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Travel

The exotic Wayanad

Introduction

Wayanad is one of the exquisite hill stations of Kerala and is snuggled amidst the Western Ghats Mountains. Wayanad is incredibly beautiful with mist-clad mountains, intense forests, pleasant weather, and fertile green plantations. The forests of Wayanad are cosmic mainlands for animals to enjoy their natural dwelling.

Imagine a rich, verdant land that shows us the beauty of solitude. A land that makes us feel at home, a stitch in the fabric of Life. A land that makes us feel safe and secure, warmly wrapped in the comforting embrace of Mother nature.

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Then welcome to Wayanad all.

Here, sub-tropical savannahs, luxuriant forests, picturesque hill stations, sprawling spice plantations, and rich cultural traditions mingle in harmony.

This place is spread across 2,132 sq km on the lofty Western Ghats, Wayanad is one of the few districts in Kerala that has been able to retain its unmarred nature. Some of the earliest tribes in the state still thrive in the forests of Wayanad. And the very first prehistoric engravings in Kerala are discovered at the foothills of Edakkal and around Ambukuthimala bearing testament to a pre-historic culture dating back to the Mesolithic Age.

Be it the Chembra Peak, Neelimala, Chethalayam falls, Meenmutty falls, Pakshipathalam, Banasura Sagar Dam, the Edakkal caves, or any of the other tourist spots in Wayanad, each destination here has something for every visitor to cherish.

For instance, a visit to the freshwater Pookode Lake snuggled in the midst of lush evergreen forests and neighboured by hills lopes at an altitude of 770 m above sea level, is a haven for nature lovers.

A walk in the woods enclosing the lake with the symphony of crickets and the whispering breeze for the company is medicine for an aching heart. Here, the gentle breeze that plays with our hair is untainted by the ravages of civilization.

The best tourist spot

Spread over 8.5 hectares, this is one of the most sought-after tourist spots in Wayanad. Yet, this is a wonder, how this swarming place offers quiet moments for each person, strolling on its banks. It is as if the lake takes special care to ensure that each of its visitors leaves with his heart content.

Thus this is what Wayanad is all about- a tryst with Nature. Strikingly scenic, Wayanad is not just a confluence of wilderness, culture, and history. It is almost as if this land is a channel between humans and Nature.

Snuggled in the Western Ghats, Wayanad is the least populous district in Kerala and is known for its lush forests, mist-laden mountains, and green paddy fields stretching up to the horizon. The climate of Wayanad is pleasant throughout the year with an altitude ranging from 700 to 2100 m.

With a large part of this district covered by forests, Wayanad is home to some endangered species of animals, and wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers can visit the numerous sanctuaries here. The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is the second largest in Kerala and was established in 1973. Typical of the Western Ghats, the landscape of this sanctuary is mountainous and temperatures range between 17-21 degrees centigrade. The nearest airport and railway station is in Kozhikode (Calicut) from where regular buses travel to the sanctuary.

Agriculture is the main means of the economy here. Coffee, tea, pepper, cocoa, plantain, and vanilla are the main crops grown here. Besides these, rice is the most important crop in the district.

Various shreds of evidence like edicts and caves at Ampukuthimala point to the fact that the Wayanad region has existed since the beginning of the new age civilization. However, careless deforestation poses a serious threat to this land.

Best places to stay

Rooms in Wayanad remain booked between the months of February and April due to the several festivals in temples and churches. The Tree House stay in the nearby Vythiri offers comfortable accommodation in the lap of nature. There are several other resorts and cottages in the region. Some of these come with beautiful views of the surrounding area.

Best places to eat 

Restaurants attached to resorts and hotels are good options to eat. These are mostly multi-cuisine places offering both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options and remain open till 11 pm. Do not miss the chance to try the local Kerala cuisine that includes items like rice, rasam, avvial, sambhar, pal payasam, etc. There are a few cafes and eateries located on the highways that offer quick snacks, tea, and coffee. 

This popular town is famous for its wildlife and its spice plantations. Wayanad is part of a forest reserve, located on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Because of its wild green coverage, it offers refreshing beauty along with the experience of seeing wildlife. Approximately 330 species of birds, 45 species of mammals, over 55 species of reptiles and amphibians, 170 species of butterflies, and a diversity of other flora and fauna have been recorded in Wayanad.

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