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Wayanad district in the northeast part of Kerala is nothing short of a green paradise surrounded by western ghats . From verdant valleys and gushing waterfalls to clear lakes and wildlife sanctuaries, the area has plenty to offer nature lovers and peace seekers.Wayanad, as a popular tourist destination, has good air, rail and road connectivity.Those arriving by air or train can land at Kozhikode International Airport (96 km away) or Kozhikode Railway Station (90 km away), respectively, and then take a taxi or bus to the hotel. You can also take a state-run or private bus from nearby towns and cities to reach Wayanad comfortably.
The iconic places to visit in Wayanad will assist you in chalking out an itinerary for a rejuvenating and memorable vacation.
Banasura Sagar Dam, located on the Banasura foothills and surrounded by greenery, is one of the best places to visit in Wayanad. The place has a lot of natural beauty and is popular with people who want to spend some time relaxing in the midst of lushness. Boating on the lake is also an option, as is hiking up to the dense forests of Banasura Peak. The view from the top of the hill is mesmerising, with majestic hills, gushing waterfalls, and diverse flora and fauna. Remember to carry your camera with you so you can capture stunning panoramic views of the surroundings.
◾Best Time to Visit: September to March
◾Ideal Duration: 2 hours
◾How to Reach: The dam is about 28 km away from the Wayanad centre, so you can take a taxi to reach the destination.
Edakkal Caves are the only structures in India with about 8000-year-old carvings that date back to the Neolithic Era or the late Stone Age. The two caves are located on Ambukuthi Hills, 3937-feet above sea level. As a result, one must trek for approximately 2 hours before reaching the entrance. Apart from tourists, history buffs and archaeology students interested in studying the carvings of human figures and animals visit these mysterious caves.
◾Best Time to Visit: November to March
◾Ideal Duration: 2-3 hours
◾How to Reach: Edakkal Caves are 19 km away from Wayanad Centre. Taxis are easily available for comfortable travel.
Chembra is the highest peak of the Wayanad Hill Range, rising 6890-feet above sea level. The place boasts a lush green and soothing ambience that draws nature lovers from all over. Adventurers can enjoy a thrilling trek up to the peak while soaking in the beauty of the surroundings. Major attractions here are a heart-shaped lake on the way to the peak and panoramic views of Banasura Dam and tea plantations from above.
◾Best Time to Visit: September to March
◾Ideal Duration: 3-4 hours
◾How to Reach: Take a private bus or taxi to reach Chembra Peak, which is 35 km away from Wayanad centre.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to many rare and endangered species of flora and fauna, is one of the best tourist places in Wayanad for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. The sanctuary covers 345 square kilometres and is blessed with moist deciduous forests with different plantations, including bamboo, teak, oak, and eucalyptus. A safari through the wildlife sanctuary is among the most thrilling experiences; it offers an excellent opportunity to see herds of elephants, deer, and bison roaming freely in the forest. What’s more, you can also spot sambar, tigers, panthers, snakes, crocodiles, peacocks, cuckoo and many other animals and birds here.
◾Best Time to Visit: October to February
◾Ideal Duration: 2-3 hours
◾How to Reach: The wildlife sanctuary is 31 km away from Wayanad Centre, so you have to take a bus or taxi.
The three-tiered Soochipara Falls in Vellarimala, also known as Sentinel Rock Waterfalls, is a beautiful place in Wayanad. The sight of large volumes of water cascading from a height of 656-feet among lush green forests and massive rocks is a visual treat! Apart from spending some tranquil time near the falls, you can also take a bath or swim in the pool below and go rock climbing.
◾Best Time to Visit: Monsoon season
◾Ideal Duration: 1-2 hours
◾How to Reach: The falls are 35 km away from Wayanad centre. You can take a bus or taxi to cover the distance.
Meenmutty Falls, a wonderful retreat in the lap of nature, is a must-visit Wayanad tourist place. This three-tiered waterfall is 984-feet tall and surrounded by verdant green forests. To reach this natural wonder, one must trek for about 2 km through the forests. The waterfall has different viewing decks and the sight from the summit is incomparable! Shutterbugs must carry their cameras to capture the enticing views.
◾Best Time to Visit: October to May
◾Ideal Duration: 2-3 hours
◾How to Reach: Take a bus or taxi to travel from Wayanad Centre to Meenmutty Falls, which is 30 km away.
