In connection with my earlier post of staying healthy during travelling (both business and personal) I thought it would be interesting to feature a recent holiday I did for May 1st long weekend. It was a much awaited break and I was very excited about going to Wayanad. Nestled in the North-Eastern part of Kerala, it is set high in the Western Ghats with an altitude ranging from 700-2100. Totally green, sparsely populated with buildings or houses. This is a great weekend escape in the South of India. The weather is enjoyable throughout the year, but the best time to visit is October to May. If you are looking for relaxation, wildlife nature and peace this is the place for you.
I was excited to visit the Muthanga Wildlife Forests and spot a few elephants. The wildlife reserve was established in 1973, is contiguous to the protected area network of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka on the northeast and Mudumalai of Tamil Nadu on the southeast. Which makes the last leg of a road trip simply gorgeous for nearly an hour you whiz through the forest, taking deep breaths that smell of trees, animals and the earth!
Wayanad is one of the nicest places I have visited because it is still untouched in so many ways. It is a “touristy” place I admit, but in an old school kind of way. You still see signs that say “Dorm style Accommodation and “Fresh up” available here. It is not filled with fancy restaurants and cafe’s, but the roadside is dotted with little food carts and souvenir stalls. It is unpolluted and very real.
Wayanad has a ton of exotic and economical stay options. They are usually self-contained resorts, plantations, home stays, eco-resorts – they give you a room + food packages this works well as there are barely any food options available outside the resorts. Click here for a few stay options.
There are quite a few things to do and see, there is the Muthanga Wildlife Reserve for the animal and plant lovers, Chembra Peak for the trekkers and Edakkal Caves for the historians. Read here for a list of fun activities.
I steered clear from the crowds who like me decided to escape city life on this public holiday. I did a small tour of the little Sultana Battery Town that is located in the Wayanad district, I visited the caves which were beautiful with lovely old carvings from the “stone age” times. But mostly I did spend a lot of time relaxing and doing some lovely treks in the resort I stayed in.
I recommend going with a nice home stay or plantation that lets you take endless walks through their property. At the end of the day you will be spending most of your time here, as there is no town to explore. You can do yoga, clear your head and get some deep thinking in during the scenic walks. Get one with a pool so you can take a dip to cool off after a long trek!
Make sure that you are prepared to relax, pamper and just have fun. Wayanad is a slow, tune into nature kind of place. It is nice to forget your phone, laptop and your TV shows back in the city and just concentrate on wildlife, bird watching and cricket chirping.
Tranquil Resorts, Sultan Battery, Wayanad
If you are a foodie, then try the local special Kerala “sapaad”, fish curry and other yummy mallu dishes. Make sure to squeeze in the famous ayurvedic Kerala massage, safest is to go with recommendations given at your hotel or use the in-house masseuse.
If you are driving down from Karnataka factor in traffic along Mysore road and leave early. Otherwise, you can take a train, bus or drive as Wayanad is well connected.
If you are looking to find that much needed inner peace or you like long lonely walks through mountains of greenery. If you get your kicks with breathtaking hilltop views or if life is about exploring caveman carvings or if wildlife watching is your true calling than hop on a bus and make your way down to Wayanad for all of this and more, after all it is “God’s Own Country”!
I stayed at The Tranquil Resort look it up!