Best Places to Visit in Wayanad
Wayanad is one of the 14 districts in Kerala and is situated between the districts of Kannur and Kozhikode. It is a very popular tourist destination, mainly because of its natural scenic beauty. Situated among the verdant mountain ranges of the Western Ghats, the stunning beauty of Wayanad is still in its unspoiled form.
The location has remarkable beauty, a treat for the eye. It's a real wonder that every year, tourists from different parts of the world come to Wayanad. The place also sees a lot of corporate crowd coming in for a weekend getaway to unwind and rejuvenate themselves. In fact, Wayanad is the perfect place to seek harmony and gratification that is missing from our daily lives.
The mountains, rock formations, and valleys that contributes to the peculiar terrain of Wayanad provide outstanding adventure experiences. Hills and dense forests are intermingled to create countless outback trails, trekking pathways and possibilities for other adventure sports. Tourism is the main non-agricultural source of income for the Wayanad district.
With vast stretches still undiscovered, Wayanad is absolutely an adventure paradise waiting to be explored. With an area of 2126 square kilometers and an elevation of 700 to 2100 meters above sea level, Wayanad has a prominent cultural history.
Wayanad sits on the majestic Western Ghats that are awe-inspiring, especially during the monsoon season. The heavy rainfall washes away the dust from the leaves, providing the whole place an ethereal ambiance. The ghats appear like a huge shimmering emerald.
Archeological proofs have revealed that Wayanad was in existence even a thousand years ago. Forests had both wildlife and human life that coexisted in harmony. The place was trembling and bustling with life even ten centuries before the birth of Christ. Numerous evidence, including carvings and engravings, supports this presumption. As a result, Wayanad has gained a culturally rich history over the centuries.
The area has been governed by the British for over 100 years. It was during the British rule that coffee and tea plantations originally began in Wayanad. The British built the roads all across Wayanad to make it readily accessible. This succeeded in bringing a large inundation of settlers to the city. Wayanad proved to be a wonderful experience for the people who came to the place looking for new and better opportunities.
There are several places to visit in Wayanad and here is a brief overview of some of Wayanad's most exciting tourist attractions.
It preserves the evergreen forest ranges that provide a unique ambiance, making it the perfect choice for tourism. There are bridges made of bamboo trees and several plants that we haven't even heard of. Natural enthusiasts and adventure geeks will find Kuruva Island the most desirable place to spend quality time alone or with their family or friends.
The island has many small streams along with the green forests, making it an exciting place to walk around. Activities here usually involve boating, river rafting, nature trails, forest hiking, and many more. It is the only island in Kerala encircled by naturally purified water. The only way to get to the island is by boats or fiber boats facilities that are organized by the Kerala Tourism Department. You can see a wide variety of species of birds, orchids, and herbs on this island.
If you are looking for a weekend getaway, head out to Wayanad and visit the popular Chembra Peak. Eight kilometers south of Kalpetta, near the town of Meppady, lies Wayanad's highest peak. Chembra peak is nestled between the borders the Nilgiri valleys in Tamil Nadu and Vallarimala in Kozhikode and is one of the most wonderful places to see in Wayanad.
Being one of the highest peaks in the Western Ghats, Chembra Peak is situated at an elevation of 2100 meters above sea level. It's a perfect place for trekking. A visit to this peak requires a pass from the VSS office at the main entrance, which also provides trekking guides to tourists.
The best part of climbing up this rugged terrain is that you can see the splendid heart-shaped lake which is said to have never dried up. Heart Lake, also regarded as the Love Lake, has acquired a heart shape due to natural rocks and lush green surrounding area. The small and beautiful lake with thick and dense forests is claimed to have never dried up.
Banasura Sagar Dam
One of the major tourist spots to visit in Wayanad is the Banasura Sagar Dam, which impounds the popular Karamanathod tributary of the Kabini River. The dam is surrounded by beautiful scenery with a lot of opportunities for trekking and similar adventure events. It is the largest earth dam in India.
The project area of the Banasura Sagar Dam also has an entry point for hiking to the Banasura Peak. An exciting feature is the set of islands that were developed when the reservoir submerged the encircling regions. Various activities such as trekking, boating, and sightseeing are provided here. While you're relishing the fascinating sights, sounds, and fragrances of Wayanad, you can also shop for some of Wayanad's rare specialties such as spices, tea, coffee, bamboo products, natural honey, and herbal plants.
Edakkal Caves is extremely famous for its pictorial artwork in the cave, which was formed in 6000 BC. It'll take about 45 minutes to climb the mountain, and you'll never get dumbfounded when you're out to these historic caves. The travelers need to walk through the Ambukuthi Mala to reach the caves.
These sculptures give an unbelievable confirmation to a very enlightened civilization that lived in a pre-eminent age. Edakkal caves attracted a great deal of attention from archaeologists and history students around the world.
