Wayanad - Lakkidi Viewpoint, Pookode Lake, & Sultan Battery Jain Temple - Review



To get to Wayanad district from most parts of Kerala state, the only way is to cross one of several mountain passes. From Ernakulam area, the distance is only around 290KM, but it can easily take upwards of 6 hours to reach there as the traffic after Thrissur and the narrow ghat roads after Thamarassery can slow you down. But, once you get there, the natural beauty is all around. Thamarassery mountain pass (churam/choram)  has nine hair-pin bends and after that stretch is the Lakkidi View Point. There is limited parking on the valley-side of the road (one can park on the road shoulder on the other side of the road as well, but as it is a state highway, it is best avoided, if possible) - as a road-side attraction extreme care needs to be taken especially with kids.  The sweeping view of the mountain pass is definitely worth a stopover - some of the hair-pin bends are very visible on a clear day.

A few kilometers after the mountain pass is Vythiri Village, a tourist hot-spot - the hill station is known for several health resorts and spas. Pookode Lake turn-off is just before Vythiri  - there is a sign-board for the sharp-left turn-off and it is about a kilometer from that point.
The road is narrow and there is no designated parking facility - so vehicles are parked on either side of the road and so there is barely enough space to pass through for tourist buses and such. Pookode Lake (open all days from 8AM to 5PM, boating is from 9AM to 5PM) is a natural fresh water lake surrounded all-around in ever-green mountains. The lake covers over 20 acres and the maximum depth is just under 9 meteres. The shape is uneven although it is claimed that the shape resembles the map of India (needs a little imagination). Lotus & Lilies cover parts of the lake. Fresh-water fishes are abundant as well and a species (Pethia Pookodensis) of cyprinid fish is endemic to the lake. The stunning location makes it a hugely popular tourist spot and so the place can get very crowded. Maintenance is pretty good and the facility is managed by the Wayanad tourist promotion council. There is a curio-shop, small park, aquarium, magic-mirror show, etc in the facility. Entry fee is Rs 20 and the aquarium and magic mirror attractions have separate entry fees. Also, there are several options for boating on the lake - rates start at Rs 100 for a 2-person pedal boat (20-minutes) to Rs 500 for a an 8-seater row-boat (30-minutes). We took the 2KM walk around the lake. It was butterfly season when we visited and so parts of the pathway around was completely taken over by them - a very pleasant sight.

We had reservations at Pepper Grove, a KTDC property near Sultan Battery.The place can be hard to locate as sign-boards are almost invisible (apparently PWD doesn’t allow placing signboards on the road-sides anymore). There is a sign-board at the turn-off to the Right from the State Highway connecting Kalpetta to Sultan Battery (Manichira, Ambalavayal, etc. road-signs are also there). 1KM after the turn-off, take the first Left after Buddha’s Ayurvedic Spa (opposite Parsa Tower) - around 300M on that road is the entrance - it borders Manichira Pond. The rooms show their age but otherwise OK. There is a “restaurant” but you have to tell what is needed in advance.

The Sultan Bathery Jain Temple is on the right side of the State Highway after the Manichira turn-off, just before reaching Sultan Battery town - it was open during renovation when we visited. There are several Jain Temples in Wayanad district although this one is the most popular.


Related Posts:

  1. Wayanad - Edakkal Caves, Ambalavayal Heritage Museum, and Soochipara & Meenmutty Falls - Review
  2. Wayanad - Lakkidi Viewpoint, Pookode Lake, & Sultan Battery Jain Temple - Review (this post)
  3. Wayanad - Muthanga Wild Life Sanctuary Safari & Chembra Peak - Review.  
  4. Wayanad - Banasura Sagar Dam, Kuruva Island, & Pazhassi Tomb - Review.

Last Updated: 08/2016.

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