Shrouded in bewitching mystery is a land hidden high above the Nilgiri Biosphere, the southern fringe of the Deccan Plateau in the dense rainforests of North Western Kerala. Wayanad is home to the only Neolithic cave called Edakkal caves in South India, a protected UNESCO Heritage site. These caves are evidences of new Stone Age civilization. Again archaeological evidences record 3000 year old human settlements which dates at least ten centuries before Christ.
Wayanad’s majestic dense forests have deep valleys, amazing waterfalls, tall mystic peaks and an incredible number of species of flora and fauna. It is also abode to ancient, indigenous tribes who doesn’t fail to enchant with their ancient customs and rituals.
Wayanad has its name derived from the vernacular tongue meaning land of paddy. And true to the meaning, Wayanad has a vast expanse of perennial plantation crops and spices.
Ruled by the Rajas of the Vedic tribe as known from the scribes circa 10th century to the later rulers of Pazhassi Rajahs of Kottayam royal dynasty, then to the hands of Tipu Sultan of Mysore to the Kottayam family again only to be ceded to the British. Followed by fierce encounters and wars between Kerala’s all-time favourite and brave King Kerala VarmaPazhassi Rajah of the Kottayam royal family, also known as The Lion of Kerala.He was killed by the British in 1805. His bravery and ingenuity is proudly remembered in the popular lore of the place.
Karinthandan is another name remembered when talking about Wayanad. This local chieftain of the Paniyastribals found the Western Ghat route to Wayanad circa 1700. Learning of the reward announced by the Viceroy of erstwhile British Rule for helping them find and build the route, Karinthandan volunteered for the mission. But in the end, he was cheated and murdered by a British Engineer for the reward and mainly to take credit of the mission. As believed by the locals the soul does not die and it started troubling all the travellers on the route causing accidents. A native priest was brought in and he chained the soul to a huge Banyan tree en route to Wayanad.
Tribes of Wayanad
When archaeological evidences state that the dense forests of Wayanad had human settlements dating back to 3ooo years. The Edakkal caves in Wayanad dates back to 6000 years, The Neolithic caves have stone engravings back from the Stone Age Civilization. It is the only evidence of Stone Age Civilization in South India.
Paniyas, Adiyas, Kattunayakans, Kurichiyans, Kurumas, Ooralis, UraaliKurumas are the indigenous tribes of Wayanad.
The name ‘Paniyaan’ means ‘worker’ in the local vernacular. They were supposed to have been the workers of non – tribes, the high castes.
The Adiyas are also the working class. They are like the Paniyas, a slave sect once.
The Kattunayakans also known as Cholanaickans were the kings of the jungle regions. Their language is much influenced by Dravidian tongues.
The UraaliKurumas are the artisan tribes of the state. A diminution talent as the younger generation now prefer working in plantation and fields for an earning.
December to February is cold in Wayanad with temperatures dropping to 7°C. In March to May, the mercury rises to 35°C. Monsoon chasers are the luckiest while visiting Wayanad as there is a South west monsoon from June to September and North East Monsoon from October to November.
Places to see
BanasuraSagar Dam- Asia’s second largest and India’s largest earthen dam in south western part of Wayanad was built in 1979. Tourists prefer the place for its scenic beauty and the boating facility within the reservoir. It was the starting point of most of the treks into the surrounding hills.
Chain tree- The massive steel chain hanging on a Ficus tree on the national highway has a story as old as the Western Ghats Pass. According the local legends, a tribal chief named Karithandan who helped the British build a route to Wayanad through Western Ghats, was murdered by a British Engineer after the mission to take the credit of the discovery. It is believed that the spirit of Karinthandan revenged his murder by causing accidents to travellers through this route. Later a priest was brought in to put an end to this by chaining the soul to the Ficus tree!
Chembara peak – Towering at an altitude of 2100 metres, Chembara Peak is a favourite spot for trekkers. The exhilarating trek trail and the scenic beauty allures travellers uphill. It is the tallest peak in Wayanad region.
Chethalayam Waterfalls. – Near Sultan Bathery is perfect for trekking and bird watching. Like any other waterfalls in Wayanad, after monsoon is the best time to visit the place.
Edakkal caves – World’s richest pictographic gallery of its kind is in Edakkal Caves within the Ambukutty Mala of Wayanad. The cave belongs to the Neolithic and Mesolithic ages. Evidences displays a mysterious relation between the Stone Age caves of Edakkal with the inhabitants of Indus valley civilization. It is the only Neolithic cave in South India.
Karapuzha dam – Karapuzha Dam near to Kalpetta is another earth dam which was built in 1977 for irrigation purposes. Asia’s largest rose garden is under construction at this dam.
