Wayanad – A Hub of Enthralling Natural Beauty

This picturesque location is situated at a height of 2100 meters above sea level, making it a prime destination to visit during your Karnataka trip. Wayanad is renowned for being one of the most exquisite hill stations, featuring an alluring aroma of spices, breathtaking waterfalls, captivating caves, diverse wildlife, and opulent resorts. This hill station is an ideal place to relax and rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit. Its natural beauty is so palpable that tourists from all corners of the globe come to experience it firsthand.

In addition to its breathtaking landscapes and tourist attractions, this destination has an array of activities to make your vacation truly memorable. You can partake in thrilling adventures such as trekking, camping, cycling, ziplining, and exploring enigmatic caves. Visiting Wayanad means experiencing natural beauty at its finest and creating unforgettable memories that will stay with you forever.

Tourist attractions of Wayanad

  • Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Pookode Lake
  • Kalladi Forest
  • Edakkal Caves
  • Neelimala View Point
  • Chembra Peak
  • Thirunelli Temple

1. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the four ranges that comprise the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, situated mainly in a rainforest and boasting high biodiversity in the peninsular region of India. This eco-tourism center is abundant in both moist and dry deciduous trees and semi-evergreen forests.

As part of the Nilgiri Bioreserve, Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary occupies a significant portion of the Western Ghats and the densely forested Malabar Hills. It is renowned for its large elephant population and offers opportunities to spot a variety of other wild animals as well.

However, the chances of sightings are subject to luck, and there is no guarantee of successful spotting during the first safari. Consequently, most wildlife enthusiasts prefer to stay in the vicinity of the sanctuary for a few days and go on safaris every morning and afternoon in hopes of sighting the animals.

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary Entry Fee

  •  20 per person for Indian Adults
  •  10 per person for Children below 12 years and bonafide students
  •  110 per person for Foreign Tourists
  •  25 for Still Camera
  •  150 for Video Camera
  •  50 Parking fee for Light Vehicle
  •  150 Parking fee for Heavy Vehicle
  •  100 Guide fee
  •  300 for Jeep Safari

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary Timings

Monday7:00 am – 10:00 am
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Tuesday7:00 am – 10:00 am
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Wedesday7:00 am – 10:00 am
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Thursday7:00 am – 10:00 am
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Friday7:00 am – 10:00 am
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Saturday7:00 am – 10:00 am
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Sunday7:00 am – 10:00 am
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

2. Pookode Lake

Pookot Lake, the most popular tourist destination in Wayanad, is a natural freshwater lake situated amidst evergreen forests and wooded slopes. With its awe-inspiring scenic beauty and serene atmosphere, this idyllic lake captivates every visitor. The path encircling the lake is flanked by dense bushes and tall trees that enhance the overall appeal. Pookot Lake is the source of the Panamaram rivulet, which is one of the primary tributaries of the Kabani River and cascades down into the Panamaram valley. The lake also features a freshwater aquarium containing a diverse collection of fishes that entices tourists. Additionally, recreational facilities such as boating in the lake, a children’s park, and a handicrafts and spices emporium are available on-site.

The pleasant climate, combined with the stunning landscapes and entrancing ambiance of the area, promises to make your visit to Pookot Lake a rejuvenating and unforgettable experience.

Tourist Places near Pookot Lake


An idyllic hill resort located in the Brahmagiri hills, 7 km north-east of Thirunelli Pakshipathalam is about 66 km from Kalpetta and it houses a wide variety of birds and animals.


Located in close proximity to Pakshipathalam, Kuruvadwep is a beautiful island, stretching for 950 acres on the banks of the Kabani River, 17 km from Mananthavady.

Chembra Peak

It is the highest peak in Wayanad, rising to a height of 2100m above sea level. Located 14 km west of Kalpetta.

Fairs and Festivals

Wayanad being a major district of Kerala, it celebrates all major festivals of the state like Onam Festival, Thrissur Pooram, and others. But the festivals unique to this place include Thirunelli Festival – the two day annual festival of Sree Thirunelli Devaswom held in April, and Valliyoorkkavu Festival – the annual festival of Goddess Bhagavathy, held in March.

3. Kalladi Forest

Kerala is one of the top-rated tourist destinations in India, particularly in South India, known for its unparalleled natural beauty. It serves as an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and is increasingly becoming a hub for adventure enthusiasts, much like the Himalayan Ranges. With its tranquil and lush green surroundings, Kerala is also a popular choice for honeymooners. Wildlife explorers are also drawn to Kerala, and they can enjoy jungle safaris and camping. Family vacationers also have an array of activities to indulge in and create memories to cherish.

For those seeking adventure in the mystical lands, there is no better option than trekking, and the forest land of Kalladi in Wayanad is a perfect choice. The trek takes you through lush green forests and picturesque tea plantations that add to the natural beauty of the area. Kerala takes pride in its ancient tea factories, some of which have been flourishing since before the country gained its independence. Kalladi forest, which begins from the Chembra Ranges in the Western Ghats, is home to tall palms and short shrubs that tickle your feet. The forest is also famous for its spice cultivation, and you can spot various kitchen essentials hanging from the trees, including cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, black and white peppercorns, nutmeg, bay leaves, and star anise. Paddy cultivation is another significant feature of this region. The serene environment, pure air, and fragrant flowers provide a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of daily life, allowing for peace of mind.

