Wayanad is blessed with a unique geographical position, with undulating mist clad hills and dales. Luxuriant plantations of coffee, tea, cardamom, pepper and rubber are strewn all over the hills of Wayanad. Situated at a height of 700-2100 m above sea level, it is bound on the east by the Nilgiris and the Mysore districts of Tamilnadu and Karnataka respectively.
The natural scenic beauty of Wayanad and its rich natural resources offer several opportunities for adventure tourism.
Located at the northeastern tip of Kerala, Wayanad was earlier a part of Kannur district. Panorama, Manathavady and Kabini, the fast flowing rivers lend a unique beauty to the whole region.
Rail : The district is well connected by a railway network.
Road : Wayanad's Headquarters, Kalpetta is linked by road to other towns in Kerala and there are frequent buses to Kozhikode.
Places of Interest in Wayanad :
Edakkal Caves : There are two Edakkal Caves, natural rock cutout formations, formed by a large split in a huge rock roofed over by other large rocks, all fixed in position through natural processes. These caves are famous world-wide for their ancient carvings and pictorial wall inscriptions of human and animal figures with peculiar head-dresses and swastik forms and symbols.
Archaeologists say the place was one of the earliest centres of human habitation. These caves are seen in the Ambukuthy mountains which is located in between Sulthan Battery and Ambalavayal. The caves contain several paintings and pictorial writings of the New Stone Age civilization which speak volumes of the bygone life and civilization.
Kalpetta : This is where the headquarters of the Wayanad District are located. A stronghold of the Jains in the past, the famous Ananthanathaswamy Jain Temple is situated at Puliyarmala near Kalpetta.
Chethalayam Waterfalls : Located 12 km. from Sulthan Bathery on the Pulpalli Main Road, are the breathtakingly beautiful Chethalayam Waterfalls.
One can get a glimpse of this lovely waterfall, one has to trek a distance of around 4 km. from Chethalayam. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is another tourist spot not to be missed. Here you can see elephants, spotted deer, guar, sambhar and sloth bear.
About 15 km from Sultan's Bathery, the Wildlife Sanctuary covers over 344 sq. km. and forms part of the area of Mudumalai Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu and Bandipur Sanctuary in Karnataka.
Pookot Lake : Pookot Lake, a natural fresh water lake surrounded by evergreen forests and rolling hills is situated 3 km from south of Vythiri town.
Pookot Lake, about 13 km. from Kalpetta, is the most beautiful tourist spot in the whole of Wayanad. The lake lies in the lap of mountains surrounding it.
Boating in the Pookot Lake is a unforgettable experience. Tall trees and dense forests that line along the pathway around the lake provide a visual treat. A freshwater aquarium with a large variety of fish is an added attraction.
Varambetta Mosque : 15 km south east of Kalpetta, this 300-year-old mosque is the oldest in Wayanad.
Ambalavayal Heritage Museum : 12 km south of Sulthan Bathery, it is one of the best heritage museums in Kerala. The exhibits here include rare 2nd century artifacts such as clay sculptures, ancient hunting equipments like bows and arrows, stone weapons and other curios
Banasura Dam : 15 km. north west of Kalpetta, Banasura Dam is the largest earth dam in India. A vast expanse of crystal clear water bounded by blue hills on all sides, except one. Its an ideal picnic spot. Located in the midst of lovely, mist-clad hills with a wildlife sanctuary and park full of flowering trees, the beauty of this spot is captivating.
Chembra Peak : Chembra peak, which is highest peak in Wayanad is located 14 km west of Kalpetta. Located amidst panoramic surroundings, the peak is at an altitude of 2100 m above sea level. An ideal spot for trekking, Chembra Peak is a very beautiful spot close to the Western Ghats. The Chembra Hills and the adjacent Meppadi hills are accessible from Kalpetta.
The entire region is quite picturesque with tea plantations and a variety of flora and fauna and some wild life in the jungles.
At the top of the Chembra Peak, there is a lake that has never been dry. It is a delightful spot for the trekkers as well as for the nature lovers. Although the trek to the Chembra Peak is a risky mountaineering endeavor.
Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary : This is an ideal destination to watch herds of wild elephants, the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is contiguous with the protected area network of the Nagarhole National Park and the Bandipur Tiger Reserve in the neighboring State of Karnataka and Mudumalai of Tamilnadu. This sanctuary spread over 345 sq km is rich with fauna and flora, and comes under Project Elephant.
Elephants roam freely here and tigers are sighted frequently. Various species of deer, monkeys, birds etc also live here. A drive along the road to Muthanga and further, offers chances to watch these roaming beasts. Elephant rides are arranged by the Forest Department.