As the saying goes “It’s all about the person who is riding the machine.”, it is the other way in my terms, “Spend equal time on setting up the machine that adds LIFE to your days”, the confidence you get on riding few kilometers is more important than anything else to complete a journey and that confidence needs perfect engineers, am happy to have found them who understands what I need the bike to deliver.
Meet the men behind the success of all my trips (Shankar and Laxman from Arunagiri TVS), starting from 2018 to till date, before and after a trip my Apache goes for screening to them.
I have to give it to these guys as whenever I go to them and say “This bike is going on a long trip the upcoming weekend”, their expertise comes into play. Once again thanking Shankar and Laxman for all the support in setting up my Apache. Nevertheless to mention Mathu (Ashwa TVS) from 2016 to end of 2017, oh my goodness, the blog post of 2017 speaks the rest.
Now lets get into the trip.
A trip coming out from no-where. Third trip of 2019 and this time it’s in bike. Though Wayanad was in the 2019 bucket-list, never expected it to be this earlier.
There’s nothing quite like taking to the open highway in summer and no doubts Wayanad is NOT the destination to visit during summer season. Most of the tourist places remains dry and closed between Mar – May due to forest fire. Still there remain few spots in Wayanad which can make a stand out even during the summer. So this blog is all about Wayanad district.
The crew: From left Prashant, Krishna and me (KK)
- Mysuru – Nagarhole (5 am – 6 pm) – Wayanad (Taken)
- Mysuru – Gundulpet – Bandipur (5 am – 6 pm) – Wayanad (Recommended)
- Mysuru – Hunsur – Thithimathi – Wayanad
- Riding in summer is not that easy, both for the rider as well as the machine. Engines tends to get heated soon affecting the viscosity of the oil, so make sure to re-fill fresh set of oil before a long trip.
- Keep yourself hydrated, this keeps away the drowsiness, tiredness.
- Check post to enter Nagarhole and Bandipur closes at 6 pm, so plan accordingly.
- Keep a low profile while riding through forest, remember not to honk or stop. We are just a passerby.
- When riding at night/through complete darkness and you are in a group, make sure biker leading has a low beam and biker behind has a high beam, this increases the range for the rider to drive easily. When riding through curves/ghat sections, it is recommended that the rider behind toggles between low and high beam, by this way riders can be aware of the upcoming corners way ahead instead of getting into panic with just few meters to take the corner.
- Make sure you’re aware of the conditions of your vehicle, tyre pressure, fuel level.
5:30 It was a late start, and crossing half the distance before sun comes up diminished the moment when we reached 100 km mark. It’s going to be a uncomfortable ride from Mysuru, as the temperature was too high, but thanks to coconut shops on the way that kept us hydrated. One could take two routes to Wayanad from Mysuru, via Nagarhole wildlife or Bandipur wildlife, all that matters is the distance.
Let’s read about Wayanad, and best possible options for stay and tourist spots.
Wayanad named as the green paradise of Kerala is nestled among the mountains of Western ghats proving to be enchanting with varied wildlife and culture. Wayanad hills is contiguous to Mudumalai forest in Tamilnadu, Bandipur forest and Nagarhole forest in Karnataka forming a vast land mass for the wildlife to move around in their own natural adobe.
Wayanad District Map
Places to visit in Wayanad
Travelling via Mysuru – Gundulpet – Bandipur then the best available stay option will be at Kalpetta or Vythiri (homestay and OYO rooms are available) and the following are the nearby spots to visit,
- Muthunga wildlife sanctuary
- Sultan bathery
- Edakkal caves
- Karapuzha dam
- Soochipara falls
- Chembara peak
- Pookode lake
- Ooty route adjoins from Kalpetta
Travelling via Mysuru – Nagarhole then the best available stay option will be at Mananthvady or kurvadweep (homestay and OYO are available)
We stayed at Mananthvady (White fort OYO) and places to visit
- Balle elephant camp
- Kurumbalakotta peak, best for sunrise and sunset view point. Trek distance of 2.5 (~5 km two way) km.
