Wayanad district is located in the north-eastern part of Kerala, India. This district was formed after carving some areas of Kozhikode and Kannur districts, on 1st November 1980, as the 12th district of the state. Kalpetta is the headquarters of this district and also the only municipal town existing in Wayanad district.
The region of Wayanad offers plenty of tourist attractions which are suitable for all the categories of age. The place features fascinating destinations from astounding valleys, charming waterfalls to fresh water lakes, a wide variety of flora and fauna, and to make your visit to this place even more pleasurable, the place features a decent weather all round the year.
Kalpetta, located on the chief highway i.e. Kozhikode-Mysore National Highway, is the most important town of Wayanad district, as the district headquarters is situated at this town. This small town is beautifully located as it is bordered by long extended coffee plantations and huge mountains. Another important feature of this town is that it is also considered as a renowned trading centre, as it is a popular hub of traditional spices, along with tea and coffee. The special feature of this town which is the means of supreme tourist attraction is that it holds some of the renowned Jain temples.
This soaring Chembra Peak is situated close to Meppadi in the southern part of Wayanad, at a height of 2,100 metres above sea level. The peak stands as the tallest one around the region and it will prove to be a quite adventurous prospect if you are thinking of climbing the peak. Though the climb to the top of this peak is a tiring one, the spectacular views of the Wayanad region will be worth the effort put into the climb. Camping at the top of this peak will offer you a memorable and mesmerizing experience of your lifetime.
Edakkal cave is situated at a distance of 25 km from Kalpetta town. The cave features a split for about 96 ft in length and 22 ft width. As you enter the cave, you will witness several carvings on the rock of the cave of human and animal figures, which will give you an idea about the pre-historic period and the civilization of that time. The caves can be reached through a trekking trail of just 1km trekking from Edakkal.
Neelimala will certainly prove to be a trekker’s delight as it can be reached from Kalpetta as well as Sulthan Bathery through various trek routes. Situated at the south-eastern part of Wayanad, the place offers some astounding sights like an enthralling view to the Meenmutty falls, which is located at a short distance from the spot, and also the scenic view of the valley below.
Meenmutty falls is considered as the most inspiring water fall in the region of Wayanad district. At this water fall, the water comes rolling down from a height of about 300 meters, and the water falls in 3 different rows from the top, the view of which is just jaw dropping. One has to trek for about 2 km in order to view this exciting water fall.
Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary
Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary is amongst the popular wildlife reserves in Wayanad, located at a distance of about 15 km north of Mananthavady. The place is famous among the tourists for night camping and a watchtower, which is situated above the lake. The lake situated at this sanctuary is the chief source of water for the wildlife living in the sanctuary. This sanctuary is an abode to several wild animal species like jungle cat, bison, tiger and many more. In addition to these animals another astounding figure of over 900 elephants are found in this sanctuary.
It is a town located at a distance of over 110 km from Kozhikode, at a height of 1,000 metres above sea level. Sulthan Bathery is another important town of Wayanad district apart from Kalpetta and also one of the largest towns in the region. The town holds two major Jain, apart from the renowned primitive Ganapathi and Mariamman Temples. The town has become one of the chief tourist attractions of Wayanad.
Wayanad Heritage Museum
The Wayanad Heritage Museum is located in Ambalavayal town, at a distance of about 12 km from Sulthan Bathery and it happens to be one of the finest archaeological museums in Kerala. The artefacts of this museum exhibit the history, heritage and culture of Wayanad. This museum holds a wide range of 14th and 16th century sculptures and tribal artefacts of this region. These artefacts involve farming equipments, jewellery, hunting and fishing weapons of the local inhabitants. Another important feature of this museum is its collection of stone weapons, ancient terracotta and local art.
Kuruva Island is also popularly renowned as Kuruvadweep, situated along the banks of the tributaries of Kabini River. The island is considered as a popular picnic spot which is located at a distance of around 17 km from Mananthavady. This island holds a very large area of evergreen forests and is mostly inhabited by rare bird species, herbal plants and orchids. It is also popular among the tourists for its bamboo canopy which offers a chance to explore the natural beauty of this region.
Pakshipathalam Bird Sanctuary
The Bird Sanctuary is located at a distance of around 7 km to the north-east side of the Thirunelli Temple, at an altitude of around 1,740 metres above sea level. The sanctuary is popular for holding diverse species of birds. The picturesque landscape of this region also offers a perfect location for trekking and picnic apart from bird watching. If you are an adventure lover, you can opt to trek to this place from Wayanad. The sanctuary also features a watchtower from where visitors can get the entire view of the bird sanctuary
One has to take special permission from the Forest Department in order to visit this bird sanctuary. The District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) will also provide guides, vehicles and camping equipment on hire for the visitors.