20 Best Things to Do in Wayanad
Seducing you to go vacationing on a weekend is Wayanad, the small yet scenic district in Kerala. Beat the heat in the hilly Malabar region to experience the refreshing climate and traditional lifestyle of the place. Being the only district in Kerala which shares its border with both the neighbouring states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, it is a famous tourist destination in India.
Here is a list of things to do and see in Wayanad that will introduce you to the mesmeric beauty of the swaying paddies, dense forests, hillocks and unhindered beauty.
Some of the must do things in Wayanad:
1. Chembra Peak - Home to a heart shaped lake
Image credit: Karthik narayana
Bestowed with verdant hills, Wayanad offers a unique hiking experience. Towering at around 6,900ft, Chembra Peak is amongst the most popular trekking spots in Kerala. To get here, you have to reach the forest office located 5km from Meppadi town.
Once the permission passes for trekking are acquired, you can proceed towards the peak; it is always wise to seek prior permission for the same. Halfway to the peak, a heart shaped lake that never dries will catch all your attention for sure!
Locally named Hridaya Saras, it is also one of the most sought after destinations in Wayanad. Hiking around 2km from the lake, you will reach the Chembra Peak from where you can enjoy panoramic views of Vaithair, Karapuzha Dam and Banasurasagra Dam.
2. Pakshipathalam Caves - A thing of mystery
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Soaring at a height of 1,740m and buried deep in the woods, the mysterious Pakshipathalam Caves are located at the northern end of Brahmagiri Hills. These caverns are deep rock caves, made among the thick rows of boulders that form the shelter for various birds and wild beasts.
Legend has it that the caves were used by saints for meditation. One of the best things to see in Wayanad, this cave also houses some exotic species of avifauna which you can catch sight of in the bird watching tour. In addition to birds and beasts, this site is also home to the rarest seen species of bats.
3. Cycling in Wayanad - Old charm retrieved
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Though, trekking is considered one of the most exciting things to do in Wayanad, cycling through the rock-strewn and less frequented paths of Wayanad is thrilling too. Riding through the dewy tea estates, pictorial coffee plantations, rugged terrains and the lush green meadows is itself a refreshing experience!
As Wayanad shares its border with the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, you can also traverse down the paths that lead to the tea estates of Nilgiri in Tamil Nadu. Depending on your cycling skills, you can also chose the most befitting routes for you. However, some of the best routes originate from Chundale and Kalpetta regions of Wayanad.
4. Bamboo Processing at Uravu - ‘Green Gold’ for the Indian economy
Image credit: Michal dokoupil
If this is not exciting enough, check out the bamboo factory at Uravu! In addition to being one of the most interesting things to see in Wayanad, it is also an example of how to build a self-sufficient economy for the society. Located in the Thiraikkaipetta settlement of Wayanad, the motto of Uravu is that bamboo is the ‘green gold’ for the Indian economy and needs to be efficiently utilised.
The factory recruits locales of the village to teach them the arts and crafts of bamboo processing and so they can be financially independent. The many bamboo products sold are spice boxes, lampshades and rainmakers that are bought as souvenirs by tourists. There are also various programs held to promote the bamboo sector.
[Check out offbeat stays in Wayanad]
5. Trek to Sahibkkunnu - Named after a demon
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Seven hours of a tough trek up from the foothills of Banasura Ranges leads one to Sahibkkunnu in Wayanad. It is believed that the name of the place was derived from the fables or old folklores associated with a demon. Embark on your journey from the foothills of Banasura Ranges that serve as the base of this trek followed by steep slopes, deep valleys, mountain streams and captivating views of the surroundings.
Deep thickets, green pastures and the blazing sun welcome you to the hilltop, from where you can enjoy the panoramic views of the peaks and the entire valley underneath.
6. Trek at the Valley of Clouds - Elevate to cloud 9
Image credit: P P yonus
Those who like a bit of adventure can opt for a trek to the Valley of Clouds in Wayanad. Moderate in nature, expert as well as amateur trekkers both undertake the hike. Usually, a dewy tea garden in Meppadi would serve as your base. Accompanying you on your journey are the aromatic cardamom forests, meadows and other gems of nature.
[Click here for the best homestays in Wayanad]
You might also come across a gurgling stream for a chilly dip. The climb leads you to the edge of the valley sprinted with tall elephant grass making it one of the most riveting experiences in Wayanad.
7. Hike to Kurisumala Peak - The mountain of cross
Translated as the ‘Mountain of Cross’ or 'Amrithamedu', Kurisumala is a pilgrim centre and a trekker's delight. The hills are climbed to denote the trouble that Jesus Christ underwent in the last phase of his life and the cross is believed to be a symbol of his sufferings.
Sudden ups and downs during the climb make this trek one of the most enthralling things to do in Wayanad. As one goes up the hill, rough terrain laces the pathways, however on arriving at the peak, trekkers are rewarded with stunning views of the cross and the surroundings.
[Check out Kurisumala Peak Hiking tour]
8. Trek Through Kalladi Forest - The alluring cardamom forest
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Trek through picturesque tea gardens and spice estates to woody rain forests of Wayanad. Pass through the deep thickets to an unimaginable height and meet nature at its flaunting best. Start from the base of the Chembra Ranges. The fragrance of the Cardamom Forest or the Kalladi Forest comes wafting through.
Pave your way through the enormous trees in the forest for about 6 hours after which you will witness the mountains cradling the misty valleys. Under shady luxuriant trees, in the midst of scented grooves, where ancient rhythm plays in the form of chirping birds, it is a brilliant spot to pitch your tents or build tree houses.
[Book Now Kalladi Forest trek]
9. Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary - Tryst with the wild
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In the midst of green trees, spread across 344 kilometres of land is the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. It consists of two wildlife sanctuaries - Tholpetty in the north and Muthanga in the southeast.
