Wayanad is a place of mesmerizing beauty situated on the north eastern region of Kerala. The place comprises of some exotic locations and sights to behold as well as excellent opportunities for trekking and other adventure activities. There are many places to visit in Wayanad and you can choose your pick by going through this list.
The district of Wayanad is on the southern part of the Deccan plateau and this is why it comes with high and low hills in different areas. The Wayanad district is also called the “land of Paddy fields”. It is the only district of Kerala that borders both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The best feature of Wayanad is its forests. The forests of Wayanad district is more than 3000 years old, and in this article, we will tell you about some of the best locations and adventure activities you can immerse yourself in Wayanad, Kerala. Have a look!
Sights & Attractions
- Edakkal Cave
Edakkal literally means ‘a stone in between.’ This is a place with vast legends. One story suggests that this place was made with the arrows from Lava and Kushs, the children of Lord Ram. It is said to exist from the Ramayana era. Another story suggests that it has links with Goddess Mudiampilly. It is therefore worshiped and is a pilgrimage site. These caves have been linked to the Indus Valley civilization and draw the attention of archaeologists from around the world. There were 400 signs drawn inside the caves. The very recent one shows a man with a jar cup. These carvings are at least as old as the Indus Valley Civilization, suggesting this place had links with the same. If you are an enthusiast when it comes to ancient art, Edakkal Caves has to be included in your list of places to visit in Wayanad.But, do try and reach the caves around 10 PM. As the day passes, the temperature rises and you might not be able to enjoy Edakkal Caves well.
- Pookode Lake
Nestled between the forest and the Western Ghats, this place is ideal for a romantic boating getaway. It is one of the top 10 tourist destinations in Wayanad, and photographers and nature lovers will find solace in this place. It is said that this fresh water lake is in the shape of the Indian subcontinent and is filled with lotus flowers. You can also spot wild animals and rare birds around this lake. Situated 770 meters above sea level, this lake will give you a breathtaking view of the place. Panamaram is the name of the rivulet which originates from this lake and becomes Kabini River. This lake is an artificial one and you should only go here if you have covered the other attractions. I would not put this attraction at the top of places to visit in Wayanad.
- Kuruva Islands or Kuruvadweep
Lying on the tributary of the river Kabini, Kuruva islands is known for its geographical peculiarity. This place is sought by the adventurous as you will be provided boats and rafts from the Kerala board of tourism. It will take nearly two to three hours to cover the entire island in these boats. For tourists, there is a track along the jungle where you can take a walk under the bamboo trees. There are huts and benches at different places to take rest. Once again nature photographers will rejoice being in this place. There are a lot of orchids, birds, and wildlife, and a walk in the forest itself is quite an experience. Have a date with nature by visiting this natural water body out of all the places to visit in Wayanad.
- Thirunelli temple
Thirunelli temple is located 900 meters above sea level and the view from up there is spectacular. Of course, it is famous for religious reasons as well. It is called the “Kashi of the South” and is the only place where all Hindu rituals can be performed. Historically speaking, the locals believe that this place is where Lord Vishnu’s Pratistha was done by Lord Brahma; hence a lot of rituals are performed here. People also come here to perform their ancestral rites. The temple itself is built in ancient architecture and draws a lot of curious and religious minds throughout the year. There is a holy rock inside the temple where people pray for their forefathers. To revel in the spiritual and religious ambiance, you need to include this temple on your list of places to visit in Wayanad.Source: www.pilgrimaide.com
- Meenmutty waterfalls
Just when you thought there was everything that you have seen in Wayanad, it presents you with a lovely waterfall. To reach this place you will have to go through a 2km jungle trek. This might call to the soul of the adventure lovers. The falls is effectively located at Ooty main road and is a great place to have some fun while taking pictures with your friends. Meenmutty is the word for “fish” (meen) and “block” (mutty). Since it is a waterfall, it is believed to be a place where fishes got blocked and caught. But make sure you don’t go there during high inflow of water as it may be dangerous with past accounts of people having drowned. Visit this falls and splash in water to enjoy a natural habitat by including this waterfalls in your places to visit in Wayanad.
