Wayanad is a district located in the north-east region of the Indian state of Kerala, at the southernmost tip of the Deccan Plateau. It is known for its cool highland climate, misty peaks and virgin forests. Wayanad also played a prominent role in the history of the subcontinent. It is often called the spice garden of the south, the land of paddy fields, and the home of the monsoon.
Wayanad has become a much loved tourist destination with its rustic charm and natural beauty. Apart from the scenic drives and the green rolling hills, Wayanad’s lakes, waterfalls and mountain streams make for ideal picnic spots. Wayanad is therefore a must visit for any traveller with a soft spot for nature and her artistry.
Adventure seekers have plenty of options to choose from- trekking, camping, mountain biking, speed boating, ziplines and zorbing. Wildlife enthusiasts and bird watchers can have a time of their lives with forest trails, tree houses and wildlife safaris. Wayanad also has plenty of attractions for history and architecture lovers.
The ‘Wayanad Village Life Experience’ lets you explore Wayanad’s culture and traditions by giving you an inside scoop on Wayanad and its people. Their way of living, agrarian practices, their skills like archery, handicrafts, music and artistry are just some of the things that you will get to experience.
The rainy season is the best time to visit Wayanad if you want to see the forests, waterfalls and vegetation at its best. The double monsoons and the accompanying mists have lead to Wayanad being called “the home of the monsoon”.
Alternatively the summer months of March-May are better suited for outdoor activities and wildlife safaris. Animal sightings tend to be better in summer owing to many animals migrating to the forests of Wayanad from other reserves, in search of better water resources and prey.
Wayanad’s forests are a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, one of the 20 reserves in UNESCO’S World Network of Biosphere Reserves. It was also the first biosphere reserve to be established in India. These forests are rich in plant and animal diversity, and play a crucial role in the conservation of several rare species like the Lion tailed Macaque and the Royal Bengal Tiger. The Wayanad Wildlife sanctuary is also part of Project Elephant, which protects wild elephant populations, their habitats, and migration corridors.
Best Time to Visit Wayanad
Wayanad has a relatively cool climate with a mean temperature of 19 to 32 degree Celsius. Humidity levels are usually quite high throughout the year. Wayanad receives some of the highest rainfall levels in the country. Monsoon chasers have a double window with the South-West Monsoon usually hitting Wayanad during the June-September months, and the North-West Monsoon in October-November.
Although the temperature in Wayanad remains nearly constant throughout the year but the best time to visit Wayanad is October- May. The weather is extremely good during this period of time
Summers (March-May): Summers in Wayanad are nothing like the scorching summers of India. The temperature ranges between 20 and 36-degree Celsius. The evergreen forests surrounding Wayanad keeps the temperature of the place calm and pleasantly maintained.
Monsoon (June-October): The average rainfall received in Wayanad is 300 mm and the temperature varies from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius. The monsoon makes the forests of Wayanad greener and fresher. Although monsoon is not considered as the best season to visit as the rain shower may hamper the visit in the wildlife sanctuary of Wayanad.
Winter (October- February): This period of time is considered as the peak season to visit Wayanad. The temperature in winters remains between 10 and 25 degrees Celsius. The weather is always accompanied by the cool breeze and a bit of chill in the ambience.
How to Reach Wayanad-
- By Air
Calicut International Airport, located around 65 km away serves as the nearest airport to Wayanad. Visitors can avail direct or stopover flights till Calicut from different parts of Kerala as well as rest of India, depending upon availability. On arrival at the airport, local taxis can be availed to travel till Wayanad.
- By Road
A wide network of roads provides access to Wayanad from different parts of Kerala as well as Karnataka. Visitors can board KSRTC buses that run up to Kozhikode at frequent intervals from nearby cities like Bangalore, Mysore, Kochi, Chennai and Trivandrum. Buses till Wayanad are also available.
- By Rail
Wayanad district is not connected directly by rail. Visitors can take a train till Kozhikode, the nearest railway station to Wayanad. Quite a number of trains connect Kozhikode with major towns and cities on a regular basis. After getting down at the station, taxis or buses can be boarded to travel to Wayanad.
Places to visit in Wayanad-
- Banasura Dam
The Banasura Sagar dam, which is the largest earthen dam in India and the second largest in Asia, impounds the waters of the Karamanathodu, a tributary of the Kabini river.
- Pookot Lake
Lying just 3 km south of Vythiri is a natural fresh water lake unspoiled by human habitation and activities. The Pookode lake tourist resort is famous for its aquarium and green house. Visitors can enjoy a boat ride in its calm waters. Kayaking in the lake is another sought after activity.
- Edakkal Caves
Famous for its exquisite rock and wall carvings, this pre-historic Edakkal Caves measures 96 ft long and 22 ft wide. You need to trek for one and half hour to hit the cave entrance, and another 45 minutes to reach the mouth of the cave. Boating cost: Pedal boat (Rs 30/2 people, Rs 50/4 people), Row boat (Rs 50/4 people) and Kayaking (Rs 100/30 minutes)
- Soochipara Falls
Soochipara Falls is a three-tiered waterfall, which cascades at its best between the months of June and January. The site is also popular with rock climbers apart from picnickers.
- Kuruva Dweep
Situated on the tributaries of river Kabani is the Kuruva Island surrounded by a picturesque view of enchanting evergreen forests. The site is popular among those seeking a quiet get-away from the hustle bustle of the cities.
- Chembra Peak
With a height 2100 m, the Chembara peak is an attractive destination for Campers and Mountaineers. Many guided expeditions are conducted to the tallest summit of Wayanad.