Wayanad is easily one of Kerala’s most treasured assets. This district is tucked away in the lush Western Ghats and has been the ideal getaway for those looking for an escape from monotony for decades now.
Everyone from nature lovers to photographers will find solace in its lush forests, rustic villages, and plantation-covered hills. It’s rich biodiversity, history and pleasant weather have made the district as a whole grow in popularity among travellers looking for something offbeat.
HOW TO GET TO WAYANAD
To handle Wayanad’s growing popularity in the tourism industry, the district’s connectivity has improved drastically over the years. The district is well connected by road. If you’re catching a bus, you can choose to travel by either government run buses like KSRTC or private-run buses.
The most important bus stations are located at Sulthan Bathery, Pachilakad, Kambalakkad, and Vythri. The closest airport to the hill station Calicut International Airport and the closest railhead is the Kozhikode Railway Station.
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BEST TIME TO VISIT WAYANAD
Wayanad enjoys pleasant weather throughout the year. While you can visit these hills anytime during the year, to truly enjoy Wayanad visit during the months of October and May when the hill station experiences summer and winter.
The heavy rainfall in between the months of June to October can be troublesome. However, some monsoon treks and camping expeditions are organized during these months for a more thrilling experience.
PLACES TO VISIT WHILE IN WAYANAD
While Wayanad does boast a number of beautiful attractions to visit, including sprawling plantations, waterfalls, and much more, there are a few places that you just can’t miss.
Located 25 km away from Kalpetta, the Edakkal Caves are one of the only archaeological sites that prove a Neolithic settlement existed in South India. The caves boast stone age carvings and petroglyphs dating back all the way to 6000 B.C. The caves are open from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm and you can reach the hills by bus. Once you get there, enjoy a trek up the hill into the cave.
If you love boating and taking photographs, Pookode Lake is one the most picturesque places to visit in Wayanad. This lake is hidden away within dense forests and is located 15 km away from Kalpetta. This freshwater lake offers boating facilities and is home to plenty of aquafaunae, including the rare cyprinid fish.
Located right in the middle of the beautiful Kabini River, the Kuruva Island is a cluster of islands that are covered with dense vegetation. The island is home to many rare species of orchids, birds, and herbal plants. Enjoy exciting activities like rafting, nature walks and trekking on this island. This island is 15 km away from Sultan Bathery, but remember it is closed off during the monsoon season.
Situated 8km south of Kalpetta, the Chembra Peak is the highest peak in these hills and offering stunning views of the rest of Wayanad. The peak is covered with thick forests and it can be a challenge to climb to the top, but it is certainly worth the trouble.
The hill here is quite a popular trekking spot, although prior permission must be taken from the Mepaddy Forest Office before anything starts to take off. The hill is also known for a heart-shaped lake called Hridhayathadakam.
Banasura Sagar Dam
Known as the largest earth dam in India, the Banasura Sagar Dam was built over the Karmanathodu River. The dam is located at the foot of the Banasura Hill and is known for a set of islands in the river and activities such as trekking and boating. There is also a small nature park located close to the dam, making this place an ideal spot for a family picnic.
Dedicated to Lord Maha Vishnu, the ancient Thirunelli Temple is one of the most popular sites to visit in Wayanad. The temple is 32 km away from Mananthavady and has an interesting legend behind it concerning Lord Brahma finding a beautiful idol in a gooseberry tree.
The temple is surrounded by greenery by a small stream called the Papanashini, where you can see temple rituals being performed.
Muthunga Wildlife Sanctuary
The Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is located 16 km away from Sulthan Bathery and connects to the Nagarhole, Mudumalai and Bandipur Wildlife Parks. This is the second largest sanctuary in Kerala and is rich in fauna and flora with species such as elephants, panthers, monkeys, civet cats, and the rare Bengal Tiger.
WHERE TO STAY
Wayanad offers some excellent accommodation choices for travellers of all kinds. Choose to stay in posh resorts or if you’re looking for something offbeat, experiential stays in forests or villages are offered. If you truly want to experience the local life of these hills choose to stay in homestays in Wayanad.
These homestays offer cozy rooms with services and amenities such as home-cooked meals and recreational activities. Book your stay at these homestays in Wayanad by Treebo, that is known to offer quality on a budget.
WHERE TO EAT AND SHOP
There are a number of restaurants where you can enjoy the delicious Malabar cuisine. Some of the most popular spots are the Bungalow Restaurant, Spice Bowl, Wilton Restaurant, and 1980’s -A Nostalgic Restaurant. Shop for souvenirs and other goodies to take home at Santhi Pappadam, Trident Arcade, and Focus Mall.
If you’re looking for someplace to get away with great weather, nature, wildlife, plantations, and so much more, Wayanad is the perfect place for you. So why wait, book your tickets, pack your bags, and enjoy the adventure of a lifetime.
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