Pakshipathalam Bird Sanctuary
Pulpally Seethadevi Temple
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
Welcome to Wayanad(Kalpetta),
Wayanad is a district in the Indian state of Kerala. The headquarters of the district is Kalpetta. It is a bustling town surrounded by dense coffee and tea plantations and mountains. Apart from the administrative capital of the district, Kalpetta is also the center of tourism activities in Wayanad due to its central location within the district and its proximity to most visited tourist sites.
Nestled cozily in the hills of the Western Ghats, Wayanad is a picturesque hill station in Kerala. The dewy land gets its name from two local words, 'Vayal' meaning 'paddy field' and 'Naad' meaning 'land' combining to form 'Wayanad' or 'The Land of Paddy Fields'. Set high on the Western Ghats, this popular destination is the only district in Kerala to share its border with Karnataka and Kerala; it is also the least populated district in the state. Some of the famous placest to visit are Chembra Peak, Edakkal Caves, Banasura Sagar Dam etc.
Ambukuthi mala is a mountain in the Wayanad district of Kerala, India. It is 12 km from Sulthan Bathery and near Ambalavayal. Three pre-historic caves (Edakkal Caves) are located at a height of 1,000 metres on Ambukuthi mala. These caves are believed to be formed as a result of an earthquake and the name is derived from the rock that is supported in between other larger rocks (Edai + Kal = rock in between). Some Old and New Stone Age pictorial writings can be seen on the walls of these natural caves.
Just a six km drive from Kalpetta is Ananthanatha Swami Temple popularly called as Jain Temple. The temple is dedicated to Ananthanatha Swami and is also called as Tipu's fort. According to legends, Tipu had used this place to store the ammunitions and so it's known as Sultan's Battery. The temple place was built during 13th century and was the hub of commercial activities. The place though is losing its physical aesthetics still it preserves the charm.
A part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Region, Muthanga is spread over a huge area filled with teak forests, bamboo groves and swamps. The bamboo groves offer a richness of bio-diversity. Spotted dear, bison, cheetah, wild bear are some animals you'd spot during your safari here. Begur, Bandipur, Madumalai and Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuaries are nearby and can be easily accessed from here.
Named after Banasura, the thousand armed asura king and son of Bali as per the Hindu mythology, Banasura Hill, at an altitude of 2,030 m, is the second highest hill in Wayanad, a hill station town in Kerala. Reaching the magnificent hill is an adventure in itself as there is no concrete road that takes you to the peak. The best way to reach the hill and further to the summit is a trek which takes close to three hours to climb. Located on the way to the summit is the unique Banasura Hill Resort known for its rammed-earth architect. A thunderous waterfall called Meenmutty greets the climbers on the way to the top. Once at top, the scenery is breath-taking and one can witness a panoramic view of the enchanting, lush green landscapes around the hill. The hill itself is covered with thick tropical vegetation and boasts of fauna that includes monkeys, wild boars, deer, and elephants.
The Banasura Sagar Dam is located 21 km from Kalpetta, in Wayanad. It is the largest earthen dam in India and the second largest in Asia and an ideal starting point for hikes into the surrounding scenic mountains. It is an important tourist attraction. Banasura Sagar Dam is at the foot of the Banasura Hill. The Banasura Sagar Dam is named after Banasura, the son of Mahabali who was a very respected king of Kerala. The dam has become a popular tourist destination. Many people visit the place to go trekking at the Banasura Hill. The Banasura Hill Resort, located about 20 km from the dam was rated as Asia's largest Earthen Resort by BBC. Speed and pedal boats are available and are major hits with tourists. Speed boat ride, in particular, is an exhilarating experience and not to be missed.
Bathery Mahaganapathi Temple, situated at Sulthan Bathery, is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. It is commonly believed that Sulthan Bathery was previously known as 'Ganapathyvattom' because of this temple. Besides, Sulthan Bathery was also known as Purakizha during the reign of the Kulashekara kings. During the Malayalam month of Makaram (January-February), this temple organises a flag festival for over 6 days. Attended by large number of devotees, the festival features different kinds of cultural programmes like Ottanthullal and Chakyar koothu. On the third and fourth days of this festival, 'Kalamezhuthu Pattu' is performed by the local tribal people. The idol of Lord Ganesha is taken out in a big procession, along with decorated elephants on the final day of the festival. Apart from the main deity of Lord Ganesha, this temple also houses idols of Lord Shiva, Naga, Lord Ayyapa and Goddess Bhagavathi. This temple is situated near Sulthan Bathery Bus Station that connects with major cities within and outside the district.
