Wayanad, the 'green paradise' instantly draws a picture of a vast stretch of green land. The sobriquet itself oozes tremendous freshness. 'The natural beauty of Kerala is the best', you will say to yourself as you set out exploring its hills, waterfalls, lakes and wildlife sanctuaries. These gifts of nature do not merely have balmy effect on your tired soul, rather they give you a kind of happiness that is simply indescribable.
Elated, you look out for ways to entertain yourself. And Wayanad doesn't disappoints you since it has plenty to offer. The very nature destinations that soothed your soul a little while ago now transform themselves and present opportunities to become adventurous. So, undertake a trekking expedition to the peaks, boating rounds in the lakes, game viewing in the sanctuaries and have a close look at the carvings of the caves. When you are free from all this, visit the revered temples of the region that each have their own story to make them special. Then, there are museums too to unravel the history of the place before you.
SHOPPING: IF YOU'RE one of those who loves scouring around for organically grown rice, wheat, and tomatoes and scream `hai hai' against anything chemically produced, head for Jaiva.
Of course, you step in and feel a bit disappointed perhaps; because there are just three shelves of products line the walls of the little store on Hospital Road. But one must accept that the store is still nascent and grappling with a whole lot of issues. At least it's a first step. And as the storeowner says, more shelves made of lantana wood handcrafted by tribal people from B.R. Hills are on its way. Jaiva is not just about putting together organic food products under one roof. It has alternative reading material, clothes woven from organically grown cotton, indigenous paintings and art work, dolls and toys made by tribal people and more. So while it's hip to go organic, many also believe it's genuinely healthy with the motto being `Worms on my vegetables are OK, not toxic fertilisers'.
The Wayanad experiences hot summers and tropical monsoons. The months of August to May are the beat season to visit Wayanad.
Edakkal Caves (12Km.): Situated on Ambukuthi Hills, Edakkal caves are 10 kilometers from Sultanbathery, in Wayanad district.
Ambalavayal Heritage Museum (12Km.): 12-km south of Sulthan Bathery, it is one of the best heritage museums in Kerala. The exhibits here include rare 2nd century artefacts such as clay sculptures, ancient hunting equipments like bows and arrows, stone weapons and other curios.
Chembra Peak: Located amidst panoramic surroundings, the peak is at an altitude of 2,100m above sea level. An ideal spot for trekking, Chembra Peak is a very beautiful spot close to the Western Ghats. The Chembra Hills and the adjacent Meppadi hills are accessible from Kalpetta.
Wayanad The Green Paradise
Wayanad Water Fall
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
Chethalayam Waterfalls (12Km.) : 12 kms from Sulthan Bathery on the Pulpalli Main Road, is located this astounding waterfall. For a glimpse of this lovely waterfall, one has to trek a distance of around 4 kms from Chethalayam.
Pakshipathalam (7Km.): 7 kms north east of Thirunelli, this picturesque bird watching centre is located at a formidable height of 1740 m above sea level. With its steep hills, virgin forests and rivulets, it is the habitat of a number of rare species of birds.It also offers challenging avenues for those interested in trekking.
Soochipara Waterfalls (22Km.): Soochipara Waterfalls is located 22 kms from Hotel Green Gates. On alighting the vehicle, one can reach the waterfalls after a 2-km walk into the dense equatorial forest of Wayanad.
Thirunelli Temple: Located 30 kms north west of Mananthavadi in the Wayanad district, Thirunelli Temple is known as the "Kashi of South". Tucked away in the Brahmagiri Hills, Thirunelli Temple is encircled by the gurgling River Papanasini.
Valliyoorkkavu Temple: 3 kms east of Mananthavadi, this temple, dedicated to Goddess Durga is very popular among the tribal communities of the district. The ten-day annual festival, which falls in April, is celebration time for the tribals. more..
Vythiri: Vythiri is a picturesque place located in the sylvan Northern High Ranges of Kerala in Wayanad District. Exclusive, comfortable, refreshing, pollution free and inspiring. more..
Attractions and Places to Visit in Wayanad
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary: Established in 1973, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is contiguous to the protected area network of Nagarhole and Bandipore of Karnataka and Mudumalai of Tamilnadu.
Lakkidi: Lakkidi, the gateway of Wayanad, is situated 700 m above mean sea level, at the crest of the Thamaraserri ghat pass. Lofty peaks, gurgling streams and luxuriant forests add magic to the journey up the winding roads to this hill station.
Thirunelli Festival: Thirunelli Festival is a two-day festival celebrated on Vishu day and its eve, in the Malayalam month of Medam (April) is the annual festival of Sree Thirunelli Devaswom at Thirunelli in Wayanad.
Thusharagiri Waterfalls: Snuggled cosily in the Western Ghats, are the gurgling waterfalls of Thusharagiri. Meaning the snow capped mountains; Thushargiri exhibits a unique kinship between the land and water.
Valliyoorkavu Festival: Located high in the Wayanad Hills at Valliyoorkkavu, 3 kms from Mananthavady town, the temple is dedicated to goddess Bhagavathy. The idol of the temple is believed to be self- manifested and the annual festival is held in March.
Banasura Dam: 15 kms north west of Kalpetta, Banasura Dam is the largest earth dam in India. A vast expanse of crystal clear water bounded by blue hills on all sides, except one. Its an ideal picnic spot.
Kalpetta: This is where the headquarters of the Wayanad District are located. A stronghold of the Jains in the past, the famous Ananthanathaswamy Jain Temple is situated at Puliyarmala near Kalpetta.
Sentinel Rockfall: Near Chooralmala, about 22 kms south of Kalpetta, it is a rivetting waterfall tumbling down a height of 20 m from a hilltop. The spot is ideal for rock climbing
How to Reach Wayanad
By Air: The nearest airport is Calicut.
By Rail: The district is well connected by a railway network.
By Road: Wayanad's Headquarters, Kalpetta is linked by road to other towns in Kerala and there are frequent buses to Calicut.