After detailed explorations of the mountains in North India, I’d set my sights on slow travelling in South India. It was by pure chance that I started off with visiting the most popular state tourism-wise that side, Kerala. I’d arrived in Kochi and the need for some cold weather had automatically led me to the mountains of Wayanad.
And in a mix of all kinds of experiences over multiple trips, these are a few of the offbeat delights of Wayanad.
Reeling from the hangover of the Ladakh trip in July, I was on a quest to keep the travel bug active. Over the course of the month of August, short journeys in Southern India took me to Alleppey in Kerala, Udupi, and Chikmagalur in Karnataka. There were more explorations to be done before the end of the Indian south-western monsoons. That’s when this adventure run to Wayanad happened.
And where there is adventure, I escape life. Scout My Trip, ONNBIKES, and Wandertrails joined hands to organize a road trip, a weekend retreat from the cities to the jungles trails of Kerala, India. Bloggers, bikers, and adventure enthusiasts were picked for a 2-night experiential stay at a new Wandertrails Showcase property called the Dare Nature Camp. Road trip experts Scout My Trip led from the front and routed the best routes from Bangalore to Wayanad and ONNBIKES, a new self-drive bike rental in India, provided the wheels with some Royal Enfield steeds. Three start-ups, eight bikes, a bunch of adventure junkies, one-weekend road trip and an experiential stay in the misty mountains of Wayanad. This was #WayanadOnWheels.
Kerala’s least populous district, Wayanad is also its best-known secret. Complete with misty mountains, splendid forests, pristine rivers and cascading waterfalls, Wayanad is ‘the’ hill station of choice in South India. Not particularly touristy, the district is famed for its wildlife parks and unspoilt nature. Interestingly, Wayanad’s recorded history dates back to as early as 10th century A.D. Pictorial carvings, on the walls of the Edakkal caves, however, show that forests here have probably been inhabited since the Neolithic Age. Ancient temples enclosed by mountains and forests bring reverence and mysticism to the region. Trek to mountain-top lakes and caves, bamboo raft through rivers and cycle around winding roads to make the most of this spectacular North Kerala region. For the best views of Wayanad, however, you’d best take a bike tour through the paddy fields and small hamlets around.
Wayanad is all about beautiful green countryside with lovely waterfalls, tea and coffee estates, wildlife, lakes and more. Wayanad literally means land of paddy fields. There are plenty of things to see but the first-timervisitors here do not realize that the distances in Wayanad are huge. More often than not, they end up just spending a lot of time on the road, rather than at the tourist destination. Most of us unknowingly, pick hotels and resorts that are not close to the places that we really want to visit. One important thing that we must do when planning a trip to Wayanad is to understand the key tourist attractions in Wayanad and then look for accommodation that suit us -keeping in mind the proximity to our list of attractions.