Wayanad, a picturesque district located in the northeastern part of the Indian state of Kerala, is a haven for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. With its lush green landscapes, mist-covered mountains, and serene waterfalls, Wayanad offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. If you are planning a trip to this enchanting destination, here are some must-visit places that should be on your itinerary.
One of the highest peaks in Wayanad, Chembra offers a challenging trek and a breathtaking view of the surrounding valleys and lakes. The trek to the top takes you through dense forests, scenic meadows, and a heart-shaped lake known as the ‘Hridaya Saras’. It is a paradise for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts.
These ancient caves are famous for their prehistoric rock carvings, which date back to around 6,000 BC. Located on Ambukutty Mala, the caves provide a unique insight into the early civilizations that inhabited the region. The trek to reach the caves is an adventure, with lush greenery and panoramic views along the way.
Banasura Sagar Dam
Built across the Karamanathodu River, Banasura Sagar Dam is the largest earthen dam in India. Surrounded by the majestic Banasura Hills, the dam offers a mesmerizing view of the reservoir and the lush green islands the submerged trees form. You can also enjoy boating in the reservoir or opt for trekking in the nearby hills.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
Spread over an area of 344 square kilometers, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. The sanctuary houses several endangered species, including the Indian elephant, tiger, leopard, and gaur. Take a safari through the sanctuary to spot these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
Nestled amidst the evergreen forests and hills, Pookode Lake is a natural freshwater lake that offers a serene and picturesque setting. You can enjoy boating in the lake or take a leisurely walk around its periphery, surrounded by lush greenery. The lake is also a haven for birdwatchers, with a variety of avian species making it their home.
Also known as Sentinel Rock Waterfalls, Soochipara Falls is a three-tiered waterfall located in the Vellarimala mountain range. The falls cascade down from a height of about 200 meters, creating a spectacular sight. You can take a dip in the pool formed at the base of the falls or indulge in adventurous activities like rock climbing and trekking.
Situated amidst the serene Brahmagiri Hills, Thirunelli Temple is a famous pilgrimage site dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is known for its ancient architecture and tranquil surroundings. It is believed that a dip in the holy waters of the Papanasini River, which flows near the temple, can cleanse one’s sins.
Meenmutty Falls is a stunning waterfall located in the lush forests of Wayanad. With a height of about 300 meters, it is one of the largest and most spectacular waterfalls in Kerala. The falls can be reached through a thrilling trek, which takes you through dense forests and rocky terrain.
Lakkidi Viewpoint offers a panoramic view of the picturesque Lakkidi Valley, nestled amidst the Western Ghats. The viewpoint is located on the Thamarassery Ghat Pass, which is known for its scenic beauty and hairpin bends. From this viewpoint, you can admire the breathtaking vistas of mist-covered mountains, deep valleys, and winding roads that disappear into the clouds.
Karapuzha Dam is another popular tourist attraction in Wayanad, known for its serene surroundings and scenic beauty. The dam is built on the Karapuzha River and offers a peaceful retreat away from bustling city life. You can enjoy boating in the reservoir or simply relax by the banks, soaking in the tranquility of the place.
Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary
Located on the Wayanad-Kozhikode border, Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, tigers, leopards, deer, and various species of birds. Take a jeep safari through the sanctuary to explore its rich biodiversity and get a glimpse of these magnificent creatures.
Neelimala Viewpoint is a hidden gem in Wayanad, offering panoramic views of the Meenmutty Falls and the lush green valleys surrounding it. The viewpoint is located at a higher altitude and requires a short trek through the forest to reach. The effort is worth it as you witness the cascading waterfalls and the vast expanse of greenery from the top.
Pakshipathalam Bird Sanctuary
Nestled in the Brahmagiri Hills, Pakshipathalam Bird Sanctuary is a paradise for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers. The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of bird species, including rare and endangered ones. Trekking through the dense forests of Pakshipathalam is an adventure in itself, and you can also explore the caves and rock formations in the area.
Wayanad Heritage Museum
If you’re interested in exploring the cultural heritage of Wayanad, a visit to the Wayanad Heritage Museum is a must. The museum showcases a collection of artifacts, ancient tools, weapons, and tribal art, giving you insights into the rich history and traditions of the region. It is a great place to learn about the indigenous tribes that have inhabited Wayanad for centuries.
Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary
Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary is another significant wildlife reserve in Wayanad, known for its abundant wildlife and beautiful landscapes. The sanctuary is home to elephants, leopards, spotted deer, langurs, and various bird species. Take a jeep safari or a guided trek through the sanctuary to spot these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
Wayanad, with its natural beauty, cultural heritage, and diverse wildlife, offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience. Whether you are an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or someone looking to immerse yourself in history and culture, Wayanad has something to offer to everyone. Plan your visit to this enchanting destination and explore the mesmerizing landscapes and hidden treasures that await you in Wayanad.