Wynaad – this was a trip of a lifetime!! We were nearing the end of our training in mysore…. About a week and a half from our final extended training compre…. Our wynaad gang included Renga, Deepak, Subu, Anu, Vasu, Shree, Sivaranjani, and Susi. 5th December morning 7:00am after our usual baggage check at gate2 and stepping out of the gates of our mysore campus, our brownish golden tavera thundered down the mysore highways at the break of dawn towards Gods own country (or Kerela) as it is better known as… Stopped at a fuel station, then had breakfast on the way, and then our way towards kerela. As we neared the kerela border, we had to cross mutthanga wildlife sanctuary. It was then we started to get a taste of kerela…..
Deers and bisons near the road !!! the surroundings were just breathtaking !!! We stopped our tavera to get a better look at the deer.... took a little snaps and then continued our way. After a while, we reached the kerela border. When our driver went to complete the formalities, we took a small break into the dense woods just beside the road. The toll gate was a very small place with two or three shops nearby on the left and on the right was a small path that went into the woods. After taking a few snaps in the woods, we came back to our tavera..... Then suddenly a small monkey grabbed a bun hanging in one of the shops and ran away... we had a gud laugh seeing the shopkeeper chasing and cursing the monkey... :D Then we continued our way to Sulthan Bathery, the main town centre of wynaad. From sulthan, we went to edakkal caves which was about an hour's drive... We parked our tavera about a kilometer from the base and we had to walk uphill towards the base of the caves. The path was well laid and there is also a jeep service to the base. We really enjoyed our uphill walk, taking rest , and again continuing our walk, and finally we reached the base of the caves. There was a huge crowd over there as a school had come on tour and also there were lots of fellow infoscions accompanying us. After taking the ticket, we waited for some time and then began our climb into the caves.
The climb took a long time since it was a one way path in most of the places and through rocks and boulders and iron steps laid at some places. After about half an hour, we reached the cave. There was only one opening which was the entry and the exit, and the cave was surrounded by massive rocks with an opening on top allowing the light to enter inside. It was amazing !!
Sanskrit scriptures engraved in the walls of the cave and covered by a layer of algae of various shades of green. At the end of the cave was a 3-4 feet slit illuminated by light from the outside which seperated the massive rocks. Then we began our descent toward the base and then to our tavera.
Our next destination - Meenmutty waterfalls. It was a one-kilometer trek down toward the falls. We hired a guide and began our trek. This was a place completely surrounded by tea and coffee plantations. There was a small shop with bamboo benches and roof with dried palm leaves, provided refreshments like tea, coffee, buttermilk to the trekkers. As we passed this shop, there were a few people sitting inside. There were a few men aged around 40 and two women. They smiled at us and said "All the best !!" We suddenly started to wonder why are these people saying this to us.... Then after asking them, they said "The trek is a bit challenging .... the guyz will make it... the ladies - a bit difficult... " Anyway, we started our trek towards the falls. The trek was simply amazing !!!
There were ropes tied to trees to guide us in our way through.... we reached a small stream of water falls where renga, subbu, and me climbed up and went to have a shower...... the water was so cold !!! but it was a refreshing break :) after about 30 - 45 mins, we reached the falls. It was a huge falls water was flowing with tremendous force.... The locals said that it was the second largest falls in india. Then after viewing the falls, we went even further down to take a closer look. Since it had rained the previous week, we couldnt have bath as the water was flowing with too much force and the water was not clear... It was mixed with sand and moss... Then we began our ascent.... after a tiring hike, we reached a place which was truly beautiful... green tea estates covered the entire area on one side and coffee and spices on the other side..
behind the coffee plantations was the entire view of the valley shrouded in mist and fog..... It was a really amazing place.... then after taking a few pics in the tea estates, we returned to the trekker's refreshment shop and had a few glasses full of buttermilk. That was an amazing trek !!! Then we returned to our cab and to our next destination.
Our next destination - Karapuzha dam. We reached karapuzha dam pretty late in the evening. It was around 6:15.... so it was getting dark... parked our tavera on the road, we just took a long walk along the road leading to the dam. On our right was a huge lake and on the left of the road was the empty space where water flowed when the dam was open. After reaching the dam, we couldnt see anything... all we saw was a milky white sheet of water flowing along the slope of the dam. Then we returned back to our cab and to our dwelling - Issac resort. All of us were pretty tired that day... Renga, subbu and me went out and bought 4 packs of cards, and a music dvd, had a good dinner at Issac resorts, watched some tv, and had a good night's sleep. Next morning, we woke up early, had good kerela breakfast, and left for our 1st location of day 2.
