Places to Visit in Wayanad that a Nature Lover Should Not Miss!

Have you heard the song of nature, woken up to the chirping of birds and cloudy views? For an alluring time in the lap of nature, come visit Wayanad. Considered as the most beautiful part of Kerala, it combines mountain scenery, coffee plantations, rice paddy fields, slender eucalyptuses, bamboos and ginger fields, to make for a mesmerizing scenic affair. Still unspoiled and secluded, you should come here to spend some time in solace and explore the many tourist attractions.

The moment you enter the beautiful town of Wayanad, you can only hear the music of nature. It is truly a unique aspect of this hill town. The old churches, the serene lakes, the ancient caves and wildlife sanctuary make your visit to Wayanad a truly fulfilling and holistic one. You can explore the water bodies, spot wild animals or simply go and sit by the riverside. Yes, there is the beautiful River Kabini that flows here, and you must spend some time on its bank, in absolute comfort, away from the everyday stress.

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The district of Wayanad is spread across three towns, Mananthavady in the northwest, Kalpetta in the south and Sultan Bathery in the east. With sightseeing places spread over these three towns, you will need to decide what you wish to see as per your preference and liking.

8 Best Places To Visit In Wayanad

  1. Banasura Dam
  2. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
  3. Edakkal Caves
  4. Chembra Peak
  5. Pookat Lake
  6. Soochipara Falls
  7. Kuruva Island
  8. Thirunelli Temple

1. Banasura Dam

It is one of the largest earthen dams and the second largest in Asia. It lies in the Banasura Hills in Wayanad district and offers an amazing view of the Banasura Sagar Dam. The view from the top of the dam is breathtaking. You can also go speed boating or trek up to the Banasura Peak, from where you can view the streams, waterfall and the rich flora of the region.

This embankment dam has been made by placing mounds of clay, soil, rock, and sand. It is built along the Karamanathodu River, which is a tributary of River Kabini. This tourist spot is maintained by the Indian Banasura Sagar Project. They provide drinking water, electricity and irrigation to the surrounding areas. There are also many dotted islands, which add to the beauty of this place.

The hill has been named after Banasura, the son of the famous ruler, King Mahabali. You should come here and have a great time horse riding, boating or simply strolling around. It is windy, relaxing and among the popular tourist attractions.

2. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

The second-largest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala, it is home to some unique and endangered species. It is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, which is one of the first biospheres out of the 14 that are there in India. This wildlife sanctuary was founded in 1973 and is spread over 345 square km. It comprises of two main parts, upper Wayanad and lower Wayanad.

This wildlife sanctuary is one of the top places to see in Wayanad and surrounded by protected areas of Mudumalai in Tamil Nadu and Nagarhole and Bandipur in Karnataka. There are two main sections in this wildlife sanctuary, Muthanga, and Tholpetty. Muthanga is on the southern part of Wayanad and is approximately 18 km from Sultan Bathery. And Tholpetty lies on the northern side of Thirunelli. You can cover both the parts of the sanctuary by taking two hours’ jungle safari. There are jeep safaris right at the entrance of the sanctuary. You cannot trek in this sanctuary.

3. Edakkal Caves

Edakkal Caves

These natural alcoves date back to the pre-historic era and have exquisite carvings. The huge caves are nearly 99 feet long and 22 feet wide and are 1200 meters above the sea level. You will need to trek for about one and a half hours to reach the cave entrance and to reach the mouth of the cave you need to trek another 45 minutes. But the trek will be worth it when you discover three distinct types of rock carvings. One of the oldest carvings dates back to 8000 years.

The Edakkal caves have historical and archaeological significance. Some of the carvings on these caves can be traced to the Neolithic era and the late Stone Age. Even the stonework in the interior goes back to around 5000 to 1000 BC.

These caves are among the major tourist attractions in Wayanad and were discovered in 1890 by Fred Fawcett. Fred had a lot of interest in history and he discovered these caves when he came on a hunting trip and found a stone axe in the coffee estate. The stone axe which he found was used during the Neolithic celt. In fact, Fred had also crossed the Ambukuthy Mala, a thick forest. This forest was later discovered to be a dwelling that dates back to the New Stone Age.

4. Chembra Peak

 Chembra Peak

Chembra Peak is one of the highest peaks of the Wayanad Hill Range and is at an altitude of 2100 meters above sea level. You can enjoy a panoramic and beautiful view of the entire Wayanad from here. Besides, it also offers an enchanting view of Nilgiri, Kozhikode and Malappuram districts. As far as your eyes go, you can view a green landscape. Besides, there is a heart-shaped lake here, making it a must-visit for every nature enthusiast.

