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Wayanad



Wayanad Overview

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Summarise the city :
Magical landscape

Best time to visit (High & peak months) :
October-April

Experiences :
Hill station, plantations, wildlife, caves

City calling code :
+91-4936

Recommended no. of days for a tourist :
2-3 days

Best buys :
Handicrafts made in Bamboo

Essentials to be carried along : 
Light woolens, sun blocks and glasses, binoculars etc

All about the city :
If balmy breezes, surreal surroundings and tranquility are your cup of tea, then for you, Wayanad is undoubtedly the destination to be. It is acclaimed by the Keralans as having the most beautiful landscape in the state. A good part of the rolling hills are covered with deciduous rain forests. With 26% forest cover, far greater than any other district in Kerala, Wayanad is home to two major wildlife reserves. Patches of water bodies in the form of lakes and waterfalls accentuate its appeal.

The name Wayanad has been derived from the expression 'Vayal nadu' - the village of paddy fields. But the district is ablaze with plantations of many spices, as well as Tea, Coffee and Cocoa. The three major towns of Wayanad are Vythiri, Sultan Bathery and Kalpetta (district Head Quarter). Earlier known as Ganapativattam (meaning circle of Lord Ganapati), Sultan Bathery acquired its present name after Tipu Sultan marched in with his army and used the 13th century temple here to store his arms. Very photogenic, Lakkidi is the gateway to Wayanad and is one of the highest points in the district. While moving from lakkidi to Vythiri a giant but chained ficus tree is sure to catch attention. It is said that a guide helped a British to discover the place but in order to take the credit of discovery he killed the guide. The latter's spirit started haunting the subsequent travelers. In order to arrest the menace, a priest chained the troublesome spirit to this tree.

The district has the largest population of aborigine people in Kerala. And you won't find many travelers around. But it makes a wonderful break in journey between Kochi and Mysore/Bangalore. The destination, however, beckons, especially those who are adventurous and have an inclination to choose the offbeat trails.
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Wayanad Tourist attractions

Name (suggested time required to see the place)DescriptionEntrance charges (if any) for Foreigner Close Day (if any) Open / Close time
Suchipara (Sentinel Rock Falls) and Kanthampara waterfalls in Vythiri The ferocity of water here is like anything. After walking on foot for 1.5 km when you discover these three-tongued waterfalls that are almost hidden in the dense equatorial forest here, you surely won't regret. 'Suchi' in local language literally means 'needle'. It  probably assumes its name from the sharp edged rocks on which the water falls. Kanthampara is on the adjacent side of the rocky area of Suchipara. It is advisable to carry a pair of shoes with a good grip for trekking in this area as it is often very slippery.    
Chembra Peak in VythiriIt is the tallest peak in this region at 6890 ft (2100 m) above the sea level. Trekking in this area is so popular that many people visit Wayanad just to scale Chembra. Getting to the top would require approximately 4-5 hours. The District Tourism Promotion Council organizes treks to the peak. A guide accompanies a group of every 10 people. It also provides sleeping bags, canvass huts, trekking implements on hire charges to the tourists so that tourists can stay one or two days at the top of the peak in temporary camps.    
Eddakal Caves (12 km from Sultan Bathery and 28 from Kalpetta)A kilometer's trek up Ambukuthi Hill near Ambalavayal town will reward you with the evidence of the age of habitation in this area. One of the two caves here displays petroglyphs (scenes of hunting, farming, taming of animals etc) that are supposed to belong to Neolithic age. District Tourism Promotion Council has installed a telescope near the caves to help the visitors feast their eyes on the wonderful scenery all around. Try tasting the ginger sherbet and special herbal masala soda sold here. The inhabitants (Kurichias of Wayanad) of this place are said to have long life spans - attributed to their eating habits. INR 10 Still Camera: 25 Video Camera: 100 No close days9 am - 5 pm
Heritage Museum (10 km from Sultan Bathery & 25 km from Kalpetta)Located in the town of Ambalavayal, this museum is home to an interesting collection of artifacts that shed light on the history, culture and heritage of the Wayanad region. These include headgear, weapons, pottery, and objects associated with tribal life.

A small theatre, adjoining the museum gives an interesting multimedia presentation on Wayanad for the visitors.
INR 10 No close day 9 am - 6 pm
Jain temples (18 km from Sultan Bathery & 20 km from Kalpetta)The ruins of this 13th century temple still bear some signs of the intricate carvings that had once adorned its interiors and exteriors. It is also indicative of the old ties that the Jains have with Wayanad.   8 am -12 noon & 2 pm - 6 pm
Wayanad Wildlife SanctuaryWith 26% forest cover, far greater than any other district in Kerala, Wayanad has a sanctuary covering an area of 345 sq km. This deciduous rainforest is an integral part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It consists of two separate pockets: Muthanga in the east of the district is contiguous to the Bandipur and Mudamalai, and Tholpetty in the north on the border with Nagarhole. Elephants, bisons, sambar and spotted dear, peacocks and langur monkeys are plentiful. Entry to both parts is permitted only with a guide. Jeep tours are popular but trekking can also be done.  7 am - 5 pm
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Getting there

AirRailRoad
The nearest airport to Sultan Bathery is Karipur International airport in Kozhikode (129 km/4 hrs).The nearest railway station from Sultan Bathery is in Calicut (Kozhikode) 103 km/ 3.5 hrs.It is 386 km from Alappuzha, 293 km from Bekal, 97 km from Calicut, 303 km from Ernakulam, 146 km from Kannur, 543 km from Kovalam, 385 km from Kumarakom, and 325 km from Palakkad.
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Wayanad Excursions

Excursion (distance in kms / time taken)Write up on the excursion
Pakshipathalam (71 km from Kalpetta & 78 from Sultan Bathery/ 2 hrsPakshipathalam is natural rock cave at the northen end of Brahmagiri hills. A 7 km trek through dense forest takes you to this avian paradise. As there are no accommodation facilities there so doing a day trip is the only option. A special permission has to be obtained from the forest department to go to this site. It is closed from February to June due to dangers of forest fire and in monsoons because the trail becomes slippery and also the forest teems with leeches and insects.
Kuruvadweep Island ( 35 km from Kalpetta/ 1 hr)This is an island that sprawls over an area of 950 acres on the banks of river kabani. Barring Katunayika tribe, it is largely uninhabited. The island gives you a wonderful feeling of entering into a bygone era as there are no traces of modernism. Shallow streams, marshy patches, dead woods - all these are to be trekked. A large variety of birds can be spotted here. Green Gate Hotel in Kalpetta organizes trekking and camping at Kuravadweep ideally for a group of 5.
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Suggested Hotel Partners in Wayanad

Name of the Hotel Price for SGL/ DBL Category (FHRAI)

Tranquil Plantation hideaway (have 11 treks within its own grounds)

 home stay
Vythiri resort   
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Suggested Places to eat at Wayanad

Name of the place Phone / Email Cuisine Avg. cost per person for a mealOpening & closing time
Edakkal Hermitage (has probably India's only Cave restaurant)

 +91-4936-221860/

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Suggested tour program with Wayanad

Tour NameNo. Of days Other places covered Detail's link (if applicable)
A Different Stay Everyday9 nights/10 daysWayanad-Kochi-Alappuzha-Kovalam (Trivandrum) -Neyyar Dam 
Kerala Wildlife Tour9 nights/10 daysKochi-Munnar-Thekkady(Periyar)-Kumarkom -Kochi-Wayanad 
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