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Old 3rd July 2007, 19:35   #1
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Default Monsoon Sojourn into Wayanad

The cloudy weather and cool temperatures were just right for a drive, a couple of weeks ago these very conditions prompted us to drive off for a day trip to Mysore. But our appetite was not satiated.
So, using an excuse of celebrating our second wedding anniversary, albeit, delayed by a week, the wife and I decided to head out to Wayanad.
We got reservations in Vythiri Resorts for the 23rd and 24th of June (Sat & Sun).
We started at about 5.30 on saturday morning, topped up fuel at the usual HP pump on Bellary road (The rendezvous point for the last TBHP Nandi Hills drive), I decided to take the WOC road in favour of the ring road to get to Mysore road. From past experience, knew the ring road would be clogged with trucks, especially at a railway gate just before it conects the Tumkur Highway, on account of heavy movement of trains in the early hours.

Mysore road was still waking up to the Saturday morning rush, and it started raining thereby slowing us down a wee bit.
By 6.45, we were in Bidadi and decided to halt for breakfast.
Now, this small wayside hotel in Bidadi has become a regular breakfast halt for me, as one gets the best thatte idlis on this side of town, I must say that these piping hot idlis which are available from 6 am itself are even better than the more famous Kyathsandra (Tumkur) idly hotels. Another thing about this place is the lack of crowds and ease of parking which makes one stay away from those other overhyped places on Mysore road.

A small halt to use the bathroom at CCD after Maddur and away we went. Soon after we left CCD, I got an sms from Mclaren asking for ppl interested in a night drive to CCD.Reached Mysore by about 9, and spent about half an hour in the city as my wife wanted to wrap up some official work. 9.30 we were on Nanjungud road. This road starts off on a very bad stretch and improves considerably after Nanjungud town. As we left Nanjungud the skies opened up and the rain came down in sheets giving us a glimpse of things to come.
Luckily the road did not have much traffic so was abale to maintain a fairly comfortable speed even though the visibility was not all that good.

At Gundlupet, we took the right turnjust outside town, towards Calicut. This was a new stretch for me as I had never driven to Kerala from this side. From Gundlupet drove cautiously both due to the rain and unfamiliar road conditions. We entered Bandipur forests, lush green in the monsoon. Thanks to previous posts, I avoided speeding over the sudden unmarked rumbler strips.
We did not get to see any wildlife but enjoyed the scenic beauty of the forests nevertheless.

The roads improve dramatically once you cross the Karnataka border, as soon as your tyres leave the border, the ride becomes suddenly smoother and you are greeted with well laid out and well marked roads.
Breezed into Sulthan Bathery by around 11.30. It is a quaint town with a bustling main road with numerous 'margin free' supermarkets.
Kalpetta was the next major town and it is a pretty place, similar to Sulthan Bathery but on a smaller scale. Stopped at a bakery to stretch my legs and bought some snacks, asked for directions to Vythiri and we were back on the road.
The drive from Kalpetta to Vythiri is amazing with rolling hills, well laid out roads and tea estates on either side.[/FONT]

Reached Vythiri and just after the town ends there is a road which turns off on the left to take one to Vythiri resort. This road ends after a couple of kilometers and the last few kilometres is a jeep track which tests both driver and the car especially since it was raining.
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The resort is situated at the end of this unmetalled road quite deep in the forest. We checked in and were alloted a cottage facing a stream. The whole resort is bisected by this gushing stream swollen by the monsoon.
ONT]

There is not much to do at the resort, but the tranquility and the friendly staff indulge you so you just put up your feet and relax. There are plenty of paths in the jungle for those who love trekking, but the monsoons deter even the most die hard trekkers not to speak of leeches.
We went for lunch, which is in a dining hall quite some distance away and is accessed by a hanging bridge across the raging waters. Lunch was the usual buffet, but there was quite a spread. The local cuisine was excellent, but the imitations of the north Indian food, was just that.
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The ayurveda center
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Post lunch, we ambled across to the rejuvenation centre and were quite surprised by the exorbitant rates for various therapies.
The resort does not ‘encourage’ room service but for a bed coffee/tea in the mornings, and so one has to trek to the coffee shop for coffee and the restaurant for all other meals.

Spent some time in the evening trying our hand at table tennis, and retired to our room till dinner.
Dinner saw us trekking back to the restaurant in heavy rain with umbrellas provided by the hosts.
One more noticeable thing in the resort is that the whole place has electricity powered only by generators, and so you have certain lights which work only during certain hours and these are marked by red switches.

