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Finding a hidden gem of Wayanad- Aranamala waterfalls

Wayanad Night Trek

Itinerary:

Friday: Leave Bangalore by night
Saturday: Day hike to Aranamala waterfall, Visit sunset-point and night camping at Ambukutti hills
Sunday: Watch the sunrise at Ambukutti hills, visit Irupu falls in Coorg district and drive through Nagarhole National park. Reach Bangalore by night.

What to Expect on this trip?

If one had to look up on Google and plan a trip to Wayanad- then don’t need to come with ‘Plan the Unplanned’. We at PTU, believe in giving unique and memorable experiences by taking them to off the map destinations whose rawness is still untapped by mass-tourism.

This weekend trip to Wayanad too is going to be one such offbeat place and something that one will cherish for a long time even after he returns Day one is going to be a long and action-packed day. After reaching the town of Sultan Bathery, you will freshen up and treat your taste buds with a sumptuous Kerala-style breakfast before gearing up for a long day of adventure.

The day will commence from a small town called Meppadi, from where a 6-kilometer drive in a 4-wheel drive jeep will take you to the start point of the trek. The drive will initially offer breathtaking vistas of the surrounding verdant and rolling hills of the Western Ghats and dupe one into believing that it is going to be an easy breezy day. And then suddenly, it takes you off the roads and gets all the adrenaline pumped up. The roads disappear and the thick canopy of trees enshroud the sight of the skies before alighting at the start point of the trek.

The trek starts with a descend on a trail overlooked by the ‘Tholayiram Kandi’ hills before merging with the thick forests of Aranamala. Thereon, the trail takes you through cardamom plantations to meet a meandering stream which is going to be the trekker’s guide until the destination is reached.

While being one with nature, you will enjoy the absolute music of the gurgling waters of the stream, the croaking frogs, and the shrilling cicadas. Make sure the trekking shoes are sturdy and have good grip, one would not want to entertain the co-trekkers by slipping down a few algae and moss-laden large rocks and falling into the shallow waters a couple of times. While most of the trail is along the stream, it is tempting to soak up the legs in the several small waterfalls that one would come across. A lucky few may even enjoy the free leech therapy along the route as well.

The guide might choose to take on smaller deviations into the forest and let you cling down like Mowgli hanging on vines and lianas. After a good long walk, the Aranamala waterfall emerges out in view making you forget all that you went through in getting here! Enjoy a good swim and some free fish pedicure as it is JUST you and your buddies in this pristine and clear pool of the Aranamala waterfall. After enjoying the dip, you will slowly get ready for your return.

After a short meal stopover at a campsite en route, you board your jeeps towards a sunset-point. Enjoy a good view of the sun going down in the Western Ghats and then head towards the last destination for the day. Another jeep ride is going to take you to the homestay located in the ‘Ambukutti hills. With high tea, long conversations, bonfire, and live music, it will be an evening worth a note in your book. Post dinner, you get ready for a night trek to the Ambukutti hills, where you would learn to pitch your tents before calling it a day.

Wake up early on the following morning and get greeted by the rising sun without leaving the comforts of your tents. The first view from the tent is bound to transport one to another world, a world above the clouds. You then take a short hike up and around the campsite and spend some time exploring the ‘Ambukutti hills’. The tents are then packed up and then descend towards the homestay commences. After freshening up and a hearty breakfast, you slowly wind-up your romance with Wayanad. The jeep will drop you at the bus which will then head towards Coorg.

You take a short hike through the forest reserve and reach the spot where river Lakshmana Teertha plunges down forming the ‘Irupu falls’. Take a dip and spend some time soaking in the waterfall which is believed to have healing powers. After changing into fresh clothes, you will have your lunch there and plan to head back to Bangalore. You will be driving through Nagarhole National Park. So, keep your cameras ready as you are likely to encounter wild animals like spotted deer, elephants, peacocks, or even a tiger if you are lucky! With a fun-filled journey along with your new travel-buddies in the bus, you can expect to reach Bangalore by late evening.

 

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