Wayanad: Centre for Eco-Tourism

Bedecked among the high ranges of the Western Ghats, the district of Wayanad lies between 700 to 2100 m above mean sea level. It has a predominant place in the tourist map of Kerala. A major centre of hill products the district is a noted contributor of foreign exchange to the State. Apart from archaeological and anthropological uniqueness, Wayanad has genuine claims for an enviable position in tourism promotion. The district has the highest concentration of tribals in Kerala. They form 1/5 of the total population of the district. It is the seat of Kurichiyas the valiant warriors of late King Veera Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja who engaged the mighty British army in several battles. Their descendants are still expert archers. Tribals can be seen in their natural habitat in Wayanad. Reaping the benefits of modern education and social welfare schemes many of them have developed and became part of the main stream. Enjoying a climate similar to Udhagamandalam alias Ooty, Wayanad has prospects of developing several major hill stations in the district.

 

Lakkidi

Nestled among the hills, Lakkidi, which is the gateway to Wayanad has the highest annual rain fall in Kerala. With mist formation in the atmosphere almost throughout the year the place has further scope for developing into a tourist centre.

 

Edakkal Caves

These are two caves in the Ambukuthi Mountain. The caves contain several paintings and pictorial writings of the New Stone Age Civilization. The location is three kilometers from Ambalavayal and 25 km from the district Headquarters, Kalpetta.

 

Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

The wildlife sanctuary at Muthanga, 20 km from Sulthan Bathery is developing into a major tourist centre. Herds of elephants, bear, deer, wild pig etc. can be spotted here. It is near the Begur wildlife sanctuary in the nearby State of Karnataka.

 

Thirunelli Temple

Located in the valley close to the Brahmagiri hill, 66 km from Kalpetta, Thirunelli is referred as 'Kasi of the south'. It is believed that Lord Brahma himself had installed the idol of Lord Vishnu the presiding deity of the temple. Situated among the reserve forests the location of the temple has an enchanting natural beauty. The adjoining mountain spring called 'papanasini' is a major centre of pilgrimage. 'Papanasini' means the destroyer of all sins. 

 

Glass Temple

The Glass temple of Kottamunda, located 20 km from Kalpetta, on the slope of Vellarimala, is a famous Jain family temple in Wayanad. It is dedicated to Parshwanatha Swamy the third Thirthankara of the Jain faith. Icons of Parshwanatha Swamy and this temple have thousand reflections in beautiful patterns on the mirrors placed on the inner side of the temple walls.

 

Pookkode Lake

Situated between Lakkidi and Kalpetta, Pookkode is a very attractive freshwater lake, about 2000 m above mean sea-level. Contoured by lush green forests the lake has good prospects for boating facilities. It is one of the major centres of eco-tourism in Wayanad.

 

Source: IT Department, Government of Kerala