Escape to God’s Own Country and Visit to Radio Mattoli

The endless landscape, the never-ending lineup of tress on either side of the road spread across like a green carpet, draped through the mountains, the continuous chirping sounds of the cricket, the buzzing insects, singing birds, bubbling brooks, the fresh air on the face, the smell of coconut oil, and the heavenly fish curry was just perfect get-away for the team of Radio Active, that drove down to Wayanad for some down time and recreation.

The road trip from Bangalore to Wayanad was fun & relaxing and off the many routes we chose the Mysore- Nanjangudu- Gundlupet-Muthanga- Sulthan Bathery route … and on the way were lucky enough to see some spotted deers, monkeys on either side of the road, a lone elephant and some buffaloes and dogs.

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A quick stop at Kadamba for some steaming hot (bisi- bisi) thatte (plate) idlis and pongal, with coconut chutney and sambhar; crisp dosas and coffee, was a perfect start to the journey. We reached Wayanad in good time of six and half hours at 1.30 pm and the accommodation booked by Radio Mattoli was perfect. The cottages were lovely and the staff members extremely hospitable. The lunch at local hotel was simple and delicious and was the start of our love story with the food.

 “I was under the assumption that Kerala was always seasoned with coconut oil, however the thali served during lunch of kerala rice, sambhar, fish curry, palak sabji and fish fry transported me to another world”- Radha Mani

Following lunch we headed out to explore the place and discovered this beautiful stream, at Korram, 16 kms away from our resort. A short trek up rocky steps leads you to this beautiful tea estate and a walk down take you towards this small waterfall where the cold, clear water falls and gets collected below

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“I love the water and hence my joy knew no bounds, as I trekked the down the muddy lane… when the first feel of the ice cold water, assaulted me, I felt exhilarated. The water was so sweet and I did not want to get out”-  Manjula

 

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The picture-perfect setting, accompanied by the constant sound of the waterfall, and the stream all to ourselves – was just a faultless outing – Relaxing and Enjoyable! Tired and excited from the trek, we headed back into town and stopped at a small tea shop called Hotel Taj, for tea and snacks and rested at the hotel and planned for the next day.

Day two, looked promising, with a trip to the famous Edakkal Caves, Auyurvedic massage and Visit to Radio Mattoli

 “Having watched the movie “Edakallu Guddada Mele”, staring Jayanti, it has been my childhood wish to visit the caves”. – Priyanka

Edakkal literally means the “Stone in between”, and the cave engravings are famous for their distinctive style and represent various objects and cultural signs of the past societies… which included figures of humans, animals, trees etc

 

“I really could not even imagine climbing the hills, as the pathway had so many unusual rocks which was difficult for me to navigate, however my colleagues helped me throughout guiding me, both verbally and physically. When I reached the last step of the hill, my madam received me and said “Come Jaydev”, and I felt as I have I had alighted from a flight. The feeling is so difficult to describe!”- Jaydev

 

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While some of us continued to soak in the marvel of the caves, a few of our colleagues wanted to experience a traditional Kerala Auyrvedic massage

 “I have always wanted to have a massage; and having come to Kerala, I did not want to miss the opportunity and hence decided to go for one… the warm scented oil, the long strokes of the massage, made me refreshed”.- Padma Priya

Following the caves and the massage trip, we headed to visit Radio Mattoli. A station that has continued to challenge the Financial Sustainability Myth! Radio Mattoli , is licensed to Wayanad Social Service Society  and was launched in 1st June 2009. The station broadcasts for 16 hours a day and has coverage of over 85% of the Wayand District.

“When we entered the station, we were received by the receptionist and were led to the conference room for some tea and snacks. Post the introductions, we had an opportunity to share and appreciate the challenges of each other. It was interesting to note their way of working with the tribal community and biggest surprise was the space used by the station was donated by the Government of Kerala. We also explored content sharing of music, as people in the region also spoke Kannada” – Madhu Kumar

 

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The evening was spent singing and dancing, as all the shops were closed on account of strike… and finally dinner time, with rotis and fish fry .The food continued to be the highlight, with dosas and fish curry for breakfast.

“Unable to resist, on Radha’s insistence, we asked the hotel guy for the recipe of the fish curry”- Jaydev

The ingredients – 2-4kgs of Fish ( Indian Mackerel popularly called “Bangda or Aiyla”), small onions chopped finely and  ginger-garlic paste. For the masala use red chilli powder and a little bit Kashmir Chill powder for the deep red colour, turmeric powder, fenugreek ( Methi) powder and kokum soaked in warm water for 10 mins before use. In addition, oil, salt to taste and water.

The method: Wash the fish thoroughly using salt and vinegar. Let the water drain. Heat oil of your choice and add the onions and the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for two to four minutes and add all the masala and sauté till the colour changes. Add a cup of water and kokum and let it boil. Add the fish and salt to taste and stir lightly, ensure that it does not stick the bottom of the vessel. Let it cook till the fish is done and serve hot .  Radha Mani

Day three we decided to head to Meenmutty falls, as per Radio Mattoli’s advice.  The meaning of Meenmutty is where fish gets blocked. ( Meen – fish and mutty – blocked) . The waterfall cascades down in three stages from a height of 300 meters

“When I saw the falls, I just wanted to touch it, to feel it. I wanted to taste it and I saw this narrow passage near the rocks and climbed over and touched the water, and then drank it and washed my face with water” – Ramya

 

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We stopped by to collect halva and chips and all our pleasant memories of Wayanad trip, before driving back via the HD kote road to Bangalore

We have decided to make these annual trips, which not only help in team bonding, but also to relax and unwind, without any baggage.

 

 

 

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