The Wild Beauty of Wayanad, Kerala

By Arya Aravind, Associate Editor, Destination Kerala

Wayanad Wild, CGH Earth's newest resort in Lakkidi, lies atop several bumpy roads and major heartbeat-stopping bends along the winding passes. Located near the overflowing green cover of the Wayanad Rainforest, you can feel yourself growing closer to the destination, owing to the chill in the air and the chirping of birds.

The resort, while a little hard to get to, is undeniably beautiful with all its natural glory. After I got to the resort, I took a little time to freshen up and prepare myself for the upcoming treks and trysts with nature. While I doused myself in cool water and felt awake again, the resort's manager came around, offering to guide me around the vast expanse.

One thing I've learnt is to never underestimate the power of comfortable footwear, and to think that a small guided tour is not actually going to turn into a full-blown trek!

I am an avid birdwatcher and lover; so, for me, this was an absolute treat! I got to spot so many of my winged friends, including the Malabar Barbet, Indian Golden Oriole, Vernal Parrots, White-Bellied Drongos, and more! The resort manager, Subi, kept telling me about the local names for these birds, which were just as beautiful, if not more. We strolled our way to the local creek, following the route of which led us to a nearby hill.

This hill was where it kind of got tough for me to keep up, but all my huffing, puffing, and panting felt absolutely worth it when I reached the top! I am falling short of words when I say that it was absolutely spectacular! The misty ghat below and the sun setting across the horizon – everything was just picture-perfect, to say the least. We returned to the resort with our hearts and minds brimming with memories.

Along with the setting of dusk, our tables were also set with sumptuous delicacies, including a juicy prawn skewer and a tangy tomato soup. I let go of my inhibitions and my diet to simply gorge over Fish Nirachatu and the tender Idiyappams. While I pleased my stomach with the delicious food, my eyes were treated to the rustic traditional folk dance being performed for us.

After it was all over, we slowly waded to our rooms, where my stomach was almost groaning in protest. The room, and my bed, were comfortable and cozy. The interiors fit in with Subi's belief that everybody should always be more enchanted by the region's natural beauty. Dreaming of my view from the top of the hill was more than enough for me to doze off!

Morning came with the screeching of young birds, the practiced cawing of their parents, and the willowing breeze. I decided, after a quick breakfast, to go on another trek to surround myself with lush greenery. During this very trek, I met Manesh and Varun, the two resident guides who are also self-taught experts about animal behavior and local lore. They would also help you determine the difficulty level you should aim for, with respect to the treks.

Wayanad Wild sits mighty at an altitude of 2700 meters above the sea. If you are a fan of nature, even a month will feel like mere seconds! Whether you like looking at massive trees, dipping your feet in streams, or prefer being drunk on the aroma of wildflowers and local fruits, Wayanad Wild offers it all. And this is exactly what the resort capitalizes on. Presently 22 rooms strong, Wayanad Wild plans to add another 20 soon. Its USP is that it lets the forest's magic stand out.

Must-mentions with respect to Wayanad Wild include its serene pond, the stuffed chicken breasts with mushrooms and spinach, the special ginger pudding, and the Kerala special drumstick soup!

If you're aching to venture beyond the concrete jungle to a place where you can calmly gain balance and peace, Wayanad Wild should be your choice.

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