Looking for some quietude away from the hustle and bustle? You must visit Arippara Waterfalls near Wayanad. This stunning waterfall originates from the Iruvanji River and cascades down in eight levels amidst dense greenery. Aside from admiring nature’s beauty, you can enjoy a picnic with your family or friends here, as well as take a refreshing plunge in the pool below.
◾Best Time to Visit: November to May
◾Ideal Duration: 2-3 hours
◾How to Reach: The waterfall is 50 km away from Wayanad Centre. Book a taxi or take the local bus to cover the distance.
Gushing down the Brahmagiri Hills and surrounded by the majestic Western Ghats, Iruppu Falls or Lakshmana Tirtha Falls is a charming place to visit. The place boasts abundant refreshing greenery and is filled with the melodious chirping of birds in an otherwise serene environment, much to the delight of nature lovers and birdwatchers. After seeking permission from the Forest Department, tourists seeking adventure can enjoy a thrilling trek to the falls.
Iruppu Falls also has a connection with the mythological story of Ramayana and is a popular pilgrimage destination. The waterfall is said to be endowed with divine powers, and taking a dip in its water is said to wash away your sins.
◾Best Time to Visit: August to January
◾Ideal Duration: 2-3 hours
◾How to Reach: Take a taxi from Wayanad to reach Iruppu Falls, which is 35 km away.
This stunning island in the Kabini River is among the best places to visit in Wayanad for couples. Kuruva Island, also known as Kuruva Dweep, is surrounded by fresh water and is home to evergreen forests teeming with exotic fauna. Exploring the island and spending quality time in its peaceful surroundings will quickly calm your mind and wash away all worries. While some parts of the island can be explored on foot, others require the use of a boat or raft. You can also go trekking, jungle walks, and on a river safari here.
◾Best Time to Visit: October to March
◾Ideal Duration: 3-4 hours
◾How to Reach: The island is 30 km away from Wayanad, so you can book a taxi.
When you are shortlisting Wayanad’s sightseeing places, remember to include Pookode or Pookot Lake in your itinerary. This beautiful freshwater lake is nestled among the verdant forests of the Western Ghats. The lake’s shape is interesting because it resembles India’s physical map.
Aside from admiring the mesmerising ambience, you can go boating, spend some time in the children’s park, visit the freshwater aquarium, and shop for spices and handiwork. The lake is also a great place for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts.
◾Best Time to Visit: September to May
◾Ideal Duration: 1-2 hours
◾How to Reach: Hire a taxi to reach Pookode Lake, which is 26 km away from Wayanad centre.
Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Thirunelli Temple is one of Kerala’s most revered and ancient religious sites. The idol of Lord Vishnu in this temple is said to have been installed by Lord Brahma himself. Located amidst dense Brahmagiri Hills, the temple has a calm and peaceful aura that attracts devotees from all over. Many pilgrims visit the temple to perform ancestral rites and other rituals on the banks of the Papanashini stream; the divine power of the stream is said to wash away all sins.
◾Best Time to Visit: September to March
◾Ideal Duration: 1-2 hours
◾How to Reach: The temple is 46 km away from Wayanad centre, so you have to take a bus or taxi.
If you enjoy adventure, a trip to Neelimala View Point will be one of the most exciting experiences. The area has a serene atmosphere and some stunning trekking trails through the Western Ghats and gushing streams. The fresh air and misty clouds along the trail prevent you from getting tired and make the hike a breeze. When you reach the hilltop, you will be rewarded with enticing views of the lush green vegetation and milky-white Meenmutty Falls. Birdwatchers can also spot different species of birds here.
◾Best Time to Visit: January to May and September to December
◾Ideal Duration: 2-3 hours
◾How to Reach: The viewpoint is about 27 km away from Wayanad. Hire a taxi or take the bus for comfortable travel.
Pakshipathalam Bird Sanctuary is a popular attraction among nature lovers and birdwatchers due to its incredible population of rare species of birds. The sanctuary is surrounded by dense forests, which serves as a natural habitat for the avian species. If you are an adventure enthusiast, a 3-hour long trek through lush forests, streams, steep hills and rocky caves to traverse the bird sanctuary is sure to provide an adrenaline rush. A watchtower is also available at the sanctuary for easy spotting of birds and animals.
