal (paddy field) and Naad (land), making it 'The Land of Paddy Fields'. There are many indigenous tribals in this area. It is set high on the Western Ghats with altitudes ranging from 700 to 2100 m.
It is the least populous district in Kerala.


History

According to archaeological evidence, the Wayanad forests have been inhabited for more than 3,000 years. Historians are of the view that human settlement existed in these parts for at least ten centuries before Christ. Much evidences of New Stone Age civilization can be seen in the hills throughout the present day Wayanad district. The two caves of Ampukuthimala, with pictures on their walls and pictorial writings, speak volumes of a bygone civilization.



The recorded history of this district exists only from the 18th century onward. Agriculture Cultivation started broadly after 1900 A.D onwards.In ancient times, this land was ruled by the Rajas of the Veda dynasty. In later days, Wayanad came under the rule of the Pazhassi Raja dynasty of ancient Kottayam. When Hyder Ali became the ruler of Mysore, he invaded Wayanad and brought it under his sway. In the days of Tipu Sultan, Wayanad was restored to the Kottayam royal dynasty. But Tipu handed over the entire region of northern Kerala to the British, signing the treaty of Srirangapatna with British army officer and colonial administrator Cornwallis.



This was followed by fierce and internecine encounters between the British and Pazhassi Raja of Kottayam. When the Rajah was driven to the wilderness of Wayanad, he organised the war-like Kurichiya tribals into a sort of people's militia and engaged the British in several guerrilla type encounters. In the end, the British could get only the dead body of the Rajah, who committed suicide in the forest. Thus, Wayanad fell into the hands of the British and with it came a new era.



The British authorities opened up the plateau to cultivation of tea and other cash crops by constructing roads across the dangerous slopes of Wayanad, to Kozhikode and Thalassery. Later, they extended these new roads to the cities of Mysore and Ooty through Gudalur. Settlers emigrated from all parts of Kerala and the fecund lands proved a veritable goldmine with incredible yields of cash crops.



When the State of Kerala came into being in November 1956, Wayanad was part of Kannur district. Later, south Wayanad was added to Kozhikode district. In order to fulfil the aspirations of the people of Wayanad for development, North Wayanad and South Wayanad were carved out and joined together to form the present district of Wayanad. This district came into being on November 1, 1980 as one the twelve districts of Kerala, consisting of three taluks; Vythiri, Mananthavady, and Sulthan Bathery.
(Source: Wikipedia)

That's an absolutely stunning history for the place. I have learned about Pazhassi Raja in school. We were taught that he was the Lion of Kerala.

Wayand has Pazhassi Kudeeram-a memorial for Pazhassi Raja at his burial spot in Mananthavadi

Last edited by laluks : 9th July 2013 at 23:08.
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Old 9th July 2013, 22:10   #3
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Default Re: Civved : Wayanad

What do you have in Wayanad to explore?
This is some from my list

Lakes
  • Pookot Lake
  • Karald Lake
Mountains
  • Chembra Peak (2,100 metres (6,890 ft))
  • Banasura Peak (2,073 metres (6,801 ft))
  • Brahmagiri (1,608 metres (5,276 ft))
Rivers
  • Kabini River (an important tributary of the Kaveri River) and its three tributaries, the
  1. Panamaram
  2. Mananthavady and
  3. Kalindy rivers.
Dams
  • Banasura Sagar Dam
  • Karapuzha Dam
Island
  • Kuruva Island
Waterfalls
  • Soochippara
  • Chethalayam
  • Meenmutti
  • Kanthanpara
Wild Life Sanctuaries
  • Muthanga
  • Tholpetty
  • Begur
  • Nagarahole is quite near
Caves
  • Edakkal Caves
  • Karadi Kuzhi
Trekking Options
  • Chembra Peak
  • Pakshi Pathalam
View Points
  • Sunset Point
  • Neelimala View Point
Temples, Mosques, Churches
  • Thirunelly Temple
  • Thrissilery Shiva temple
  • Seetha Lava Kusha Temple
  • Valliyoorkunnu Bhagavathy Temple
  • Puliyanmala Jain Temple
  • Varembetta Mosque
  • Pallikkunnu Church
Other interesting places
  • Heritage Museum
  • Phantom Rock
  • Pazhassi Tomb
  • Chain Tree
  • Lakkidi
  • Regional Agricultural Research Station
Ghat Roads
  • Nadugani Churam
  • Thamarassery Churam
and the list goes on and on ...
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Old 9th July 2013, 22:35   #4
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Default Re: Civved : Wayanad

The Plan

Trip 1 : Christmas Drive

Day 01 : 22.12.2012 : Bangalore - Sargur - Kabini - Wayanad
Day 02 : 23.12.2012 : Wayanad
Day 03 : 24.12.2012 : Wayanad
Day 04 : 25.12.2012 : Wayanad
Day 05 : 26.12.2012 : Wayanad
Day 06 : 27.12.2012 : Wayanad
Day 07 : 28.12.2012 : Wayanad
Day 08 : 29.12.2012 : Wayanad - Mahe - Thalassery - Kannur - Mangalore - Karwar - Goa
Day 09 : 30.12.2012 : Goa
Day 10 : 31.12.2012 : Goa
Day 11 : 01.01.2013 : Goa
Day 12 : 02.01.2013 : Goa - Mollem - Dharwad - Bangalore

Goa Part of the trip can be read here (Civved : Goa, Yaana, Jog, Murdeshwar, Maravanthe, Mangalore...)

Drive Total - Approximately 3000KMS



After Trip 1, while we were discussing about what to do for our 15th anniversary, we thought of going back to Wayanad for a candle light dinner in a cave . Since the date of the actual anniversary had exams for PPGs, we preponed our anniversary drive to February and this was the plan!

