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Wayanad - green paradise

STATE - KERALA
   
DISTANCE - 456 KM From Munnar, 325 KM From Cochin

CONNECTION
 
By Air : the nearest airport to Wayanad is at Kozhikode.

By Rail : The nearest railhead is at Kozhikhode.

By Road : Kozhikhode is almost 100 km from Wayanad. It is well connected with other important towns of Kozhikhode, Kannur, Ooty and Mysore by road.
 
ABOUT WAYANAD
 
Comprising an area of 2126 sq. kilometers, Wayanad has a powerful history. Historians are of the view that organised human life existed in these parts, at least ten centuries before Christ. Countless evidences about New Stone Age civilization can be seen on the hills of Wayanad. The two caves of Ampukuthimala located between Sultan Bathery and Ambalavayal, with pictures painted on their walls and pictorial writings, speak volumes of the bygone era and civilization.

Recorded history of this district is available from the 18th century. In ancient times, this land was ruled by Rajas of the Veda tribe. In later days Wayanad came under the rule of the Pazhassi Rajahs of Kottayam royal dynasty. When Hyder Ali became the ruler of Mysore, he invaded Wayanad and brought it under his sway. In the days of Tipu , Wayanad was restored to the Kottayam royal Dynasty. But Tipu handed over the entire Malabar region to the British, after the Srirangapattanam truce, he made with them. This was followed by fierce and internecine encounters between the British and Kerala Varma Pazhassi Rajah of Kottayam. When the Rajah was driven to the wilderness of Wayanad, he organised the war-like Kurichya tribal into a sort of people’s militia and engaged the British in several guerrilla type encounters. In the end, the British could get only the dead body of the Rajah, who killed himself somewhere in the interior of the forest.
 
PLACES OF INTERESTS IN WAYANAD
 
Muthanga Wild Life Sanctuary : Muthanga, which is 16kms east of Sulthan Bathery, is located very near to the Karnataka boarder. Wild forests covering an area of 345sq. kms form the Muthanga Wild Life Sanctuary; the biggest aboad of wild animals in Malabar. Elephant spotted deer, bison, tiger, cheetah, wild bear, etc. are found in this sanctuary. The forest department has facilities for providing elephant rides to tourists, here.

Banasura Sagar Dam : Banasura Sagar Dam, which impounds the Karamanathodu tributary of the Kabini River, is part of the Indian Banasurasagar Project consisting of a dam and a canal project started in 1979.The goal of the project is to support the Kakkayam Hydro electric power project and satisfy the demand for irrigation and drinking water in a region known to have water shortages in seasonal dry periods. The Banasura Sagar Dam is located 21 km from Kalpetta, in Wayanad District of Kerala in the Western Ghats. It is the largest earthen dam in India and the second largest in Asia, and an ideal starting point for hikes into the surrounding scenic mountains.It is an important tourist attraction. In the dam's reservoir there is a set of islands that were formed when the reservoir submerged the surrounding areas. The islands with the Banasura hills in the background provide a spectacular view.

Edakkal Caves : Edakkal Caves are two natural caves located 1000 metres high on Ambukutty Mala 25 km from Kalpetta in the Wayanad. They lie on an ancient trade route connecting the high mountains of Mysore to the Malabar coast ports. Inside the caves are pictorical writings believed to be from neolithic man, evidence of the presence of a prehistoric civilisation existing in this region. Such stone age carvings are very rare and these are the only known examples in southern India

Pookot Lake : Pookode Lake is a scenic lake in Wayanad. The lake is surrounded by forests, and boating is allowed. Recent commercial modernisations have removed some of its wilderness charms.

Chembra Peak : The hills, rocks and valleys which contribute to the very unique character of Wayanad provide a lot for adventure tourism. Trekking to the Chembra peak is a risky mountaineering endeavor. Chembra peak, the highest hill in Wayanad, is near Meppady town. Trekking to the top of this peak takes almost a day. Tourists can also stay one or two days at the top of the peak in temporary camps. District tourism Promotion Council provides guides, sleeping bags, canvases, huts and trekking implements on hire. The scenic beauty of Wayanad, which is visible from the top of Chembra, is very exhilarating.

Kuruva Island : The Kuruva island, 950 acre3s of ever green forest on the tributaries of east flowing river Kabani, is an ideal picnic spot, far away from the disturbances of city life. The island is uninhabited. Rare species of birds, orchids and herbs are the sovereigns of this supernal kingdom. It is 17kilometers east of Mananathavady and 40kms north west of Sulthan Bathery.

Lakkidi : One of the highest locations in Wayanad, Lakkidi also commands a picturesque scenery. It is about 58kms north east of Kozhikode and 5kms south of Vythiri. Lakkidi, the gateway of Wayanad, lies atop Thamarassery, a ghat pass at an elevation of 700m. above mean sea level. The lofty mountain peaks, the gurging stream, luxuriant vegetation and the birds eye view of the deep valley on the south, with its winding roads, are breath taking. The 12kms long journey from Adivaram to Lakkidi through ghat road with nine hairpin bends amidst thick forests, is a fascinating experience.

Soochippara Waterfall : The waterfalls at Soochippara near Meppadi is really a treasure of nature, yet to be discovered. The stretches of waterfalls ranging at places from 100 to 300 feet height is a treat to the eyes. The pool below, provides for water rafting, swimming, bathing, etc. The tree top huts at Soochippara give an unique view of the Valleys of the Western Ghats and the glimmering shallow waters of the surrounding springs.
 
