In northwest Kerala, a beautiful forest district of Wayanad is located. The formation of the district was completed on 1st Nov 1980. As much as the district is known for its jungles it is known for its Temples and monuments. The name Wayanad means the land of the paddy field which is true to the region. The district has been ruled by several dynasties and each one of them added to the heritage of the region. The district experiences a pleasant climate throughout the year which makes it a place to visit whenever you like.
WHAT TO SEE
Hinduism, Christianity and Islam are dominant in Kerala. Each of them demonstrates their culture without any hesitation. Kerala is well known for its dance, music, arts, craft and also food. The Kathakali form of dance is the classical dance form of Kerala which dates back more than 200 yrs ago. Other forms of dance include Mohiniyattam, Thullal, Krishnattam, Oppanna and others. Kalaripayattu is a famous form of martial arts of Kerala. Kerala is very popular for carvings on metal, sandalwood, rosewood granite etc. there are several sculptures and monuments spread all across the state.
Where to go
The Wayanad wildlife sanctuary is a place you don’t want to miss on your visit to Wayanad. The region was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1973 and is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere reserve along with protected areas of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The flora of the region is majorly deciduous vegetation along with scattered patched of evergreen vegetation. The prominent species of plants include teak, rosewood, sandalwood, silver oak, eucalyptus and others. There are a few marshy spots also. The fauna of the region is also as rich as its flora. The animals living here include bison, monkeys, sambar, bears etc. There are several species of reptiles and amphibians too in the park.
Soochipara Falls is another of the most popular places situated in Vellarimala in Wayanad. The waterfalls in three tiers and is surrounded by green forests. The water here falls from a height of 200m forming a large pool after the fall. The falls and the pool are accessible to the public and it is safe to enter the pool. It is not only the falls but the journey to it which is also mesmerizing. One can find several birds chirping and flying overhead.
Banasura Dam also is known as Banasura Sagar Dam is an earthen dam. In terms of size, it stands first in India and second in Asia. The dam is built across the river of Karamanathodu. Visiting the dam is a must when you go to Wayanad. The view of the reservoir, surrounded by carpets of lush green is a breathtaking view. The view is magnificent especially during the monsoon when the dam is overflowing.
Kuruwa Dweep is a riverine island in the Kabini River. The island is famous for a few reasons. One, because it is the only island in India surrounded by fresh water. The island is very beautiful with green vegetation and water flowing on all sides, cool breeze; it is a perfect place to relax. The island is spread across 950 acres in the middle of the river. You can easily spend a day on the island. The island can be reached using boats and rafts. The island is virgin and has only a few places which can be explored on foot. The govt of Kerala has taken the initiative to maintain the place.
Edakkal caves are a beautiful site to visit. The caves are located in Wayanad and can be dated back to 8000 yrs ago. The caves are at an altitude of 1200m and are 99 ft deep with a width of 22 ft. the caves have a lot of historical and archaeological importance. These caves are made naturally and are said to inhabit somewhere around 5000BCE and 1000BCE, as is suggested by the carvings in the cave. The cave has three distinct types of carvings.
Chembra Peak, Pookot Lake, Chain Tree, Sulthan Bathery, etc are other places to visit in Wayanad.
What to eat
Kerala is known for its Malabar cuisine. The Malabar biryani, made of gently cooked rice is a must eat dish in Kerala. The food here is very different in preparation, presentation and taste from elsewhere in India. Seafood of Kerala is very popular but the vegetarian food is equally good. The spice mix of Kerala is quite different from other places making it unique. Dishes like idly, Dosa, Vada, Biryani, congee, pidiyan, rice meals etc are popular here.
Coconut water is a popular drink in Kerala. In fact, Ibn Batuta who saw a coconut for the first time here wrote an entire article describing it. Coffee and tea of Kerala are also very famous.
How to reach
Wayanad does not have an airport. The airport of Kozhikode is the nearest which receives regular flights from cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad etc. The airport is around 3 hrs drive from the city centre. From Kozhikode, bus and taxi services are available to reach Wayanad.
Kozhikode is the nearest railway station to Wayanad. The city is well connected to rest of India via Rail. There are regular to and fro trains from Chennai, Kochi, Kovalam, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai etc.
Wayanad is well connected to the cities and towns all over India via road. The city is easily accessible by road. There are frequent buses running from Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode and other places to Wayanad. Even taxi or cab is available from nearby towns and cities.