What's not to love about staying in a Swiss cottage near a pond where pink water lilies bloom! Probably the tariff, you would think. But what if it can be arranged for just Rs 750 for one person? If you are thinking it’s quite a stretch, then it’s time you take a drive to Karlad Lake, near Vythiri, in the hill station of Wayanad.
Sometimes, a bane works up a boon somewhere on its way- the Karlad Lake has a similar story to it. This small lake was formed in the great floods of 1924. Upon getting to Wayanad, one has to reach Vythiri, and from there, get on to the road that leads to Padinjarethara to find this lovely lake with the pink lilies adding to its magnetism. There are a lot of visitors who to get to the world’s largest earth dam every year- the Banasura Sagar dam located nearby, but rarely do they proceed towards the Karlad Lake. And it’s time to rethink this; with small isles, tall areca palms giving you the welcome sways and the deep pink lilies, the Karlad Lake exudes a rare charm that is hard to resist. The lake is currently being taken care of by DTPC (District Tourism Promotion Council).
Karlad also offers you the experience of getting on to the zip line of the highest altitude in Wayanad. The aerial view of the lake while whizzing across to its other side on the cable rope makes for an enchanting ride. There are two things to look forward to while taking the cable ride- a 300-metre-long cable ride wherein one can get a bird’s eye view of the lake in its entirety and the scenic boat ride back to shore. If there is a group along with you, then going for the bamboo raft could be fun. For those who like Kayaking, there are multi-hued kayaks lined up to be picked up. There’s a small park for toddlers to play around, too.
There is a line of beautiful tents that sit facing the Karlad Lake called the Swiss cottages, where you can arrange your stay. They are roomy tents with facilities like a modern washroom, a cot with a comfy bed, fan and an almirah. The tents are constructed from ground up. Apart from these tents, one can also find mud houses. Even on a hot afternoon, it’s much cooler inside them. Water bottles, soap, shampoo and towels are provided to the guests. With the check-out time set at 11.00 am, the check-in time is at 2.00 pm.
There are visitors streaming in to Karlad Lake until it closes in the evening. Once it does, it’s an absolute piece of heaven for those who choose to stay in the tents. It could turn out to be just be a perfect evening of sitting by the shore of this calm lake, gazing at the lovely sunset. It’s a great place to be for photographers and bird-watchers—beautiful frames that can be envisaged among the migrant birds and waterfowls. Large groups of friends or family can easily rent two or more tents and enjoy a safe and exciting evening around the lake.
Karlad used to be large field a long time ago. A flood and landslide from the hills nearby closed up the field. The farmers who worked on the lush green fields and their animals must be sleeping peacefully at the heart of the lake now. The lake offers ten acres of land and a peaceful atmosphere where one can relax in good company.
Wayanad has saved up a few such experiential tourist spots near Vythiri. A word of warning to the kayakers – You are advised to wear a cap and never step into the water, because guides around the place have said before that some parts of the water feels like a marsh land.
Expenditure and Food
The cottage charges Rs 1500 for two persons and Rs 750 for one person. For additional members, an extra Rs 500 will be charged. The mud house is charged at Rs 2500 for two, and an extra bed will be charged at Rs 500.
Food is served on the roof-top canteen. Ajal, who is in charge of the tent houses, says that if informed in advance, the food of your choice can be provided for dinner. Chicken barbecued is a popular cuisine here, and if you want to barbecue meat yourself, they will arrange that for you. For those that come in large groups wanting to spend the chilly nights around a camp fire, rest assured, that will be arranged, too. The food expenses are not included in the room rent.
The nearest township to Karlad is Kavumannam. You can get down to relax at the Pookkode Lake once you reach Wayanad. Carry on to Banasura Sagar dam and then stop at Karlad Lake. Stay the day there with a ride on the zip line, boating and a quiet evening at the lake-side tent. In the morning, you can drive off to Sulthan Bathery or Mananthavady for an escapade into the forests of Wayanad, if you will.
Route – Thamarassery Pass – Vythiri – Pozhuthana – Thariyode – Karlad – 20 km
To book a cottage at Karlad Lake and for more details, contact – 9539595445