Wayanad District came into existence on 1st November, 1980 as the 12th District of Kerala consisting of Mananthavady, Sulthanbathery and Vythiri Taluks. The name Wayanad is derived from Vayal Nadu which means the land of paddy fields.
It is a picturesque plateau situated at a height between 700 meters and 2100 meters above the mean sea level nested among the mountains of the Western Ghats on the Eastern portion of North Kerala and on the sides of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka States. The District was carved out from the then Kozhikode and Kannur Districts. About 885.92.sq.km of area is under forest.
The culture of Wayanad is mainly tribal oriented. Though considered as backward, this District is perhaps one of the biggest foreign exchange earners of the State, with its production of cash crops like pepper,cardamom, coffee, tea, spices and other condiments.
Wayanad District Map :
Thamarassery Churam :
KALPETTA – District headquarters. Ananthanathaswamy Jain temple at Puliyarmala.
VYTHIRI – Picturesque hill town at 1300 ASL.
LAKKIDI (5 km from Vythiri) – Gateway to Wayanad. 700 m ASL at the crest of Thammasseri ghat pass. Picturesque hills, gurgling streams & luxuriant vegetation on the 12 km Adivaram – Lakkidi route. Lakkidi has one of the highest rainfalls in the world.
Pookot Lake (3 km from Lakkidi) - Fresh water lake surrounded by hills. Has boating facility, children’s park, handicrafts & spice emporium, fresh water aquarium.
Chembra Peak (14 km west) – Highest peak in Wayanad -2100m ASL. Panoramic surroundings with plantations and forests. A challenging trekking route. DTPC provides guides and trekking equipment and tents on hire. Meppadi hills nearby are similar.
Varambetta Mosque (15 km east) – 300 year old mosque, oldest in Wayanad. Built in traditional Kerala style with gabled roof.
Banasura Dam (21 km northwest) – Mini hydel project with largest earth dam in India. Park with flowering trees. Islands in the reservoir. View of Banasura hills in the background.
Glass Temple at Kottamunda (20 km) – Parswanatha Swamy Jain Temple on the slope of Vellarimala. Mirrors inside temple walls reflect thousands of images of the icons of Parswanatha Swamy and Padmavathi Devi in the sanctum sanctorum.
Sentinel Rock Waterfalls (22 km south) Waterfall tumbling down a height of 20m from a hilltop at Chooralmala near Meppadi. Ideal for rock climbing.
Kanthanpara Waterfalls (12 km southeast of Kalpetta) – Small yet scenic waterfall just about 30 m in height.
Meenmutty Waterfalls (12 km east of Meppadi) – Waterfall cascading in three tiers, down a spectacular height of 50 m.
Mananthavadi (32 km) – Last resting place of Veera Pazhassi Raja, the Lion of Kerala – who organised guerilla war against the British. Pazhassi Raja died a martyr’s death and was cremated here in 1805. Forest area at 500 m ASL.
Pazhassi Tourist Resort – Picnic spot with aquarium, coin operated toys & boating.
Valliyoorkavu (3 km east of Mananthavadi) – Durga temple, very popular among local tribal communities. Ten day annual festival in April with dances & music of the tribals.
Kuruva Island (17 km east of Mananthavadi) – 950 acres of evergreen forests on Kabani river. Home to rare birds, animals, orchids and herbs. Picnic spot.
THIRUNELLI (32 km) – Maha Vishnu temple beside river Papanasini amidst Brahmagiri hills. Shrine supported by 30 granite columns; ground paved with square granite slabs.
Pakshipathalam (10 km northeast of Thirunelli) – Can sight birds from watch tower at 1740 m ASL; accessible only by trekking. Steep hills, virgin forests and rivulets; trekking place. Cave used by ancient saints for meditation nearby.
SULTHAN BATHERY - Hill station. Has fort built by Tipu Sultan in the 18th century. Ambalavayal Heritage Museum (12 km south of Sulthan Bathery) – Houses artifacts & belongings of various tribes. Exhibits include rare 2nd century clay sculptures, ancient bows and arrows, stone weapons, etc.
WAYANAD Wildlife Sanctuary (16 km from Sultan Bathery) –Rich in flora and fauna – elephants, spotted deer, gaur, sambar, sloth bear. Tribals live in & around forest area.
Edakkal Caves (12 km south of Sulthan Bathery) – Archeological site with pre-historic petroglyphs. Two natural rock shelters formed by three huge boulders, at 1000 m ASL on Ambukutty hill. Contain pictorial writings of new stone age (7000 years old), with human & animal figures in peculiar head dresses along with swastik forms & symbols. One of the earliest centres of human habitation. Accessible only by trekking 5 km from Ambalavayal.
Chethalayam Waterfalls (12 km from Sultan Bathery) – One has to trek 4 km from Chethalayam on Pulpalli main road to view the waterfall.
Soochipara Waterfalls (22 km from Kalpetta) – Three-tiered waterfall in dense forest. 2 km walk from road. Cliff face near waterfall is suitable for rock climbing.