Wayanad-Kozhikode roadtrip – May 2017

Started off early at 6:15AM on a Thursday morning. Route plan was Bangalore – Nice Road – Mysore Road – Ramanagara. Breakfast at Kamat Lokaruchi. Took roughly an hour (usual time) to get there.

The route from Ramanagar is – Mysore Bypass – Nanjangud – Gundlpet. At Gundlpet, you fork off towards Wayanad/Sultan Battery (the other road goes towards Ooty). After a few miles from Gundlpet, you get into forest territory. Awesome road and scenery all around.

Super roads all the way. Took another half hour to get Windflower Resorts. Reached around 1:30PM – right in time for lunch.

If you went all the way to Vythiri town, you went too far. There is a town just before it called Chandel Junction. At Chandel, look out for Canara Bank and SBI ATM on the left, and a road that goes down hill right opposite it. The corner is also an auto stand. Easy to miss. You go down the road, or what is called a road for 3.5km. Horrible horrible driveway. Apparently they have not repaired the road because it is under some court stay order.

The resort is just fantastic. Isolated. But beautiful. We had booked a villa with a private jacuzzi. Totally enjoyed the room and the resort. Some pictures of the resort below.

We went to Pookode lake one of the days, and totally not worth it. Super crowded small (compared to Ooty/Yercaud) lake. There is also a view point on the Kozhikode road that is pretty darned good. But we had to run off quickly. Too many rowdy monkeys demanding stuff from the tourists.

There is one other place near by, called Banasura Dam. It is the second largest earthen dam in Asia (largest in India). You can do a speed boat ride (super awesome – my son loved it!) and just get some awesome views of the dam and the Kabini river.

We stayed there Thursday and Friday. We were planning to leave Saturday back to Bangalore. But we realized that Kozhikode was just 2 hours away. And the beach beckoned. So we made a flash decision. Was able to snag a room in a beach resort in Kappad beach, which is 20 km from Kozhikode. The resort (Renai Kappad Beach resort) is separated from the beach by just a small road. We did Banasura on Saturday morning, on the way to Kozhikode. Reached Koppad beach by lunch time.

Evening was spent on the beach. Super time was had.

Back to Bangalore on Sunday morning. Had breakfast in Kozhikode. It is a long ride back to Bangalore. Almost 10 hours including breaks. Lunch was at Gundlpet. There are a couple of decent restaurants just outside of the town. Reached home around 6PM.

 

Mysore Trip Travelogue (Jan 2014)

I am a bit late in updating this here. We did a road trip after a long while. With the wife’s neck pain (well, the other pain – not me!), we have been mostly traveling by train and not really done any vacationing for a bit now. So we wanted to do something where we could go somewhere nearby and also somewhere where we can just go and ‘vegetate’ and relax.

Windflower Resorts

I had heard about this resort chain a while ago, and have heard that this is a great place. And there was a deal going on for their 3 days 2 nights package. The only catch here was that, you need to pay upfront the whole money. And there were cancellation penalties etc. But we had heard enough good things about the place that we decided to take the risk.

The time

We planned the trip right after New Years. We wanted quiet relaxation. So we had planned Jan 2/3/4. Nice and cool for Mysore. Mysore can get pretty hot in the summers.

The Onward Journey

The road is pretty good in terms of quality. From Koramangala, we started earlly around 530AM. Our intention was to head towards Hosur Road and take the Electronic City Ramp into the NICE road. Unfortunately because of the dark, we missed the entry ramp. We did realize this quickly though. So there was a bit of a delay here – about 20 minutes. But once on the NICE road, it was a breeze until Mysore Road exit. Worth the Rs.90 toll. The Mysore road exit takes you just past Kengeri. I was like Wow. That is sweet. No BSK. No Mysore Road junction. No Metro work progress. And No Kengeri. The rest of the journey is characterized by continuous random successions of these three incidents:

  • large speed bumps (good quality ones, but large)
  • small towns – 6-7 of them, in quick succession and all going through the town.
  • two-wheelers whenever you neared a town, which was everywhere.

So, basically, you would go dodging two wheelers to clearing a town to slowly inching up to a 100 kmph, and then you would site a bump, and slow down and back to dodging two wheelers ! This was how the journey was all through from Kengeri to entering Mysore.

