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Wayanad


Introduction

When you think of Wayanad, the first few images that come to your mind will be that of the lofty mountains covered with a green canopy and the vast stretches of tea plantations. From the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary to the beautiful Wayanad resorts, this city is embellished with all the things that will pique your interest. The canvas of Wayanad is painted in vibrant hues and the city is draped in the rich fabric of history. Glorious and hypnotizing, this welcoming city is every nature lover’s paradise. There are limitless trekking destinations for you to explore. The serene waterfalls will leave you spellbound. The wildlife and flora will leave you asking for more and the caves will take you back in time. What more can you ask for? Wayanad is the perfect destination if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of your city. The beautiful Wayanad resorts will make your stay relaxing and will allow you to bring out the explorer that is hidden inside you. So, pack your bags and get ready to go on this marvellous rollercoaster ride.


OVERVIEW

Location: Kerala

Nearest Airport: Kozhikode

How to reach: by air/road/train

Famous for: trekking trails, waterfalls, caves, bird watching, flora and fauna

Best time to visit: October to May

WHAT TO SEE

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Banasura Sagar Dam

Chethalayam, Soochipara waterfalls

Meenmutty waterfalls

Chembra Peak

Neelimala



Details

History

The history of Wayanad stems back to the reigning period of the Veda tribe. The Pazhassi Rajas of Kottayam royal dynasty later took over the rule of this beautiful place and cherished it with all their heart. Hyder Ali invaded Wayanad and brought it under his rule but during the reign of Tipu, it was restored to the Kottayam royal dynasty. Fierce battles were fought between the Raja of Kottayam and the British during the rule of the latter. The history of this area took an unexpected turn when the British took over Wayanad. They built a beautiful network of roads that connected this region to the outside and allowed people of different areas to flow in and settle here. The cultivation of tea and other cash crops began and this led to the growth of Wayanad. Thus, this beautiful city is not only famous for its panoramic views but it is also drenched in a very rich history.

Wildlife, flora, and fauna

The district of Wayanad is blessed with a rich heritage of flora and fauna. The soft soil and the pleasant climate are the factors that allow commercial horticulture to take place here. Coffee, tea, and spices are grown across the district. The gigantic area of forests houses an abundant growth of teak trees. Wild-type trees like rose-wood, anjili (Artocarpus), and mullumurikku (Erythrina) are also found here. These trees make the flora of Wayanad rich and diverse. Silver Oak trees can be seen among the coffee plantations. These giants serve as a source of shade and help in the survival of the coffee plantations. The trees that are grown here serve as an important source of economy. The White Silver Oak finds use in the plywood industry while eucalyptus oil has much demand in the domestic market.

With the dense forests stretching across a huge area, a range of wildlife finds its way into the area. Herds of elephants, deer, and hares can be seen sauntering through the woods in the night. One can also appreciate the presence of bonnet monkeys, loris, mongooses, jungle cats, squirrels, jackals, hares, etc. in the forest areas. The Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for its unique wildlife and you can enjoy being in the company of elephants, peacocks, babblers, and other magical creatures here.

Places of Interest

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary- It's one of the ranges is the famous Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary. It harbors many large and wild animals such as the Indian Bison, elephants, deer, tigers, etc. along with some unique birds like peacocks and babblers. It is famous for being the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala. This wildlife sanctuary is situated amidst lush green nature.

Banasura Sagar Dam- This dam is located in the southwestern part of Wayanad and is famous for being the largest earth dam in India. It encloses the serene Karamanathodu tributary of the east-flowing Kabini River. Encircled amidst beautiful nature, this place is ideal for trekking.

Chembra Peak- Want to test your physical prowess? Climbing up the tall Chembra Peak will take you on a journey of a lifetime. With views of the panoramic beauty of the district, the Chembra peak is every nature lover’s paradise. It is located near Meppadi in the southern part of Wayanad and is the tallest peak in the region.

Neelimala- Who wouldn’t want to take home a beautiful picture of the Meenmutty Falls with a valley in the foreground? Neelimala is one of the many awe-inspiring viewpoints in Wayanad and is located in its southeastern part. It is a trekker’s delight and with its spellbinding beauty, it captures the heart of every visitor.

Meenmutty waterfalls- Meenmutty is the largest waterfall in the Wayanad district. It looks divine and the fresh air surrounding it refreshes both the mind and the body. You can easily reach this beauty through a 2 km trekking route from the main road connecting Ooty and Wayanad.

Chethalayam- If you are on the lookout for another waterfall to satisfy your soul, you don’t have to go too far. The Chethalayam waterfall, located close to Sulthan Bathery, is an ideal place for all the nature enthusiasts out there. It is appealing to the eyes of the visitors as it hosts a large number of birds.

Soochipara waterfalls- A three-layered waterfall at Vellarimala, the Soochipara waterfall is a feast for the eyes. The water that falls from the waterfall forms a large pool, and you can enjoy swimming and bathing in it. The serene ambience of the waterfall is a perfect getaway from the noise of the city.

Nearby attractions

Edakkal caves (26 km)

Famous for their pictorial paintings (cave paintings), the Edakkal caves are located 10 km from Sulthan Bathery. The trek to get to the Edakkal Caves through the Ambukuthi Hill is a splendid experience. If you want to take a trip to the memories of the forgotten past, these caves should be at the top of your list. The stunning petroglyphs, stone age carvings, and pictorial paintings are all testaments to the rich history of these caves.

Other attractions

Trekking

With the picturesque backdrop of the lofty mountains and the adrenaline coursing through your body, trekking is surely a wonderful experience in Wayanad. From the Chembra Peak to the Soochipara waterfalls, there are limitless trekking destinations in Wayanad that will quench your thirst for adventure. Nature enthusiasts can revel in the tranquil surroundings of nature and can enjoy a relaxing time away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Tea estate tour

Are you a tea-loving traveller? The tea estate tour of the Priyadarshini Tea Estates has got all your needs covered. A velvety carpet of fresh green tea leaves welcomes you as you take the tour of the tea estate. You will be given a guided tour of the place and the tea making procedure will be explained to you in detail. You can also try your hand in helping the plantation workers in their daily chores. If you want to satisfy your taste buds, you can easily purchase freshly dried tea here.

Where to stay

All of the Wayanad resorts have been built beautifully and they hold the promise of making your stay a pleasant one. The Windflower Resort & Spa allows you to enjoy panoramic views of the mountains while you stroll through the tea plantations in its vicinity. Vythiri Resort (Vythiri Village Resort) has plenty of in-house activities that will keep you entertained throughout your stay. CGH Earth Wayanad Wild is situated amidst the lush green forest. Here, you can satisfy your bird watching desires as well as your gustatory needs. Evolve Back Wayanad gives you a wildlife experience that you will cherish all your life.




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