Wayanad is a green stretch of land blessed with many of nature’s wonderful gifts and cultural heritage. The name itself is derived from the word “Wayal Nadu” which means “the land of paddy fields” and this beautiful landscape shares borders with both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Wayanad has a fascinating history that extends from ancient neolithic civilization at Edakkal caves to the gallant freedom struggle of the renowned king Pazhassi Raja. Most of its revenue is generated from cash crops like pepper,cardamom, coffee, tea, spices and other condiments.
Today, Wayanad is a major tourist destination in the sub - tropical region. The uniqueness of this place is that it has something to offer to a wide range of tourists, from trekking enthusiasts to nature lovers. You can take a long drive to the ancient temple in Thirunelli or trek the highest peak in the region- Chembra peak.
Set in a beautiful valley and surrounded by evergreen forests, Pookode is one of Wayanad's top visitor tourist draws. This natural lake near Lakkidi is just a short distance off the National Highway 212. It has been developed as a recreational center having boating facilities, children's park, shop for souvenirs and spices, and a fresh water aquarium. Replete with a cafe and restaurant, this is a good setting for day outings with family.
Wayanad is known for its red berries spread amongst the green plantations. Coffee is one of the major crop cultivated in Wayanad, mainly due to its excellent climate and high altitude. Over 5000 hectares of Coffee cultivation in the district gives enough opportunity for the tourists to know and explore more about coffee.
Wayanad wildlife Sanctuary is a part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and Project Elephant Reserve No. 7. It is contiguous with Mudumalai Wild life Sanctuary of Tamil Nadu and Bandipur and Nagarahole National Park of Karnataka.
Significant due to its ecological and geographical continuity with other protected areas, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary offers a unique eco system rich in flora and fauna, forming a natural corridor for the seasonal migration of long ranging animals within the greater conservation unit.
The Kuruva Island with the 950 acres of evergreen forests that lies at one of the tributaries of the River Kabani. This calm and peaceful Island is home to variety of birds, butterflies and orchids.
An interesting trek up the Ambukuthy hill near Ambalavayal town takes you to the fascinating neolithic cave site of Edakkal. Etchings found on the walls of this caves have drawn the serious attention of archaeologists and historians worldwide. With at-least three distinct sets of petroglyphs, the earliest one is thought to date back over 3000 years, points to the fact that the Edakkal caves have been inhabited at various stages in history.
Apart from the Sulthan Bathery temple, there are other significant Jain remnants in Wayanad. The temples at Punchavayal and Puthenangadi are the best known of these. With their beautifully carved pillar which are partly ruined now, and the area rather derelict, these sites exude a peculiar particular air of mystery.
Locally known as Soochipara, this is a very porular leisure destination. While younger visitors love to romp in the pool formed at the foot of the fall, the more restrained can have equally good fun just exploring in the scenery.