Banasura Sagar Dam (other side) - Wayanad

Wayanad Travel Guide (2024)

Discover the hidden gems with our comprehensive Wayanad travel guide. Explore lush green landscapes, tranquil waterfalls, and exotic wildlife. Find top attractions, activities, accommodations, and more for an unforgettable journey in Wayanad.

Wayanad holds a special place in my heart in Kerala’s enchanting state. With multiple visits under my belt, each journey deepens my affection for this captivating destination. Its picturesque landscapes, inviting climate, and warm-hearted people collectively contribute to its charm.

Whether travelling with companions or venturing solo, every experience in Wayanad has left an indelible mark of delight. Moreover, it is an ideal workcation spot, boasting resorts and homestays with excellent internet connectivity and essential amenities conducive to productive endeavours.

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About Wayanad

Renowned for its breathtaking vistas and natural splendour, Wayanad is a distinguished district within the verdant landscapes of Kerala, India. Nestled at elevations ranging from 700 to 2100 meters above sea level, Wayanad boasts attractions such as the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and the historic Edakkal Caves. Aptly termed the “green paradise,” it is nestled amidst the Western Ghats.

The district encompasses three key towns:

  1. Kalpetta
  2. Mananthavady
  3. Sulthan Bathery

Optimal for exploration between October and May, Wayanad welcomes visitors with pleasant temperatures and agreeable weather conditions during this period. However, the monsoon season from June to August blankets the region in continuous rainfall.

Wayanad offers abundant hiking trails and points of interest and beckons adventurers to immerse themselves in its natural wonders. With numerous attractions, a recommended 4 to 5 days duration allows for a comprehensive region discovery. Even after two visits, Wayanad continues to unveil its treasures, indicating the depth of its allure and the richness of its offerings.

Wayanad map
Wayanad map

How to Get to Wayanad?

By Air

The closest domestic and international airport serving Wayanad is located in Calicut/Kozhikode, approximately 90 kilometres away. Calicut International Airport is a hub for various airlines, including Air India and Indigo. Travellers can easily arrange for a taxi from the airport to reach Wayanad.

By Road

Wayanad enjoys good connectivity with various towns and cities, although it’s important to note that some roads, particularly during rainfall, may be narrow and less maintained.

  • Calicut to Wayanad: Approximately 85 kilometres.
  • Bangalore to Wayanad: Approximately 290 kilometres.
  • Mysore to Wayanad: Approximately 160 kilometres.
Driving to Wayanad

By Public Transport

  • Train – The nearest train station serving Wayanad is located in Calicut/Kozhikode, approximately 85 kilometres away. For the latest information on train routes and availability, please visit the IRCTC website.
  • Bus – Wayanad’s primary bus stop is in Kalpetta, a town within the Wayanad district. For bus reservations, refer to the Redbus website.

Transportation Within Wayanad

The most convenient mode of transportation within Wayanad is by car, offering both affordability and ease, especially if you have your vehicle. However, during my second visit to Wayanad, I found myself without my car, necessitating reliance on taxi or auto-rickshaw services. While public buses are available, their schedules are not widely published, posing challenges due to language barriers.

It’s essential to exercise caution when dealing with auto-rickshaw drivers, as some may attempt to overcharge. On my initial night in Kalpetta, I hired an auto-rickshaw to reach the Windflower Resort and Spa, only to discover that I had been charged INR 800, significantly more than the standard fare of around INR 250.

Fortunately, I encountered another auto-rickshaw driver, Jason, who provided exceptional service. Jason was fair in pricing and attentive throughout our journey together, ensuring a pleasant experience despite the earlier setback.

Auto driver Jason Wayanad
Auto driver Jason

Things To Do in Wayanad

Please note: Some attractions may be temporarily closed due to road conditions or heavy rains. Before visiting these sites, verifying their status with residents or staff at your accommodations is advisable.

Banasura Sagar Dam

Situated 21 kilometres from Kalpetta, the Banasura Sagar Dam is India’s largest earthen dam and the second largest in Asia. It spans the Karamanathodu tributary of the Kabini River and is also called the Kuttiyadi Augmentation Main Earthen Dam. The dam creates a reservoir with a series of picturesque islands rising to 38.5 meters and stretching over 685 meters.