The Begur Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in Mananthavady, which is about 20 km from the main town of Wayanad. This wildlife sanctuary is located next to the Western Ghats and houses various trees that possess medicinal value. It is also inhabited by numerous animal species like elephants, boars, deer, tigers, leopards, panthers and so on. There are large numbers of bird species that can be easily spotted in this wildlife sanctuary. The ideal season for visiting this wildlife sanctuary is between December and May, which attracts animals and birds towards the water holes that get filled during monsoon. Calicut International Airport is situated approximately 80 km from this wildlife sanctuary. Thalassery Railway Station is the closest rail link to the wildlife sanctuary.
Boys Town is located approximately 15 km from Mananthavady and is famous for its herbal garden, sericulture unit, permaculture centre and nature care centre. These centres are managed by the Wayanad Social Service Society, which was established in 1974. It was established to develop community health, co-operative credit unions, skill development, housing as well as agriculture and animal husbandry. This society successfully functions in the villages of Cheruvattoor, Seetha Mount, Poroor and Manakadavu that come under the Wayanad District. Boys Town is also famous for its Gene Park that was started as an Indo-Danish Project to promote herbal gardening.
Chain Tree, a prominent excursion destination, is a chained ficus tree situated about 15 km from Kalpetta. The mountain terrain leading to Wayanad was discovered by a British engineer with the help of a tribal guide, Karinthandan. The British engineer killed this guide so that he could take all the credit of finding this place. It is believed that the soul of the murdered guide used to haunt this place. According to local lore, the spirit was chained by a priest to the tree, thereby earning the place the name Chain Tree. Tourists must beware of the many monkeys passing through the roadside that lead to Vythiri from this Chain Tree.
Chembra Peak is the highest peak in Wayanad, at 2,050 m (6,730 ft) above sea level. Chembra Peak is accessible by foot from Meppady. Permission from the forest office in Meppady is required for trekking up to Chembra Peak. A heart shaped lake on the way to the top of the peak is a major tourist attraction. The lake is believed to have never dried up. You can find the lake halfway to the peak, after getting to the lake need to trek through about a km or two of dense trees.
Yet another waterfall that attracts visitors to Wayanad is the Chethalayam falls, located close to Sulthan Bathery in the northern part of Wayanad. This waterfall is smaller in size when compared to Meenmutty. The falls and the adjoining areas are ideal locales for trekking and a haunt for bird watchers.
Edakkal Caves are two natural caves at a remote location at Edakkal, 25 km from Kalpetta in India's Western Ghats. They lie 1,200 metres above sea level on Ambukutty Mala, beside an ancient trade route connecting the high mountains of Mysore to the ports of the Malabar coast. Inside the caves are pictorial writings believed to date to at least 6,000 BCE, from the Neolithic man, indicating the presence of a prehistoric civilization or settlement in this region. The Stone Age carvings of Edakkal are rare and are the only known examples from south India.[
Heart Lake, also known as the Love Lake, is situated at a distance of around eight kilometres from Vythri. The name of the lake is derived from its natural shape like a heart. The shape of the island is a result of natural rocks and grassy surroundings. Dotted with thick and dense forests, the small lake is believed to have never dried up.
Karapuzha Dam located in the Wayanad district of Kerala, is one of the biggest earth dams in India. Karapuzha Dam is located in the greenish and natural regions of Wayanad, Kerala on the Karapuzha River, a tributary of the Kabini River. Karapuzha Dam is located 16 km from Kalpetta. It is one of the most easily reachable places in Wayanad since it can be easily accessible from nearest cities. Since wayanad is one of the most visited tourist places in Kerala, The State Tourism Board has development the tourism department of Wayanad. There are various resorts, homestays and tourist information centers all around Wayanad.
Karlad Lake is located in Thariode, which is around 16 km away from Kalpetta. This is the second largest freshwater lake in the state, which is quite popular among nature enthusiasts for its peaceful environs. The 7 acres land surrounding this lake is a popular picnic spot, where boating can also be done. This lake is surrounded by dense bamboo groves that are perfect trekking trails for reaching the Pallikkunnu Church. Banasura Sagar Dam is situated around 3 km away from the Karlad Lake. There is a Karlad Tourism Centre at this place which comprises a facilitation centre, dormitories, a heritage village and a restaurant.
