Travelling with no pre-fixed itinerary leaves you with opportunities for impromptu visits to interesting places that are mostly known to locals only. We got a few such opportunities during our one-week in Wayanad. Makkimala hike was suggested to us by Gopa Varma, owner of Pugmarks Jungle Lodge. He and his friends had visited the place previous day and had a nice time.
Thomas, our guide for the hike, waited for us at the roadside. He had taken half-a-day leave from his job as a driver to be our guide.
The unremarkable mud track at the beginning does not give any idea of the simple beauty of Makkimala. The breezy hillock with a temple of sorts (Muneeshwaran Kovil) offers a panoramic view of Wayanad.
Thomas peppered the pleasant walk with stories, anecdotes, and snippets of life. An interesting person, Thomas has his own perspectives on various social issues and a stoic attitude toward the challenges he has to face.
After spending an hour or so at the top, we climbed down. Thomas directed us to a nearby stream, a cool place to take a dip.
And the Nice Restaurant he suggested for lunch turned out to be a really ‘nice’ one.
Makkimala is a few kilometers from Mananthawady, Wayanad, Kerala.