Tholpetty wildlife sanctuary is an integral part of the Nilgiri biosphere reserve. The aim of this place is to preserve the biological heritage of the region. Stretches of swamps, teak forests, bamboo plantations, tall grasslands, rare herbs and medicinal plants are the treasures of these forests.
10. Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary - Wildlife safari thrills
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Part of Project Elephant site as well as Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Muthanga is an ideal elephant sighting spot. Numerous other species of birds, butterflies and insects can also be spotted in this sanctuary. If you are lucky, you might even spot herds of elephants, spotted deer, bison, malabar squirrels and leopards in the sanctuary.
Undoubtedly, one of the most thrilling things to do in Wayanad, a safari in the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is rewarded by fascinating sights and glimpses into Kerala's wildlife.
11. Neelimala View Point - Pictorial scenery
Image credit: Hari menon
Do you love trekking? This is the place that promises trekkers with captivating views by taking them through coffee plantations, up till the Neelimala View Point. Aromatic ginger and areca nuts amalgamated with the fragrance of coffee all around, enriches the uphill journey.
The way to the peak is dotted with scenic waterfalls, picture-perfect hills, charismatic views of the valley and rich flora and fauna.
12. Visit the Edakkal Caves - A brush with history
Image credit: Vinayaraj
The Edakkal Caves, one of the oldest sources in Wayanad that depict prehistoric etchings, is located around 1,200m above the sea level. Over the years, these caves have become crucial in the study of the evolution of mankind.
A visit to these caverns is all about peeping into the period when the human species used to dwell in caves and were imaginations away from what we are today.
13. Banasura Sagar Dam - Boating
Image credit: Challiyan
The largest earth dam in India, Banasura Dam is one of the major attractions in Wayanad. With the Banasura Hills serving as the backdrop, the beauty and allurement of the dam gets intensified to a greater height. Conducted daily between 9:00AM to 5:00PM for around 20 minutes, one can avail pedal as well as speed boats too.
One of the best things to do in Wayanad, these boat rides is the most convenient way to witness and explore the scenic beauty of the Banasura Dam.
[For more information: Boating in Banasura Sagar Dam]
14. Explore the Kuruva Islands on Bamboo Rafts
Image credit: Vinayaraj
A group of three scenic islands, the Kuruva Islands is located in the middle of a tributary in Kabini River. Located around 40km from the Banasura Hills, these cluster of islets can be easily accessed by small boats, bamboo rafts or fibre boats.
Amongst all these, the bamboo rafts are the most popular options to visit these islands in order to have a glance at the ambrosial beauty of the islands. Offering a rustic charm and feel of Kerala's local life and culture, these rafts take visitors through some of the most remote areas.
15. Tea Estates - Stroll through picture-perfect gardens
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Take a long walk through the green agricultural district of Kerala that produces some of the favourite blends of tea in the country. Strolling through these tea estates, you will get acquainted with the tea culture of Wayanad. Primarily located in the Kalpetta region, most of these plantation areas are run by the primitive tribal population.
Thus a visit to these scenic plantations also allows you to delve into the lives of the locals and know more about their cultures and traditions.
16. Vythiri Village Resort - A tree house experience
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The Winner of the International Quality Crown Award, Vythiri Village Resort is a peaceful green forest getaway. Veiled with the green thickets of Wayanad, the village resort treats its guests with an array of delights. While the Spa here presents a choosy range of traditional and modern treatments in an immaculate environment, the four tree houses of the resort serve as the main attractions.
For a unique experience, you can live in a ‘Luxury Tree House’, at a height of 70ft and decked with a Jacuzzi. Another facility that a tree house resident can avail is the Jeep Safari to the nearby places.
17. Pookode Lake - Boating
Image credit: Rameshng
Unravel the magical charm and appeal of a natural freshwater lake while pedalling over the placid waters with your family and friends! When in Wayanad, make it to Kalpetta from where you can easily reach Pookode Lake, one scenic marvel in the region and indulge in boating.
Also, a home to several exotic species of birds, boating in this lake is one of the most appealing things to do in Wayanad.
18. Kuruva Island - A scenic walk of leisure
Image credit: Mrriyad
If bamboo rafting around Kuruva Islands is not your cup of tea, you can opt for a leisurely walk around the island and discover its opulent beauty. Spreading over 950 acres, the lush green ambience of Kuruva is the flourishing ground for several rare species of flora and fauna.
While the salubrious views of the forests offer a riveting experience, the breeze in the islands will help you relax and rejuvenate your mind and soul. It is also here where you can witness a myriad range of birds and several other wildlife species.
19. Home Stay - Experience a night
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One of the best ways to delve into the lives of the local people is by experiencing a night of their homely hospitality. The homestays here are known for their warm and generous services, homely vibes and native charms.
[The Annapara Homestay is a retreat for those looking to relax and unwind]
Also, as most of these stays are located near major tourist destinations, they allow visitors to explore and discover the beauty of Wayanad to a greater extent.
20. Visit to Soochipara Falls - A nature's marvel
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A visit to a 300ft waterfall nestled amidst scenic forests is an experience of its own kind. Located in Vellarimala, a visit to Soochipara Falls is one of the pleasurable things to see in Wayanad. Be it the gushing waters or the mystical beauty that prevails here, everything about this waterfall is enchanting. Also known as the 'Sentinel Rock Waterfalls', one has to undergo a brief security check at the entrance of the cascade.
Wayanad, one of the greenest places in the country boasts of its mesmeric beauty and natural marvels. Be it the engrossing trekking routes, cycling pathways, camping experiences, wildlife tours or waterfall visits, Wayanad is one of the best holiday destinations for you to visit on a weekend.