If you wish to escape the concrete jungle of the city and touch the lap of nature then try Wayanad, a hill station nestled in Western Ghats in Kerala. Wayanad, which means Land of paddy fields, is not much toured like Ooty or Munnar, but yet is completely in sync with nature. The proof lies in its mist covered pristine valleys, dense tea and coffee plantations, unspoiled gurgling streams and its fragrant, spice filled air of cardamom and pepper.
A Bit of Wayanad History:
Wayanad has a population density of seven lakh people with 32% of the population being tribes. The district has the highest number of tribal settlements in Kerala with old tribes such as Paniyas, Adiyas, Kattunayakans and kurichiyans. Wayanad also has a powerful history and its rulers include the Rajas of the Veda tribe, Pazhassi Rajah of the Kottayam dynasty, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan and finally the British.
What to See
Apart from the breathtaking tea estates and valleys you can visit Soochipara waterfalls. Dense forests, tea and coffee plantations can be explored at leisure here with a nature walk. Banasura Dam, the second largest earth dam after China, is a place worth visiting. Check out the Kurvadweep Islands, which have around 950 acres of forest near Kabini river. You get to see few tribal settlements here as well.
And don’t forget to see the Wayanad heritage museum which displays artifacts of 14th century AD. The famous Thirunelli Temple at Brahmagiri Hills and the Sita Temple at Pulpally is not to be missed either.
Must do Things in Wayanad:
Do not forget to taste the culinary delicacies of Wayanad. Few of the things which are to be truly relished are Appam (pancakes made of rice flour), Puttu (a traditional Kerala dish made of rice flour, semolina and coconut), the South Indian Idli and deep fried banana pakodas.
And shopping is a visual delight in Wayanad with shopper’s selling bamboo crafts, coffee studs, rain makers (a hollow bamboo which when moved, makes the sound of rain fall), coconut shell crafts etc.
Helpful Tips for Sightseeing in City:
- To best enjoy Wayand, opt for home stays. Great food and comfortable stay is guaranteed.
- The nearest airport or the railhead is Kozhikode, which is 110 kilometers from Wayanad. The main towns in Wayanad are Kalpetta, or Sulthan Bathery, for buses and Taxis.
- Other places worth checking out are Pazhassi Tomb, Meenamutty Falls, Wayanad Wild Life Sanctuary, Chain Tree, Pookut Lake and Edakkal Caves (involves a 20-30 minutes climb up the hill).