The most awaited part of a holiday in the hills is waking up to a beautiful morning. Morning freshness is the best medicine for a mind mired with the boredom of daily routine. On the second morning of our trip, we couldn’t have asked for a more pleasant sight than this.
This view was accompanied by refreshing Coorg coffee, do you get the picture?
We went around exploring the coffee estate behind the homestay, walking barefoot in the mud and feeling close to nature.
How about a private river stream?
Forget private swimming pools, heard of a private river stream? Head to The Jade for that ! At a nearby estate belonging to the owner of the homestay, there is a small river stream flowing, almost like your own private rivulet. The place is a very short walk from the homestay through pretty scenes of Kutta village.
When you enter the estate it looks like an open field filled with straw. Walk a little further, the trees become thicker until you arrive at the stream with the surroundings looking like a mini forest !
Carefully treading on the slippery rocks, we found a nice place to sit and cool our heels in the cool water, it was around 8.45 AM and the pleasantness of the morning still lingered.
We had lot of fun sitting in the cascading water, splashing about and wading through the stream.
The fun also included a fish massage as tiny fish nibbled at our feet, sending some of us screaming out !
Breakfast fit for an Emperor !
We returned to the homestay for breakfast after an hour, tired and drenched after all the splashing. Breakfast was ready and waiting for us and what a breakfast it was ! The most delicious Akki rotis, Chana curry, bread and fresh home made butter, home made cherry jam, cornflakes and coffee. We devoured the Akki rotis and Chana curry like there was no tomorrow ! The food is prepared by the owner’s mother and we wanted to fall at her feet for the amazing food that we were treated to throughout our stay.
If not for anything else, a visit to Kutta and stay at the Jade is worth for the food alone !
We then set off for our sight seeing trip around 10.30 AM, the plan was to visit Thirunelli temple, Kuruva Island in Wayanad, Iruppu Falls and go on the evening Wildlife Safari at Nagarahole National Park.
Just 3 kms from Kutta, you enter into Kerala, Kutta is the last village on this part of Karnataka. We drove through the winding roads of the Western Ghats for 20 kms to reach Thirunelli, the curves giving almost all of us a headache.
Thirunelli temple in Wayanad is one of the oldest temples in Kerala and dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Given its historical importance and popularity, we had to visit the temple. It took us more than an hour to reach Thirunelli.
Renovation and road laying works were on when we visited the temple. We had to walk quite a distance on steep under-construction road, we literally had to walk on loose gravel and then climb some more steep steps to reach the temple.
All the effort and discomfort walking and climbing was forgotten the moment we reached the temple and heard the traditional Kerala drums playing to a perfect rhythm !
The temple is a small one with architecture and the peaceful atmosphere that is typical of Kerala temples. The temple was under renovation and except for this ancient mandapa, there is not much left that can tell you about its antiquity.
The drums played on with a crescendo as we waited for the temple doors to open after the naivedyam session. The dark interiors of the Garbha Griha and the dim oil lamps that light up the idol, the scene always gives the feeling that the Divine force is all around you.
After half an hour at the temple, we decided to head to Kuruva Island and grab a quick lunch enroute.
Murphy’s law at it again !
A short distance from Thirunelli, Murphy’s law came into effect. The last thing that you would want on a long road trip to remote places is a malfunction in your car that you have no clue about. Our Vento suddenly developed a technical glitch, a weird icon kept flickering which indicated some trouble in the control system and the engine couldn’t be revved up. The car did not stop but it wouldn’t go beyond 30 kms an hour !
We stopped by the road side and tried calling the Volkswagen helpline only to find very weak phone signals. According to the user manual, that particular blinking icon meant we had to get the car checked at the service centre as soon as possible, the nearest service station was 90 kms away at Mysore !
The theories for the trouble ranged from a faulty engine, bad fuel and a rat because that morning, somebody remembered observing a cat coming from under the car and presumed that it must have gone there looking for a rat which must have bitten off some wires !
After trying to read the manual, getting in touch with service centre at Mysore with dropping signals and finally not knowing what to do and with no idea as to what the problem was, we decided to go back to our homestay and get it checked by someone at Kutta first.
As soon as we reached a place where we had proper signals, we called up our homestay owner who immediately put us on to his friend who ran a car service centre and a nice restaurant, Cafe Robusta at Kutta. While he checked our car, we had our lunch and spoke once again to the service centre at Mysore who told us the car would make it to Mysore where we could get it fixed.
That meant, we had to drop the remaining part of our trip plan of staying at Gudalur, visiting Bandipur and Periyar Tiger Reserve. For a moment, we considered taking a cab from Kutta or risk driving the Vento to Gudalur but better sense prevailed and we decided to go to Mysore the next day, 1st May and have the car fixed the day after because May Day was a public holiday.
By the time we returned to our homestay, it was 3 PM. The sudden turn of events did not disappoint us and after a short break at the homestay, we headed to Nagarahole National Park in our Figo. As the senior most member of our family decided to stay back at the homestay and get some rest, the remaining group could fit into the Figo.
This incident has been added to the list of our travel adventures we will bore people with !
– Thirunelli temple is open from 5.30 AM to around 12 noon and again from 5.30 PM to 8.30 PM. One may find state run buses from nearby towns like Mananthawady, otherwise it is advisable to hire a vehicle.
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