Tourist information about Kuruva dweep, Wayanad District, Kerala in the first half and our experience at this place during our 2 day Wayanad trip in the second half of this post.
About Kuruva island:
Kuruva dweep consists of a set of islands inside Kabini river. Nearly 1000 acres of dense ever green forest, no human habitation and a possibility of spotting rare birds, herbs and flowers. Kabini bifurcates here to form one major island and when water level is low, some more minor islands emerge around this one.
Nothing specific as such-just you and nature. You’ll be ferried to the island in a boat and you get to spend time there as much as you want and need to return before 4.30 PM. You can either walk around and explore the vegetation or spread a mat, setup a camp and relax for some time. You can also cross the river on a raft and go to other side of the river bank, to see some nice green paddy fields and couple of huts, shops and tree top huts.
Boat fee: Rs 10 per person for ferry (There was an option of selecting between ferry and boat-we couldn’t spot any difference-both were looking same)
Island entry fee: Rs 10 per person, Rs 30 for still camera
Raft ticket: Rs 5 per person (to go to other side of the river bank)
Tree top hut rent: Rs 750
Vehicle parking fee: Rs 10
(Note: Rates as on 21st Sep 2008. Subject to change without prior notice)
If you’re on a tight schedule, 2-3 hours is the normal time required. If you’ve a large crowd or enough time, you can make this a full day or half day picnic program. You can also chose to stay in tree top huts for Rs 750 (too small in size-not really worth in my opinion)
It is in the north west part of Wayand district, about 17 kms from Mananthavady on the road that heads towards Mysore. Approx 5 kms detour from main road, through a forest full of bamboo trees-couple of sign boards are there to guide but you’ll need a sharp eye to spot them. Locals (some looked like tribals) will readily help if required.
*Access to the island might be cut off during monsoon due to overflowing river and strong currents that make boating across a risky task.
*Absolutely no signboards inside- easy to get lost. Have a look at the map and keep a geographical sense while roaming around.
Satellite image sourced from Wikimapia . island map photo by Jayasimha U.
Our experience at Kuruva Dweep
Kuruva island was the last spot on our 2 day Wayanad trip itinerary. We reached here at around 3 PM. The last few kms approaching Kuruva island had bad roads, other than this, roads were very good allover Wayanad. We bought tickets for the boat and were told to return before 4.30 PM.
Getting lost inside an island:
We crossed the Kabini river and entered the island. We roamed around and by 4 PM started returning towards the pickup point. We took a longer route along the periphery of the island and soon realized that we’re lost. Even after walking for 30 mins there was no sign of our destination (boat pickup point). No human beings around and no sign boards. To the extent possible we stayed close to the river but at times had to divert into the woods as there was no other way. We crossed our deadline of 4.30 PM, still clue less how long we’ve to go. Should we stop and walk in the opposite direction (return on the same path-which may take time but guaranteed to take us to original point) or should we continue hoping we’ll reach destination soon? Will the keep a count of people and wait for us if they realize we’re missing? Legs were tiring and we weren’t carrying anything except mobiles and cameras. Everything else was in the vehicle. Will we end up spending the night in the island? There’re no contact numbers printed on the ticket to call people and tell that we’re lost. Somehow we kept moving and by 5.20 PM we suddenly found our destination. Fortunately there were still so many people around (probably they also got lost like us?) and boatmen were operating still to take them to the other side. With a sigh of relief we took our seat in the boat and were back on the mainland, safe and secure. Each of us drank two tender coconuts each.
Root cause analysis:
I did an attempt to understand why we got lost inside the island. Have a look at the image, you’ll get an idea. We didn’t have an idea on the shape of the island. First we took a diagonal path, reached the other end very quickly. (Point A to B in the map) We crossed the river in a raft, spent some time on the other side of the bank and came back. While returning, as I said earlier, we took a longer path across the edge of the island. We thought the island should be circular and we'll reach Point A without much effort if we keep walking by the river side (the red path). We didn’t have an idea that it will be more than 10 times the distance between point B to point A, if we traverse through the edge. Due to triangular shape we went upto point C and back to point A, which was really a long walk. Soon we got tired and felt we’re heading nowhere. As we crossed closing time and no one else were to be seen around, it only added to the tension. If only we had an idea on the shape of this island and a compass in our hand, we could have changed direction and reach destination faster.