KarladLake – Karlad Lake is a fresh water lake and is haven for fun activities such as zorbing, kayaking, zip line, rock climbing, etc.
Kuruva islands – A 950 acre of protected river delta on the KabiniRiver is known as Kuruva Islands or Kuruvadweep.These uninhabited islets are dense forests with rare orchids and wild flowers. Its unique eco system attracts large number of migratory birds.
Kanthanpara waterfalls- 22 km away from Kalpetta is a 30m high waterfall called Kanthanpara. The postcard perfect scenery is most beautiful during the Monsoon.
Korome mosque – This 300 year old Mosque was built by the local Nair community in pure Kerala architectural style.The mosque is about 23 km away from Mananthavady.
Muthanga wildlife sanctuary – The sanctuary is an eminent part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. This scientifically conserved and protected area was established in 1973. Considering the large number of tuskers, the sanctuary is declared a Project Elephant site. It is also known for its tiger population and bees. The sanctuary offers jeep safari and elephant rides to its visitors.
Meenmuttyfalls–It is the second largest waterfall in Kerala. The three stage waterfall drops at a height of 300m. A 2km trekking route from the main road takes you this breath taking waterfall.
PakshipathalamBramagiri – Is home to wild beasts and wide variety of birds. Perched 1740m above sea level is an adventurous spot in the Brahmagiri Hills of Thirunelli. The moist dense virgin forests comprises of deep caves, rivulets, massive boulders, animals and plants of incredible species The place could only be accessible by trekking.
Panamaram Jain Temple – Also called as Janardhana Temple is a forgotten ancient temple ruins of the Jains in Wayanad. Today the ruins are seen inside a coffee plantation near Punchavayal Junction, around 29kms from Sultan Bathery. The rectangular stone built temple attributes its beautiful stone carvings and architecture to Hoysala Dynasty. This medieval temple was built when the Jains of Karnataka migrated to Kerala, mainly in and around Wayanad.
Pazhassi raja tomb – Kerala VarmaPazhassi Raja popularly known as the ‘Kerala Simhan’ which means lion of Kerala, is one of India’s earlier freedom fighters. He belonged to the western Royal clan of Kottayam and is noted for his struggles against British East India Company. A brave and loyal ruler, whose heroic resistance against the English was strongly backed by the local communities.
PookodeLake – A beautiful natural lake in the lap of Wayanad’s mountains is a serene and much favoured tourist spot. The Rudraksha trees on the pathway surrounding the lake plays as a perfect canopy. Boating facilities are available in the lake.
Sentinal Rock Water Fall – A 200m high waterfall is not merely a scenic spot but an adventure spot too. Water rafting and rock climbing is a major scene in here.
Thirunelly Temple –Popularly known as ‘ThekkanKasi’, is an ancient Maha Vishnu Temple on the Brahmagiri Hills of Wayanad. The holy mountain spring and the river nearby is called Papanasini, as it’s believed to have powers to wash away ones sins.
Tholpetty wildlife sanctuary – The rich dense moist forest is home to rare flora and fauna. It falls in the Nilgiri Biosphere. Jeep safari is the best option to watch the wild at close encounters.
By Air – Calicut / Kozhikode International Airport is about 80km from the city. It is well connected to major domestic and international airports.
By Rail – The Calicut or Kozhikode railway station in Manachira Squareis about 110 km and is well connected to important places.
By Road – Kozhikode is well connected with various destinations in Kerala and neighbouring states of Karnataka and Tamilnadu.
Wayanad Tours was created to share the magic of unique experiences in Wayanad, a conjunction of ancient culture, history and wilderness with the world. We aim to give you the ultimate tour of Wayanad.
Wayanad tours welcomes you to a beautiful land where virginity and mysticism will disconnect you with the real world. Its dense forests, mesmerising valleys, dark caves and ancient temples have lore’s shrouded in mystery. We have great passion for this land and its people, our in depth knowledge in what we do makes us your best travel partner.
Wayanad Tours is a team of specialists loaded with vigour and love for Wayanad. We deliver what we claim and that is specialist knowledge. If you are travelling far afield alone or in groups, in search of complete and exclusive experiences, we are what you are looking for.
Wayanad Tours is a one stop shop for all your travel needs. Our greatest strength is our goodwill and our wide choice of expert advices. Our portfolio includes hotels and resorts of broad category matching your taste and budget. We have the largest list of stays, fleets and activity lists. We are loaded with ready to go Wayanad Tour packages at the same time we could get you perfectly tailored Wayanad tour packages in respect to your taste and budget.
We are Wayanad tours, your smart travel partner!