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Wayanad - The Shangri-la of South India

What a wonderful three days we had, from January 27th to 29th, in the quaint village of Koilery, near Manathavadi in #Wayanad! I still reminisce about our waking up to misty mornings and the sounds of birds, peering out of our rooms with shawls wrapped around us to keep out the morning chill...

Here, Jalaja enjoys dawn in Wayanad with #SaveAGram farm owner Rijesh taking a picture of her as I take a picture of them!

Sipping our coffee, we walk past the plants from which the beans themselves were picked! Returning, we are welcomed by a hot water bucket bath and then a delightful Malayalee breakfast of puttu*, kadala, pappadam, bananas and another round of fragrant coffee. *Puttu is a steamed rice cake, layered with coconut, typical in Kerala (but also found in Sri Lanka). Kadala are the black garbanzo beans from which the savoury curry that goes along with the puttu is prepared. ***

The day before we had visited the ancient temple of Tirunelli, with the gorgeous Vishnu stone deity covered in sandal paste, dark kohl drawn around his eyes and a smile on his face.

Above is a photo of Tirunelli temple, ancient and in some ruin, but with a palpable energy inside that perhaps comes from centuries of chanting and offering oblations in Sanskrit. ***

Post breakfast, we decided to take Jalaja to the famous #Kuruva islands, formed by the Kabini river splitting and engulfing a land mass within, before rejoining into one river. This land mass had to be approached on an environmentally friendly barge that had two men pulling it across the river.

Approach to Kuruva Islands

There are up to seven islands within this island apparently. I managed to cross over to two of them. It was a bit of an ardous task to climb over rocks and water and reach the next islet and so on. The place was full of college kids, making it not as peaceful as one could imagine such a wonder of nature could be. But the chatter of the children was also lovely and reminscent of one's own college days!

Afterwards, returning for lunch, where almost everything we were served was grown by the hosts, was something Jalaja and I were looking forward to! The meal we were presented with was entirely served on banana leaves picked from the farm, with water drawn from the well.

There is so much to write. But I think I will take a nap now before I take my readers to the rest of the trip....

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