Wayanad Visiting Places

Kuruvadweep or Kuruva Island comprises of a cluster of islets over the middle of Kabini River in Wayanad that is popular for the boat rides it offers on specially crafted bamboo rafts. Spread over 950 acres of land, Kuruva Island, is popular for its diverse flora and fauna. These islands contain two small fresh water lakes. They are also a known safe haven for migratory birds along with hornbills, parrots and many butterfly species.

Nature lovers throng to this remote destination in large numbers. Trekking enthusiasts will find some of the most beautiful and natural trails here. Massive trees situated next to the river are perfect picnic spots. The surrounding streams are ideal for a boat ride or rafting while enjoying the enchanting beauty of the island. The boats and rafts are provided by the Kerala Tourism Department.

Neelima Viewpoint has a dazzling view of the Meenmutty falls and valleys surrounding it. From the point, tourists can see the milky white streams gushing through the walk, making its way towards the river. On will have to walk a lot to reach the place, people with joint and leg pain should take a proper care of themselves. Narrow and uneven pathways from the nearest motor-able road will take tourists to the viewpoint with the mountain folds of the Western Ghats towards its left and a hill slope replete with grass along with boulders on the right. This splendid sight is something that one can never forget throughout life. Mist and aroma around create such a spell that one will be lost in its beauty for a long period of time.

The Banasura Sagar Dam, located 21 km from Kalpetta, is the largest earthen dam in India and the second largest in Asia. It is created by impounding the Karamanathodu tributary of the Kabini River. Construction was started in 1979, with the main objective being to support the Kakkayam Hydro-Electric Project, as well as to meet the irrigation and drinking water requirements of the people of the region.

The dam which is a kilometer long mud structure, is located in the midst of towering, mist-clad hills. There is a beautiful flower garden attached to the dam that makes it a lovely picnic spot. Largely unspoiled, the area around the dam is an ideal starting point for treks to the Banasura peak. The reservoir formed by the dam is dotted with tiny islands enveloped in thick foliage, and with the Banasura hill in the background offers a breathtaking view.

Soochipara Falls also known as Sentinel Rock Waterfalls is a three-tiered waterfall in Vellarimala, Wayanad, India. It is surrounded by deciduous, evergreen and montane forests. Locally referred to as Soochipara (“Soochi” meaning “Needle” and “Para” meaning “Rock”), the 15-20 minute drive from Meppadi to Sentinel Rock Waterfalls has views of a number of Wayanad’s tea estates. The Sentinel Rock Waterfalls is 200 metres (656 feet) and offers a cliff face that is used for rock climbing. The water from Soochipara Falls later joins Chulika River or popularly known as Chaliyar River after Velarimala Hills near Cherambadi (Tamil Nadu) in Kerala.

Once people reach the parking area, they have to pass through a security check at the entrance where they make sure you don’t carry any plastic. It takes 10-15 minutes walk to the water falls and water flow is less during summer, which makes it easy to reach the rocks where water falls.

The most important tourist destination in Wayanad, Pookot Lake is a natural fresh water lake nestled amidst evergreen forests and wooded slopes. Surrounded by lush greenery all around, this idyllic lake, with its breathtaking scenic beauty and peaceful ambience, mesmerizes every visitor on tour to Pookot Lake. The pathway around the lake is lined by thick bushes and tall trees which further add to the overall charm. One of the main tributaries of the Kabani River – the Panamaram rivulet originates from Pookot Lake and then tumbles down into Panamaram valley. A fresh-water aquarium filled with an excellent array of fishes is a major attraction for tourists on their tour to Pookot Lake. The recreational facilities at the spot include Boating in the lake, Children’s Park, and Handicrafts and Spices Emporium.

The pleasant weather, combined with the scenic beauty and hypnotizing charm of the region promises to make your tour to Pookot Lake a thoroughly rejuvenating and memorable experience.

