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Old 26th February 2009, 23:32   #31
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Default Edakkal caves

Started from Muthanga WLS towards Edakkal cave. From the map we could see that we have to take a left turn after Sultan Bathery. So we started asking for direction after crossing Sultan Bathery, but realised there was nothing to worry, a very clear signage indicated the left turn.
Even after that every small turn had the direction board.

The distance of that left turn from Sultan Bathery is 6 km and from Muthanga WLS gate 18 km. Though the board indicated there the distance of Edakkal caves as 9 km, it is actually 6 km to the parking lot.

We reached the parking lot at around 11:15 am, the sun blazing at full form. No private vehicle is allowed beyond this point, there are govt. appointed 4x4 jeeps which can be hired.
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9742c.jpg

We enquired about the distance and heard it was 1 km and decided to walk. Little did we realize, even if it was one km, it was at a very high gradient. The slope was almost 45 degrees to 60 degrees most of the time. Somehow we dragged ourselves up, and was debating whether it was a wise decision not to take the jeep, and got to the end of the jeep track.

But the climb does not end here, a flight of steps challenged us next. We did manage to cross that too to reach the ticket counter. (Ticket charges are Rs 10/- per adult and Rs 25/- for camera.)
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-044c.jpg

A very narrow pathway (it's strictly a one way, we had to wait for long to have the queue of the people coming down to end) lead you to an iron gate.
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-046c.jpg
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9740c.jpg

We crossed the iron gate to reach the cave like formation, but could not find the carvings in the walls which I read in the websites. Hmm, realized we have to climb even further.
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-054c.jpg

Finally we crossed another gate and reached the cave.
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-079c.jpg

Though it's not actually a cave, rather a cleft and a big boulder on top has given it a cave like appearance. It has petroglyphs thought to date back over 3000 years.
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-066c.jpg

After such an arudous journey the cool shade of the cave had taken our all the tiredness away, we clicked our 'we were here' picture too.
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-074c.jpg

After coming out of the cave, we stood there a while appreciating the awe-inspiring view of the wayanad.
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9732c.jpg
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9733c.jpg
By the way, can you locate the car park from where we started the climb in the photograph?

On the way back, we had treated ourselves with icecream for the hard work undertaken . Oh, and don't assume the climb down was any easier, it was quite a task to brake at every step in such a downhill slope.

We have gone up in these hills, view from the car park.
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9743c.jpg

The whole tour took us almost 2 hours. We were tired and hungry, and headed straight to Woodlands at Kalpetta. Oh, I forgot to mention, in between we got two calls from them to confirm whether we were coming.
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Old 27th February 2009, 01:01   #32
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Default Pookot lake, Lakkidi view point

We retraced our path back to NH 212, and proceeded towards Kalpetta, with AC fully on to beat the heat. Within half an hour we reached Kalpetta and asked for Woodlands hotel.

Woodlands is very prominent hotel on the main road itself. We checked in the hotel, had a quick bath and hit the restaurant. Though I was all charged up to have appam, the mood got dampened as it was not available (and it was not available for our entire stay ). We made do with the Kerala Paratha and Chicken Curry.

Now we were already running late, the clock was striking three, and we dropped the idea of visiting Tholpetty, too tired to take another one and half hour journey and it could be cutting it to fine as the WLS gets closed by 5:00 pm.

We thought we will take some rest, go out at 4:00, take the necessary permission for Chembra trek next day, visit Pookot lake and Lakkidi view point. While talking to the reception, we were informed that Pookot lake closes at 5:00 pm. So there went the rest, a 5 minute rest for the back and we hit the road again.

We first went to Meppidi, Forest Office there is the authority to issue the pass for Chembra. However we could not locate it, locals were also not too familiar. We called DTPC, and they informed we could collect the pass in the morning. As it was getting late, we turned towards Pookot lake.

Pookot lake is just off NH212 after Vythiri. An emerald color lake amidst the green mountains.
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9748c.jpg

Pedal boats and row boats are available here, the complex also has childrens play area, garden, handicrafts shop and tea/coffee shop.
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-109c.jpg

After boating we had a cup of coffee, and tasted amla soaked in sugar syrup (quite good, if you like sweet) and moved towards Lakkidi which is just 4 km away.

