The very title here is an indication of what this post is going to be about. Yes it was my first ever bike trip. Another enduring, animated, serene and blissful experience to the wish list.
60..65..70..engines stroking 3000 rpm...the bikes roaring on the dark roads; zooming past the wide paths me, Shreyas and Anuj set off on our bike trip to Wayanad. Dinner on the way on
Mysore road at Kamat's and a night halt at Hotel Mayura in Srirangapatinam, just enough to accomodate three of us in a room but at 450 bucks was worth, considering the time for which we had to halt. We freshned up in the morning, a cup of tea and we started off at 6 am to Wayanad, Via Nanjangud, Gundulpet, Bandipur. It took us no less than 3 hours to reach Wayanad that too with pit stops on the way to enjoy the drive.
Once we crossed Gundulpet, I felt like I have entered into a different world altogether. I saw stretches of pink, orange, white - the eye catching sight of marigold flowers was astonishing. After Gundulpet, the roads narrow, enough to accommodate just two heavy vehicles. On both the sides you would lose sight of the surroundings as the trees become denser at every passe. The Bandipur Tiger reserve is one of the biggest reserves in India. It has a good tiger density. It is surrounded by four other national parks, totaling a area of more than 8000 sqkm. Too much of facts..So here we were driving through this bio reserve, a sensation in the truest sense. We were lucky to sight peacocks, deers and monkeys. As we moved closer to the Kerala border, the bamboo trees on both sides of the road, made a gate like formation as though waiting to welcome us.
We touched the Kerala border with a board reading 'Kerala State Welcomes You -NH 212". We were now hardly about 30 km from Wayanad. We were still travelling through the dense forests but now a part of Kerala and it was called Muthunga Wildlife Sanctuary.We reached Wayanad, freshned up, planned our trip in consultation with the guys in the reception at the hotel. We had decided to cover three places for the day. After a good lunch, we started off for Suchipura Falls.
Suchipura Falls was about 40 km from the place where we had stayed. It
was again a joyous ride through the mountainous area and the enchanting tea estates sprinkled with the drizzling rains. The very sight of these tea estates leaves an indelible impression on the mind. I still feel the freshness of the place when I write this today. We reached Suchipura falls. The entrance to this place was so narrow that at a time only one bus could go. I still wonder how these buses managed to come here, 'Salaam' to the drivers who drive in such tough conditions. The whole place
was surrounded by mountains and the dense clouds were settling over these mountains. We climbed down to the falls and it was .....I am speechless. Awesomeness and indeed this was the sight which I had never ever witnessed in my life.It seemed as though the gravitational pull of the earth was not normal here. Water was gushing and the very force of it hitting the boulders around that area spilled the water on us. I just wanted to stay there for some more time but we had to finish other places too. From here we went to Pukada Lake. This was a small lake with boating. However, only 2 boats were operational because of the shortage of water jackets. We still enjoyed the place for the Kerala banana chips and some hot Bread Omlette. From there we went to the View Point. It is the tallest point in Wayanad and the end of Wayanad district and beginning of Kozhikode district. At this point we were 55 km off Kozhikode. Well as regards the View Point, this was again unique.
You could see caps all around, curves and bends and vehicles running on them, size no more than an ant. From there on we went to see a place called Chain tree. Legend has that there was a Britisher who tied up a Soul or Atma (as they call it in Hindi) to this tree with a chain so that it did not
trouble him. Wonder how true this is? When I was reading about this place, it was like a tale. From there on we grabbed a tea and then proceeded on our way back. We reached Wayanad and then decided to grab a drink at the nearby Prince hotel as our hotel did not serve drinks. We went to this place but it was shoddy and decided to stick to the stuff we had carried. 3 pegs of Blenders Pride and a deep sleep after a long and little tiring drive throughout the day. This was our day 1 in Wayanad.
Next day we decided to go to Kuruvu Island. There was a confusion whether this was open or not. After talking to people and nobody being certain about it, we decided to drive down to Kuruva Island. It was again a 40 km drive. We drove down and this time again the experience was different. I wonder sometimes how could things be so different within a stretch of a few kilometers.Well we reached Kuruvu Dweep to find out that the road to reach this place was under construction and this place was closed. We had to come back. But no regrets as we had thoroughly enjoyed our drive through the dense jungles of Wayanad.
We packed our bags, vacated the rooms and after a light lunch, started on our way back at 3 pm. Now was the actual tiresome part and boring too. Tiresome because we would have to drive continuously and boring because we were getting back to our routine. But we were determined. We drove with an hourly break. On our way back we had our dinner at Kamat. We had the traditional Kannadiga meals which was unique again. Jowar Roti with Baigan Sabji, a combination which I had after a long time. Rains played a spoilt sport at this moment when we left from Kamat. The visibility had come down and I drove with a great difficulty and managed to reach back Bangalore.
Truely Kerala is called Gods Country. You need to drive through the landscapes, see as far as your eyes can stretch, hear the sounds of the jungles and feel it in your nerves.... Here is a gist of the trip expressed by an amateur poet....
Engines stroking and the bikes roaring
With a feeling of gaiety we sparked off on our bon voyage
Driving on the wide roads away from the city traffic
Was a bliss of its sorts
The morning dawned turning off the dark night
The shades of colors becoming prominent with every kilometers drive
Orange, Pink and White were the shades of Marigold
Stretching a span till the eyes could see, they were all over
The roads narrowed and the jungles widened
The forests only became denser and colder
The sight of peacocks and deer at a point blank range was adorable
The silence of this place was very audible
The bamboo trees were umpteen in numbers
Their branches creating a labyrinth as though waiting just to welcome
The destination was beckoning
But felt like the journey should never come to an ultimatum
Every passe was a unique panorama
From thick dense forests to tea estates
To waterfalls to a valley
The vista of Gods Own Country was a mesmerizing story...