Wayanad is a terra firma, which is best known for its farming estate, impenetrable bush, mist capped mountain and endangered species of animals. Situated in the Western Ghats Mountains of Kerala, Wayanad has a magnificent variety of flora and fauna. The name of Wayanad district was originated from the words ‘Vayal Nadu’, wherein the word ‘Vayal’ indicates paddy fields and the word ‘Nadu’ represents a land. Thus, Wayanad symbolizes a terrain of paddy fields. Wayanad is situated at an elevation of around 700 to 2100m, which keeps the climate of this land enjoyable entire year. A moderate temperature that you can feel here is somewhere between 17oC to 21oC.
Wayanad is well-blessed with natural exquisiteness and serene environs. Galore of animated cascade, grandiose hilly aura, fresh water loch, breath-holding peaks, historical shrines, abundant greeneries and wildlife sanctuaries are the key tourist pullers here. A major part of Wayanad district is covered by dense woods, which turned this land a dwelling source to various endangered animals. Considering the rare species of wild lives in the dense bush of Wayanad, a Wildlife Sanctuary was opened here in 1973.
With an extensive forest area and affluence of crops, agriculture became the prime source of economy here. Some of the key crops grown in the land of Wayanad are rice, tea, pepper, coffee, cocoa, plantain and vanilla. And the best part of this growing volume of crops is that most of these crops are further exported to many international locations. Despite of extensive farming estate around, the ongoing practice of deforestation has become a major peril to the land of Wayanad.
People, Culture and Food of Wayanad
Wayanad is a district where you can see a huge number of tribes population whose embellishment is greatly influenced by natural themes. Most of the population are of aborigine tribes like Kadans, Kattunaikar, Kurumas and Paniyas. Majority of inhabitants speak Malayalam language here. But due to cultural varieties some other languages are also spoken here. An interesting fact of tribe community is that they make most use of the existing natural plants as the prime means of treatment.
People of Wayanad are generous by nature and rich by art and crafts. They have a legacy of tribal dance and music. Some of the key art forms of Wayanad are Gadhika, Koodiyattam, Kolkali etc. In the months of February and May they participate in various folk activities.
The inhabitants of Wayanad are quite religious and they follow various festivals and events every year. Two of the prime festivals celebrated here by the local inhabitants are Vishu and Karthigai. Vishu festival is celebrated in the month of April every year, which is the first day of Malayalam calendar. The core attraction of this festival is ‘Kani-Kanal’, which is prepared with flowers, coconuts, fruits and cereals. While celebrating the event, they place all these into a large pot. Further they place a mirror and an idol of Lord Krishna behind the pot. The idol of Lord Krishna is covered with ornaments. On the auspicious day of Vishu event, the head of the family takes first view of Kani and rest of family members follow him/her in an orderly manner. Seniors members of the family give money to the young family members and bless them for their healthy fortune.
Karthigai on the other hand is another admired and customary event in Wayanad. This festival is celebrated with light and all the family members hold a torch made of palm leaves. Temples located in the rural areas of Wayanad assemble a beacon of leftovers. In addition, eye-catching lights and twinkling garland in the houses turn entire Wayanad town to a dazzling terrain.
Besides Vishu and Karthigai, some other festivals those are popular here in Wayanad include Mahasivarathri, Asthami Rohini, Easter, Christmas, Bakra Eid etc.
With cultural diversity, the tribal community in Wayanad are also fond of tasting various food items. Most of the population here prefer to have boiled food including bamboo rice payasam, honey, coconut rice etc. Some other forms of food that you can see here are fried rock crabs, fried mushroom, ‘muddha ada’, ‘kallu puttu’ grilled chicken, ‘muddha vada’, ‘pollayappam’ etc.
One of the most popular food items eaten mostly by the inhabitants in Wayanad is Tapioca. This is a luscious item served with fish curry called “Chammanthy”. Apart from this, they also love to eat scented rice known as ‘Gandhakasala’.
Best time to visit Wayanad
The delimited range of Western Ghats Mountain maintains a comfy climate here throughout the year. Thus, Wayanad is an all time visit place. However, the best time to reveal the peaks of Wayanad is from the months of October to May. The seasonal ambience of Wayanad is outlined as follows:
Summer: With pleasant fresh gentle wind, the summer lasts here from March to May. In extreme humid condition, sometimes the temperature climbs up to 36 °C during summer.
Monsoon: Pre-monsoon weather becomes bit warm in Wayanad. Therefore, heavy airstream and precipitation curb down the temperature of Wayanad to a great extent. With regular drizzling in monsoon, the climate of Wayanad becomes overwhelming.
Winter: The best season to enjoy here is from the month of December to February when the winter hits the land of Wayanad. With minimum temperature of 10°C, these three months you can experience a much cooler weather in Wayanad. This is the reason most of the visitor prefer to flock here that time.
