Nestled in the Western Ghats, over 2,000 metres above sea level, in North-Eastern Kerala, is Wayanad – a precocious little paradise. If Kerala is God’s Own Country, Wayanad is pretty much His personal backyard. Unblemished by urban clutter, it lets you disconnect from the noise of everyday life, whilst offering the kind of luxury the most discerning of travellers will appreciate.

Steeped in culture and heritage, the region was called Mayakshetra (Maya’s land) in its earliest records. Historians believe that the Wayanad forests have been inhabited for more than 3,000 years.

Its misty mountains, crystal clear lakes and lush tropical greenery combine to offer you some of the most breathtakingly beautiful vistas you’ve ever beheld.

Wayanad offers so much in the way of tourist marvels, whistle-stop travellers will seldom find it easy to experience them all in one go. However, we’ve put together some of the regions most eclectic attractions for you here.

A boat, a paddle and Wayanad

For a hill-station Wayand has an unusually large number of lakes and inland water bodies; their cerulean blue waters calm and inviting. If you’re a boating enthusiast, you’ve come to the right hill-station.

The Banasura Sagar Dam, located amidst misty hills and a wildlife sanctuary is the largest earthen dam in the country and the second-largest in Asia. Take a boat-ride to the foliage-strewn islands at its centre or opt for a picnic by the shore.

Pookode lake, Karalad lake and the Karapuzha Reservoir are other excellent locales for such activities.

If you do happen to venture near the latter, we recommend a stay at Amaryllis. A beautiful resort with a spectacular view of the Karapuzha backwaters, and staff that does its best to make you feel like you’re visiting family.

A peek into a bygone era

If you’re in Wayanad, it would be an absolute shame to leave without visiting the Edakkal Caves. Edakkal’s pictorial cave paintings were created circa 6,000 B.C. and the place is one of the oldest discovered habitats of human society. Intricate carvings from the Neolithic and Mesolithic ages depict ancient human and animal forms, tools, weapons and symbols.


About 25 kms away from Kalpetta, to reach these caves you’ll need to trek for an hour through the Ambukuthi mountain range. While the caves themselves make this trek worth it, for the ardent nature lovers, Wayanad is the gift that keeps on giving.

Relatively close to Edakkal, located within the Kuppamudi Coffee Plantation is a gem of a property called the Tranquil Resort. Ever lived in a tree-house? No? You don’t know what you’re missing. Tranquil offers you the chance to spend time in a home literally built into a tree. (We’re not kidding; a huge branch arches over the master bed and through the loo!) It also comes equipped with all the modern amenities you need, so even while you’re living in nature’s lap, you’re living in style.

Adventure, thy home is Wayanad

An adventure junkie? Wayanad has you covered. One of the most exciting ways to experience Wayanad is on cycle-back. The region has an excellent road-network. Zip across the captivating countryside as you wind your way through misty coffee plantations, exotic forests and scenic mountain trails.

Go for a trek up the Chembra peak. Atop the 7000-ft high mountain is the Hriday Saras, a perfectly preserved heart-shaped lake that never dries. You will have to seek permission from the local forest office (located 5 kms from Meppadi) prior to the climb though!

Or, get your camping props together and go for an overnight trip through exotic Banasura. Don’t be surprised if you don’t want to leave the next day though. The flora, the wildlife and soul-striking beauty of the local countryside is unrivalled.

It’s a wild life here!

Very few places in India can boast of the natural splendour and wildlife habitats of Wayanad, Kerala.

The Wayanad (Tholpetty) Wildlife Sanctuary, for example, is an integral part of the Nilgiri biosphere reserve. Spread over an area of 344 sq kms, the sanctuary serves as home to a large number of wild animals some indigenous to the region. You’ll find elephants, tigers, sloth bears, sambhar, monkeys, reptiles, deer and panthers, to name a few.


About 40 kms by road from Tholpetty is Fringe Ford. If it’s the wild you’ve come to Wayanad for, you can do no better than Fringe Ford. It’s an 8-room bungalow, located in the middle of a remote plantation, surrounded by pristine rainforest and some great treks. The silence around the place is complete, punctuated only by the occasional calls of the local fauna. If you want to experience nature at its truest, minus even cell phone signals, this is the place for you.

Bandipur National Park – Originally the hunting grounds to the Mysore royalty, Bandipur is now a tiger reserve that harbours a number of India’s protected species. The 14th-century Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple offers birds- eye views from the highest point in the national park.

The Wayanad District is a bit like a world unto itself. While simply being there, absorbing its obvious natural beauty can be a pleasure, it’s also filled with little hidden gems – undiscovered pockets of paradise which will leave an imprint on you long after you’ve left.

Visit it at least once in your life. Repeat trips will take care of themselves.