Wayanad is a district nestled in a green paradise in a rural district of Kerala, India. Its high altitude has a lot of forests cover and hence home to Asiatic elephants, tigers, leopards, and egrets, etc. There are ancient petroglyphs, some dating back to the Neolithic age in Edakkal Caves!
Wayanad district is located on the southern tip of the Deccan plateau and in the north-eastern part of Kerala.
We left from Bangalore on a Wednesday night for Wayanad. It is a 6-hour journey. We reached around 5: 30 am on Thursday. Luckily, our hotel was just 350 meters away from the bus stop. We booked hotels and buses ( INR 1500 both the ways) on Goibibo.
It is the only district sharing borders with Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and hence it becomes easier to travel to Wayanad. It is at a short distance from popular tourist destinations like Ooty, Kannur, Bangalore, Mysore and Coorg.
By Air: Calicut International Airport is located around 65 km away from Wayanad. You can hire a cab from the airport to reach Wayanad from the airport
By Road: You can drive down from your nearest town to Wayanad (I wouldn’t recommend this because of higher carbon footprints). There are a lot of direct buses available from nearby cities like Bangalore, Mysore, Kochi, Chennai, and Trivandrum.
By train: Wayanad is not connected directly by rail. You can take a train till the nearest railway station to Wayanad – Kozhikode. After getting down at the station, taxis or buses can be boarded to travel to Wayanad.
We booked iCon Residency for INR 550 per night one first two nights and Stream Valley Resort for the last night on Goibibo.
This trip was planned last minute. If you have time (planned in advance and booked here) and money to spend, check out this place for at least one night – Jungle Beats.
Internal travel in Wayanad
In case you do not have your personal vehicle, you can hire an auto with the driver just like we did.
Our day one started at 7 am on the same day. We hired an auto guy from the bus stop. He charged us INR 1500, 1600 AND 1800 for day 1, 2 and 3 respectively. These costs were fair since the places are really far from each other. We also had to pay for his food. We were fine with it initially but later on, it added a lot to our expenses. So it’s better to clarify with the drivers beforehand.
Where to eat?
There are a lot of local hotels, mess and restaurants to eat from. Do not expect any cafes to dine around. The experience of meals is very traditional and raw. Vegetarian food is also available upon request- enter a hotel only after asking if they serve vegetarian food.
Good to know:
We spent INR ~6000 on the entire trip including all the things mentioned in the blog.
We visited Wayanad in May 2018. It is a destination fit for the entire year barring monsoon (June-September) since Kerala received rainfall 350 days in a year.
Banasura Sagar Dam
Entry fee: INR 60 Time spent: 30-45 mins
We reached here around 9: 30 am and after taking the tickets, we had to walk almost 500 meters to reach the dam’s top. We did a mini trek and reached. This dam is Asia’s 3rd largest earth dam and India’s only earth dam!
On top of the dam, there were a LOT OF flying insects!!! A lot! We used my umbrella and ran through them.
There are a lot of things to do here viz., kayaking, horse riding, etc. But since it was very hot (Yes, at 10 am in the morning!), we skipped all those things.
There was a flower garden below the damn. This place was well kept. I was eve teased near the flower garden. So be fully dressed and always be with someone.
Entry cost: INR 60 per person Time: 20 mins
I had read that this place is less crowded than Pookadu lake. Hence, we went here. There is nothing to here apart from boating. There are tents here for you to stay (You can Google and check the details). It’ll be pleasant to stay opposite a lake.
This WAS THE BEST HAPPENED TO US ON THE TRIP.
Cost: INR 1200 for 2 people Time: 60 mins
We wanted to avoid this because the bamboo rafts did not have a cover to protect us from the sun and it was really hot! The auto guy heard us talk about this and conveyed the same to the rafting guy. He arranged a raft with a roof for us at the same cost.
We climbed down and settled here for a short trip in these waters. The water was clean. These are plants and flowers.
We were lucky to get Naushad as our rower. He showed me a bird’s nest just beside his head on the branch!!! He can speak only his native but you’ll thoroughly enjoy the ride with him. We tipped him INR 100 and did not tell his boss. He also requested the same.
The mud that you can see on the left side, you can go on top too. My friend and Naushad went and relaxed there for some time. Take care of leeches, one got stuck on my friend’s foot and Naushad removed it.
Entry: INR 30 per person Time: 30 mins
We came here because I read 2 things: 1) This lake’s shape is that of India (I did not know where to see it from and hence missed it) 2) There are blue lotuses here (Maybe because we did not do boating, we missed it)
We took a stroll around this area. If you’re scared of monkeys, skip this place. But the monkeys here will not harm or snatch anything from you.
