Wayanad, is one of the loveliest hill stations of Kerala located in the heart of the Western Ghats mountain ranges at an altitude of 700-2100m above sea level. Wayanad is a beautiful scenic place with panorama of fascinating nature, sprawling plantations of various spices and tea. Situated amidst lush green vegetation and mist capped hills and smiling breeze blowing round the year, the place offers a lifetime experience to its visitors. The name Waynad is derived from the expression ‘Wayanadu’ which means land of paddy fields.
Wayanad is a beautiful hill resort with fascinating waterfalls, lakes, ancient caves, and varieties of wildlife. Wayanad shelters endangered species as it has an amazing range of flora and fauna. Wildlife aficionados and nature lovers will find Wayanad wildlife sanctuaries as the right place of visit. The place enjoys a pleasant climate the whole year. Having an influential history, numerous evidences depicting new Stone Age civilization is seen on the Wayanad hills. Around Wayanand, Edakal cave is awaiting you with the experience of trekking, feel the serenity of the nature in Kuruva Island, have boating in Pookot lake, refresh your mind by visiting many more places in Wayanad and make this a memorable journey.
Tourist attractions in Wayanad
Sulthan bathery – Edakkal caves:
Eddakkal cave is located 3 kilometres from Ambalavayal which is 25 kilometres from Kalpetta. The depth of both the cleft and the fissure is 30 ft. The new Stone Age pictorial writings on the walls of these natural caves are evidence of the civilization that existed in these regions in prehistoric times, which drawn attention of worldwide historians and archaeologists. Archeologists suggest that these cave etchings date back to at least 5000 years. One of the legends about this cave states that the caves were formed by arrows shot by sons of Sri Rama, the Hindu god from the epic Ramayana. Another local legend relates the little devil of Malabar, the Kuttichattan with the Edakkal caves. The Edakkal cave site is considered as a habitat of Neolithic people based on the Neolithic carving on the inner side of caves.
The caves can be approached by 1km trekking trail starting from Edakkal. The best visiting hours are morning and it is open till 5 pm. Tourists need to indulge in a one and half hour long trek to reach the entrance of the caves. The roads are in good condition. In order to reach the actual cave, tourists will have to trek uphill for another 45 minutes.
Muthanga /Wayanad wildlife sanctuary:
The Wayanad wildlife sanctuary is rich in bio-diversity. The sanctuary is an integral part of the Nilgiri biosphere reserve. It is located on 345 square kilometers of densely forested land. This sanctuary have abundance of peacocks, babblers, egrets, snipes, bulbuls, peafowl, and cormorants . The Wildlife Species that could be spotted during Wayanad Wildlife Safari include Asian elephants, leopards, cheetahs, tigers, gaurs, spotted deer, sloth bears, and sambars etc are reside here. There are also tiny and brightly colored butterflies flitting on sweet flowers and shrubs. You can arrange for an elephant ride into the dense forest to explore the sanctuary by contacting the Forest Department.
During the months of June through October, you will be able to see a flourishing atmosphere in Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary. The Western Ghats, Nilgiri Sub-Cluster including all of the sanctuary, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.
Chembra Peak, the uppermost spot in Wayanad is situated at 6,900 feet above the sea level is a beautiful spot located in the Wayanad hill ranges in Western Ghats. Chembra peak is neighboring to the Nilgiri Hills and Vellarimala. From Meppady, Chembra peak can be accessed by walk. District Tourism Promotion Council provides guides and trekking equipment’s with a little charge from the tourists. Permission from the forest office in Meppady is required for trekking up to Chembra Peak. From the top of Chembra peak you can view almost the whole of Wayanad. Climbing Chembra peak is a really exiting trekking experience. For nature lovers it may take a whole day to enjoy the beauty of this peak and reach the top. The picturesque locations and viewpoints from the Chembra peak are really fascinating.
