Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ride again to the Land of Looms and Lores

Onward Journey

So I am on the road again. This time from Bangalore to Kannur and back (via Kozhikode). The occasion - my cousin sisters marriage. The date of departure - 27th of Nov 2010.

We tried to catch up with a few relatives in Kozhikode to so decided to modify our original route plan. We started around 4am in the morning. And we had the same issues of kids sleeping and yet having every part of packing done. There were light showers in the morning and I was careful on the Bangalore Mysore road. Our first stop was Hotel Siddhartha @ Mysore.

After a brief rest for breakfast we were on the Ooty Mysore road. By now the roads had become single land and full of potholes. After an hours drive we turned right at Gundlupet. A brief stop over for freshening up the kids. The forst stretch between NH 212 is closed in the night from 9 am to 6pm. Apparently there have been agitations to lift the ban, but the court has been adamant.

We spotted a few Monkeys who at the sight of a slow moving vehichles line up for food.

The landscape changes quite fast once you reach Kerala border, the greenery just doubles, tall trees galore.

Wayanad or Vayal Nad (land of rice) has a lonng history. Historians are of the view that organised human life existed in these parts, at least ten centuries before Christ. The two caves of Ampukuthimala located between Sulthan Bathery and Ambalavayal, with pictures on their walls and pictorial writings, speak volumes of the bygone era and civilisation. In ancient times, this land was ruled by the Rajas of the Veda tribe. In later days, Wayanad came under the rule of the Pazhassi Rajahs of Kottayam royal dynasty. When Hyder Ali becames the ruler of Mysore, invaded Wayanad and brought it under his sway. In the days of Tipu, Wayanad was restored to the Kottayam royal dynasty. But Tipu handed over the entire Malabar region to the British, after the Sreerangapattanam truce, he made with them. This was followed by fierce and internecine encounters between the British and Kerala Varma Pazhassi Rajah of Kottayam. When the Rajah was driven to the wilderness of Wayanad, he organised the war-like Kurichiya tribals into a sort of people's militia and engaged the British in several guerrilla type encounters. In the end, the British could get only the dead body of the Rajah, who killed himself somewhere in the interior of the forest. Thus, Wayanad fell into the hands of the British and with it came a new turn in the Home of this area. The British authorities opened up the plateau for cultivation of tea and other cash crops.

We decided to take a brief stop at a relavies place in Wayand. He works in a tea plantation. The house reminds me of villas during the british time.

We hug around till lunch and enjoyed Fish curry and rice..

It was fairly misty as we climbed down Thamarassery churam (roads in the Ghats). It is told that on a clear day you could see the sea from the top of the Churam.

Numerous rivelets flow down the hills. And the monkey population seems to be growing year by year. We were at "Adivaram" (the base of the hill) by 2:30pm. The roads from there untill Kundamangalam (10 km from Kozhikode) is bad. Add to that the traffic in each of those small towns. Koduvally for example is a relatively small town known for its "Gold" market. We arrived at Kozhikode around 4 pm.

The next day we travelled from Kozhikode to Kannur. It has been a strange weather this year. The rains don't seem to stop. I was told that from June onwards there hasn't been a week when it has not rained.

Rest in Kannur, but the thought of marriage still keeps me on my toes..


The return Leg of the journey. Phew.. every time before I return from kannur, I feel down. I hope time stops here. Let me cuddle down in this nature.. Well Bangalore is calling ... And so I am on the road again..

The route : Kannur -> Virajpet -> Gonikoppal -> Honsur -> Elivala -> Srigangapattana -> Bangalore.

We started around 5 am. The route upto Mattanur is pretty good. But from then on you need to search for good roads till you get to Honsur.

Ride for about 50 kilometer from Kannur and then you will reach the Karnataka border. The famous Kootupuzha bridge.

For about 20 Km you need to drive through the Brahmagiri wildlife reserve. The other end Brahmagiri wildlife reserve is at Thirunelly in Wayand. At the top you will find Perumbadi lake.

Really enjoyed the view of coffee plantations and Tea estates from Virajpet till you get to the section of forests again. The road gets narrow and one would have to search for tar.

There is a small Devi temple in the middle of the forest where people drop by to pray.

The landscape changes once we get to Honsur. Lot of lush fields with paddy and sugarcane.

Lunch @ Kamat Lokaruchi, Ramnagara. Yummy Akki Roti and baingan curry. Little bit of shopping for Akki for wooden toys.

I took the NICE road and exited at Bannerghatta. I really believe this is a boon for Bangalore. Not only does it save us time but also petrol. Just the ability to zoom till the exit helps.

@ Home by around 4pm. Welcome to the chill weather of Bangalore.

Next trip, may be Thirunelly via Nagarhole. In Planning phase still. Adios Senor.

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