This is my first post about a place where we stayed for more than a few hours. 2 days and 2 nights to be precise. A long weekend in May 2009. We were wondering about the places we could go to along-with a couple of friends. It would be hot everywhere. Wayanad was the unanimous choice. Getting a place to stay there would also prove to be a problem since we were deciding at the last minute. As expected, our efforts to get accommodation were being proved futile. Then we struck gold thanks to Shyla’s (Nagesh’s friend’s wife) patience. She continuously went through some 18 pages of Google search for stays in Wayanad and kept calling most of them to find out about availability for the long weekend. At the end,she got a positive reply from Greenex Farms, a resort in Chundale, South Wayanad.
We were a group of 4 couples and 2 kids. Another friend from Kerala was visiting his native place Allepey and decided to accompany us till Wayanad and then continue his journey alone. Off we started in 3 cars from JP Nagar at around 6.30 AM on a friday. We were super excited about the promising weekend that lay before us. One of the kids- Rishi kept telling all of us enthusiastically that he was going to Wayanad.
We stopped for breakfast at around 7.30 at Hotel Indradhanush on Mysore highway near Maddur. After a hearty breakfast,we continued the journey. Our next stop was at Coffee day in Gundlupet at around 10.30. After some quick refreshments,we were back on our way again. The landscape changed dramatically for the better as we entered Kerala.
The resort people had told us not to get our cars till the resort as the last stretch was a mud road which was not suitable for low bottom cars. Since the cars we came in were recently purchased ones,we did not want to take the risk. One of Nagesh’s colleague’s relative stays in Sultan Bathery which was en-route. So we had arranged to park our cars at their home. We reached there around 11.30 and were welcomed into their home. After some more refreshments, we hired local jeeps from the town and went ahead to meet a guy from the resort who had come on his bike to Kalpetta(a town in Wayanad district) to show us the route.
the jeeps at kalpetta
the approach road into the resort
The resort was where we would be spending most of our time during this visit. It did not disappoint us in any way. To reach the resort, we had to go past a tea estate belonging to Harrison Malayalam Tea Ltd. The tea estate was lush green and looked so pristine. Each room in the resort is unique and has its own attractions. The theme here is rustic living amidst the beauty of nature. 4 of us stayed in Marigold which was the oldest room in the estate. This was a traditional house that one can find in coastal areas. It had 2 cozy bedrooms plus an additional room. Nagesh was reminded of his grandmother’s house! This room was pretty isolated from the other rooms and surrounded by lots of greenery. There was a poolside counter where hot banana fritters(Kerala style) and a cup of piping hot Chaai were served. We comfortably settled in the seats around the pool. The kids had a fun time playing in the pool. Red whiskered Bulbuls were fluttering near the pool and Nagesh started snapping them :) The pool was surrounded by Vanilla plants. A bonfire was lit up near the dinner area and we had a moonlit dinner.
early morning in the resort
diyas lit near the dining area
some flowers in the resort
a red-whiskered bulbul
We woke up early morning and set out on an early excursion to the tea estate outside the resort. The sight was heavenly. We were lost in the lush greenery surrounding us on all sides. Nature seemed to be at its best. Two year old Vaishu was having a great time asking her dad to carry her for a while and then ask him to let her walk for a short while! She was totally decked up in Red boots and a jacketWe saw Tea flowers for the first time. Yes! Spotted a cute little mushroom beneath the tea shrubs. Amidst the quietness we suddenly started hearing a tap tap sound in the distance. It took us a while to figure out where this sound was coming from. It turned out to be a woodpecker who seemed to be visiting one of the trees in the estate :) Nagesh got a few pics of this one! We were ravenously hungry and started walking back to the resort to have a sumptuous breakfast.
tea leaves being picked
play of light in the tea estate
a tea flower (hadn’t see one before this)
a greater flameback woodpecker
We set out from the resort to visit India’s largest Earthen dam,The Banasura dam. It was a hot day and we tired though we walked a short distance. The views of the surrounding hillside were too good.
water lilies(?) in small pond on the path leading to the dam
a view of the mountains
This lake was pretty scenic but crowded unfortunately. It would have been better minus the crowd.
water lilies at the edge of the lake
We visited the sunset point but the day disappointed us with a dull sunset. To compensate for this, we visited a souvenir shop just outside Vythiri and purchased some local craft pieces. I bought a monkey made out of a coconut shell :)
The return journey was eventful since we spotted these cuties next to the highway near the Kerala border :) We reached Mysore around 2:00 PM and had Jolada Rotti Meal at Kamath. Reached Bangalore around 7.