- Wayanad heritage museum
Wayanad Heritage Museum is the place where a lot of archaeological artifacts are kept. Being one of the largest museums in Kerala, it is located 12 km away from Sulthan Bathery. There are several kinds of pictorial rock edicts called Hero stones here. The Hero Stones were put upon the tombs of the heroes who died saving people. The Devasmruthi block contains relics that are as old as the Neolithic age. Local artifacts that have been recently excavated from the Malabar region have also been kept on display here. To appreciate the art and heritage of Wayand, this is a good option out of all the places to visit in Wayanad.
- Jain Temple
The Jain Temple was built in the 13th century and it was inspired from the Vijaynagar style of architecture. It is prepared fully with granite. It was a shrine and later became the storehouse for ammunition during the reign of Tipu Sultan. The Jain Temple encompasses beautifully carved pillars along with a square granite slab with carvings of Mahavir Jain. People who visit find the ambiance serene and rejuvenating. The temple is the proof of the presence and stronghold of Jains in the region once upon a time.
Image Source: http://www.chaliyarresorts.com
- The Lakkidi Viewpoint
This is the gateway of Wayanad. It is located on the Thamarassery Ghat pass. Looking closely, you will observe there are nine hairpin curves through steep mountains starting from Adivaram. It is a great vantage point with awesome scenery. It is also called one of the highest locations of Wayanad. It was once the secret route used by the Adivasis of Wayanad. An English engineer, with the help of a local chieftain, identified the route through the ghats. There is a number of exotic wildlife which you can find here such as the Lion-taled Macaque, and rare birds like the Little Cormorant, Green Heron and Pond Heron. If you prefer going to places to visit in Wayanad with a view, do include this attraction to your list.
- Neelimala Viewpoint
This is a beautiful viewpoint from the Meenmutty falls. Right from the checkpoint of the hills, you can watch the green landscape and the foggy peak of the hills. The river streams flowing down add more to its scintillating beauty. You can call it as a perfect natural landscape which is also a good spot for trekking. Again, a good option from the places to visit in Wayanad if you like view points.
- Soochippara waterfalls
The waterfalls at Soochippara gush down from a height of 100 to 300 meters. The waterfall is popular for swimming, rafting, and even lounging in the river at times. Around the region, you will find a lot of tree top huts which offer a treat to the eyes. The overall view of Soochippara waterfalls combined with the Western Ghats is just top notch. Most tourists love to take some lazy time off and enjoy this amazing view around the waterfalls. The Soochippara Waterfalls do allow you to swim in calm waters. So, do include it in your places to visit in Wayanad if you like staying with nature.
- Pazhassi Raja Tomb
It is a very popular picnic spot in Wayanad. This place comes with an aquarium within the lush surroundings where you can avail boating facilities. The best feature of this region is the tall brooding trees and shrubs. It was also the cremation point of Pazhazzi Raja; he was known for his bravery and was popularly called as the “Lion of Kerala”. He was the one who initiated guerilla warfare against the East India Company in Kerala. In this spot, he was cremated in 1805, and thus this place is called Pazhassi Raja Tomb. Take a dip in history by visiting this out of the places to visit in Wayanad.
Pakshipathalam is located in the Brahmagiri Hills at Thirunelli. This is a challenging spot for tourists to reach as it requires you to cover 1 kilometer through wild forests, but is all worth the effort. You get to see a lot of deep rock caves on your way at the northern top end of Brahmagiri hills. These are the locations of various migratory birds and wild beasts. However, you need to get special permission from the Forest Department to go to Pakshipathalam. Apart from that, you will also need guides and proper camping equipment. Pakshipathalam can be tagged as an easy to moderate trek. However, in monsoon season, the trekking trail gets slippery and a bit tough. The trekking trail has a lot of snakes in monsoon as told by the homestay where I stayed while visiting Wayanad. So, be extra cautious and wear proper gears if you want to include this trek in your list of places to visit in Wayanad during monsoon. Of course, the trail will be very green and flourished in monsoons.
