Karlad Lake: A Pleasant SurpriseIt was just a mid October when we were on our way to Wayand. We had a night halt at Vythri an the next day, we just wanted to see around before we proceeded to our next spot.
Our driver took a diversion from Vythri and within 8kms from there, our car was parked near a beautiful lake. That was spectacular and also a pleasant surprise to find such a serene lake so near from Vythri. It was Karlad. The place was lonely and silent with the chirping of birds all around. The appearance says, it isn't a frequently visited place and wouldn't have been grabbing much attention from the Tourism Department either.
How to Reach KarladReaching Karlad after you are already there in Wayanad is only a matter of say half an hour. For us it was our own vehicle that took us there. For those who are using the local or public transport, it will be on the safer side to hire a vehicle as you won't get any direct bus service near up to the lake. The other way is to take a Kalpetta Padinjarethara bus which would drop you at Kavummandam stop and from there you can take an auto rickshaw to the lake.
The LakeThe lake is spread over more than 7 acres of area, in a place named Tariod, which is 16 km from Kalpetta. It is a place which is ideal for peace lovers, and especially for those who wanted to take a breath of relief from the din and bustle of the city or even from a busy tourist spot.
This is said to be the second largest freshwater lake in Kerala and also a well-known picnic spot with boating facility. Surrounded by a thick stretch of bamboo groves, it makes a perfect route for trekkers. There is also a walking trail that reaches the nearest Pallikkunnu Church.
The famous Banasura Sagar Dam is just a 3 km away from this Karlad Lake. The Karlad Tourism Centre is equipped with a facilitation centre, a couple of dormitories, maintaining a heritage village and also a humble restaurant.
The Best time to Visit: Wayanad is moderately hot in summer touching about 35 °C and in winter the temperature comes down to 10 °C. It gets good tropical monsoons. To avoid the extreme climate conditions it is always better to visit the Lake and the other sites of Wayand between after the rains and before the summer. That is, the ideal months would be August to the end of April.
Other Tourist AttractionsWith the Bandipur and Mudamalai wildlife sanctuary around, that covers an area of 345 sq km, Wayanad is rich with the flora and fauna that makes it a hot tourist spot. You can also touch the Lakkidi, which is the gateway to Wayanad, and is situated 700 m above the sea level, near the Thamarasseri Ghat pass. So, those who are planning to make a visit to the Karlad Lake have along list of places to touch and enjoy a variety of activities.
The Statement it MakesKarlad Lake is a place that has yet to catch up its popularity. It is still a place that many of the tourists are most likely to miss out. As it was a chance meet for us, so it is for many. But once people reach there, the lake grabs our mind with its natural calm and quiet serenity. But today the situation is, despite its vastness, beauty, serenity and natural surrounding, the spot is not that well maintained and well nurtured by the Tourism Department. It feels that the lake is neglected of its honor that it deserves. A regular care of the lake can add a feather to the Wayanad Tourism and make a strong statement in the minds of the tourists.
Karlad Lake in Wayanad is a well-maintained lake with some adventure sports. I think most of the travellers are unknown about this place.
Wayanad as a tourist centre has great potential to grow as it is accessible from Mangalore, Kochi and Bangalore easily. The road infrastructure needs betterment though.