  • Accessing the dam requires guests to embark on a jeep ride, with the cost of the round trip amounting to INR 20.
Banasura Sagar Dam - Wayanad
Banasura Sagar Dam

Beecraft Honey Museum and Factory

Despite its modest size, the Beecraft Honey Museum is one of the most captivating museums I’ve ever explored. Upon arrival, visitors are warmly greeted by a guide leading them through fascinating information about bees and honey. From the various types of honey to the roles of different bees within a colony, the tour delves into intriguing topics, such as the reasons behind the changing colours of honey over time.

Of particular interest is the insight provided into the intricate workings of bee colonies, including the hierarchy featuring the queen bee and the worker bees and the meticulous process of selecting the queen bee. Witnessing the systematic nature of this process left me genuinely shocked.

  • The museum welcomes visitors daily from 9:30 AM to 8:30 PM, offering an enriching experience.
  • Admission is priced at INR 50 per person, which includes a delightful honey-tasting session, adding a sweet touch to the educational journey.
Honey museum and factory
Honey museum and factory

Chain Tree

The Chain Tree is a prominent tourist attraction steeped in local folklore and history. Legend has it that it is linked to a tribal figure named Karinthandan, a member of the Paniyas tribe. Karinthandan aided the British in navigating the mountainous terrain, only to meet a tragic end at their hands. His assistance was crucial in unveiling routes through the dense rainforests, knowledge exclusive to the local inhabitants.

Following Karinthandan’s demise, eerie incidents plagued travellers and visitors along these routes, with frequent accidents and wild animal encounters. To quell these disturbances, a priest undertook extensive efforts to bind Karinthandan’s spirit to a Ficus tree using a chain.

  • Entrance to the Chain Tree site is free of charge, allowing visitors to delve into its captivating tale without any financial barrier.
Chain tree Wayanad
Chain tree

Chembra Peak

Standing proudly at 2100 meters, Chembra Peak reigns as the loftiest mountain in Wayanad, drawing adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. Renowned for its captivating flora and fauna, this peak holds a special allure for trekkers seeking awe-inspiring experiences. Along the trail lies a picturesque heart-shaped lake known as Hridayasarassu, adding to the enchantment of the journey.

The trek to Chembra Peak spans approximately 3 kilometres one way from the starting point. It’s essential to commence the trek early and reach the starting point by 7 AM, as only 200 individuals are permitted to trek each day.

Entry to the trekking trail requires a nominal fee of INR 250 per person for joining a group or INR 850 for solo trekkers or groups, payable to the forest officials at the trail’s outset.

For optimal trekking conditions, plan your expedition between September and February. It’s advisable to avoid the monsoon season from June to August, as the trail can become perilously slippery.

View of Chembra peak
View of Chembra Peak

Edakkal Caves

Situated 25 kilometres from Kalpetta, the Edakkal Caves are a testament to ancient history, boasting pictorial writings dating back to at least 6000 BCE, attributed to the Neolithic era. These two natural caves offer intriguing insights into the lives of early civilizations, with the youngest paintings hinting at a potential link to the Indus Valley Civilization. Evidence suggests that the caves were inhabited at various points throughout history.

  • Open daily from 9 AM to 2 PM, the Edakkal Caves beckon visitors to explore their mysteries.
  • Admission to this historical site is priced at a modest INR 20 per person, offering a fascinating glimpse into humanity’s past.

Jain Temple (Mirror Temple)

The Glass or Mirror Jain Temple, dedicated to Parswanatha Swamy, the third Thirthankara of Jains, is a magnificent architectural marvel in Wayanad. Located approximately 20 kilometres from Kalpetta, this temple exudes beauty and serenity.

  • Open daily from 6 AM to 4 PM; the Glass or Mirror Jain Temple invites visitors to immerse themselves in its tranquil ambience and admire its exquisite craftsmanship.
  • Admission to this spiritual sanctuary is free of charge, welcoming all who seek solace and enlightenment.

Karlad Lake

Karlad Lake, nestled approximately 8 kilometres from Vythiri and a mere 3 kilometres from the iconic Banasura Sagar Dam, is a serene freshwater oasis, ranking as the second largest lake after Pookode Lake.

  • Welcoming visitors daily from 9 AM to 5 PM, Karlad Lake offers many recreational opportunities amidst its picturesque surroundings.
  • Entry to the lake is priced at INR 40 per adult, granting access to many activities, including boating, zip-lining, zorbing, kayaking, and more.

Embark on an adventure or unwind amidst the tranquil beauty of Karlad Lake, where moments of joy and relaxation await.

