Clean and pristine, enchanting and hypnotizing, Wayanad the green paradise settles among the mountains of the Western Ghats, forming the border with the world of the greener part of Kerala. The vast stretches of mist capped mountains, green meadows of valleys, white water springs, blue water lakes and wild forests express the splendid natural beauty of Wayanad. Moreover travellers can stay at the tree top houses and mud huts and also enjoying the thrills of jungle life.
Wayanad is a district in the north-east of Indian state Kerala with administrative headquarters at the municipality of Kalpetta. It is the only plateau in Kerala. The Wayanad Plateau forms a continuation of the Mysore Plateau, the southern portion of Deccan Plateau which links Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats. Located at a distance of 76 km from the sea shores of Kozhikode, this verdant hill station is full of plantations, forests, wildlife, history and culture. Wayanad has three municipal towns—Kalpetta, Mananthavady and Sulthan Bathery. There are many indigenous tribes in this area.
This area is famous for its large amount of camping and trekking trails, breathtaking waterfalls, caves, bird-watching sites, flora, fauna and an overall plethora of magnificent spots. The district is bless to have rich water resources. Because there are east flowing and west flowing rivers in the region. One of the major rivers in the district is Kabini River, a tributary of River Kaveri. Presently this area has been a tourist favourite over the years.
Places around Wayanad:
- The Edakkal Caves are at Ambukutty Mala. It is a pre-historic rock shelter form naturally out of a strange disposition of three huge boulders making one to rest on the other two with its bottom jutting out in between and serving as the roof. Edakkal literally means a stone in between. Edakkal rock engravings stand out distinct among the magnitude of prehistoric visual archives of paintings and graphic signs all over the world. It is the world’s richest pictographic gallery of its kind.
- Kuruva Island is the only one in Kerala that is nearby naturally purified water source. One can get a sight of many rare species of birds, orchids and herbs, as the region has these in plentiful. The island is surrounded by streams and river which can be accessed by rafts or the fiber boats run by the Kerala Tourism Department. Due to the presence of elephants and other animals, entry pass to this island has been made mandatory prior to the visit.
- Trekking to the Chembra peak is one of the risky tourist endeavours. The scenic beauty of Wayanad which is visible from the top of Chembra is very challenging and thrilling. The blue eyed water in the lake at the top of the hill never dries up even in the peak of summer. All along the steep and slippery way to the top of the hill, the whispering of the flowing spring which sprouts from the top of the hill accompanies the tourist. Camping in the night with camp fire and sleeping bags at the top of the peak in shivering cold is everlasting experience.
- Several species of animals like elephant , bison, spotted deer, tiger, leopard, bear and wild boar are found in Begur/Tholepetty Wildlife Sanctuary , which is just 100 kms from Vythiri.
- At a distance of 5 km from Banasura Sagar Dam, 25 km from Kalpetta & 48 km from Sulthan Bathery, Meenmutty Waterfalls is a magnificent falls located near Banasura Sagar Dam. Reach the upper level of the waterfall by 1.5 km trek from the entry point. It is one of the best waterfalls near Bangalore and among the best Wayanad tourist places to visit. Cascading down through multiple tiers from a height of over 800 feet, it is a spectacular fall situated inside thick forest flowing through rocky platform.
- Impounding the Karamanathodu tributary of Kabini River, the Banasura Dam supports the Kakkayam Hydro Electric power project. It is located 15 kilometers north west of Kalpetta town. The name given to this dam after Banasura, who is the son of Mahabali, a respected king of Kerala. The dam’s reservoir has a set of islands that was formed when the surrounding areas was submerged by the reservoir. With the Banasura hills in the backdrop, the islands are given the title of Asia’s Largest Earthen Resort by BBC. Speed and pedal boats are two options through which one can explore this area.
- Government authorities protects Bamboo Forest in Wayanad and collects a grain called ‘bamboo rice’ that have uses in many traditional food recipes in Wayanad. A perfect safari area, deer, buffalo, cheetah and wild bears are among the spotted creatures here. The Bamboo woods are a simple access to alternate places to see in Wayanad, for example, Begur, Bandipur, Mudumalai and Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuaries. The connection between the backwoods and the sightseers in Muthanga has years of oldness. Soak in the amazing beauty of the region while you head out to this place. You will find some of the Wayanad’s homestays in the forest region which will make you amused about the lush greenery and beauty of the place.