This is a view point on the NH 212 itself, where the valley unfolds before your eyes, you will also see the winding roads through the greens. The view point is easily spottable by the cars parked by the side of the road and vendors with their carts.
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9752c.jpg

Zoomed to the winding road further down
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9753c.jpg

Spent some time there. Came back to the hotel and took a well-deserved nap . Went out to have dinner, but none of the restaurant's looked appealing enough, so came back to the hotel and had dinner there. We tried Nice Pathiri (small roti's made with rice flour) as suggested by the person taking the order when we asked for some authentic Keralian dish (after again finding out that appam is not there!).

So a long day came to an end - a day, little tiring, but thoroughly enjoyable.
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Old 27th February 2009, 07:12   #33
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Yes, the travelogue is getting more interesting. @arindamray, any snaps of the Pathiri dish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69
What does it take to pull over for a few secs and shoot some pics ? You have nothing to loose pal .
Couldn't agree more !!!
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Old 27th February 2009, 10:41   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbraj View Post
Yes, the travelogue is getting more interesting. @arindamray, any snaps of the Pathiri dish?
Thanks sbraj.

Typically when food is in front of me, I get too engrossed in that and forget everything else .

Will try to remember to click it from next time onwards.
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Old 27th February 2009, 14:19   #35
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nic pics. nice lake isn't it?
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Old 27th February 2009, 15:00   #36
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Superb photo's (3 & 4) of roads. Where did you hit that road?
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Old 27th February 2009, 15:12   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surprise View Post
Superb photo's (3 & 4) of roads. Where did you hit that road?
Surprise that's the road which connects Wayanad to Calicut.
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Old 27th February 2009, 15:26   #38
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The famous Thamarassery Churam, Riju?
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Old 27th February 2009, 15:27   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
Surprise that's the road which connects Wayanad to Calicut.
Venom rider, has posted a similar picture in one of his travelogue

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ms-trip-2.html (Chennai - Mahe (Chockly) - Wayanad: An exciting 4day 2000Kms Trip)

Route taken by him is Mahe - Nadapuram - Taruvana - Kuttiyadi - Kalpetta. Hence wanted to recofirm

Been to Manathavady recently, but did not come across any such beautiful roads
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Last edited by Surprise : 27th February 2009 at 15:29.
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Old 27th February 2009, 20:48   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kutlee View Post
nic pics. nice lake isn't it?
Thanks Kutlee. Yes, the lake is really beautiful. It is much more scenic compared to Ooty or Kodaikanal's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surprise View Post
Been to Manathavady recently, but did not come across any such beautiful roads
It's not in the Mananthavady side. To get to the view point, you need to travel 13 km from Kalpetta on NH212 towards Calicut. My guess, you will reach the roads below if you continue on the same road, though I haven't ventured out.
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Old 28th February 2009, 01:22   #41
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Default Surprises, and not so pleasant ones!!!

While we were waiting for the dinner previous day, we enquired at the reception about the program tomorrow. They had suggested to drop the Chembra peak hiking, as there is no point to do it halfway and we didn't have the time to do the entire trek. They suggested to do the Tholpetty and Kuruva Island in the morning after the breakfast. Cover Soochipara waterfalls and few other points based on time availability, and head back to Bangalore.

So we got up in the morning, take the bath and rushed to the brakfast room. It was not ready yet, but the tags in front of the trays indicated no appam :( Ok, we started with whatever was available, bread, butter, jam. And slowly the idli's and dosa's arrived. We started from our hotel finally at 8:15 towards Tholpetty. The road from Kalpetta to Mananthavady is really picturasque.
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-118c.jpg
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-119c.jpg
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-121c.jpg

In Mananathavady, the roads are little confusing with one ways, however after asking couple of times, we got the way towards Tholpetty. Saw the road distance to Mysore from Mananthavady was only 100 km and was thinking it might have been wiser to do it in the evening and head back straight from there.

