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Wayanad-the wonderland - Home stay in Wayanad
Sights and sounds of Meppadi

Meppadi is a small, quiet and beautiful town in Wayanad. It is located in the Kozhikode-Ooty Highway and is 10 kms from Kalpetta. It has many natural tourist spots of Wayanad like Chembra Peak, Pookot Lake, Soochipara (also known as Sentinel) Waterfalls, Kanthanpara Waterfalls etc. There are numerous tea and coffee plantations that spread across 16 kms or more.

Chembra Peak is the highest hill of Wayanad. It is the perfect choice for trekking in Wayanad and gives you a great outdoor experience. It has a heart-shaped lake along the way and has gooseberry trees (Nelli or Amla) in the valleys. The fruit of the gooseberry trees (Nellikka) is quite popular throughout Kerala as a medicine, as an ingredient in cooking and for making pickles. The Lake is attractive to see and is a perennial source of water for the thirsty animals. Deers and other animals come during the mornings and evenings to drink water. There is a peculiar type of grass in the peak which gets dried up in the summer, during April-May. It catches fire due to the heat of the sun and it burns. Hectares of grass get burned. The ashes after burning are eaten by the deers of the forest nearby. Precautions are now taken not to let the fire spread across the forests and destroy the precious flora and fauna.

Plantations in Meppadi
A drive through the plantations can give you a wonderful experience. The beauty of the cliffs is more than words can describe. If you remember drawing a sun in between two mountains in your childhood days, you can actually experience it here. Sunrise and Sunset can be seen in its true splendour like coming real out of a picture. The Moon also can be seen in various shades here. Meppadi falls in the Nilgiri Biosphere area and thus have a pleasant climate throughout the year. This is the true climate of Wayanad which is inviting for any tourist. The tea plantations provide an awesome view on both sides of the road when you drive from Meppadi Town to Vaduvanchal. There are a number of employees working for different tea plantations. You can see the beautiful sight of woman employees plucking tea leaves which you might have seen in photographs. There are field workers and factory workers working in the plantations. Women employees do the plucking of tea leaves while male employees do the weeding and other works. The Plantation companies provide accommodation facilities for all labourers who depend on their job for living.

Paadi-A unique home
The quarters provided for them are locally known as “Paadi” that consists of 3 rooms for a family. There are about six to eight rooms in a single building. The labourers live as a community in harmony. “Paadi” fosters community living. The rooms include a Kitchen, a dining room and a bedroom.

Life in the Plantations
The Labourers are given land in the valleys and they cultivate vegetables, spices like ginger and pepper, plantain etc. Plantain is widely cultivated there. As they earn income through their personal cultivation and estate work, they maintain a good standard of living when compared to the other places in Wayanad. Around two decades ago, Meppadi was one among the places with the highest standard of living.

When you visit Meppadi, you can get farm fresh products-coffee beans, spices like ginger, pepper, cardamom, turmeric, yam, tapioca etc. fresh from the farm. You can get them at a cheaper rate than from the market and in the purest form.

The workers create small huts, a few meters high (similar to tree huts) at their farms, to protect their cultivations from the encroachment of wild animals. It consists of four wooden pillars where a guard will stay during the night. There is a twine for an area of two to three acres with a special alarm system. There is a wooden box and a wooden bell inside. When an animal crosses the twine, the alarm will go off and the Guard will wake up. That is how the alarm works.

There is a second type of alarm where there is no human guard necessary. There is an iron wire tied around the surroundings. There is a stone connected to the wire. There is fire crackers placed between two stones. When an animal crosses and touches the wire, the stone above will fall onto the cracker and it will go off creating a big noise that is loud enough to scare the animal away. This alarm is used during the early stages of cultivation such as during sowing of seeds.

Meeting with the wild
Wayanad is famous for its forests and the human inhabitants famously known as tribal’s. The tribals of Wayanad have been and still are a great subject of research and interest. Meppadi is surrounded by forest areas. The tribal groups called Paniyan are found in the forests of Meppadi . There is a wrong belief that they might attack you or rob you. But actually, they are much better-behaved than the city folks. I had a personal experience of their manners when a tribal came to my home and asked for water. When I gave permission he drew water from the well and drank it. Isn’t it different from how we usually drink water?

The Paniyan and Cholanaikkan are good and honest but they don’t mingle with people outside the forest. Cholanaikkan are very fair and is believed to be the descendants of the Aryan Race. Their lifestyle is quite interesting for a visitor. Making bamboo rice, procuring natural honey and catching fish are unique sights of Wayanad. Their homes are also different from the normal homes of villagers. We will arrange trips to visit the tribal’s, if you wish to see them.

The Forests are not so deep with dangerous animals like tiger, lion etc. Walking through the jungle is a must for adventure lovers. The jungle trails will be an unforgettable chapter in your tourist diary. Observe the wildlife of the forest like wild goats, boars (pigs) and red jungle fowl or wild chicken, monkeys etc. Botanists and plant lovers have umpteen plants, flowers, trees to see. There are birds whose sounds give you a feeling that you are in another world. Don’t you feel like taking your travel bags and rushing to this wonderland called Wayanad???

Chembra Peak Trekking - One of the major attractions nearby us, it’s very suitable for youngster and middle aged people.



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