Wayanad district is a lush forest region surrounded by many hills where the borders of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka all converge. It is at the confluence of the Western Ghats and Deccan Plateau in Kerala. It is surrounded by the Bandipur Tiger Reserve and National Park, Mudumalai and Nagarhole National parks. Awash with the plenty of trees and forest cover, it is one of the most popular destinations for wildlife tourists.
Salient features of Wayanad:
- Since it is surrounded by three national parks and other forests, Wayanad is home to tigers, elephants, deers, leopards, egrets and many other species.
- Best place to visit for adventure seekers. Hiking, Trekking, and Rock climbing are some of the activities that you can take part in.
- It has tree houses in the middle of the forest where you can spend the night and set up the campfires. The thrilling part is wild animals might be in your vicinity, so good luck having a good night’s sleep!
- Home to Soochipara Waterfalls, Edakkal caves, Kuruvadweep, Lakkidi and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.
How to get to Wayanad:
There are buses plying from Bangalore, Kozhikode and Ooty. Within Wayanad you have auto rickshaws, cabs and rented cycles available. However, the best mode of transport is your own car. If you are going with a group of friends, hire a van.
Best Places to Visit:
Trekking at Chembra Peak: This is one of the best activities to indulge in and to experience the wilderness of Wayanad. It is a long distance trek, so be prepared to carry your tents, food and water supplies and do not forget your trekking shoes! There are shops that sell trekking gear before the start of the trek where you can either rent or purchase them. The sunset at Chembra Peak is a sight to behold.
Kuruvadweep islands: These mini islands are made up of huge rocks that are amidst a small river called Kabani that runs through the lush green forest. It is a home to many birds and animals that frequently visit this place to drink water.
Soochipara Waterfalls: The Soochipara Waterfalls is a gigantic waterfall where many tourists flock to. There are tree top huts around the waterfall. This waterfall descends into a huge pool of water where people can relax, swim and go on a raft.
Edakkal Caves: Edakkal caves has many rock carvings and is a must visit place for archaeology enthusiasts. It takes two long hours to reach the mouth of the caves. You could also prefer the option of boating.
Banasura Sagar Dam: The Banasura Sagar Dam is the largest earthen dam in the country. It is made up of rocks, clay and sand. The view of the reservoir from the top of the dam is breathtaking.
Vythiri: Vythiri is a small town in the Wayanad district. It is a cold and dark forest of tall trees which is known for tribal settlements and spice plantations. This region receives the second highest rainfall in India and one can enjoy activities like rafting, kayaking and swimming in the Pookot Lake.
Lakkidi: Lakkidi is a region sprawling with streams, lakes, mountains and also vegetation to the side. It has a spectacular viewpoint which is worth the time and money.
Other places to visit in Wayanad are:
Sulthan Bathery, Pazhasi Raja Tomb, Chain Tree and Wayanad Heritage Museum.
Recent Developments in Wayanad:
- About a year and a half ago, Wildfires ravaged the Wayanad and Bandipur forest. So, travel bans were imposed on the Wayanad highway.
- Night travel ban on NH766 was imposed 10 years ago. It was met with protests from the locals residing in Wayanad. It was also a huge blow to the tourists. That issue is still ongoing.
- Due to the wild elephant encroachment and attack on human beings, Wayanad was deemed dangerous fours years ago for a brief period. But, later it assured allowance for travel until Covid-19 pandemic prevailed. Currently, entry into the forest region is not allowed.
- Article Written By: Nitai
- Edited/ Reviewed By: Tejaswini (MA in Linguistics)
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