◾Best Time to Visit: October to January
◾Ideal Duration: Full day
◾How to Reach: Take a bus or taxi from Wayanad to reach the bird sanctuary (34 km away).
Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary is a wonderful attraction for wildlife lovers and a great place to see in Wayanad. The sanctuary is home to a wide range of flora and fauna and is a popular destination for birdwatchers. A safari through the sanctuary allows you to get up close and personal with many wild animals, including tigers, panthers, elephants, bison, and deer. You can also plan a stay in one of the tree huts here for a totally different and thrilling experience.
◾Best Time to Visit: October to February
◾Ideal Duration: 3 hours
◾How to Reach: The sanctuary is 44 km away from Wayanad, so have to take a cab or bus to cover the distance
Karapuzha Dam, one of the country’s largest earth dams, enthrals tourists with its gushing water and charming environment. This man-made marvel is situated on both sides of the Karapuzha River and is a popular spot for picnics, boating, and nature walks. You can also unwind amid lush greenery and natural surroundings while watching beautiful aquatic birds. The monsoon season is the best time to visit Wayanad’s Karapuzha Dam because it is full to the brim.
◾Best Time to Visit: Monsoon season
◾Ideal Duration: 1-2 hours
◾How to Reach: The dam is about 12 km away from Wayanad Centre. Cabs and buses are common modes of transport for tourists.
This picturesque town in the Wayanad district, surrounded by majestic mountains and dense coffee plantations, is popular with honeymooners and nature lovers. Kalpetta is perched at a height of 2560-feet above sea level and is blessed with scenic landscapes that captivate tourists. Nature lovers can marvel at the beauty of Kanthanpara Waterfalls, Karapuzha Dam, Pookode Lake, Karlad Lake, and Meenmutty Falls, while adventure enthusiasts can trek to Chembra Peak, Neelimala View Point, and other trekking and hiking trails.
The place is also peppered with ancient temples, including Puliyarmala Jain Temple and Koottamundu Glass Temple, which are popular with Jain pilgrims. Those looking for excitement and adventure can visit Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary and Pakshipathalam Bird Sanctuary, where they can see rare species of flora and fauna. Kalpetta is famous for its local delicacies and tribal souvenirs too.
◾Best Time to Visit: October to March
◾Ideal Duration: 1-2 days
◾How to Reach: Kalpetta is only 13 km away from Wayanad centre, so you can book a cab to explore the town
This popular religious place in Wayanad, also known as Ananthanatha Swamy Jain Temple, is dedicated to Tirthankar Ananthanatha Swamy. The temple was constructed in the 13th century and features distinctive Jain architecture. Aside from beautifully carved entrance doors, the temple has a Dravidian-style stupa with brightly painted carvings. At the top of the stupa is a carving of the Jain Lord, Mahavira. The temple’s main shrine features a large brass idol and small steps with 20 different Jain idols. Puliyarmala Jain Temple is a popular tourist attraction due to its tranquil environment and ancient architecture.
◾Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year
◾Ideal Duration: 1-2 hours
◾How to Reach: The temple is 13 km away from Wayanad centre. You can take a taxi or board a local bus.
Located in Uravu in the Wayanad district, The Bamboo Factory is an interesting yet unexplored place in Wayanad. A trip to the factory will help you understand how bamboo is converted into decorative and functional products, like lampshades, baskets, and furniture. You can also interact with the talented craftspeople here to know more about their work. Aside from reviving bamboo art, the factory also employs locals and helps them improve their standard of living.
◾Best Time to Visit: October to February
◾Ideal Duration: A couple of hours to the entire day
◾How to Reach: The factory is 13 km away from Wayanad Centre, so you can take a cab or bus to cover the distance.
Karlad Lake, surrounded by lush greenery and boasting a fun atmosphere, is one of the most stunning places to visit in Wayanad with family and friends. It is more of an adventure centre where you can enjoy different activities like pedal boating, rock climbing, kayaking, zip-lining, archery, land zorbing and paintball. You can also plan a picnic here with your loved ones or simply spend time in nature for a relaxed and rejuvenated feel.
◾Best Time to Visit: October to January
◾Ideal Duration: 2-3 hours
◾How to Reach: Karlad Lake is about 26 km away. You can hire a taxi or take the bus.

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