The cab , a blue Tata Indica, came on dot 11 A.M. It was comfortable for two of us. Naushad was to drive us the whole day. He told us, we will be visiting Edakkal Caves, Soochipara Falls and Pookot Lake for the day. Our first stop was Edakkal caves. Having heard a lot about Edakkal caves and I was very much thrilled with the thought of going there. Noushad left us at a point beyond which tourist vehicles are not allowed. You will have to walk more than a kilometre to reach the foot of the hill where the cave is situated. There is a jeep service which charge Rs.50 for 2 and parking charge of 20 for to and fro trip. We took the jeep since we had started late. Otherwise also, unless you have good stamina, taking the jeep service is good. Since there is more to climb. There are steps carved out of rock. The cave is almost on top of the hill. From the cave, by another 1/2 hr climb you will reach the top. Only till the cave, steps are there. Rest you have will to go trekking.
It was a spectacular sight from the top. The cave was awesome. The huge rocks and the slight gap between them were a sight you cannot miss.
The gap between the two giant rocks inside the cave
The small rock balancing on the edges of the two big rocks inside the cave
Our next stop was Soochipara water falls. The picnic spots in Wayanad is spread over the district. The distance between each spot must on an average 30 kms. The waterfalls is inside the forest and it is a protected area. So no vehicles allowed inside. During tourist season, permits are given for 2 or 3 jeeps to take the tourists to the water fall. The jeep guys charge Rs 25/person for one side trip. We reached there at about 2. And to walk one km in the sun was not favorable. So took the jeep. He dropped us near the steps which ascend to the waterfall. The way to the falls is narrow path, wide enough for a person to walk. As you walk down, you will have doubt if you are in the right direction since the water fall is not seen unless you reach near it. Since these spots are not heavily crowded, chances are less to spot any tourist coming on our way.
Waterfall is spectacular. You cannot go much near to it. You can bathe in the fall. No changing rooms for ladies though. You will have to adjust behind the huge rocks there.
The last spot for the day was Pookot lake, one of the biggest fresh water lake. Took a boat ride. Since i had a fall while climbing down the Edakkal caves, did not go for a pedal boat. Felt the decision was good, since the boatman Rajeev had so much to say about the lake and Wayanad. He showed us that the shape of the lake resembles the map of India. The lake is surrounded by forest and there is a pathway around the lake. Rajeev said the place is well guarded against pollution by tourists. Its safe for a lady to take a walk around the lake all alone. Tourism police is always on the watch.
Then proceeded to the View point .5 kms away from Pookot lake. You can have a breathtaking view of the valley from that point.
On return, he showed us the Muneeswaran temple, where a god is worshipped in chains. The story according to our drive Noushad, goes thus - Many hundred years ago, those areas were inhabited by tribals. One tribal has showed the way to British to Wayanad. The British beheaded the guide after reaching Wayanad so that he doesn't bring others the same way. It is believed, after that many accidents took place at that particular spot. That adivasi's ghost is believed to have been chained there so as not disturb the travellers passing by that point.
Reached the hotel around 6:00 PM. Had a shower. Went down to the vegetarian restaurant for dinner at 8 PM. The main point in choosing Woodlands was it had a separate veg restaurant, knowing well that Wayanad is predominantly Muslim area and finding veg food might be difficult.