That day being Id, Naushad had arranged for another cab. So that day's driver was Prakasan. He was an elderly gentleman, born and brought up in Wayanad. He entertained us with the history of Wayanad and showed us various adivasi colonies and told us about the habits of adivasis etc. We were to start at 8 today. Since we got the information the previous day that Thirnuelli temple will be closed by 10:30 A.M due to the ongoing construction work inside the temple, prepone the time to 6:30. The temple is 60 kms drive from Kalpetta. Most of the travel is through the forest area. Since it was morning, the driver said we could spot some elephants or deer. But we were not lucky. Reached the temple by 8:30. After the prayer, Satish had to offer Tharpanam to his father. So got the customary materials from the counter and had to walk to the Papanasini which is flowing behind the temple. Its another 300 metres walk through rocks. He performed the rituals and went to the temple to complete the pooja. Had breakfast at a small hotel near the temple. The food is okay. Not much of choice either.
The driver informed earlier that we will reach Kuruva for lunch and he will arrange for some home food, since we wanted vegetarian food. He called up Umesh and ordered lunch for two of us. We reached the banks of Kabini river by 11:30. Took a boat to reach the island. Prakash had told us to take a guide who will show around the island. We both did not have much idea of what to expect in the island. We took the entry tickets and one for guide service. An adivasi/tribal, Subramanian was ready to guide us through the island.
There was the changadam (raft made of bamboo) taking the tourists across to another island. The Kuruva island is in fact a collection of around 90 islands in the Kabini river. These islands are not inhabited by humans now. Some islands are just big enough to accommodate the lone huge tree in it. The trees are huge with spread out branches and the roots running through the island. Even in afternoon, not much sunlight was coming through. The guide told us we had to go take a different route. But just for the experience of going in a changadam, asked us to take a round trip.
I had a small bag with me. The guide said he will carry it and also asked us to remove our footwear. Our mission was to visit 11 islands by walking/trekking across the river. At some places, the water was knee deep. There were slippery rock underneath. It was wonderful experience. Had we known before , we might have opted out. For this kind of trekking, a guide is essential. He knows where to cross according the water current. There was considerable water and good flow in the river. It took around 3 hrs for us to get back to the starting point. From the last island visited , had to walk 2 km to reach the entry point.
Then we took the boat back where our car was parked. Headed to lunch. Sumesh served us with a very homely lunch. After lunch treated us with cooked tapioca and chammanthi.
We then proceeded to Banasura sagar dam. A great sight from the top. Walked the nearly 1 km stretch till the end of the dam. There is a boat ride. Did not go for that because of the long wait. There is a small garden near the dam. Sat there for half an hour and drove back to the hotel.
Day - 3
Checked out of the hotel at 8 in the morning. Went to Satish's friend's house. Went around their estate for 2 hrs. Covered only 25%. Had a sumptuous lunch and headed back home with a promise to return . There is a lot more to be explored in Wayanad.