Wayanad, a district located in the north-east of Kerala, is a no-brainer holiday destination for the people living in Bangalore and surrounding areas. Wayanad is just about a 6-hour drive away from Bangalore, anyway, with quite a few home stays available. Most of the Bangalore tourists who visit Wayanad, however, stay just for a day or two – there is not much to do here, they say, just a couple of lakes, temples, tea and coffee plantations, and the undulating mountains. The husband and I, however, beg to differ.
Yes, Wayanad does not have many tourist spots per se, but the off-beat traveller does indeed have a lot to explore here. For people who enjoy being in the midst of unadulterated nature, who enjoy history and love learning about a culture and way of living different from theirs, Wayanad has plenty to offer. In fact, our homestay owner gave us a list of over 30 destinations that are worth visiting in Wayanad, which one can cover only over a stay of at least seven days! And that is minus the explorations of the pretty nooks and crannies that you run into here, which aren’t listed anywhere as such, but are surely worth the experience.
We stayed in Wayanad for two full days, plus a few hours on the two days we travelled to and fro. We were not inclined to check out all the sights, cram in a load of sights and scenes into the two days we would be spending there. Plus, the fact that we were travelling with a small child did not allow us the flexibility to do the full-on sightseeing that we might have resorted to earlier. Also, thanks to the winding, narrow roads of Wayanad and the fact that the popular tourist spots are all located at a 25-30km distance from each other, we think covering everything in one go is not really a great idea. Wayanad is, as per us, meant to be explored slowly, soaking in the sights and sounds and smells and tastes a little at a time.
We took it real slow this time, just choosing to visit two of the many tourist spots in Wayanad – the Pookode lake and the Karalad lake. I leave you with some postcards from the beautiful Karalad lake, my favourite spot in Wayanad.
Our Experience At Karalad Lake
With the help of Google maps, we took the interior countryside roads to Karalad lake, very few vehicles passing us by. The lush greenery on both sides of the roads enchanted us. I would say the drive to the lake was just as beautiful and enjoyable as the time we spent at the destination.
Karalad lake is a clean, serene and beautiful place, an oasis of calm. It is smaller than the Pookode lake, by the look of it, but much less crowded and peaceful. I fell in love with the spot at first glance, and so did the bub and the husband.
Karalad lake is the sort of place where you just sit and let the force of nature take over you, relax and rejuvenate you, heal you from the inside.
The waters here are magical, calm and quiet at least on the surface. They fill you with peace, as you take them in.
There are just a few boats plying the waters at Karalad lake. Take a ride on one of these, as we did, and the lake will enchant you further with its sights and sounds and hues. A boat ride here is such a soothing experience, quite unlike the overcrowded, stress-filled boat rides that we have had elsewhere. The splash-splash-splash of the boat’s oars cutting through the waters almost lulled us into a trance, the way real boat rides should.
Karalad lake is home to flora and fauna of several kinds, and we thoroughly enjoyed this bounty of nature here. The flowers in particular, by the lakeside, are very pretty.
If you are lucky, you will spot a couple of the small animals and reptiles that inhabit Karalad lake. We did!
Our boatsman told us there are several types of snakes that inhabit the waters of the Karalad lake, as well as a special kind of small turtles. We were blessed to spot one of these beautiful, little turtles on the course of our boat ride.
Overall, we loved the time we spent at Karalad lake. Though the lake is quite small and there isn’t much to do here, we liked this place much better than the crowded, not-so-clean Pookode lake in Wayanad. We walked away from Karalad lake, sated, our hearts content.
Tips for travellers
- There are very few boats plying at Karalad lake, so you might have to wait for a while for a ride. Do plan your visit accordingly.
- Unlike Pookode lake – which boats of an aquarium, a cafeteria, several boats and a little temple – there is nothing much to do at Karalad lake. Do be prepared for the same when you visit. The waters here are much cleaner and the place much less crowded and peaceful than Pookode lake. Personally, we loved Karalad lake, and couldn’t form a connection with Pookode lake.
- There is parking space available right outside the lake. Unlike many other tourist spots in Wayanad, there is not much walking involved in visiting Karalad lake. This is a place that will suit tourists visiting with young kids and the aged.
- The lake is open to visitors till about 6 PM, but boating is allowed only till 5 PM. Do plan accordingly – you need to reach the lake at about 3.30 PM so as to ensure a chance at a boat ride.
- There is accomodation (tents) available at the lake, for those who are interested. You need to book these well in advance, I am guessing.
- I hear there are zipling facilities available at the lake when the circumstances are favourable for the same. We didn’t spot any ziplining happening, however, when we visited. If you plan to visit the lake exclusively for ziplining, do check on the availability.
- There is an entry fee of about INR 30 per head for Karalad lake. Boating charges are separate, depending upon the type of boat you choose (pedal boat or one with a boatsman and oars).
- There are a couple of small stores telling tea, snacks and assorted knick-knacks right outside the lake compound.
I hope you enjoyed traversing Karalad lake with me! Please do tell me, in the comments section!