Skip to main content

Featured Post

Book Review: On Philosophising, Philosophers, Philosophy and New Vistas in Applied Philosophy, by Dr. Sharmila Jayant Virkar

A little bit of context before you begin reading this book review. I have recently enrolled for an MA in Philosophy at the University of Mumbai. Philosophy is something I have been getting interested in, over the past few years, as those of you who have been reading my blogs and Instagram posts would know. During the pandemic, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do next, and this is what I eventually came up with. It has been a challenge, getting back into academics as a student at this age, especially in a subject I have no academic background in. However, it has also been very exciting, especially thanks to my wonderful classmates (who, surprisingly, are of all age-groups, including some quite near my own) and my teachers, who have been very supportive and understanding. How well I will do is something that remains to be seen, but so far, I am enjoying this new journey and look forward to where it leads. Now that you know the background , you probably get an idea of how

Wayanad - First Impressions

Wayanad – the name comes from the words ‘Vayal Nadu’ – land of paddy fields, and that’s what I expected to see – paddy fields stretching in all directions. However, entering the district through the heart of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, the sight that greeted me was of towering trees lining both sides of the road....





Going further, it was evident that we were truly in ‘God’s own country’ – Kerala. Palm trees lined the roads and the fields, separating the now dry fields of paddy....



And amidst these trees and fields rose rocks of all sizes and shapes, lending an unique touch to the scene....



Trees laden with fruits greeted us at every turn... 



We ogled at the clusters of bananas.....



And drooled at the sight of jackfruits....



We saw Mangosteens  for the first time...



And also Breadfruit, which we hadn’t even heard of before!



Coffee seemed to be a common plant... almost every house had a small ‘plantation’...



If I thought this was beautiful, I was in for more surprises. A few miles away, and the landscape changed. Now, instead of coffee, there was tea... acres and acres of undulating land, covered by tea plantations...



And then there were the rivers – at some places, the Kabini, elsewhere the Vythiri.... each flowing peacefully amidst lush greenery hiding the presence of people....



Wayanad is among the newest and most sparsely populated of Kerala’s districts. It is tucked away in a corner of the state, bordering the states of Karnataka and Tamilnadu. In a land known for its coastline, it has no connection whatsoever with the coast, nestling instead amidst the mountains.


And, I could have missed all this and more..... if it wasn’t for the way things happened....

I had been hearing about Wayanad for years. Everyone I knew seemed to be going there. As with all other places, I put it on my mental wishlist, and waited for the day I would be able to plan a trip there. As it turned out, the long awaited trip fell into my lap in the most unexpected manner.

Thomas Cook India offered to plan a trip for me, and since I was already going to Bangalore and Mysore, they suggested I take a short break somewhere nearby. The only question was “Where?” Coorg was the first place that came up, but I had just visited the area in March. They then suggested Wayanad, and I needed no further urging.

We had less than a week to work things out, and you can’t imagine how hectic those last few days turned out to be. My tickets were waitlisted, my arrangements for Mysore had to be changed, I had to finish all pending work at home, since I would out for more than half a month...... looking back, I find myself wondering how it all got done!

One of the biggest things I worried about was the plan Thomas Cook would draw up for me. Their Wayanad itinerary was called ‘Xplorer’ and all of you know I love exploring. However, I also have ankle problems and weight problems which don’t allow me to do a lot of walking or cycling. I am not too great with heights, and the plan involved ziplining!!!! Having no experience whatsoever with professionals planning trips for me, I was also wary of the cost. All it took was one meeting with their tour planners and things fell into place easily. They modified the plan to suit the dates I had free, the activities to suit my interests, and the cost to fit my pocket.

And that’s how this trip to Wayanad happened.

What you have seen of Wayanad is just a glimpse. In the coming weeks, let me take you along with me, as I relive my memories of exploring Wayanad.

Update: 

Here are all the posts I have written about Wayanad...

Comments

  1. I can visualize. Must have been a wonderful trip roaming around that dreamland. Bread Fruit trees are there in Mumbai too. I saw the on the Napean Sea Road. I am also new to Mangosteen. Looking at the photograph, I suspected it to be the bud of Naga Lings flower (Cannon Ball Tree).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was truly a dreamland, PNS! and interestingly, I realised just yesterday that we had a breadfruit tree in the garden next to ours... i has just grown fruits this season and it was the first thing i noticed when i got back!

      Delete
  2. The first impressions are quite impressive. Waiting to read more stories from the Wild Wayanad!

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in/2013/05/nagaon-beach-mini-goa.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was truly impressive, Niranjan!!! loads more coming up!

