A trip to Wayanad and a stay at Vythiri Resorts is balm for the soul
The monsoons are here again and a vague stirring in the heart for another fling with the rain took me on what turned out to be one of the most out-of-the-world trips ever.
The scintillating beauty of Wayanad has been told and retold in numerous narratives of travel and tourism. Even for this time of the year the roads were in surprisingly good condition and the drive through the Wayanad Ghats proved to be an exhilarating one.
A short break at view point to stretch the limbs and taste the wild gooseberries and mango pieces in brine left me with a tingling sensation in the taste buds. I take a few mind snaps of rolling hills, swirling clouds atop distant peaks and valleys clad in velvety green. Slow boating on a pedal boat in the famous Pookot Lake helped me catch up with the calm placid pace of the hills. Yet not even in my wildest dreams did I imagine what awaited me at Vythiri Resorts. It was almost as though nature sprang a surprise on me and left me captivated, a spellbound captive of the wild.
Just four kilometres from the inter-state highway at Vythiri, one has the feeling of having travelled deep into the heart of the forest to reach the eco-friendly cottages of Vythiri Resorts. With a waterfall under the window, the roar of the wind in what appears to be centuries old trees and the tumult of the mountain stream right besides the balcony, the weary traveller on the run from clichéd holidays gets the feeling of having reached a destination before the concept of time was invented and schedules were discovered.
Soon the rioting wilderness gets to you, seeps your civilisation-choked senses and leaves you strangely subdued yet thrilled in the lap of the primeval.
A langur straps the wind and straddles the trees in glee as I sit sipping my morning tea. The continuous downpour in the night has swelled the waterfall to voluptuous proportions and its roar, wild and incessant, drowns the senses in a tumult of sounds.
Friendly staff who leave you to savour your moments in peace, the warmth and luxury of impeccable hospitality in the midst of wilderness, multi-ethnic gourmet cuisine and tastefully planned cottages that leave nothing to be desired – this was not just another holiday resort but the stuff that dreams are made of.
No television, no laptops, no deadlines, no schedules, no stress. The incessant rain offers the drumbeats of a different drummer where there is no marching on but a willing surrender to the mysterious enchantment of the primitive wilds.
Nature at its best
Serenaded by gushing cascades of mountain streams, wooed by the enigmatic colours and secret scents of the forest and surprised by an occasional visitor from the wild, a Malabar giant squirrel pirouetting in the air like a prima ballerina and flaunting its rust brown tail in dandyish pride, one soon surrenders to an exhilarating sense of abandon.
In the night there is the sound of cicadas, the roar of the waterfall and through it all looming in the background, the spectral presence of the forest and its eternal silence that pierces the heart.
Journeying out of Vythiri Resorts I realised that both my silence and my speech were futile exercises to recount a fleeting moment of the sublime that sometimes touches the edges of our life like a butterfly and flits away, leaving behind just a faint trace of the immutable amidst the sick hurry and mutable pains and pleasures that we call life.
Having been plummeted into the depths of nature, what one is left with is the pain of having to surface in civilisation again, and the call of the wild beckoning you back.