According to the studies done by the Trivago, the world’s largest search engine, Wayanad has the 9th place in the world in offering best service to tourist at a lower cost. The district has taken the top place in the list released by the travel website, Trivago. The district secured 96.36 marks out of 100. It reveals that Wayanad has become favourite destination for foreign tourists. Apart from this, it is a favoured destination for a large section of domestic foreign tourists. Trivago conducted a study based on whether tourists are getting the service in proportion to the money they are spending for their accommodation.
Wayanad is located in the South Indian state of Kerala. It is a tourist hub including places like Edakkal caves, Sulthan Battery, Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary, Banasura Sagar Dam, Pookode lake, Karapuzha Dam, Chembra peak, Phantom Rock and much more. There are many facilities for food and accommodation in Wayanad for all types of budgets. Nearby places like Calicut and Ooty are also famous tourist spots. Wayanad is the only district in Kerala which shares its border with both Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The only earth dam in India is Banasura Sagar Dam and the only pine forest in Kerala is Chandanathod. In Pulpalli you can visit the only lav kush temple and Vythiri has the only mirror temple in Kerala which is a Jain temple. The district also has Wayanad wildlife sanctuary which has four ranges namely Sulthan Bathery, Muthanga, Kurichiat and Tholpetti. It is also surrounded by the legendary wildlife sanctuaries of Bandipur, Muthanga, and Nagarhole. It also has the largest population of the ancient elephant of the world.
According to archaeological evidence, the Wayanad forest has been inhabited for more than 3000 years. Much evidence of New Stone Age civilization can be seen in the hills throughout. The Edakkal caves have 6000-year-old rock engravings from the Neolithic Age.
The Kozhikode – Mysore National Highway 212 passes through Wayanad district. NH 212 passes through Bandipur National Park. There is a night traffic ban imposed on this stretch since 2009. The alternate road is to leave at NH 212 at Kalpetta and proceed to Mysore through Mananthavady, Kutta, Gonikoppal and Hunsur. The nearest railway stations are at Calicut and Thalassery. Kozhikode International Airport and Mangalore International Airport are the nearest.
Here are some wild attractions of Wayanad
Edakkal Caves are the two natural caves. It lies on the Ambukuttymala, an ancient route connecting the mountains of Mysore and ports of Malabar Coast. There are many pictorial writings inside the caves. The Stone Age carvings of Edakkal caves are very rare and only known examples of the South India.
It was previously known as Sultans battery. It is a town and municipality in Wayanad district. It is connected with Mysore, Ooty, and Nilambur. One can find beautiful folded hills of the horizon. The climate is pleasant throughout the year. It is the biggest shopping paradise in Wayanad. It includes malls, textiles, home appliances, agriculture products, forest products like honey, hypermarkets. The mint mall is the biggest and recently opened mall. It consists of many places for worship like Jain Temple, Jumma Masjid, Ganapati Temple, Masjid Madina, Soonoro Church, Mariyamman temple and much more. It is the biggest transport hub of Wayanad district. It is located near the border with Karnataka state.
MUTHANGA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
It is rich in biodiversity and it is a part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The Sanctuary has a large population of pachyderms and has to be declared as a project of elephant sight. Elephants roam freely here and tigers are seen occasionally. Various species of monkeys, deer’s and birds are also seen here. A drive along Muthanga and further offer chances to watch these roaming animals. Elephant rides are arranged by the forest department.
THOLPETTI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
It has a wide variety of animals. Visitors are restricted to outer tourist zone. The sanctuary is located 20 Kms east of Mananthavady. Nearest railway station is Thalassery railway station about 60 Kms away.
BANASURA SAGAR DAM
It is a part of Indian Banasura Sagar Project consisting of dam and canal started about 1979. The goal of the project is to protect Kakkayam hydroelectric project and satisfy the demand for irrigation and drinking waters. Many people visit the place for trekking in the Banasura hill and speed boating at the dam. Banasura hill resort located at 20 Kms away from the dam was rated as Asia’s largest earthen resort by BBC. In the dam’s reservoir there is a set of islands which provides us a spectacular view.
It is a scenic freshwater lake, which has a shape of India map. This perennial fresh water lake is only one of its kind in Kerala. Pettis pookodenesis, is a species of cyprinid fish known to occur only in Pookode lake. The lake has abundance of blue lotuses and freshwater fishes. The forest surrounding the lake has many wild animals, birds, and flies. There are groups of Bluewater Lilly flowers scattered here and there in the lake.
Karapuzha known as the hub of Wayanad tourism is easily accessible from Edakkal caves, Soochipara waterfalls and Chembra peak. Even the destination is near to highway to access different parts of Wayanad. A project of amusement park is progressing at the premises of the Karapuzha Dam. A well built rose garden which is largest in Asia itself is under progression. Amphi-theatre, garden, children park are coming soon.
It is a famous honeymoon spot. A heart shaped lake on the way to the peak is the major tourist attraction. The lake is believed to never dry up during any season. You can find the lake halfway to the peak, after getting to the lake need to trek about a km or two of dense trees.
It is also known as SENTINEL ROCK WATERFALLS is a three tiered water fall surrounded by decidous, evergreen and montane forest. On the way it offers some scenic view of some if the best tea estates. It is of 200 metres and offers a cliff face that is ideal for rock climbing.
It is a beautiful archeological site located in Wayanad district popularly known for its skull shaped rock, which is unique in its known way. It regularly draws a large number of tourist. The piece of natural art which has a skull shaped rock over a small boulder is formed out of a huge metamorphic rock and is locally known as ‘Cheengari Mala’ or ‘Thalapara’.
There is no wonder how Wayanad has secured 9th rank in the world with these tourist attraction.