Ok, now at a place called Kattikulam, we took left to Tholpetty, another 10 km drive through the forest, we reached the Tholpetty WLS gate. Now I was little concerned as there were not much of an activity going there, unlike Muthanga the previous day. And then saw the notice about timing being from 7:00 am to 9:00 am. I was almost feeling like grinding the woodlands guy for giving the wrong information and wasting the time.
Dejected, we started towards the Kuruva Island. We took a break on the road from Tholpetty in between for some photo-ops.
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9754c.jpg
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-129c.jpg
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-138c.jpg
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-137c.jpg
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9767c.jpg

From Kattikulam, it is about 6 km; a km towards the direction of Mysore, and then a right turn. After the right turn, a strech of the road is real bad, and we were doing only 10-20 kmph. Just 500 meter before the island there is a left turn, the stright road goes and join Kalpetta-Mananthavady road.
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9769c.jpg

We reached Kuruva at around 10:30 am, and took the boat to the island (Ferry ticket Rs. 10 per adult). Two boat man rowed it across the stream. Here the river Kabini (a tributary of Cauvery) has splitted to rejoin later and thus in the middle this island is formed.
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-144c.jpg


The boatmen returning after ferrying us to Kuruva Island
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9772c.jpg

We entered the island and a bamboo fence guided us to a ticket counter. After purchasing the entry ticket (Rs 10 per head) and ticket for camera (Rs 25) we set out to explore the island. A few photoshoots and a short walk lead us to the other side of the island, and we could find a raft there to cross the river. We enquired that in the other side is the road to Sulthan Bathery. But any way it looked very interesting, and we decided to take a return trip on it.

A bamboo bridge just before the raft
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9784c.jpg

You can see the raft in the distance. The raft crosses the river, when the boatmen pulls it using the rope tied across the river.
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-156c.jpg

Up close
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9786c.jpg

View almost at the water level
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9795c.jpg

After returning, we walked further up, and was thinking shall we go forward or return from there. But hen we saw a group coming from opposite direction accompanied by a guide, and he indicated that if we go straight the distance to the boat jetty will be shorter.
So we continued forward, covering the island circumference wise. And it was really a long long walk, we were really tired, lost - could not find anybody at this section of the island, wondering how big the island is, also we were getting late. But the more we forward, the more it becomes disadvantageous to return, so we continue going straight. and phew, finally, we reached the jetty, but not before a good 5-6 km walk.
Now the jetty is also crowded, we had to wait for some time before we can board a boat (on the third one after we reached there).

The never ending long walk
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-165c.jpg
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-169c.jpg

The river accompanied us all the way
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9800c.jpg

Now while we were taking our car out of the parking lot, a foreigner came and requested for a lift. He wanted to go to Kattikulam, which is in the opposite direction, but he said he would be ok even if we drop him anywhere in the main road. So asked him to hop in. And while having a chat understood that he wants to go to Tholpetty in the afternoon.

I offered that he can come with us, only problem then he has to come with us to Kalpetta and then we will head back. Looking at the map, he was amused if our next destination is Tholpetty in North from Kuruva, why we were travelling south so much. And we had to explain him that we have to check out from our hotel and pick-up the luggages. BTW, he was carrying all his luggages with him, one small backpack and a huge one! His name is GUILLAUME.
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Old 28th February 2009, 02:15   #42
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@arindamray: The pics in the last post were good. I was hoping to read about Chembara peak, since we had missed it ourself... too bad that you weren't able to make it either

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surprise View Post
Venom rider, has posted a similar picture in one of his travelogue

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ms-trip-2.html (Chennai - Mahe (Chockly) - Wayanad: An exciting 4day 2000Kms Trip)

Route taken by him is Mahe - Nadapuram - Taruvana - Kuttiyadi - Kalpetta. Hence wanted to recofirm

Been to Manathavady recently, but did not come across any such beautiful roads
Hey Surprise... Yes you are right, that beautiful strech of road was on the alternate route between Kalpetta and Mahe.

The Sultan Battery - Manathavady stretch was actually bad and pot-hole ridden. More over the scenery on Manathavady - Kuthuparamba is totally awesome, but not the roads unfortunately.

