I thought after a peg of brandy and a good night’s sleep on the day we reached Wayanad, I’d be super fine the next day. But no, I woke up with a terrible cold and fever
DAY 1: The agenda for the day included Edakkal Caves, Wayanad Heritage Museum and the Jain Temple @ Sultan Bathery. There was a slight drizzle throughout and I had a slightly reeling head as well But well, I wouldn’t come back to Wayanad just to trek again, would I? So, the fever was forgotten, and we sloshed through the muddy paths, got on a jeep and drove up to the foot of the trek point.
And then, we all began climbing. Honestly, I never expected Amma and Kunjamma to climb all the way up. But they did! We’re all mighty proud of you both!!
“Edakkal” literally means “a stone in between” (split it as edakku kall). It is famous for the fascinating prehistoric rock etchings found on the walls of these caves. Well, technically, they’re not caves, but a cleft…or a rift/fissure…caused by a piece of rock splitting away from the main body. A rock weighing several tons covers this cleft to form the ‘roof’ of the formation, thus resembling a cave. The prehistoric rock carvings are of human and animal figures (they’re yet to be deciphered!!), suggesting the presence of a prehistoric settlement. And more interestingly, there are three distinct sets of petroglyphs, the earliest one dating back to about 8000 (or was it 5000) years–leading to the assumption that the Edakkal Caves had been inhabited at various stages in history. Light enters the cave through a big gap at the right-hand corner of the roof where the boulder does not touch the facing wall.
It is also called the Ambukuthimala. Legend has it that the caves were formed by arrows fired by Lava and Kusha, the sons of Sri Rama. Some believe that Lord Rama killed Shoorpanakha (Ravana’s sister) in the narrow fissure at the southern end of Edakkal Caves.
Anyways, like when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, he planted the US flag there, when I reached the peak of Edakkal Caves, I planted a puke there :D
Gosh! I can’t tell you how tired I was by the time I reached the top. I sat about for a while, felt better after a while, clicked a dozen pictures, calmly gave away the camera to my cousin and…………………… and I puked everything from the previous day’s brandy and dinner to the breakfast I had that very morning! The poor husband then had to claw at the wet sand there to cover up my puke (he’ll kill me for writing this here!) For the initial couple of minutes after my burst out, everyone (including me) wondered how I’d climb all the way down! Apparently, when the puke gets out, energy gets in! I was super fine after that.
It took us about 3-4 hours to climb up and then reach back. Aching backs, legs and necks needed immediate rest, but the screaming tummy had to be pacified first. So we had lunch before going over to the Wayanad Heritage Museum.
Home to an interesting collection of 14th 16th century sculptures, the Wayanad Heritage Museum holds information on the history, culture and heritage of Wayanad. Tribal artefacts—which include jewellery, hunting and fishing weapons, farming implements, etc; ancient terra cottas, stone weapons, local art… The sculptures were all collected from various parts of the region. A series of pictorial rock edicts called the Veerakkallu (Hero Stones) depicts a bygone age of valiant warriors. Well kept with beautiful gardens that surround it, the Museum is open from 9 am to 6 pm.
By the time we were done with the history (and of course a few clicks later), none of us had the energy to go to the Jain temple. So we headed back to the room, sat around yap yapping, had dinner, resumed the singing session and slept by about 1 or so. My fever had shot up again, and I was so tired I was sure I wouldn’t get up the next day.
Our Day 2 agenda included Pookkode Lake, Banasura Sagar Dam and the Jain Temple (again!). To be continued…