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    Wayanad - Special Tourist Spot in Kerala

• Thirunelli   • Lakkidi

Wayanad, a district that is recognized all over for its hill-produce, Wayanad is located much above sea level at the north Kerala's eastern frontier near the Sahya mountains. It is a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of modern life. The perfectly cool weather that lingers, the wilderness of the hills and the calm moments the place offers makes Wayanad a very popular tourist destination. A trip to the Edakkal caves, with its antique sculptures, is a place worth visiting. The Muhtanga Wildlife Sanctuary and Pakshi Pathalam at the valley of Bhragiri hills provide opportunities to watch animals at close quarters and catch a glimpse of several rare species of birds. At times, one can spot tribes who still inhabit some parts of the district. The boat rides at the Pookote lake and the walk along the forest road to the ancient Thirunelli temple are famous attractions. The dense green overhang, the tea and coffee estates that skirt the spiraling roads, and the clear streams, the many waterfalls and rivers paint a mesmerizing picture.

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Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary - 16 kilometers east of Sulthaan Bathery

Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary or Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary was established in the 1970s and comes under Project Elephant. Protected forests of the neighbouring states border the 345sq km area. Visitors can spot many species of wildlife, and even observe closely herds of wild elephants. There are also many varieties of plants and herbs within the sanctuary. The forest department here arranges elephant safari for tourists.

Thirunelli - 32 km from Mananthavady and about 66 km from Kalpetta

Thirunelli Wayanad is a serene location amidst the Brahmagiri hills. With its lush vegetation and gurgling clear streams, the place presents a breathtaking picture before travelers' eyes. The climb up the dilapidated steps leading to the ancient, but powerful Vishnu temple makes a good walk. The Papanasini spring, situated a little distance from the temple is extremely famous and is believed to have sacred powers. The water from the spring is considered holy, and thus Thirunelli has earned the name 'Thekkan Kaasi', ie Kaasi (a famous pilgrim center in North India) of the south.

Pakshipathalam

Pakshipathalam, at great heights above sea level, is a location about 7 kms away from the Thirunelli temple. It is an ideal spot to take off on a trekking trail.

Many different species of birds can be located here. The huge cave here, that was once occupied by sages for meditation, is also another popular attraction at Pakshipathalam.

Edakkal Cave - 25kms from Kalpetta and 3kms from Ambalavayal

Edakkal Cave showcases one of the marvels of nature.Wayanad What is called a cave is actually a huge cleft created in a rock as a result of some natural forces. The cave is of great interest to archeologists and historians as well. The rock walls of the huge cave sports many carvings, human and animal figures and several symbols. The ancient cave and the findings there are many thousands of years old and have experts believing that it is one of earliest centers of human habitation. The amazing cave drawings match with those found only in Stiriya in the European Alps and a few rocky places in Africa.

Lakkidi - 58kms north east of Kozhikode and 5kms south of Vythiri

Lakkidi is known as the gateway of Wayanad. The way uphill to this highest location in Wayanad, is via many splendidly constructed hairpin bends. The unique location provides the beautiful place with cool climate all throughout the year. Different locations at Lakkidi offer travelers magnificent views, many at time a telescopic view of the towns in the valley below.

The villa of Kunjan Nambiar, a celebrated poet and inventor of the famous art form Ottanthullal is a major attraction of the place.

Pookot Lake

This freshwater lake is one of the most popular tourist spots of North Kerala. Boating (pedal boats and row boats) along the wide placid lake in the lush high range setting is an enchanting experience. A long walk along the path that goes all round the lake is indeed tremendously relaxing. For children, there is a lovely park. Just next to the lake there is a well-maintained aquarium and also a green house and nursery. Boating facilities are also available. There are many special shops where you can buy top quality spices (Wayanad is where most of the spices of Kerala are cultivated). An emporium nearby sells beautiful artifacts and traditional handicrafts.

Chembra Peak

This is the highest hill in Wayanad. The route to the top of the peak is a challenging trek, but the fabulous view once you get to the top makes all the effort worthwhile. The tourism Promotion Council provides equipments and aides to help tourist experience the exquisite location.

Kuruva Island - 17kilometers east of Mananathavady and 40kms north west of Sulthan Bathery

This is a lovely island on the Kabini river. The relatively untouched island that spans over 900 acres of tropical forest is slowly gaining popularity as tourist spot. Apart from many rare species of birds, orchids and herbs, one might also find tribal people who row to the island from nearby locations.

Soochippara Waterfall and Sentinel Rock Water fall

These are the most famous of the many waterfalls in Waynad. At the lovely location of Soochippara near Meppadi, there is a chain of waterfalls. Streams cascade down the Sahya mountains from a range of heights. Water rafting, swimming, bathing facilities are available at the location.

Other Attractions

The noisy waterfall at the Sentinel Rock is a spending treat to the eyes. The rock that stands a couple of hundred metres tall is perfect to try rock climbing.

Wayanad also has many famous temples. Ananthanatha Swami Temple at Puliyarmala, the beautiful Ananthaswami Jain temple near Kalpetta and the famous Glass Temple of Koottamunda are the most popular of the religious centers here.

Banasura Sagar, the largest earth dam in India and Pazhassi Tourist Resort at Mananthavady are other well known attractions in Wayanad.

Transport Facility

Air: Nearest airport is Karipur International Airport, Kozhikode which is about 97 km from Sulthan Bathery.

Rail: Nearest railway station is Kozhikode, about 97 km from Sulthan Bathery.

Road: Wayand is well connected by roads from Kozhikode, Kannur, Ooty (175 km from Kalpetta) and Mysore (140 km from Kalpetta).

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