Monday morning I came back from a weekend trip to Delhi. And on Tuesday I was asked to travel to Calicut or Kozhikode on less than 24 hours notice. This weekend, being a Christmas weekend, no flights, no trains, and no buses were available. The only option available to travel was hiring a cab and traveling. Anyway four of us took a Toyota Qualis and started our journey around 4:00 PM. Got stuck a bit in the city traffic and stopped by at Kamath Yatri Niwas for snacks, but it actually ended up being our dinner for the day. The roads in Karnataka were bad. But we could bear them while chatting and listening to radio city on the way.
As we entered Bandipur, the drive suddenly became interesting. It was an experience in itself to drive through the jungle late at night. We all were hoping to see some wild animals. For a little while, I fell asleep. And that is when everyone else saw an elephant. Then they told me that it is good luck charm to see a tusked elephant in the jungle. And I had the look of realizing that I slept over my luck. The rest of the jungle route I kept looking for another elephant but no luck.
Road Trip to Kozhikode
As we entered Kerala through NH 212, I was impressed with the quality of roads. Well marked roads, with appropriate road signs, indicating all the tourist attractions on both sides of the road. We reached Calicut via Sultan Bathery (Name derived from Tipu Sultan’s Barracks that existed there at some point in time) and Kalpatta.
As we reached the IIM campus in Calicut, one of the alumni from the campus kept showing us the nooks and corners of the campus. But we were too sleepy to listen to him attentively. But in that deep slumber also we could see the uniqueness and beauty of the campus built on a hill, or rather two hills converted into a campus. One hill housed the campus and the other hostels and guesthouses. When we got up in the morning and went to the campus, you could have seen the astonishment in my eyes. To see the beauty around, wondering how lucky are the people studying here to spend two years of their lives here in this natural splendor. On a hill with a valley filled with trees, absolute green. And on the other side the sea, where you can see the sun setting down every day.
Kappad Beach, Kozhikode
In the evening after finishing our day, we tried to rush to Kappad beach, where Vasco Da Gama had landed in 1498, to catch the sunset. But we were late for half an hour or so. The beach still looked beautiful. We tried to click some pics of the beach but could not because of very low light. We climbed on a rock by the seashore, and just sat there for about an hour or so. The sea was at high tide and very violent. We could hear the roaring sound of the waves hitting the rock below us. Three of us sitting on the rock had our own interpretations of the sound of waves hitting the rocks. To me, it was a form of music, a little violent, but still music. And there was a pattern or rhythm in the movement and music of waves.
Vasco Da Gama
To Satish, it all sounded haunting. To Mathew, it was nostalgic as he had been there a lot of times earlier. After about an hour very reluctantly we left back for the guesthouse. On the way, Mathew showed us the place where the arrival of Vasco Da Gama was commemorated.
Drive Back to Bangalore
Next day early morning, I and another colleague of mine started back to Bangalore. We again drove through the ghats followed by Bandipur. This time, I could spot a baby elephant, that too a tusked one. So apparently some luck coming my way, keeping my fingers crossed. I did click a couple of pics of the baby elephant, though from our car only. Driving through the ghats early morning was amazing, as we saw the dawn break while we were there. The first set of rays passing through the dew filled leaves and the first rays on the hilltops painted a picture. The mist and clouds all around us, made us forget all about everything else. If I had a choice I would have spent my whole day looking at all the beauty that nature had spread around that place.
As soon as we came out of Kerala, we hit the bad roads of Namma Karnataka. That is when we started longing for our homes. And we wanted to get there as soon as possible. It’s time that I bring Kerala up on my list of ‘To be visited’ places.
Recommend you read following travel blog on places to visit in Kerala.