Kuruva Island

Encompassing an expansive 950 acres of land, Kuruvadweep, also known as Kuruva Island, is a pristine river delta teeming with diverse flora and fauna. This protected sanctuary is located approximately 40 kilometres from Kalpetta and is a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

  • Open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM, Kuruvadweep beckons visitors to explore its natural wonders.
  • Admission to the island is priced at INR 80 per adult, providing access to many activities, including enchanting nature walks, serene boating experiences, and exhilarating rafting adventures.

Discover the tranquil beauty of Kuruvadweep as you immerse yourself in its lush surroundings and vibrant biodiversity, creating memories to last a lifetime.

Kuruva Island Wayanad
Kuruva Island

Lakkidi Viewpoint

Nestled conveniently along the roadside, the Lakkidi viewpoint offers breathtaking vistas of the majestic mountains and winding hairpin bends on clear days. Perched at an elevation of 700 meters, this viewpoint promises awe-inspiring panoramas of the surrounding landscape.

  • Entrance to the Lakkidi viewpoint is free of charge, inviting travellers to pause and marvel at the natural beauty that unfolds before them without any financial barrier.
Lakkidi view point
Lakkidi Viewpoint

Meenmutty Waterfalls

Nestled within the Mepadi forest range, Meenmutty Waterfalls is a sprawling and picturesque cascade, drawing visitors with its natural allure. One must embark on a scenic 2-kilometre trek through the lush surroundings to reach the falls. Despite being situated in South Wayanad, it’s closer to Trivandrum city.

  • Meenmutty Waterfalls welcomes guests daily from 9 AM to 5 PM, providing ample time to soak in its beauty.
  • Admission to the falls is priced at INR 30 per adult, offering an affordable opportunity to experience nature’s grandeur.

Neelimala Viewpoint

Providing breathtaking vistas of Meenmutti Waterfalls and the surrounding valleys, the Neelimala viewpoint is a captivating vantage point and a must-visit destination in Wayanad.

  • Open daily from 9 AM to 6 PM, the viewpoint offers ample opportunities to admire the region’s natural splendour.
  • Access to the viewpoint is exclusively via jeep rides, each priced at INR 500 per jeep.

Pookade Lake

Pookode Lake, nestled in the picturesque landscapes of Wayanad district, is a serene freshwater reservoir surrounded by verdant forests. Situated approximately 15 kilometres from Kalpetta and 3 kilometres from Vythiri, this tranquil lake sits 770 meters above sea level. Boasting commercial development, Pookode Lake offers a range of activities, such as boating and kayaking, for visitors to enjoy.

  • Operating hours: Daily from 9 AM to 5 PM.
  • The entrance fee for Indian nationals is INR 40.
  • Additional charges for boating:
    • INR 300 for a 2-member boat.
    • INR 450 for a 4-member boat.
    • INR 700 for a 7-member boat.
  • Kayaking charges: INR 300 per kayak.

Tickets can be purchased at the lake’s entrance, providing access to a memorable experience amidst the tranquil beauty of Pookode Lake.

Seetha Lava Kusha Temple

Situated in Pulpally, the Seetha Lava Kusha Temple is a revered Hindu sanctuary surrounded by lush greenery in Wayanad. The temple holds deep spiritual significance and is dedicated to the deities Goddess Seetha, Lava, and Kusha. “Seetha” etymologically refers to soil or earth, symbolizing the divine connection to the land.

Constructed by Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja, a revered warrior of his era, the temple embodies rich historical and cultural heritage. Legend has it that Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore, once plotted to destroy the temple. However, Goddess Seetha intervened, shrouding the area in darkness at noon, causing Tipu Sultan and his troops to retreat without causing harm to the sacred site.

Adding to its mystique, the temple and its surroundings are notably devoid of the common leeches found in other areas of Wayanad, a phenomenon shrouded in mystery and folklore. The Seetha Lava Kusha Temple is a testament to faith and divine protection, drawing devotees and visitors seeking solace and spiritual enlightenment.

Soochipara Waterfalls

The Sentinel Rock Waterfalls, also known as Soochipara Falls, is a mesmerizing three-tiered cascade nestled in the picturesque setting of Vellarimala near Kalpetta. Encircled by lush deciduous forests, this natural wonder captivates visitors with its serene beauty.

  • Operating hours: Open daily from 8 AM to 4 PM.
  • Entrance fee: INR 80 per adult.

Explore the enchanting allure of the Sentinel Rock Waterfalls, where the soothing sounds of rushing water harmonize with the tranquillity of the surrounding wilderness.

