KANNUR & WAYANAD - A Journey from Mountains to Arabic Ocean!
During Long weekend of 15th August, I visited few places of God’s own country Kerala on my KARIZMA. It was 4 days trip where we visited Mountain Range of Wayanad followed by Sea-shore of Arabic Ocean at Kannur and Thalassery. Well, it was a bike trip from Bangalore with my two friends. Following are the routes that we took.
Day 1 - Ride to Wayanad via Moonhole Wildlife Sanctuary and Edakkal Caves
We left Bangalore at Early Morning because nowadays rush on Mysore-B’lore highway is too much and we wanted to avoid it. We reached Mysore by 9:30 and from there we took some state highway for Wayanad.
Well, the route was ordinary till the place where we took the diversion towards Moonhole wildlife sanctuary. The distance was just 20kms but we took at least an hour to reach the entrance of Moonhole Wildlife Sanctuary. We could able to see tall mountains at some distance. On both sides of the road, there were farms of Sunflower and Marigold flowers. It wasn’t just a single farm, but entire route was having farms on both sides of the road. Tall Mountains, Green trees and Yellow & Orange farms of flowers reminded me of the romantic and beautiful scenes of Yash Raj's movies. I felt I was in Europe, It was that beautiful!!! We stopped at a place to see the scenery.
After that, we passed by a check post which was the start point of Moonhole Wildlife Sanctuary. I never drove my bike inside any wildlife sanctuary so I was eager to experience it. It was No-Plastic Zone and unlike other places, in South India people do follow these instructions so it was very clean. As it was a rainy season, the entire forest was green. There was pin drop silence; I could hear the sound of wind, noise of stream. Just then, we saw a group of elephants near the road. As soon as we passed by, they crossed the road. It was my first experience to see Elephants or Wild Animals roaming freely in the forest outside Zoos. I was so happy. We saw them crossing the road from less than 50meters distance. There were baby elephants too. I felt so lucky to be able to see that. We got more than what we had expected from our Wildlife Sanctuary ride.
After scenic 15km ride through Moonhole, We entered in a district of mountains, Wayanad. Well, I was fined 200rs for not having PUC. I joked to my friends that I paid toll to see Elephants :P
We booked KDTC Pepper Grow Hotel, which was in Sultan Battery. It took a while for us to found the hotel. We freshen up and as we skipped our lunch, we were very hungry and went for postponed Lunch. We found small Dhaba near our hotel and on any bike trip we used to eat in local Dhaba where we get local food or at least food which have local flavors in it. We got Egg Biriyani as we don’t eat Beef and Egg was the only other option for us. With that, we ordered Omelet ( cooked in Coconut Oil , which I couldn’t finish due to its smell ) and Coffee/Tea. except Omelet, Everything was delicious especially Coffee, I ordered two coffees, It was that much tast!!.
It was almost half past three and we knew the only nearby place was Eddakal Caves. Timing to visit it was till 5:30pm so without wasting much time we went there. While going, we came across amazing route with Green Forest, small curvy roads, small houses and constant drizzle. We were climbing up one mountain than climbing it down and again climbing another one, Typical Kerala route! Plus I was driving my friend’s Royal Enfield Classic, so it was the happiness of another kind. Well, from a distance we were able to see the Mountain where Eddakal caves situated and after traveling 10km we reached there.
I heard that, this cave is 5000 years old. We had to trek 3.5km and then climb few 100s steps to reach there. Plus the trek was very steep one. My fitness got tested during that. Then came stairs, which took us to one cave and from that cave again you climbed few steps to reach to the final cave. Landscapes of that cave were amazing. Both the Caves were huge. There were some lines drawn on the wall of the cave, which might be something or might not be anything. We couldn’t able to know due to lack of guide or written instructions. Panoramic View from there was incredible! I could able to see various mountain ranges of Wayanad from there. We sat there for a while until a guard told us to leave as the place was about to close. While we were sitting there we had a lot of funny conversations. Like two guys came with their mother who was old. By seeing that my friend suddenly spoke “Kapoot kahike, Apni mom ko itna trek karvake Caves dikhane kon lata hai?”
