After trekking to Edakkal caves in Wayanad, we headed towards Curuva Island in an auto. The word ‘Island’ made us visit there. After inquiring more, we got to know that it’s maintained by Forest department and good place to find different kinds of birds. One needs to use bamboo rafts to reach the Island and same rafts are used to come back.
It took approximately 1 hr to reach Curuva Island from Edakkal Caves. It shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes in a car.
The drive was beautiful through dense forests and coffee plantations.
Our Auto-Rickshaw driver are quite fast as he wanted to ensure that we have enough time to explore the Island. It gets closed at 5pm, so you need to be back from the Island by then.
We reached the entry counter of Curuva Island and bought our tickets from the counter of Kerala Forest and Wildlife conservation department. Single ticket costs 80 Rs which included to and fro in bamboo rafts. Camera ticket costs 40 Rs and you are also supposed to pay vehicle parking at same counter, so it was just 30 rs for the Auto-Rickshaw we were using.
There is some walk from this counter to the water-body from where we needed to take Bamboo raft. It was around 200 meters away from the ticket counter. There are long queue at the port and we waited for approximately 20 minutes to board on the raft and reach the island. In this queue, a guard comes to check your bags and ensures that you don’t have any plastic item to carry to the island. If you want to carry a water bottle, get a sticker pasted on it for 20 rs and money is refundable by the showing the bottle on you back journey. I liked this model implemented by Kerala Tourism and it works. A good thing for other state tourism departments to learn.
A ride on bamboo raft was something special, although our expectations were very high :). One raft was carrying approximtaley 50 folks at a time and I had always seen bamboo rafts carrying 4-6 folks. We wanted to do a ride on such raft, but time didn’t allow and such sights were located far from our homestays. I have used safety jackets at various places so far, but these were one of the best ones. Similar experience was there at Banasura dam as well.
Bamboo raft hardly took 10 minutes to hit the other side. We got off the boat and put our safety jackets in designated basket. There was a huge bamboo bridge on the other side. After walking for a while, you see two small pathways – one takes you inside island and other leads you to the other port. We headed towards the core of the island where everyone was going. Btw, Curuva Island is again a typical touristic place and hence crowded. There was lot of noise on the island and we realized that we should forget about finding any birds around. And we were right. We didn’t see a single bird, although various sounds were coming from the other part which was restricted.
After a while we hit a region of this island which had various water streams. And whole of this region of the island was full of people having fun in water. We were little disappointed, because we were expecting it to be a peaceful place which is close to the nature. Unfortunately it was opposite. But most of the folks were having fun, so it's definitely a good place for folks who want to enjoy in water splashes. Idea is to go there with right expectations :). Hope that readers of Photo Journey would benefit from this information.
We had a round of the island and then headed back towards the rafts to head back to Meenagadi (our homestay). It was not so experience for us, probably because of very high expectations. This was a learning for us to be more informative about such places. During this trip, we had hardly any pre-planning except our travel and stay. Many times we intensionally keep things open but they may end up with such experiences. It was another experience, I would say :)
Time to go other side of the water body and head towards our homestay...
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