Swing and Glass Bridge at Thollayiram

900 Kandi is a forest property at Thollayiram, approximately 13 kilometres from Meppadi. Here, visitors can marvel at and traverse a glass bridge suspended 100 feet above the ground, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Additionally, the property boasts a swing that has gained fame on social media platforms.

  • Operating hours: Open daily from 9 AM to 6 PM.
  • Entrance fees vary depending on the chosen activity, ranging from INR 100 to INR 300.

Experience the thrill of walking on the glass bridge and discover the allure of 900 Kandi’s natural beauty.

Tea Museum

An intriguing stop in Wayanad is the Tea Museum, offering insights into the rich history of tea in India since its discovery in 1911. This museum, housed in a historic building, features two levels of exhibits. The lower level showcases the fascinating history of tea, while the upper level displays equipment and tools used in tea production.

  • Operating hours: Open daily from 8 AM to 6 PM.
  • Admission: INR 50 per person.

The museum’s upper level also offers tea-tasting sessions and a tea shop where visitors can sample and purchase various types of tea. Explore the fascinating world of tea at the Wayanad Tea Museum and indulge in its aromatic delights.

Tea museum at Wayanad
Tea Museum at Wayanad

Thirunelli Temple

Situated on the slopes of the Brahmagiri hills, the Thirunelli Temple is a sacred shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Revered as a place where devotees can perform rituals from birth to death, this temple holds profound spiritual significance.

  • Operating hours: Open daily from 5:30 AM to 12 PM and 5:30 PM to 8 PM.
  • Entrance: There is no admission fee, welcoming all visitors to experience the divine tranquillity of Thirunelli Temple.

Tribal Village

En Uru, known as the Tribal Village, is Kerala’s inaugural tribal settlement, nestled within Pozhuthana village. Spearheaded by the Kerala government, this initiative aims to celebrate and preserve the rich traditional knowledge and livelihood practices of the diverse tribal communities.

  • Operating hours: Open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM.
  • Access to the village entrance is exclusively by jeep, with a return jeep ride costing INR 20 per person.
  • Additionally, there is an entrance fee of INR 50 per person to explore the village and immerse oneself in its cultural heritage. Experience the vibrant tapestry of tribal life at En Uru, where tradition meets innovation.
Tribal village Wayanad
Tribal village

Varambetta Mosque

With a history dating back approximately 300 years, the Varambetta Mosque is one of Wayanad’s oldest mosques. Nestled near Padinjarathara, it is about 15 kilometres from Kalpetta.

  • Operating hours: Open daily from 5 AM to 9:30 PM.
  • Please note that, in adherence to Islamic customs, women are not permitted inside the mosque premises.

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

Nestled in Kalpetta, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is Kerala’s second-largest sanctuary, predominantly enveloped by lush rainforests. Comprising four ranges, including the Muthanga range, this sanctuary offers a rich biodiversity to explore.

  • Operating hours: Open daily from 7 AM to 5 PM. Safaris are available at 7 AM and 3 PM, each lasting approximately 1.5 hours.
  • Entrance fee: INR 20 per person. Additionally, the Jeep Safari is available at INR 300 per person.

The summer season (April to June) is recommended as the best time to visit the sanctuary for optimal wildlife sightings. Experience the wonders of nature in the heart of Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.

Elephants at Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
Elephants at Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

Zip-Lining

One of the highlights of Wayanad is the abundance of zip-lining opportunities scattered throughout the region. The longest zip line can be found at Vellarimala, offering an exhilarating experience for adventure enthusiasts. Operated by Muddy Boots, this zip-line adventure takes place amidst the scenic backdrop of a tea plantation.

This thrilling zip-lining experience costs approximately INR 300 per person, allowing visitors to soar through the air and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Experience the adrenaline rush of zip lining in the picturesque setting of Wayanad with Muddy Boots.

Zip lining at Wayanad
Zip lining at Wayanad

Stay in Wayanad

Wayanad offers a tranquil escape for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. Its serene ambience and lush surroundings make it the perfect destination to unwind and recharge. Moreover, Wayanad boasts many luxurious resorts and accommodations catering to every need and desire.

Here are some of the Best Resorts in Wayanad, where guests can indulge in pampering and comfort amidst nature’s beauty. Whether it’s a secluded retreat amidst the hills or a lavish stay surrounded by verdant landscapes, these resorts promise an unforgettable luxury and leisure experience in the heart of Wayanad.

The Windflower Resorts and Spa, Vythiri

The Windflower Resort and Spa is a luxurious 5-star retreat in Wayanad, offering a harmonious blend of luxury and tranquillity. Nestled amidst verdant forests and coffee estates, it’s an idyllic haven for nature enthusiasts. The Windflower Resort and Spa provides many activities for guests, ensuring an unforgettable stay.

