Day 3 – Touching Wayanad
Today was the last day of our year end trip. Since our guest house was at the border of Kodagu and was near to the popular tourist spot Wayanad (Kerala), we had decided to visit two places (Thirunelli temple and Banasura Sagar Dam) in Wayanad. Kerala being one of my most favorite places, I was highly excited about our today’s plan.
We checked out of Coorg guest house at 9 AM and bid farewell to the amazing people of the guest house. Our first destination for the day was Iruppu falls which was only 6 km from our guest house.
- Timings – 8 AM to 5 PM
- Entrance fee – 50 Rs/person
- Parking fee – 10 Rs (for car)
Iruppu falls is located in the Brahmagiri range bordering the Wayanad district. The road to Iruppu falls was as amazing as the other roads of Coorg. On both sides of the roads, there were coffee estates. Both of us envied the peaceful life lead by the people there. At around 9.20 AM, we reached the parking lot of Iruppu falls. The entrance ticket is issued at the parking lot itself. The entrance fee was 50 Rs/person which we felt too high for a nature’s own creation. We need to walk through the Brahmagiri forest range for about 20 mins to get the amazing view of Iruppu falls. Since it was early in the morning, the crowd was less which made this nature walk a very pleasant one for us.
We were expecting very less water in the falls and were getting ready for the disappointment. But, when we were nearing the falls, we were surprised to see enough water in the falls. The falls was more amazing than we expected. The huge waterfall amidst the dense green Brahmagiri forest was a magical sight for us. We spent more than an hour there trying to capture the beauty in our cameras.
Thirunelli Temple (Wayanad, Kerala)
- Timings – 5.30 AM to 12 PM and 5.30 PM to 8 PM
After Iruppu falls, we bid farewell to our very own Karnataka state and proceeded towards Thirunelli temple which is in Wayanad district of Kerala state. The drive from Iruppu to Thirunelli was overwhelming for us. We were driving through the curvy roads amidst huge coffee estates. Once we entered Wayanad, the terrain changed to a forest route. This road was highly picturesque. Both sides of the beautiful curvy ghat roads, there was dense green forest. Less traffic on the road made the drive even more attractive. It took us around 1 hr to reach Thirunelli from Iruppu falls.
Thirunelli temple is dedicated to Lord Maha Vishnu. This is a very ancient temple. It is considered to be more than 1,000 years old. It is also believed that Lord Brahma himself installed the Maha Vishnu idol in this temple. The papanashini river flowing near the temple is believed to wash away all the sins, so many pilgrims visit this place to perform ritual for ancestors.
The temple looks extremely old. The huge mountains and dense forests nearby will make you soak in the beauty of mother nature. There are lot of shops near the temple selling Kerala’s traditional souvenirs. After spending some time in these shops, we left this beautiful place around 12.30 PM.
On our way to Thirunelli temple, we had seen a beautiful KTDC hotel called Tamarind Thirunelli. We wanted to have lunch at this hotel after the temple visit. But, to our bad luck, when we visited this hotel at 12.30 PM, the lunch was not ready and we decided to have lunch on the way to our next destination, Banasura which is around 1.5 hrs drive from Thirunelli.
Banasura Sagar Dam (Wayanad, Kerala)
- Timings – 8.30 AM to 5.45 PM
- Entrance fee – 20 Rs/person, 25 Rs for camera
- Parking fee – 40 Rs (for car) (Price is hiked for these three days)
The journey from Thirunelli to Banasura was again fantastic. We could see many Kerala villages on the way. Though the state roads were narrow in few places, they were very well maintained. Unlike we anticipated, the weather was extremely sunny, howeover, the rich greenery made our drive a relaxing one. We reached Banasura town at around 1.45 PM and our first priority was to search for the good hotel for our lunch. We did not want to miss the lunch like the previous day. But, the few restaurants there were filled with tourists and moreover we were searching for a restaurant where they serve vegetarian food. Luckily, we found a Malabar restaurant where it was completely empty when we went and soon after we entered, a big group came and occupied all the seats of the hotel. Since we were first, they served the veg meals for us first. We had traditional Kerala meals and we both liked that. We quickly finished our lunch and proceeded towards the dam.
Banasura Sagar dam is the largest earth dam in India and second largest in Asia located at the foot of Banasura hills. The place has become one of the important tourist attractions of Wayanad.
We collected the entry tickets at the entrance and walked towards the dam which was around 1 km from the entrance. The jeaps ply frequently between the dam and the entrance and one can chose to go by jeep by paying extra. We chose to go by walk. As we reached near the earth dam, we were up for a spectacular view. The surrounding Banasura hills were huge and have formed multiple layers. They looked like an absolute perfect painting made on a huge canvas (few pics are shown below). The Banasura reservoir has made few natural islands when it submerged the surrounding areas after the dam was constructed. The reservoir is huge and gives a breathtaking view with mountains in the background. One can opt to go for boating and speed boat riding in this reservoir.
Banasura gave us perfect ending for our three days’ trip and we started towards Bangalore (via Mysore) at 4 PM. We decided to visit Nanjanagudu temple only if the time permits.
For some weird reason, the GPS did not help us much when we started our return journey. Instead of showing the neater roads near a place called Kalpetta, it showed us the bad roads. Though those roads were scenic, the condition of the roads were worst. They were filled with potholes and were extremely narrow. Somehow, we reached Sultan Bathery and from then on, the road was well maintained. After 20 km from Sultan Bathery, on our way to Gundlupet, we entered the reserve forest range of Berambadi State forest. The drive through this forest was splendid. We got to see an elephant also on the way. Deers and elephants are commonly seen in this forest range, so one must drive carefully to avoid the danger and also not to disturb these animals.
We had our evening snacks at a hotel in Gundlupet and then proceeded towards Nanjanagudu. Around 30 km stretch of the road near Nanjanagudu was under construction and it took more time to reach Nanjanagudu than we anticipated. So, we decided to skip the temple visit and proceeded towards Mysore. From Mysore, we took the Bangalore-Mysore highway (NH275) to reach Bangalore. On the way, we ate our dinner at a hotel in Mandya. By the time we reached our home, it was 12.30 AM.
Overall, we felt that, this was a wonderful trip to end the most amazing year of 2015. We got to see different places, different cultures, different people, and different landscapes and each shared their own special moments with us which would not fade away from our memories easily.
- Route Travelled: Onward: Coorg Guest House > Iruppu Falls > Thirunelli Temple > Banasura Sagar Dam
Return: Banasura Sagar Dam > Kalpetta > Sultan Batheri > Gundlupet > Nanjanagudu > Mysore > BTM Layout (via Mysore Road)
- Photos: Day 3 – On the Way to Wayanad Photos