WAYANAD: THE ECO-TOURIST’S PARADISE
Cradled among the steep crags of Western Ghats, Wayanad is indeed an eco tourist’s paradise. This pristine and enchanting land filled with history dating back to pre-ancient times offers a wide vista of sylvan charm to every nature lover out there. Situated approximately 80 km from the shores of Kozhikode, Wayanad is a fertile hill station filled with a plethora of forests, plantations, and wildlife. Wayanad shares borders with Mudhumalai in Tamilnadu and Bandipur in Karnataka. From Jungles of Muthanga to forests in Bandipur, local fauna from bison to tigers roam about in utmost freedom.
Although part of tropical Kerala, Wayanad enjoys pleasantly cool climates throughout the year making it an ideal destination for hikes and treks. Eco-tourism in Wayanad is pretty well established and is welcoming to tourists who travel with a limited ecological footprint. Even Wayanad resorts are eco-friendly in their operations and offer the best of accommodations imaginable. Here are a few places packed with green and history to visit during your next trip to this piece of paradise.
WAYANAD WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Spread across four forest ranges- Muthanga, Tholpetty, Sulthan bathery and Kurichiat, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is a majestic stretch of lush green forests which is home to rich and varied flora and fauna. Muthanga out of the four attracts the most wildlife enthusiasts because of its deciduous greenery. Take a jeep safari in Muthanga and if you are lucky, you might spot tuskers and tigers along the way.
KARAPUZHA DAM LAKE & GARDENS
Karapuzha dam is one of the biggest earth dams in India. Located about 16 km from Kalpetta, Karapuzha Lake is formed by a dozen tributaries converging together where the dam is built. The huge lake and neighbouring greenery attract a lot of birds to the area, which makes it a perfect spot for birdwatchers and wildlife photographers. You can either take a dip in the pristine waters emerging from the mountains, trek up to the dam adorned with coffee and pepper plantations or simply choose to picnic by the riverside.
Edakkal caves are located on top of Ambukuthi mala in Wayanad. It is the only cave in India which dates back to the Stone Age. There are inscriptions in Tamil and Brahmi language too. For history enthusiasts, this is a must visit place. To reach the caves, you have to trek through Ambukuthi mala which is 45 minutes ascend and what awaits at the end is nothing short of mesmerising.
CHEMBRA PEAK TREK
Chembra is the highest peak in Wayanad. Standing tall at 2.1 km above sea level, this is definitely a trekker’s dreamscape. District Tourism Promotion Council provides guides and trekking equipment on hire to trekkers and tourists. It is a three-hour trek to the top and on the way; you can witness the famous ‘hridayathadakam’ which is a heart-shaped lake. This lake is said to have never dried up. You can view the whole of Wayanad and neighbouring districts from the top and the view is enthralling, to say the least.
So plan that green vacation you’ve wanted to go for. Visit Wayanad and experience the untouched beauty of nature.