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Wayanad

Travel

Postcards From Wayanad – Part 3

And I swear this is the last part! I won’t drag this out anymore ūüôā
 

We began our last day in Wayanad at the Wayanad Cricket Stadium where a local selection match was going on. The back of the stadium has an incredibly breathtaking view.
The Banasura Sagar dam on River Kabini is India’s largest earthen dam, and Asia’s second largest. The motorboat rides there are very popular, but¬†I’m really not into those. The views are gorgeous, though.
I saw a rubber plantation for the first time that day:
To harvest the latex, a cut is made on the bark of the trees. The latex that oozes out is collected:
Two stunning dilapidated temples near Sultan Bathery. One was right on the highway, and the other inside a coffee plantation:
Travel

Postcards from Wayanad – Part 2

Continuing with my Wayanad series, these are the gorgeous Meenmutty Falls seen from the Neelimala View Point. Across the distance, we could hear the roar of the waterfall crashing down the hill.

When we were on our way to the Soochipara Waterfalls, our driver said there was a less known one called Kanthanpara Waterfalls on the way, where there’d be almost no visitors. We needed no convincing¬†–¬†it was pristine,¬†beautiful and nearly empty.
Photos from some random stops during our drives around Wayanad:
We went to the Pookode/Pookote Lake, which turned out to be a mistake. The lake was quite pretty but the place was just too crowded and there’s nothing to do unless you’re into those dumb boat rides. The only thing I found interesting was the pinkish cast on the surface of the water. Do you see it?¬†It’s because¬†the surface has some aquatic plant with thousands of tiny pink flowers growing all over it. I have no idea¬†what it’s called.
Travel

Postcards from Wayanad – Part 1

Happy New Year, guys! I hope 2015 is everything you want it to be, and more!

 

I was lucky to spend some time in Wayanad last week. What a perfect way to end 2014!¬†We drove to Wayanad from Mysore. The drive takes about 3 hours, and you get to go through the beautiful¬†Bandipur forest, that falls partly in Karnataka and partly in Kerala. Our driver said¬†you can tell which side you’re on, with your eyes closed¬†–¬†if the road has speed breakers, it’s Karnataka, and¬†if not, you’re in Kerala ūüôā He was from Kerala, yes ūüėõ The forest is magical, and¬†we spotted herds of wild elephants, deer and even a cheetah that ran across the road.

In Wayanad, we stayed in a basic, no-frills villa in a¬†lush green¬†eco resort.It was so pretty, it’s a miracle that we even stepped out. But step out we did, beginning with the Edakkal Caves, home to Stone Age carvings that date back to at least 6000 BC. Take a moment to process how old that is!

 

The caves sit at the top of a mountain, at a height of about 1000 meters. They are not really caves, but a fissure that was created when a part of the main rock split away. Legend has it that it was formed when Lav and Kush, the sons of Lord Ram, shot arrows here. The carvings are mostly of human and animal figures. Because of similarities between the motifs found here and those found in the Indus Valley, scholars think the Indus Valley Civilization probably had a presence here too. Maybe the civilization didn’t just go extinct, but blended into other cultures instead.
If you want to see the petroglyphs (that’s what such carvings on stone are called), you’ll have to work for them. A pretty steep walk about 1 km long takes you to a ticket counter. And then you need to climb more. A lot more, actually. In most parts there are steps but in others, just boulders. It’s not very difficult, but it is quite¬†tiring.

The hill at the back is the one you need to go up

It’s the crowd that makes the climb difficult, really

The view from the top

It’s very humbling to stand exactly where our ancestors must have stood thousands of years ago. The carvings in these caves are definitely the oldest man-made things I’ve seen in my life. Absolutely a must-visit while in Wayanad, and totally worth the effort of climbing up.

 

(ETA: I did a piece for The News Minute on the Edakkal Caves. Check it out?)