Trekking in the forest lands of Kalladi, Wayanad is an adventure seekers’ delight. The best time for trekking is between December and March, although monsoon season is also an option for those who don’t mind the humidity. Unlike other parts of the country, the rains here are not incessant, and the sun does come out periodically. Trekking is relatively safe with fewer threats from the jungle and the guides provide preventive measures. The difficulty level can range from moderate to challenging, and the trek can be completed in 6-7 hours with the option to camp in between. Wayanad’s tree houses offer affordable overnight stays, and sightseeing includes the Soojipara Waterfalls, Pookat Lake, Bansura Sagar Dam, and Eddakal Caves. These forests are a nature lover’s paradise, with the added opportunity to witness the life of creatures other than humans.

4. Edakkal Caves

The Edakkal Caves is a fascinating and historically significant attraction known for its remarkable rock formations and ancient carvings. These petroglyphs are some of the earliest examples of human expression and writing. The name “Edakkal” means “a stone in between,” and the caves are formed by a large boulder lodged between two other boulders, which has been there for more than 8,000 years. Visitors must trek up and climb steep stairs to reach the entrance of the caves, but the effort is worth it. The interior is adorned with ancient wall carvings depicting animals, humans, and other figures from prehistoric times. In addition to its historical significance, the Edakkal Caves are also a scenic wonder, with breathtaking views of the countryside from the top, making it an excellent place to visit.

The Edakkal Caves are a pair of natural caves situated 25 km from Wayanad, located on the Ambukutty Mala hills. You can reach the caves by climbing a series of around 300 stairs. Inside the caves, you can observe rock engravings that offer a glimpse into early human expression. And from the top, you can enjoy scenic views of the surrounding area.

History of Edakkal Caves

Edakkal Caves have an enigmatic past. According to local legends, the caves were formed by the arrows of Lord Rama’s sons Luv and Kush, which split a large rock into two, creating a narrow passage.

The rock engravings found in Edakkal Caves date back to the Neolithic era, as early as 6000 BCE, and some of the latest carvings are from around 1000 BCE. Discovered in the 19th century by a police official named Fred Fawcett during one of his hunting trips, the carvings come in different forms, indicating that the caves were inhabited multiple times. Although some of the symbols link to the Indus Valley civilization, many of them are yet to be deciphered. Only around 400 Edakkal Caves petroglyphs have been identified so far.

Things to do at Edakkal Caves

  1. To reach Edakkal Caves, visitors must trek uphill for around one kilometer, passing by local restaurants and shops selling natural products. After reaching the entrance, visitors must climb over 300 stairs, some of which are wide enough to rest on, while others lead to narrow, dark passages descending into the caves.
  2. Once inside, visitors are transported back to the Stone Age. The cave is a natural rock shelter formed by a boulder that split in two, with another large rock wedged in the middle forming the roof. The rock is etched with a variety of symbols and shapes, including ancient scripts in some parts. The paintings are spread across two chambers: upper and lower.
  3. The hilltop offers stunning views of the surrounding tea estates and countryside, with gray and brown mountains in the background. Visitors can pause to catch their breath and enjoy the panorama. A telescope is also available near the caves for an even clearer view.

Edakkal Caves Wayanad Trek Details

Edakkal Caves trek is a walk on a steep hill slope to the cave entrance. At the entrance, are the stairs that take you to the cave. You have 300-odd steps to climb, after which you descend into the Edakkal Caves painting chambers.

It takes about 30-45 minutes at a leisurely pace to complete the trek and walk up those steps.

  • Trek starting point: Edakkal Caves parking area
  • Trek length: about a km one-way (to the base of the steps)
  • Trek difficulty: Moderate

Edakkal Caves Timings and Entry Fee

Wayanad Edakkal Caves are open from 9 AM to 4 PM daily except on Mondays and public holidays. It’s open throughout the year. It might be closed, though, during monsoons and other days of heavy rains, for your safety.

The ticket rate for Edakkal Caves is ₹50 per person. Camera fees and parking charges are extra. A jeep shuttle service is also available from the parking area to the ticket counter near the steps. It costs ₹70 per person.

How to reach Edakkal Caves Wayanad?

Edakkal Caves are located 25 km away from Wayanad, and the closest bus stand is in Wayanad. The nearest railway station is in Kozhikode, which is 98 km away, while the nearest airport is Calicut International Airport, which is 106 km away. To reach the caves, you can take a bus from Wayanad that drops you off near the parking area, or book a taxi from the top car rental companies in Wayanad.

If you’re interested in exploring Wayanad, you can book a Wayanad tour package by filling out the Contact Us form on their website. Wayanad Tourism, a division of Holidays DNA, can help you plan the perfect vacation, including a visit to Edakkal Caves.

