May 14, 2020
Sleepy and serene little Wayanad has many surprises up its sleeve. There are many things about it that most people don’t know. For one thing, the name ‘Wayanad’ comes from the Malayalam term ‘Vayal natu’ which means ‘Paddy fields’. This area was, and continues to be, rich in paddy fields, hence the name.
Wayanad is a district in the Kalpetta municipality in Kerala. It was carved out of some areas of Kunnur and Kozhikode districts. It chiefly comprises the municipal towns of Mananthavadi, Kalpetta and Sulthan Bathery. Traditionally, this district has been peopled by local tribes, many of whom continue to have settlements here. These tribes include Paniyan, Vettakuruman, Kurichyan, Adiyan, Kattuniakan, Mullukkurman, Thachanandan Moopan and Wayanadi Kadar. They have their own dialects and a rich tradition of oral narratives.
Geographically, Wayanad lies next to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Within Kerala, it borders Kozhikode, Kunnur and Mallapuram. These facts are important if you wish to know how to reach Wayanad by road – there is excellent connectivity via these States and towns.
Another surprising historical antecedent about Wayanad is that it is said to have had the first human settlements in this part of the continent well before 10th Century BC. There are certainly many theories to support this claim, as well as physical evidence of a Stone Age era in the hills dotting the district. However, much of its recorded history starts from the 18th Century, and legends and facts about earlier time periods is now almost lost.
However, you can see remnants of early civilisation here even today. You can visit the Edakkal Caves that have rock carvings dating back to 6,000 years, i.e. probably from the Neolithic Age. It is said that the Veda tribe ruled this land at the time.
Today, Wayanad is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kerala, where many honeymooners and families love to holiday.
You can have an ideal vacation only when the parameters of climate and sightseeing come together in a good way. For this, it is important to know the best time to visit Wayanad. Let’s help you out with some information on this:
Most people consider the long season from October to May as the best time to visit Wayanad. We’ll break this up for you: October to February is traditionally considered to be winter in Wayanad. Though it is located at a higher altitude, it does not experience hail, frost or snow during winter. However, the temperature drops dramatically in the evening and the nights are quite chilly from December to January. The days and nights start getting gradually warmer during the month of February. So this is the best time to visit Wayanad if you wish to take advantage of the cold weather and ample sightseeing opportunities. There are less tourist footfalls during this time, so you can move about it relative peace. Meanwhile, you may get quick flight/train bookings, as also the Wayanad resort of your choice – but take care to book as early as you can!
Meanwhile, the months of March to June are also considered the best time to visit Wayanad. This time is peak tourist season in this district. The day time temperatures are warmer than the preceding season, but never unpleasant. In fact, you might require just a light jacket in the night hours too. It is a great time for exploration, adventure activities, trekking, camping out under the stars and checking out the local restaurants in Wayanad. We firmly recommend this season as the best time to visit Wayanad if you have your family with you, since both adults and children will enjoy the season to its fullest.
The monsoon is also considered the best time to visit Wayanad, but only if you like going out in the rain. The monsoon is pretty intense in these parts, with visibility quite low when the mist comes out over the hills. Though Wayanad blooms in luxuriant beauty during the monsoon, it might not be the ideal time to go trekking since most trails become quite slippery. You might not find too many good guides to take you around the tourist sites as well.
As a rule of thumb, check weather apps for the intended days of travel, and consult Wayanad tourism guides for an idea of when to book your holiday.
* Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary: This is one of the foremost attractions in the district, and one of the best tourist spots for all. The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is Kerala’s second largest, and houses a huge collection of flora and fauna, of both the indigenous and rare type. The sanctuary is a naturally created one, with the Nagarhoel and Bandipur protected areas of Karnataka flanking one side, and the Tamil Nadu Mudumalai area on the other. The sanctuary is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, the first one of the 14 to be set up in India over the years. Spanning a huge area of 345 km and several green areas, it is a treat for the senses.
* Edakkal Caves: The world famous Edakkal Caves bear signs of Wayanad housing the globe’s first settlements. There are superb rock and wall carvings deep inside, but you must walk a fair bit to reach them: they are 96 feet long and over 22 feet wide! The trek to the cave entrance easily takes about two hours, depending on how fast you walk and how many tourists are there in the group. Then you require another hour to reach the mouth of the cave. If there are toddlers in the group, you must take care to ensure that the walk does not tire them out.