      Delete
  3. Mouth watering pictures and good to hear that they customized the itinerary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mridula!!! Thankfully, they did. I couldnt possibly have done all that cycling with the state of my ankle!

      Delete
  4. its very very refreshing... staying in the concrete jungle, these patched of greenery always make the mind fresh..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Krishna! Its always a pleasure to get away from the city. which is why we try to escape any time we get!!!!

      Delete
  5. We are planning to go to Wayanad in November. Seeing you pictures, I am getting more excited. :)

    You get breadfruit in the market near Chembur station. It's called "some" phanas in Marathi. In Malayalam, it is "kadachakka."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thats great, Bindhu! my posts come at the right time for you!! and i havent noticed breadfruit at chembur station... will look for it next time. have you tasted it?

      Delete
  6. I missed it in my trip to Kerala :( All your pictures are so highly inspiring me to be there, Anu! This has to go in my bucket list of places.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Arti!! it def has to go on your bucket list... there is so much to see and experience here!

      Delete
  7. Thanks for giving glimpse of Wayanad, looking forward to know more!!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wonderful Photographs.... good post

    Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love post and photographs, Anu.

    I love breadfruit and a friend of mine brings a pan-fried version of it coated with salt, turmeric, chilli powder and some hing. It's delicious. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Sudha! i have never tried it.. sounds yummy!

      Delete
  10. Hey anuradha.. its wonderful post.. I am reading your blog almost after 6 months.. !! How r u?? I loved your wayanad trip.. sure u had a great experience.. I am also looking for a trip in that district of Kerala...
    I love breadfruit a lot... In Kannada we call DHIVHALASINA KAAYI.. its fry is very tasty..try recipe as told by sudhagee.. its mainly prepared in coastal Karnataka.. even I prepared it when I was in Kerala..
    Now heading for your next post about wayanad.. excited to read... Dr.A

    ReplyDelete
  11. Nice.. :)
    For more on wayanad visit here
    http://pintoday.blogspot.in/2013/09/wayanad.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. Very well detailed blog. We had visited Wayanad in group from office. To do some Adventure & Activities were our main motive. Stayed in a small resort Rest In Nature - Vythiri. Very serene place. They arranged the activities we wanted to do. Wouldlove to visit Watanad again. Many more to do n see after I read this blog. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by. Please leave a comment for me so that I will know you have been here....

Popular posts from this blog

The Havelis of Bikaner - A Photo Post

The lanes are narrow , twisting and turning amidst buildings old and new. Crumbling old structures with intricate workmanship stand side by side with art deco buildings, and more modern constructions, which follow no particular style. Autos, bicycles, motorcycles and vans rush past, blowing their horns as loudly as possible, while cows saunter past peacefully, completely unaffected by the noise. In the midst of all this chaos, children play by the side, and women go about their chores, as we explore these by-lanes of Bikaner, and its beautiful Havelis. Facade of one of the Rampuria Havelis

Gokarna Part II – The Five Lingams

We continued our Gokarna trip by visiting four other Shiva temples in the vicinity, all connected to the same story of Gokarna. The story of Gokarna mentions the Mahabaleshwara Lingam as the one brought from Kailas by Ravana, and kept at this place on the ground by Ganesha. (See my earlier post- Gokarna – Pilgrimage and Pleasure). However, the story does not end here. It is believed that, in his anger, Ravana flung aside the materials which covered the lingam- the casket, its lid, the string around the lingam, and the cloth covering it. All these items became lingams as soon as they touched the ground. These four lingams, along with the main Mahabaleshwara lingam are collectively called the ‘ Panchalingams’ . These are: Mahabaleshwara – the main lingam Sajjeshwar – the casket carrying the lingam. This temple is about 35 Kms from Karwar, and is a 2 hour drive from Gokarna. Dhareshwar – the string covering the lingam. This temple is on NH17, about 45 Kms south of Gokarna. Gunavantesh

The Elephanta Caves

The Elephanta Caves , located on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri, about 11 Km off the coast of the Gateway of India, Mumbai, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to these caves, excavated probably in the 6 th century CE, is awe-inspiring, and also thought-provoking. Over the years, I have visited the caves a number of times, and also attended a number of talks by experts in the fields of art, history and archaeology on the caves. Together, they help me understand these caves, their art, and the people they were created for, just a little bit better. Every new visit, every new talk, every new article I read about the caves, fleshes out the image of what the island and the caves would have been like, at their peak. I last wrote about the caves on this blog, in 2011, almost exactly 11 years ago. Since then, my understanding of the caves has, I would like to think, marginally improved. Hence this attempt to write a new and updated post, trying to bring to life, the caves of Elephan