Wayanad is a district located in northern Kerala, India, surrounded by the Western Ghats mountain range. The region is renowned for its stunning landscapes, including forests, waterfalls, lakes, wildlife sanctuaries, and hill stations. The district shares borders with Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and other districts of Kerala.
Wayanad has a diverse cultural heritage and is home to indigenous tribes such as Paniyas, Kurumas, and Adiyars. It has a long history dating back to the Neolithic age, and it has been ruled by different dynasties throughout history, such as the Cheras, Rashtrakutas, and Vijayanagara Empire.
The district is famous for its spice plantations, especially coffee, tea, pepper, cardamom, and cinnamon. The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and a significant tourist attraction. Visitors can observe a variety of wildlife such as elephants, tigers, leopards, deer, and various species of birds.
Wayanad also played a significant role in India's freedom struggle. The area was the site of the Wayanad uprising against British colonial rule in 1921, led by freedom fighter Pazhassi Raja. Nowadays, Wayanad is a popular destination for tourists who want to experience the region's natural beauty, cultural heritage, and unique offerings.
Places To Visit
- Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is a vast protected forest that stretches for about 344 square kilometers. It offers a home to a wide range of wildlife such as elephants, tigers, leopards, deer, and various species of birds. One can enjoy a jeep safari or trek through the forest to spot the wildlife.
- The tallest mountain in Wayanad, Chembra mountain, rises to a height of around 2,100 metres. This peak is a popular trekking destination that offers a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape. The trek is around 14 kilometers long and takes about 5-6 hours to complete.
- Edakkal Caves are located at an elevation of around 1,200 meters and are famous for their ancient rock art and inscriptions, dating back to the Neolithic era. Visitors can trek to the caves that are about 10 kilometers away from Ambalavayal town and explore the fascinating history and culture of the region.
- Banasura Sagar Dam is the largest earthen dam in India and is situated on the Karamanathodu River, a tributary of the Kabini River. It offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding hills and visitors can enjoy water sports activities and boating.
- Pookode Lake is a freshwater lake nestled amidst forests and hills, covering an area of about 8.5 hectares. It is located about 3 kilometers away from Vythiri town and offers recreational activities such as boating, while providing scenic views of the area.
- Meenmutty Waterfalls is located about 29 kilometers from Kalpetta and is one of the largest and most spectacular waterfalls in Wayanad. Visitors can trek through the forest to the falls and enjoy the stunning views of the waterfall cascading down from a height of around 300 meters.
- Thirunelli Temple is an ancient temple located about 29 kilometers from Mananthavady that dates back to around 3,000 years ago. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is surrounded by lush green forests and hills. Visitors can explore the temple's intricate architecture and cultural significance.
- Soochipara Waterfalls is located around 22 kilometers from Kalpetta and is a popular tourist attraction in Wayanad. The waterfall cascades down from a height of about 200 meters and offers a mesmerizing view of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can trek through the forest to the falls and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
- Wildlife Safari: In Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, tourists can spot a variety of wildlife, such as tigers, leopards, elephants, and deer, by taking a jeep safari or trekking through the forest. This exciting opportunity allows visitors to experience the thrill of being in the wild and up close to these majestic creatures.
- Trekking: With vast forests and hills, Wayanad is a paradise for trekkers. Popular trekking destinations such as Chembra Peak, Meenmutty Waterfalls, and Edakkal Caves provide magnificent views of the surrounding landscape.
- Exploring Ancient History: Edakkal Caves are famous for their rock art and inscriptions dating back to the Neolithic era. Visiting the caves offers insight into the cultural and historical heritage of the region.
- Enjoying Natural Beauty: The picturesque Pookode Lake, Soochipara Waterfalls, and Banasura Sagar Dam offer stunning views of the hills and valleys surrounding them. Tourists can choose to trek, boat or simply appreciate the natural beauty of these locations.
- Temple Visit: Thirunelli Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, surrounded by lush green forests and hills. Visitors can explore the temple's detailed architecture and cultural significance, which creates a spiritual and tranquil environment.
