Home > Totternama > Wayanad – An Emerald Breath

Wayanad – An Emerald Breath

Recently we went on a whirlwind visit of Wayanad, the hilly region to the north-east of Kerala, bordering Karnataka. Wayanad is blessed with great natural beauty and a refreshing climate. Early morning, dense swirling blankets of mist smother the hills, which is gently pulled away by a mellow sun by mid morning; dew drops hang glistening on spider webs; bright fuzzy yellow blotches of sunlight filtering through branches of mahogany, jackfruit and areca trees coagulate on several spots on the grass. It is pleasant throughout the year, even during summer.
 
Over the past few years Wayanad has transmogrified into a tourist hotspot from a rural backwater. Agriculture, the mainstay of the region has taken a backseat. The sparkle of practically tax free lucre from tourism has seen almost everyone hitching to the bandwagon. Real estate near tourist spots have undergone an unprecedented escalation. One cannot walk around without rubbing shoulders with a real estate agent or a home-stay owner. Not that it is a bad thing. Home-stays, the tourist arrangement where you typically stay with a family and share the meals, have flourished in this region, and has brought in a modicum of prosperity; augmenting the hard earned agricultural income. Several Ayurvedic massage centers and spas have cropped up aimed at tapping the exploding tourist traffic, taking advantage of the rejuvenating climate.

An Old Jain Temple

 

Our flight from Delhi to Kozhikode was 3 hours late. A sweltering 45 minute taxi ride from airport brought us to the Kozhikode bus stand. The blazing afternoon sun had us scramble for shelter, but an exhilarating cool breeze which blew as the bus zig-zagged across the mountain pass restored our spirits by the time we got down at Kalpetta late evening. Our accommodation was arranged at Hillview Homestay, a short walk from Kalpetta town. The bustle of the town faded away as soon as we turned into a pocket road; it was pitch dark, myriad stars twinkled in the dark velvet night sky stretched between slender trunks of areca trees.

Hill View Homestay

The home-stay was a sprawling double storied concrete mansion set in a small garden. The family was waiting at the porch to receive us. After refreshments, we were ushered to a double room on the upper floor, overlooking a valley. A lavish Kerala style dinner was laid out for us when we returned downstairs. The owner, a retired HR manager in a pharmaceutical multinational in Mumbai spent only a few days in a year at Wayanad. His brother and a caretaker attended to the home-stay arrangements. There were 3 double bedrooms available. Since we were the only guests we had the entire house for ourselves. We spent sometime in the lawn playing with the frisky Alsatian dog ‘Paula’ before retiring for the night.

 

Early next morning we woke up to the clamour of birds. The world outside was awash in shades of green – rolling emerald green of a tea garden, dark forest green of coffee plantations, pale green paddy fields wedged between hills. Yellow sunshine winked across swaying green palm fronds, the air crisp, bright and hopeful. We had a busy day ahead visiting relatives and taking care of business. Evening, we downed couple of beers and munched on fried fish and Kerala mixture on the lawn. The dinner was exhaustive and featured mutton and fish much to my delight. The caretaker, originally from Orissa had prepared Roti’s especially for us which added to the pleasure. We left at day break the next day, headed back to Kozhikode for a long flight home. The visit though hectic, instilled a permanent love of Wayanad and its people in us. We hope to return some time this year for a longer stay.

Hill View Homestay
Off PWD Office Road
Kalpetta, Wayanad,
Kerala – 673121
Contact: Mr. K V Joseph
Tel : 09249112468, 09833416688, 09422475757
Email:
joseph_karumalil@hotmail.com
www.wayanadhillview.com

Charges:
Rs.2000 per person per night
(Inclusive of breakfast and dinner, Kozhikode airport/ railway station pickup and drop and local sightseeing vehicle)

How to reach:

Nearest Airport: Kozhikode
Daily flights available to major cities

Nearest Railhead: Kozhikode

By road: Kalpetta is located on NH-212 highway, approx. 70 KM from Kozhikode. KSRTC (Kerala State road Transport Corporation)  bues from Kozhikode to Sultan Batheri and Mananthavadi goes via Kalpetta. Travel time: 2.5 Hrs. approx.

Places to see: We did not visit any tourist places. But there are peaks, waterfalls, a dam, wildlife sanctuary, ancient temples and caves in the vicinity. Plenty to keep one occupied.

There is an Ayurvedic Spa next door to the home-stay. The Kerala Ayurvedic massage is quite relaxing.

Kozhikode is famous for sweetmeat. Be sure to visit SM Street (next to the railway station) for some exciting varieties of Halwa.

SM Street - Kozhikode

Photo courtesy: Subha Varma

Categories: Totternama
  1. May 9, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    The name Wayanad comes from ‘Vayal’ and ‘Nadu’ which means the land of paddy fields. It’s really rich in nature with all those rolling hills and tropical rainforests. Edakkal caves are great too.

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