In Wayanad, Kerala's hill country.

By Sanjay Sivadas.

Sanjay takes us through the hill countryside of Wayanad in God's Own Country, Kerala.  India Untravelled recommends staying in Meenangadi in Wayanad, at The Treasure Trove bamboo cottages raised on stilts amid a coffee & rubber estate.

Tucked away at an altitude of 700-2100 meters above sea level, in a particularly beautiful corner of Kerala, is Wayanad, surely one of the better kept secrets of Kerala. Earlier this month, I packed my bags and headed off to Wayanad.

Chembra Peak, Wayanad, Kerala offbeat places, Kerala hidden places, tea estate
Chembra peak, across the tea gardens.

Wayanad has a history dating back to 3000 BC. I decided to pay a visit to the primordial Edakkal Caves which has drawn the attention of archaeologists from across the globe. On my way to the Edakkal Caves, I came across the Chembra Peak; the loftiest peak in Wayanad. For those who have a head for heights, it makes for some exhilarating trekking. Almost half way up, you will come across a heart-shaped lake, a romantic spot to get down on one knee and propose ;)

Chembra Peak, Wayanad, Kerala offbeat places, Kerala hidden places
Chembra Peak at Wayanad.

The Edakkal Caves are two rock formations purportedly formed by a large split in a mammoth rock. Legend has it that they were caused by the arrows fired by Luv and Kush, the sons of Rama; the legendary hero of Ramayana. Like the world-renowned Ajanta and Ellora Caves in Maharashtra, the Edakkal Caves too were discovered by a Britisher, in 1890, while he was on shikar. The engravings found inside the Edakkal Caves shed light on the existence of a Stone Age civilization in Wayanad.

The following morning, I drove down the Chundale-Udagamandalam road towards a hillock known as Neelimala. An easy 45 minutes climb took me atop Neelimala. No sooner was I atop that I began to hear the roar of the Meenmutty Falls. The latter happens to be one of the largest waterfalls in Kerala. The sight of the waterfalls cascading from nearly 1000 feet is indeed breathtaking.

When you are in Wayanad, you will be spoiled for choice. But make sure that you find time to meander through a sprawling tea plantation the north, set out on a safari in tiger country aka Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, and pay a visit to Kuruvadweep, a picturesque group of islets bound by the Kabini River.

I put up at Vythiri Resort while in Wayanad, in a tree house perched some 100 feet above ground level! I rounded off my trip to Wayanad with a bout of speed boating on the Banasura Sagar Dam, a breathtaking lake set against the backdrop of the Banasura Peak.

Chembra Peak, Wayanad, Kerala offbeat places, Kerala hidden places, tea estate
Sanjay at the tea estates of Wayanad.
 Getting there & things to know:
  • Wayanad is located about 75 kilometers from Calicut.
  • Wayanad is accessible only by road. National Highway 212 (NH 212) that runs from Calicut to Mysore passes through Wayanad.
  • Splash, a popular monsoon carnival is held in Wayanad, every year, in the month of July. This year’s edition of Splash will be held from 12-15 July.

Author Bio: The author is a travel writer based in Bangalore. He has written for publications like The Hindu, Ritz & Khaleejesque and travel portals like Yatra & Mahindra Homestays, among others. He can be reached at

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