- Coffee Plantation Tour: Wayanad is famous for its coffee plantations. Tourists can take a tour of these plantations to learn about the process of coffee cultivation, processing, and roasting. Moreover, they can also taste different coffee varieties and buy freshly roasted beans as souvenirs.
- Ayurvedic Spa: Numerous Ayurvedic spas in Wayanad provide traditional treatments and therapies for relaxation and rejuvenation. Tourists can enjoy a therapeutic massage, wellness programs that include yoga, meditation and herbal treatments, thus providing them with a holistic wellness experience.
The city's culture is known for its diversity, which has been influenced by the settlement of various communities over the centuries. The local indigenous tribes have a unique cultural heritage, including customs, rituals, and art forms that have been passed down for generations. Alongside them, the Malayali community has their own distinct culture and traditions.
Wayanad's cuisine is also an essential part of its culture, featuring a range of dishes made from local ingredients and cooking techniques. Appam, puttu, dosa, sambar, and avial are among the frequently consumed foods.The region's spice production of pepper, cardamom, and cinnamon also influences its cuisine.
The local festivals of Wayanad, such as Onam, Vishu, and Thiruvathira, are celebrated with great enthusiasm and are a significant part of the culture. These festivals feature colorful processions, traditional dances, and music performances.
Moreover, Wayanad's art and handicrafts scene is lively, with local artisans producing a range of products like wood carvings, bamboo crafts, pottery, and handloom textiles. A number of cultural institutions, like the Wayanad legacy Museum, are also located in the area and serve to highlight the city's rich cultural legacy.
- The Wayanad Heritage Museum, situated in Ambalavayal, showcases the culture, art, and history of the region through a collection of artifacts and items that belonged to the indigenous tribes of the area.
- The Edakkal Caves, although not a traditional museum, are a significant historical site that features rock art from the Neolithic era. The cave paintings and carvings found here date back over 8,000 years.
- The Pazhassi Raja Museum, located in Kozhikode, is dedicated to the life and legacy of Pazhassi Raja, a renowned warrior who fought against the British during the colonial era.
- The Uravu Bamboo Craft Museum, situated in Thrikkaipetta, showcases the traditional bamboo crafts of Wayanad, such as baskets, mats, and other items.
- The Muthanga Wildlife Museum, located in Sulthan Bathery, features exhibits on the wildlife of the region, including specimens of animals found in the nearby Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary.
- The Ambalavayal Heritage Museum, situated in Ambalavayal, features exhibits on the history and culture of the region, including artifacts and items used by the indigenous tribes of the area.
- Thirunelli Temple: Located in the Brahmagiri Hills, Thirunelli Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This temple was constructed around the 9th century, and it is surrounded by verdant forests and hills.
- Jain Temple at Panamaram: The Jain Temple situated in Panamaram is believed to have been built in the 13th century, and it is dedicated to the Jain saint Chandranath Swami. The temple is noted for its intricate sculptures and carvings.
- Pazhassi Tomb: Pazhassi Tomb is situated in Mananthavady and is devoted to the legendary warrior Pazhassi Raja, who battled against the British during the colonial era.
- Sultan Bathery Fort: Built by Tipu Sultan during the 18th century, Sultan Bathery Fort was employed as a stronghold during the wars against the British. While the fort now lies in ruins, it still draws visitors for its historical value.
- Kottiyoor Temple: Kottiyoor Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located on the banks of the Bavali River. Constructed in the 13th century, this temple is notable for its antique architecture and intricate carvings.
- Appam with Stew: This is a popular breakfast dish in Wayanad. Appam is a pancake made of fermented rice batter, and stew is a fragrant curry made with vegetables, coconut milk, and spices.
- Porotta and Beef Fry: Porotta is a layered flatbread made of maida (flour), and it goes well with spicy beef fry. It is a famous street food in Wayanad.
- Kappa and Fish Curry: Kappa is boiled tapioca served with fish curry, made with coconut milk, spices, and tamarind. It is a staple food of Kerala, and the combination of Kappa and fish curry is a must-try in Wayanad.
- Pazham Pori: Pazham Pori is a famous snack in Kerala, made of ripe bananas dipped in batter and deep-fried. It is a popular street food item in Wayanad and is best enjoyed with a cup of tea.
