15 Unique Experiences to Indulge in the Charm of Wayanad
Wayanad, the rural district of Kerala is synonymous with dense forests, lush green vegetation, rivers, plunging waterfalls, verdant countryside, exotic spices, coffee and tea estates and intriguing tribal culture. Whether you are an ardent wildlife enthusiast, or an adventure seeker or someone who loves good food, the possibilities to keep you engaged in Wayanad are aplenty. Here are 15 unique experiences to Indulge in the charm of Wayanad all through the year.
Learn a thing or two about natures ways while you interact with various tribes of Wayanad
Owing to the vast expanse of forest that covers its terrain, Wayanad is home to many indigenous tribes such as Paniyas, Kattunayakans, and Kurumbas who live in close harmony with Nature. Though the majority of the tribes live deep inside the forests or in the fringes of the forestlands away from modern life, they have with time learned to open up to civilization. While the Paniyas are known for their hard working skills, the Katanayakans are popular for their hunting and gathering abilities. The Kurumba tribe is the most artistic of all and is known for its colorful costumes and artisan skills. Taking a tour of tribal settlements give amazing insights into the traditions and customs of different tribes of Wayanad.
Get lost in nature’s lap as you cycle across the verdant countryside of Wayanad
Lush green paddy, plantain and tapioca fields dot the landscape of Wayanad besides the dense forests and hills. It is a great pleasure to get lost in the lap of nature while cycling in the verdant countryside of God’s own country.
Experience the world of wildlife in darkness on a night safari
The forests of neighboring wildlife sanctuaries of Wayanad are home to a host of wild species such as jackals, wild bores, deer, bears, tigers and black panthers. Having close encounters in the dark with the wild beasts on a night safari is a thrill one should not miss while in Wayanad.
Look for the mighty tuskers in the bamboo forests of Muthanga
The dense bamboo forests spread across the Muthanga Bio-Reserve are home to the great Indian Tuskers. Sighting the mighty pachyderms breaking and feasting on the huge bamboo shoots is a dream of any wildlife Enthusiast.
Visit the Jain Temple that once hid Ammunitions for Tippu Sulthan
Sulthan Bathery, a major commercial center in the district of Wayanad gets its name from the ancient Jain Temple located in the heart of the town. As per the legends, Tippu Sultan, the erstwhile ruler of Mysore State during his invasion of Malabar, dumped his ammunition and parked his artillery battering in an old Jain temple in the region.
Marvel at the Pre-Historic paintings of Edakkal Caves
Located at an altitude of 1200m above sea level on the Ambukutty Mala, Edkkal Caves are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Wayanad. Formed by a heavy boulder straddling a huge fissure amidst the rocks, the caves are also home to prehistoric rock paintings dating back to the Neolithic and Mesolithic age.
Trek in the various trails across Wayanad
Owing to its hilly topography, Wayanad has many beautiful trails marked for trekking. The trek to the heart-shaped lake on the Chembara Peak is the most popular trekking trail in Wayanad. However, a trek to Neelimala, a lesser known hill in Wayanad is sure to reward you with the breathtaking panorama of the dense forests along with a birds-eye view of the Meenmutty falls.
Wonder at the beauty of the 2nd Largest Earth Dam of Asia at Banasura Sagar
Popularly known as the largest earthen dam in India and the 2nd largest in Asia, Banasura Sagar Dam is an irrigational dam constructed to contain the water of Karamanathodu, a tributary of Kabini river. Though the dam structure is itself not much of a beauty to see, the huge expanse of the backwaters with the rolling meadows and the mist covered hills set in the background make for an excellent sight. Take a speedboat ride in the backwaters to see some of the prime spots and rock formations in the surroundings.
Go on a picnic to the Kuruva Dweepam
The Kuruva Dweepam is a group of tiny islets spread across 950 acres surrounded by the delta formed by River Kabini. The lush green vegetation and the unique trees attract many migratory birds to the islands. Do not forget to take a bamboo raft ride while you are at the Kuruva Dweepam.
Take a tour of the Spice Plantations of Wayanad
The soothing climate of Wayanad and the hilly slopes support the cultivation of a wide variety of spices such as pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, mace, vanilla, clove, ginger, and turmeric. Take a spice tour to know more about how the exotic spices are cultivated and processed before they make way into the delectable preparations in your kitchen.
Make a photography stop at the Lakkadi View Point
The Lakkadi Viewpoint is a vantage point from where you can see the panoramic view of the Thamaraserry ghat pass connecting Kozhikode and Mysore. It is fascinating to see the traffic disappear amidst the folds of the ghats and negotiating the dangerous hairpin bends as you stand by the viewpoint beside the highway.
Learn about various types of Coffee produced in Wayanad
The abundance of rainfall and sunlight typical of the western ghats favors the cultivation of Coffee as the major cash crop in Wayanad. The coffee plantations of Wayanad account for about 90% of the total coffee produced in Kerala. Coffee Arabica and Coffee Robusta are the two major variants of coffee grown in Wayanad. Taking a tour of a coffee plantation to learn more about the production and processing of coffee is something every coffee lover should try.
Visit the numerous waterfalls spread across the hilly terrain of Wayanad
Most of the Wayanad region is spread across the river basin of Kabini and its major tributaries like Panorama, Kalindy and Mananthavady rivers. The rivers criss-cross their way across the hilly topography of Wayanad and leap into deep waterfalls which swell with life during monsoon seasons. Soojipara, Meenmutty, Kanthanpara, and Chethalayam are the most popular falls beside the many seasons falls that dot the terrain of Wayanad during rainy seasons.
Head out on a birdwatching trip in the dense forests of Wayanad.
The dense forests covering a major portion of Wayanad’s land are home to a variety of avian species. The Malabar Grey Hornbill, Plum Headed parakeets, Starlings, Scarlet Minivet and the Wayanad Laughing Thrust are the most prominent among the birds that are seen in Wayanad. The best season for birdwatching in Wayanad is between December and May.
Feast on delicacies made out of local forest produce.
The cuisine of Wayanad is highly influenced by spices that are grown locally. Many ingredients used in cooking are either grown locally or sourced from the forest. Locally grown variety of paddy, tapioca, and plantain are the staple ingredients used in daily preparations. The Mungil Arisi Payasam is an exotic dessert prepared using the seeds produced by bamboo. With the variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian preparations infused by spices and influenced by tribal culture, the Wayanad cuisine is sure to take you on a gastronomical ecstasy.
Note: All the above experiences during my Stay in Wayanad were made possible by The Sterling Holidays. Sterling has launched a new resort in the pristine environs in the fringes of The Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary near Sultan Bathery in Wayanad.
The resort has over 60 fully appointed rooms and cottages catering to needs of different categories of guests. Besides a plethora of in-house activities such as pottery, archery, shooting, paintball and many indoor games, the resort also arranges for a variety of experiential trails for its guests. So, next time you plan to visit Wayanad, make sure not to miss the host of experiences curated by Sterling Wayanad.