Woke up early next morning and went for a walk. It was pure bliss with mist covered trees and chirping birds welcoming you. I trekked up a small slope to suddenly come across a waterfall in the deep woods.
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Just after breakfast, we had a surprise guest in the form of a rare Malabar Giant Squirrel, in a jackfruit tree outside our cottage.
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Spent the whole of Sunday living between meals and reading books. This was one vacation where I could completely take it easy and not spend time driving around to nearby ‘places of interest’. The bad road to the resort ensured that the car was parked and keys put away.
Luxuriating in the lap of natureONT]

]Life moves at my pace here
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The wife went for a ‘treatment’ which was said to lighten the body and mind, but it sure did lighten our purse.
Monday morning saw us packing up and after breakfast we checked out at about 9.30 am. Took the daunting road back to Vythiri town and on reaching the highway, we turned right towards Calicut and a couple of kilometers later, there is a right turn to Pookot lake.
This is an enchanting lake surrounded by hills and was deserted being a Monday morning. We passed up a tempting opportunity to go for a boat ride and just clicked some snaps and were back in the car.
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Reached Kalpetta, and topped up fuel at a HP pump even though the needle showed ¾ full, and the economy at that point was 14.8km to a litre.
At Kalpetta, we spent some time searching for an elusive bunch of artists whose work we had seen on display at the resort, finally found the place and were given a guided tour of the tiny studio and the painstaking work it takes to produce one painting.
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View of Kalpetta
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It seemed sad that these struggling artists have to depend on resorts and tourist places to peddle their work. We bought a painting which was promptly framed and packed neatly. We bid adieu to these artists and a glance at our watches revealed that it was already nearing 12.

Lunch was at a hotel in Sulthan Bathery. We left Sulthan Bathery by around 2 pm and drove back non stop till Mysore. The forest, on our return journey gave us a glimpse of its wildlife.
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Reached Mysore around 3.30 pm and just as I was gloating that I had finally figured out Mysore roads, took a wrong turn and was promptly lost. Asked for directions to the Bangalore highway and reached the junction with signals at 4.15 pm. Drove back non stop till Maddur for a brief stopover at Shivalli MTR, and then the last leg to Bangalore and joined the evening rush hour till home. Reached home at about 7.30 pm.

Trip Factsheet

Car : Optra
No. of passengers : 2 adults
Total distance covered : 650kms
Fuel Economy : approx 14.5km/lt of HP power (90% ac)
Route : Bangalore- Mysore- Nanjungud- Gundlupet- Sulthan Bathery- Kalpetta- Vythiri.

Last edited by Lukeskywalker : 3rd July 2007 at 19:49.
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Old 3rd July 2007, 19:50   #2
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Lukeskywalker, its because you have copy pasted from word I guess. Try it in notepad and you wont have any formatting issues.

Btw, nice travelogue. Do hope you are recovering now.
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Old 4th July 2007, 09:18   #3
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Excellent writeup Hari, Nice pics too... Happy belated anniversary to both of you...
Vythri resorts are gr8, we will try to put up there next time...

Did you face the set of 3 speed humps inside the forest? It was quit difficult to detect, I faced eventhough I was aware of it (from Samurai's travelogue)...Road inside the forest is excellent unlike Bandipur when u take the straight road from Gundulpet to ooty...

Abhi
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Old 4th July 2007, 09:43   #4
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Nice writeup.. Great photography.

Ummm You just came back from a Holiday right?? what are you recovering from??

Godfather
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Old 4th July 2007, 09:51   #5
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Nicr trip.amazing photos.
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Old 4th July 2007, 11:56   #6
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Hey Nice trip report and pictures there buddy!
Vythiri Resort is definately a good place to stay...We have that one on our list,, lets see when its going to get executed....
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Old 4th July 2007, 12:17   #7
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Lovely write up and great pics, am too tempted to drive down to wayand.
how is the road condition etc?

thanks
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Old 4th July 2007, 12:45   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lohithrao View Post
Lovely write up and great pics, am too tempted to drive down to wayand.
how is the road condition etc?

thanks
He has already mentioned about the road condition in travelogue....it is favulous... except for a few kms near Nanjangud...
We did this Wayanad trip exactly the same time last year (8-9July, 2006)(Travelogue is there in the appropriate section), and roads were excellent that time as well...

Dont worry of the road !! Just move on...
Abhi
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Old 4th July 2007, 12:59   #9
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Nice trip there Lukeskywalker.Which part of Kalpetta is that you have shot?
Is that the road to Mananthavady or around the place called Kainatty ? Just curious, cant seem to figure out.

Also Abhi its Gundlupet and not Gundulpet .
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Old 4th July 2007, 13:40   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
He has already mentioned about the road condition in travelogue....it is favulous... except for a few kms near Nanjangud...
We did this Wayanad trip exactly the same time last year (8-9July, 2006)(Travelogue is there in the appropriate section), and roads were excellent that time as well...

Dont worry of the road !! Just move on...
Abhi
Hey Abhi, yea dint notice that

yae will do this trip soon... thanks
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Old 4th July 2007, 13:50   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
Also Abhi its Gundlupet and not Gundulpet .
Ya rj, you r right, and I knew it too...just a typo...

Abhi
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Old 4th July 2007, 13:56   #12
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Hey Nice report and pics there buddy!
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Old 4th July 2007, 14:07   #13
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Luke - great photography. Especially of the fauna.
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Old 4th July 2007, 16:50   #14
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Quote:
Ummm You just came back from a Holiday right?? what are you recovering from??
@Godfather.. Was admitted to hospital on account of kidney stones the very next day after the holiday, Mclaren was asking me about that.

Thanks a lot Abhi, your writeup and Samurai's writeup did help me a lot on the way.

Thank you guys for the compliments, and RJ, the shot of kalpetta is just opposite the Town Muncipality Building, shot it from a balcony.
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Old 4th July 2007, 17:14   #15
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Great writeup and love the pics. I had heard quite a bit about the resort. From your pics, I can see that it is a great place.

Sorry to hear that you were not well and hope you get well soon.
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