A direct bus from Bangalore had taken me to Wayanad through the beautiful forest of Bandipur , and by the changing green from the traffic capital of India , I knew , Wayanad will be more than what is expected. Situated in the north east frontier of Kerala , the region of Wayanad , stays elusive yet. The end of the great biodiversity of Western Ghats , meets the civilization here. Of all districts in Kerala , Wayanad has the lowest population , which means more place for nature, and that is surely visible as you hop down from your vehicle here. Weekend destination for BANGALORE and Cochin people , Wayanad is generally more calm and easy in weekdays, and being a jobless vagabond, I chose that for my first trip here.
Nestled among the hills and hillocks , the great greens of Wayanad is feast for eyes looking for nature. As I made my journey here in monsoon , the green was more lush and the weather pleasant enough for me. Of course, the rain kept coming through out my endeavor , but then it was just water falling, so did not bother much. Wayanad region is made of small and big villages connected by its pretty road. The administrative head quarter is Kalapetta , and most buses drops or picks you up from there. A lot of hotels and homestays finds it place here , however , I chose my stay in a local neighborhood far from Kalpetta. Transportation is easy, with Auto rickshaws and buses plying , but walking the beautiful roads also help to experience Wayanad at its truest form. Getting a local homestay is better , as you get traditional food of the region and they help you to guide through for the most amazing spots of the region.
Staying in a local neighborhood meant experiencing their lives first hand. Wayanad famous for its fertile soil has a lot of farming all around. From Bananas to betel nuts , this farms stretch wide and far covering most of the landscapes. It is one of an experience to walk through them , as backgrounds are covered by pretty hills that surround them. Chembra peak , which is the highest in this region looms large at distance , and made up for a constant companion when I walked around. Trekking to the top is possible if not for monsoon season. I being mostly trekking and hiking mountains for work did not opt for that , though most travelers who have done it, recommends highly of it, Travel is a personal choice , so I leave this on your perspective best to choose.
However , do not miss the farm tours around. Just go in them and meet the smiling farmers and natives working here, My only warning , going around the fields, beware of snakes a little. Wear shoes always.
Banasura Sagar or the largest earth dam and reservoir was a good place to escape too. It is the biggest source of water and sustaible project being made out of earth and mud. It reminded me of the capability of the human minds. If it feels to procreate sustainable energy , surely that is possible. The people of Wayanad live and coexist with nature a lot. Every house is filled among dense green, and own plantations. Calm and peaceful way of living can be seen around , the elusiveness is also catered as it is not a hot destination as Munnar.
For next stop, I had chosen Edekkal caves , an ancient cave, where pre historic graphics and murals, made by our ancestors are found. To be honest, my heart , which was in search of a relaxed vacation in nature , was more happy to climb the hill and see the view from top , than the caves itself.
The most important of all plantations here, is the Coffee! The abundance of coffee plantation here, makes coffee as cheap as 10 INR, in every other shop, around the corner. Even the best souvenir to take back has to be the coffee powder. The homestay I stayed with, had their own plantation and I made sure to buy cheap powder from them , for the rest of my journey.
All in all , Wayanad will be highly recommended by me , for its natural and less crowded beauty. My super tips will be to visit in monsoon , when the whole world thinks Kerala is always flooded. Wayanad being on top of hills , is mostly safe of flooding, even though high rainfall is always there. And if you are more like me who enjoys just going around and observing things, rather than tick marking off the places in To-Do list , then definitely walk around the beautiful roads of Wayanad. Hop on any local bus , and drop at any point or part of road , you seem to find beautiful. Walk along with it. You can always use Google map to find your next destination or get a bus when you feel like it.
But those roads of Wayanad , are the things I miss most from my trip.
So if you are planning a Wayanad trip, let me know for advices. Also if you have been to Wayanad times and more , leave down your best memory from there. I am surely going to go back there and hopefully , might take up your recommendations. Happy traveling !!
The grand mountains of Himalayas always welcome change , and it is here throughout a year we see starling differences as one season gives way to another. As the post monsoon season is upon us , the Autumn has officially arrived , and with this season , some hikes and treks look better than the others. With clear sky , more sunshine than any other time of the year , September to November is the perfect time to climb some trails to view undisturbed views of some world renowned summits and move towards its base , to spend a grand time with the famous mountains.
Here is a list of hike and treks you should choose to do for best experience in Autumn.
1. Sandakphu Trek.
Situated in the borders of West Bengal in India and Nepal , this trek is perfectly suited for this season. The nights can be chilly as hell yet with enough sunshine throughout the day , Sandakphu is at its best during the Autumn. The cherry on the cake, has to be the most brilliant sunrise to see from the summit. As a clear sun makes up through sea of clouds, in it's first light glows world's highest mountains like Mt.Everest , Mt. Lhotse and Mt.Kanchenjunga.
If this intrigues you enough , plan up.
2. Har ki Doon.
In the beautiful mountain state of Uttarakhand , lies in the western corner the valley of Lord Shiva a.k.a Har Ki Doon. A very famous route , involving mystical villages and mind blowing landscape views, this trail has mixture of forest , Meadows and native Himalayan lifestyle to offer for the visitors. The cherry on the cake , is camping by Mt. Swargorohini massif. This unclimbed peak has the legend of great Yudhishthir , from Mahabharata , walking up to it and getting an entry to heaven. Since then no man ever could walk up to it's summit. I say , if you spend a night in its base or walk this trail , you inevitably early heaven here itself.
3. Buran Ghati Trek
The most unknown of the lot , yet personally my favorite trek would be Buran Ghati. Residing in Himachal Pradesh, a stunning cross over trek starting from the remote valley of Pabbar , climbing through vast Meadows of endless flowers and green , we cross over to Kinnaur valley. Being less frequented , it's rawness and virgin trail makes your eyes shine as you see mother nature at it's truest beauty. The cherry on the cake, has to be the campsite of Dayara , which is one of the prettiest place on Earth to spend your night in. If new trail and flowering green attracts you , this trek should top your list in this season.
4. Goechala Trek
A long unending trail lies in the mystical kingdom of Sikkim. It is through this trail that man can approach the base of the great Mt. kanchenjunga ( 3rd highest mountain in the world ). Also through this trail , we can walk up to great glaciers and high altitude Alpine lakes that form the region. It is highly spoken of as the most romantic trek in India , and I don't argue with that. Campsites such as Lamuney and Thamsing can make your heart beat faster with love , for a human or for the mountains. So if you think love is something you'd like to feel , I recommend planning this trek.
5. Gaumukh - Tapovan Trek.
The holiest pilgrimage trek of the lot , resides in Uttarakhand. It is on this trek , that you see the source of mighty Ganges. The life line of India finds its birth in the Gaumukh glacier that stretches 45 kilometres , and traversing it , we climb to Tapovan , one of the most beautiful high altitude Meadows. The cherry on the cake, is the divine , unearthly views of renowned Himalayan summits such as Mt. Bhagirathi massif , Mt. Sudarshan and my favourite Mt.Shivling. The slow transformation of colours on mountains during sunrise and sunset is one of the rarest thing to see here on the trek. If this excites you plan up for this.
All in All , this is my recommended list , but Himalayas being so vast, there are surely other hidden gems of treks and trail for Autumn one can go upon. If you know any such kindly let me know.
" Travel made me rich and free. Magic and miracles are true , once you wander on the roads to places different and divine. Sharing you all those memories and stories , and wishing you all , that someday you guys travel far and wide too. I am not a great writer , so ignore my grammar and spellings, read it with feelings, and you might just be affected with the wanderlust "