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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wayanad - A Beautiful Hill Station in Kerala


Wayand is one of the few districts in kerala that has been able to retain its pristine nature. Hidden away in the hills of this Iand are some o the oldest tribes, as yet untouched by civilization. And the very first prehistoric engravings in Kerala, discovered in the foothills of Edakkal and around Ambukuthymala, bear testimony to a pre-historic culture dating back to the Mesolithic Age. Strikingly scenic, it is known for its sub-tropical savannahs,picturesque hill stations ,sprawling spice plantations, luxuriant forests and rich cultural traditions. A holistic confluence of wilderness, history and culture, Wayanad is located on the southern tip of the magnificent Deccan plateau.

Attractions and Sight Seeing Wayanad

Kuruwa Dweep - 17 km east of mananthavady,45 km northwest of Sulthan Bathery . Thsi 950 acre , uninhabited island on the eastward bound Kabani River is an ideal picnic spot. The wooded stretch of land is home to rare species of birds,orchids and herbs.

Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary - 25 km east of Mananthavady .13 km from Thirunelly on the Kodagu road. Open 0700-0900 hrs,, 1500 - 1700 hrs . Thsi sanctury has a wide variety of animals, but visitors are restricted to the outer tourist zone.

Chembra Peak - 18 km west of Kalpetta . Hike up the rugged terrains of the Chembra Peak located 2100 metres above sea level on the Southern part of the Wayanad. Chembra is the tallest peak in Wayanad and is an ideal area for trekking . With permission from the Forest Department, one day treks and two day wildlife treks are are possible. you can have group treks of up to ten people or hike on your own, accompanied by a guide.

Banasura Sagar Dam - 25 km notheast of Kalpetta. Considered to be the largest earth dam in India, as well as the second largest in Asia, this is a mini hydel project. A park with ever flowering trees is a major tourist attraction. Boating facilities in the dam and trekking trails leading from here  draw many outdoor enthusiasts.

Edakkal Caves
- 12 km from Sulthan Bathery Open 0900 - 1600 hrs Located at a height of 1000 m on Ambukuthymala near Ambalavayal are the Edakkal Caves. Nature representations on these cave walls made by Neolithic Celts were first identified  by a British man on a hunting trip.  The new stone age pictorial writings on the walls are evidence of the pre historic civilisation that existed in these regions and have the distinction of being the first specimen of abraded drawings foinf in India. Accessible only by a kilometre's trek from Edakkal, the wall art found in these caves have caught the attention of archaeologists worldwide. You can see three distinct sets of petroglyphs,the  earliest dating back on over 3000 years. Morning hours are the best time to visit the caves. Mondays are holidays.

Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary : 15 km from Sulthan BAthery . Establsihed in 1973, the sanctury is contiguous to the protected area network of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka on the northeast and Mudumalai of Tamil Nadu on the southeast. Rich in bio-diversity, the sanctuary is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The management 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 . The sanctury has a large population of pachyderms and has been declared a project Elephant site.  Other animals you can find  here are the leopards, gaurs ,sambars etc.  The reserve is also home to a small population of tigers, a profusion of brids ,buttrerflies and insects.

Pookot Lake - 15 km from Kalpetta. This perennial freswater lake near  Lakkidi is sourrounded by lush evergreen  forest. Kayaking, pedal and row boating , a freswater aquarium, childrens park, a handicrafts and  spices emporium are among the tourist facilities available here. A restaurant and cafe add to the charm of this place which is an ideal picnic spot for tourists.

Sentinel Rock Water falls  - 23 m from Kalpetta. Locally know as Soochipara, the pool at the foot of the falls is the ideal for a quick dip. One of the most attractive falls in the district,the water hits the sharp spikes of granite at the base and hence the name.

Meenmutty Waterfalls - 29 km from Kalpetta on the Ootty main road) An interesting 2 km jungle trek will lead to the largest and most spectacular waterfall in Wayanad. A unique feature of Meenmutty is that the water drops from nearly 1000ft over three stages,presenting a triple - decker effect.

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