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Tourist Places To Visit In Wayanad
Wayanad is a beautiful, scenic paradise situated at the southernmost tip of the Deccan Plateau. With a lush, deciduous cover of forest and a range of flora and fauna (peacocks, elephants, deer, tigers etc), this sleepy little district in Kerala becomes the most coveted tourist destination. You can visit the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary to catch a glimpse of all the above mentioned animals and more, picnic by the Sentinel Waterfall, pay your respects at the Thirunelli Temple or check out the Edakkal Caves, with its 6000 years old petroglyphs. Read on for some more exciting tourist places to visit in Wayanad.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
Also called Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, this stretch of haven is especially preserved for the host of flora and fauna inhabiting the Western Ghats. Take a Safari here to experience the sweet, wet fragrances of wet deciduous and tea and coffee plantations while you catch a glimpse of the odd peafowl (peacock), herd of wild elephants, gaurs, deer, monkeys, leopards and the occasional Bengal Tiger if you are lucky. You will also spot vultures, butterflies and exotic fishes treading through this jungle. This also doubles up as an educational trip as your host and guides keep you informed about the medicinal plants, weeds and their healing powers. You will also be entertained with the traditional folklore of the tribals.
Location: 22 km south of Kalpetta
Soochipara Falls / Sentinel Waterfall
It is a three tier waterfall in the lap of Deciduous, Evergreen forests; a real marvel of nature. If you can imagine cold, crisp water in the middle of dark green forests, then this is it. The waterfall is 200 metres high and rocky in nature. You can picnic here and have the view of some of the best rolling tea estates of Wayanad. There is also white water rafting, swimming, rock-climbing etc for the adventure seekers while the leisure traveler can loll in the pool at the base of Sentinel. The place is also famous by the name of Soochipara (needle rock) Fall.
Edakkal means ‘a stone in-between.’ The rock deposition boasts of two huge boulders with a third resting over them as roof. The caves are famous for their prehistoric petroglyphs (images made by carving out on stone wall). They are said to date back 6000 years and become a major tourist attraction, especially for those history buffs. The images are varied and some vague, ranging from kings, queens, animals to the tools that the prehistoric man used. The Caves themselves are at a trek of around 45 minutes up the Ambukuthi Hills, but every drop of sweat on the way up is worth the rich discovery of our ancestors and India’s Deccan Plateaus.
Location: 16 km away from Sulthan Bathery
The island of Kuruwa is situated in the Kabini river, the only place in Kerala surrounded by naturally purified water. This is the place to sight rare birds, herbs, fishes. Kuruva is accessible by rafts and fibre boats that are run by the Tourist Department of Kerala. Entry pass to this island has been made mandatory due to the presence of elephants and other wild animals.
On the bank of Kabini river, the great Lion of Kerala Veera Pazhassi is buried. He organised the valiant guerrilla war against the East India Company. The memorial was built in admiration of his bravery and sees a throng of tourists who come to pay their respects. There is a cave nearby called the Pulpally Cave, where Pazhassi sheltered himself during the war. It has now become a museum of his remains.
Location: 32 km from Kalpetta
Initially named ‘Our Lady of Lourdes,’ this Latin Catholic church was built in 1908 by Fr. Jefreno. Devotees throng here to be blessed by Mother Mary, and every year during February, there is a large sea of worshippers who come to visit and celebrate the annual festival.
Location: 14 kilometers from Kalpetta
Thirunelli Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to the protector of the world, Lord Vishnu. In Hinduism, a trinity of powers exist in the form of Brahma (creator), Vishnu (protector) and Shiva (destroyer). Since this is the shrine of the protector, it is thronged by pilgrims all year round to pray for a healthy, long life. The temple and the river Papanasini are also spots of ancestral rites (Shraadh), a Hindu ritual done to bring peace to the souls of ancestors.
People come here to pray for their forefathers and wash away sins in the river. This becomes a truly intriguing destination on your list. A few minutes sitting in the sanctum of the temple leaves you peaceful and relaxed. That is how quiet this place can be.
Sulthan Bathery Jain Temple
Sulthan Bathery Jain Temple is many things wrapped into one. The place is also known as Tipu’s Fort because Tipu Sultan used this temple as the ‘Battery’ for his army. The temple dates back 800 years. It was first a shrine, then became a commercial hub, and later served as the storage house for ammunition and battery for Tipu Sultan. The structures of this place scream history, bravery and sacrifice, ensconced in the lasting peace left behind since its worship years many centuries ago.
