A long line of vehicles at the forest checkpost in the Karnataka-Kerala border, bad roads and delay in getting our rooms ready in Kalpetta meant we were already behind schedule. After breakfast, which can at best be called mediocre we headed to Pookode Lake. Having seen a few stunning pictures of Lake Pookode, I decided to include it in the itinerary. Had I read the Wikipedia article on Pookode Lake, I may have re-considered this decision. But it was not to be and Pookode Lake turned out to be as disappointing as the morning’s Masala Dosa. The hot November Noon Sun only worsened the experience. So Pookode is a small lake surrounded on all sides with hills and thick green cover. On another day and another time, the place has the potential to look scenic. But this was not the time or the day for that. Paddleboats are available for the visitors to drift across the lake. But a few minutes on these squeaky, outdated, holes-ridden boats and you would rather swim across – had the water looked a little appealing. The far end of the lake is home to quite a few water lilies, which the visitors are strictly not allowed to pluck!
The visitors can also walk along the path or just stay put – like I did. Pookode Lake is a “Plastic Ban Area” where you will find shops selling water bottles, cool drinks, chips and other packaged foods. Thankfully there’s also a botanical garden-shop selling plants with exotic-looking flowers and herbs. And ah… how can I forget the rather mild-mannered monkeys? The visitors have to pay for entrance tickets, camera charges and boat ride charges. So be prepared to spend at least Rs. 100 per head if you have a camera and intend to go for a boat ride.
This was not the start I wished for, from the “exotic” Wayanad. Things get only get better or worse. Which one will it be?
Getting-there: Pookode Lake is about 3kms from Vythiri.
Must-Do: Kalpetta (district headquarters) is the ideal place to stay in Wayanad since all places are at a convenient distance from here. Avoid this place if you are running on a tight schedule.
Must-Don't: Pollute and litter the lake and its sorroundings.
My Rating: 3/10