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Life is a highway

Rohit Rajiv Sep 28 2017, 0:20 IST
A view of the Pykara Waterfalls. (Below left) The road leading to Pykara.

A view of the Pykara Waterfalls. (Below left) The road leading to Pykara.

After realising that travel especially road trips were my calling, I decided to go on my 14th road trip. Amidst my hectic college routine, I felt the need to take a break from the mundane schedule. I wanted to explore, learn, ride and do something adventurous for the weekend. After my last road trip to Goa, I wanted to get a feel of something more serene and tropical. Keeping the beaches away for the moment, I decided to go on a ride into the wildlife. So, I chose Kerala as my destination and Wayanad was my instant choice. I added Bandipur, Ooty, Pykara, Sultan Batheri and Wayanad on my route plan. Something also told me that I should not miss out Kozhikode.

I set out at 5 am on Saturday, taking the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway. After riding for a few hours I stopped for breakfast at a ‘darshini’ in Srirangapatna. A quick yet filling dose of ‘idli’ and ‘sambhar’ was all I needed. My next pitstop was the mighty Bandipur National Park, which also shares its borders with Tamil Nadu and is called Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary. As I was riding through the highways of Nanjangund it started raining but this didn’t disappoint me. Respecting the roads as they can be dangerous during heavy showers I moved along on a moderate pace. I soon reached closer to Bandipur. The sights were magnificent. The lush green cover the beautifully stretched road added to my adrenaline rush and the excitement of spotting animals added to my experience. I soon spotted the first animal on the list, it was a herd of beautifully spotted deer. This breathtaking sight was followed by a lone ‘langur’, elephants, peacocks and other small animals by the road.

I continued my journey to Ooty. Riding through the 36-hairpin bends with low visibility was adventurous yet fun. The sight of churches, coffee shops, chocolate shops, wild horses by the roadside and the plantations by the hill was an experience I will never forget. While I stopped for lunch in Ooty it started to pour again, this time more heavily. I covered my luggage on the bike carrier and was all set to hit the road once again. I headed towards Wayanad and rode through Pykara which had some splendid lakes, rivers, dams and tiny waterfalls.

It was dusk when I entered Kerala making my way towards Sultan Batheri and in an hour I was in Wayanad. I decided to stay over for the night at Kalpetta. Though I was carrying a camping tent, the rain made it impossible to stay outdoors so I decided to stay in a dormitory.

It was a beautiful morning in Kalpetta and I decided to stop for breakfast and also enquire about a few hotspots in Wayanad. The Banasura Sagar Dam was my next destination. The entire stretch of the road had beautiful lakes with tiny islands amidst them. I finally made it to the dam and it was a sight of a lifetime.

After spending a few hours there, I made it to the coastal part of Kerala heading towards Kozhikode which was just 70 km away. This place is known for its famous Malabar style biriyani. After a hearty lunch, I ended my trip with a visit to the beach.

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