- Jain Temples at Panamaramnare situated within 5 kilometers north-east of Panamaram. The first of the people who migrated into Wayanad were Kannada speaking Jains. These people first came to the banks of the Kabani which was Panamaram. It is here that they built the Jain Temples that formed an integral part of the history of Wayanad. Now, though severely damaged, these temples form an excellent example of stone sculpting tradition. Altogether the site gives one a sense of mystery.
- Sulthan Bathery Jain Temple is generally known as Tippu’s Fort and situated at Sulthan Bathery town. Tippu used this temple as the Battery of his army. This ancient structure first was a shrine, next became a commercial trade centre and at last served as the place to store the ammunition and battery of the army of Tipu Sultan.
- Pookot Lake is located 3 kilometers from the Vythiri town. The lake is one of the most visited tourist places in Wayanad district of Kerala. Pookode Lake is a very vast natural lake by mountains and forests with thick bushes and tall trees, giving the whole atmosphere a calm and spiritual feel. Another unique aspect of this lake is its shape, which resembles the map of India.
- Sentinal Rock Water Fall also known as Soochipara (needle rock) Fall, is located at Soochipara near Meppadi. This is a three tire waterfall, at a height of 200 meters, by the decidious, evergreen and montane forests. The rock waterfalls offer a breath taking views of some of the best tea estates in Wayanad. It is an ideal place for white water rafting, swimming, bathing, rock climbing etc. The tree top huts at Soochipara gives you a unique view of the valleys of the Western Ghats. The pool below the waterfall is good for taking a quick dip.
- Though smaller than the Soochipara waterfalls, the Kanthanpara waterfalls is a must visit location in Wayanad. This is located 8 kilometers from Meppadi and 12 kilometers from Kalpetta. The Kanthanpara waterfall has a height of about 30 meters in two steps, giving it a feel of two waterfalls. If you wish to spend some quality time with your family or friends, this waterfalls forms the ideal picnic spot. So the lush surroundings of the waterfalls makes it a great spot for camping, trekking and swimming.
- The gateway of Wayanad, Lakkidi is located on the top of the windy turns of the Thamaraserry ghat pass. The travel through the nine hairpin curves from Adivaram to Lakkidi, is a once in a lifetime experience. This road to Lakkidi is set at an elevation of 700 meters above sea level. Lakkidi has emerged as one of the popular destination for tourists. At the Lakkidi view point, one can get amazing views of the surrounding hills and valleys. Following the sights of thick forests, gorges, streams and plantations greet the visitors at Lakkidi.
- An ancient temple dedicated to Lord Maha Vishnu, the Thirunelli Temple, at an altitude of 900 meters, is located 30 kilometers north-east of Manathavady. The place is also known as ‘Thekkan Kasi’ of Kerala. As per the beliefs, overall a dip at the crystal clear downhill river of Papanasini, wipes away all of the sins. The holy temple pond called Panchatheertham, is another notable feature of this temple.
- At high in the hills at Valliyoorkkavu which is almost 3 kilometers from Manathavady, the Valliyoorkkavu Temple is an ancient temple of Goddess Durga or Bhagavathy. The idol of Goddess at this temple is believe to be self – manifested. Further the 14 days annual festival held in March every year sees thousands of devotees take part in it. This festival is an important ritual of the tribal people of Wayanad. During all the nights of this festival, there is the traditional ritual of Kalamezhuthu pattu.
- A famous pilgrimage centre of northern Kerala, this is Latin Catholic church of the name ‘Our Lady of Lourdes’, Pallikunnu. This church is located at a distance of 14 kilometers from Kalpetta in Wayanad. Following the devotees who come here believing to have abundant blessings of Mother Mary. Every year, during the month of February, lakhs of devotees visit this shrine to celebrate the annual festival.
- Constructed about 3000 years ago, the Varambetta Mosque is said to be the oldest mosque at the district of Wayanad. Further the annual festive celebration held there in the month of March, sees hundreds of pilgrimage devotees come there.
Wayanad enjoys a salubrious climate throughout the year. But October to May is the best time to visit Wayanad. Whereas the times in between December to February are much cooler than the other months of the year with downfall of temperature up to 10°C. Travelers can also choose this duration as the best season to visit Wayanad.
- By Air: Firstly Kozhikode airport is located at a distance of about 25 km from the centre of the city. Travel Kozhikode by air to Mumbai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Goa, Madurai and Chennai.
- By Rail: Secondly the Kozhikode railway station is located south of the Manachira Square. Travel city by train to important places like Mangalore, Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Coimbatore, Goa and Mumbai.
- By Road: Lastly Kozhikode is well link with various destinations in Kerala and beyond. National Highway 17 links Kozhikode with the rest of the cities in Kerala and neighboring states.