The truth is that even though I went to Wayanad twice before, I was not able to go to the place called ‘900 Kandi’ and I did not know about this place at that time. In the meantime, I have watched a lot of videos about the ‘900 Kandi’ journeys. So when I saw 900 Kandi Yatra on the ‘Srishti’ group I booked it. This time my childhood friend Ashwathi also joined me with excitement after reading many of my travel notes. It took a trip to meet us after 35 years. Our pick up from Calicut was at 6.30 am on Saturday morning. As Kozhikode had to stay the day before, I decided to take Kale and go around Kozhikode for a little while.
So on Friday morning, I along with my companion Meera and Aswathi boarded Janasatabdi at 9.15 and reached Kozhikode at 12.50. I thought that I can go there and take a room in the railway dormitory, but when I inquired, I was told that there is no room for ladies now. (did not understand why). Then we checked into the nearby hotels. Booked room in Saas residency. There were many people who were suffering from hunger, so they left it in the luggage room and came straight to ‘paragon’. Although there are many other good places to eat food, Paragon is the first thing that comes to mind when you come to Kozhikode. When he got there, he went to a wedding party. Next customers are waiting around each table. Anyway, after waiting for 10 minutes, seeing the pity, they called and gave me a seat. I Bought Biryani, Chicken Poriyal, and Beef Roast. Needless to say, the food was good.
From there we went to S. M. Street which is known as ‘Mitai Street’. That’s when I realized that there are so many varieties of alluvium. All types of fruits and vegetables make Aluva here. We also bought Aluva’s of different varieties of fruits. Later went to see the Tali Mahadeva temple. This is where the ‘Revathi Pattathanam’ was held in the past. Sri Mahaganapati Sri Balasubrahmanya Temple is also nearby.
Went to the beach in the evening. My FB friend Roshani also came to meet me there. It is very nice to have people like this when you come to an unfamiliar place. Tried the Kozhikode special ‘Ice Urathi’ and ‘Uppililittu’. Kozhikode is known to have many places to see and the rest can be on the go.
Our 900 started our journey to Kandi at 6.30 am. There were 11 of us including our coordinator in the Srishti group. Many people came from different places. We got into the car and got to know each other. We reached wayanad by 12 noon. There we went on a zipline ride run by a team called ‘liventure vacation’. When I stopped to ride the zipline, I saw that there was ‘zip cycling’. As soon as I saw it, I decided to do it. The cycle should be run through the wire tied above. Two people ride the cycle at the same time. When I saw the video before, I wanted to do it someday.
At first, he felt a little tense but got on the bicycle and took Meera who was scared too. After watching my videos, a few people asked me if they want cycle balance. Just hold the handle and press the pedal. Don’t stop pedaling for fear of looking down. After doing it, I felt good confidence, then I cycled one more time to take the video. I also know that it has been a few days since zip cycling started here. Fees are Rs 300 per person. Even though many people were doing zip lines on the way, it was very crowded there.
Had lunch on the way and went straight to 900 Kandi. If you travel 12 km from Kalpetta, you can reach Mepadi, from there we can go to 900 Kandi by jeep for 2-3 km. As it is off-road, there is only a jeep service. There are only 3-4 houses in 900 Kandi. We are staying in the house of Shaji Antony. There the tent will be set according to the need, two or three people can share a tent. If you look from there, you can see Aranmala, where the Wayanad mountain ranges are spread green, and it is a beautiful view when it is covered with fog. Shaji is a tiger who will do anything for us. After drinking hot coffee, we went trekking. This kind of trekking is for the first time. Because of the leech nuisance, as mentioned earlier, I kept the leach socks. On top of this, our Pulimurugan rubbed some medicine on our feet and sprinkled salt powder. Then I felt that I need so many sets. So he took us to the spotted forest, there is no exact path to walk, there are paths that elephants have taken before. It is rain-soaked leaves and mud, and walking through it is a risk. It is not a level road, it is uphill and downhill, we will climb up by holding on to any tree branch, and when we come down, the tiger will give us the tiger’s foot and we have to step on it.