- Meenmutty waterfalls
- Banasura dam
- Thrissillery temple
- Tholpetty wildlife sanctuary
- Pazhassi Raja tomb
- Thalasery and kannur route adjoins from Mananthvady
There could be nothing more to ask for than riding through the forest, it is a 40 km stretch – at halfway point lies the Kerala – Karnataka border. The scene could have not been similar to that of monsoon season but still it was justified, rays of light fell through the canopy of trees, the fresh air free from pollution, elephants 🐘 and deer 🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌 grazing along the greenery with no fear of anything. Children splashing the water and fishing in their mother saree in the pond remembered the golden old days ❤ The wind just brought in scent of pine needles to our nostrils as we sped along in our bikes. Witnessing the tires disrupting the fallen leaves leaving them swirling behind and yellowish trunks of the trees standing tall with leafless branches among them stood a fully grown tree in dazzling green and orange leaves, it was like witnessing Nagarhole in disguise, summers are Halloween days in Nagarhole
Spot the elephant 😝👇🏼
Safari too is available at Nagarhole, the trails prove them. This can be enquired at Balle forest office.
14:00 Stopped by a shop for a snack and that’s where we came across Ziyad, who was helpful in guiding us on the place to stay and mentioned about Kurumbalakotta – sunrise spot and other destinations in Wayanad, he informed that Chembra peak is closed due to forest fire (this peak was the prime spot for our visit 😠). Information mentioned above are the reverse KT from him 😄
15:00 Slowly riding through the forest, reached Mananthavady, surfing OYO for a stay, confirming the stay at White Fort , would rate it , had our lunch, roamed around Mananthavady in the evening trying out local cuisine, planning for day 2 and rested ourselves to make it early for the sunrise spot.
The Sunrise Trek
4:00 We all were in a deep sleep, as our alarm snoozed for the third time, but it was just a 10 minute delay to what we have planned. Kurumbalakotta was a 30 minute drive from our place.
Note: There are two ways to reach the top, one is to trek 4 kms and other way can be reached by vehicles itself. There were equal crowd for both. We trekked all our way to the top.
5:40 Reached the trekking spot, where a person guided for the parking space, still it was filled with darkness, needed to switch on our mobile torch to settle things at the parking. Ziyad mentioned about the sunrise timings between 6:30 to 6:45, it was quarter till 6, so we had quite a bit of breathing time to reach the cliff.
Trek Distance: ~5 KM (up and down)
Trek Difficulty: Average to Difficult
Best time to Visit: Summer and Post Monsoon (Avoid during Monsoon season)
It is mix of hike and walk, you may also come across a point where you will stand in front of a stretch that is inclined at 80 degree 😱, this one is a test for your stamina. You might feel you have reached the top, but looking ahead stands another stretch that seems to be more challenging than the one you had taken earlier. It took us 40 minutes to reach the top, and the view that stood in front of us made us feel the worthiness of the trek. It felt like we were standing tall, above the clouds. The clouds were separating the land below and the upper sky, mesmerizing.
Early morning sunrise are always special. You often forget what it’s like to wake up early and just sit back and enjoy the moment of a fresh start of the day. The only thing I saw were the bright orange sun rays passing through the white clouds offering beautiful light. It was a satisfying moment.
9:00 The trek back started, 9:30 we were at the place where we had parked our bikes, took few photos that would suit for the crew and off we started for Meenmutty Waterfalls. From this point it was a complete spoiler 😒
11:00 Reached Meenmutty waterfalls, it was closed due to the forest fire a week back and will not be opened until the end of may, rode back to Banasura Dam, again disappointment stuck at the gates, as it was closed on a local bandh demanding increase in salary by the officials. Checked with people of the village and found out the bandh was declared just a day before. Also inquired on other place to visit nearby, again to our disappointment just to hear the word most of the tourist spot are closed due to the district bandh (we were like why during our visit?)
Wayanad is best to visit during the months of July to January. Its advisable to avoid during summer as natural calamities like forest fire will ruin the plans. We will ride back to Wayanad again.
Our next stop Mysuru, 3 hours drive, visit Mysuru Palace at 19:00 and to rest was our plan, being Sunday the bright gold lighting makes the palace shine like a diamond. Only on Saturday and Sunday the palace will be lightened up between 19:00 and 20:00, no need tickets for witnessing it. Mysuru palace doesn’t need any introduction,
And the chariot ride around the palace, few photoshoot, walk around Mysuru streets before ending our day 😜
Weekend well spent. Completing third ride of 2019 at 644 KM, 🏍 leads 2 trips to 1 🚙. It is just the starting week of March but it feels like May, summer this year is very bad at Karnataka. Lot more trips to come, it all depends on the weather as to when the trips are going to happen 😅, until then stay tuned and enjoy reading.