Wayanad from Bangalore
200kms from Bangalore, you get to a small town called Gundlupet.
There, after sitting down for an Idli-Dosa-Filter Coffee breakfast (provided you start early from Bangalore), God gives you 2 choices – (1) follow 95% of all vehicles and head straight towards Ooty, or (2) take a right turn, and drive down to Wayanad. We chose the right turn.
The drive from Gundlupet through the forest reserve of Bandipur and the Muthanga is heavenly, especially when the rains have made every inch of grass green. For the next 60km or so, the road looks something like this, till you enter “Sulthan Bathery”. This is how the magic of Wayanad starts…
We were headed to an organic retreat, just outside of Kalpetta, on the way to Chembra Peak. Nestled deep inside a lush green tea estate. No TV, lots of birds, a small community sit out, a small pond for fishing, a small pool to swim and great food (Malabar Parathas and Egg Curry). We were in for a great weekend. Sample these pictures
The weekend was spent driving around finding a way to trek Chembra – the highest peak in Wayanad, but it was closed due to monsoons. We drove almost down to the famous Meenmutti falls, and even that was closed because of the dangerous water swell. We finally saw one waterfall, though it took us a 32km drive one way to get to it. But the drive was heavenly and the food awesome everywhere.
As we sat down for a well-deserved buffet after a string of closed attractions, someone suggested “Kuruba Island” on our way back (32km off Sulthan Bathery) – which is home to ethnic Kuruba tribesmen of the region. We started early, and what a stunning drive through the forests from Sulthan Bathery to Kuruba. Absolutely, one of the best drives ever in India, and so green! It was a disappointment though, to reach Kuruba and find that the island was closed. Looking at the water swell, I thought it was a better idea to not cross these waters with the bamboo rafts which ferry you. Take a look
And so we started back. Said our byes to the jungles, spent some time soaking the sun in sunflower fields (near Nanjangud) and reached Bangalore by the evening. Fantastic roads, amazing views, clean and cool and great green scenery everywhere. I promise, I’ll be back.
How to go to Wayanad from Bangalore
Best way to reach Wayanad is by road. Route is Bangalore – Mysore – Najangud – Gundlupet – Sulthan Bathery – Wayanad
Wayanad is 260km from Bangalore, a 6 hour drive inclusive of a breakfast / snack break. Roads are amazing till you reach Sulthan Bathery; they are still very good in Kerala, but entire Kerala is made up of 2 lane roads, mostly well kept. Start early morning from Bangalore (6am) to beat the morning traffic to Mysore over the weekends. Start from Wayanad around 4pm and you will mostly beat the inbound traffic to Bangalore.
Ramnagar, Channapatna, Mandya, Nanjangud – all have nice joints to sit down for a break.
Places to stay in Wayanad
Plenty of places to stay within Wayanad (and Vythiri – which is 30km from Kalpetta). Here are a few recommended ones
- Vythiri Resorts
- Greenex Farms
- Grassroots Wayanad
- Marmalade Springs
- Banasura Hill Resort
Wayanad- Points of Interest
- Chembra Peak
- Banasura Sagar Dam
- Eddakal Caves
- Meenmuty Falls
- Soojipara Falls
- Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
- Lakhidi View Point
Still thinking ? Wayanad can be adhoc planned any day and just set off. Go enjoy!