Wayanad - Nature's Bounty
The unique geographical
features of Wynad, expressed in rugged mistcovered mountains
and pastoral valleys, lend this northern district a peculiar
charm and a delightful challenge for hikers and nature
lovers.Wayanad is one of the districts in Kerala that has been able to retain its pristine nature. Hidden away in the hills of this land are some of the oldest tribes, as yet untouched by
civilisation. Wayanad is known for its picturesque mist clad hill stations, sprawling spice plantations, luxuriant forests and rich cultural traditions. The leading tourist centres of south india like
Ooty, Mysore, coorg, Kozhikode (Calicut), and Kannur are around this region.
Area - 2132 sq. Km
Population - 671,195
The last populous of Kerala’s districts, Wynad is
relatively backward and development has not appreciably improved the
lives of the tribes who comprise a sizeable section of the
population.Wynad’s climate and geography make it ideal for the
cultivation of coffee, tea, cardamom, paper and rubber. Plantations,
especially of coffee, abound.
Once ruled by the Kalpetta, the district
headquarters is the famous Ananthaatha Jain Temple at Puliyarmala.
This district is said to have been a stronghold of Jains in the
past. Another pointer to this fact is the Glass Temple Of
Koottamunda, 20 km from Kalpetta. Located on the slope of the
Vellarimala hill, this temple is dedicated to Parswanatha Swami of
the Jain faith. The mirrors inside the temple walls reflect in
thousands of beautiful patterns the images of the icons in the
temple’s sanctum sanatorium.Trekkers would like to head for the Chembra Peak,
18 km away, the Banasura Sagar Dam near Padinharathara, also 18 km
away, as well as the Meenmutty waterfall, 40 km from
Kalpetta.With picturesque hills, gurgling streams and lush
vegetation, Lakkadi is one of the highest sports in Wynad, often
subject to heavy rainfall. The beautiful natural fresh water Pookote
Lake, 3 km from Lakkadi, is a favourite picnic spot. The District
Tourism Promotion Council arginases boat cruises on the
At a height of nearly 500 m
above sea level, Manathavady, 110 km from Calicut, is filled with
coffee estates. It is historically important as the last resting
place of Pazhassi Raja who valiantly fought the British. He was
cremated here with full military honors. The Tomb of Pazhassi Raja
and the park in his memory are reminders of this great
Ecotourists will delight in the Kuruva Islands, 16
km from Mananthavady, on the river Kabini. Apart from animals and
birds, these islands have rich herbs, orchids and rare species of
flowers.Sultan’s Battery (pronounced in Malayalam as
‘Sul-than Ba-the-ry’), 98 km from Calicut, was formerly known as
Ganapathivattom. It derivers its present name from Tippu Sultan of
Mysore who built a fort here in the 18th century.The remnants of the historic Pazhassi Raja fort
can be seen at Panamaram, 29 km from Sultan Battery. This was
Pazhassi Raja’s stronghold until the British seized the fort in
1805. At Pulpally is a cave in which Pazhassi Raja took refuge until
his capture. The Raja is also believed to have gifted a temple- the
Mariamman Kovil - to the local tribes as a reward for their help in
his fight against the British invaders.
On the Ambukuthi hills are the two Edakkal caves,
natural rock-cut formations formed by a large split in a huge ock
roofed over by other large rocks, all fixed in position through
natural processes. These caves have been made famous worldwide for
their ancient carvings and pictorial wall inscriptions of human and
animal figures with peculiar headdresses and swastik forms and
symbols. Archaeologists say the place was one of the earliest
centers of human habitation. Dating to the prehistoric era of the
new Stone Age civilizations, these caves can be reached from
Ambalavayal, 16 km from Sultan Battery. The last two km to the caves
have to be trekked. It is best to visit the caves in the
morning.Another beautiful spot accessible only by foot is
the Chethalayam waterfall, about 12 km from Sultan Battery, on the
Pulpally main road.If you are in search ai sanctuary in Tamil Nadu and the Bandipur
sanctuary in Karnataka. The best season to visit the Wynad sanctuary
is June to
Places to visit :
Sulthan bathery - Edakkal caves - 12 km from sulthan bathery :
The two caves are located at a height of 1000 m onAmbukutty mala near Ambalavayal. The new stone age pictorial writings on
the walls of these natural caves at Deakkal are evidence of the civilisation that existed in these regions in prehistoric
times. The caves can be accessed only by a 1 km trekking trail from Edakkal.The word Edakkal refers to a situation of
keeping a stone in between two other rocks. A travel tour to Edakkal, located in Wayanad, Kerala, South India, would
reflect the strange position of one large stone jutting out of two rocks and in a way getting their
support in a manner that it works as a natural shelter and as a place for the artistic expression of
the local inhabitants.
Wayanad wildlife sanctuary -
Established in 1973, the Wayanad wildlife sanctuary is contiguous to the protected area network of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka on the northeast and Madumalai of Tamil Nadu on the southeast. Rich in bio-diversity, the sanctuary is an integral part of the Nilgiri biosphere reserve, which has been established with the specific objective of conserving the biological heritage of the region. The sanctuary is very rich in flora and fauna.The popular Wayanad Wildlife sanctuary which is contiguous to the Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka and Mudumalai of Tamilnadu and it forms a fulcrum of the Nilgiri system of Biodiversity in Kerala, South India. The Wayanad Wildlife sanctuary is home to animals of the order of
bisons, wild dogs, civet cat, panthers, tigers and elephants which can be a delight of sorts for the tourists who have a yen for adventure tourism.
