Monday, 18 April 2016

Banasura Sagar - Wayanad

Explore the untrodden roads that holds very rich, exciting and enriching experiences!

Part 2 - Day 2  - Visited Banasura Sagar Dam  ,Wayanad on 17 April 2016

I started at 0730 for Banasura Dam after checking out of Mint flower. This as per advice from Jiji who agreed to take me around on his Jeep. Why a Jeep taxi - Wayanad has a hilly terrain and in certain areas - it is Just non-metal roads  & only a Jeep can do Justice!! This is my perspective!

Tip  : Tourist spots are far away at 45 - 50 km one way from Sulthan Bathery / Kalpetta in Wayanad. So the traveller needs to start early ! Hotels also provide Tata Indica and Mahindra Verito taxis also, which might be more comfortable.

Jiji was curious and asked me the reason for myself being a lone traveller. I was only happy to explain that I come from a concrete jungle city Bangalore and that I needed a break ! We started chatting and became good friends. Jiji mentioned about his concerns on environment specifically on deforestation and water scarcity. He did mentioned that there used to be huge trees (in Wayanad) with width where in even 5 persons could not cover it by holding their hands together. Today trees have disappeared... Rains are still awaited and there is an impending water scarcity. He also mentioned that during his school days, he used to boil water in large utensils and then place the diesel in a steel vessel in the middle of such utensils. He then used to pour the heated diesel and hot water into his jeep as per his fathers instructions. Gone are those days when Wayanad used to be colder. 

Jiji went full throttle on his Jeep and we reached Banasura mountains by 0845 hrs. I asked Jiji to stop at a usual and good thattukada (thattukada is a small shop giving food takeaways and quick bite). Luckily there was a decent one at the base of Bansura hills and I was able to tuck in puttu  and velle appam (rice cakes)

0900 hrs: We reached the entrance of the Banasura Dam.
Tip: Jeeps are available at the entrance to ferry visitors till the dam area for INR 50. 
I was happy to walk this 1 km stretch and was rewarded with beautiful sights of the dam.   
The road from entrance to Banasura dam
Location: The Banasura Sagar Dam is located 21 km from Kalpetta, in Wayanad District of Kerala in the Western Ghats. It is the largest earthen dam in India and the second largest in Asia and an ideal starting point for hikes into the surrounding scenic mountains. It is an important tourist attraction. Banasura Sagar Dam is at the foot of the Banasura Hill. The dam has become a popular tourist destination. Many people visit the place to go trekking at the Banasura Hill. The Banasura Hill Resort, located about 20 km from the dam was rated as Asia's largest Earthen Resort by BBC. 

About Banasura Sagar Dam
Banasura Sagar Dam, which impounds the Karamanathodu tributary of the Kabini River, is part of the Indian Banasurasagar Project consisting of a dam and a canal project started in 1979. The goal of the project is to support the Kakkayam Hydro electric power project and satisfy the demand for irrigation and drinking water in a region known to have water shortages in seasonal dry periods. In the dam's reservoir there is a set of islands that were formed when the reservoir submerged the surrounding areas. The islands with the Banasura hills in the background provide a spectacular view. It is the largest earth dam in India and the second largest of its kind in Asia. The dam is made up of massive stacks of stones and boulders

Now for the action  : Speed boats & pontoon boats are available & are popular with tourists. Speed boat ride, in particular, is an exhilarating experience & not to be missed. 

I  teamed up with two other tourist groups from Tirupur and Kozhikode and we took the slower pontoon boat with capacity 20 people. Advantage pontoon boat : You can spend more than 30 minutes time in the lake .. a more relaxed boating experience. The speed boat is very fast and you may just get less than 15 minutes during the tour of the lake.

We all wore the safety jackets, and remained seated on the  boat. With a roar, the boat's powerful Yamaha engine revved and we started going around the lake. 

The sight of massive green mountains appearing to touch the sky contrasting with the beautiful blue water of the lake makes for a life time experience. We breathed the oxygen rich air, felt rejuvenated and headed back to the starting point

Sharing the video of this boat ride on 

1100 hrs: I had to say good bye to Banasura dam. I was told by Jiji to start before 1100 hrs so that we could reach and cover Kuruva dweep Islands!

Steps from the dam also offer different views.
Tip - Avoid going near the rocks and boulders for selfies as the rocks and boulders near the lake provide shelter to snakes - poisonous snakes !! Also try using the steps near the dam to descend and explore the route - this joins the same road towards entrance.  

Dear Friends, Please do watch this space for Part 3 - Kuruva Dweep island!  

1 comment:

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