A night by the woods

It is said that the purpose of going to a resort is re-sort one’s mind which gets scrappy in the rat race for existence. We spent a fortune going to posh resorts with swimming pools, wellness centre, and scads of non-natural amenities. But there exist some veiled gems where you can re-sort your mind naturally. You can live amidst wilderness, swim in babbling brooks, detoxify feasting on organic meals, trek through the woods, hurry past wild elephants, listen to chirping birds and finally emerge rejuvenated. Illathu Homestay is such a place. 2 days spent here will linger for ever in my memories. Illathu Homestay is located at Thirunelly, a small village in North Wayanad. The homestay is located one kilometer from the famous Thirunelly Temple.

Y Junction

Y Junction

On the Manathavady-Mysore road drive down 10 kilometers and you are at Kattikulam..About 10km from Kattikullam, you will reach a Y junction. The straight road (main road) goes to Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala-Karnataka border and Kutta. Take the left road called Thetturoad, which finally ends at Thirunelli,

View from appapaara

Appapara a view

The road is narrow, full or curves and bends and there are ups and downs on the road. Beware of elephant herds on this road. Keep away from them because they are the most ferocious and mischievous lots found in Wayanad; they usually drift away from you. (Hopefully!).

Hosts At Illath Homestay

Hosts At Illath Homestay

From Thirunelly Temple you drive down south west pass tribal settlements, and you are at Illathu Homestay You will be welcomed by a friendly couple – Sukumaranunni , and his wife Saraswathi.

Scenic Illath Organic farm

With the Brahmagiri hills on the North, the Narinirangi hills on the South, the Udayagiri hills on the East and the Karimala hills on the West, and located by the gurgling river Kalindi, originating from the Brahmagiri hills you are in one of the exotic location in Wayanad.

The cottage amidst wilderness

The cottage amidst wilderness

The cottage located amidst a plantation, is a bit away from the hosts residence thus providing you complete privacy. After spending a major chunk of time in the asphalt jungle of Cochin it was delightful to plunge into this endless verdure, feel the breath of fresh air on face, have a walk on winding forest paths, bask along the scenic organic farm, all the time listening to the sounds of singing birds and bubbling river.

River Kalindi meandering by

River Kalindi meandering by

Here you are away from the maddening crowd away from the constant ringing of your cell phones, emails, Internet and newspapers. You can live your dreams, of a peaceful life, close to nature, close to God, and above all close to yourself. This place is surely inspired by nature and its charismatic beauty ensures your comfort.

From the cottage balcony

From the cottage balcony

The view from the balcony can be described as “simply out of the world “. It offers the perfect view of the surrounding organic farm, forest and mist clad hills.

View from the cottage

View from the cottage

After visiting the Thirunelly temple and an adventurous night drive through the forest path as a pillion on my host’s motorbike, I sat alone in the balcony overlooking the deep jungles listening to the bewitching sounds of dark night forest and the murmuring sound of river Kalindhi. Though it was creepy i was terribly curious and happy.

The pristine waters are tempting

The pristine waters of Kalindhi river is tempting

Crickets, owl screech, dog or real wolf howls, elephants, tigers and leopards– all this you can find here. I closed my eyes and let my imagination work. Lucky are all those departed souls who attained liberation in this holy land, because of the obeisance performed by their dear ones at Thirunelli. I could feel them around blessing me to free my soul from all its sins.These are the interesting and captivating moments of life.

Misty Morning - A view from the balcony

Misty Morning – A view from the balcony

Nothing to do and it is time to hit the bed. Next day early morning I have to be at the temple for performing ancestral rites.Call it nyctophobia, sceleropobia orphasmophobia,  I preferred to leave one light switched on.Every sound made me start, causing me to curl up further under my blankets. I cocooned myself in the blanket, pulling it up over my head and drifted off to sleep, to be awakened early morning by the sound of trumpeting elephants.

Woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promise to keep

And miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep

Robert Frost

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