Muthanga Wild Life Sanctuary -
Which is 16kms east of Sulthan
Bathery, is located very near to the Karnataka boarder. Wild forests covering an area of 345sq. kms form the Muthanga Wild Life Sanctuary; the biggest aboad of wild animals in Malabar. Elephant spotted deer, bison, tiger, cheetah, wild bear, etc. are found in this sanctuary. The forest department has facilities for providing elephant rides to tourists, here.
Mananthavady Kuruvadweep -
17 kms east of mananthavady / 45 km northwest of sulthan bathery : this 950 acre, uninhabited island on the eastward bound kabani river is an ideal picnic spot. The wooded stretch of land is home to rare species of birds, orchids and herbs.
Thirunelly temple -
32 km northeast of
mananthavady: surrounded by kambamala, karimala and varadiga, the thirunelly temple is a marvel temple architecture. The shrine is shielded with 30 granite columns and the ground is paved with huge square pieces of granite. The crystal clear waters of the papanasini river running downhill add to the enchantment of the place.The Thirunelly temple, sometimes called the ‘Kasi of the South’,. Believers say Brahma himself installed the idol of Vishnu here. Near the temple is the Papanasini whose waters, the religions believe, can wash one’s sins away.Close to Thirunelly is the
brid-watching center of Pakshippathalam. The place can be reached only by trekking. A watchtower allows bird lovers to try and spot the different varieties of birds, which come here.The Valliyurkavu Bhagawathi temple of Durga is known for the two-week long festival attended by hundreds of advises. In the past, devises were sold as bonded during this festival.
Banasura Sagar Dam
This is the largest earth dam in India. The topography here is such that many islands will be formed in the upstream of the dam when the dam is full. These islands with the background of the Banasura hill will provide a hypnotizing sight to tourists.
The Kuruva island, 950 acre3s of ever green forest on the tributaries of east flowing river Kabani, is an ideal picnic spot, far away from the disturbances of city life. The island is uninhabited. Rare species of birds, orchids and herbs are the sovereigns of this supernal kingdom. It is 17kilometers east of Mananathavady and 40kms north west of Sulthan Bathery.
Panmaram is located 29 km away from Sulthan Batheri. The fort of Pazhassi Raja is located here at Panamaram. There are riuned Jain temples in Panmaram. These temples are situated within 5km northeast of Panmaram.
15 kms south east of Kalpetta, this 300-year-old mosque is the oldest in Wayanad.
One of the highest locations in Wayanad, Lakkidi also commands a picturesque scenery. It is about 58kms north east of Kozhikode and 5kms south of Vythiri. Lakkidi, the gateway of Wayanad, lies atop Thamarassery, a ghat pass at an elevation of 700m. above mean sea level.The lofty mountain peaks, the gurging stream, luxuriant vegetation and the birds eye view of the deep valley on the south, with its winding roads, are breath taking. The 12kms long journey from Adivaram to Lakkidi through ghat road with nine hairpin bends amidst thick forests, is a fascinating experience.
Pakshipathalam in the Brahmagiri hills at Thirunelli, is a challenging tourist spot for any adventure seeking tourist. To reach Pakshipathalam seventeen kilometers have
to be covered through wild forest. The deep rock caves, formed among the thick blocks of rocks at the northern top end of Brahmagiri, are the abode of various birds and
wild beasts. Special permission has to be obtained from Forest Department to go to Pakshipathalam. District Tourism Promotion Council arranges vehicle,
camping equipments, etc. to the tourists, on hire.
Pazhassi Tourist Resort
Pazhassi Tourist Resort at Mananthavady is a good picnic centre in north Wayanad. There is a good aquarium here. Coin operated toys for children and boating
facilities for tourist are available here. Pazhassi raja, the lion of Kerala, who organised guerilla type warfare against British east India company, was cremated here in 1805.
It is a natural fresh water lake, brimmed with evergreen mountains. The weather here is salacious; the scenic beauty, hypnotizing and the nature, unspoiled. Pookot Lake tourist resort in Vythiri is the most sort after tourist spot of Wayanad. The is an aquarium and a green house here. Boating facilities also are available. Spices and handicraft items are also arranged for sale at Pookot. The lake has an area of 8.5ha. and maximum water depth is 6.5m. This lake is 3kms south of Vythiri.
12 kms east of Meppadi, it is a bewitching waterfall cascading in three tiers, down a spectacular height of 500m.
Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary
This forms a part of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and boasts of a large number of elephants. You can take your own vehicle inside the park upto 20 km and enjoy the surroundings as much as you want.The sanctuary is 13 km from Thirunelly
Sentinel Rock Water Fall
This waterfall is at Vellarimala village near Chooralmala in Meppadi Panchayat. It is a picnic spot as well as a trekking centre. The sentinel rock, a rock of more than 200m. in height, is ideal for rock climbing.
The waterfalls at Soochippara near Meppadi is really a treasure of nature, yet to be discovered. The stretches of waterfalls ranging at places from 100 to 300 feet height is a treat to the eyes. The pool below, provides for water rafting, swimming, bathing, etc. The tree top huts at Soochippara give an unique view of the Valleys of the Western Ghats and the glimmering shallow waters of the surrounding springs.
The hills, rocks and valleys which contribute to the very unique character of Wayanad provide a lot for adventure tourism. Trekking to the Chembra peak is a risky mountaineering endeavor. Chembra peak, the highest hill inWayanad, is near Meppady town. Trekking to the top of this peak takes almost a day. Tourists can also stay one or two days at the top of the peak in temporary camps. District tourism Promotion Council provides guides, sleeping bags, canvases, huts and trekking implements on hire. The scenic beauty of
Wayanad, which is visible from the top of Chembra, is very exhilarating.