Wayanad, which is also known as the green paradise lies in between the mountains of the Western Ghats. It is called the green paradise because it forms the border of the greener portion of Kerala. It lies at a distance of 76 km from Kozhikode.
Wayanad district is located on the southern tip of the Deccan plateau and in the north-eastern part of Kerala. It is at a short distance from popular tourist destinations like Ooty, Kannur, Bangalore, Mysore and Coorg.
History of WayanadWayanad is spread over an area of 2132 sq km and includes three talukas, namely, Mananthavady, Sulthan Bathery and Vythiri. The headquarters of the district is situated at Kalpetta. Wayanad District was formed on November 1, 1980 as the 12th district. It has been formed from the Kozhikode and Kannur districts. Wayanad means 'Land of Paddy Fields'.
Wayanad has a rich history and the hills of Wayanad have several evidences of the New Stone Age civilisation. There are pictures and pictorial writings on the walls of both the caves of Ampukuthimala, which lie between Sulthan Bathery and Ambalavayal, that provide crucial information about the past era and civilisation.
In ancient times, Wayanad was under the rule of the kings of the Veda tribe. Later its control came into the hands of the Pazhassi Rajahs of the Kottayam Royal Dynasty. After becoming the king of Mysore, Hyder Ali invaded this land and brought it under his control. However, it went back to the Kottayam Royal Dynasty during the reign of Tipu Sultan.
Numerous changes were seen in Wayanad, after it came under the British rule. Tea and other cash crops were cultivated in the plateau and roads were also built from Kozhikode and Thalassery, across the risky slopes of Wayanad.
People & Culture in WayanadThe famous tribal events and folk dance performances by tribes are hosted between February and May. Wayanad celebrates Onam, a famous festival during August- September. Other main festivals celebrated in Wayanad include Maha shivaratri and Vishu.
Things to do in WayanadToday Wayanad is a popular tourist destination in Kerala with numerous attractions such as Chembra Peak, Edakkal Cave, Kuruva Island and Lakkidi, which is the highest point in Wayanad.
Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, Pakshipathalam, Pazhassi Raja Tomb, Pookot Lake, Sentinel Rock Waterfalls, Kanthanpara Waterfalls, Soochippara Waterfalls and the Banasura Sagar Dam are other places of interest.
This place is also famous for a number of temples such as Sulthan Bathery Jain Temple, Thirunelli Temple, Valliyoorkavu Temple, Sita Lava-Kusha Temple and Thrissilery Shiva Temple. It also has a popular church known as the Pallikkunnu Church, which is devoted to the Lourdes Matha.
Wayanad has a healthy weather throughout the year, however best time for sightseeing is between October and February. During March to May Wayanad experiences hot but pleasant weather, suitable for exploring the forest area. Tourists who enjoy rains can opt to visit between June and September with the maximum temperature hitting up to 30 °C, accompanied with heavy winds and rain falls.
Food & Shopping in WayanadSpecial cuisines of Wayanad include Poricha kootu, Moru kootan, Avvial, Pal payasam and many more. However, tourists can have customized food as per their needs, such as north Indian, Biryani, purely vegetarian food, Jain cuisine, etc.
Wayanad is well known for the spices of Kerala. Wayanad has shopping centers where tourists can take home the spices of Kerala, different flavours of tea and coffee. Wayanad is famous for crafts made of coconut shells, ivory, canes, wood, Bamboo articles and metals which can be shopped.
Travelling to WayanadWayanad is well connected by road, rail and air. Kozhikode serves as the closest airport and railway station to reach Wayanad, at a distance of 98 km. Wayanad is well connected by roads from Kozhikode, Kannur, Ooty and Mysore. There are regular bus services from major cities like Bangalore, Chennai and Trivandrum up to Kozhikode. From here tourists can hire cabs or board bus to reach their destination.
Travelling within WayanadTourists can hire cabs or auto riskshaws to travel within the city. Cab drivers usually charge per km which is around Rs 7-8 per km. Also, there are numerous of state run government buses to reach different places in the city. For short trips, tourists can hire cycles and roam around the city. Cycles cost around Rs 50 per hour.
Accommodation Options in WayanadWayanad offers numerous accommodation options suiting the budget of all kinds of travellers. Hotels in Wayanad are located away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. The cottages and bungalows are designed in a traditional style preserving the heritage of Kerala. Tourists can also opt to stay in a tree house for a one of its kind experience.