Wayanad is nestled on the mountains of western ghats and the weather makes it a pleasent place for visit through out the year.
Wayanad, home to several tribes and animals is one of the most beautiful place on the western ghats. Even a simple drive through the coffee and tea estates of wayanad will leave you wanting for more visits to this place.
Wayanad has numerous waterfalls. However, many of it is unreachable by tourist. Luckily some of the big waterfalls can be easily reached by public.
The place is also famous for its battles against the british empire, who struggled to defeat the tribals lead by Pazhashi Raja. Most of the tourist locations are well connected by road. The winding roads of wayanad offer a great drive and natural beauty.
The nearest international airport is at Kozhikode (Calicut).
Meenmutty is one of the top attractions of waterfalls. When I visitied here for the first time in 2005, I had trek dangerously through the forest for 2 kms to reach the waterfalls. Things have chaged in the recent past and The waterfalls is easily accessible to all tourists.
However, The waterfall itself still remains little dangererous compared to other commonly visited waterfalls in Wayanad. Going right under the waterfall has resulted in several casualities and tourights are advised to enjoy it by standing little far from the waterfalls.
This three tired waterfall, at a height of 300m is the biggest waterfalls in Wayanad and the second largest in Kerala.
Surrounded by dense green forest, the Soochipara waterfall is just 20 to 30 minute drive from Meppadi. This is a three tiered waterfall and the authorities now charge a nominal entrance fee towards maintainence of the place.
The waterfall is easily accessible by road and you need to walk almost 1 km from the vehicle parking to reach the waterfall.
Trekking the Chembra peak
Chembra is the highest peak in wayanad with a heart shaped pond at the top of the peak. Trekking Chembra takes almost 2 hours to reach the top of the peak.
You need to pay a small fee to receive the permission from the forest office at meppadi before starting your journey to the top of the peak. The hill is covered with thick green grass making it one of the top tourist attraction in Wayanad.
Peak is usually closed for public during rainy season due to sudden and heavy rains on the peaks and more importantly the reptiles ( mainly scorpions) that become active in wet season along with blood sucking leaches.
Boating at Pookode lake
Pookode lake is a beautiful fresh water lake surrounded by evergreen forest hills on all the sides of the lake. you can hire a pedal boat to enjoy the lake and to pass through the bed of water lillies on the lake.
You will enjoy spoting several small birds , Fresh water fishes, water lillies and blue lotus at the lake.
The lake is approximately 15 Kms from Kalpetta and is closer to Vythiri.
An entry fee of Rs 10 for adults and Rs 5 for children is charged at the entrance of the lake and an additonal amount for pedal boats at Rs 30 for two and Rs 50 for 5 members.
Jeep safari through Muthanga & Tholpetty wildlife sanctuary
Among the 4 forest ranges in Wayanad, Muhanga and Tholpeety are the most common among tourist and this is for a reason.
The eco-tourism in these places helps to create conservation awareness in the minds of the travellers and to well maintain the sanctuary and its premises. The eco-tourism programmes consist of elephant camp visit, jeep safari, trekking, bird watching, tribal folklore etc
The forest is dense and during the jeep safari the most common animals you will notice are the deers, wild boars, elephants, monkeys including lion tailed monkeys. Several birds including peacocks are common in this forest. If you are lucky, you might come across the big cats like Tigers and Panthers during you safari.
Another option to see these animals ( that is if you are daring) is to drive from Sulthan Bathery to Gundalpet in Karanataka through forest after 8 PM. The gates of the forest closes at 9. After sunset several animals including elephants start to occupy and cross the highways making it dangerous time to drive.
The best time to spot animals during the safari is in the early hours of morning between 5:30AM and 7:30 AM.
Tea and coffee plantations of Wayanad
Drive ! Drive ! Drive! The tea estates on the hills of wayanad are breathtaking and I bet you will be tempted to stop at each curve of the road to capture some pictures using your camera.
if you get chance and not very adament on keeping to schedules , then try driving through the roads that takes you off the highways to see experience the beauty of this place. Try getting hold of a bike and ride to the top of a hill or take a morning walk after parking your car at a foothill of an estate in the before sunrise or in the evening.
Irrespective of the what you choose or how you do, you will enjoy these beautiful tea and coffee plantations.
When to visit and weather
Best time to vsit is from November to June. However, if you love monsoon seasons and don’t mind getting wet, then you can also visit from June to October.
Be aware that some of the locations like chembra peaks may be closed during monsoon season.
How to reach here
Road is the only option to reach Wayanad. The district is well connected by road to all the neighboring cities and towns including Bangalore and Mysore.
The closest airport is at Kozhikode (Calicut).
A Word of Caution
As with all the other places in Kerala, The call for strike (harthal) is common and causes complete shutdown of transport, business and other activities.
Stay indoor during strikes and it may impact your schedule and restrict your movement and may not be able to carry on your trip as planned.
Before entering Kerala, make sure that there are no strikes.
Other Prominent Places in Wayanad
Sunset at the Banasura Sagar dam and Boat ride
A Glimpse of past in the present At Eddakal Caves
Visting the most popular hairpin curves in Kerala during rainy season
Island – Kuruva dweep
Drive through the tea estates at sunrise or sunset
Pazhashi Raja Tomb
Pakshipathalam Bird Sanctuary