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Wayanad Vythiri Resort in Kerala

by on February 29, 2008

tea-estate-vythiri-resort.jpgWayanad is one of the Kerala’s lesser known districts, and the newest jewel in the state’s tourism crown. We discovered that the best base camp for exploring Wayanad is the tranquil Vythiri Resort, tucked away in a dense patch of rainforest off the Kozhikode Mysore highway. After touching down at the Calicut airport, a leisurely lunch op spicy prawn curry and rice, set the tone of our trip. Away from the clamor of the plains, and after negotiating numerous hairpin bends, we were soon on a dirt track, the road to the resort. Over the next 15 minutes, the track meandered uphill through coffee and tea plantations. Finally the car stopped and the chauffer announced “Vythiri Resort, madam”.

It is spread over 50 acres, the resort is perched on two slopes of a mountain, on either side of a natural stream gurgling through a small valley, which gives you the feel of staying within a rainforest. Past an imposing gate we stepped into a high ceiling corridor and onto a small wooden bridge spanning a pond, broad smiles and welcome drinks ushered us inside. Our cottage overlooked the valley and the stream, ad it felt as if we were living in a tree house. The cottage seemed to be growing out if the hillside and the trees were almost inside the balcony.

vythiri-resort-wood-bridge.jpgA magnificent rope bridge connects the two sections of the resort to either side of the valley, if you love walking on a swaying structure, then go for it but don’t look down because it was a scary sight. Electricity is sparingly used in the eco friendly resort, and solar heaters are used for hot water. Even the cutlery is unique, most of it made of coconut shells and terracotta. Bamboo lamps complement the décor, and the walls have rough mud finish. Television here is taboo thankfully so else one would miss the nature all around like the rustle of the leaves, the chirping of birds and crickets, the soothing gurgle of the stream and the myriad jungle sounds.

vythiri-resort.jpgAs the evening comes we walked over to the coffee shop for some tea and dal vadas. We were careful not to overdose on the snacks as we were looking forward to the ayurvedic massage that was to follow. The resort also offers an exciting spa treatment option. We emerged from the treatment cottage with nirvanic smirks and too hungry for any more excursions. At the restaurant, an electric blend of Kerala and Continental cuisine awaited us. All the dishes in the buffet were laid out in baked mud vessels with elegant coconut and bamboo serving spoons.

Next day armed with binoculars, a trusty camera and a stout stick we set out on morning trek through the resort acreage. A mud track wound through thickly forested slopes, and the subtle fragrances of the jungle wafted through our nostrils. As the fallen leaves crackled under our soles, an Emerald Dove, resplendent in bottle green plumage, fluttered away into the bushes. The path soon meandered into a coffee plantation, where the trees were laden with fragrant coffee flowers and berries of all hues. We made a discovery of rudraksh tree and collected the fallen nuts. After collecting few leaves we ventured into an extensive tea plantation adorning the lower slopes. We over closed the plantation fresh tree and then chalked out the day’s excursion to the Muthanga Sanctuary, a 50 km drive from the resort.

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