This is Wayanad.
It is incredibly green! It is undulating, with winding roads and forest land and many, many hills and valleys and lakes and smaller water bodies. And in the mornings, when the sun hits the slopes of the tea estates, it is breath-taking!
It also crowded and contrary to the concept of a hill station, it is very, very hot by mid-morning. There are souvenir shops, eating places , tea museums, honey museums, areas of historic interest and there is chaotic development around these structures.
We drove in from Coorg, through forest land and we were hoping that elephants would cross. No such luck! Wayanad is also where we have caught up with our friends, Jayant and Roopal.
We stayed at Abad Brookside, which is accessible through a dirt road that winds around tea estates. The access is from a forest road that is common for a number of hotel properties and difficult to negotiate. I wonder how this road holds up in the monsoon.
We visited a couple of dams in the outskirts of Wayanad. The Banasura Sagar dam is the largest earthen dam in India and the second largest in Asia- it is difficult to imagine that such a large dam has been made of compacted stone and tamped earth. The dam’s reservoir has small islands and there are boat rides that tourists can go on, around these islands. There is a long walkway above the dam which offers stunning views of both the reservoir and the gardens.
Most of the lakes are surrounded by hills and there are narrow promenades around the lakes that are tree lined and habitat for many species of birds. Eagle eye Roopal helped us spot all of these and also a Malabar squirrel.
Wayanad has a few Jain monuments of historical and archaeological importance. Sultan Battery, a town and municipality, in Wayanad town is home to a small Jain temple, that has been built in the traditional Vijayanagar style of architecture. Dating back to the 13th century, it is believed that Tipu Sultan used the spaces in the temple as an armoury.
We visited Edakkal on day 1 at Wayanad, but I have saved this bit for last.
Edakkal caves are made up of two caves, located approximately 25-30 km from Kalpetta in Wayanad. The caves are at an elevation of 4000 ft and accessible via steep slopes, impossible looking ramps and close to 450 uneven stone steps.
Cave 1 is a gateway to cave 2 and has bats; many of them.
Cave 2 is something else! It is more like a pile of large rocks that almost close at the top but with gaps that allow for shafts of light that illuminate the floor of the cave and the walls.
And there are petroglyphs! ( Petroglyphs are prehistoric rock carvings made by picking on the surface with stone chisels/prehistoric tools) We saw them on almost all the surfaces of the cave. Deemed to be 6000-8000 years old, the carvings represent human figures, animals, tools, geometric shapes and symbols that have yet to be deciphered.
Now, that I’m reading up on petroglyphs in India, I have come to know that there are many such illustrations, as close to Mumbai as Guhagar.
Ticking off on my fingers……
Dolmens of Hirebenekal!
Cave paintings around Hampi!
Petroglyphs of Edakkal!
This trip has been incredible so far!
Here’s the link to the photos – https://photos.app.goo.gl/fJU46b766LhDR3yo8
See you in Kozhikode!
8 thoughts on “Peninsula tour- Wayanad”
Awesome location and pristine natural
Great script and detailing
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Thanks for taking us to, and describing, some amazing places so far – looking forward to more!
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Loved reading this. Took me back to Wayanad.
Amazing pics and interesting commentary!!!
Awesome Ranjit. Good exploration and beautiful pics
Pictures are incredible and i love the way you explain about wayanaad
Great pics !!!!