Trip 2 : Anniversary Drive

Day 01
: 22.02.2013 : Bangalore - Gagan Chukki - Gundulpet - Muthanga - Wayanad
Day 02 : 23.02.2013 : Wayanad
Day 03 : 24.02.2013 : Wayanad - Kabini - Mysore - Bangalore

Drive Total - Approximately 950KMs


Anniversary Dinner

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Last edited by laluks : 9th July 2013 at 23:54.
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Old 9th July 2013, 22:48   #5
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Default Re: Civved : Wayanad

Some teasers before I start with the log

I was happy to get my dose of Gossip
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We saw a bullock cart after a long time
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Who says rivers are blue only at the Himalayas?
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We drove through such roads!

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We relaxed in a tree house
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We visited Thirunelly Temple
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Thirunelly Temple
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The crystal clear water at Papanashini stream
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We visited Pazhassi Kudeeram
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We stopped by to enjoy the vastness of nature

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We thrilled ourselves on Nadugani Churam

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Old 9th July 2013, 23:06   #6
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Default Re: Civved : Wayanad

We had a nice time at Kozhippara
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We enjoyed driving through Thamarassery Churam
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We enjoyed a Sunset near Lakkidi
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We were at the Gateway of Wayanad

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We visited a Jain Temple

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We drove through some awesome roads

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We visited Seetha Lava Kusha Temple

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We visited Thrissilery Shiva Temple

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Thrissilery Shiva Temple
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We visited Pallikkunnu Church

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We offered our prayers
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Christmas was round the corner
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Old 9th July 2013, 23:23   #7
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PPGs and the guide on a trek to Chembra Peak
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Sr. PPG with Chembra peak behind
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We trekked on
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Mid way we reached Hridaya Saras
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Jr. PPG cooling off at Hridaya Saras
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One for the album, at Hridaya Saras with Chembra peak behind us
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Hridaya Saras - The heart shaped lake on Chembra Peak
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Jr. PPG with the guide waiting for us to catch up
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The last leg of climb to the peak, Jr.PPG leading us
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Jr. PPG was the first to reach the peak
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Clicking for posterity
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We have done it
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PPGs relaxing at the peak
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Well this was the scene at the peak!
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We trekked on!
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Old 9th July 2013, 23:35   #8
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We visited Kuruva Island
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We had to cross Kabini river to reach the island
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Sr. PPG trying to cross over
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PPGs find themselves a vantage position

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Time to relax after the fun in water
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What a great place to catch up with some reading!

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We visited Karapuzha Reservoir
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Karapuzha Dam
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We visited Banasura Sagar Dam
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PPGs at Banasura Dam
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We did some Speed Boating
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It was real fun!

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The setting sun's rays behind Benasura Peak
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Old 9th July 2013, 23:49   #9
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We visited Karald Lake
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We then visited Pookote Lake
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Somebody told me the lake has the shape of India

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Everyone was enjoying their boat ride

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We then visited Soochippara Falls
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Also Kanthanpara Falls

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We went in search of Karadi Kuzhi

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I drove Civvy up here
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We were at Karadi Kuzhi, no one dared to enter the cave

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We could see Karapuzha Reservoir from there
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We then visited Chain Tree

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We stopped by to enjoy the beauty
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We also visited Heritage Museum
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Old 10th July 2013, 00:10   #10
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We went in search of Tea Gardens
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And we found them

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Quite a lot

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This tea estate is towards Chembra Peak

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We went to Phantom Rock too

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Phantom Rock far away
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Jr. PPG trekking towards Neelimala View Point
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The trek towards Neelimala View Point
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Sr. PPG capturing Meenmutty Falls from Neelimala View Point
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Meen Mutty Falls
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We visited Sunset Point
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Wifey trying to capture the evening hues
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Old 10th July 2013, 00:23   #11
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We visited Edakkal Caves
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The cave was interesting
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Some carvings from the cave

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We saw a fight too
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We visited a Tribal Museum
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We were in a maze

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We visited another Jain temple
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We drove through some foggy roads

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We were at Boy's town
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We visited Varambetta Mosque too
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Old 10th July 2013, 00:31   #12
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We went to Regional Agricultural Research Station
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Jr. PPG was attracted to the elephant!
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Jr. PPg checks out some saplings

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Sr. PPG and Wifey were already collecting some

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I love the simple lunch at the RARS canteen, fish curry meals with mathi fry
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Bread Toast for breakfast at the hotel

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Dosas too

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Simple Kerala lunch at KTDC motel at Nilambur

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Pomfret fry
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Puttu and Kadala for breakfast
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Old 10th July 2013, 00:41   #13
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This was our cottage
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One for the album
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PPGs did some performance too

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We enjoyed the evening
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100 plus candles lit cave
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Anniversary Dinner

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Catching up with some reading
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Catching up
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Jr. PPG in a relaxed mode

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PPGs - one for the album
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Inside our cottage
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Wifey enjoying the views

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It was time for us to leave Wayanad

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Old 10th July 2013, 00:50   #14
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We drove via Mahe
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Mahe Church

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Mahe River

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Jr. PPG and Wifey at Mahe

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Thalassery Fort

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Thalassery Light House
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We enjoyed a nice evening at Muzhuppilangad Beach
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We also saw a trickle of a fall at Gagan Chukki
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We were the only ones there

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We drove through lonely roads

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And we have crunched quite a few miles behind us
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continued...
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Old 10th July 2013, 00:54   #15
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Default Re: Civved : Wayanad

And of course the trigger for this entire drive was this,

HVK All India Meet 2012

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Two Distinguished BHP ians on stage

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Another two
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The evening was perfect with a lot of like minded travel buffs all around!
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I will continue with the detailed daily logs soon.
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