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The developments in the field of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have been accompanied by a paradigm shift from the layered protocol design to a cross layer design, which has shown its promise in effectively preserving energy, the most constraint resource in sensor networks. The proposed cross layer protocol, XLRP, explores an efficient routing strategy based on the application layer information along with the capabilities of the physical layer. Protocol design in wireless sensor networks have always resorted to low transmitter power levels as an energy efficient strategy with minimum interference. The proposed routing algorithm substantiates on switching transmission power levels based on the volume of the data being transmitted as an energy efficient mechanism. The cross layer design proposes a back-off mechanism by switching OFF unintended receivers based on the power of the received radio signal. In addition, the protocol reduces control message exchange by piggy-backing information and extracting information from packets received by unintended receivers. The effectiveness of the proposed protocol is demonstrated through simulation in ns2. The concept of operating the transmitter at various power levels is shown to be an energy efficient, scalable approach with a rational throughput.