Nestled amid the lush Western Ghats, Wayanad is a picturesque district in Kerala, South India, known for its sprawling plantations, mystic mountains, thick forests, and rich tribal culture. A trip to Wayanad is a journey into tranquility, offering something unique for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and culture enthusiasts.
Here is a guide to plan your perfect trip to Wayanad:
1. Getting There: Wayanad is well-connected by road to major cities like Bangalore (280 km), Mysore (130 km), and Kochi (260 km). The nearest airport is the Kozhikode International Airport (100 km), and the closest railway station is Kozhikode (90 km).
2. Best Time to Visit: While Wayanad can be visited throughout the year, the best time is post-monsoon and winter, from October to May, when the weather is cool and pleasant.
3. Places to Visit:
- Edakkal Caves: These caves are famous for their prehistoric petroglyphs and carvings, offering a glimpse into the region’s ancient history.
- Chembra Peak: The highest peak in Wayanad, Chembra is a popular spot for trekking. The heart-shaped lake halfway up the trek adds to its charm.
- Banasura Sagar Dam: The largest earthen dam in India offers beautiful views of the surrounding hills and has options for boating.
- Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary: Also known as Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, it is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and home to several species of animals and birds.
- Pookode Lake: This natural freshwater lake surrounded by forests is perfect for a picnic and boat rides.
- Kuruva Islands: A protected river delta on the Kabini River, Kuruva Islands offer unspoilt natural beauty and are ideal for nature walks.
- Soochipara Falls: Also known as Sentinel Rock Waterfalls, this is a three-tiered waterfall surrounded by lush greenery.
- Trekking and Hiking: With its hilly terrain and dense forests, Wayanad offers several trekking and hiking opportunities like Chembra Peak, Pakshipathalam, and Brahmagiri Hill treks.
- Wildlife Safaris: You can enjoy jeep safaris at Muthanga and Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuaries to spot various wildlife.
- Bamboo Rafting: Enjoy bamboo rafting in the calm waters of the Kuruva Islands.
- Plantation Tours: Visit the sprawling tea, coffee, and spice plantations that dot the region.
5. Accommodation: Wayanad offers a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets – from budget homestays to luxury resorts. Many resorts offer unique stays like tree houses and plantation stays, enhancing the experience.
6. Local Cuisine: Don’t miss out on trying local Kerala cuisine. Enjoy dishes like Malabar parotta, Kerala biryani, appam, stew, and sadya (traditional Kerala feast).
7. Shopping: Wayanad is famous for its spices, tea, coffee, bamboo products, and honey. The local markets are perfect to buy these as souvenirs.
Remember, while enjoying the natural beauty of Wayanad, it’s also crucial to respect the local culture and environment, ensuring your trip is not only enjoyable but also sustainable.
A trip to Wayanad promises a mix of adventure, relaxation, and cultural exploration, making it a perfect getaway for all types of travelers. The verdant landscapes and the laid-back charm of Wayanad is sure to leave you refreshed and rejuvenated.