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Destination of the Month

Wayanad

Any visitor would endearingly love this quaint little hill station for its large tribal population of about fifty-strong tribes and their fascinating and eclectic lifestyles. Staying in tree top houses and in mud huts would undoubtedly provide an experience and thrills of jungle life that we all wanted to enjoy as kids. Perched atop a beautiful and a picturesque mountainous plateau in the Western Ghats of India, an artist can portray the beauty of this site on canvas and surely vouch for the serenity and Godliness offered by this tranquil location. Here one can witness vast stretches of mist - capped mountains, green meadows of valleys, white water springs, blue water lakes and vintage forests which accentuate the splendid natural beauty of this land.

This green paradise is nestled among the mountains of the Western Ghats, and located at a mere distance of 76 km. from Kumarakom-bird Sanctuary. Besides this, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Chethalayam Waterfall, Sri Mahaganapathy Temple at Thiruvangoor, Pazhassi Raja Museum, Pookote Lake and Edakkal Caves are other major tourist attractions here. Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, Tholpetty, Karappuzha Dam, Jain Temple at Sultan Battery, Tiger Valley, Meenmutty Falls, Soochippara Waterfalls, Chembra Hills, Bird Sanctuary in north Wayanad, Thirunelly Temple and Kuruva Islands are other nearby tourist destinations in and around this land. Considering the splendid beauty and mesmerizing feel, one is left with no other option but to give a unanimous nod to the fact that Kerala is undoubtedly God's own country as rightly believed by one and all.

Wayanad District, is a district in the north-east province of Kerala state, India and is the least populated of all, with its headquarters being based in the town of Kalpetta. This 12 th district in Kerala was born on 1 st November 1980 by carving out areas from Kozhikode and Kannur districts. Roughly 3.79% of this land is urbanized, with only one municipal town of Kalpetta, hence making it an epitome of serenity far away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The earliest records show this place being known as Mayakshetra (Maya's land) which later got transformed to Mayanad, before finally being christened as Wayanad. The etymology of this word defines it as a combination of Vayal (paddy field) and Naad (land), making it 'The Land of Paddy Fields'. Furthermore, Wayanad is the only district in Kerala that shares border with both the neighboring states Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It shakes hand with Kozhikode, Kannur, and Malappuram districts in Kerala; Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu; and Chamarajanagar, Mysore, and Kodagu (Coorg) districts in Karnataka, thus allowing any visitor a rich feel of Southern belt of India.

The nearest airport is Kozhikode airport which is located merely at a distance of roughly 25 km from the city and is well connected by air to Mumbai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Goa, Madurai and Chennai. Those who wish to travel by train can get good connectivity from Mangalore, Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Coimbatore, Goa and Mumbai. For roadsters, NH17 is the answer.

Basis archaeological evidence, the Wayanad forests have been inhabited for more than 3,000 years now. Historians are of the opinion that human settlement existed in these parts for at least ten centuries before Christ. This can be testified by evidences of New Stone Age civilization seen in the hills throughout the present day Wayanad district. The two caves of Ampukuthimala, with vintage paintings on their walls and pictorial writings, speak volumes of a bygone civilization. However, the recorded history of this district exists only from the 18th century onward. As a ruler of Mysore, Hyder Ali invaded Wayanad and brought it under his dominance, followed by it being restored to the Kottayam royal dynasty during the reign of Tipu Sultan. Tipu handed over the entire region of northern Kerala to the British, signing the treaty of Srirangapatna with Lord Cornwallis, thus Wayanad fell into the hands of the British and with it came a new era.

The Kabini River, one of the three east flowing rivers of Kerala, is an important tributary of the Cauvery River. Almost the entire Wayanad district is drained by Kabini and its three tributaries, the Panamaram, Mananthavady and Kalindy rivers. The Banasura Sagar Dam is built on one of the tributaries of the Kabini River. Wayanad has cool weather throughout the year except April and May when the mercury rarely touches a peak of 31 degrees Celsius. One feels cool breeze during summers and witnesses heavy rains in monsoons. It has misty weather all year round. Winters are chilly in some areas of northern Wayanad, with January being the coldest month.

The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is rich in bio-diversity, and an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, which has been established with the specific objective of conserving the biological heritage of this region. Built in 1973, this sanctuary is blessed with rich flora and fauna. The management here lays utmost emphasis on scientific conservation with due consideration to the general lifestyle of the tribal and other local inhabitants of this forest.

The misty environ of Wayanad also offers a wide range of trekking opportunities, plantation visits and wildlife tours. A few places which should not be missed are namely, Chembra peak, Neelimala , Meenmuty waterfalls, Chetalayam, Pakshipathalam and Banasura Sagar Dam.

Experience the brazen past, shot through the arrows from the bows of history……to make you shudder in sheer presence of divinity!!! Don't miss it……!