Monsoon Experience In Wayanad, Kerala
With the monsoons hitting in with full vigor, I thought it would be a great idea to leave the humdru...
I booked four train tickets in the Yeshwanthpur Cannanore express from Bangalore. When the booking confirmation message reached my cell phone, everyone waited eagerly to know more about the weekend destination. On Saturday evening, we embarked on our journey towards Greenex Farms, Wayanad. From Yeshwanthpur railway Station, our train whistled away towards Cannanore at 8 PM. After a calm night, we reached Calicut or what is now called Kozhikode Railway Station at 7:30 AM. None of us were hungry, so the unanimous decision was to go to Wayanad and then have our breakfast.
As soon as we reached Cannanore, we hired an Innova cab and started on the second phase of the journey. I had dozed off in the car and woke up with the camera clicks interrupting my nap. I opened my eyes to an amazing spectacle which looked unbelievable. There was a range of green hills at a distance with smoky fog rising up to the sky. I felt as if messengers were carrying prayers of earth up to the heaven. And then I looked at the other side of the meandering hilly roads and saw beautiful sparkly waterfalls trickling down from the top. Just watching the clear flowing waters had a refreshing effect on me.
After two and half hours, our cab entered the famous Harrison Malayalam Tea Estates. The roads began to get narrower and bumpy right then. Just when I thought that the journey was getting rough, our Innova taxied to a halt. We were right in front of the Greenex Farms Entrance.
Through a natural doorway of pine and coconut groves we were ushered into the dining area. After a sumptuous Kerala cuisine of Idiyappam, Appam and Coconut milk based vegetable stew and fresh fruits from the farm, we were taken to our lodging quarters. The whole farm was full of happy animals and lots of fruit trees. We trekked down from the dining area, walked through the farm and reached a clearing. And there stood our little mud walled cottage. It was as if we were transported right from a posh high style architecture to the rustic roots.
Right in front of the cottage was a guava tree. The bell boy asked us to feel free and take whichever fruit we wanted to eat directly from the tree! Wow, now that was something new to me.
After we had entered our room and freshened up, I headed straight for some grapefruits and guavas. My daughter was totally enjoying chasing rabbits and butterflies. That is when the downpour began without any warning. We rushed inside to avoid getting wet. The solar electricity was powering the room heater and we felt warm inside our cottage. All of us sat down and watched the rains bathe the hills and the trees from a covered porch.
As the clear sky slowly began to surface, it was time for lunch. We climbed up the farm roads to the dining area. We were greeted with the fine aroma of Kerala Style Biryani. The specialty of this dish is that it is not spicy hot, but is full of delicate flavors. The rice is short grained and light. After a satisfying lunch, we went on a walk around the place. At a short distance, there was the tea estate. My father and my husband were keen on going to the tea processing unit which was a little ahead. We separated, based upon our choices – tea garden or tea processing.
Everywhere my eyes went, there were acres and acres of green bushes and not the minutest sign of pollution. The air was clean and the nature around was pristine. We spent a good amount of time roaming around the tea estate. A couple of locals offered us tea and we obliged. As daylight began to give way to nightfall, we returned to the farm. The evening was spent lazing around the cottage listening to the home bound birds chirping away to glory. The entire farm was lit up by halogen lamps and looked as if some twinkling stars had lost their way in the darkness. With every passing hour of the night, the temperatures began to drop. Soon we were busying putting on warm clothes.
At 9 PM, we got a call for dinner and again the steep climb ensued. After the tiring hike, our labor was rewarded with a grand buffet of Kerala style fish, chicken, crunchy okra and baby corn fry. The exotic affair was rounded off with melt in the mouth gulab jamoons and kesar payesam. With a happy tummy, all of us walked down for a peaceful night's sleep.
On The Way Back:
It had rained the entire night and Wayanad seemed to have changed its costume. The whole place, the trees and the hills had a bright green hue. The fog had lifted from the distant hills. People were without umbrellas, playing in the badminton court. Some were jogging along the running tracks. Monkeys were whopping, rabbits running around, and a whole new family of birds seemed to be visiting the lands. There were wonderful waterfalls in Wayanad which are a treat to the eyes.
I felt an inexplicable joy within. I went down to a pond that people had been talking about and had a good swim. Time seemed to have flown in a frenzy and soon it was time for us to leave this unspoiled hill station. I may not be a big fan of monsoons but this place surely made me fall in love with the rains!
Contributed By: Kriti Mazumdar