Cheers!
Goutham
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Old 1st March 2009, 21:29   #43
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Default Tholpetty WLS

Guillaume is pronounced as gee-YOME/gee-YAUM (somewhere between the two) and the "g" is hard as in "get". William in French is Guillaume.

During our drive to Kalpetta and back to Tholpetty, we had nice interaction with him. He is from Bordeaux in France, the place famous for its wines. He is an graphic designer, and he wanted to put an 'ex' in front of it, as he wants to pursue a new profession, which he has not decided yet. Came for an 2 month sojourn of south India, covered Bombay, Goa, Hampi already, and will be going to Kannur, Kovalam, Pondicherry.

Soumili had learnt French for some time, and we were pulling her leg to try at least speaking to him. Ok, she managed for 2.5 sentences, making each sentence worth 1000 rupees (she has spent INR 2500, for the course in Alliance Francaise, you see).

Coming back to the travelogue, we reached Woodlands, asked reception to make the bill ready, ordered the food in the restaurant, and then got all the luggages down and loaded in the car. Settled the bill and by the time we occupied our table in restaurant, the food was already there. This time we had gone for Fish Thali and with boiled rice.

Immediately after the food, we bade adieu to Woodlands and Kalpetta.
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-171c.jpg

On the way to Tholpetty we clicked few more snaps of the lush green fields.
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-175c.jpg
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-176c.jpg

This time we reached Tholpetty on time .
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-207c.jpg

It was a long queue in the counter, and the person handling it, was slow (Muthanga was not an exception ). It took more than half an hour to get the tickets done, and we went in. Guillaume bought the ticket for the entire group, citing that he would have anyway spent the amount in hiring a jeep and all.

One strange thing in Tholpetty was some of the Jeeps were doing it clockwise, and some of them are anticlockwise, thus making it necessary for crossing in the jungle track, I am not sure whether that's a good idea in the narrow jungle track.

On entering the jungle, I just engaged the 1st gear and let it roll on. Almost immediately after entering, we saw a female Gaur.
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-179c.jpg

The sighting was good this time, we saw spotted dears, langurs, malabar squirrels, jungle fowls, peacocks, sambar dear, a snake crossing the road.

Towards the end of the day, we saw two elephants and a Gaur, though they were a little far from us.

It took us almost 2 hours to cover the entire strech and it was almost 6:30 pm. We took some photos and bade adieu to Guillaume.
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-202c.jpg

The road through Nagarhole was already closed at 6:00 pm, so we decided to take the Gonikoppal route. Before starting we took some strech breaks, had teas. Finally started at around 7:00 pm.

Crossed Tholpetty town (2 km) - last habitat in Kerala, crossed the border and reached Kutta (4 km) - first habitat in Karnata. Asked for the direction for Gonikoppa, and started. It was dark night, and very few people on the road, wherever we saw somebody, reconfirmed that we were going in the right direction (once we stopped a tempo coming from the opposite direction for the same).

Reached Gonikoppal and took right turn for Hunsur. Just before Reaching Hunsur, the road merges into SH88. And what a road it is? Divided, 4 lane with reflectors and proper signages, a dream to drive on. We had decided to have our dinner in Fishland, a joint just after Mysore Ring Road junction on SH 17, so skipped the right fork to Srirangpatnam from Yelwal, and continued towards Mysore and took the Mysore Ring road. Reached Fishland at around 10:45.

Took a long dinner break. The drive back to Bangalore took approx 2 hours from there, and car entered the parking lot around 1:15 am.

So that ended the trip.

The ride
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-206c.jpg

The travellers
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-173c.jpg
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Old 6th March 2009, 23:21   #44
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Default Logbook

Find the logbook for the trip below.

Log_Wayanad.xls

Fuel efficiency for the trip was (calculated full tank at start to full tank in Mysore Road on the way back) 10.38 kmpl.

Don't forget it included 40 km travel inside the WLS where it crawled in 1st/2nd gear.
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Old 8th March 2009, 21:45   #45
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The winding roads in the photos are an open invitation... Good photos.
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