Wayanad the verdant beauty
Wayanad or Vayal Nad is a verdant beauty where one is surrounded by the hills and every drive takes you up and down the terrain through narrow roads that snake through them. Small shacks sell the famous Malabar Paratha with chicken curry, fish curry and the Tapioca, Beef Biryani for your afternoon meal pit stop. Spices, Tea and Coffee Plantations cover the hills and the mountain air has the fresh earthy smell.
When in Wayanad do not miss on these attractions that are a Must Do –
These Caves are actually stone formation that date back to the Neolithic era and are in the ranges of the Ambukuthimala. You can find engravings on the stones which depict the culture and life in the bygone era along with the Brahmi writings. You need to climb 340 steep steps to reach this place and it would take around 1 hour. The descent is fairly quick and you can reach the base in maximum thirty minutes. The security at the base would check your belongings for plastic items and tag it to ensure you bring it back. You need to pay nominal charges for entry to this archaeological site. Ensure you carry enough water as it would get hot and the climb could leave you parched. Edakkal means a stone in between and this formation is said to have formed after an earthquake hit this area.
Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary –
Take a safari into the sanctuary for some wildlife sightings. The forests are close to the Bandipur Wildlife sanctuary and you might even find animals as you drive down from Karnataka into Kerala. Elephants, Deer like sambar, spotted deer, Wild Dogs, Wild Pig, Indian Gaur are commonly found on these grounds. If you are lucky you might spot members from the cat family.
Banasura Sagar Dam
This Dam is the largest earthen dam in Asia. Vehicles are not allowed entry beyond a certain limit and you need to avail the government’s jeep service. Entry charges need to be paid and a short drive takes you to the dam. If you are interested in motor boat rides then you need to pay for the same. A ride is normally for forty five minutes and if you are lucky you might spot wildlife too. The ride takes you through the waters of Banasura Sagar dam traversing various islands covered with thick vegetation. A small park with swings tied to tall trees, flower beds and a museum are other attraction points in this area.
This place is very beautiful for its fresh green look as you are surrounded by the tea gardens 24X7. Visit the Pookot lake that is close to this town and experience a leisure pedal boat ride or Kayaking.
Village Life Experience
This initiative has been started by the Kerala Tourism Department to showcase the life of the tribal in Wayanad. A day long trip which encompasses visit to the tribal homes, interacting with the members of the tribe, lunch with the tribes is truly an offbeat experience. Go ahead and try this unique experience.
This was the place where Tipu Sultan stored his armaments to fight against the British. Hence the name Sultan Battery which over the period got converted to Sulthan Bathery. Ensure you visit the Jain temple in this prominent town.
This falls that sprays mist and gets its name from a nearby rock that is shaped like a needle is an absolute beauty to be enjoyed. A twenty minute walk downhill takes you to this cascade. Soak your fee in the chilly waters of this falls and get refreshed body and soul.
If you love cooking and are in the search of authentic stuff ensure you stuff your bags with spices like pepper, cloves, cardamom, betel nut, chilies, turmeric, ginger, tea, coffee, handicrafts made from coconut shells, tree and coir on your return from Wayanad.
Wayanad has much more in store and this list is a small slice from this wondrous place that is breathing with life.