A Road Trip From Bengaluru To Wayanad, Kerala
Are you looking for the best road trip experience while in Bengaluru? And that too from one state to another which only takes five to six hours to reach? I would suggest you take a road trip from Bengaluru to Wayanad, Kerala.
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One of the prominent reasons to choose Wayanad is that it shares its border with Karnataka and is easily accessible via National and State Highways.Though every traveller has his or her own preferences, if you love to visit places adorned with natural beauty, then Wayanad is the place to go.
Wayanad is a hill station and one of Kerala’s least populous districts. The name Wayanad has been derived from the expression vayal nadu - the village of paddy fields. Embellished with misty mountains, splendid forests, pristine rivers and cascading waterfalls Wayanad is also home to a few wildlife sanctuaries, tall hills and tea estates.
Wayanad not only offers visual sights, but it also has some historical stories to tell. Pictorial carvings, on the walls of the Edakkal caves, are the archaeological evidence of its historical background since the Neolithic and Mesolithic ages. Ancient temples enclosed with mountains and forests surely adds more charm to this region.
Our Road Trip to Wayanad
Like all our road trips in past (read here), we started early in the morning from Bengaluru, just to avoid the traffic on the Bangalore – Mysore Road. We took the route of Kanakpura to Wayanad with NH 209 and 212. The route to Wayanad is scenic and I would suggest driving your own car to enjoy this scenic beauty.
Our target was to reach our pre-booked resort before night. The resort that we booked was in Kalpetta - a small town in Wayanad. Although during the first half of the six-hour drive, I did enjoy the scenic route the moment we entered the Wayanad district I was in awe of its natural beauty - greenery everywhere.
Our Stay at Planet Green Plantation Resort
As the saying goes, when you are on a vacation and visiting a new place then your accommodation really matters. Finding a place that not only offers the best hospitality but is also situated in an amazing location is pure bliss. And to top it, if they offer lip-smacking delicacies then what else one can ask for a memorable vacation!
Our resort, Planet Green Plantation Resorts in Wayanad is nestled in the lap of Majestic Chembra Peak and located in the Kalpetta region. This resort has the best view from all the rooms of Mount Chembra, the highest peak of Wayanad. The resort has a small entry and a few parking slots for bikers and for one or two cars. Once you enter the resort, the first thing that attracts you is the chirping of birds while you climb the stairs to reach the reception area. I realized that they have a small bird area where they kept more than 100 birds.
The next thing that impressed me was their food. As they had few guests to cater they cooked personalized meals for us right from breakfast to dinner. No wonder why they say that the people of Kerala really know how to welcome and take care of their guests.
1980’s A Nostalgic Restaurant
Photo (c) Facebook
If you are visiting Wayanad and staying near Kalpetta then there is one restaurant located at the Kalpetta Bye Pass Road that I would absolutely recommend - the 1980’s A Nostalgic Restaurant.
What is so special about this restaurant? This restaurant is set up in an old Kerala house which gives it a very special ambience and brings back the memories of yesteryear. Photographs of film stars and famous personalities hang on the walls at the entrance, telling the stories of the popularity of this place among locals and tourists.
The menu is written on the wall, just like the good old days. If you are a tourist then the staff will be too glad to help you and recommend their specialities. Although the food is simple, it’s absolutely delicious! I had my best Kerala Thali over there after having my worst experience in an overrated restaurant. I would say that this was the best place for us to have authentic Kerala meals with great service and real value for money.
Banasura Sagar Dam
Banasura Sagar dam across the Karamanathodu River, a tributary of River Kabini, in Kalpetta, is considered to be the largest earth dam in India and the second largest in Asia. It’s a very nice picturesque place to visit in Wayanad. One of the beautiful sights here is the set of islands in the dam’s reservoir, which was formed when the reservoir submerged the surrounding areas during monsoon season. These islands with the Banasura hills in the background are a visual treat for visitors.
They have a paid car parking area near the entrance. You can also choose a vehicle to go to the top for a small fee. We chose to walk that was pretty easy and we had to take a few steps to reach the top. The place is not just famous for visual beauty, it also offers several fun activities to enjoy with your family.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
Wayanad is also famous for its wildlife sanctuaries. We visited Tholpetty range Wildlife Sanctuary as it was the closest one from our resort. This was again a beautiful destination located 20 km east of Mananthavady on the Kodagu Road. Drive to that sanctuary from our resort was itself a good experience for us.
After reaching there I felt like I was in some village in Kerala. They have well maintained and clean restrooms outside the Sanctuary and fruits shops on the other side of the road. We booked our Jeep for Safari and they allocate jeeps according to the number of visitors that day. Luckily, we got a separate jeep for us. All the Jeeps left almost at the same time. I think they follow some rules for the safety of visitors.
The road inside the jungle is muddy and super bumpy. We did not spot any wild animals except some deer and animal footsteps. But going deep in the dense forest was itself an amazing experience for us and for my 5 year old kid.
After the wildlife safari, we decided to visit Thirunelli Temple. The temple, surrounded by beautiful hills and forests, is located 32 km away from Mananthavady.
The temple is also known as Sahyamala Kshetram and Kashi of South.
Thirunelli temple is constructed as per ancient temple architecture and is dedicated to Lord Maha Vishnu. We had to take a few steps to reach the temple but it was worth it. We visited this temple during the evening visiting hours. The best part of this temple visit was the calm and peaceful surroundings covered with lush green forest. Though the temple is maintained very well, some ruins clearly show some history of this place.
While on our way back we also came across a huge elephant right in the middle of the road. We were lucky that it was just an elephant as it was almost night while we were passing by the road through the forest.
Soochipara Falls, also known as Sentinel Rock Waterfalls is a three-tiered waterfall situated in Vellarimala, Wayanad. The fall is surrounded by dense green forests and is known as one of the best waterfalls in Wayanad. The drive to the waterfall was amazing with scenic views of some of the best tea estates in Wayanad.
The waterfall lies amongst the most eco-friendly spots, the tourists are not allowed to carry plastic bags or any such object which can mess up the surroundings. At the entry point of the waterfall, guards will check if the tourists are carrying any plastic or not.
After parking our car in the parking area near the entry point we had to trek for about 2 kilometres to reach the fall. There are about 70 steps of stairs which we had to climb down to reach the waterfall. Trekking was easy and took us about 30 minutes. It was a treat for eyes to see the milky white stream of water making its way to the pool by passing through the rocky cliffs and clinging trees. We stayed near the fall for about 1 hour. Do not forget to pack your swimming costume if you really want to enjoy the fall.
On our last day in Wayanad, we visited the Edakkal cave. The name ‘Edakkal’ literally means ‘a stone in-between’, and is famous for its pictorial carvings. We reached the lower part of the Ambukutty hills and from there we had to climb the hills to reach the caves. It took around 45 minutes to climb the hill and reach the cave.
This is a must-visit place because it is the only known place in India with stone-age carvings. You also get to see carvings belonging to the Neolithic and Mesolithic ages in these caves. Along with these pictorial carvings, we also spotted Tamil and Brahmi Script in Edakkal caves.
Wayanad is one of the picturesque hill stations in Kerala with a lot of attractions for everyone. It’s a perfect place to unwind from the day-to-day stress of life and for a relaxing family holiday. We enjoyed scenic beauty, visit an ancient temple, carvings and paintings in the caves. A safari through the deep green forest was a thrilling experience for us. On top of that, we had the best authentic Kerala food there.
According to my experience, Wayanad is a perfect destination for nature lovers, photographers, adventures, trekkers, history lovers and a family holiday.
Let me know
Have you ever been to Wayanad before? If yes, then share your experience with me.