While going back to our hotel, the rain got heavier and the ride became more fun. It was almost dark and due to entire day of journey, we were tired so we ordered food, watched Hockey match of RIO 2016 and slept.Day 2 - Ride from Wayanad to Kannur – Best day of the Journey
As this wasn’t my first visit to Wayanad and except Edakkal Caves, I visited other places of Wayanad. So, we decided to leave for Kannur as according to my friend, Kannur has many places to visit as well. We left at 9 from our Hotel. We had Kerala paratha as “if you are in Kerala you have to eat Kerala paratha - #NotCopied ”, with that, we ordered Egg, chicken and fish Curry, a Masala Dosa and Coffees. Everything was delicious. Especially coconut chutney which they served was damn too good. Because of that only we ordered Masala dosa :D
After the morning brunch we headed towards Kannur. Route initially was very very bad. It was bumpy with too many potholes. We barely drove 10kms in an hour and due to bad roads and heavy breakfast I was feeling damn sleepy. Meanwhile, we saw a board Kurvadweep, which was kind of famous place in Wayanad and it was 11kms only with proper looking roads. So, we went there. When we reached there, we came to know that during monsoon time it was closed. But we wanted to take rest so we found a place where we can relax for a while before we resumed our journey.
After the disappointing morning, entire day’s journey was memorable and scenic one! We took a wrong turn which turned out to be a lucky mistake. We explored scenic part of the forest.
We stopped by a tea stall for a tea. we were not at all in a hurry as we just had to travel 125km today so we took our time there. When we were about to leave that place, It started raining heavily. It rained for more than an hour and we had to wait there for that much amount of time. But we weren’t bored at all, because of funny taunts, jokes, and conversations. We had 4-5 Teas/Coffees per person during that time.
Once it stopped raining, we resumed our journey. Roads were still not so good but the scenery around the place became extraordinary. Generally, in Kerala, you would never find remote area but hear we were traveling through one of the most dense forests of Kerala and for 20-25km we couldn’t able to see a single house. I stopped my bike and I could able to hear the sound of waterfalls and streams as well as the sound of wind. There was fog all over the places, due to this I couldn’t able to see anything. Traveling to these routes at night would almost be an impossible and scary task. It was the best riding experience so far. In some time we got proper roads. Route had 4 hairpin turns. At the last turn, we saw a huge waterfall where even we could go inside the fall but due to chilly weather and the fact that we still needed to drive almost a half way, we controlled our excitement.
Those bumpy roads, wildest forest, hairpin turns and a heavy fog had made my today’s ride an adventurous, wild and memorable one!
I never tried driving my bike in Neutral gear while climbing down the mountains and FYI You shouldn’t be doing it. But that day I drove 10+kms in Neutral. “Doing something which you shouldn’t, gives you joy. Isn’t it?" During this time, I enjoyed the peaceful nature, which was rare to experience these days.
That’s it. Once, that ghat section got over we came across famous irritating Kerala traffic but we managed well and reach to our Hotel. After freshen up in Hotel we went to Cliff walk of Kannur followed by Payyambalam beach where we sat till it gets too dark. Both the places were good to see sunset though we missed it due to cloudy weather on both days.
“Beaches had never disappointed me till now in my life! Sitting at a beach and feeling waves had always given me positive energy.”
Day 3 - Site seeing around Kannur and Driving Beach of Muzhappilangad
We left at around 11am after taking our complimentary breakfast at our hotel. Our day's plan was to visit St. Angelo Fort, Driving beach of the Muzhappilangad and Sea bridge of Thalassery.
St. Angelo Fort was in Kannur only. It was a decent fort and large enough to spend an hour or two there. The location of the Fort was very good. From the Wall of the Fort, we could able to see Arabic Ocean. Wall was wide enough to sit on it and enjoy the view.
After This Fort, We traveled 20+ km and reached to Driving beach of Muzhappilangad. The journey was horrible due to the driving of Bus drivers and Highways of Kerala which were too small for that many vehicles. But never mind we were on a driving beach which was more than 4km long and we were going to ride our Bike (You can drive Car as well) on the beach. Well, This was the main reason why we visited Kannur.
