Wayanad, The Unexplored Kerala
Interwoven with a breathtaking array of diverse landscapes, the rugged, virgin terrain of Wayanad captures all that is wild and wonderful. Sub-tropical savannahs, exotic legends, mysterious mountain caves and hidden riches of a bygone era set the perfect stage for some truly amazing adventures. Here, life's simple pleasures abound presenting untold treasures of sights and sounds.
Chembra Peak: Camp and Carry Home Some Memories
Go camping at the spectacular Chembra Peak located 2100m above sea level on the southern part of the Wayanad. The tallest summit in this region, pitching tent here is an unforgettable experience and you can hire your camping gear from the DTPC office.
Lake in the Chempra peak
Banasrua dam and mist the clad Banasura mountain
Edakkal Caves: Visit the Oldest Art Gallery
Explore India's oldest art gallery at the fascinating Neolithic cave site of Edakkal and try to unravel the mystery of the rock etchings. The wall art found in the caves that have been inhabited at various stages in history has caught the attention of archaeologists and historians worldwide.
You can see three distinct set of petroglyphs, the earliest dating back to over 3000 years. Nature representations on these cave walls made by Neolithic Celts were first identified by a British while on a hunting trip. These etching have the distinction of being the first specimen of abraded drawings found in India.
Edakkal Hermitage: Dine by Candlelight in a Cave
Edakkal Hermitage Resort is in the slopes of the Ambukuthy Hill where Edakkal Caves are located, you get to dine in a cosy little cavern. Probably the only one its kind in India, you can enjoy a candlelit dinner while revelling in the richness of the untamed nature surrounding you.
Jain Temple: Unearth a Rare Legacy
The beautiful Jain Temple built during the 13th century by the Jains who migrated from Mysore to Wayanad, has a rather chequered history.
It severed as a shrine , then as a centre of commercial trade and finally as the ammunition store or battery for Tipu Sulthan's army which eventually gave the town its present name 'Sulthan Bathery'. Made entirely of granite, the inner sanctum sanctorum holds a large granite slab with carvings of Mahavir Jain.
Though there are hardly any Jains here today , they have left behind a rich legacy in stones, in the shape of the many temples built by them.
Thirunelli Temple: Dip into a Unique Tradition
Make a trip to the Thirunelli Temple that embodies the classical, traditional Kerala architecture and emerge a new. A famous pilgrim centre, the temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu-the god who maintains life, attracts hordes of devotees especially for performing ancestral rites.
Snuggled among mountains and forests, this ancient riverside temple is close to the mountain spring Papanashini. A ritual dip here is believed to wash away one's worldly sins.
Pookot Lake: Cruise along Placid Waters
Glide through the serene waters of Pookot Lake filled with lilly and lotus blooms. This natural lake near Lakkidi is surrounded by evergreen forests and wooded hills.
Off-shore, you can shop for souvenirs and spices or enjoy going around the fresh water aquarium. And for the kids, there is a children's park at the recreation centre.
The restaurant and cafe add to the charm of this place which is an ideal picnic spot for tourists. Karalad Lake and the Banasura dam are other options you have for a perfect day out.
Kuruva Island: Find your own Desert Isle
Lose yourself in the beautiful, secluded island of Kuruva set in the midst of one of the tributaries of River Kabini. With 950 acres of lush evergreen forest, the island is home to a variety of birds, butterflies and orchids.
Wayanadan Tribes: Share a Secret with an Aborigine
Discover the fascination legacy of arts, crafts and culture of the various tribes that occupy this region and have them share some of their age-old secrets with you.
Wayanad has the largest population of aboriginals in Kerala belonging to different distinctive tribes. Forests dwellers by tradition, they have perfected the art of living in harmony with nature.
Some of the tribes are proficient in techniques of organised farming and their indigenous holistic herbal medicine is getting increasingly popular.
Women working in paddy field
Pazhassi tomb at Mananthavady
Muthanga Wildlife Reserve: Go on a Jungle Safari
Try viewing the world from a tusker's angle while on an elephant safari. The Muthanga in Wayanad has a large population of pachyderms and has been declared a Project Elephant site.
Other animals you can find here are the Leopards, Gaur, Sambar, Cheetah, Barking Deer, Hanuman Langur and the Slender Loris. The reserve is also home to a small population of Tigers, a profusion of birds, butterflies and insects.
Tree Houses: Be one with Nature
Get a bird's eye view from one of the famed tree houses of Vythiri. Situated 100 ft above ground level, these ethnic houses built on trees come with all basic facilities from attached bathrooms and flush toilets to double bedrooms.
Created entirely out of local available, eco-friendly materials, these Nature Resorts are accessed by an indigenous crane lift that works by a unique counter weight of water. The delightful interiors coupled with panoramic views of the mist-shrouded Western Ghats teeming with rare flora and fauna to the exotic experience.
Telephone access code: +91 4936
Air: Nearest airport: Calicut Airport
Rail: Nearest railway station: Calicut
Major towns in the district and distance from the nearest railway station:
Kalpetta: 72 km from Calicut.
Mananthavady: 80km from Thalassery/106km from Calicut.
Sulthan Bathery: 97km from Calicut.
Vythiri: 60km from Calicut.
Road: Well connected by roads from Calicut, Kannur, Ooty (175km from Kalpetta) and Mysore (140km from Kalpetta)
Tourist Information Offices
Tourist Information Centre
DTPC (District Tourism Promotion Council)
Meenmutty to Nilambur
Day-long trek through the rainforest of Wayand and Nilambur forest range, recommended for the seasoned trekker.
Though the climb is steep and arduous, this trail is ideal for even a first time trekker.
With two options for the amateur and seasoned trekker, this route offers additional delights for those would like to trace a river's course. Best time for river rafting is from June to Novemer.
Spot a wide range of animals from the Malabar squirrel to a leopard at the Muthanga. Teeming with wildlife, the reserve provides the very best for nature lovers.
From cardamom to cinnamon, pepper to ginger, and even vanilla, Wayanad now has an enviable spice cultivation programme. The spice plantation tour will lead you through acres of spice gardens, spread across several hills.
Tea garden in Wayanad
Pookkode Lake in Wayanad
Wayanad Tourism Organisation, Tel: 04963 255308, 325392
Heritage and Legend Trails
Ranging from the prehistoric cave painting of Edakkal , to the sacred Thirunelly temple and the legendary chain tree, Wayanad is home to many legends and folklores.
Pitch your tents in the middle of nowhere and cosy up near a campfire. Listen to master storytellers and experience the thrill of the first rays of sun breaking through the mist.
Trekking in Vallarimala
Vellarimala epitomises the natural splendour of Wayanad. Picturesque waterfalls, icy streams bursting forth from ravines, rustic log bridges, winding tracks disappearing into the woods and splendid views of the valleys below draw enthusiasts to this trekkers paradise.
Things to Buy
Varieties of spices like pepper, cardamom, nutmeg etc, are must-buys in Wayanad. Also tea, coffee, honey, bamboo and native crafts.
Visit the Uravu eco shop to check out ever two dozens varieties of bamboo products made by tribal women. The shop also sells pickles, spices and honey. Mini tables, tea Coasters and other interesting products are designed at Uravu factory.
Vinay Handicrafts has excellent carvings made from coffee wood.
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