Thriunelli temple has a unique mythological significance. This temple of Lord Vishnu is said to have been created by Lord Brahma after he was drawn to the adjacent hills of Brahmagiri. It is believed that Lord Brahma found an idol on an Indian Gooseberry (Amla) tree and inferred it as the statue of Lord Vishnu, thus constructing this temple for him with the help of other Indian gods. Indian Gooseberry is called Nelli in Malayalam and therefore the name Thirunelli was given to the temple. It is also known as the ‘Kashi of South’ and is located at a distance of nearly 35 kilometres from Mananthavady.
This place is alsoknown as the Gateway of Wayanad as it forms the summit of Thamarasseri Ghat Pass. Lakkidi is a famous hill station with vast forests and natural streams of fresh water. Markings of Kottayam Royal Dynasty, Tipu Sultan’s reign and the British Rule can be seen around here.
The culture in Wayanad is very distinct from rest of the Kerala as the region is home to the highest number of tribal communities in the state. It is said that these communities have been living in the jungles of Wayanad since time immemorial. Some of the pictorial findings on the Caves of Edakkal suggest that their existence dates back to the time before Christ. Though many of these communities mainly practice Hinduism now, ancient forms of worship are still very much alive. They have extravagant traditions in art and craft. Their music, dance, artwork and craftsmanship have all been influenced by the natural beauty of the region, making it a traveller’s delight to witness their art forms.
The Muthunga Wildlife Sanctuary needs a special mention while discussing the natural attractions of Wayanad. It is also known as the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and is located at a distance of some 45 km fromsKalpetta. The wildlife at Muthunga Sanctuary is extensive. It homes animals like Asian Elephants, Panthers, Sambhar Deer, Sloth Bears, Bison etc. It is also a home to many tiny creatures, including many varieties of butterflies. It is scattered across an area of 344 square kilometres.
You will see vivid natural beauty everywhere you go in Wayand. Edakkal Caves at Ambukuthimala have enthralled tourists since the time they were discovered. These double storied caves have pictorial representation, indicating that they were once inhabited by humans, centuries ago. Another must-visit natural attraction is the Pookode (Pookot) lake in Pookode, which is located nearly 10 kms from Kalpetta. This clear water lake is home to a rich fauna. Along with this, Pakshipaathalam is another fascinating attraction for bird lovers as home to the rarest of bird species.
Located on that border of Kerala which runs alongside the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, Wayanad provides vacationers with a wide range of neighbouring places to explore in all three states. The nearby districts of Kozhikode, Kannur and Mallapuram in Kerala, Nilgiri in Tamil Nadu and Chamarajanagar and Coorg in Karnataka are famous for the rich natural beauty and historic significance.
This museum is handled by the District Tourism Promotion Council is located 12 km from Sulthan Bathery in Ambalavayal. It was previously known as Ambalavayal Heritage Museum. The museum has four sections called the Verasmruthi, the Gothrasmruthi, the Devasmruthi, and the Jeevanasmruthi and houses artifacts dating from the Neolithic Age to 17th century. For those seeking knowledge about local history, Wayanad also has the JawaharLal Nehru Memorial Library in Panamaram, which is located 21km from Kalpetta.
A temple of Swami Ananthanatha is located nearly 6 kms from Kalpetta. This Jain temple of Dravidian architecture has all its external pillars made entirely of granite. It has nearly 20 idols of various Jain deities. There are numerous other Jain temples scattered all over Wayanad. According to history, during the 18th century, some of these temples were used to store ammunition by the then ruler, Tipu Sultan.
Raja Pazhassi of Wayanad played a crucial role in the struggle against the British East India Company. He organized the people of Kurichiya tribe to fight against the British thus involving in many confrontations during the 19th century. The tomb of Pazhassi is situated in Mananthavady in Wayanad. Adjacent to the tomb is a small building housing artifacts, tools and weaponry of the time.
Kerala is famous for its relaxing spas and rejuvenation centres. Wayanad also has a number of spas and resorts for your relaxation. The Windflower Resort and Spa in Vythiri is quite popular. One can even visit the Coffee Aroma Resort, Planet Green Resort and Banasura Resort to revitalize oneself.
Wayanad has many restaurants catering some of the finest delicacies of the region. Some of the food outlets that you may want to visit are Hotel Mubarak, Mojo Bakery and Royal Bakery. Wayanad has also been a major hub of tea and coffee plantations for centuries. Thus you can taste some of the finest brews at the restaurants out here for easily affordable prices.
Fish and meat delicacies are very popular in Wayanad. The district is also famous for the finest of spices and condiments. When in Wayanad, you may want to try Tomato Fry with hot Paranthas or a typical Kerala thali which includes Aviyal and other delicious components. Although it is difficult to find North Indian food in the region, some Jain restaurants in the district cater to vegetarian visitors.
There are certain lounge bars in Kalpetta open at night such as Mary Queens, Neelibar etc. apart from this almost all the resorts in and around Kalpetta have bars of their own. Local wine is readily available in the local bars and liquor shops which are also called beverages outlets locally.