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WAYANAD :

 

Facts About Wynad

Population: 6,71,195
Area:    2,131sq km
Temperature
Language: Malayalam
Altitude: 700 to 2100 m above Sea level
Summer
Winter
Rainfall (Annual):  250 cm
Climate: Tropical monsoon. seasonally exessive rain fall. hot summer
Max
Min
Max
Min
Tourist Season: August to March
Clothing: Tropical
35oC
20oC
35oC
 20oC 

How to get there

Air : The nearest airport is at Calicut.
Road : Wynad's headquarters. Kalpetta is linked by road to other towns in Kerala and there are frequent buses to Calicut.

 
Wynad - Nature's Bounty

The unique geographical features of Wynad, expressed in rugged mistcovered mountains and pastoral valleys, lend this northern district a peculiar charm and a delightful challenge for hikers and nature lovers. The last populous of Kerala's districts, Wynad is relatively backward and development has not appreciably improved the lives of the tribes who comprise a sizeable section of the population.

Wynad's climate and geography make it ideal for the cultivation of coffee, tea, cardamom, paper and rubber. Plantations, especially of coffee, abound.

Once ruled by the Kalpetta, the district headquarters, is the famous Ananthaatha Jain Temple at Puliyarmala. This district is said to have been a stronghold of Jains in the past. Another pointer to this fact is the Glass Temple Of Koottamunda, 20 km from Kalpetta. Located on the slope of the Vellarimala hill, this temple is dedicated to Parswanatha Swami of the Jain faith. The mirrors inside the temple walls reflect in thousands of beautiful patterns the images of the icons in the temple's sanctum sanatorium.

Trekkers would like to head for the Chembra Peak, 18 km away, the Banasura Sagar Dam near Padinharathara, also 18 km away, as well as the Meenmutty waterfall, 40 km from Kalpetta.

With picturesque hills, gurgling streams and lush vegetation, Lakkadi is one of the highest sports in Wynad, often subject to heavy rainfall. The beautiful natural fresh water Pookote Lake, 3 km from Lakkadi, is a favourite picnic spot. The District Tourism Promotion Council arginases boat cruises on the lake.

At a height of nearly 500 m above sea level,

Manathavady

110 km from Calicut, is filled with coffee estates. It is historically important as the last resting place of Pazhassi Raja who valiantly fought the British. He was cremated here with full military honours. The Tomb of Pazhassi Raja and the park in his memory are reminders of this great ruler.

The Thirunelly temple,

sometimes called the 'Kasi of the South', is 32 km from Mananthavady. Believers say the idol of Vishnu was installed here by Brahma himself. Near the temple is the Papanasini whose waters, the religions believe, can wash one's sins away.

Close to Thirunelly is the brid-watching centre of Pakshippathalam. The place can be reached only by trekking. A watch tower allows bird lovers to try and spot the different varieties of brirds which come here.

The Valliyurkavu Bhagawathi temple of Durga is known for the two-week long festival attended by hundreds of advises. In the past, devises were sold as bonded during this festival.

Ecotourists will delight in the Kuruva Islands, 16 km from Mananthavady, on the river Kabini. Apart from animals and birds, these islands have rich herbs, orchids and rare species of flowers.

Sultan's Battery

(pronounced in Malayalam as 'Sul-than Ba-the-ry'), 98 km from Calicut, was formerly known as Ganapathivattom. It derivers its present name from Tippu Sultan of Mysore who built a fort here in the 18th century.

The remnants of the historic Pazhassi Raja fort can be seen at Panamaram, 29 km from Sultan Battery. This was Pazhassi Raja's stronghold until the fort was seized by the British in 1805. At Pulpally is a cave in which Pazhassi Raja took refuge until his capture. The Raja is also believed to have gifted a temple- the Mariamman Kovil - to the local tribes as a reward for their help in his fight against the British invaders.

On the Ambukuthi hills are the two Edakkal caves, natural rock-cut formations formed by a large split in a huge rock roofed over by other large rocks, all fixed in position through natural processes. These caves have been made famous worldwide for their ancient carvings and pictorial wall inscriptions of human and animal figures with peculiar head dresses and swastik forms and symbols. Archaeologists say the place was one of the earliest centres of human habitation. Dating to the prehistoric era of the new stone age civilizations, these caves can be reached from Ambalavayal, 16 km from Sultan Battery. The last two km to the caves have to be trekked. It is best to visit the caves in the morning.

Another beautiful spot accessible only by foot is the Chethalayam waterfall, about 12 km from Sultan Battery, on the Pulpally main road.

If you are in search of elephants, spotted deer, gaur, sambar or sloth bear, head for the Wynad Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as the Muthanga wildlife Sanctuary. Situated about 15 km from Sultan Battery, it is sprawling over 344 sq km and from part of the area of the Mudumalai sanctuary in Tamil Nadu and the Bandipur sanctuary in Karnataka. The best season to visit the Wynad sanctuary is June to October.

INFOTIP

In several off-the-beaten- path tourist spots of Kerala, the only accommodation available will be government guest houses. There are several scattered all over the state, often quaint charming old-style buildings in scenic locations. Though they are primarily meant for government officials on tour, you can usually get a roof for the night. And the rates are downright cheap. But don't expect fancy frills-facilities are very basic, so make sure you carry essentials like soap and towels.

 

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