23 March 2019

Wayanad Chronicles - Day 4 - Kuruva Dweepa and Nagarahole

This was the last day of our trip and we wanted to cover Kuruva Dweepa, before we could head back to Hassan Via Nagarahole. On the Kuruva Dweepa road, is this Valmeekam Tribal Museum which has the personal collection of Mr. Georgekutty which includes mud sculptures and his art gallery on the first floor. His paintings are available for sale too.

Kuruva is a small island(Dweep) formed on Kabini river. While the island is open to public, but after the recent Kerala floods, the island was mostly destroyed and the authorities have stopped tourist from entering the island, though they still offer the boat ride till the island. The boat rides offered here is a must to experience. There are many ropes tied between the two banks of the river and a person rows the boat by pulling the rope.

Since we were not lucky enough to spot any wild during our drive to Wayand through Bandipur, we thought of trying our luck and planned to drive back through Nagarahole. Yet another reason for us to drive through Nagarahole was the spotting of elephants which participate in Mysore Dasara. When checked with the forest officials, we were told the elephants were brought to Balle a check post next to Kabini river everyday by 4 in the evening for giving bath and food. If you are planning to drive through Nagarahole and want to spot these Dasara elephants, plan accordingly. The balle check post is just after a small tributary of Kabini river and can easily be traced, it also has a temple and forest officer quarters. Many people gather here everyday by 4, to catch a glimpse of these elephants. The drive through Nagarahole turned out to be really lucky, were we spotted wild elephants grazing in the woods.

The 4 day trip to Wayanad ended with the lovely memories of wild, nature, art forms, good food. 

9 March 2019

Wayanad Chronicles - Day 3 - Kurumbalakotta and Banasura

Our day 3 was for Kurumbalakotta view peak and few places around Venniyod. Kurumbalakotta is at the confluence of Western and Eastern ghat and offers beautiful sunrise view. The trek was really steep and tough for a first timer like me. There was not fixed rout and you definitely need to be accompanied by a local.  We started trekking through the coffee plantation with our mobile torch on. Around half way through, the trek really gets steeper, I literally gave up, but hubby and cousin gave all the motivation and I had no option as well to get back without them. I guess, I was the last to reach the peak. You should be lucky enough to get the sun rise view, as most of the winter mornings are foggy. Though we missed the sun rise, the view of the mountain range from above the clouds made up to all the efforts. There is enough place for campers, and few trek up the hill in the evening, camp there, enjoy the sun rise and trek back in the morning. With the number of tourists visiting the place, there are small tea stalls set up by the local at the peak, which will refresh you after the tiring trek. The down hill is still more scary, for we get to view the steep cliff, while walking on the edge on the hill. 

After relaxing and done with brunch we started off for the places around Venniyod. Few minutes drive gave us the beautiful view of Banasura hill range and we headed to Banasura Dam. Built on river kabini, this is largest earth dam in India and second largest dam of Asia. There are water games at the reservoir backwaters and adventure activities like zip line. You can find zip line at many places around Vythiri, where tea estates offer zip line through the tea plantations, but this at Banasura Dam is one of the longest. You can plan your visit in the evening, if you wish to take up water games. It was too hot in the afternoon for water games, we just did zip line and drove to Meenmutty waterfall. 
Reservoir backwaters

Reservoir backwaters
The water fall is amidst Banasura hill range, and you need to trek around half a km to reach the water fall. There are different views of the fall from different points on the Banasura range. Depending on your trekking ability you can get on with different view points. The dense forest, with chilled fresh water stream is very relaxing and the trek too doesn't tire you at all. There are many souvenir and medicinal herbs stalls put up on the way to the fall. Fresh raw turmeric and vinegar pickles are something you can pick from here. You can easily spend time and relax in water.