“How about a road trip instead?” said Ram, and it was this moment that gave me 8 of the most beautiful days of my life. The trip was suppose to be 2 months later but it felt as if the journey had already begun. As the day approached we were four of us on this voyage. Road trip from Pune to Kerala … I couldn’t believe it myself.
We started our journey from Pune on 30th Aug 2014. We travelled approximately 3000+ Kms till God’s own country and back. We travelled across 4 states and experienced pleasant plateaus, thick forests, mighty mountains, virgin valleys, beautiful beaches, fantastic falls, lovely lakes, raging rivers and so much more.
Happiness is a journey not a destination – Anonymous
Day 1 – 30th Aug 2014.
Pune to Belgaum.
The first day started with lots of anxiety and excitement at the same time. We visited one of the biggest plateaus of Asia “Masai Pathar” (pathar means plateau in marathi). This place is one flat land till your eyes could reach. In september this place blooms with wildflowers and seem like a vibrant blanket.
The trip merely started and we re-discovered our lost identity…same old careless college students that we were 4 years back
and here is the Icard 😉
It is this place where we found the 20th century Kanhaiya
We reached Belagaum at approximately 8pm and checked into a decent hotel Hotel Sai Sangam International (Rs. 2000/night for a four bedded room). Don’t be fooled by the word “International” this place was really national with national bedbugs 😉
Day 2 – 31st Aug 2014.
Belgaum to Mysore.
Next morning we started our day heading towards Mysore. We stopped by the iconic legislature building of Karnataka “Suvarna Vidhana Soudha” located in the Belgaum district.
We could sense that we have crossed Maharashtra as landscapes were now lined up by coconut trees.
As dusk approached we started to feel the need to foot down on at least one unknown territory for the day. Soon we sighted an interesting place with boulders all around, the place was like inviting us to come and rest a while…so we did.
and then we made some place to sit by pushing away the larger one 😉
and we sat basking in the sun.
until it was time to leave.
Day 3 – 1st Sept 2014.
Mysore to Chalakudy
On the 3rd day of our trip we decided to reach Chalakudy via forest of Bandipur and Mudumalai. We travelled across two states from karnataka and Tamil Nadu to reach Kerala. Driving through core forests was an enchanting experience in itself.
We reached Chalakudy at around 10.30pm. This was our first encounter with the delicious chicken chettinad and the adorable salt and pepper shakers.
we so loved these little guys. We were amazed by how creative people can get and tried to add little creativity of our own…
Oops it doesn’t fit that way…
While relishing our chicken chettinad we were informed about the state level strike on 2nd Sept 2014 that was the next day, damn it. Earlier we planned to stay overnight in Chalakudy and visit Athirapally falls next day before heading towards Munnar. However due to this sudden strike we chose to reach Munnar the very night, as the strike was supposed to start at 6 next morning. We took a great risk of driving on the great ghats of Munnar in the dark, but little we knew that this was going to be one of the most memorable experience of our life.
Day 4 – 2st Sept 2014.
Chalakudy to Munnar
We reached Munnar at 4 in the morning. We had to struggle a bit before we could find a place to rest. We were dead tired, specially the one who was driving. Driving through the ghats of Munnar at night was one hell of adventurous activity. Finally we found a hotel to stay Royal Retreat (got 2 bedded room for Rs. 3700 including 2 extra person) where we got a royal welcome from one of the largest moth in the world – The Atlas moth.
We woke up at 11am after much needed rest. Our room was on the ground floor and the view from the room was amazing, a river flowing beside and a man in lungi fishing on the bank.
The strike, we thought of it as a curse last night but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Due to strike all the tourist vehicles were at stand still in complete Munnar, however we had an undue advantage as we were riding our very own private vehicle. It turned out that almost all the places that we visited that day in Munnar were exclusive for us. It was a beautiful day.
It was cold and foggy
Ride down on a narrow bridge over Attukal falls is a must.
On the other side of the bridge was a small house that served us tea. The house owner had a goat who just gave birth to a new one, what a wonderful sight it was.
This house was nothing luxurious but was a pretty sight, they had their own little hanging garden which I felt was pretty cool.
We had some local breakfast – Dal wada
some more of typical Munnar
Day 5 – 3rd Sept 2014.
Munnar to Thissur
And the return journey begins…Next day we decided to visit Periyar national park before we head back to Thissur. Journey from Munnar to Periyar was lovely too as we traversed through thick woods throughout.
Periyar national park is a notable Elephant and Tiger reserve, although Elephants can sometime be sighted on the banks of Periyar lake sighting a Tiger is really rare comparitively. Periyar has a unique boat ride safari that gives you chance to have a look at the animals that graze on the banks or come there to quench their thirst.
Periyar has a typical landscape of lifeless tree trunks shooting out from lake’s base.
These lifeless wood often house life on them. Water crow (aka Cormorants) ofent build their nests on these trunks.
Periyar to Thrissur was the route where we encountered most obscured roads.
Day 6 – 4th Sept 2014.
Thissur to Mangalore
Before leaving Thissur for Mangalore we headed back a little south to witness one of the most spectacular falls of the nation “Athirappilly falls”. This is the largest falls of Kerala and is often referred as “The Niagara of India”.
We saw some beautiful architectural designs on our way to Mangalore.
We rode almost through out the night before reaching Mangalore. Earlier We planned to stay in Ullal. We reached Ullal at 4 in the morning but couldn’t get a place to accommodate ourselves. We were restless and couldn’t wish anything more than a fluffy bed to rest, however we couldn’t resist the idea of walking down the beach at 4 in the morning before heading towards Mangalore. This was another best moment of our trip. We couldn’t see anything as it was too dark, however froth generated by the waves were strikingly visible, This view allied with the opera of waves carved an eternal memory in our heads. I strongly believe that the best moments of your life are often captured on your mind alone.
Day 7 – 5th Sept 2014.
Mangalore to Nowhere
We left Mangalore with sun almost starting to decend. How could we leave Mangalore without visiting its heavenly beaches.
We left Kaup beach around 7pm and had dinner past Murudeshwar. We had plan to stay overnight in Gokarna but somehow spending a night in the wild infected our minds, we drove past Gokarna on NH 63 and stopped in middle of nowhere. Of course we aren’t bravest of all so we stopped near a couple of already parked trucks at around 4am.
Day 8 – 6th Sept 2014.
Nowhere to Pune
After sleeping for a couple of hours we left nowhere and marched towards our final destination “Pune”. We decided to visit Kaas plateau on the way back. Kaas is well known for its wild flowers that bloom around Aug-Sept. However we weren’t lucky enough to witness the vibrant blankets.
However Kaas is always special in its own way.
Road trips take travel experience to complete next level. I had my first road trip to God’s own country and back. The trip was planned and unplanned at the same time, we had our travel route planned but had no hotel bookings done at all. Finding a decent place to stay was an experience in itself.
We traveled from Pune to Kerala and back for 8 good days. We were four of us and the trip cost us approximately ₹12,000 each.
We traveled approximately 3000+ Kms till God’s own country and back. We traveled across 4 states and experienced pleasant plateaus, thick forests, mighty mountains, virgin valleys, beautiful beaches, fantastic falls, lovely lakes, raging rivers and so much more