There are two chambers within the cave, the lower chamber about 18 feet in length and 10 feet in height, and the upper chamber is around 96 feet in length and 18 feet in height. The pictorial writings of the New Stone Age on the walls are scientific proof of the ancient human civilization that prevailed in these regions. The cave was formed by itself when a giant boulder collapsed into the mountain. It is for this same reason that this location got its name Edakkal which means ‘ a stone in-between'.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is Kerala's second-largest sanctuary and was established in 1973. It has an area of about 340 sq.km and has four ranges. The four ranges are Sulthan Bathery, Kurichiat, Muthanga, and Tholpetty. It is one of the famous wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala with its lush tropical nature.
There are several endangered species of plants and animals within the sanctuary. It acts as a paradise for many large and wild animals, such as elephants, Indian Bison, deer, tigers, etc., along with a few peculiar birds. It was formed in 1973 and is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and a conservation area network of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka in the North East and Mudumalai in the South East.
Eucalyptus and bamboo trees are grown in this area. A bunch of thrilling activities for nature enthusiasts and tourists can be found in the Wildlife Sanctuary such as jungle safari, nature walks, sightseeing, and wildlife safari.
Soochipara waterfall is a splendid three-layer waterfall at Vellarimala in Wayanad. This waterfall, surrounded by deep green woodland, is otherwise known as the Sentinel Rock Waterfall. A 20-minute drive from Meppadi in Wayanad will bring you to this astonishing waterfall, and it's one of the best spots to see in Wayanad.
Falling from a height of 100 to 200 ft, this waterfall is a perfect location for trekking and rock climbing. You can locate a clear water pool below this waterfall where you can swim and wash. You should certainly add these places to your Wayanad tour plan to make a memorable experience.
The spellbinding view of water dropping from a height of more than 400 meters in the three Steps will now doubt the excitement of a traveler to this sport. Meenmutty Waterfalls is a three-layer waterfall and one of Wayanad's delightful tourist spots that will melt your heart.
A secluded trek for about 2 km through the lush tropical forest of Wayanad-Ooty road leads to this tranquil natural wonder. It will be a bit of a risky trek during the monsoon season.
The Neelimala Viewpoint is located among the highest echelon of the district. You can get a picturesque view of the great Meenmutti waterfalls, prompting a great number of people to visit this destination. The Viewpoint also provides some fun-filled experiences along with a spellbinding view. To get to the viewpoint, you need to take the Ooty-Vaduvanchal route, and from there you have to trek to the hilltop.
The trek to the viewpoint is just as fabulous as the location itself. You are enveloped by flowers and plants of all kinds and shades along with the gratifying fragrance of coffee that gives you company all the way. The clouds appear closer and the valley seems to stretch indefinitely from here. From the fog covered hillsides to the massive rock formations in the interesting structures around you, you can choose whatever part of nature you want to explore.
Lakkidi is the highest destinations in Wayanad with picturesque scenery. Lakkidi is also known as the gateway to Wayanad and is located at an elevation of 700 m above sea level at the top of the Thamarasseri Ghats Pass. A lot of people visit this place because of its incredible views of verdant slopes, streams, and valleys. In recent years, its reputation has grown as a hill station getaway.
Lofty peaks, rumbling streams, and dense forests add magic to the journey of mountain roads to this hill station. Vythiri is the nearest town to Lakkidi and is about five kilometers away.
It is said that the Wayanad Ghat Mountain Pass was originally discovered by Karinthandan, a tribal warrior who managed to live confronting continuous challenges from wild animals and dense forests. He assisted the British to establish the path with the help of tribal youngsters. It is claimed that the British rewarded Karinthan with a bullet through his heart in an act of extreme treachery.
Today there is a memorial of Karinthandan in Lakkidi, a tiny village at the entrance of the mountain pass. The memorial is in the form of a shackled tree. Native people believe that the soul of Karinthandan is chained to the tree.
Situated in the Ambalavayal, the Phantom rock is an exceptional spot to visit in Wayanad. The structure looks like a human skull and symbolizes the masked superhero character Phantom, which is the reason for its name. You can have an exciting trek to reach this tourist site. And once you're there, enjoy the panoramic views of the mountains and the surrounding region.
The Temple of Thirunelli is a famous historic temple devoted to Lord Maha Vishnu. It is one of the most visited temples with worshippers coming from all across India, particularly from the South. It is located beside the popular Brahmagiri hill, at a height of about 900 meters in the north of Wayanad. The water bodies of Papanasini and Panchatheertham adorn the temple. A dip in the divine mountain stream of Papanasini is believed to wipe out all the sins of a person.
Pookode Lake is regarded as one of the smallest and highest freshwater lakes in Kerala. It is scattered over an area of 8.5 hectares and is about 6.5 meters deep. The lake is in the shape of a map of India, especially from an aerial view.
Schedule a trip to Kerala and explore the green paradise to rejuvenate and refresh your mind and soul.