Kolagappara village is a remote village situated at around 15 km from Kalpetta. This village has a cool and pleasant climate which is suitable for tea, rubber, vanilla and coffee plantations. Mountain climbing and trekking are two prominent activities in this village. It is connected with Kalpetta through taxis and auto rickshaws
Koottamundu Glass Temple, located around 20 km from Kalpetta, is an ancient Jain Temple that lies on the slopes of Vellarimala. This temple has been dedicated to the third Jain Tirthankara, Parsvanatha Swami. It houses icons of Parsvanatha Swami and Padmavathi Devi in the main temple sanctum. The inner walls of the temple are decorated with mirrors that reflect the patterns of idols.
Korome Mosque is a famous religious centre in Wayanad District which is around 23 km from Mananthavady. It is one of the oldest mosques in the region which is more than 300 years old. The mosque was originally built by the local Nair community in the traditional architectural style with wood carvings. Uroos festival is celebrated annually at this mosque, which is attended by all the communities in the region.
The Kuruva island, 950 acres of ever green forest on the tributaries of east flowing river Kabani, is an ideal picnic spot, far away from the disturbances of city life. The island is uninhabited. Rare species of birds, orchids and herbs are the sovereigns of this supernal kingdom. It is 17 Kms. east of Mananthavady and 40 kms. north west of Sulthan Bathery.
Lakkidi is the gateway of Wayanad district of Kerala state, south India. Lakkidi is one of the highest locations in Wayanad. It is situated 700 m above mean sea level, atop Thamarassery ghat pass. Vythiri is the nearest town, just 5 km from Lakkidi. Chain tree, Pookot Lake, Sight seeing point on ghat road and number of tourist resorts are within 5 km from Lakkidi. The lofty mountain peaks, the gurgling stream, luxuriant vegetation and the bird's eye view of the deep valley on the south, with its winding roads, are breathtaking. Three km from Lakkidi is the Pookot Lake, the natural fresh water lake, spread across 15 acres, one of the rare reservoirs of water in Wayanad. Surrounded on all sides by meadows and hills, it has become a favorite picnic spot.
Meenmutty Falls is located 29 km from Kalpetta in Wayanad District in the state of Kerala, India. It is a three-tiered waterfall with a height of 300 metres. Meenmutty is a combination of Malayalam words Meen (fish) and Mutty (blocked). Meenmutty Falls can be reached thorough a 2 km hike though the jungle from the Wayanad-Ooty road. Meenmutty waterfalls are dangerous during rainy seasons due to high inflow.
Meppadi town lies around 10 km from Kalpetta on the main Kozhikode-Ooty Highway. Tourists can hire taxis or rent cars to travel from Vythiri to the town of Meppadi. This region comprises small villages with hills as well as tea, rubber, coffee and vanilla plantations. Vaduvanchal is situated next to Meppadi, which is a suitable trekking spot, along with being a popular mountain climbing and angling venue. The trekking trails through Vaduvanchal lead to the Meenmutty Falls.
Muthanga, Which is 16 kms. east of Sulthan Bathery, is located very near to the Karnadaka border. Wild forests covering an area of 345 sq.kms form the Muthanga wild life sanctuary; the biggest abode of wild animals in Malabar. Elephant, spotted deer, bison, tiger, cheeta, wild bear, etc. are found in this sanctuary. The forest Department has facilities for providing elephant rides to tourists, here.
Located in the southeastern part of Wayanad, and approachable from Kalpetta as well as Sulthan Bathery, Neelimala is a trekkers delight, with options for different trekking routes. At the top of Neelimala, the sight is a breathtaking one with a view to the Meenmutty falls located near by and the valley in the foreground.
Paingatteri Agraharam is an ancient settlement of Tamil Brahmins which is situated at a distance of around 7 km from Mananthavady. The houses present in Agraharam have been declared as a heritage site. These houses are built in rows that give a clear picture about the classic architectural style of Tamil Brahmins. The Tamil Brahmins living in Agraharam are said to have migrated from Thanjavur in the state of Tamil Nadu. These Brahmins arrived here as cooks of the Kottayam Dynasty and later on settled in the district of Wayanad. There are many small ponds and temples situated inside Agraharam that attract numerous tourists.
Pakshipathalam is located deep within the forest in the Brahmagiri hills at an altitude of more than 1700 metres. The region predominantly comprises large boulders, some of them really massive. The deep caves found here are home to a wide variety of birds, animals and distinctive species of plants. Pakshipathalam is located near Mananthavady and a visit to the region would require a 7 km trek through the forest, starting from Thirunelli. Visitors to Pakshipathalam are to seek permission from the DFO- North Wayanad.