Tourist Attractions in Wayanad
An exquisite holiday destination in god’s own country Kerala, Wayanad has various captivating vicinities to offer you. A blend of soothing nature with its animated waterfalls, breath-taking lakes and craggy caves will fascinate your voyage here. Affluence of lush woods and wild lives add more attractions to this hill station. People call this place a paradise for bird watcher.
Let’s plunge into the enthralling tourist attractions in Wayanad.
#Banasura Sagar Dam
Being considered as the largest earth dam in India, Banasura Sagar Dam is one of the significant tourist pullers in Wayanad. Situated at the south-western part of Wayanad, Banasura Sagar Dam was formed as a consequence of flood to the adjoining areas of Wayanad district. A tranquil and overwhelming view from the top of the dam amaze lot many visitors here.
Neelimala is one of the marvellous spots to emerge out your adventurous persona. This place is best known for its trekking delight. The best trekking months at Neelimala is from September to December and from January to May. If you happen to scale the peak of Neelimala, you will have a breath-taking vista of the Meenmutty falls, which is located very close to Neelimala.
Meenmutty is the largest waterfalls in Wayanad. The centre of appeal of this site is its three-stage waterfalls that fall from around 300m elevation. Meenmutty waterfall is very adjacent to Neelimala and you can travel the distance by 2kms trekking from the main road, which connects Ootty and Wayanad. Adventurer lovers can follow the uneven trekking ways towards the bountiful bush of Wayanad.
The existence of this prehistoric Edakkal cave is considered to be of around 6000BC, which is quite old. It is believed that Edakkal is the sole cave in India that has Stone Age carvings. Edakkal caves are popular for its historic cave paintings. You can reach here through Ambukutty Mala. If you love to cross the distance by rock climbing, believe me Edakkal cave has lot many things for you to reveal. It will take almost 40-45 minutes of yours to climb the hill. Inside the craves, you can see one lower and upper chamber depicting Tamil and Brahmi scripts, embossed symbols and lot many figures of living creatures from pre-historic age.
Chembra Peak is situated in the southern part of Wayanad, which is very close to Meppadi. It is the tallest peaks with a height of around 2100m here, and many rock climbers find this peak quite challenging to scale. However, for a true adventure lover the greatest means of satisfaction is felt only once the extreme pinnacle is climbed by them. It will consume a complete day of yours in climbing up and coming down from the top. Many tourists get in touch with the District Tourism Promotion Council in Kalpetta to avail camping facility. The fees for Indian visitors here is Rs.500 and for foreigners it is Rs.1000.
This is one of striking tourist pulling sites in Wayanad. The key attraction of Kuruva Island is the river that passes through the Island. It is located around 40Kms from Kalpetta and merely 15Kms from Mananthavady. You will get many buses at regular intervals to reach this Island from Manathavady. The best time to experience the soothing allure of Kuruva Island is from the months of October to May. However, getting there during rainy season (June to September) is not permissible. Once you enter deep into this Island, lot many bamboo bridges will draw your attention. You can reach this island through bamboo boat. Besides, the dense bush of Kuruva Island shelters various rare species of orchids, birds and other herbal plants. If you happen to be here with a group of your buddies, Kuruva Island will amaze your presence here. Considering the ongoing volume of tourist footfalls here, Kerala Tourism Department started providing boats for rafting purpose. The bamboo made boats and rafts will add more exhilaration to your visit here.
One more plus to this beautiful island is its tranquil atmosphere. You can also have a composed and natural walk here. Keeping in mind the eco-tourism and nature-centric administration, visitors are not allowed to do any party and picnic at Kuruva Island.
Located around 700m above the sea level, this point is known as the second highest rainfall peak in the world. Lakkidi Point offers you a splendid view of its surrounding valleys and zigzag roads.
Chethalayam is known for its striking waterfall, which is situated in the northern part of Wayanad district. Visitors flock this spot to witness the colourful birds and for trekking purpose. However, the size of Chethalayam waterfall is comparatively smaller than Meenmutty waterfalls.
Located at an altitude of around 1700m, the environs of Pakshipathalam are covered with dense bushes of Brahmagiri hills. In addition to the lush woods, visitors gather here to see a wide variety of rare species of plants, animals and distinctive birds. If you are in Mananthavady, it is almost a 7Kms trekking distance to reach Pakshipathalam.
Note: You need to take prior permission from the DFO- North Wayanad before entering this region.
#Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary
Wayanad is famed as the most striking retreats of Kerala. And when it comes to count on its dense woods and distinctive flora and fauna, Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is crowned as the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala. Situated very close to Karnataka border, this spectacular wildlife sanctuary was established in 1973. Some of the commonly visible wild lives here are monkeys, jungle cats, panthers, elephant, tiger, civet cats, wild dogs etc. Your presence here will also get mesmerised with the tuneful sounds of several birds like cuckoos, babblers and jungle fowls. Besides, colourful appearance of woodpeckers and peacocks will also amaze your visit to this wildlife sanctuary.
