Wayanad Hill station has the highest number of tribal settlements in Kerala. The hill ranges of Vythiri taluk, through which the road from Kozhikode ascends the Wayanad plateau over the mind boggling bends and ridges.
Wayanad came in the map of tourism in Kerala in the year 1973, when Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary was established. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is a contiguous to the protected area network of Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary and Bandipur Tiger Reserve of Karnataka on the northeast and Mudumalai of Tamil Nadu on the southeast.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is rich in bio-diversity. The sanctuary is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, which has been established with the specific objective of conserving the biological heritage of the region. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is very rich in flora and fauna. The management of Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary lays emphasis on scientific conservation with due consideration for the general lifestyle of the tribals and others who live in and around the forest region.
Tourism in Wayanad
Wayanad attracts national and international tourists for the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and tribal settlements. This hill station also comprises of the leisure and nature tourism sites like Pookat Lake, Kabani River, Kuruvadweep, Thirunelly temple, Pazhassi tomb, Edakkal Caves and many other pilgrimage tourism sites.
Pookkat Lake is a natural fresh water lake. It is surrounded by evergreen forest and rolling hills. A fresh water aquarium with large variety of fish is an added attraction. The tourists can also avail the boating facilities, children's park, and a shopping centre for handicrafts and spices.
Kuruvadweep is a 950 acre uninhabited island in Wayanad. Kuruvadweep is located on the eastward bound of Kabani River and is served as an ideal picnic spot. The wooded stretch of land is home to rare species of birds, orchids and herbs.
Thirunelly Temple is surrounded by Kambamala, Karimala and Varadiga. Thirunelly temple is a wonder of shrine architecture. The shrine is protected with 30 granite columns and the ground is paved with huge square pieces of granite. The crystal clear water of the Papanasini River is running downhill adding to the attraction of the place.
Pazhassi Tomb is the memorial in Kerala. The memorial of "The Lion of Kerala"- Veera Pazhassi Raja who organised the guerilla warfare against the British East India Company, is situated at Mananthavady. The Pulpally cave is where Pazhassi took refuge until he was captured by the army of British East India Company.
Glass Temple of Kottamunda
Glass Temple of Kottamunda is located on the slope of Vellarimala. It is dedicated to Lord Parswanatha Swamy of the Jain faith. The mirrors inside the temple walls reflect images of the icons in the temple's sanctum sanctorum.
Boy's Town has the herbal garden; nature care centre, sericulture unit and perma-culture centre established by the Wayanad Social Service Society and Jean Park, the Indo-Danish project for promoting herbal gardening are situated here.
Chembra Peak is located at about 2,100 metres above sea level. It is located on the southern part of Wayanad Hill station. Chembra Peak is the tallest peak in Wayanad District and is an ideal area for trekking. There is a heart shaped lake on the way to the top of the peak, which is believed to have never dried up. This is a major tourist attraction in Wayanad Hill Station.
Edakkal Caves consists of two caves. These two caves are located at a height of 1000 meters on Ambukutty Mala near Ambalavayal. The New Stone Age pictorial writings on the walls of these natural caves at Edakkal are evidence of the prehistoric civilisation that existed in these regions in prehistoric times. The caves can be accessed only by a 1 km trekking trail from Edakkal.
Lakkidi is the gateway to Wayanad Hill station. This is situated at about 700 meters above mean sea level, at the crest of the Thamarasseri Ghat pass. The lofty peaks, gurgling streams and luxuriant forests add magic to the trip up the winding roads to this hill station of Kerala.