- The Phantom Rock
The place is 13 Kms away from Kalpetta. It is a short uphill climb that leads you to the edge of the hill. From here you will see the strange rock formation. It is almost like a skull that sits on top of the hill. The question that everyone asks is, how is that rock so well balanced on top of that hill? Because the rocks below it are smaller in size. It is really sad that the beautiful hills are torn apart to attain granite. And this is what makes the overall hills look more crippled than the Phantom Rock. You need to visit this attraction out of all the places to visit in Wayanad to understand how amazing nature can be!
14. Karapuza Dam
Now, this dam might not be one of the top sights out of all the places to visit in Wayanad. But, I am adding it here as we had a unique experience here. it was a torrential rain pouring on the Wayanad landscape and we visited Karapuza dam after the sun set. The rains and water body at Karapuza Dam created a great combination of raindrop music. The thunders roaring in the sky, along with lightning streaks made the entire atmosphere electric! We just let our hair down and soaked in rain. An awesome experience! As it was a rainy night, I wasn’t able to click any pictures.
- Trek to Chembra Peak
The trek to Chembra Peak is quite adventurous – you have to cross the grasslands and the dense forests first. Only then after a two-hour climb can you reach the top of Chembra. The best time to trek through this place is during the early mornings. You can reach the top mid-morning and enjoy the sight of the terrains atop this 6,900 feet mountain. Halfway through the journey, you will notice a lake in the middle of the mountain. This lake never dries and is a beautiful sight. At present, trekking during summer is prohibited. But summer or otherwise, it is always best to get the authority’s permission before trekking here. If you are interested in trekking, you need to include Chembra peak in your places to visit in Wayanad. To read more about my trekking experience to Chembra peak, read this blog: Trek to a heart shaped lake, Chembra Peak.
- Night camping with campfire
Wayanad is the perfect place to arrange a campfire in. at night the entire area transforms into something else. You will be left awestruck to see how this place is one way in the morning and entirely something else at night. You have to arrive at Chundale (near the meeting point) at 5 pm. Later, you are taken to the camp site. What do you do here? You gaze at the stars, share some memories by the campsite and tell stories that give you goosebumps in the middle of the forest! The lush green Bansura forests will engulf you and is a raw forest experience that will leave you in awe. You should definitely try camping in the dense forest of Wayanad. These campsites can be beautiful places to visit in Wayanad to stare at the night stars.
- Wildlife safari
There are many places where you can go for a wildlife safari in Wayanad. But the most popular of them is Tholpetty and Muthanga. Tholpetty is known for its vast wildlife region and Muthanga is a wildlife sanctuary. Most of the trees here are deciduous and at the sanctuary, you can spot peacocks, owls, cuckoos, babblers and jungle fowls. At Tholpetty you view the same animals. Both the sanctuaries are separated by tea plantations. It takes nearly 2-4 hours to cover the entire area, so the time slots are usually 3-5 pm and early morning 7-9 am for tourists. For the best experience, visit this place from November to May months of the year.
- Tea plantation stay experience
Imagine living right in the middle of tea plantations and seeing the valleys covered in fog in the morning. This is the experience this place is going to give you. There are also many activities like trampoline jumps, plantation walks and outdoor gaming options here. But the best thing about this place is staying overnight in the middle of tea plantations and gazing the valleys encapsulating you from all around. These tea plantations make amazing places to visit in Wayanad and to experience the best of nature.
- Cycling tour in Wayanad
Get on with your gang and go cycling among the tea plantations. The plantation trails are rugged and wavy which bikers can enjoy. 2-3 hours of unrestricted biking here opens views you didn’t know existed. There are lush green forests and wildlife you can discover on the way. If you want to catch some scenery all by yourself, this is a golden opportunity. The countryside and villages here make great places to visit in Wayanad and you should definitely experience these tours on two wheels while the mist envelops the farms.
