Bandipur -> Wayanad -> Kozhikode -> Guruvayur -> Cochin -> Periyar
We had been pretty busy during the days before our leaving. That meant we had done little planning before we hit the road. Infact it was so bad, we were actually struggling with the guidebook and try to figure out where to go! All we knew was that we were heading to Kerala, but had no idea about where in Kerala! We left the city pretty late – around 4 in the evening and decided to get to Kalpetta and spend the night.
We must have reached Gundlupet around 9pm. We stopped here for a while before continuing on the road to Kalpetta that passed through Bandipur National Park. This section of the drive was something I looked forward to.
For more information on Bandipur National Park, including what to do and where to stay, see my earlier report on visit to Bandipur.
Driving through the National Park’s forest in a moonlit night is an overwhelming experience. The road slits through thick treeline, forming silhouttes in the soft light. The silence of the forest is broken only by the gentle friction between the tyres and the road, and occasioanlly disturbed by a bird of animal somewhere in the trees. The forest absorbs you from all the sides, overpowering and awing the senses. Occasional gentle breeze and swaying of the trees induces a soothing feeling as we drive through. Our indulgence with the surroundings was enhanced by two tuskers that were enjoying a moonlit dinner of fine grass by the roadside. Mother nature was unfolding its magic to us in the widlerness. I slowed down for a second look but did not stop, keeping our safety and eventually their safety in mind. As we moved ahead, we saw a few more animals including sambars. We slowed down at some point to feel and enjoy the silence, only to accelerate quickly, warned by a trumpeting pachyderm.
The drive lasted for more than an hour before the stretch of the wilderness ended. We drove on for another hour before we reached Kalpetta, checked into a hotel to end our day.
To be continued..