Pakshipathalam Bird Sanctuary is situated around 7 km north-east of the Thirunelli Temple. This sanctuary is located nearly 1,740 metres above the main sea level and is known to be inhabited by varied species of birds. It also features moist deciduous forest, steep hills and streams that make it ideal for trekking and picnics. Tourists can trek to Pakshipathalam from Wayanad to watch some of the rare species of birds. There is also a watchtower at Pakshipathalam from where views of the entire bird sanctuary are available. Rocky hillocks and deep rock caves are the best places in Pakshipathalam for birdwatching. It also houses Garudan Kavu and Bhuthathan Kavu that attract large number of travellers coming to Pakshipathalam. Visitors are not allowed during the months of February through May, due to the danger of summer forest fires.
Pallikkunnu Church is a prominent religious centre situated north of Wayanad. It is a Latin Catholic Church which is called Our Lady of Lourdes and was constructed by a French priest, Fr. Jefreno, in 1908. This church is situated at Meenangadi which is around 14 km from Kalpetta. An annual festival in the month of February is organised at this church that attracts several travellers coming to Wayanad.
Pazhassi Tourist Resort at Mananthavady is a good picnic centre in north Wayanad. There is a good aquarium here. Coin-operated toys for children and boating facilities for tourists are available here. Pazhassi Raja, the Lion of Kerala, who organised guerilla type warfare against British East India Company, was cremated here in 1805.
Phantom Rock is situated at Vaduvanchal which is around 13 km from Kalpetta. This rock is adjacent to the Ambalavayal town and has a skull shape. The skull shaped rock is locally called as Cheengeri Mala and offers great photographic opportunities.
Pookode Lake is a scenic freshwater lake in the Wayanad district in Kerala, South India. Pookode is a natural fresh water lake nestling amid evergreen forests and mountain slopes at an altitude of 770 meters above sea level. It is 15 km away from Kalpetta. Panamaram, the rivulet which ultimately becomes Kabani River, originates from the Pookode lake. The lake has the shape of India's map. This perennial fresh water lake, nestled among wooded hills, is only one of its kinds in Kerala. Pethia pookodensis, is a species of cyprinid fish known to occur only in Pookode Lake. The lake has abundance of blue lotus and fresh water fishes. The forests surrounding the lake hold many wild animals, birds and flies.There are groups of Blue water lily flowers scattered here and there in the lake.
The Puliyarmala Jain Temple is situated in Kalpetta and is dedicated to Ananthanatha Swami. This temple is just 6 km away from the main town of Kalpetta and is popularly known as Tipu Fort. It was the same place where Tipu Sultan used to store ammunition. This temple was shifted from Kalpetta to Puliyarmala in 1931 by Mandappa Gowder. The temple architecture is influenced by the traditional Dravidian style with beautiful carvings on the entrance doors. It is mainly a 13th century temple that features a raised platform made of granite and carved square pillars that hold the stone slab roof.
Pulpally Seethadevi Temple is a famous religious attraction located at Pulpally, which lies within the Wayanad District. This shrine houses an idol of Goddess Sita, along with that of Luv-Kush, Lord Ayyapa, Lord Subramanya, Lord Ganesha, Lord Thalachiluan, Lord Vettaikaran and Lord Naga. It is one of the very few temples in India that is dedicated to Luv and Kush, the sons of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita.
Soochipara Falls also known as Sentinel Rock Waterfalls is a three-tiered waterfall in Vellarimala, Wayanad, surrounded by Deciduous, Evergreen and Montane forests. Locally referred to as Soochipara ("Soochi" meaning "Needle" and "Para" meaning "Rock"), the 15-20 minute drive from Meppadi to Sentinel Rock Waterfalls offers scenic views of some of the best tea estates in Wayanad. The Sentinel Rock Waterfalls is 200 metres (656 feet) and offers a cliff face that is ideal for rock climbing. The water from Soochipara Falls later joins Chulika River.
On the side of the Brahmagiri hills in Wayanad lay an ancient temple, dedicated to Lord Maha Vishnu, the Thirunelli temple. The temple, surrounded by beautiful hills and forests, is located 32 km away from Mananthavady. The temple is also known as Sahyamala Kshetram and Kashi of South. While reaching the premises of this temple, you will experience the tranquility. You will get refreshed with calm and peaceful surroundings covered with lush green forest. The Thirunelli temple is constructed as per ancient temple architecture. The rituals in this temple are performed on the banks of stream Papanashini, which originates from the Brahmagiri hills. The stream is considered to have medicinal powers. You can also see a holy rock in this temple, where people used to pray for their forefathers. On the western side of the Thirunelli temple, you can sight cave temple Gunnika. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Thus Thirunelli is blessed with the trinities - Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma.
The Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the famous wildlife reserves in the district of Wayanad. It is famous for its night camping and a watchtower, which is located above the lake. This lake is also the main source of water for the wild animals inhabiting the sanctuary. The sanctuary is part of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and is situated about 15 km north of Mananthavady. It is well-connected with Nagarhole in the state of Karnataka by road. This sanctuary is home to numerous animal species like jungle cat, bison, tiger, etc. There are more than 900 elephants in this wildlife sanctuary, which is considered to be the same place where Pazhassi Raja fought the British. The ideal time for visiting this sanctuary is between September and May.
Thrikkaipatta Shiva Temple is a popular temple, which lies on the main road connecting Kalpetta and Sulthan Bathery. The word 'Thrikkaipatta' in Malayalam means 'bands in three hands'. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva, along with Lord Ayyapa, Lord Ganesha and Naga or the Serpent God. Lord Shiva's idol installed in the temple faces east. Everyday three pujas are conducted at this temple. The main festival celebrated in this temple is Maha Shivarathri. This temple is located near the Muttil bus stop in the Wayanad District. Tourists can avail auto rickshaws, buses and taxis from Kalpetta or Sultan Bathery for travelling to the Thrikkaipatta Shiva Temple.
Thrissilery Shiva Temple is situated at about 19 km from Thirunelli, on the main Mananthavady-Mysore Highway. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has an intrinsic link with the Lord Vishnu Temple at Thirunelli. Travellers coming to Thirunelli Temple to pay homage to their ancestors also visit the Thrissilery Temple. Papanasini water flows through this temple, which houses a small shrine of Jala Durga. The water never dries and it is believed that the shrine was installed here by Parasurama, who was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. From Thirunelli, taxis or auto rickshaws can be hired to reach this temple, which is 4 km away from Kartikulam.
Valliyoorkavu Bhagavathi Temple is situated in the tribal region of Wayanad District and is dedicated to Goddess Bhagavathi. This temple is just 3 km away from the village of Mananthavady. An annual festival in March is conducted at this temple, during which folk art forms like Kalamezhuthu are performed by the tribal people. Locals also perform tribal dances with native percussion instruments.
Valliyoorkkavu is an ancient temple located high in the Hills at Valliyoorkkavu, 3 kilometers from Mananthavady town of Wayanad district in Kerala. The temple is dedicated to goddess Bhagavathy or Durga. The idol of the temple is believed to be self-manifested and the annual festival is held in March which lasts for 14 days. The festival is a major event and thousands of people from all over take part in this biggest event in Wayanad. The festival is very important to the tribal people in Wayanad.
Varambetta Mosque is considered to be the oldest mosque in the district of Wayanad. This mosque is located at about 15 km from the town of Kalpetta and is considered to be over 300 years old. This mosque is also situated close to Maithani Palli and Juma Masjid that are prominent Muslim religious centres in Wayanad.
The Wayanad Heritage Museum is situated in Ambalavayal town and houses artefacts that depict the history, heritage and culture of Wayanad. The museum has a wide collection of 14th century and 16th century sculptures and tribal artefacts. This collection includes farming implements, jewellery, hunting and fishing weapons. It also houses stone weapons, ancient terracotta and local art. This museum is situated around 12 km away from Sulthan Bathery and is considered to be one of the best archaeological museums in the state of Kerala. The museum is segregated into four blocks, namely Veerasmruthi, Devasmruthi, Gothrasmruthi and Jeevanasmruthi. Veerasmruthi comprises varied kinds of pictorial rock edicts that are called Veera Kallu or Hero Stones. These stones mention the valiant warriors belonging to the bygone era.
Established in 1973, the sanctuary is now an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It is part of the Wayanad Plateau and the vegetation is predominantly of the south Indian moist deciduous teak forests. Also, the sanctuary has pastures of the west-coast semi-evergreen trees. Moist deciduous forest consists of maruthi, karimaruthi, rosewood, venteak, vengal, chadachi, mazhukanjiram, bamboos, more, while the semi-evergreen patches comprises veteria indica., lagerstroemia, lanceolata, termianalia paniculata. Elephants, tigers, panthers, jungle cats, civet cats, monkeys, wild dogs, bisons, deer, bears, monitor lizards and a variety of snakes are seen. Peacocks, babblers, cuckoos, owls, woodpeckers, jungle fowls are a few of the various types of birds seen here.
- Kanthanpara Waterfalls, Seetha Lava Kusha Temple etc.