- Spice trail of Wayanad
The Wayanad Spice trail looks and feels exactly like a kitchen full of aromatic smells. There are spice smells from the plants all around. You can directly talk to the farmers here for an oversight. The steep stairs and big boulders are also ideal for photography sessions. INclude the spice plantations in your list of places to visit in Wayanad and enjoy the flavor and aroma of spices.
- The river trails of Wayanad
Well, if you don’t visit the river trails through the Kabani River then you will miss out a major part of your tour. Exploring the islands scattered over water on speedboats or hand pulled boats offers a mesmerizing experience. You will enjoy the beauty of nature as you raft along the river. While you are traversing the river, especially near the river ferries you can enjoy the scenic view of villages and breathe in the fresh air. These rivers make great options for places to visit in Wayanad.
- Rainforest trekking
Trust me you will definitely not want to miss it. Tell me, would you want to miss out the thrill and adventure when you see herds of elephants passing by very close to you? Surely not! You can listen to the various calls of birds in the wild. The guides from the local community will help you pass through these trails. You will observe a variety of footprints from animals and the guards can help you identify them. It is a one-day long trek to Nilambur forest from Meenmutty. The trail is steep and offers magnificent views of nature.
- Boating/picnic near Banasura Sagar Dam
The Banasura Sagar Dam is also the largest earthen dam in India and the second largest in Asia. The dam is located on the foggy hills with a wildlife sanctuary. It also includes innumerable flowering trees. There are boating facilities here you can choose and also opt for a picnic near the dam. You should definitely include Banasura Dam in your list of places to visit in Wayanad if you like vast landscapes.
- Trek to Sahibkkunnu
Sahibkkunnu is a land of dense forests where the wilderness will amaze you. The exciting trek is just for 7 hours and the steep ascents towards the top will make this trek a memorable one for you. From there you can enjoy a drive through the foothills of Banasura ranges. This landscape tops the list of places to visit in Wayanad for adventure enthusiasts.
- Stream walk and river dipping experience
Located on the Begur-Theopetty forest area, this is just the perfect spot if you want to spend the night in the wilds. The Kalindi River is clear here with fewer tides, so you can swim or walk across the river along the stream. You can walk down the Kalindi River that weaves through the jungle and spend a great afternoon with your loved ones. You can even take a dip in this river. Take a dip at these places to visit in Wayanad and let yourself enjoy your time.
- Bamboo rafting in Kuruva Island
For once, you have to indulge in Bamboo Rafting in Kuruva Island. There is no other way to feel the lush forested regions and explore the beautiful river streams. The river is located in between tributaries of the river Kabini which flows through Wayanad district. But you need to get the life jackets before you set off for the waters. As you move along the river, you will witness pure greenery and stunning sights of the island. If you are including Kuruva Island in your places to visit in Wayanad, you should surely enjoy this experience
27. Uravu Bamboo Craft Trail & Workshop
Meet the artists who work on Bamboo craft for a living and get to know about this cottage industry flourishing in Wayanad. The village where this Bamboo craft trail is organized makes a great inclusion in places to visit in Wayanad. You can attend a workshop here with the artisans and learn about their skills and expertise.
28. Stay in a forest stay amidst nature
A perfect inclusion in your places to visit in Wayanad is your own stay. Imagine staying amidst lush green forests, waking up to chirping birds and a mist of envelope covering your balcony rail. If you select your stay wisely, you have a great inclusion in your places to visit in Wayanad already! I stayed in Mountain Dew Homestay and I would greatly recommend it.
I hope you liked my suggestions. It would be great if you have more additions to recommend. Do feel free to asking questions or share your experience in the comment section below. You can also reach out to me to know about any places to visit in Wayanad, experiences in Wayanad or recommended stays and I will be glad to help you out.