RELIGIOUS PLACES IN WAYANAD
 
Thirunelli Temple : Thirunelli is situated 29kms north east of Mananthavady under the Brahmagiri hills in the reserve forests. The temple at Thirunelli is often called 'Thekkan Kasi'. It is believed that a bath in the holly water of 'Papanasini' will wipe off all the sins. Apart from the temple, Thirunelli is a place of scenic beauty. Pakshipathalam, an interesting trekking centre, is 7kms away from the temple.

Valliyoorkavu Temple : The temple, dedicated to Mother Goddess is manifested in three different forms – Vana Durga, Bhadrakali and Jala Durga. The temple is widely visited by tribal communities of Wayanad. A 15 day festival is held every year during March/April. The temple is 24 Km from Wayanad.

Pallikkunnu Church : Established in the year 1905 by a French Missionary Fr. Jeffrine, this is one of the unique churches in Kerala. The interesting aspect is that it follows some rituals that are similar to those prevalent in Hindu temples. The annual two week "Perunnal" festival celebrated in the month of February draws large visitors from different parts of the state. The temple is 19km from Wayanad.

Sulthan Bathery Jain Temple : The Jain temple at Sulthan Bathery is believed to have been built in the 13th century. Sulthan Bathery served as a Hindu shrine, a centre for commercial activity and as a Battery (ammunition store) for Tipu Sultan’s marching armies. Few other Jain temples in Kalpetta (district head quarter town) testify strong Jain presence of in this region. The temple is 24 kms from Kalpetta.
 
WHEN TO GO WAYANAD
 
Wayanad experiences tropical monsoons and rather hot summer. Thus the best time to visit Wayanad is between the months of August and May.
 
WEATHER FORECAST
 
The average maximum temperature of Wayanad is 29°C and the average minimum is 18°C. Summer in Wayanad begins from March and it lasts through May. The maximum temperature that has been recorded during summer season in Wayanad is 34°C and the minimum is 29°C. South West monsoon begins in June and it extends through September. December to February is the time for winter in Wayanad. Winter is very chilly in Wayanad with a maximum temperature of 25°C and a minimum of 15°C.
 
EVENTS AND FESTIVALS IN WAYANAD
 
Vishu : It is one of the important festivals of Kerala. Vishu is celebrated in the month of April. According to the old traditional Malayalam calendar it is the 1st day of the New Year. The main event of the Vishu celebration is the 'Kani- Kanal'. Coconuts, fruits, cereals and Konna flowers are kept in big pots to prepare Kani. Behind this pot, a mirror and a garlanded statue of Krishna are kept. Early morning on the Vishu day, the master of the house sees the Kani and then the rest of the family follows. Children's are brought blind folded to see the Kani. The elders in the family give money to the youngsters and bless them.

Karthigai : Karthigaiis possibly the only light festival that is celebrated in Malayali houses. The village temple arranges for a bonfire of useless materials and every family takes a burning torch made of palm leaves (Chootu) from this fire to the house. Oil lights are lit in houses and the whole town radiates like a spinning nebula on the face of a black sky, an awesome sight to behold. The place is ready to hold some of the most famous events in Kerala.

Onam Festival : The 10 day Onam festival is kerala's most important festival, honoring King Mahabali, a mythological king of ancient Kerala, whose period was reckoned as the golden age in the history of the state. He was the embodiment of virtues, goodness, so was his regime which was marked by equality and harmony among people.

Mahasivarathri : Mahasivarathri is an important festival of Hindus and is celebrated in Kumbam (Feb-March). Mahasivarathri festival commemorates the day on which Lord Shiva consumed the deadly poison (Kalakuda visham) to save the world from destruction. On the Mahashivaratri day, people throng all the prominent Shiva temples to offer their prayers to lord Shiva.

Asthami Rohini : Asthami Rohini, the birthday of Lord Krishna is celebrated with great fervour in the state. It is celebrated in the month of Chingam (Aug- Sept). Devotees visit the Krishna temples to offer Pooja and prayers. Cultural programmes are also held to mark the occasion.

Easter : Easter is the oldest Christian festival, as old as Christianity itself. The central tenet of Christianity is not the birth of Jesus, but his resurrection. Easter is derived from this paschal mystery and from the events of Good Friday.

Christmas : Christmas is an important festival of Kerala. Christians, all over Kerala, celebrate Christmas on 25th Dec. During Christmas, holy Mass is held in all the churches of Kerala. Singing of Christmas Carols, Setting up of Christmas tree, exchanges of cards, gifts etc form an integral part of Christmas festivities in Kerala.

Bakrid : Commemorates the sacrifice of Ibrahim in obedience to God's command. Bakrid is an important festival of Kerala. Muslims enjoy hearty feasts on Bakrid day. Many rich people sacrifice goats and distribute them among friends, relatives and the poor, to mark the occasion.
 
FOOD AND RESTURANTS IN WAYANAD
 
There are varieties of vegetarian foods and non vegetarian foods served in the city. Like as in many cities of south India, Wayanad is also fond of rice and it is their staple food. Rasam, Sambhar, Moru kootan and Poricha kootu are some most delicious dishes to take along with rice.

 

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