Wayanad, situated on the high altitudes of Western Ghats presents a mesmerizing sight of majestic mountain ranges to the west and beautiful tea gardens on the slopes towards the East.
Originally, it was known as Wayalnad- the land of paddy. It is a hilly district in the state of Kerala. It shares its borders with Karnataka and Tamil nadu.
The major attractions of Wayanad are the beautiful water falls- Soojipaara and Meenmutty the Pookode lake, where one can go for boating, Edakkal caves- that contains a prehistoric stone carvings Tamaraserry Ghat with breathtaking valley. Wayanad has two beautiful wild life sanctuaries- Muttanga and Tolpetty where safari is allowed. The tea gardens that forms a thick green on the mountain slopes Tirunelli the Mahavishnu temple said to be more than 1000 years old attracts lot of pilgrims. The temple is situated inside a thick forest and motor able road has been laid.
Wayanad is well connected to Bangalore. It is a perfect weekend get away from Bangalore. It has a number of good hotels-from budget category to premium. The owners of coffee and tea plantations have converted their houses in to Home stays and have opened their doors to the tourists by offering food and accommodation.
A friend of mine wanted my assistance in booking a hotel in Wayanad Kerala, as he was holidaying with his family. I suggested him the hotel and suggested him a route from Mysore that is normally not chosen by the motorists. The route I suggested was passing through Naagarahole– Rajiv Gandhi National Park. The idea of suggesting the route was to get a chance sighting of wild animals like Asian Elephants,Bison, spotted deer, a pack of doles and of course Tiger. In fact I assured him, that by taking this route, he is sure to sight a Tiger. The situation so arose that I had to accompany him on the tour till half the distance to Wayanad. He was happy that I was accompanying him and that he need not have to inquire about the route with the passersby.
We left Mysore at quarter to six in the morning and had a midway stop over for a cup of tea and to ease ourselves. We were able to enter the national park gates for a mandatory entry in the registers. By the time we left the gates it was half past seven. We had not even traveled for ten minutes into the national park, the Tiger presented itself in full form. He jumped from a small mound on the right side of the road on to the road and walked in front of the car onto the other side of the road. He stopped for a minute and looked back towards the car to make sure that we are not a threat to him. In the process we got a full view of the Tiger for a couple of minutes. Once certain that we are not a threat to him moved slowly into the forest.
It took us some time to digest the magnificent sight we had just witnessed.We could not believe ourselves that we had sighted a Tiger just a few minutes back. The stripes are embedded in our mind and we cannot forget the multicolored face of him. My friend’s wife could not control her tears of joy and excitement. My friend was so excited that he immediately wanted to call his friends and narrate the incident. But he held back his joy as we were in the national park and the mobile signals were weak.
I was glad that my suggestion of a chance sighting had paid off.
My weekend in the lap of nature was a memorable one and will be green in my memories for a long time to come.