Area: 2132 Sq. Km. Population: 671,195 Altitude: 700-1200 m above sea level
Wayanad is one of the districts in Kerala that has been able to retain its pristine nature. Hidden away in the hills of this land are some of the oldest tribes of people, who are yet untouched by the fast pace of civilization. Wayanad is known for its lovely mist clad hill stations, sprawling spice plantations, luxuriant forests and rich cultural traditions. The leading tourist centres of South India like Ootty, Mysore, Coorg, Kozhikode and Kannur are around this hill station.
This place can be accessed only be trekking. Rare species of birds can be sighted from the watch tower of this bird sanctuary.
CHEMBRA PEAK :
At 2100 m above mean sea level. Chembra is the highest peak in Wayanad and is an ideal area for trekking.
LAKKIDI : Lakkidi, the gateway to Wayanad, is situated 700 m above mean sea level, at the crest of the Thamarasseri Ghat pass. Lofty peaks, gurgling streams and luxuriant forests add magic to the journey up the winding roads ti this hill station.
This perennial fresh water lake, nestled among wooded hills, is the only one of its kind in Kerala. Boating facilities, a children’s park, a handicrafts and spices emporium and a fresh water aquarium are among the tourist facilities available here. The lake is 3 Km south of Vythiri Resorts.
WILD LIFE SANCTUARIES:
Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuaries: This sanctuary in Karnataka State extends over an area of 634.39 Sq. Km. The park houses diverse species of plant and animal life. It is about 40 Km from Mananthavady. Visiting hours are 6 am to 8 am and 3 pm to 5.30 pm.
BEGUR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY :
20 Km from Mananthavady has a wide variety of animals.
MUTHANGA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY:
15 km from Sultan Battery. Contiguous with the protected area network of Nagerhole National Park and Bandipur. Tiger Reserve, Karnataka in the northeast and Mudumalai in the southeast, and falls under Project Elephant. The 345 Sq. Km. Muthanga Sanctuary is rich in fauna and flora. It is second largest in the state. Elephants roam freely here and tigers are sighted frequently. Various species of deer, monkeys, birds and so on are also found here. Trees and plants growing here are typical of the South Indian moist deciduous forests and West Coast semi evergreen forests. Best season to visit is June to October.
BANSURA PROJECT, PADINJARATHARA :
A mini hydel project with the largest earth dam in India and the second largest in Asia is being built here. A sprawling sanctuary and park with ever flowering trees are major tourist attractions. 25 Km northeast of Kalpetta.
MANANTHAVADY KURUVADWEEP :
This 950 acre, uninhabited island on the eastward bound Kabani river is an ideal picnic spot. The wooded stretch of land is home to rare species of birds, orchids and herbs.
THIRUNELLY TEMPLE :
Surrounded by Kambamala. Karimala and Varadiga, the Thirunelly temple is a marvel of temple architecture. The shrine is shielded with 30 granite. The crystal clear waters of the Papanasini river running downhill adds to the enchantment of the place.
PAZHASSI TOMB :
Memorial of the Lion of Kerala – Veera Pazhassi Raja, who organized the guerilla pattern of waterfare against the British East India Company.
SULTAN BATTERY EDAKKAL CAVES:
The two caves are located at a height of 1000 m on Ambukutty Mala near Ambalavayal. The New Stone Age pictorial writings on the walls of these natural caves at Edakkal are evidence of the civilisation that existed in these regions in prehistoric times. The caves can be accessed only by a 1 Km trekking trail from Edakkal. Morning hours are the best time to visit the caves. Entry is permitted only upto 5:00 pm.