5. Neelimala View Point

Neelimala, located in Vaduvanchal, Wayanad district, Kerala, is a magnificent viewpoint and a popular tourist attraction for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. It is situated 12 km from Ambalavayal, 22 km from Sulthan Bathery, and 27 km from Kalpetta. The viewpoint provides a breathtaking view of the stunning Meenmutty falls and the beautiful valley in the foreground. The view of the waterfalls from Neelimala looks like a milky way, slicing through the dense foliage of Wayanad’s forests.

Neelimala’s scenic surroundings offer several exciting trekking trails that pass through coffee plantations, unexplored forests, and vast fields of flowers, making it an excellent destination for trekking. The location is ideal for a family vacation as it provides a peaceful and charming environment. To reach the viewpoint, visitors must hire a jeep from Vaduvanchal main road and then go up a hill around 3 km away. From there, a guide will lead them on a 2.5 km hike to the viewpoint. The trekking path is narrow and steep. From the viewpoint, tourists can witness the milky white streams cascading through the hills, making their way to the river.

Neelimala viewpoint is open from 9 AM to 5 PM, and the entry fee is Rs. 500 per jeep, which can accommodate up to six people.

6. Chembra Peak

Chembra Peak is situated near Meppady and is about 8 km south of Kalpetta. It is the tallest peak in the Wayanad Hill Range, rising up to an elevation of 2000 meters above sea level. The peak presents a breathtaking view of not only the entire Wayanad district, but also a significant portion of Kozhikode, Malappuram, and Niligiri districts. With its lush greenery and the famous heart-shaped lake, Chembra Peak is a traveller’s paradise, waiting to be explored.

The Chembra Peak, situated near Meppady and approximately 8 km from Kalpetta, is the highest peak in the Wayanad Hill Range with an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level. Tourists can enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of not just the Wayanad district but also Kozhikode, Malappuram, and Nilgiri districts. The heart-shaped Lake, which never dries up, is another attraction on the way to the peak. Trekkers can access the peak by foot from Meppady, and the trek takes about three hours. Visitors can also witness the stunning view of the Banasura Sagar Dam, which appears like a silver disk amidst the greenery. The South Wayanad Forest Development Agency’s ‘Chempra Peak VSS’ organizes treks, while the District Tourism Promotion Council provides equipment and guides for hire. The fees are INR 500 for a group of 10 Indians and INR 1000 for foreigners. The trek is an excellent one-day trekking experience, and tourists can explore the beauty of nature at its best.

How to reach Chembra Peak 

  • Air: Karipur International Airport is the nearest airport which is 92 km away and well connected by State transport buss and cabs.
  • Rail: Nearest railheads is at Kozhikode which is 79 km from Chembra Peak Base Camp. Again State Buses and cabs are the best way to reach Chembra Peak Base camp.
  • Road: Get down at Kalpetta if coming from Bangalore or Kozhikode, from there take a bus or taxi till the Forrest Office which is the base of the trek.

7. Thirunelli Temple

The Thirunelli temple, dedicated to Lord Maha Vishnu, can be found on the side of the Brahmagiri hills in Wayanad, situated 32 km away from Mananthavady. Also referred to as Sahyamala Kshetram and Kashi of South, this temple is surrounded by breathtaking hills and forests. According to the temple’s legend, Lord Brahma discovered the Brahmagiri hills during his travels and recognized an idol of Lord Vishnu resting on an Amla (Gooseberry) tree. With the assistance of the other Devas, he installed the idol there. Lord Vishnu assured Brahma that the water around the temple would wash away all sins, and as a result, the Papanashini stream originated, obliterating all sins. The temple was named Thirunelli after the Amla (Gooseberry) tree on which the idol was discovered.

Upon arriving at the Thirunelli temple, one can feel a sense of peace and tranquility in the serene surroundings, surrounded by lush green forests. The temple has been constructed using ancient temple architecture. The peaceful ambiance and the greenery around the temple offer a refreshing experience.

At the Thirunelli temple, the rituals take place on the banks of the Papanashini stream, which has its source in the Brahmagiri hills and is believed to possess medicinal properties. Another important feature of the temple is the holy rock where people offer prayers for their ancestors. Additionally, the Gunnika cave temple, devoted to Lord Shiva, can be seen on the western side of the Thirunelli temple. Thus, Thirunelli is a unique temple complex, as it is blessed with the presence of the trinities – Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma.

Adjacent to the Papanashini stream is the Panchatheertham, a holy pond believed to be the convergence of five streams during ancient times. The pond is enclosed by dense bushes and features a stone slab in its center bearing the foot imprint of Lord Vishnu. However, during the summer season, the pond dries up.

The Thirunelli temple is open to visitors from 5:30 AM to 12:00 PM in the morning and from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM in the evening. In addition, one can plan a trekking excursion to Pakshipathalam, which is only 10 km away from the Thirunelli temple.

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