Wouldn't you love to explore such unknown places which actually paint the soothing image of Wayanad?
1 - 900 Kandi (Thollayiram Kandi)
This serene strip of earth in the hidden reaches of Wayanad can be accessed by taking the route that goes to Soochipara Waterfalls from Meppadi, near Kalpetta. Beyond the first bridge after Kalladi Makham, your journey to this lesser known destination starts. The scenic drive through the trail to reach Thollayiram is every bit as intriguing and refreshing as it sounds and adventurous as well.
Amble up the trail studded by leaf litters and flanked by forest land on one side and coffee or cardamom plantation on the other side to reach this pristine stretch. Grand views are offered at each bend as you enter this incredible landscape.
Thollayiram is the name of the estate located inside the forest land. Years ago, this pristine stretch of land was part of the 900 acres of land owned by private which later got fragmented into innumerable land masses. However, the name stuck and the place is still called Thollayiram.
Travel 23 km from Wayanad town to Meppadi via Meenangadi-Panamaram road. 13 km off Meppadi is Thollayiram which can be reached via Kalladi Makham.There are camping and resort facilities available in 900kandi.
2 - Chain Tree, Vythiri
Chain Tree is one of the less explored Wayanad attractions but with an old history and a lot of admirers from different parts of the world. It is located on the national highway,Lakkidi near Vythiri. It is a Ficus tree which holds a massive steel chain which has a multiple stories and legends related to its existence. The major story is associated with a local tribal person called Karinthandan.
He was killed by the British after pursuing help from him to discover the routes through the ghat. The wilderness was the habitat of tribes and there were no roads to cross the forests even during the British period.
People believe that the spirit of Karinthandan is in the tree and it causes accidents in the hairpin curves. There is another story also related to it which says the killing of a Mahout who took the British people to Wayanad first and they did not want the Mahout to go back and get the Portuguese. His spirit is the one which is in the tree, as the local people say. It is surprizing that over the years, the tree has naturally grown tall, but quite unbelievably, the chain too has grown taller along with the tree. It is actually growing which is seriously scary, a fact that has no explanation!
3 - Pakshipathalam Bird Sanctuary (Brahmagiri Hills)
Pakshi Pathalam is a Bird Sanctuary and a tourist location in Wayanad. Pakshi Pathalam is located seven kilometer northeast of Thirunelli town. The hill is 32 kilometers away from the district headquarters of Kalpetta.
The hill lies 1740 m above sea level. Papanasini River flows from Brahmagiri hill and irrigates the area. This river is believed to have the capacity to wash away all sins as the word 'papa' means sin and 'nashini' means destroy in Malayalam.
Pakshi Pathalam is rich in bird diversity. There is a cave here which is believed to be used by saints of olden times. The undulating hills of Pakshipathalam are also famous as a trekking site. The Karnataka side of Pakshipathalam is called Brahmagiri Hills. This area is also accessible from Irupu Falls in Karnataka
Brahmagiri can be reached by a trek from Manathvady(29 km east) or from Kutta. From Karnataka side, trek to Brahmagiri from Iruppu falls is 9 km and to Munikal Caves (Pakshipathalam) is 7 km. Trekkers need to seek the permission of Range Forest Officer at Srimangala. Brahmagiri is about 11 km from Thirunelli. One Jain Temple is also present here built by Kadamba dynasty. Nishani Motte is a peak in Brahmagiri range of hills.
4 - Thirunelli Temple
An ancient temple which is famous all over Kerala and other states of India is Thirunelli Temple located in Wayanad on the side of Brahmagiri hills. It is dedicated to Lord Maha Vishnu. One of the major features of the temple is its location at an altitude of around 900 meters in a valley completely bounded by mountains and forest ranges. It is 32 km away from Manathavady. But it is one of the most visited pilgrim centre in Wayanad and an important religious place for the majority of population in South India. The name Thirunelli comes from the words nelli which is given to the tree of gooseberry.
There is also a belief that there are Puranas in which the temple is mentioned. There are lot of legends existing related to this temple which is coming from the ancient mythology texts of Hindus.
Emanating from the heart of Brahmagiri forest flowing through roots, leaves and flowers of ancient trees and medicinal herbs, Papanasini is a holy mountain stream accessible around 1 km northwest of the Thirunelli temple premises. Pilgrims bath here as they consider its waters to be sacred with powers to absolve one's sins. Further, the temple offers services to immerse cremation ashes in the sacred mountain stream to be thus carried to Kaveri River and from there to the ocean. It has been believd that At Brahm’s request Vishnu promised that the waters of the area would wash away all sins. (Thus, the spring and river near the temple is called Papanasini: "washes away all sins")
Panchatheertham is the holy pond of Thirunelli Temple. One notable feature of the temple is the lack of a temple well. Hence water is transported from a perennial mountain stream deep in the valley by impressive stone aqueducts right into the priests' room. Thirunelli is famous as the destination to perform last rites of the deceased at the rock close to Papa nasini stream.
5 - Vellarimala & Vavul Mala
Also rated as a tough climb in the South India, Vellarimala in Kozhikode is another of the popular places to see near Wayanad Kerala. Feel the crisp mountain air piercing you as clouds play hide and seek along the mountains.
Vellarimala forms a part of a high hill range of what is otherwise known as Camel's Hump Mountains, a part of the Western ghats. Most of the hill range falls in the Meppadi Forest Range of South Wayanad Division, with some parts falling in the Thamarassery Range of Kozhikode Division. They are semi- contiguous with Nilgiris or Nilgiri Hills in Tamilnadu, separated by the Chaliyar Valley. The plateau of Wayanad lies on the eastern slopes of these hills and merges gradually with the Mysore plateau. The hill ranges are accessible by foot from Muthappanpuzha, near Anakkampoyil, a small town about 50 km from Kozhikode. About 6 km by foot from Muthappanpuzha on the way to Vellarimala hills is the waterfall called Olichuchattam. It is situated 15 km from Thiruvambady. KSRTC Bus Services are available from Thiruvambady to Anakkampoyil and Muthappanpuzha. Swargam Kunnu is also situated here. Vellarimala - Swargam Kunnu - Masthakappara - Olichuchattam - Marippuzha - Muthappanpuzha Trekking is available with forest permission. Now road is available from Thiruvambady to Marippuzha.
Vavul Mala is a peak in the Western Ghats in the Vellarimala. The first volume of William Logan's 1887 publication Malabar Manual (the work was later followed up by the Malabar Gazetteer of 1908) refers the 7,677-foot high Vavul Mala as a landmark conspicuous far out to the Arabian Sea.