Kerala is often referred as a gateway to heaven. It is situated in the southernmost part of India and is rated among the most popular tourist attractions in the world. A visit to India is incomplete without a visit to Kerala. Referred as the green paradise of Kerala, Wayanad is a district in the elevated grandeur plateau of the Western Ghats. There are several places to visit in Wayanad which will give you an experience of wildlife sanctuaries, backwaters, landscapes, plantations, beaches, wellness clinics and spas. You can have a once in a lifetime experience with the culture and traditions of the picturesque places.
Most beautiful places to visit in Wayanad Kerala:
Wayanad is not a city by itself. It comprises large areas of valleys, hills, villages and towns which together form the district. It is recommended to keep a Wayanad tourist map to know the distances and routes. There are several hotels in Wayanad that the tourists can book close to the places of attractions to reduce wasting time on road travel.
What you must include
Kalpetta is an important town in the district of Wayanad with several resorts and restaurants. The Kalpetta tourist places cannot be covered in a single day. So keeping the town as the central stay point, plan your itinerary accordingly. Visit some of the beautiful waterfalls like the Meenmutty falls, Soochippara falls and Kanthanpara falls. The three spots are not close to each other location wise and cannot be clubbed together.
A 2 km jungle trek will have to be done to reach the spectacular Banasura – Meenmutty falls. The drive to the falls is a wonderful experience The water drops from a height of nearly 1000 feet in three phases. Soochippara falls also called sentinel rock waterfalls is another beautiful waterfall where water strikes sharp granite spikes at the bottom hence its name. Kanthanpara falls is an attractive experience and among the best picnic spots in Wayanad.
2. Pookot Lake:
One of the important sightseeing places in Kerala, Pookot lake is among the most beautiful and serene tourist destinations near Lakkidi in Wayanad. Laze around the 15 kms of water body away from Kalpetta in the evenings and you can enjoy a long walk around the lake, take a boat ride. Enjoy the numerous birds chirping away and appreciate the richness of blue water lily flowers.
There are a few refreshment stalls and you could visit the Aquarium, Fish Spa and there is a park for the kids too. Pick up a few natural and herbal souvenirs at the mini handicrafts bazaar for your friends and family.
3. Chembra Peak:
Trekking in Wayanad can be enjoyed best at Chembra peak, the highest mountain peak (2100m) in the district. Visitors have to take permission from the local forest office before going on the trek. There is an entry fee and a deposit to be paid for every plastic bottle that a tourist carries. The deposit is returned once the tourist returns provided they come back with the plastic bottles even if empty.
There are local guides available and entry is allowed between 7.AM to 2PM. Overnight camping is not allowed and one has to return by 5.00PM. Nature admirers must visit this peak. From the top of the peak have a view of the heart shaped lake called “hridhayathadakam” which is said to have never dried up. Chembra peak can be visited round the year, although in rainy seasons it gets slippery to trek or walk.
4. Sultan Bathery:
The largest town in the district, Sultan Bathery was originally called Ganapathivattom. The name was changed. It is said Tipu Sultan destroyed the place including a Jain temple and killed the monks living there to use the place as a store for his ammunition (battery). The temple about 5 kms from the bathery is now in a ruinous condition and is considered among the Sultan Bathery tourist spots.
Around 10 kms away is the Phantom Rock. Also called Cheengeri Mala it has a skull shaped rock formation and is an ideal camping spot. There are many other places too that one can visit like the St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Ambalavayal heritage museum, gurpur river, thovarimala ezhuthupara cave etc.
Yet another must see places in Wayanad is the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. You will simply adore it. It is about 24 kms away from Sultan Bathery and a home for monkeys, jungle cats, civets, panthers, wild dogs. There are also several species of reptiles and snakes. The sanctuary also shelters variety of birds including peacocks, cuckoos, owls, wild fowls, wood peckers etc.
5. Eddekkal Caves:
Eddekkal caves is among the best sightseeing places in Wayanad which has several historical mythologies behind it. It is about 16 kms away from Sultan Bathery and a minimum of 45-minute trek, across the Ambukuthi hills, is required to reach the caves. The aroma of coffee from the coffee plantations on the way will make your trek a memorable one. A huge boulder in between is believed to have created the cave.
