Wayanad, a familiar hill station, has more than 20 tourist attractions to offer. But there is a new side to this Green Paradise located in the Western Ghats. From being a district that has seen multiple empires to a land that has produced several notable people to the Indian film fraternity, Wayanad happened!
Wayanad gets its name from "vayal naadu" in Malayalam, which translates to "the land of paddy."
This small district has been ruled by many emperors from different dynasties. It is believed that the paintings on Edakkal Caves date back to the Neolithic age, which makes Wayanad one of the many ancient human settlements in India.
The Cheras, Kutumbiyas, Kadambas, Hoysalas, Mysore Wodeyars, the Vijayanagara Empire, and the Britishers have ruled this hill town. The wall paintings on Edakkal Caves speak volumes of the bygone civilization. There are also Kannada inscriptions on the hills which prove the existence of these empires.
Wayanad is believed to house the largest tribal population in Kerala. The eight scheduled tribes include Adiyan, Paniyan, Mullukkurman, Kurichyan, Vettakkuruman, Wayanad Kadar, Kattuniakkan, and Thachaanadan Mooppan. The community names of these tribal families are not only endearing but also epitomize their distinctive traits such as place of origin, language spoken, behavioral pattern, etc.
Despite having such a rich cultural heritage, Wayanad is one of the most backward districts in our country and receives funds from Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme.
Like every district located on the Western Ghats, Wayanad is a crowd puller. The authentic vibe of this green paradise cannot be felt by resting at a luxurious resort. Staying with the local tribes is highly recommended as the experience is just sheer brilliance.
Among the many tourist attractions the place has got to offer, here is a list of my personal favorites:
These are technically not caves but just a deep fissure formed by a piece of rock splitting away from the main body. Mythology says that this was caused by the arrows fired by Lava and Kusha, sons of Lord Ram.
The Edakkal caves are believed to shelter the Neolithic society. The carvings of humans, animal figures, and objects prove the same. This is the only known place with Stone Age carvings in India.
At 6800 ft above sea level, the Chembra Peak is one of the Sahyadri Hills' highest peaks. It would take approximately three hours to reach the top, and, on the way, you can witness a heart-shaped lake, which is the top attraction here. Trekking here is a must, and you'd definitely get amazed by its enthralling beauty and striking features.
Pookode is the smallest and highest altitude freshwater lake amidst evergreen forests at a slope of 770 meters above sea level. The lake is the starting point of Panamaram River, which ultimately becomes the scenic Kabini River. The place's beauty can be savored by either taking a walk along its perimeter or by boating in the lake. You can also rejuvenate yourself by checking out their fish spa.