Monkey Business At Pookode Lake, Wayanad

Wayanad has several tourist attractions, ranging from lakes and waterfalls to beautiful, ancient temples and national parks. On our recent brief holiday to Wayanad, however, we decided to take things reallllllyyyyyyy slow – not endlessly checking off things from a to-do list, but exploring at our own pace, just as much as our hearts (and bodies and our little daughter!) dictated.

In the two full days and two half days that we spent in Wayanad, we ended up visiting only two lakes – the Pookode Lake and the Karalad Lake. We absolutely loved Karalad Lake and were not much charmed by the Pookode Lake, though it is just as beautiful a place as the former.

A view of the Pookode Lake, a tourist boat plying over it

The moment we entered the premises of Pookode Lake, our senses were soothed by the sight and sound of water lapping against the banks. The very next moment, we felt tension seeping back into our minds and bodies again – the place was super crowded, there was just too much chaos, and a closer glance revealed that the water was quite dirty.

The lake premises have too many things crammed into it, we felt – boating, a small temple, a permanent exhibition of Wayanad-special products, a children’s play area, an ice cream shop, a canteen, caricature artists, a fish spa, an aquarium… just too messy. And, oh, the monkeys! There are scores of monkeys at Pookode Lake, very naughty, very bold, not one bit afraid of the tourists.

We were told getting a chance at boating on the lake would involve a wait of at least two hours, so we decided against it. Instead, we chose to take a walk around the lake and settle down on a stone bench to just be and take in the surroundings around us.

It was rather sad to see this plant bearing the brunt of vandalism! So many names, so many initials carved into its leaves – sigh!

The monkeys kept us thoroughly entertained, the hour or so we spent at Pookode Lake. I have come across monkeys at tourist spots before, but never ones as precocious, as atrocious as the ones here. The monkeys at Pookode Lake are absolutely undaunted. They don’t have second thoughts about pulling at tourists’ clothes or bags, to get hold of their ice cream cones or popcorn packets. They appear out of nowhere, seem to jump out of everywhere. They sit right next to your bench, staring you up and down, sniffing the air, as if telling you they know all about the bag of chips you have hidden in your backpack. They don’t allow the tourists a moment of rest and relaxation, really. You have to see them in action to believe me.

This particular monkey was busy biting its tail, when we entered Pookode Lake. Later, we saw it had bitten a hole through its tail!

I had read about the monkey trouble at Pookode Lake earlier, so we left all our food in the car and did not carry any in our backpacks. We did not buy any food at the in-house canteen, either. The monkeys, therefore, left us alone, well, relatively at least.

A little monkey quenching its thirst, at Pookode Lake

Thankfully, the monkeys did not seem to be all that interested in my camera. They were content to do their mischievous acts, letting me capture all of it on camera.

A naughty monkey enjoying an ice cream cone snatched off a tourist!
This little one was so happy playing with his mother’s tail and lying down on it! It was so very cute to watch!
Another monkey, another ice cream cone, another tourist’s dupatta grabbed
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We sit on the heart of India!

We walked away from Pookode Lake with mixed feelings.

Of the two big tourist hotspots in Wayanad – Pookode Lake and Karalad Lake – I personally preferred the latter. Both lakes are equally beautiful and offer boating facilities. However, Karalad Lake is quieter and much better managed, as they have just a few boats to offer and very limited tourist activities. There are no monkeys at Karalad Lake, either! I much preferred the calm of Karalad Lake to the chaos of Pookode Lake. If you have to choose any one of these two, I would suggest Karalad.

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Tips for travellers:

  1. There is a minimal entry fee for visitors to Pookode Lake, INR 20 per head or so. Camera charges are separate.
  2. The lake tends to get quite crowded, especially so on weekends. Boating might involve standing in a queue and long wait times. Please do be prepared for this.
  3. The monkeys here are atrocious. Please do be on your guard at all times, and safeguard your children as well. It would be best not to carry any food with you into the lake premises, and avoid eating at the canteen too. Do not feed the monkeys, try to scare them or entertain them in any way.
  4. The parking lot is a short walk away from the actual lake. Please do bear this in mind while travelling with very young kids or aged people. You could make use of the local autos to commute from the parking lot to/from the lake. If you are travelling via a cab, you can request the driver to drop you at the lake and then proceed to the parking lot – that is allowed.
  5. The permanent exhibition within the Pookode Lake premises is quite good. It stocks a variety of products indigenous to Wayanad, all of it reasonably priced. This is a good place to shop for souvenirs and for exotic ingredients to take back home with you from your trip.

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I hope you enjoyed traversing Pookode Lake with me, virtually. Do let me know, in your comments!

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21 thoughts on “Monkey Business At Pookode Lake, Wayanad

  1. Oh dear.. the monkeys are really up to some mischief!! It is really sad to see signs of vandalism in such areas as well. Thanks for sharing this post to highlight all that is going on in these two tourist hotspots in Wayanad ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I’ve not previously heard of Wayanad. But any place with an abundance of monkeys definitely gets my attention. I love the photo with the monkey eating the chocolate ice cream cone. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. A necessity to disconnect within a trip sometimes. Too bad it is a bit of a tourist trap. I bet the monkeys get annoying there but so cute to see them in pics, love the one with the ice cream cone.

  4. Sometimes you need to do some slow travel rather than rushing around ticking things off the list! Good to know why you preferred one lake to the other, and at least you had some great monkey sightings, they are mischievous aren’t they?

  5. I used to like travelling at a super fast pace and taking in all the sights and sounds available in foreign lands. However, after visiting Laos, I slowed down and explored the cities at a much more relaxed pace which was more comfortable. Great to see that you slowed down your footsteps here.

    Amazing way to check out those cheeky, mischievous monkeys haha!

    1. @Nathan

      Sometimes you need holidays that are for endless exploration. Sometimes you need holidays where you don’t lift a finger. Our vacation in Wayanad was more of the latter type. ๐Ÿ™‚

      The monkeys are so cheeky, aren’t they? ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. That monkey seems to be enjoying the ice cream! I googled Wayanad to find out what country it’s in as it looks very picturesque

  7. Wayanad is such a beautiful place, we absolutely loved it there. We did visit Pookode lake but we stayed just 15 minutes, it was absolutely crowded and an antithesis to some of the places that we had been to earlier like the Chembra peak. It is so sad that tourists are vandalizing the property. Loved the monkey’s pictures and their monkey business.

    1. @Sandy N Vyjay

      Wayanad is, indeed, very picturesque. Whatever little we saw of it left us mesmerised. Can’t wait to go back and explore more of it! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Karalad is a much better option for tourists who prefer calm and quiet, over Pookode.

  8. The monkeys in Pookode have always been a bit more aggressive than others you might encounter in the wild. This is most likely due to the fact that the place is a tourist hot spot and the monkeys have become too accustomed to people and are practically fearless. I’ve never really liked Pookode either, primarily because it is too crowded for my taste.

    1. @Denny George

      A lot of other tourists with us loved Pookode, and found Karalad Lake too quiet, with nothing to do there. For us, it was just the opposite. Pookode was way too crowded and crazy for us, while we loved the calm and quiet of Karalad Lake. To each his own, I say.

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