Wayanad is a lovely hill town in Kerela, India. This South Indian district seems like it has jumped right out of a storybook. With lush greenery as far as your eyes can see and spellbinding views, this place will steal your heart and make you want to come back for more.
The beauty of Wayanad is highlighted with the onset of monsoons. The trees look greener, the air is fresher and the mountain tops are covered with mist, which makes for surreal views.
As an adventurist, Wayanad in monsoons was the perfect getaway for me. With plenty of hikes and treks in exotic jungles, it was quite an adventure just to walk up and down those narrow trails whilst balancing my camera and umbrella at the same time. Ah and ofcourse the idea was to do all of that without falling. I am happy to announce that I succeeded.
Two days in Wayanad are usually sufficient to enjoy the various attractions this lovely town has to offer. Kozhikode airport to Wayanad takes around 3-4 hours by road. So, if you have more time, keep two extra days for relaxing, traveling and exploring some longer day treks in the area.
Let me take you along on my fairy-tale experience of exploring Wayanad in the rains.
Attractions in Wayanad to cover during the Monsoons
Even during monsoons, there is so much to see and experience in Wayanad. Most of the touristy spots are open and infact are quite popular during the rains. With entry fees as low as Rs 20 (camera extra – Approx $0.75/Rs 50 for both) at most places, you can really do a lot without putting a dent in your wallet.
Pookode lake is a natural fresh water lake very close to the city center. There are walking paths along the lake and I was simply splashing around in puddles and enjoying the lush green foliage.
USP of this lake, apart from the scenic views, is its shape. If you manage to get an aerial view, you can see that the lake is shaped like the map of India.
This lake gets its name from an array of Pethia Pookodensis, a species of freshwater fish known to be found only in these waters. The surrounding forests are home to many species of flora and fauna. Boating facilities are also available here in case you feel like enjoying Pookode from a different viewpoint.
Entry Fee and Timings – Rs 20 pp (Approx $0.30). Open from 0900 – 1700 hrs
Banasura Sagar Dam
This is renowned as the second largest earth dam in Asia, and the largest in India. The view from outside is spectacular and makes for excellent photography. Make sure you click some before getting into the main entrance.
There’s a lovely walk upto the main viewpoint which is highly recommended. A speed boat can be accessed either on foot or by Jeep, which takes you around the lake and can be quite exhilarating.
Entry Fee and Timings – Rs 20 pp (Approx $0.30). Speed Boat facility at Rs 750/$11 (Boat can fit 5 persons) Open from 0900 – 1700 hrs
This waterfall was perhaps one of my favorite spots and is also the biggest waterfall in Wayanad.
A 2 km trek can take you right up to the top of Meenmutty falls. There are viewpoints made after every 200-300 meters. You can enjoy the falls from there before returning or choose to move further up. I went right to the top, and I am glad I did as I was rewarded with a stunning scenery.
Waterfalls are best enjoyed during monsoons as their flow is stronger and so is their roaring sound.
Entry Fee and Timings – Rs 20/$0.30 for entry and Rs 300 (For Indians)/ Rs 600 (Approx $10 for foreigners) for a 2 km treacherous trek. Open from 0730 – 1600 hrs
Want to be transported to the pre-historic Neolithic era in a jiffy? Well, then visiting the Edakkal caves should be high on your list. These caves boast of engravings dating back to 5000 BC.
As all other attractions in Wayanad, this one also showcases a spectacular setting. A 1 km steep hike takes you to the entrance of the caves.
Once there, you hike further up and into tiny openings to squeeze yourself inside these caverns.
Soon after, you will reach an opening which gives you bird’s eye view of the lush green valley and mountains. This was the best part of my cave exploration. The stairs down to the exit are quite like a path to heaven, or so they seem.
This narrow descending steel stairway surrounded by cliffs, mountains and trees, which leads to the exit was one of highlights of my visit to Wayanad. Plus, I saw “Zero” people here – maybe not many very brave enough to go up to the top of the caves? In any case, I had this heavenly path all to myself and I enjoyed every bit of the serene beauty.
Entry Fee and Timings – Rs 20/$0.30 for entry. Opening hours 0900 – 1600 hrs.
Located on the Karapuzha River, this dam is also one of the largest earth dams in India. Entry is free and it only takes 5 mins to walk up to the viewpoint from the main road, where you can easily park your car.
Entry Fee and Timings – Entry free. Open from 0900 till 1700 hrs.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Muthanga)
As a big time wildlife enthusiast, I knew I had to check out the forests of Wayanad. The wildlife parks are located on the outskirts and it took me around 2 hours to reach Muthanga from Vythiri.
As expected, once you are inside the park, you can enjoy the fresh forest breeze and the beautiful tall trees on either sides.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is nestled in the Nilgiri biosphere and consists of a wide range of animals and birds. Elephants, Leopards, Tigers, Wild dogs and different types of deer are found in the thick jungles of Muthanga.
I spotted few deer, common birds and a lovely giant squirrel (surely the highlight for me) during my one hour jeep safari.
Entry Fee and Timings – Rs 110 (For Indians) Rs 300/$5 (For foreigners) , Rs 600 for the jeep safari, Rs 75 jeep entrance to park. Jeep can be shared among 4 persons, entry fee is per person.
Where to stay in Wayanad
Vythiri resort is undoubtedly the most popular option for tourists visiting Wayanad. Its a lovely , high end property in the middle of the jungle with all modern amenities and a huge waterfall inside the premises.
However, I chose something off the grid and less crowded. Stream Valley Cottages in old Vythiri district was the perfect place for me. They have 20 lovely cottages right in the middle of a forest with a lazy stream flowing by.
I used to enjoy my morning cup of coffee in my balcony with the view of the water passing through dense forests, birds chirping, pitter-patter of rain drops and croaking of frogs. I couldn’t have asked for a better escape from chaotic city life.
Stream Valley Cottages are surrounded by greenery and have excellent amenities. You can enjoy the local cuisine of Kerala or even opt for Chinese delights in their multi-cuisine restaurant. Plus, you have Wi-fi in all cottages. However, all through Wayanad I could barely find a signal, let alone Wifi/4G. Still, at the Stream Valley lobby, you are sure to get uninterrupted internet connectivity (for digital nomads like myself who need to stay connected, for obvious reasons). Honestly, if traveling wasn’t work, I would rather do a total digital detox and choose Wayand is the perfect place for that.
Wayanad tour map
If you want to follow my footsteps on your next trip to Wayanad, here’s a handy map to the places I visited:-
How to Book your Wayanad Getaway?
Want to enjoy these attractions in Wayanad when its pouring? Well, then, contact Monsoon Getaways for your perfect wet adventure.
Contact: + 91 09746685888 / JosephJames@MonsoonGetaways.com
Disclaimer – My trip was sponsored by Monsoon Getaways, however, all opinions, ideas, pictures and writeups are my own.