Felt Like I was on Cloud Nine, Thrilling trip to Kerala, A Way Beyond
An enticing trip to Wayanad and get excited with the beautiful places.

We all were sleepy after an energetic blast at Munnar and on our way to Wayanad, everyone automatically fell into deep sleep. Sudden twisting and turning were the reason we woke up amidst midnight. On close inspection through windows, all we could find was the deadly hairpin curves that would make our adrenaline rush. One thing was sure for us, we were climbing up the hills to reach the land of paddy fields and home of tribes. My parents told me that you are going through your awesome days of life, that is being a college graduate and the trips are meant to give you enough boost up and lessons from exploration. This was our third year of college graduation and we all were waiting for the day of this tour. Kerala was our first option with preference given to Munnar. This is actually our second day of the trip. We are students of Christ University, Bangalore. Our tour was arranged by Gogeo Holidays from Kerala.  My friends in Kerala has suggested them. Boys used to go for monthly trips to Kerala and the inhabitants of Bangalore necessarily need a break from their daily life. Visiting Kerala is like recharging the senses and filling it with the vision of green. Keeping this in mind, I had sent the enquiry to the tour planners to know about the packages and they replied so fast to our enquiry and there were Kerala tour packages from Bangalore that included Munnar and Wayanad. Our day of the tour was planned for September 1 st to 3 rd. We have already completed our Munnar trip and was eager to visit Wayanad, the land of paddy fields. Our gang had 20 members and was touring in a traveler bus arranged by the tour planner.

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Since we reached Wayanad at midnight around 1:30 am, on reaching the hotel all went directly to the bed carrying the blanket. This is the most exciting part of a journey that is to get chilled and cozy inside a blanket.Next morning we all woke up excitement and regardless of our tiresome, all got ready by 7 am and started having the breakfast. Steamy idly and sambar was served to me while some ordered masala dosha. Our first destination was at Muthanga wildlife sanctuary for a wildlife safari. The coordinator counted our numbers and after ensuring all were present, we headed to the forest reserve and on the way we could see deep misty valleys. Since our accommodation was near to the wildlife sanctuary, it took only 30 minutes of travel. Our vehicle was taken for parking and we were waiting for getting the tickets and an additional fee was charged for taking a camera inside. Finally, we boarded the jeep and there were 3 of them for us. Then I understood one thing that why we should travel at early morning, the chirruping of bird had cleaned our ears. The Jeep took many turns which made us jerk. One amazing view was that the sunlight was struggling to enter the woods. It gave a perfect moment for the click. Our driver explained few details about the sanctuary. He told that it is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala and spreading across 377 square kilometers of area. He also told the tales of his journey with other tourists and spotting of wildlife. We reached a point from where a spot can be seen where wild animals come in a gang to drink water. Luckily we could some herds of deer. On further moving, paw marks of a tiger were seen and that really scared us. the jeep took us through many undulated terrains and we saw the inner world of the forest but the actual core point was somewhere inside to where the entry was restricted. We completed our safari and reached back to the entry point where our bus was waiting. It was about 9:24 am on my watch when we left the place. After, Muthanga wildlife sanctuary our next target was Edakkal caves.

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Edakkal caves were familiar to me as when I was small, about 10 years old, we had a family tour to Wayanad. At that time, we had a chance to visit the caves. My family was settled in Chennai at that time and even though Kerala was our motherland, we knew little about it. Thus we were on a family holiday package to Kerala so as to avail the guidance but now I'm tripping with my friends all the way from Bangalore. I was not bored to watch the caves again because the last time, being a child I was not taken to the top part and was meant to wait at the bottom with my aunt till my parents came. May be this is the perfect time for me to explore more about the caves. The travel took almost 1 hour and there was a parking ground from where the trek starts. Taxi or cab is available for those who can't walk up to there. We all chose to trek up and there were ups and downs. The trek demanded more energy and I was stopping at each place and was buying drinks to satisfy my thirst. One funny thing which occurred over the course of the walk was the monkeys. One of my friends, Nisha took her chips packet and suddenly many monkeys ran to her and out of panic she threw it way. That really made us laugh and we even took video of that funny moment. Thus by enjoying each part of our 1.5 kilometers of the trek, we finally reached the entry point to the caves. There are two chambers which can be accessed with iron steps. The lower one is 18 feet long and we entered into caves and darkness started invading us. These are actually not caves but were formed by the falling of a massive rock over a mountain which created a fissure. Many myths are heard behind its formation dating back to the episodes of Ramayana. We walked and walked and finally reached a point where steep iron steps were provided to reach the top. This trek was really tiresome and Nisha gave us enough boost ups if not we would have dropped it on the way as the trek was really hectic. Somehow we reached the top and there was a small cave inside which the engravings were present. The narrator told that these engravings date back to the Neolithic era and this proves the human existence in those times. I could see some drawings of signs and some tools, animals, and birds etc. After hearing the story we rested at the top enjoying the breeze and the vision was o compelling and we couldn't digest that we were 4000 feet above sea level. That was the perfect place for our group selfie. After which, we slowly descended the caves. 

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My Belly was struggling for food and for a temporary satisfaction, I ate the snacks I had. We completed our lunch at a hotel and was heading to our next destination which was Soochipara waterfalls. The journey took 1 and half hours. Most of them were taking a nap at this gap. When we reached Soochipara, the time was around1:00 pm and but the weather was pleasant as the scorching sun didn't come out. To reach to the falls, 2 kilometers of Trek was necessary. The trek was amidst forest and under shades. We all were in a sleepy mood and walked lazily. Big logs were on our way and greenish vegetation all around recharged us. Our excitement to witness Soochipara falls got increased. The trek was somewhat risky for me, the land was a bit muddy. Finally, we arrived at the bottom of the falls. The reason why it was called as Soochipara meaning Needle rock was that the shape of the rock from where the fall was dropping down seemed like a needle. We were about to hug the cool water and entered to the pool. That was really awesome and we enjoyed it to the fullest. 

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Waterfalls are the most enchanting part of a tour to Kerala and the packages are crafted in such a way that at least one waterfall is covered.  I saw it when I checked Kerala tour packages for family and the itineraries. Nowadays state wise packages are crafted which is really good as understanding the tastes and interests of the guests are necessary before inviting them to our land. Next time I wish to chose the backwater package along with the trip to other destinations. Now we realized that our tour was going to end and on our way back to the parking area, we bought ice creams from the stalls on the way. We took much time spending in waterfalls. Before leaving Wayanad, our guide gave us an opportunity to witness the legend, chain tree at Lakkidi gateway. Thanks to the operator and guide for presenting us the most indelible days of our life. I'm taking a lot of memories along with me to share with my parents. 

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