Amazing trip – Waynad – Day 3

24th April, 2011
After a good breakfast we headed to Phantom Rock.

Phantom Rock
We had to pass the rubber plantation to reach the phantom rock. We admired rubber trickled down and got collected. I saw a snake free in the wild for the first time in my life. I am not sure which snake it was but it disappeared quickly.
When we reached the Phantom Rock it turned out to be a googly :-). The rock was supposed to look like Phantom's skull, but it just looked liked another rock. Still, we pictured the rock from different angles J.

Rubber being collected

Phantom Rock

Wayanad heritage museum
We stopped by at the heritage museum. What struk me were the burial stones. Burial stones dated back to about 1000 years. They had three sections - bottom section told how the person died, second section showed how angels took the soul, third section shows the soul residing with either Shiva or Krishna. There were pottery pieces, weapons and other artifacts retrieved by excavations or from the tribals.

Burial Stone at the Muesum

Edakkal Caves 
We reached the Edakkal caves at about 11 am. The Qualis couldn't go close to the caves as the road was broken in between. So we had to trek. It was sunny, unlike the previous day when the weather was pleasant and cool. The roads leading to the caves were all at 60 / 75 degrees so ascend was pretty difficult. There was a huge crowd when we reached the caves. They delayed issuing the tickets by about 30 minutes because there was a huge crowd already inside the caves. Once we got our tickets we began the ascend. There were about 300 steps and some tricky trekking stretch areas before we reached the caves.

Hoarding from the ASI

Ascend to the caves

Again at the entrance of the caves, we had to wait, so that some people come out of the cave.
People coming out of the Cave
The caves are divided into lower and upper caves. The lower cave wasn't too huge and we didn't find any inscriptions there. The upper cave had lots of pictorial carvings and some inscriptions. They belong to Neolithic period of the Late Stone Age and date from about 1000BC. The pictorial carvings had wheels, human forms, some kind of animals, and one particular carving looked like lord Narashima. It looked very interesting and wondered what they all meant.

Cave View
Carvings in cave

Carvings in cave

We headed downwards and had good lunch at one of the hotels there. Food was hot and good, all of us being very tired and hungry enjoyed every morsel of it.

From here we tried to reach Thovarimala, which had rocks with inscriptions, but couldn't find our way to that place.

We headed back to Bangalore and by the time everyone reached Bangalore it was 12 am. 

Amazing trip – Waynad – Day 2

23rd April, 2011
We started from our resort at about 8:00 am, had breakfast and even got our lunch packed; we had already learnt that getting food around wasn't easy, though it was a tourist spot. We had appam, which looked like our rice shavige. Packed Pooris and headed for Pookot lake.

Pookut lake
Pookut lakeis a typical honeymoon destination kind of place, a park with a small lake, surrounded by lush green forset, boating in the lake, an aquarium and some stores for shopping. Suvarana and me took one pedal boat, Joe and Nawnit took another. We pedaled around the beautiful lake. The aquarium had about some 10 - 15 different kinds of fish and wasn't really interesting.

Pookut lake

Lakkidi View point
We headed to a view point "Lakkidi". The day was misty and we could really see anything in the valley. But having mist blow thorugh us and seeing some parts of the valley was interesting by itself.

View Point - covered with mist

Chain Tree

We headed to Kanthapara Falls, on the way we stopped at the "Chain tree". There is a huge chain tied to the tree, and it just made no sense to us. Local legend says that an Adivasi youth guided a British officer through Waynad. The British officer in order to take the credit of discovery, killed the Adivasi youth. This youth's soul couldn't rest in peace, and began to haunt the subsequent travelers. The local priest then captured the soul and locked it up in that tree and tied a chain.  More than the tree it was the legend that made it intresting.

Chain tree

Kanthanpara waterfalls
Kanthanpara falls is about 23 kms from Kalpetta. It is situated in midst of an estate. We could reach the spot without much hassles. The fall looked very good. Best part was the place wasn't crowded and there was enough place for us to wade through the water and watch the waterfall. A leeched dared to go up Kavi's leg and bite her :-). But, she was quick enough to remove it. One leech bit Nawnit too, but he never realized it till end of the day.

