They say you should not climb high during the rains. But what they don’t know is that the beauty augments tremendously. And undoubtedly, Kerala holds some surprises up her green sleeves, surprises that can even get under the skin of a beauty-hardened identity.
Location North Eastern tip of Kerala in South India.
Known As The Green Paradize of Kerala
Best Time To Visit August to April
Attractions Edakkal Caves – 25 kms from Kalpetta, Tree Houses in Vythiri – 62 km NE of Kozhikode, Kuruvadweep Tribes.
Most Famous For : Neolithic Cave Site at Edakkal.
Getting Around Banasura Sagar Dam, Chembra Peak, Edakkal Cave, Kuruva Island, Lakkidi, Muthanga Wild Life Sanctuary, Pakshipathalam, Pazhassi Tourist Resort, Pookot Lake, Sentinel Rock Waterfall, Sochippara Waterfall.
Don’t Miss Tea and Cardamom Plantations, Picturesque Locations
Must Experience The Wayanad Wildlife.
Inside Tip While Entering the Edakkal Cave, do make use of Trekking Shoes.
Where to Eat Hotel Green Gates, Hotel Haritagiri, Vythiri Resort, Haritagiri Malabar Food.
Staying Options Kalpetta PWD Rest House, Hotel Harithagiri. Sulthan Bathery Govt. Guest House, Hotel Dwaraka, Pulpally Kabani Resort, Hotel Pearlmount, Mananthavady PWD Rest House, Hotel Manasasaras, Meenangadi Hotel Vanarani.
Air Air – Nearest Airport is Calicut.
Rail Nearest Railway Station- Kozhikode.
Road Wayanad is Well Connected with Roads.
They say you should not climb high during the rains. But what they don’t know is that the beauty augments tremendously. And undoubtedly, Kerala holds some surprises up her green sleeves, surprises that can even get under the skin of a beauty-hardened identity. Almost every conceivable inch of the mist wrapped undulating hills of Wayanad – that lie embracing both the Western Ghats and the Nilgiris – have coffee, pepper, cinnamon and cardamom growing on them, all of it camouflaged by lush rainforest that bemuses the eye and overwhelms the soul with its varied characters of green. It is a place which turns blue in every 12 years. It is place that brings home the forests of Wayanad literally to the doorstep of your bedroom, for there are hotels that have built their rooms not on Earth but up, up and up to the green tree tops. It is a land that affords some of the much-talked wildlife species of the world, who roam freely amidst stunning orchids and tall bamboo plantations. And if you’re sick of sham creature comforts, head for some of the jewels, which radiate despite being tucked into the wild beauty of Wayanad. Wayanad truly portrays a pristine environment unblemished by the excesses of civilisations.
The literary society endorses that Wayanad has derived its name from the words ‘Vayal Nadu’ – meaning, the village of paddy fields. Previously the region was ruled by the Rajas of the Veda tribe and later by the Pazhassi Rajahs of Kottayam royal dynasty. When Hyder Ali became the ruler of Mysore, he invaded Wayanad and brought it under his sway. Later during the reign of Tipu, the entire Malabar region was handed over to the British, which was followed by fierce and calamitous encounters between the British and the Rajas of Kottayam.
The best place to start your itinerary in Wayanad is surely Lakkidi, the gateway to Wayanad, located at 5 km from Vythiri. Interestingly, this 2297 ft high pad of survival registers the second highest degree of rainfall in the world, only after Cherrapunji! Drive out of Lakkidi towards the ‘ghat’ pass. Just before the ‘ghat’ begins, you’ll come across a curious sight – the chain tree of Lakkidi, a banyan tree with chains wrapped around its trunk. Ask the locales and you will come across the interesting legend of a restless spirit that used to wander in the woods a few time back. Three km from Lakkidi, the small, placid and lotus-covered Pookote Lake, offers a pleasant picnic spot and memorable boating options. If you are staying in one of the tree houses in Vythiri, take a walk to the lake amidst the tall trees until the serene lake unveils its dark beauty in front of you.
While you are at Pookote Lake, a visit to the Uruvu Eco shop is a must. Check out products made out of two dozen varieties of bamboo. They are mostly made by tribals and women of the area. Get a few pieces of alluring bamboo shirt hangers and wine bottle covers. If this shop interests you, then you should visit their factory (open from 9 am to 7 pm), 26 km away en route to Suchipara Falls. You will find them experimenting with some new products and design. Thirunelly, 34 km from Mananthavady on the northern side of Brahmagiri hills, is a place that have been unianimously referred to as the Heal station. Spend some time at the Thirunelly Temple, known for its tough, unpolished architecture and shielded by 30 granite columns. Male devotees can enter the temple only if they are bare-chested and carry a mirror at a side.
If you are intersted in primordial history and want to read a book with fantastic pictures, visit the world-famous Edakkal Caves, located at 3 km from Ambalavayal which is 25 km from Kalpetta. Edakkal literally means ‘the stone in between’ in Malayalam, and is a fissure made by a corner of rock splitting off from the main body due to some natural causes. What makes it a cave to the ordinary observer is the fact that in the other portion of the large cleft, an enormous rock, weighing several tonnes, has fallen forming a roof over a large part of it. The caves, located on an ancient route connecting the high ranges of Mysore to the ports of Malabar, are a source of mystery to archeologists. Though the origins of the engravings in the cave (generally depicting images of tribal kings, queens, elephant, deer and wheeled carts) are still unknown, but they are attractive enough to entice a visitor. The cave immortalises the memory of a tribe that hunted in the forests, tamed and bred animals, and farmed on the hill sides. You can take your vehicle only up to the first kilometre of the gradient. Park your vehicle at the notified common car park and hire a jeep thereafter. Begin your climb where the jeep stops, after buying your entry ticket. It’s an adrenaline pumping scramble to the top, but the view is worth it – acres and acres of green forest and hillocks greet you as you reach there. Don’t forget to peep through the telescope that has been thoughtfully provided midway.
When you visit the caves, try the special ginger sherbat and the special herbal masala soda, sold at the place where the jeep drops you. Remember to stop by at the numerous handicraft shops on your way back from the cave for carvings made from coffee wood.
Rafting on the ebullient waters of the Kabini river would eventually fetch you to the 950-acre island of Kuruvadweep, an island that has the power to put you into a Mowgli mindset. The deep thickets forces you to think like a denizen of a jungle. Deep and dark, thick and sinister. Except for the Katunayika tribe, the island is uninhabited and untouched by modernity. You have to cross shallow streams of water to reach the land and by the time you experience the firmness of ground beneath your feet, there is a marshy patch that you must negotiate by climbing over the branches of a dead tree. Take a pleasant bath in the running waters of the Kabini river and later dry off in the mild sun. Observe the white floral patterns caused by dried up algae on the rocks here. Its better to keep aside half a day for this wonderful stream-green trekking exercise. Even long after you return, the rustle of dry leaves and the mellow music of the stream will keep ringing in your ears.