For the Christmas vacations of 2014, we visited nearby places of Bangalore. Initially we had plans to visit Goa again so as to enjoy the beaches with the kid, but considering the crowd of Goa in December and everything else like flights and hotels having higher rates, we
skipped postponed it for a while.
The nearest weekend destinations which we had not visited was Vythiri, Wayanad which had got very good reviews. We planned to include Mysore zoo or any nearby wildlife sanctuary, so as to show animals for our child, Nayana. The Bylakuppe monastery which we visited years ago was also a choice as a photography destination, but we couldn’t get any hotels at the last moment nearby Madikeri or Coorg. Though, we did stumble across an off-beat destination, Kutta.
We started on Wednesday, 24th December early morning and reached back night on Monday, 29th December, 2014.The first two days were at Wayanad and remaining 3 days at Kutta. Unfortunately, we were too late to get any good resort accomodation in Wayanad and hence had to suffice with Wayanad Cliff Apartments, a budget hotel. For Kutta, we stayed at Stay Simple Bison Manor for 3 nights.
Started at around 6.10am, we reached Kamat Upachar after 7.30am. After breakfast stop of one hour,we started heading towards Mysore zoo and reached there around 11am. Instead of taking the electric motor ride, we walked the whole 3km inside Mysore zoo, showing the kid animals and taking pictures. Since we didn’t take a zoom lens, the pictures were all touristy.
The saving grace was the Pelicans, which were very close enough to us to have a good view. Our poor kiddo was tired and hungry after seeing half of the animals, and we had to hurry up, covering the remaining distance to the exit, though attempting to show her all and make use of the visit. Bangalore has Bannerghatta National Park, but the properly maintained Mysore zoo with all the markings and walkway was way better.
We left the restaurant at 3pm, and started to Wayanad. The road was narrow and traffic being moderate, we could reach our hotel at around 5.40pm. After the long walk and drive, we decided to remain indoors and take rest through the night.
After scouting all the web for places to visit in Wayanad the previous night(result of not planning much early), we decided to visit the easiest one first. After a late breakfast, we started at around 10am for the day.
Banasura Sagar Dam is supposedly the largest earth dam in India. We reached there at around 11am. From the entrance, we need to walk around 1.6km to reach the main boating place.
We did not wanted to take the speed boat and hence decided we would not go till the end. After attempting to shoot some landscapes, we came back.
On the suggestion of the hotel receptionist, we also visited a nearby Meenmutti waterfalls (near to Banasura Dam) , which is supposedly different from the famous Meenmutti waterfalls of Wayanad (nearby Soochippara waterfalls).
The Meenmutti waterfalls was surrounded by a village, and the path was hilly terrain. Though we were apprehensive of the trek, we ventured till one-fourth and were stumbled with huge rocks. The remaining trek was to be carried out with help of ropes on rocky terrain. Since it was hard with a kid in one hand, we decided to come back. The small stream of water in between the rocks, which is visible from near the entrance, was a good location to do the milky waterfall stream photography.
We had a very late lunch at Hotel Udupi near Kalpetta. Meals were very cheap for Rs.40. After lunch, we moved to Soochippara waterfalls, which is the famous waterfalls of Wayanad. We reached just before the closing time, 5pm. The trek is 2km long, with proper paths and steps for three-fourths of the journey, with railing support for the last few steep steps of rock.
The place was very crowded, being a Christmas holiday. Somehow, I couldn’t get to like this waterfalls, maybe owing to the crowd and the dry landscape around it. The rocks were slippery, and an elderly man had a bad knock on the left arm after he slipped.
Since the sun had set, we returned to the hotel, after stopping at the Woodlands hotel for dinner.
After checking out from Wayanad Cliff Apartments, we finished off Wayanad by visiting the Lakkidi view point and Pookote Lake. Due to some employee flash strike, for which Kerala is famous for, Pookote Lake was closed for visitors that day.
Hence we moved on towards Kutta, and reached at our resort, Bison Manor Resorts, for lunch. The resort is near to the Kutta bus stand, but 1.5kms inside coffee plantations, with bad roads in between. There were no proper boards to guide us inside the plantations, and were shocked at the thought of travelling daily to and fro through that road.
At the hotel,there were initial hiccups, as the reception manager was not expecting us that day. After a small confusion, we were allotted the rooms, and we waited for lunch to be served. It took exactly one hour from our arrival for the lunch to be served. We then later understood that the delay in meal timings was a usual routine at this resort. Nevertheless, the north indian food served was very tasty.
The resort is an old estate bungalow converted to 8 rooms resort. There was an open library, pool table, table tennis table, and other indoor games, and a wide screen TV with DVD’s. By evening, the rest of the occupants also came and the bonfire was lit. The evenings were very chilly.
We decided to relax for the rest of the day and soak in the soothing Kutta atmosphere.