Lakkidi (Malayalam: ലക്കിടി) is the gateway of Wayanad district of Kerala state, south India. Lakkidi is one of the highest locations in Wayanad. It is situated 700 m above mean sea level, atop Thamarassery ghat pass. Vythiri is the nearest town, just 5 km from Lakkidi. Chain tree, Pookot Lake, Sight seeing point on ghat road and number of tourist resorts are within 5 km from Lakkidi. It is about 58 km northeast of Kozhikode district

The lofty mountain peaks, the gurgling stream, luxuriant vegetation and the bird’s eye view of the deep valley on the south, with its winding roads, are breathtaking. Three km from Lakkidi is the Pookot Lake, the natural fresh water lake, spread across 15 acres, one of the rare reservoirs of water in Wayanad. Surrounded on all sides by meadows and hills, it has become a favorite picnic spot. Lakkidi has a heavy rainfall with averaging 600–650 cm annually. It is one of the richest biodiversity areas in the western Ghats. There are a number of species including lion tailed macque, rare birds, Indian Shag (phalacrocorase fuscicollis), Little Cormorant (Phalacrocorax Niger), Little Green Heron (Ardeola striatus ), and Pond Heron (Ardeola grayii) .

The legendary Chain Tree of Lakkidi is a large ficus tree standing by the wayside at this beautiful tourist spot in Wayanad around 15kms from Kalpetta. The tree, which stands at the end of the ghat section of the road that leads to Wayanad from Calicut, is bound by a chain and has an interesting story behind it.

Local lore has it that a tribal youth named Karinthandan was instrumental in guiding a British engineer to reach Wayanad from Adivaram, the base area from where the climb to Wayanad starts. The British rulers were attracted by the natural beauty of Wayanad and the wealth of spices available there. But getting there was near to impossible. There were no roads. Several attempts were made to cut roads through the rugged mountain passes, but to no avail.

The native tribesmen who lived in the forests knew the mountainous terrain well, and one of their youths Karinthandan showed the British engineer the shortest route to reach Wayanad. But after learning the route and eager to take credit for the discovery, the British engineer killed the youth, so says the legend. The spirit of the dead youth used to haunt the place, waylaying travelers and terrifying them to death, especially unwary foreigners who happened to pass along.

Chembra Peak (ചെമ്പ്ര കൊടുമുടി) is one of the highest peak in the Western Ghats and the highest peak in Wayanad hills, at 2,100 m (6,890 ft) above sea level. Chembra is located near the town of Meppadi and is 8 km (5 mi) south of Kalpetta. It is part of the Wayanad hill ranges in Western Ghats, adjoining the Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu and Vellarimala in Kozhikode district in Kerala. It is the highest and the largest peak in Western Ghats of India in between Nilgiris and Himalayas exceeding 2,000m . Visits to this peak organized by ‘the Chempra Peak VSS’ under the control of South Wayanad Forest Development Agency, guides are provided for trekking. Chembra Peak is accessible by foot from Meppady. District Tourism Promotion Council provides guides and trekking equipment on hire charges to tourists. Banasura Sagar Dam and Banasura Hill is also nearby.

Lake en route to the top of Chembra Peak
Permission from the forest office in Meppadi is required for trekking up to Chembra Peak. A heart shaped lake on the way to the top of the peak is a major tourist attraction. The lake is believed to have never dried up. You can find the lake halfway to the peak, after getting to the lake need to trek through about a km or two of dense trees. A 5 km (3 mi) journey from Meppadi town through tea estates to Erumakkolli.

Kanthanpara Waterfalls Wayanad
Close to the iconic attractions of Kerala – Meeenmutti and Soochippara falls stand their small version – Kanthanpara waterfall that drops down from an altitude of 30 meters. It is small in size but the best part about is that as compare to other places it is easily accessible. Also, one can hardly find any tourists rush. This scenic and quaint waterfall is a must visit place for every tourist on a trip to Wayanad. Locations of the surroundings and its picturesque waterfall make it the best place for camping as well.

GETTING THERE
The waterfall is 18 kilometers to the southeast of Kalpetta, and 8 kilometers to the east of Meppadi on Vaduvanchal road. If planning to visit here by personal transport then be a little cautious about the roads. The best part about this place is one doesn’t need to walk a lot to reach here.

