Tag Archives: Ramcad Guest House

Kutta – Nagarhole – Bangalore

Day 6 – The Last DayChompingStag

The penultimate day of our Wayanad holiday began early – we decided to visit Nagarhole National Park. We started early but got distracted as we spotted quite a few spotted deer on the way.  Usually, they are frightened and shy away frm ppl.  So it was indeed a beeg surprise to see them focussed only on eating – they were chomping away on the grass and cared two hoots for us.  StagThis was a double yeah!! for us as it enabled us to shoot pics of them.  Occassionally,  a stag would look up and move the deer out of our focus area. We would then move away, only to find another bunch, a few metres ahead.  We kept trying to better our shots. The Arien with the borrowed  SLR, and me with our regular camera were soon so engrossed  that we had totally forgotten ’bout the Nagarhole safari that we were supposed to go to. Finally, after a few more snaps, the Arien tore himself away so we cud go for the safari.

When we reached, we were told that the bus had jes left and the next one was not until 8 or 8:30. We were willing to wait and so we whiled away the time, walking to and fro, chatting with the officials, shooting snaps, and getting bored! When the bus came back, we heard it before we saw it – as it was a very noisy mini-bus. The Arien decided not to go on the safari. In his words “The rickety bus will make so much noise tht no animal will be seen anywhere nearby. Forget it.” Meanwhile, we found out that the mini-bus would do a second-round only if there were at least 10 ppl in the bus – we were 6 – us and a family of 4 of which two were really small kids. We totally lost interest and decided to head back to Ramcad. BridgenearIrrupuFallsOver breakfast, which was stone idli and crunchy avalakki – we discussed our plan for the day.

The Arien insisted on seeing Irrupu Falls which was 1 km away. Now, I had been to Irruppu falls a while ago but cud only remember tht there was a steel bridge of green colour (I think) b’cos we had all stood over it and taken snaps.  Anyway, we freshened up and drove to Irrupu Falls. When we reached there – I could not recall the temple that was the entrance to the falls – I was sure tht it was built much later. After a looong walk, I finally saw the bridge – it was blue in colour 😀 I insisted on taking a snap – I still recall how we all had posed for the earlier one – this was frm a different angle and looked neat. The trick was to take the snap when no one was arnd – tht was tough – ppl were constantly walking to and fro.

Irrupu FallsAnyways, we kept walking on.  The place had changed quite a bit. For instance, I could not see the place where all of us had sat and posed for one of those group snaps. Anyway, the falls by itself was not too impressive after having seen Sentinel or Soochipura falls.  Of course, we had gone in May and so naturally, there was hardly any water. Still, there was enough for a lot of men with huge paunches, clad only in chaddis to have fun. The sight was honestly quite embarrassing.  We managed to take this snap frm a lower location so you do not have to experience that bit of torture. The lower location was more like a half-way break for the old and the weary to rest their feet before climbing up. After Edakkal, Soochipura, we found it easier to climb past the half-way location.  butterfly

On our way up – we read stuff ’bout Irrupu Falls being famous for the number of butterflies tht flock there. I was not even aware of that until we saw two guys shooting pics of butterflies. Immediately, the Arien took off as well, it was really trying – trying to keep up with the Arien who was trying to shoot the butterflies. I almost gave up hope when suddenly one of them stayed pretty close to us, allowing us to shoot it.  It took the Arien a few zillion shots before he got this shot. After a while, he got an amazing close-up shot. Looks like the butterfly wanted us to wait before it gave us its best shot 😀 We left Irrupu Falls soon after, the Arien was not too keen on playing in the water with the paunchy men and so we went back to Ramcad. As we drove to the resort, the Arien decided tht it wud b good if we ended the holiday immediately instead of staying for one more day as was our original plan. We went back to the cottage and started packing, and getting ready. We informed the guy who served us lunch ’bout our plan and told him to keep the bill ready. He took it pretty badly and walked off in bad grace. When the bill arrived, we had another shock – he had charged double for non-veg. We have always had this experience with Coorg.  Grrr….  expresses how I feel ’bout homestays at Coorg.