* Soochipara Falls: Wayanad has several beautiful waterfalls, and visiting the Soochipara Falls is one of the most popular things to do in Wayanad. The fall waters are seen to be divided in three distinct tiers, with deciduous forests on either side. You must drive from Meppadi to the Vellarimala region where these falls are located, and then take a short walk to the falls. You will love the surrounding greenery, the tea estates you pass on the way and the roar of the falls themselves. The more adventurous ones can also attempt rock climbing on the 200 feet cliff face. Or else, simply enjoy swimming in the water.
* Chembra Peak: The stunning Chembra Peak is located in Meppady town and it is the highest hill in the Wayanad Range. As high as 2000 feet above sea level, Chembra Peak offers the best views of Wayanad and calming green environs. There is a heart-shaped leak at the bottom, which is a famous picnic spot among locals and tourists alike. Those who like to trek should certainly sign up for the one-day trek which takes anything between three hours to half a day. The famous Banasura Sagar Dam is also visible from here.
* Vythiri Spice Plantations: The rainforest area of Vythiri town is famous not just lush green jungles, but for its abundant spice plantations. Many indigenous tribes live in this town, which explains why most of its green cover is not just protected but also venerated. However, apart from going over to look at the spice plantations (and even buy spices powdered and packaged there), you can explore Vythiri for trekking, adventure activities like rafting and biking, or simply going for a long walk with your partner. Since it is so green, it records amongst the highest amounts of rainfall in the country in the months of August and September. The weather is normally colder here, with fresher air and hardly any noise pollution. You will also like going to Lakkidi Hill a few kilometres from here.
* Sulthan Bathery: This town occupied an important political position in the erstwhile Malabar region and its kingdom. It was used for strategic meetings and also for trade. Today, it is the largest town in Wayanad and has excellent tourism potential. It is full of ancient caves with carvings, trekking trails, jungle exploration safaris, major streams and gushing rivers. You should take a day trip here with your family or partner, to explore and enjoy this beautiful town to the fullest.
* Neelimala Viewpoint: Wayanad is so full of natural greenery and wonder, that you will want to stop every few steps just to drink the views in. If simply sitting and looking at the scenery is your thing, then head to the Neelimala Viewpoint and feast your eyes on the dense jungles, the roaring Meenmuti Waterfalls opposite, and the many sights and sounds of birds flapping past. It is an idea spot for an all-day picnic as well, along the misty, sweet-smelling trails.
Now that you have a fair idea of the best time to visit Wayanad and what to see when you get there, it’s time to book the right Wayanad resort.
We recommend the Club Mahindra Thekkady Resort for your holiday. It is located on the border between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and it is the last word in luxury, great location, scenic views from all rooms, and easy access to stunning wildlife sanctuaries in the area. You can step outside the resort to walk amongst large coffee and spice plantations surrounding the property, or go look at tigers and elephants, and even go for long drives along small, green roads! The resort is built in the machan or tree house style typical to Wayanad, and you and your family are bound to have a pleasant stay there.
Q: Which is the best area to stay in Wayanad?
There are many great areas to stay in Wayanad. But we especially recommend the green and beauteous Thekkady, with its lush jungles, sanctuaries, trekking trails, plantations and easy access to other nearby areas. In Thekkady, you should stay at the Club Mahindra Thekkady resort.
Q: Is Wayanad better than Ooty?
Both Wayanad and Ooty have their own charms. Both attract a large number of tourists, and both have equally superb tourist hangouts, restaurants, places of worship, climate, and so on.
Q: How can I go to Wayanad?
You can drive to Wayanad from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, and also other parts of Kerala. The nearest airport is at Karipur in Kozhikode, about 100 km from Wayanad city. You can alight at the airport and hail a cab to your resort. Or have your resort send a car to pick you up.
Q: How many days are enough for Wayanad?
Though there is a lot to see, experience, shop and eat, about four days should be more than enough for Wayanad. Ensure you have transport at your disposal so that you can cover all the points easily.
Q: What is Wayanad famous for?
Wayanad is most famous for its tree houses, spices and coffee plantations, herbal plants, Ayurvedic medicines and food items, handloom products and traditional artefacts.
About Mahindra Holidays
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited (MHRIL), India’s leading player in the leisure hospitality industry, offers quality family holidays as also stated by Club Mahindra Membership Reviews, primarily through vacation ownership memberships. While Club Mahindra is the flagship brand offering Club Mahindra Membership, the other brands offered by the company are –Club Mahindra Resorts Fundays and Svaastha Spa. As on Mar 31, 2019, MHRIL has 61+ resorts across India and abroad and its subsidiary, Holiday Club Resorts Oy, Finland, a leading vacation ownership company in Europe has 33 resorts across Finland, Sweden and Spain. Visit us at www.clubmahindra.com
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.