Kerala, a South Indian state, owns its nickname ‘God’s Own Country‘ quite literally. Wayanad is a part of this beautiful jewel of a state.
Wayanad means ‘land of paddy fields’ in the local language. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in this blessed land. It comes after Munnar in popularity in Kerala’s top tourist places.
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Partly on the Western ghats, this district of Wayanad is rich in nature’s bounty. Its tranquil beauty effortlessly induces peace which is palpable in every minute particle of this place.
Though I visited this lovely place way back in 2012, after watching a song in the Tamil movie, Thanga Meengal recently, which shows Chembra Peak in all its glory, I decided to write this post.
Best time to visit: September to June (Jul-Aug are considered too wet for sightseeing and trekking activities. May and June can get hot.)
How to get there: Buses ply from Bangalore, Karnataka to Wayanad (265 kms) frequently. Rail and Air connections are only up to Kozhikode (Calicut), about 100 kms from Wayanad, you can hire a taxi from there.
Things to do: Edakkal Caves, Banasura Dam, Chembra Peak, Pookode (Pookat) Lake, Kuruva Island, Lakkidi, Muthanga Wildlife Sancutary, Meenmutty falls (dangerous in monsoon season), Soochipara Falls.
Note: It is advisable to carry an umbrella and appropriate rain gear with you. The Mudder Raincoat was super useful on my trip.
Also, check for local holidays before planning your trip. (Monday is a holiday for Edakkal Caves, which we did not know before planning and were disappointed to miss the caves on our trip as we planned to visit it on a Monday.)
My Wayanad experience
Wayanad is rich in tourist spots that cater to both nature lovers and adventure seekers. Since our tour group had people with both interests, we hired a tempo traveller for the 3-day trip we went on from Bangalore to Wayanad so that we can cover lot of places easily.
With fun people for company on this trip, I had an awesome time! Check out these group games to pass your journey time in a fun way, Fun games to pass travel time.
It was October and the weather was awesome. We got a great deal at a home stay at Kalpetta for the duration and settled in for the night after traveling to Wayanad from Bangalore.
In the morning we were pleasantly surprised to see that we stayed at a place surrounded with green paddy fields all around.
There were small hills covered with vegetation and tall majestic trees adorning parts of the land. It was a great view to wake up to.
The first day we went for an interesting trek on Chembra Peak, the highest peak in the district at about 2100 m from sea level. We took our vehicle to Meppadi, about 8 kms from Kalpetta.
On the way we had an eye feast of flourishing tea and coffee plantations.
After obtaining permission from the forest office in Meppadi, we hired a guide to lead us to the peak as the trek was a little tricky with heavy mist at times. The pass costed Rs. 500 for day trek for a group of 10 people. Trekking is allowed only from 7 am to 2 pm, visiting time is from 7 am to 5 pm.
Covered with lush green coffee and cardamom plantations, the whole mountain was simply enchanting. We took a leisurely trek and reached halfway in about an hour and a half. There we were thrilled to see a heart-shaped lake in midst of rewarding greenery. This lake is said to be always filled with water.
After taking thousands of pictures around the area, some of us opted to go up to the top of the peak, while some settled down to drinking in the beauty of the mountain from near the lake itself.
The photographers in our group had a blast by clicking pictures to their heart’s content. The views around the valley were superb. My awesome Canon Digital SLR Camera came in very handy.
It took just 3 hours to finish the trek and it was an awesome experience. Floating among the clouds and mist makes you feel pretty heavenly 😉
Later we had a tasty lunch of local specialty foods, aapam and puttu, and then started for Pookode Lake.We had a good time boating there and then left for the next stop.
On the way back, we stopped at Lakkidi to enjoy the view before we called it a day; it made a wonderful end to our already exciting day.
I could not get a decent picture as it was very misty. But this viewpoint is a must visit place for all Wayanad tourists. The mist rising out the valley, the greenery around you will make you stay there forever. But of course, the cold that engulfs you, will put a reality check 😉
The next day went for boating in the Banasura dam, and it was a thrilling experience. All donned in life jackets, we were in the middle of the vast dam when rain started lashing on our bare faces, we had fun coming back.
This falls was another beautiful and peaceful spot in this place and not to be missed.
We missed visiting Edakkal Caves, Kuruva Island (has lush evergreen forest and rare birds), Muthanga Wildlife Sancutary, Meenmutty falls, which we plan to do on our next trip.
Wayanad is definitely a wonderful place that has many fascinating spots not to be rushed through with tourist packages, but must be enjoyed at leisure for its full impact 🙂
If you have at least 5 days at your disposal you can thoroughly enjoy your visit to this gem of Kerala.