Otherwise, the shoulder will be shown and you have to grab it and get down. Poor man, we’ve been kicked and kicked by 11 women, and yet there’s no shaking. He will show his ‘thighs’ to those who can’t get down at all (as shown in the movie Innocent). Growing up in the jungle, he is truly a tiger. In the meantime, the leeches on the legs should be removed, which is not so easy because they have glue on their body and stick to them. It is removed by spraying sanitizer and sprinkling salt powder. When you see blood on someone’s body, you know that a leech is biting. On the way, there was a fresh pile of elephants and everyone was scared inside. He said that it is a place where elephants and tigers always come. Pulimurugan strode forward with courage. We started to hear the sound of flowing water and again we walked for some distance hoping to reach the waterfall. When we see the person in front slipping in the mud and wonder whether to laugh or cry, we may have fallen. Some of the routes were delivered by sitting and lying down. So sitting and lying down we reached the spot. Taking such a risk was not in vain, such a beautiful view, and there was a good flow. Tiger Murugan will tell you the correct spot to land. Good ice should be called cold water because it freezes on standing. You can lie on it for as long as you want. Get cold when you get out of the water. So we had fun and lay in the water for a while. There are a lot of advantages to going all-girls, and you’ll understand if you go that way. Although it was 5:00 p.m., it was getting dark inside the forest. So Pulimurugan walked back with us.
Usually, those who come for trekking stay inside the forest. All their food and sleep are inside the forest. Now someone with courage should go and have a look.
As soon as they reached the room, everyone ran to the bathroom to get rid of the leeches. Almost everyone has been bitten by a leech. I got 3-4 from my feet and after showering I still got 2 from my body. I don’t know if it’s because of the lack of blood, but the poor leeches got a little.
It was cold at night and they prepared a campfire for us. So groups of girls who don’t know each other sit and play and laugh for a night. At 8.30, Pulimurugan had dinner, and the dinner was pulao rice, chicken curry, chicken fry, pappadam, and pickles.
After playing and laughing, everyone went to their tents as they were tired of trekking. All three of us were in one tent. When he wakes up in the morning, the tiger Murugan says that the tiger came at night. Since we are female tigers, we must have gone back quietly.
Ready by 7.00 am, we went to 900 Kandi Eco park. There is the ‘glass bridge’. As it was morning, we were able to board first thing. I thought I would be scared if I looked down, but there was nothing. It is a good view from there. But every team has time, so they will let us down when time runs out. By that time it had started to become Q. The next item is ‘Giant swing’. There was a little fear when I heard others sitting and screaming and crying. However, I climbed because I wanted to climb. A rope is attached to the motor and hooked to the swing and pulled back. When the swing reaches the maximum height, the hook will release, then there will be a shake (unknowingly we can hear a scream from ourselves). After the first dance, we will be relaxed and then we can sit like that and it is good fun.
There are some other activities there like skywalk, riffle shooting, rope walk… We tried everything we could find and went back down to the camp. Pulimurugan tried hard to trek another way in the morning. But because of yesterday’s tiredness, no one went when they asked whether they should go back home even though they were interested. Bro, this is not really trekking, there are still many sights to see and far to walk. We said we will do it again when we come this way and left. After watching my videos, some of them called me at night and told me to bring them again. Then you will have to come this way. In the afternoon we had a hearty meal and thanked Shine (Pulimurugan), at 3.30 we started our return journey, descended the pass, and reached Kozhikode at 9.30 in the night. Went to Hotel Sagar and had Pathiri, beef curry, and beef fry. The beef fry was super good. As our night train was at 11.30, we spent time sitting in Sagar itself.
900 Kandi was a long journey but a journey full of endurance. That alone made it a different experience.