Our first destination of day 2 - jain temple. This was in sulthan bathery, jst about 10 mins from Issac resorts. This was a pretty small stone temple. As we entered the gate, beautiful flowers welcomed us on both sides of the pathway leading to the temple. There was a small stone platform on the left of the temple about 3 feet high on which 4 stone pillars around 7 feet high stood up. Just opposite this was the entrance to the temple..... inside was a statue of Mahavira... The temple was surrounded by a grass pathway. Then we left the temple after spending a short while and to our next destination.
Pookot lake was our next destination. We reached the lake at around 10:30..... The lake was very beautiful and had a small children's park, a mirror house, and an aquarium beside it. As we entered the gates of the lake, all of us started playing in the childrens park. Then saw some beautiful flowers, took some pics, and then went to the mirror house. The mirror house was a small iron hut inside were mirrors of different shapes and sizes. Our reflections gave us a pretty gud laugh :D Then after playing in the merry-go-round, we went for boating. 9 of us took 3 boats - susi, vasu, and me went in the first boat followed by renga, subbu, and anu ..... then finally muthu, shree, and siva. The lake was huge, with lotuses in the water.... the scenery was beautiful with hills surrounding the lake, we were enjoying our ride circling the lake, with 2 peddalers and 1 person to steer the boat.
After boating, we had some banana bajji in a shop nearby, and then went to the aquarium. The aquarium had a no. of glass fishtanks well maintained with beautiful fishes of all varities.... after the aquarium, we visited the small shop which sold wooden articles, bought some stuff there, (anu bought a big spoon to beat me) and finally left pookot lake to our next destination.
Our next destination was a bit of a confusion but anyway we decided to go to lakkidi viewpoint. Lakkidi viewpoint is about 3 km from pookot lake and is a must - see place. It is a bend on the road on top of the mountain from where the entire city is visible. We parked our tavera on the side of the road and went to the edge of the road on the cement barriers and saw an amazing view of the valley and the city below. Since we went in the afternoon, we didnt have any fog or mist covering the valley. The entire valley was visible below.... After around half and hour in lakkidi, we had to move to our next destination.
We had a little confusion about the next place to go..... we were not sure whether to go to soochipura waterfalls coz the water may be like the meenmutty falls dat we went the previous day. Also, some people said that the way to the falls is pretty far and difficult to approach..... but we met the same group who had told us "All the best". They told us that soochipura is a gr8 place to enjoy and the falls is pretty safe for bathing..... so we stuck on with soochipura.... it was about an hour from lakkidi view point.... The route was superb, the roads winding between hills covered with tea plantations and beetle nut trees..... We reached soochipura in the mid - afternoon, parked our tavera and continued the walk towards the falls.... The stone path was well laid and pretty comfortable for a 1 km downhill walk...... The falls was beautiful with water falling and creating a 4 feet deep pool of water surrounding it..... steps were made by cutting the rocks that lead to the waterfall.... This pool of water was surrounded by huge boulders on which many people were resting after bath.... As we decided to get in the water, renga and me went first to inspect the depth and water force.... We met a guy in the water who started giving us tips and advice as to how to approach the falls.... One final sentence he said made us laugh... "Down current strong . You playing - no . serious. serious. " :D ...... The water was sooo chill !!!........ one of the coldest I’ve ever experienced..... Then after we went inside, the rest of the gang followed..... we couldn’t go till the point where the water was falling.... the force was too much there... so we stood near and enjoyed the white spray of water..... it was an amazing experience.... We didn’t have the heart to leave the water.... but anyway....we had to go… as we began our way back uphill we stopped at a guy selling buttermilk, and some raw mangoes…. After having some glassfuls of buttermilk and some ‘manga’ and chilli powder, we continued our way to our cab…. After reaching our cab, changed, bought some steaming hot bread omlette, and jam and continued our journey back munching away the bread sandwich.
We had to cross the kerela border before 6:30 since they close the tollgate. Anyway, we made it and had our dinner on the way back….. We came back to mysore DC at 10:30, all tired , went to our hostels…… Another unforgettable day in our lives !!!