There is a legend that Ambukuthimala caves were formed by the arrows of the twins Luv-Kush the sons of Lord Rama. There is also another angle that says Lord Rama had killed Surpanakha (Ravana’s sister) at the south end of these caves. This is because several pictorial in-scripts of deer, a king, queen, child, human figures are seen. The caves were discovered in 1895 by the SP of the area Fred Fawcett. The inscriptions on the caves are believed to be from the Early Man’s age (Neolithic age).
6. Thirunelli Maha Vishnu Temple:
One of the oldest temples in Kerala, the Thirunelli temple Wayanad is the only ritual place in the world where people are allowed to perform ancestral rituals which are done on the banks of stream Papanasini (which means washing away all the sins) that flows from Brahmagiri hills. People from across the country come and pray for their forefathers at the holy rock near the river.
The temple is considered among the popular places to see in Kerala especially for tourists interested in Indian mythology. The temple is over 1000 years and built by Lord Brahma while he was travelling in his swan. He found an idol of Lord Vishnu under the Amla tree and installed the idol there naming the temple Sahyamala Kshetram. There is a Gundika temple of Lord Shiva on the western side in a small cave. Thirunelli thus offers the worshippers with the presence of all three trinities of Lord brahma, lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.
7. Chain tree of Karinthandhan
Chain tree is another of the interesting tourist spots in Wayanad Kerala that has a fascinating story behind it. A huge Ficus tree much like any other tree, has a tale behind it. There is nothing much to do here but what is intriguing is that it has a chain hanging from the tree.
The story goes this way. It is related to a tribal by the name of Karinthandhan who was killed by a British after he had helped him in discovering routes through the ghat road. Wayanad in those days was not as developed and there were several rain forests. Only the locals knew the long routes through the woods. Karinthandhan was one such tribal who is believed to have discovered the Wayanad ghat road. A British engineer took his help and after learning the various routes, he is said to have shot and killed Karinthandhan.
The British went ahead and constructed roads in the area but numerous accidents took place on the roads and rumors started that it was Karinthandhan’s spirit that was responsible for the mishaps. The tribals called a local priest who after lots of effort is said to have caught Karinthandhan’s soul and chained it to the Ficus tree. The locals constructed a temple with his deity and named it Changala Muneeswaran Kovil. As of today there is nothing much about the tree nevertheless curious passersby do stop in for a few minutes’ break. There is a coffee day shop and a hotel close to the chain tree.
8. Nature’s paradise:
Your Kerala vacation is not complete without a stay at the enchanting jungle hideaway Vythiri resort Wayanad Kerala. Situated on the slope of a hill amidst mountain stream the resort is an amazing experience. Nature lovers will enjoy every single moment of their stay. Choose from the exciting tree house, or any of the villas or have the privacy your family deserves at Vythiri Haven. The resort is an ideal escapade for the honeymooners. Rejuvenate yourself at the spa or the Ayurveda Center that Kerala is well known for.
Although it is a little far away from the other places to visit at Wayanad, Mananthavady is an ecological wonder at a close proximity to the Wayanad wildlife sanctuary. About 17 kms away is the Kuruvadweep island that is accessible by rafts only. There is a lot of vegetation around the island. You could also visit the tomb of Pazhazzi Raja, a freedom fighter, and the herbal gardens called Boys town. Bird lovers must visit the Pakshipathalam (abode of birds) where you can have a wonderful time observing several rare bird species.
Travel related Information about the best places to visit at Wayanad Kerala:
If you have the time you could visit many more places. There are many resorts in Wayanad conveniently located close to the tourist attractions where you could relax in the nights. You can get more information about the sightseeing places, timings, dos and don’ts, entrance tickets, facilities and hotels available etc. from the Wayanad tourism office. You can sign up with them to get the latest updates on the tourism activities. The nearest airports to Wayanad are Calicut and Mysore. Travel within the district can best be done by a car or cab.
There is nothing you cannot do in Kerala. Go back home with wonderful memories of tourism places in Kerala Wayanad. Do not forget to pick up souvenirs from all the places you have visited for your family and friends. Plan your next trip to Kerala, visiting some more exciting spaces.