Resorts, Wildlife Sanctuaries of Wayanad
What is special with a Wayanad Tour? There are very few places that simultaneously offer a holistic experience of wilderness with comfort of a modern holiday. Wayanad India is a confluence where needs of body, mind and soul are met.
You can trek mountains and streams, bathe under waterfalls, balancing yourself on sharp rocks. You can simply lie down and dream as big as sky's expanse in your Wayanad tour. There you hear the symphony of wild calls in the background.
If you are enterprising, you can speak to plantation owners who trade coffee, tea, spices, vanilla and exotic oils. You can talk to plantation workers in the lush green terraces of manicured tea hills. You can listen to scary legends by the campfire and pick up lessons in history.
All these with experience of Malabar food and resorts in Wayanad make one perfect Wayanad tour.
Ok, enough, then I'll tell about the tourist spots and attractions of Wayanad that you must understand before your Wayanad tour.
Vythiri and Kalpetta
The heaven- A scene from Vythiri
Vythiri is a little town and there are quite a few interesting accommodations in which you can stay. Many of them merge completely with the forest environment.
If you have a modest budget and want to make the best use of your time, then the strategic location to stay would be in nearby Kalpetta.
This town is the headquarters of Wayanad district. It is a livelier place. There is more life to observe here. Kalpetta has transport connections to all the places in Wayanad and places outside Wayanad.
This is the place for good photo opportunities. The gateway of Wayanad offers a breathtaking valley view.
It is ideal to visit Pookode Lake as you head back to Vythiri form Lakkidi. It is 3km from the valley view area and nearly 1km from Vythiri.
A motorable road off the main road leads to the entrance of the lake. The place is crowded with hundreds of holidaying families.
Lakkidi view point on the way to Wayanad from Calicut
While you are at Pookode Lake, a visit to the Uruvu Eco Shop is a must. You could check out products made out of two dozen varieties of bamboo. They are mostly made by tribes and women of the area. They also sell gifts packets of spices, pickles and forest honey.
Southern Wayanad Tour
There are a number of tourist attractions in southern Wayanad. All these tourists spots are south of Calicut-Mysore highway. These places can be reached from Kalpetta and Sulthan Bathery.
It is the tallest mountain in Wayanad. To get to the top of the peak is a whole day affair. You should start early. Four hours is what the local people say they need to get to the summit from the base camp.
Quite a distance up the peak, a crystal clear lake temporarily erases the exhaustion of the climb.
Chembra Peak-the highest mountain in Wayanad
Soochipara and Kanthanpara Falls
Soochipara is the most attractive of them all. It is about 22km from Kalpetta and you have to take a serpentine road through tea gardens to reach it.
You will have walk 1.5km from the motorable road before you reach the falls. Shoes with a good grip are an absolute necessity. The waterfall is almost hidden in the dense forest.
Kanthanpara falls is on the adjacent side of the rocky are of Soochipara.
Meenmutty falls is about 29 km from Kalpetta, off the Ooty road. This again demands a 2 km forest trek. Locals have tendency to excessively praise this waterfall. This place is certainly more serene.
Heritage Museum, Ambalavayal
This is a museum of various objects associated with tribal life. Its terracotta figurines were collected from many places in Wayanad. Pottery, ornaments, hunting traps of tribes and musical instruments are showcased in the museum.
The Edakkal Caves, a prehistoric rock-art sit in the forests. It is the most popular tourist attraction in the region.
The origins of the engravings in the cave are still unknown. Fred Fawcett, the then superintendent of police of Malabar discovered the caves on a hunting trip to Wayanad in 1894.
It is strongly recommended that you come first thing in the morning, by around 9am, before the crowds build up.
Kerala Wayanad wildlife sanctuary consists of two separate reserves. Muthanga is the southern portion of the sanctuary. The other portion Tholpetty is in north Wayanad.
Trekking in the sanctuary is only allowed during the morning slot. You'll be rewarded with sightings of elephants and deer.
West Wayanad: Banasura
The Bansura Lake and surrounding mountains are the main attraction of wild west of Wayanad.
Seen in the early-morning light, with mist in the surface, the lake can be an impressive view. But it's the awesome backdrop of peaks rising from the water's edge that's the real show.
Boating in Banasura lake
Banasura lake in the backdrop of Banasura mountian
Banasura Mountain is the second-highest summit in Wayanad after Chempra peak, at height of 2073m.
Trekking routes rise through the dense jungle where wild elephants are in healthy numbers. Formalities can be arranged with hotels sited on the lakeshore.
North Wayanad Tour
The main attractions of north Wayanad are Thirunelli temple and Tholpetty reserve of Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. Kuruva Island is also a place with great tourist interest.
Mananthavady is a little town in Northern Wayanad with good transport connectivity. It's famous as death place of the rebel leader Pazhassi Raja.
25km northeast of Manathavady, Tholpetty reserve is the northern portion of Wayanad wildlife sanctuary.
The reserve is one of the best parks in Kerala for sightings for wildlife. You can see elephants, Indian bison, deer etc. Tigers also inhabit the reserve but almost impossible to spot.
The Forest Department runs jeep safaris from the park's main gate.
A small village situated in the base of Brahmagiri hills. Thirunelli temple is the most famous temple in Wayanad. Thirunelli lies 30km north of Mananthavady.
Thirunelli Temple in the backdrop of Brahmagiri hills
It is believed that temple is more than 1000 years old. It is dedicated to god Vishnu. The temple is an unusual mix of Kerala tiled roofs and north Indian-style pillared halls.
Devout pilgrims bathe in the Papanasini stream near to the temple. As the meaning of the stream's name indicates, the bath absolves pilgrims of their worldly sins.
Kuruva Dweep (Kuruva Island)
Rafting at Kuruvadweep
It is a group of 950 acre river islets on Kabini River. Kuruva dweep is located 17 km east of Mananthvady.
The islets have variety of vegetation, orchids, flowers, birds and butterflies. The largest island has two very small lakes. You can see massive trees in islets.
You need to keep aside half a day of your Wayanad tour for this wonderful stream-water trekking exercise.