Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Trip to Wayanad, The Green Paradise - Day 2

We started early about 6:00 am with full of expectations and excitement. I was too excited to explain what I was doing then. The place where we stayed had beautiful gardens with attractive flora. We spent all our time there admiring the beauty of nature. I was too impressed about the place for the first time in all my life. We set out singing and playing all the time.

Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary:
Our next adventure was the jungle safari through Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary. The unique feature of this place is that it is linked to Mudhumalai Sanctuary of Tamil Nadu and Bandipur National Park of Karnataka. This place is rich in bio-diversity with rich fauna and flora. The vegetation is predominantly deciduous with small stretches of swamps, teak forests, bamboo and tall grass. This region also grows varied medicinal herbs and plants. Elephants, jungle cats, panthers, civet cat, monkeys, wild dogs, deers, spotted bears, bisons, peacock, owls, woodpeckers, cuckoos, etc.

The above being the description of Muthanga Sanctuary, let me now explain how we had fun there. We used our jeep for the safari in the forest. We were warned that the elephants are dangerous and therefore we had to keep distance from them in case we spot them. This time, it was not just ‘cheta’ who accompanied us, but also a forest guide. He took us through the areas where elephants quench their thrist.

We spotted many deers which I felt was the most common among all. We saw a bison and some strange birds there. We were feeling refreshed when we saw small streams. We stopped every now and then to enjoy the refreshing forest atmosphere. The forest was a place that can never know pollution or traffic or sounds of vehicles and crowded streets as in towns and cities. It was the most peaceful spot we could find. What we missed and were eagerly expecting till we reached the exit of the forest were the elephants which seemed to have no manners to come and greet the guests (i.e., we) of its home. Disappointed, we left the forest and moved towards a small stream close by.

The Stream:
The stream was another attraction to our thirsty souls. I felt my whole body refreshing when my feet touched the stream. Its exotic beauty attracted all of us that we were not willing to leave the spot.

No one usually visits the stream close by because that is little known by the tourists. But I would say, that was something really attractive to the eyes and soul.

Our next step in the day’s adventure was to move to Kuruva Islands. This island is 950 acres of evergreen forests on the tributaries of river Kabani. This place is also away from the disturbances of city life. This island is uninhabited. It shelters rare species of birds, orchids and herbs. This place is 40km north west of Sulthan Bathery from where we started.
On our way to this beautiful place, we could see a lot of bamboo trees with the worst of the beetles on the ground. The bamboos were attractive and so we didn’t care to step down from the jeep and majestically pose for the snap. The place reminded me of the Tamil Song ‘Moongil Kadugale’ from the movie ‘Samurai’.
Further through the route to the island, we could see lilies grow on a land where there was nothing but dry leaves. The site was too impressive that we stopped by to enjoy the wonder of nature. I would love to have spent a few more minutes there, but we had to proceed for lack of time.

Finally we were there at Kuruva, the exciting place ever. I loved the entire greenery around. There were fields through which we had to walk to reach the entrance of Kuruva. We then had to cross the river using a raft, which was interesting to do. We then walked over a small wooden bridge and reached the dweep (island). We walked through the tough and thick bamboo trees reaching the river side of the place.

We could see rocks which we had to use to cross the river. We did a small adventure crossing the rocks and finally reached the waters. We knew very early that the waters there are dangerous and we might slip any moment. Still we managed to play with the water and had a lot of fun. We spent around 2 hours in the place and then returned to the entrance. It was quite a lot of fun for a place where only Nature was dominating, unlike the cities.

We then made our way to Banasura Sagar Dam located close to Karlad Lake. It was getting dark in the evening.

Banasura Sagar Dam:
This dam is considered to be the largest earth dam in India. This dam is an excellent base to start off a trekking expedition to the Banasura Peak. Located in the midst of lovely, mist-clad hills with a wildlife sanctuary and park full of flowering trees, this spot of enchantment has no parallel elsewhere. With its placid crystal clear waters Banasura is a wonderful picnic spot.

It was dark by the time we reached there. We had food packed from a restaurant close by and planned to have it there. The scene there was so picturesque that we just could not take our eyes off the place. We were dumbstruck atleast for ten minutes. We had a great time chatting with each other then. It was kind of cold at that time in the evening. We just could not manage the temperature then. We had our dinner, hot and spicy and finally made our way back to the town, Sulthan Bathery.

Jain Temple at Sulthan Bathery:
We winded up for the day with a visit to the Jain temple at Sulthan Bathery. This is generally known as the Tippu’s fort. Tippu Sulthan used this place for his ammunition store (Battery). And hence the town got the name ‘Sulthan’s Battery’ derived finally as Sulthan Bathery. This temple is one of the most important historic remnants of the strong presence of Jains in this region.

We reached this place around 6 pm after which we were too tired to continue. So we went back to our nests and slept tight for the night.The third day fun follows in the next post.

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