- Puttu and Kadala Curry: Puttu is a steamed rice cake, and Kadala Curry is a spicy chickpea curry made with coconut milk, spices, and roasted coconut. This combination is a delicious and filling breakfast option in Wayanad.
- Vada: Vada is a deep-fried doughnut-shaped snack made of lentil batter, and it is a popular street food item in Wayanad. It is best enjoyed with coconut chutney or sambar.
- Parippu Vada: Parippu Vada is a deep-fried snack made of lentil batter mixed with spices and onions. It is a crispy and delicious street food item in Wayanad, perfect for an evening snack.
- Vythiri Village Resort: This upscale resort is located amidst a rainforest and offers a range of accommodation options, including treehouses and villas. The resort boasts an outdoor pool, spa, and restaurant.
- The Windflower Resort and Spa: Situated on a hilltop, this stunning resort offers panoramic views of the surrounding valleys. It features luxurious rooms, a spa, an outdoor pool, and a restaurant serving local and international cuisine.
- Le Villagio Holiday Apartments: This budget-friendly hotel is centrally located in Kalpetta town and offers spacious apartments ideal for families and groups. It has a restaurant serving delicious Kerala cuisine.
- Banasura Hill Resort: This eco-resort offers luxurious rooms, a spa, an outdoor pool, and various outdoor activities like trekking and zip-lining. It's situated atop a hill overlooking the Banasura Sagar Dam.
- Pepper Trail: This charming boutique hotel is located on a coffee estate and offers luxurious rooms, a spa, an outdoor pool, guided tours of the estate, and cooking classes for guests.
- Wayanad Silverwoods: This beautiful resort is located on the banks of the Kabini River and offers luxurious rooms, a spa, an outdoor pool, and outdoor activities like fishing and boating.
- Tranquil Resort: Set amidst coffee and spice plantations, this resort offers luxurious rooms, a spa, an outdoor pool, guided tours of the plantations, and outdoor activities like cycling and bird watching.
- ClayHut is a Kalpetta-based restaurant that specializes in Kerala cuisine and serves both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. The restaurant is famous for its rustic atmosphere, where diners can enjoy their meals in a clay hut surrounded by lush greenery.
- Jubilee Restaurant, located in Sulthan Bathery, is a popular restaurant that offers a diverse range of dishes, including Indian, Chinese, and Continental cuisine. The restaurant is known for its spacious seating area and prompt service.
- The Coffee Grove Restaurant, situated in Vythiri, provides a unique dining experience amidst coffee plantations. The restaurant serves Kerala cuisine as well as continental dishes, and diners can relish their meals in a cozy ambiance with breathtaking views of the surrounding hills.
- The Bungalow Restaurant, situated in Meppadi, serves delicious Indian and Chinese cuisine and is known for its colonial-era ambiance, complete with wooden flooring and antique furniture. Diners can enjoy their meals in a peaceful setting with views of the surrounding hills.
- Clay Pot Restaurant, located in Kalpetta, serves traditional Kerala cuisine, served in clay pots, which are famous for their authentic flavors. The restaurant's cozy ambiance is perfect for diners looking for a homely atmosphere.
- Curry World Restaurant, situated in Kalpetta, serves an assortment of Indian and Chinese cuisine and is well-known for its prompt service and delectable food.
- Wilton Restaurant, also located in Kalpetta, serves a variety of Indian and Chinese cuisine and is known for its spacious seating area and friendly service.
- Greens Restaurant, located in Vythiri, serves a range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, including Kerala cuisine. The restaurant's cozy ambiance and prompt service make it a popular choice for diners.
- HiLite Mall is a prominent shopping center located in the city center of Wayanad, offering an extensive selection of stores that cater to a wide variety of tastes and preferences. The mall provides a diverse range of items, including clothing and electronics, and also features a food court with numerous dining options, a multiplex cinema, an ice skating rink, and a play area for children.
- Focus Mall is another well-known shopping complex in Wayanad, famous for its expansive range of stores selling various goods, including clothing, electronics, and household items. The mall also has a food court that offers a variety of cuisines and a multiplex cinema for entertainment. Additionally, it has a children's play area that keeps kids engaged and entertained.