Kamat Loka Ruchi was breakfast stop at 7AM. Steaming hot dosa/idlis/puris. It was not too crowded at 7AM. It can get pretty crowded as the day progresses.

Back on the road, we were on the outskirts of Mysore around 9ish. Our check-in time to the resort was 12 Noon. So we had decided to head to the zoo. This was planned. And so, I had already purchased entry tickets, parking permit, and the electric buggy tickets – all online. This was the nearest I came to Planning Nirvana. What more can you ask for. No standing in the ticket line after driving for 3 hours. The site advises you to take two copies print out of the tickets. When you enter, you show the two copies. One of them gets taken away and they stamp up the tickets for you on the other one.

We headed straight for the buggy ride. This is super convenient, especially if you are travelling with a kid. We have had bad experiences in Hyderabad Zoo, where my kid basically flat out refused to move unless carried – in the middle of the zoo, and we had to lug him everywhere. The buggy ride is a one hour guided tour of the zoo. The driver stops at all the main attractions so that you can get out, see the animals, take photos etc.

We found the mysore zoo to be one of the most clean and interesting zoos that we had visited. Wow. So many giraffes. Hippos. Rhinos. Cheetahs. Elephants. Yep. I was as excited as my 4 year old son.

zoo1  zoo2 zoo3

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It was still only 1030AM. We tried requesting to check-in into the resort – which is pretty close to the zoo. Unfortunately they did not have any early check-outs and the reception person said, they could get us in only at Noon. So we asked if there were anything else that we could see nearby. And we were informed about Karanji park

karanji1

Unfortunately we did not take too many pictures here. Go here for some pictures.

Karanji park is basically a large lake, and a small lake front park. The lake is pretty big, and there is a boating facility. So we did that. And the park is a childrens park, which is very nicely maintained. So my kid had a blast for about an hour there.

We then returned back to the resort (which is about 5 min drive from Karanji park). And we were shown to our rooms.

The resort and the rooms

We loved the resort. Nice resortish feel when you get in itself. A large open open to air reception. Life size chess. A long artificial water body with artificial palms and coconut trees on both sides to give it a tropical feel. There are two rows of suites/rooms on both sides of the water body. The premium studios have a water front facing facade.There are a dozen ducks that keep wandering here and there – this provided quite a bit of amusement for my son. The screeching parakeet in the reception area is another attraction.

There is a small sit out and deck chairs facing the water. The rooms are well appointed. NIce wooden flooring. Big four poster bed. Wooden paneling. Nice luxury bathrooms.

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resort2

The restaurant and the food

There is a central restaurant which you can walk to for food. The deal that I got gave me Rs. 1500 of resort credits that you could use, including food. Breakfast is free. Stick to the south Indian breakfast. The North Indian breakfast was terrible.

The regular a’la carte food (both in restaurant and room-service) was very good. The only drawback being it took forever for the food to come. It was so bad that after the second day, we ordered the starter from the room half hour earlier and then went in, so that we wouldnt need to wait. It was really that bad.Food quality was good though. And I would venture to say that, compared to some of the Bangalore restaurants, food is cheaper too. Stuff like hot/warm milk is available for room service 24 hours – this is info for families taking kids with them.

Mysore

We did not want to travel too much. The second day, at the insistence of my son, who was in no mood to relax, we had to head out somewhere. So we went to the “Mall of Mysore”, a mall which had opened very recently. This is pretty close to the resort. Very typical mall. Nothing spectacular to see here. The next day, again, we had to head out, and this time we headed into town to the Cauvery Emporium, and bought our mandatory purchase of wooden key chains and agarbathi holder !

cauvery

Return

Return was an uneventful journey. We left around 10ish. Check out is 11AM. We had a hearty breakfast at the resort itself. So by the time we hit Ramanagara (Kamat Loka Ruchi) at 12 Noon, we were just about hungry. Had sumptuous North Karnataka Jollada Roti meal. We were back home by just before 5PM. And this was because of traffic closer home.

Good trip on the whole. Relaxing for the most part. Highly recommend Windflower. They are a tad bit expensive – so keep a look out for their deals on their website. They have deals like spring deal, winter deal, summer deal etc. I have heard good things about their other resorts in Bandipur, Coorg, Pondicherry, and Wayanad. Hope to visit them some time later.

Hope this travelogue has been useful to you. If you have any questions, ask them in the comments, I will try to answer them as best as I can.