Kerala · Travel

#HolidayDifferently with Sterling: 5 unique experiences with Sterling Wayanad

While I have been to Wayanad twice before, this time was certainly a bit more special for I had a chance to do things what I like the most.   As mentioned several times earlier, travel for me means not only sightseeing but also being able to experience the place from unique perspectives, whether it is the local culture, cuisine or customs native to the destination.  Thanks to Sterling Wayanad, I did all of this and more.

Enroute Sterling Wayanad
Enroute Sterling Wayanad

Unique sights

While Sulthan Bathery is largely synonymous with the touristy Edakkal Caves, the town is home to several engaging sights spanning history, culture and religion.  Did you know that the town derives its name from the fact that the erstwhile ruler of Mysore, Tipu Sultan parked his ammunition in an old Jain temple here?  Well, history has it that during the ruler’s invasion of the Malabar region, he used this 13th century temple as a storehouse for his weapons and from then on the place came to be known as “Sultan’s battery” which later became “Sulthan Bathery”.  Currently, under the ageis of the Archaeological Survey of India, this temple replete with sculptures, carvings and ancient pillars is worth a visit.

Jain temple, Sulthan Bathery
Jain temple, Sulthan Bathery

Yet other important places of interest include the century old Assumption Forane church, one of the oldest churches in Wayanad district, Pookot Lake and Kuruva island.

Inside Assumption Forane church, Sulthan Bathery
Inside Assumption Forane church, Sulthan Bathery

Interestingly, about 25 Kms from Sulthan Bathery is the Seetha Lava Kusha temple in Pulpally which is the only known one dedicated to the sons of Lord Rama. While we did not get a chance to visit this rare temple, this sight is not be missed if one is visiting Sulthan Bathery.

Experience nature at its best

Ideally situated just about 15 km from Muthanga forest reserve, Sterling Wayanad is literally in the “lap of nature”.  An early morning walk from the resort, is the perfect way to start your day amidst the sights and sounds of nature.  Lush green trees, chirping birds and flowers of all kinds are a treat to the eyes.  We were lucky to spot a totally magnificent tusker in the adjacent woods while it was busy grazing on the bamboos and grass.  Truly a fantastic sight!  The resort also organizes a night safari for interested guests.

A tusker spotted close to Sterling Wayanad
A tusker spotted close to Sterling Wayanad

Apart from this, the resort organizes a walk through the nearby paddy fields which is a great way to soak in the local culture.  Paddy, areca nut and banana are some of the main crops that are grown in the region.

Agricultural fields near Sterling Wayanad
Agricultural fields near Sterling Wayanad

Tribal village walk

Yet another exclusive experience one can avail through Sterling Wayanad is a visit to the tribal village close by.  The area is home to some indigenous like the Paniyas and Kattunayakans.  While the former are into agriculture, the latter practice honey collection for a living.

Karpi, a member of the Paniya tribe
Karpi, a member of the Paniya tribe

Surrounded by farmlands on one side and the forest on the other, a visit to their homes was truly an insightful experience and a lesson in sustainable living.

A traditional Kattunayaka home made from termite mound mud and bamboo
A traditional Kattunayaka home made from termite mound mud and bamboo

Curated culinary experiences

As mentioned in my previous post, meal times at Sterling Wayanad are exciting, thanks to the indulgent team of Chef Sathish Rajasekaran.  We were treated to an absolutely delightful “chocolate themed” coffee evening that was just delectable.

Chocolate themed evening
Chocolate themed evening

With the fare including tiramisu, coffee eclairs, chocolate coffee torte and espresso brownies it was just irresistible and the presentation was quite compelling!  Based on the season and requirements, the team also curates banana and jackfruit themed offerings.

Chocolate themed evening
Chocolate themed evening

The recreation of a conventional ‘Thattukada‘ which is essentially a road side stall selling street food including hot snacks, tea and coffee was yet another memorable experience.

A street side tea stall recreated at Sterling Wayanad
A street side tea stall recreated at Sterling Wayanad

Authentic Wayanad and Kerala cuisine

No travel experience is complete without experiencing the local cuisine of the region.  With Sterling Wayand, we were taken on a gastronomic journey where we sampled some exclusive dishes like the Wayanad special bamboo biryani, Chembra coffee and the ‘Mula ari payasam‘. The latter is a dessert made from the almost elusive bamboo rice which is cooked in jaggery and coconut milk.  This delicacy was my favourite!

Wayanad special bamboo biryani
Wayanad special bamboo biryani
Authentic Wayanad cuisine
Authentic Wayanad cuisine

Apart from Wayanad cuisine, we also sampled traditional Kerala fare which included specialites like appam and stew, iddiyapam, puttu, kallappam and the wholesome Kerala sadya.

Traditional Kerala cuisine
Traditional Kerala cuisine

Other authentic Kerala specialities
Other authentic Kerala specialities
Kerala sadya meal
Kerala sadya meal

A completely epicurean experience to say the least!  

Here is a piece of good news, Sterling is offering a SPECIAL DISCOUNT of 15% on all Room Booking until 10-Oct’18. To avail the offer, all you will need to do is to put in the code ‘Rashmi‘.
Visit www.sterlingholidays.com and book your holiday today

Disclaimer: This post was made possible by Sterling Holidays and Torque Communications.  All opinions, as always, are my own.

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