Chembra Peak is a famous tourist sightseeing spot in Wayanad, located 8 km from Kalpetta. Since the peak lines the Nilgiri Hills, it gives you amazing views of the green, lush plantations and forests of Nilgiri. Trekking is a highly coveted activity here, with great trails and zones for different levels of trekking. And then there is a lake as well, where you can sit by the bank and open a picnic basket with your family and friends. You will have to take permission from the forest department for a day-long trek or more.
Visit Meenmutty Waterfalls for a little escapade into the beautiful wild of Kerala. It is about 29 km from the town of Kapletta and perfect to cool down on a hot summer day. The water falls from a whopping 300 m high rock, pooling in a white froth down below. You will need to stop on the Ooty-Wayanad road and trek through a thick forest to reach here but the effort is worth it. Rock climbing is also undertaken at various places around here along with swimming and rappelling.
Like hills and waterfalls, lakes are also in quite abundance in Wayanad. Visit the Pookode Lake where the freshwater body symbolises natural beauty and grace of the region. It is found smack in the middle of an emerald green forest, fed by the Panamaram that later widens into the great River Kabani. Another highlight of Pookode Lake is that it is in the shape of the Indian map, with lotuses blooming in its fresh waters, fishes swimming and jumping and birds chirping around. Boating and walks by the lake are also coveted.
Banasura Sagar Dam
Built on River Kabini, Banasura Sagar Dam is all about recreation and relaxation in Wayanad. Trekkers prefer to climb up the forested mountains around this dam, while leisure seekers flock to the banks for some picnics, boating, fishing and sightseeing. You can visit Banasura at almost any time of the year for relaxing, but treks are avoided in monsoons.
The Bamboo Forests are located in Muthanga, in the Nilgiri Biosphere reserve, with a hint of teak trees too. It’s a Chinese dream, to get lost in the dark green tall bamboo thickets, where safaris take you through natural habitats of animals like cheetahs, buffaloes, wild bears and deer. The forest also has a couple of home stays and guest houses if you wish to spend the night.
Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary
Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary, the wild lap of Western Ghats, falls in the Wayanad region of Kerala. Here you get to hop onto a safari van and squeal through the ghats and forests as the vehicle zooms the sanctuary. You will spot elephants, monkeys, bears, deer and leopards. And if you are lucky, then even tigers. Bird watchers also find amusement here as a number of species are found flocking to trees and lakes.
Another freshwater lake in the lap of Wayanad, Karlad Lake is a hub of adventure and thrill. Tourists and locals of all age groups find something or the other to do here — from rock climbing to kayaking, land zorbing to row-boating and pedal boating. If you want to try something different then there is archery and paintball. And zip-lining, one of the most thrilling adventures!
Popular as Cheengeri Mala locally, Phantom Rock is an archeological find. The rock looks like a skull and is 2600 m tall, surrounded by the green fields of Kerala. You can drive from Kalpetta to reach here, it is only 26 km away. Many hikers, trekkers and wanderers find a spot of solitude here and rest on their quest. You can also find a peaceful secluded corner and enjoy the views and the quiet.
Not falling on the popular tourist circuit, the Chain Tree is completely off beat. The tree is a ficus tree, huge and old, and holds a huge steel chain. Many myths and legends are associated with this tree, the most famous being that of Karinthandan, a local tribal who was murdered by the British after they used his expertise in navigating the ghats and roads of the region. His spirit is said to still haunt the tree and the people who drive on that road, causing accidents.
Ripon Tea Factory
Ripon Tea Factory is for all those tea lovers out there. When in Wayanad, do not miss a trip here. The factory is spread over 443 hectares and is as old as 200 years. The factory opens at 9 every morning and takes you through the processing of various qualities of teas, blending of flavours etc. You get to taste delicious brews, pick up packs of your favourite teas -- all the while getting gorgeous views of the hills of Wayanad.
Pakshipathalam Bird Sanctuary
Pakshipathalam Bird Sanctuary is all about bird watching and camping. People also come here to indulge in trekking. As the name suggests, this is a bird sanctuary and very well conserved at that. With virgin jungles, hilly terrain and streams and waterfalls, Pakshipathalam Bird Sanctuary is everything you would dream about in such a getaway. You can also visit the watch tower, temple and the famous bird nest made of solidified saliva in this forest.