LoneTuskerOn our way back, we drove via Nagarhole and all of a sudden the Arien braked. The TATA Safari in front of us was reversing – in a few moments – it wud hit us if we didn’t move bk. The woman inside was signalling tht a lone tusker was right arnd the corner and it is best tht we retreat. All of us moved back very Eagletense. After a while, we were not sure if the tusker had left. The Arien of course, had to get out of the car and walk up with the camera. He had taken 3 shots of the tusker alongwith a few other foolhardy folks when the tusker moved towards them. Soon, everyone was running towards their vehicle and then after a really looong hour, we could finally go on.  Our drive for the next half hour was uneventful when we suddenly saw a jeep parked off the road and a guide pointing to something (probably a bird) and we spent a loong time staring at the tree when we suddenly saw it. It was an eagle that had blended so well with the surroundings that you hardly notice it. The guide was def an old hand at this. I am attaching a snap that would show you how difficult it was to spot the eagle.  The rest of the drive was uneventful. We reached Bangalore – completely exhausted, tanned, and happy. It was a great holiday 😀

Wayanad – Kuruva Island – Thirunelly

Day 5

It was our last day at Sultan Batherry. The hotel had a breakfast buffet with not too many choices. However, hunting for a better option would make both of us cranky and so we opted to have the in-house breaker and checked out arnd noon.  The plan was to visit Kuruva Island on our way to Thirunelly. After fighting over the route to be taken, I decided that we had to visit the Seetha Lava Kusha temple at Pulapally. When we walked into the temple, we saw folks coming out which was a clear indication that the temple was closed. This irritated the Arien quite a bit especially since we had lost our way a couple of times on our way to the temple and it was all for nothing.

DSC_8334We finally reached Kuruva Island. To find out that Kuruva Island was on the banks of Kabini was a major shocker for both of us 😀 It was a cool, serene island full of trees and greenery and we were glad we included this as part of our trip. We opted for a guide as I was a lil wary of walking into the jungle all by ourselves. We also opted for a raft that would take us to the other side. By now, we knew that lunch was going to be delayed – wht we had not planned for was tht the poor guide’s lunch was also going to be delayed. The guide turned out to be a full-enthu character and our trip was fun, funny, and bearable – all thnx to him. Well, first things first. We changed to floaters as we knew that there was enuf water to soak our feet, the Arien decided to wear shorts rather than risk getting his Jeans wet and we were off.  While the Arien busied himself taking pics of the flora and the raft, the guide insisted on taking our snaps – he also asked the Arien to place his arm arnd me and we both have these absolutely embarrassed DSC_8344expressions – snaps of which I am def not sharing 😀 

During one of the snap taking sessions, I lost the additional memory that the Arien had placed in the camera bag. I was feeling pretty guilty as I am usually a very careful person. Anyways, the Arien was in a good mood and did not kick up a fuss. The place was trecherous to wade through because of the rocks jes below the surface and we saw quite a few folks fall. A group of 3, 2 guys and a gal decided to keep up with us b’cos we had a guide but the gal was simply too slow- she wud stand on a rock and refused to move until somene came for her or helped her across. The guide was helpful and knew his way arnd, so he helped us cross easily. We saw a lot of leaves, dead wood as we recahed the shore. It was a brisk walk and a steep climb – we were huffing and puffing while the guide took some more snaps – not sharing those either 😀