One of the significant part of this wildlife sanctuary is that it is segregated into four ranges namely; Kurichyad, Muthanga, Sulthan bathery and Tholpetty. The eco-tourism authority of Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary provides conservation awareness to the visitors through jeep safari, elephant camping, tribal folklore and bird watching. The best time visit here is from June to October. You will get number of frequent buses to reach Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary. The entry fee to this wildlife sanctuary for Indians is Rs.10 and for foreigners it is Rs.100/visitor. However, children below 12 years of age are charged only Rs.5.
Well, visiting Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary include some integral regulations that every visitor must adhere. These regulations are listed as follows:
- The maximum duration of visit here is 1.30 hours.
- Your entry must be accompanied by either a forest personnel or a tourist guide.
- No plastic materials are allowed to carry inside the wildlife sanctuary
- People getting inside with heavy vehicles must accompany a person as per the seating capacity
- You should report 30 minutes before your slot time, falling short of this may lead to cancellation of your slot.
This is a fresh water lake with an expanse of 13 acre and this lake is situated merely 15Kms away from Kalpetta. Numbers of tourists come here on regular basis to witness the tranquil environment of Pookode Lake. An interesting fact about this lake is that it is formed in the shape of Indian map, which pulls many visitors here. Presence of energetic blue lotus and fresh fishes make the water of the lake livelier and more appealing. You can also sight plenty of monkeys and Pethia Pookodensis here. Pethia Pookodensis is a distinctive species of cyprind fish. This lake is maintained by the forest division of Southern Wayanad.
To add more bliss to your family trip, surrounding the lake you will find a children’s park, freshwater aquarium and shopping corner. The shopping centres here are owned by the District Tourism Promotion Council and these stores are famous for variety of products made of coconut skin and bamboo. Plenty of buses are there to visit this place. You can visit Pookode Lake between 9 am to 5 pm. The entry fee for adults is Rs.10 and for children it is Rs.5. However, if you wish to enjoy the boating here, Rs.30 will be charged for two persons and Rs.50 for a group of five persons.
Tips: The best time to visit here is during sunrise and sunset.
In addition to the aforementioned sites, some other striking locations that you must visit in Wayanad are Jain Temple, Kanthanpara Waterfall, Soochippara Waterfall etc.
Visitors often plan their vacation to the ‘abode of Kerala’s tribal population’, Wayanad. Covered by dense forest and natural splendour, Wayanad has quite convenient commutation link with rest of the cities. Let’s have a look.
The nearest airport is Calicut International Airport, which is located merely 65kms away from Wayanad. Calicut International Airport is well connected to various parts of India. Once you reach Calicut International Airport, you will find local cars and taxis that will take you to the land of Wayanad.
Wayanad has good roadway connectivity with various parts of Kerala and Karnataka. KSRTC bus service is available from the places like Mangalore, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram to Wayanad at regular interval. Many private buses are also there for Wayanad.
Wayanad has no direct railway connectivity. If you plan to visit Wayanad by train then you should take a train till Kozhikode. From Kozhikode station, you can board at taxis or buses to reach Wayanad. Kozhikode railway station is situated around 110Kms away from Wayanad. To reach Kozhikode, numbers of direct trains are there from Trivandrum, Kochi, Chennai and Bangalore.
Best places to stay in Wayanad
Likewise its natural affluence, Wayanad also has plenty of hotels and accommodations to make your stay pleasant. Here are few hotels recommended for you:
#Green Gates Hotel
T.B. Road, Kalpetta, Wayanad,
Kerala, India 673122
Charges: Rs. 4,125 (Per Room per Night)
#Lakkidi Village Resort
Kerala, India 695376
Charges: Rs. 8,200 (Per Room per Night)
#Vedanta Wake Up-Edakkal Caves
Near Edakkal Caves, Ambalavyal Post,
Wayanad Kerela 673593,
Kerala, India 673593
Charges: Rs. 850 (Per Room per Night)
bye pass jn, kalpetta, wyanad,
Kerala, India 673121
Charges: Rs. 1,400 (Per Room per Night)
NH-212, Near Vythiri Town, Vythiri P.O Wayanad,
Kerala, India 673576
Charges: Rs.10,626 (Per Room per Night)
Upavan Resort,vythiri, Lakkidi,
Wayanad, Kerala, India 673576
Charges: Rs.4,500 (Per Room per Night)
Note: The cited rates may vary from time-to-time.
- Prefer visiting Wayanad after monsoon.
- Due to plenty of sightseeing locations it is advisable to plan your trip in advance to reveal the best out of it.
- You will find most of the hotels here that are well-connected to various private cab companies, which may cater you transport facilities as well.
- While trekking into the lush woods, apply insect repellents to safeguard yourself from the insects and mosquitoes.
- If possible try to carry a roadmap during your trip to Wayanad and keep the contact details of your hotel.
- It is advisable to follow the instructions of your travel guide while entering the deep bush areas.
- Do not forget to carry a jacket on the way to Chember trek, as the place is prone to rains.
- Carrying a high resolution camera and quality binocular is a must to capture the captivating sites of Wayanad.