Legends say that the Britishers beheaded a lot of Adivasis here. One adivasi’s soul stayed here and hence whichever vehicle passed by, toppled! Post there a saint was called to perform a pooja. He tied a chain around this tree and after this, there was no threat to any vehicle here.
We got up at 4 am today and left by 5 am. Please remember to carry a hoodie and scarf because it was 15 degree Celsius and some drizzle.
The reason we left early was that only 200 people are allowed daily to the Kuruvadweep Islands since it is an eco-tourism area. The tickets start selling around 6 – 6:30 am and are sold out in an hour.
After buying the tickets, we left for Tirunavelli Temple since the entry started only at 9-10 am, we had 3 hours to kill. We stopped for breakfast on the way. We had hot idlis while it was drizzling at a local shop made of a thatched roof and raw bricks. The beauty en route was outstanding !! Lush green all around! We spotted 7 deers and many different insects on the way !!
Back to Kuruwadeep Islands
They open around 9: 30 – 10 am. After showing the tickets, we proceeded towards our boat which would take us to the island.
After venturing inside, we reached a water body where you could take a dip. The view with a lot of trees was beautiful.
After leaving the islands, we had lunch and proceeded for Stream Valley Resort.
Stream Valley Resort
We paid for INR 3000 for one villa and decided to relax in the property itself because it was beautiful, we had paid a good amount and also wanted to unwind with nature. We had al la carte dinner of approx INR 300.
We did not take breakfast to save some money. Turns out, if you want breakfast separately, they charge INR 500 per person. So we walked almost a kilometer to the main area in search for breakfast. Found a local shop and ate there. We finished eating around 10 and it was hot already! Waited for an auto for 15 minutes and found one who agreed to take us inside for INR 30.
We checked out around 12: 30. This was our mistake – checking out late because we had Eddakal Caves and Soochipara Waterfalls on our list.
Hotel to Waterfalls – 1-1.5 hours of travel and falls to caves – 1-1.5 hours of travel. Both these places were to shut around 4 which we came to know once we sat in the auto at 1 pm. We skipped lunch and ran for the falls.
We reached the falls at around 1 pm. The auto guy asked us to come back by 1: 45 if we wanted to make it up to the caves.
We had to walk another kilometer to reach the falls. The road leading to the caves was terrible. It was steep, with a lot of steps, loooonnngg steps and a lot of cobblestones. We had 2 pit stops.
We were just running for 25 -30 mins on these roads. We were about to reach the falls but decided to turn back because I did not want to miss the caves and we could hear a lot of hooligans near the falls. The place was crowded. Spent another 20-25 mins in coming back, met the auto guy ran for Eddakal Caves.
The view on the way was again breathtaking with a lot of tea and coffee plantations. A typical Kerala view 🙂
We finally reached the caves at 3: 40 pm (it was to shut at 4). I was happy that we made it! But no! We had to walk another kilometer to get the tickets.
This road was worse than the earlier one. We were tired and exhausted and the roads were very steep! We were running on these almost 50 degrees steep roads !!
We were happy when we got the tickets but later came to know there is another trek of almost 500 steps. We gathered a lot of courage telling each other that we’re not coming back so to see this and then call the day.
We climbed with a lot of pit stops.
At this midpoint, we could either go up or go back down. Our bodies had given up and we still needed the energy to walk the same distance down. We started walking towards the auto guy and took almost 40 mins!
We left for our bus stop ( to go to Bangalore ). Had lunch at around 5 pm. It was an extremely tiring day for us. Have at least half a day for each of these day 3 places if you plan to visit them.
You can skip the falls. I don’t know what people really like about that. I cannot say about the caves since I’ve not seen them.
If you have more time, you can add:
Only Luv Kush Temple
Kerala is the only place to have Luv Kush temple – Pulpally in entire India.
Chembra Peak- Heart-shaped lake:
Chembra Peak is the highest peak in Wayanad located 2100m above sea level. You can do a day’s trek here or camp overnight beside this beautiful heart-shaped lake! District Tourism Promotion Council provides guides, sleeping bags, etc on hire charges. Chembra peak is adjoining the Nilgiri Hills in Tamilnadu and Vellarimala in Kozhikode district in Kerala.
Munekal caves or Pakshipathalam is located 1740 m above sea level in the Brahmagiri Hills at Thirunelli. If you are an adventure seeker, you will love this place since it involves a 16 km journey through thick wild forests. The deep rock caves seated amidst thick blocks of rocks are the abode to various birds and wild animals
Pazhassi Tourist Resort
Pazhassi Raja who was known the Lion of Kerala and organized warfare against British East India Company was cremated here in 1805. It is 34 km from Kalpetta. There are various attractions here viz., boating, park, aquarium and sale of handicrafts.
Other blogs you might find blogs interesting :
48 hours in Bangalore – Read here
A digital detox getaway from Bangalore – read here
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