kuruvatoddlerAnyways, he suddenly turned arnd and asked us if we wantd to see the kuruva tribes folks and we both nodded and said “YES” simultaneously. We walked n walked n walked till we were ready to drop and then we saw the settlements. The guide mentioned that the government has provided a lot of support for them nowadays, they have proper houses, electricity, and clothes. He mentioned that earlier they wud roam arnd in their tribal wear and attract a lot of tourists. While I wondered if we wud see anyone, we saw a lot of ladies in brightly coloured nighties who stared at us curiously but went on with their work. We saw two kids eating mangoes and we decided to take their pic – they happily posed. As we wandered arnd their settlement, we saw this shy toddler, who refused to look up or pose for any snaps – we took a snap of him too. It looks like he is sleeping but he is actually shying away frm us and the camera. We then returned back to our car, to be informed that someone had been bitten by a snake and was being taken to the hospital. Tht was one snap the guide should have taken – we both had this completely shocked expression. They also had sm handicrafts kinda shop and so we shopped for sm cutesy stuff to take home. Jes as we left Kuruva, it rained and it poured and we were so glad we were in the car and not in sm part of the island. I remembered that it was kept all raw and natural – no shelters for miles together and so I was doubly glad we had finished the trip.

DSC_8367Next part of the trip was to go to Tholpetty and from there to Nagarhole and then back to Bangalore. Our plan was to stay at the Inspection Bungalow a km away from Thirunelly. On our way, we saw these elephants happily walking across whch made us feel that we were going to have an awesome safari. Yipeeee!!! It was finally around 5 pm when we reached the Inspection bungalow and there was no one and so we had to call smne in Mananthavaddy who informed us that smne will be with us shortly. We decided to have lunch in the mean-time. Ok Ok.. it was not lunch… we decided to snack. Thirunelly was a very small town, we drove to the temple so we could have some food and wht a shocker it was. There were exactly two eating joints and the closest one looked very shabby but we really had no option but to eat there. We were served sm chappathi(s) and kurma. I was sure that the inspection bungalow would have amazing food and so we decided to eat lite and happily went back to the bungalow. It was while returning that we saw two resorts that looked good and expensive, Thirunelli Agraharam and another one whose name I forget. They were not ok with us having food at their restuarants unless we stayed and so we decided to get going to our bungalow.

As we neared the bungalow, it is a long winding road, off the main road, the Arien had a lot of misgivings. He felt tht the place was absolutely lonely, no one would hear if we screamed, and I was looking at him, completely shocked. What did he think the place was? Some kind of  bhooth bungalow? I scoffed at his misgivings and we reached the bungalow, after a looong time, I felt. The first thing that shook me was the caretaker, he looked evil with his paan-stained teeth, scary smile that appeared at all the wrong times. I asked him what he would make for dinner and he did smthng tht resembled “drink and die”. He probably meant “eat, and sleep” but I got pretty terrified. The Arien told him to make some rotis and subji and we decided to chk the room out. The room was musty beyond compare and smelt awful. Water dripped continously frm a tap in the attached bathroom. We decided to chk the other room, it was not even prepared and so was worse. We thanked him and went back to our old room which was dirty, musty, and did not feel comforting at all. Meanwhile, the Arien went to chk out the entire bungalow and park the car near our doorway instead of outside. By the time he came back, I had also chked the entire bungalow and seen arnd 10 pairs of shoes, jackets hanging on pegs on the wall in another part of the bungalow. That got me worried. If  there were so many ppl staying in the next room, the caretaker would have dinner prepared. The Arien walked in and said “Lets not stay here – I jes saw quite a few coats and shoes in the other room.” I said “Well, that makes it safe na?” and stopped as I saw his expression. The Arien clearly did not consider having 10 men staying in the adjoining room, safe by any standards. Suddenly, we were scrambling, moving luggage back to the car. We quickly reversed the car and the Arien told the caretaker that we have to leave urgently and we zoomed off into the late evening with no plan.

I think fear played a strong role in our decision making. And though Agraharam was available, it was a lil too expensive and so we decided to go to Kutta and stay at Ramcad Guest House.  It was 7 pm when we reached Kutta, and it was growing steadily dark. We waited at Ramcad Home Needs for the host to take us to his house. When we reached the house, we noticed that we were 1 km away from Irupu Falls. The wooden cottage that we had chosen was depressing. The Arien hated it but we had no other option so late at nite. Dinner was served late but was tasty and hot. Waaanh!!!