Banasura Sagar Dam:
Banasura Sagar Dam is approximately 21 km towards the north west of Kalpetta. It is considered to be the largest dam in India and the second largest in Asia. The dam extends to a wide area with crystal clear waters. Undisturbed and engulfed amidst the hills, it is an ideal place for picnic as it is surrounded by the bounty of nature and the low sound of the clear water gives a feeling of freshness.
In the dam’s reservoir there is a set of islands that were formed when the reservoir submerged the surrounding areas. The islands with the Banasura hills in the background provide a spectacular view for nature lovers and photographers. The Dam has become a major tourist attraction in Wayanad and undoubtedly it is a must view spot a in Wayanad. Boating facilities in the dam and it is an ideal starting point for hikes into the surrounding scenic mountains .
Kuruva Island is situated on the tributaries of the river Kabani and is a picturesque picnic spot. With a total area of 950 acres Kuruva Island is plentifully rich with green woods.K uruva Island is a gift of nature to Wayanad tourists Its serene silence and wide expanse of the evergreen forest leaves you astonishing. This island is the home of uncommon species of birds, herbs and orchids. It is far from the busy city life making it an exotic place for visitors to relax and enjoy the beauty of the nature. It is closed during monsoon (June to September).
You can also take a guided tour of this island, with the help of local guide arranged by the authorities. The island surrounded by streams and river can be accessed using rafts or fiber boats run by Kerala Tourism Department. Entrance to the island is restricted and monitored by Vana Samrakshana Samiti, a Dept of forest of Kerala.
The Soochippara Waterfalls also known as Sentinel Rock Waterfalls is a thundering water steam amidst dense greenery in the Western Ghats. Soochipara Falls, is located about 13 kms from the town of Meppady in the Wayanad district of Kerala in India. The waterfall cascading from a height of 100 to 300 feet is a treat to the eyes. To reach Soochipara Falls, one has to drive through lash green forest of tea, coffee and spice plantations which is an enjoyable destination itself.
Surrounded by bamboo forests, the Kanthanparra Waterfall is more noted for the breathtaking beauty of the path leading to the fall itself. The waterfall at Kanthanpara is about 30 meters in height. Even though Kanthanpara waterfalls are relatively smaller than Sentinel Rock Falls, it is also a beautiful cascading water body for exploring and trekking. The major advantage with Kanthanpara waterfalls is that it is an easy hike away from main road, and even children can reach the waterfalls with minimum effort.
The Pookot Lake:
The Pookot Lake is surrounded by an stunning location. The water is clear and the foliage that surrounds it is a beautiful forest. Visitors can enjoy a boat ride against a serene backdrop. The area surrounding the lake has an aquarium, children’s park and a small emporium selling handicrafts and spices
Thirunelly temple :
Close to the Papanashini stream in Wayanad district of Kerala stands the 3000 years old Thirunelly temple. The temple is devoted to lord Vishnu and is constructed with 30 granite columns to protect it. There is a bridge from the Papanashini stream coming to the temple. This is of great help to the Thirunelly temple as the Papanashini water is used for the temple directly for its precincts. Thirunelly temple is a marvel of temple architecture.
Towards the south of the Thirunelly temple is the holy pond called Panchatheertha. The pond is named Panchatheertha as it is believed that five rivers met at this point.
The Glass Temple of Kottamunda :
This temple is located on the slope of Vellarimala and is dedicated to Parswanatha Swamy of the Jain faith. The mirrors inside the temple walls reflect images of the icons in the temple’s sanctum sanctorum.
Best time to visit Wayanad
Wayanad experiences tropical monsoons and rather hot summer. Thus the best time to visit Wayanad is between the months of August and May.
How to reach Wayanad:
By Air : Nearest airport is Kozhikode.
By Rail : Nearest railway station is Kozhikode
By Road : Wayanad is well connected by roads from Kozhikode, Kannur, Ooty (175 km from Kalpetta) and Mysore (140 km from Kalpetta).