After watching SAATHIYA Movie I always wanted to ride a bike on the beach partially inside waves and finally I did that. It was amazing feeling to drive your bike in the waves. There were few rocks so we went there and sat quietly. I never got bored looking at the waves of the sea. We saw a lot of green colored Prawns around the place where we were sitting. A friend of mine was telling me to grab them, later on, we can cook :P . We had few funny moments there as well. One such a moment was this when My friend’s bike got stuck in the wet sand due to high waves and he was asking for help. Seeing that, my other friend parked his bike far from the waves, before going for help saying "Apni na chali jaye bachane ke chakkar me :P" As soon as bike got out of the sand, even that friend of mine parked it away from waves because of that incident "Ek waves ne sabke shokh par pani fira diya :D". While going back we saw a car got stuck in the sand and few locals were pulling it using rope. We laughed at it saying “Bhai teri bike ko bi isi Rassi se kheech rahe hote abhi!”
We reached to Thalassery, Again we didn’t have dinner so we saw a restaurant and went for Lunch. We got amazing Fish curry, Fish Masala Fry with Rice. On this entire trip, I ate hell lot of fishes and drank more coffee/Tea than water. During our lunch, we saw few visitors visiting a fence from where you can see the Sea. Then we came to know it was the sunset point of Thalassery. That wasn’t on our list but thankfully due to lunch, we visited it. As we just had rice we weren’t in a mood to drive so sat there on the bench and enjoyed the cold wind and waves of the Sea.
Then we went to our last destination of the day - Thalassery bridge. Google image was showing it as if it was an awesome beach but in reality, it was a bridge where fishermen were fishing. The place was too smelly. But, As we reached there, we decided to at least walk on the bridge till the end of It. We sat on the bridge and talked about various things which include “How amazing our eye lens is compared to DSLR’s lens so on and so on. and Bangalore me koi bhukha nahi sota!!” I tried to capture fisherman throwing his nett in My DSLR.
It was almost 5pm and Driving beach was 30 mins away from where we wanted to see the sunset. So, we headed towards it. When we entered at the beach we couldn’t able to believe It was the same beach we visited 2 hours back. Back then there were very few people and now it was full of Cars and people. We parked our bike at the beach and went to the Sea. Everyone on the beach was happy. A guy had given his car to his 5year old son who was driving it and the guy was sitting beside him, Some women were learning/riding Bikes and some were driving Cars too. Everyone was doing stunts, taking video of their ride on the beach. Few guys playing football, few children were playing in the waves. After some time we saw traffic police and to that, my friend said “Bhai ab Signal bi laga hi do. Sab koi apni masti me hai. Sab horn baja rahe hai, overtake kar rahe hai, Stunts mar rahe hai, Sahi me aisa scene aj tak kahi nahi dekha.” Indeed he was right. We laughed madly at everything. It was really a fun evening.
At the time of sunset, the Weather became cloudy and it started raining. And all of a sudden I spot a Rainbow in the sky! Incredible! I don’t even remember when last time, I saw a Rainbow in the sky. On this trip, we saw everything now. Due to cloud we couldn’t able to see sunset but this beach and Rainbow was worth 25kms ride.
We were done with site seeing. We came back to our hotel. At night we had dinner at our resort. We brought speaker with us. We played slow songs at the beach. Everyone lost in the song and in their memories. No one was speaking and still, everyone was enjoying. While listening to the song, a friend of mine slept at the beach. I came back and didn't know when I slept on Zula outside our Room. It was the fun night! Not all I can write but really we three only know how awesome that night was.Day 4 – amazing Route till Mysore & Horrible Mysore-B’lore Highway.
After having Idli in breakfast we wore our riding gears and headed back toward Namma Bengaluru. Initially, we lost the way and with the help of google map we caught right way but by then we lost an hour. The route was not so good and hence it took a while for us before we reached to Mysore. Till Mysore traffic wasn’t much, the route was good too. We passed through Another Wildlife Sanctuary where we saw monkeys in the forest and few other monkeys driving their cars with KA (01-05) registration number. Then saw an Elephant Camp near Coorg, where I saw a lot of elephants and few of them were even having teeth. (It’s rare to find elephants with teeth due to we humans, btw they were looking prettier than the one without teeth), Overall till Mysore, I liked to ride.
We left Mysore by 5:30pm and reached to Bangalore at 11pm. We didn’t stop for tea or dinner. There was traffic jam everywhere. I felt like entire B’lore was on a trip due to the long weekend and now they were coming back. There was Traffic jam of 10km at every 5kms. Most of the time I rode off the road and because of that, we reached by 11pm else the only god knows when could we reached.