- RP Mall is a newly established shopping destination in Wayanad, situated in Kalpetta. The mall has a broad range of stores, including several top-end brands, and offers a food court with an extensive range of dining options. The mall also has a multiplex cinema, a game zone, and a supermarket, along with a bookshop.
- Mall of Joy is a compact yet well-liked mall situated in Sulthan Bathery, offering a limited number of stores that provide a variety of items such as clothing, jewelry, and cosmetics. The mall has a food court with multiple cuisines and a play area for children.
Best Places To Shop
- Mananthavady Bazaar is a well-known local market in Wayanad that features an array of products including spices, handicrafts, and textiles. The market is popular for its unique and genuine products.
- Madiyoor Shopping Complex, situated in Kalpetta, offers an extensive selection of products like clothing, electronics, and household items. In addition, the complex boasts a food court and a multiplex cinema for entertainment.
- Sultan Bathery Market is a bustling local market in Wayanad that is known for its fresh produce and authentic products, including spices, handicrafts, and textiles.
- Churam Artisan Village, located in Sulthan Bathery, is an excellent place to shop for handicrafts and traditional items made by local artisans. The village has a wide range of products such as pottery, wood carvings, and handloom products.
- Keralashopee: This popular local shop specializes in traditional handicrafts, souvenirs, and spices, offering a wide range of authentic products at reasonable prices.
- Spencer's Retail: Spencer's Retail is a well-known supermarket chain with several branches across the city, offering a variety of products such as groceries, personal care items, and electronics.
- Woodpecker Furniture: This famous furniture store is known for its unique designs and durable products, offering a wide range of high-quality furniture items such as beds, sofas, and dining tables.
- Kalyan Silks: Kalyan Silks is a popular textile shop that offers a variety of traditional and contemporary clothing items such as sarees, salwar suits, and Kurtis.
- Paulson's Bakery: This famous bakery offers a variety of delicious cakes, pastries, and snacks, known for their fresh and high-quality products.
- Favourite Shop: Favourite Shop is a popular stationery store with several branches across the city, offering a wide range of products such as school supplies, office equipment, and art materials, and known for their affordable prices.
Best Time to Visit
Wayanad is a district in the Indian state of Kerala that is known for its beautiful landscapes, tea and coffee plantations, and wildlife sanctuaries. It is situated in the Western Ghats mountain range and has a pleasant climate throughout the year. The district is home to several tourist attractions such as the Edakkal Caves, Banasura Sagar Dam, and the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, making it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Visitors can also explore the local culture and traditions by visiting the various tribal villages and markets in the district.
How to Reach
- By Air: Wayanad can be reached by flying to the nearest airport, which is Calicut International Airport, located approximately 95 kilometers away. From the airport, one can choose to take a taxi or a bus to reach Wayanad.
- By Rail: The nearest railway station to Wayanad is Kozhikode Railway Station, situated approximately 110 kilometers away. From the railway station, one can choose to take a taxi or a bus to reach Wayanad.
- By Road: Wayanad is well-connected to major cities in Kerala and neighboring states by road. One can choose to take a bus or hire a taxi to reach Wayanad. The National Highway 766 passes through Wayanad, which connects it to major cities such as Bangalore and Mysore.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
What are the major tourist attractions in Wayanad?
Wayanad has several popular tourist attractions such as Edakkal Caves, Chembra Peak, Pookode Lake, Banasura Sagar Dam, and Thirunelli Temple.
What is the best time to visit Wayanad?
Winter and summer months, from October to May, are the ideal times to visit Wayanad. The weather is pleasant, and one can enjoy outdoor activities like trekking, camping, and sightseeing.
How can I reach Wayanad?
Wayanad is accessible by road, rail, and air. Both the Kozhikode Railway Station and the Calicut International Airport are the closest transportation hubs. Road connections from Wayanad to important cities in Kerala and other states are excellent.
What are some popular activities to do in Wayanad?
Wayanad offers a range of outdoor activities such as trekking, camping, wildlife safaris, boating, and cycling. One can also explore the local culture by visiting traditional villages and trying local cuisine.