THINGS TO DO & SEE IN AND AROUND
Meeenmutti and Soochippara waterfall near to Kanthanpara Waterfalls are a must visit tourists attractions in Kerala. Chembra peak, Edakkal Caves, Soochippara waterfall, Muthanga Sanctuary, Pakshipathalam, Kuruva Islands, Banasura Sagar Dam, Tholpetty Sanctuary, Pookode Lake, and

Karlad Lake

The lake is spread over more than 7 acres of area, in a place named Tariod, which is 16 km from Kalpetta. It is a place which is ideal for peace lovers, and especially for those who wanted to take a breath of relief from the din and bustle of the city or even from a busy tourist spot.
This is said to be the second largest freshwater lake in Kerala and also a well-known picnic spot with boating facility. Surrounded by a thick stretch of bamboo groves, it makes a perfect route for trekkers. There is also a walking trail that reaches the nearest Pallikkunnu Church.

The famous Banasura Sagar Dam is just a 3 km away from this Karlad Lake. The Karlad Tourism Centre is equipped with a facilitation centre, a couple of dormitories, maintaining a heritage village and also a humble restaurant.

The Best time to Visit:
Wayanad is moderately hot in summer touching about 35 °C and in winter the temperature comes down to 10 °C. It gets good tropical monsoons. To avoid the extreme climate conditions it is always better to visit the Lake and the other sites of Wayand between after the rains and before the summer. That is, the ideal months would be August to the end of April.

Wayanad Heritage Museum, also known as Ambalavayal Heritage Museum is a museum at Ambalavayal, 12 km south of Sulthan Bathery, in Wayanad district, Kerala, India. It is managed by the District Tourism Promotion Council. The Museum displays tribal relics and artifacts. Four sectors of the museum—the Verasmruthi, the Gothrasmruthi, the Devasmruthi, and the Jeevanasmruthi—house different types of items ranging from the Neotholic age to the 17th century, including artifacts from ordinary tribal life, decorated memorial grave stones once used to adorn the graves of heroes, and terracotta figures.

In the small village of Ambalavayal, about 5km from Edakkal Caves, this museum exhibits tools, weapons, pottery, carved stone and other artefacts dating back to the 14th century, shedding light on Wayanad’s significant Adivasi population.

Edakkal Caves (Malayalam: ഇടക്കൽ ഗുഹകൾ) are two natural caves at a remote location at Edakkal, 25 km (15.5 mi) from Kalpetta in the Wayanad district of Kerala in India’s Western Ghats. They lie 1,200 m (3,900 ft) above sea level on Ambukutty Mala, near an ancient trade route connecting the high mountains of Mysore to the ports of the Malabar coast. Inside the caves are pictorial writings believed to date to at least 6,000 BCE, from the Neolithic man, indicating the presence of a prehistoric civilization or settlement in this region. The Stone Age carvings of Edakkal are rare and are the only known examples from South India.

These are not technically caves, but rather a cleft, rift or rock shelter approximately 96 ft (29 m) by 22 ft (6.7 m), a 30-foot-deep (9.1 m) fissure caused by a piece of rock splitting away from the main body. On one side of the cleft is a rock weighing several tons that covers the cleft to form the ‘roof’ of the cave. The carvings are of human and animal figures, tools used by humans and of symbols yet to be deciphered, suggesting the presence of a prehistoric settlement.

The petroglyphs inside the cave are of at least three types. The oldest may date back to over 8,000 years. Evidences suggest that the Edakkal caves were inhabited several times at different points in history.

The caves were discovered by Fred Fawcett, a police official of the erstwhile Malabar state in 1890 who immediately recognised their anthropological and historical importance. He wrote an article about them, attracting the attention of scholars.

One of the most important among the many Jain temples in Kerala, the Bathery Temple in Sulthan Bathery is believed to have been built during the 13th century. Its design is strongly influenced by the architectural style of the then reigning Vijayanagar Dynasty. Another unique feature is the rather checkered history of the temple which first served as a shrine, next as a centre of commercial trade and finally, as the ammunition store or battery of Tipu Sulthan’s army. The town, Sulthan Bathery, derives its name from that use.

