Located on the North-east of edge of Kerala, the thick forest topography and numerous coffee and spice plantations transports visitors to a different ambience of Kerala from it’s famous backwaters.
Wayanad is known for its rich bio-diversity with two prominent national parks and a vast stretch of coffee plantations.
The main towns and regions in Wayanad are Kalpetta in the south, Sulthan Bathery in the east and Mananthavadi in the northwest. All the main sights and attractions are accessible wherever you decide to stay and all three of these towns have good facilities such as ATMs and are connected by buses.
Here are some popular places in Wayanad to explore during your trip:
1. Wildlife Sanctuaries
There are two popular wildlife sanctuaries in Wayanad; Muthanga and Tholpetty. Both managed by the forest department, vehicles are allowed to enter the park for animal spotting according to specific timings. Elephants, langurs, wild hogs, deer and bisons are easily spotted. The parks are also known for their tiger population. Muthanga (also known as Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary) is larger of the two and was founded in 1973. Tholpetty is closed during the monsoon season although Muthanga remains open year round.
Another interesting place to explore is the ridge of the highest pass in the region, all of 700 meters above the sea level. This lies above Thamaraserry and has a wonderful view of the ghats section that follows towards the boundary of the district.
This area derives its name from the namesake, Banasura Dam. Located only 21km away from the Kalpetta town, the dam is the largest earthen dam in India and second largest in Asia. The reservoir is dotted with small islands, home to a wide diversity of flora and fauna. The fringes of Banasura reservoir are lined with small settlements with wonderful views. The reservoir is equally wonderful to see whether it’s full after the rains or in the thick of summer with low water levels. You can often see herds of elephants on the banks.
4. Uravu and neighbouring villages
The Thrikkaipetta village has been working closely with the Wayanad based NGO, Uravu, towards using the local bamboo resource to enrich the environment and the lives of the locals. Products made out of dead bamboo are made by local communities, which in turn gives them sustainable business as well as uses the natural resource of the tree. This is a great place to visit to see how bamboo is brought to use in the form of woven mats, bangles, lamp shades and paintings.
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