This peak is also famous among trekkers. In fact, it is on the way to the peak that you can spot the heart-shaped lake and get a few selfies clicked. But don’t finish the camera storage space here, as an abode of clouds is waiting for you at the peak. This is typical of the Western Ghats. When you travel along the Western Ghats, the cloudy experience and natural beauty are sure to enchant you.

Moreover, the Chembra peak is located at the highest point and is surrounded by small peaks. So, when you reach the top, you can view a blanket of mountains, which will truly enthral you. Keep the camera handy as you trek to this peak.

5. Pookat Lake

A natural freshwater lake, it is one of the famous tourist attractions of Wayanad. A pristine lake, it is surrounded by greenery and enthrals every visitor. Even the path leading to the lake is a captivating one. It is covered with thick bushes and tall trees, adding to the beauty of the lake. Moreover, it is also believed that the lake is located in the wooded hills and is in the shape of India’s map. So, a visit to this lake will be a truly relaxing and fun experience. In fact, Panamaram, which is a tributary of River Kabini also originates from this lake and then joins the main river in Panamaram valley.

Further, if you are lucky, you can spot the Pethiapookodensis. It is a species of the cyprinid fish, which is found in the Pookat Lake. There are also various other freshwater fishes that you can see in this lake. It is also home to a variety of blue lotus. Adding to the fauna is the range of wild animals, birds, and flies that live in the forest surrounding the lake. Besides, don’t forget to click some candid shots with blue water lilies that are scattered on this lake.

At present, this lake is maintained by the South Wayanad Forest Division In-Charge and it is run by the District Tourism promotion council. It is one of the amazing places to see in Wayanad if you are looking for a serene experience, and wish to be close to nature and surrounded by greenery. There is also the option of going for a boating experience. Alternatively, you can indulge in a fish spa and feel totally relaxed and rejuvenated.

6. Soochipara Falls

 Soochipara Falls

It is located in Vellarimala in Wayanad and is a must-visit. The three-tier waterfall is surrounded by montane, deciduous and evergreen forests and is among the best waterfalls in Kerala. It is also known as Sentinel Rock waterfalls and offers a scenic view of tea estates of Wayanad. It is around 200 meters high and has a click face. It is perfect for a rock-climbing experience too. Besides, this waterfall forms a huge pool and you can have fun time splashing water, bathing, swimming, or simply soak your feet in it and feel calm.

The water flowing from this fall joins Chulikaor Chaliyar River after the hills of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. One of the best places to see in Wayanad, its rich flora and fauna will enchant you. Even the drive to the falls is totally worth it. You will have a great time clicking and getting clicked even as you drive to the falls. But you should go here only if you are planning to visit during the monsoons. As in the summer months, the falls are mainly dry. It is even closed for tourists from March to June. However, the monsoon season is just the time to visit it. The entire belt is green, and you can enjoy some time under blue skies and amidst a green landscape.

7. Kuruva Island

Kuruva Island

It is a protected river delta. These are a cluster of islands in the middle of River Kabini. The Kuruva Dweep or Kuruva islands are spread over 950 acres of land and its flora and fauna are absolutely dense and impressive. This uninhabited island has various rare species of birds, herbal plants and orchids. It is truly a gift of nature to Kerala. You must also remember to spot some bridges made of bamboo trees and other trees as you embark on exploring this beautiful island.

There are many streams surrounding it and you can go boating or rafting too. It is a great way to explore the island and get a complete feel of the place. The boats and rafts here are maintained by the Kerala Tourism department and within a few hours, you can explore the whole island. Even the rafts here are made of bamboo and offer a thrilling experience.

However, if you are not looking for such an experience, then simply go for a stroll and have a calm walk in the middle of nature. There are also trekking options available. So, you can choose the experience you wish to indulge in during your visit to this island. But entry to this island is restricted during the monsoon season, i.e. from June to September. It opens for tourists from October and you can visit right until May.

8. Thirunelli Temple

Thirunelli Temple

It is dedicated to Lord Maha Vishnu and is surrounded by hills and forests. This temple is also known as Kashi of South and on one side, there are Brahmagiri hills. As per legends, Lord Brahma came across these beautiful hills while travelling the world and as he descended here, he saw an idol resting on the gooseberry tree. Lord Brahma along with other gods recognised this idol as Lord Vishnu. It was on Lord Brahma’s request that Lord Vishnu promised that the water surrounding this temple will cleanse the sins of everyone visiting here and then Papanashini stream originated here. You can come and explore this ancient and pristine temple during your visit to Wayanad.

There are many places to see in Wayanad, which are a haven for nature lovers. There is greenery all round the town and many ancient structures will intrigue your senses. There are islands, caves, wildlife sanctuary, churches, temples and more, offering you a unique experience. Moreover, if you have some time on you, then you can also explore the beach town of Calicut, which is a neighbour of Wayanad.

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