The cost for a suite or villa varies, with a villa accommodation priced at approximately INR 12,500 per night, including breakfast. Located roughly 10 kilometres from Kalpetta town, transportation via auto-rickshaw typically ranges from INR 200 to 250. Experience unparalleled luxury and serenity at The Windflower Resort and Spa, where every moment celebrates indulgence and relaxation.

The Windflower Resort and Spa at Vythiri
The Windflower Resort and Spa at Vythiri

Vythiri Village Resort

Nestled in the Vythiri region of Wayanad, Vythiri Village Resort is another prestigious 5-star establishment offering a luxurious and comfortable retreat in the heart of Wayanad. Following my stay at The Windflower Resort and Spa, I transitioned to Vythiri Village Resort and was thoroughly impressed with my experience during my nearly week-long stay. The resort excelled in hospitality, culinary delights, attentive staff, and lavish accommodations, making it an ideal destination for a productive and enjoyable workcation.

Vythiri Village Resort offers a range of accommodation options, with prices starting from INR 8,500 + taxes per night and varying based on the chosen stay. Additionally, the resort provides various activities to cater to guests’ preferences, including zip-lining, archery, cycling, indoor games, and a refreshing swimming pool. Immerse yourself in luxury and leisure at Vythiri Village Resort, where every moment is crafted for an unforgettable experience amidst the enchanting beauty of Wayanad.

Woodrose Resort, Kalpetta

While The Woodrose Resort may not boast the same level of luxury as some other establishments I visited in Wayanad, its charm and beauty were truly remarkable. Offering uninterrupted views of Chembra Peak from the rooms, it provided a serene and picturesque setting. The accommodations were comfortable, and the staff were amiable and accommodating, adding to the pleasant experience. Despite its simplicity, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at The Woodrose Resort.

The resort offers various cottage options, with the deluxe room where I stayed priced at INR 4,040. Immerse yourself in The Woodrose Resort‘s peaceful ambience and scenic beauty for a memorable retreat in Wayanad.

Woodrose Resort, Kalpetta
Woodrose Resort, Kalpetta

Tropical Forest Homestays, Lakkidi

Situated within a lush coffee plantation estate in Lakkidi, Tropical Forest Homestay offers a peaceful retreat amidst nature’s embrace. While the homestay maintains a minimalist ambience, it ensures guests’ comfort and relaxation. During my initial visit to Wayanad, I opted for this homestay and was delighted by the warm hospitality and overall pleasant experience provided by the staff.

For a one-night stay, the cost at Tropical Forest Homestay was approximately INR 800 per night, including breakfast and dinner. Embrace the serenity of nature and enjoy a comfortable stay at Tropical Forest Homestay, where simplicity meets serenity in the heart of Wayanad.

Is Wayanad Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

Wayanad offers a safe environment for solo female travellers, as I experienced firsthand during my week-long journey. Navigating the region solo, I encountered no significant issues, feeling secure throughout my exploration.

However, as with any destination worldwide, it’s prudent to exercise caution and vigilance, particularly during nighttime excursions. While Wayanad boasts a welcoming and hospitable atmosphere, prioritizing personal safety remains essential for all travellers. By staying aware and taking necessary precautions, solo female travellers can confidently embrace the beauty and serenity of Wayanad, knowing that their well-being is paramount.

Closing Notes

Wayanad is undoubtedly one of Kerala’s most breathtaking destinations. Its mesmerizing vibes and picturesque landscapes captivate visitors, making Wayanad an unforgettable experience. Wayanad offers something for every traveller to cherish, whether lush greenery, serene waterfalls, or rich cultural heritage.

For further inquiries or assistance, feel free to contact me at Solopassport@gmail.com. I’m here to help you plan your journey and maximise your time in Wayanad.

Disclaimers:

  • The prices mentioned in the post are valid only at the time of publication. Ensure that you check the booking websites for up-to-date information and prices.
  • My opinions and views are unbiased. If the post is a collaboration, then they are specifically mentioned.
  • Ensure that you check the relevant websites for up-to-date information on COVID protocols.
  • For any adventurous activities, please note that there is a risk that can be dangerous. Ensure you read the terms and conditions recommended by individual agencies and do them at your own risk.
  • For visas, it is best to see the embassy website for changing rules.
  • While using the recommended guides, auto-drivers or taxi drivers, do your due diligence and trust your judgement.

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