Wayanad, a lush, getaway in Kerala is increasingly becoming popular with the evolved traveller in india. It is not the usual touristy destination, but is quieter and versatile for those who know exactly the kind of holiday they want to have. There are hills, heritage sites, wildlife, plantations and a whole lot of Kerala to explore. There is scope for those who want a laidback, relaxing holiday, and there’s lots to do for those looking for action-packed vacation.
Trekking to Chembra Peak
Chembra Peak is one of the best destinations for trekking. A walk up takes about 3 hours one way, and once you reach the top, there’s a perennial heart-shaped lake known as “Hridhayathadak”. It is one of the best and popular attractions of Wayanad. Chembra is a trekker’s paradise. You are bound to come across waterfalls, forests and elephants on your way to Chembra, Wayanad’s highest peak. You could trek the whole way or park your vehicle at the base of the hill and undertake the 4 km climb. Enjoy the spectacular view.
You can’t go to Kerala and not experience an elephant ride. There are varying points from where one can go to and take rides into the forest. There are also night elephant rides. It is the best way to see a forest.
Kerala is synonmous with spices, Vasco Da Gama opened the spice route from Kerala, and now many small scale farms grow spices, ranging from ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, pepper. Take a tour to these gardens, hotels in Wayanad can arrange visits to spice farms, as well as many organic farms that have mushroomed in the area, you also have the option to have a local meal at the end of your tour.
Shopping In Wayanad
From silk sarees to ethnic Kerala jewellery, Wayanad is a good place to discover the all that authentic Kerala has on offer. Shop for spices (such as pepper and elaichi) available in any local market, and organic honey sourced from farms. You can also buy jackfruit and dried banana chips, another Kerala speciality. Also, scour the bazaars for bamboo wares and decorative gifts that are woven by villagers.
Visit what is believed to be the only Sita Devi Luv Kush Temple. According to the epic Ramayana, Sita came to live here and had her children. Traditionally built, it follows age-old ways of doing puja.
For those interested in wildlife, go to Tholpetty. The sanctuary is still unknown to the hordes of tourists. Here, you can spot deer, elephants, bison, leopard and the tiger. Take jeep safari that starts in the mornings, around 6/7 am and lasts for around three hours plus.
For those interested in heritage, the Edakkal caves are a must visit. One needs to trek up 300 steps to reach the caves. The walls have drawings dating back to the prehistoric times. The drawings also point at the many dwellers who lived in the cave over the years. An half hour drive (20km) gets you here. Apparently, it was inhabited during the time of the Indus Valley Civilisation.
Elephant Camp Visit
Muthanga is a rain forest that is being developed as an eco-tourism destination. Through visits to the elephant camp, jeep safaris, tribal folklore the forest department hopes to create awareness about conservation to the visitors. Expect, elephant, tiger, panthers, jungle cats, civet cats, monkeys, wild dogs etc. The sanctuary is also blessed with its endless population of birds like peacocks, babblers, cuckoos, owls, woodpeckers and jungle fowls.