The rains take the pristine beauty of Wayanad, which has a delectable mix of plains and mountains, a few notches higher and it is tough to put the bewitching charm of this great getaway into words. As monsoon arrives, the nature paints the valleys and rolling hills green and the hovering thick mist and rain droplets create a surreal atmosphere that can take travellers to a dreamworld. Wayanad is all geared up for monsoon tourism and now tourists can have all the fun and frolic while travelling through the winding ghat road to this magical destination.
Monsoon calls on Kerala at two different periods. One starts in June and ends in September and the other is from October to November. As the region receives copious rainfall accompanied by thunder and lightning during the second phase of monsoon, the best time for monsoon travel in Wayanad is in the months of July and August. Though this enchanting destination is endowed with nature’s bounty, it is a fact that there are many places in Wayanad that have an unpredictable topographical behaviour. Make sure to follow the instructions of the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC), the forest department and the district administration while touring Wayanad and avoid entering prohibited places. Currently, trekking is banned in Chembra, Brahmagiri, Chirapullu and Kattukunnu peaks.
Where to visit
1. Pookode Lake
If it is raining in Wayanad, then Pookode Lake is a must-see destination. This mesmerizing freshwater lake is situated 3km south of Vythiri and is one of the top tourist attractions of Wayanad. The shores of the lake boast of an aqua park with a fish breeding center and the lake is replete with bright blue water lilies. You can enjoy the serenity of the lake by leisurely walking through the pathway around the natural water body and also go on a boating spree in small pedal boats.
2. Banasura Sagar Dam
The Banasura Sagar Dam, which is 21km away from Kalpetta, is built across the Karamanthodu tributary of the Kabani River. It is noteworthy that this one km long dam is made of mud. There are many spots near the earthen dam that are great for trekking. Moreover, the sight of small isles in the valley of the Banasura hills is breathtaking.
3. Meenmutty Falls
Meenmutty Falls is Kerala’s second largest waterfall and is situated 29km south of Kalpetta. One has to pass through expansive tea plantations and teak tree forest to reach this milky falls. The vista of water falling from a height of 300m through three tiers is amazing. One can also trek to the top as there are many trekking routes that would help you to scale the heights. As accidents are quite common, some of the trekking trails would be closed and do check the availability before wearing your trekking boots.
4. Edakkal Caves
Edakkal caves that house intricate carvings dating back to 5,000 BC is one the most sought-after tourist destinations in Wayanad. The caves are tucked away atop the Ambukuthi Mala and situated 4,000ft above sea level. The pre-historic caves have the oldest inscriptions in Kerala. A visit to Wayanad won’t be complete without stepping into the Edakkal caves.
5. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its elephants and tigers, and is located between Sultan Bathery in Wayanad district and Mysuru in Karnataka. Bandipur National Park, Muthumala Wildlife Sanctuary and Nagarahole National Park are near the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.
6. Kuruva Island
The awesome Kuruva Island spread over 950 acres of land is in the Kabani River. The island is a conglomeration of 150 small isles and houses a rich flora, including medicinal plants. It is also home to different species of birds. Usually people can cover the majority of the island on foot but during floods one can reach the island only in small boats.