Jain Temple is believed to have been built in the 13th century. This served as a Jain shrine, an important centre for commercial activity and eventually as a battery (ammunition store) for Tipu Sulthan’s marching armies and hence the town got its name “Sulthan’s Battery”. This Temple is one of the most important amongst a series of ruins spread across the state of Kerala that testify to a period of a strong Jain presence in this region. A unique feature is the rather checkered history of the temple which first served as a shrine, next as a centre of Commercial trade and finally, as the ammunition store or battery of Tipu Sulthan’s Army.

Karapuzha Dam, located in the lush Wayanad District of Kerala, has the distinction of being one of India’s largest earth dams. It straddles the Karapuzha River, a tributary of the Kabini River. The scenic environs of Karapuzha Dam with its partly inundated hills and verdant islands are an ideal breeding ground for aquatic birds. The background of the gushing water from the dam against the luxuriant mountains makes it a charming spot. The water here is around 158 feet deep. You can visit the dam through the day; however at dawn, visibility is low.

Karapuzha Dam is around 7 km away from Kakavayal (Kakavayal is on NH-212, 8 Km from Kalpetta in Sulthan Bathery direction). It is easily accessible from Kozhikode (89 km) and Mysore in Karnataka (131 km).

A multi-crore project to promote the Karapuzha dam here as a major tourism destination is in limbo.

The first phase of the project envisaged setting up a garden similar to the Brindavan Gardens in Mysuru on four hectares of land, a tourism facilitation centre, a walkway, a parking area, a souvenir and spices stall, landscaping, and electrification of reservoir banks.

The construction work was handed over to the Kerala Irrigation Infrastructure Development Corporation (KIIDC) and Rs.4.92 crore was allotted in 2014. Later, the KIIDC entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) to set up a garden, and to maintain it for a year, for Rs.43 lakh. Of the amount, Rs.23 lakh was handed over to the KAU for preliminary works.

A temple is an edifice or place devoted to divine worship. The sitha temple at pulpally in wayanad has a unique position among the temples of Kerala. This temple emerged as a place of worship amidst the verdant and lush greenery around. The etymological meaning of “Sitha” denotes soil or earth .Thus the worship of mother earth dates back to the time of yore. Sitha is also the supreme character of the great epic Ramayana symbolizing true womanhood and chastity. This temple dedicated to Goddess Sitha thus remain as a unique testimony of the ardent faith prevalent in the pristine mind. This temple serves as a beacon of solace to thousands of devotees who throng this divine spot throughout the day.

History
pazhassi
The Seetha devi temple of pulpally was constructed by Sri pazhassiraja in the 18th century.He managed the temple for many years.The meetings and discussions with his army cheiftains were held in the courtyard of this temple.Later the management of this temple came in the hands of kuppathode family the powerfull and renowned nair family in wayanad.At that time most of the important temples in wayanad were managed by different nair families.The moopil nair (the chief)of kuppathod family stayed at nellaratt edom the head quarters of the family.Even now a member of this family is designated as the trustee for the management of the temple.

The renovation of the temple was done during the period of 1985-1995.at present this temple is affiliated to Malabar Devaswom Board The thantric rites of the temple are performed by Chathanattu Illam and Kozhikkottiri Mana

The Meenmutty Waterfall is located in the middle of a lush, moist, tropical forest, off the Ooty Road, around 29 kilometers from Kalpetta in Wayanad district of Kerala. The largest and most spectacular waterfall in Wayanad, Meenmutty is a three-tiered fall. The water plunges down from about 300 meters in three stages, and all the three stages require separate treks. The path is quiet dangerous and tiresome.

To enjoy the fabulous beauty of Meenmutty Falls, you need to trek for about three kilometers from the road. It is an ideal picnic spot but during the rains it becomes slithery. You have to walk through dense foliage to reach the edge of the falls. The hiking can be strenuous, with steep inclines and rocks to climb over. After reaching the edge, it is an easy but slippery climb down the smooth rocks to reach the water. Although, the climb is exhausting, it is well worth it.

Meenmutty is open for tourists from 8 in the morning till 5 in the evening. There is no need to pay any entrance fee for visiting the waterfall. The most popular time to visit the falls is between November and May because the water is too torrential during the post-monsoon months. Early morning and late afternoons are the better times to visit. Accommodation can be found either at Kalpetta or Sulthan Bathery. Meenmutty is about 50kms from Banasura Hill Resort.