In the north-eastern region of Kerala, God’s own country, is the serene Wayanad district. Nestled in the lush green Western Ghats, this region will soon complete forty years of being officially recognised as a district. However, this region’s history dates all the way back to the Neolithic age which occurred 6000 years ago. With its intriguing history, tribes, plantations, rivers and scenic locations, Wayanad is every bit a traveller’s paradise.
The most unique experience that one can have at Wayanad is visiting the Edakkal caves which house engravings on rock from the Neolithic age. An hour-long trek on the Ambukutty Mala hill will lead you to the Edakkal caves. The rock engravings depict scenes from the life of humans back then which suddenly makes the visitor feel like a small speck in the scheme of things and the passage of time.
Wayanad is home to some sprawling tea estates that produce incredible blends. You can choose to take walks through the permitted paths of the plantations or hop on to a bicycle, let go of your worries and let beauty take over. There are a number of coffee plantations in the region as well. Perhaps the best way to enjoy their beauty is to book a home stay or a small resort that is situated in the midst of the plantation and literally soak in your tea or coffee. Now, who can refuse that offer!
Being situated in the ghats makes Wayanad a trekker’s haven. There are a number of trekking points and whether you are an ametuer or an avid trekker, you’ll find an exciting trek to match your ability. The Chembra trek is an easy but 4 hour long trek that is worth every effort that it demands. The greenery, the fresh air and the view reward and soothe the tired mind and body. If you are a budding naturalist, a seasoned ornithologist or a photographer, Pakshipathalam is a must do. This moderately difficult trek takes you through meadows, forests and grasslands where you can spot migratory and native species of birds by the dozens. The Kalladi forest trek is challenging and takes you through cardamom forests. The Banasura trek reveals the Kuruva island on the Kabini river. The island is a short raft-ride away from the mainland and is an experience that you will perhaps not have anywhere else.
Wayanad has, for a long time, remained to be Kerala’s well kept secret and has only recently received the adulation it deserves. The next time you are considering a trip that will take you straight into the lap of nature, you can head straight to Wayanad.
How to get there:
Wayanad is well connected by road to different parts of Kerala and Karnataka. The state transport busses plying to Wayanad are available from Bangalore, Kochi, Chennai and Trivandrum.
Due to the hilly terrain, Wayanad is not very well connected by trains. The nearest railway station is at Kozhikode. A number of trains connect Kozhikode with major towns and cities on a regular basis. Taxis and buses are available at the station to travel to Wayanad.
Calicut International Airport, located around 65 km away, is the nearest airport to Wayanad. One can find direct or stopover flights to Calicut from different parts of Kerala and various parts of India. Local taxis can be hired to travel to Wayanad.