Kanthapara Waterfalls

Meenmutty Falls
From Kanthapara we headed to Meenmutty falls, which was about 9 kms from Kanthapara falls. Entry ticket is 300 Rs for 10 people. We went in, and in one of the sheds had our quick lunch. To reach the falls we had to do an interesting trek almost 2 kms of which about 1 km is a hard trek. The 1km was treacherous, steep, and path just about 3 feet wide, slippery at place, any mistake would have us at the bottom of the jungle. We took help of rocks, tree roots to descend / ascend. Some ropes were tied to help us trek. At places, I literally felt I was doing mountaineering with a rope.
Tough trek to meenmutty falls

Rocky terrain around meenmutty falls

 The whole experience was exlerating, and beyond description of words.  We spent about 15 minutes at the falls and started our journey upwards. Weather was very cloudy and we all were scared that if it starts raining we will neve be able to climb back. Ascend seemed much easier. As we reached the top, it started raining and we were so glad that we had returned.
We headed back to the resort, rested and had a dinner at a nearby hotel.

Meenmutty Falls

Somethings To do / not do at Meenmutty
1. Go with good pair of shoes and tight clothing.
2. Go during early part of the day when it is not hot. So you can spend some time and rest at the falls.
3. Avoid this place if it rains
4. Avoid kids below 10 years and adults above 60 years.
5. Avoid if person has any aliment like backache, knee pain or any heart related.

Amazing trip – Waynad – Day 1

21 April, 2011
All I knew was, I am going to Waynad for three days, and I didn't check the itenary Kavi had sent. I just saw the list of items need to be taken and the time of pick up and was all set.

22nd April, 2011
Kavi, Anitha and Joe picked me from my home at 5:45 am. We then picked Suvarna and Nawnit and were off towards Waynad!!
The party!

We crossed Mysore and entered Bandipur. Weather was amazing, and I just loved the drive. We stopped on a way to relish the nature, also saw a deer, rooster and some elephants.

River in Bandipur

 Elephant at Bandipur forest

Nature at Bandipur
We stopped at the check post, to enter Kerala. There was a beautiful field and sheds right across the road
and whole thing looked like “Dil hai ki behain hai…..” song scene from "Taal" movie.

Taal Scene - Border of Waynad
As we headed to get some snaps, it started pouring. We took shelther under the sheds and it was real fun :-). When rain subsided, we took snaps and watched nature.

After the check post we stopped for the Ponkuzhi river and Shrirama temple at around 1pm. Temple was closed by 12 pm, so we went around and saw how the temple was built.

SriRama Temple

Ponkuzhi river

We stopped at the Battery in Sultan Bathery. It was formerly a jain temple, which was converted into a battery by Tipu Sultan. The temple doesn't have the idol nor any great carvings or architecture. The place has historical importance, otherwise nothing much to see there.
We got delayed by rain and at the checkpost. So, by the time we checked in to Wynd Valley Resort, Kalpetta, it was already 3:30 pm. So we couldn't visit the Banasura sagar dam. Instead we visited the Karapuzha earth dam.


Karapuzha earth dam
Sun was setting when we reached the place. The combination of the orange sun, greenery and water made the whole place look like a painter's paradise.
God's painting at Karapuzha Dam

We headed back to the hotel and had a delicious dinner - Appam and Veg kurama at a nearby hotel.  

My First earnings

"First earning", this conjures many old memories in everyone's mind, isn't it.  Well!! My first earning was 5 Rupees and it was when I was in either 5 or 6th or 7th standard, can't exactly recall the year.
Every summer vacation we would go to my mother's native Channarayapatna. My mom's parents, brothers and one of her sister lived there. My aunty had a grocery shop there. To attract kids to the shop she would have a lottery chart.

What is a lottery chart?? Well, it would be some 500 of white peppermints, similar to polo (but without a hole :-), wrapped in colour paper and stuck on the chart sheet in attractive patterns. Off the 500 peppermints about 50 of them would have a number behind it. The chart sheet would be hung in front of the shop; kids would be allowed to pick a peppermint after paying 50 paisa. If there happened to be a number then the kid would get a prize, else no.

When I went for vacation that year, I offered to make a lottery chart because it looked interesting, not that I wanted to earn something. I made a girl with orange skirt and red top on the chart with about 500 pepper mints. I had to cut the paper to small squares of 1 x 1 inch. Then wrap each peppermint and stick on the chart paper. This entire effort took about a week. Once done, and handed it over to my aunty, she gave me a 5 Rupee note for my effort.

I was jubilant, too happy to see my first earnings. I can still recall singing on the road with a 5 rupee note in my hand and smiling away to glory.
What I did with that 5 rupee, I just can't recall :-(.