Places to Visit in Wayanad

Tying Kerala’s knot with the Western Ghats, the hills of Wayanad are your getaway to experience the holy communion between a tropical paradise and a rich biosphere. There are various places to visit in Wayanad that will captivate you with its awe-inspiring beauty. With beautiful mountain peaks, dams, islands and lakes, it’s in Wayanad that you discover how various facets of nature can be so similar, yet so refreshingly beautiful in their own unique ways. The more you explore the beauty of these mountains, the more curious you become to see a new facade of nature every time. Here are our top picks for Wayanad tourist places that you must not miss out on.

If the travel bug has bitten you, then Wayanad’s serenity is your best ointment. Wayanad tourist places will show you how beautiful it is to unplug from the modern chaos looks. If you have any doubt, then head to this green paradise and experience it for yourself. Once you decide to give it a try, talk to travel experts at SOTC and book your Wayanad tour packages or Kerala tour packages right away

Wayanad Sightseeing

You don’t have to head to any tourist spot in particular for sightseeing in Wayanad, as the entire town is spellbindingly beautiful. With sanctuaries, museums and temples, Wayanad sightseeing is much more than just looking at the mountains. With nature’s glory bestowed upon this place and various other interesting tourist spots to discover, Wayanad will give you plenty of reasons to visit.

Nagarhole National Park and Tiger Reserve

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most exciting places to visit near Wayanad. A small detour on your way to Wayanad will bring you to Nagarhole National Park and Tiger Reserve, spread along River Kabini. Teeming with wildlife that ranges from the majestic leopard to the affable elephant, this is a worthy addition to your Wayanad holiday package.

Bandipur Tiger Reserve and National Park

Located just across the river from Nagarhole National Park, The Bandipur Tiger Reserve and National Park is among the most adventurous places to visit near Wayanad. The tigers and the elephants are the main attractions here. Take a jeep safari through the reserve to observe animals up close in their natural habitat. This makes for a wonderful addition to your Wayanad trip package.

Mudumalai National Park

Home to the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger, the Mudumalai National Park is a land of amazing diversity. It connects the Western Ghats to the Eastern Ghats and is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It is among the most popular places to visit near Wayanad. Apart from the tigers, it is said to accommodate around 13% mammal and 8% bird species of India!

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

Occupying a part of the expansive Wayanad Plateau, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is a wonder of conservation. It houses a diverse wildlife population including some of the rarest birds, animals and reptiles in India. Like the Edakkal Caves and Sulthan Bathery, this sanctuary is among the most exceptional Wayanad places to visit. A trip here is included in almost all Wayanad tour packages.


Kalpetta is the headquarters of Wayanad district and one of the most scenic places to visit in Wayanad. A trek to Chembra Peak is one of the foremost things to do in Kalpetta. Surrounded by mountains bearing coffee plantations, Kalpetta is a thriving tourist hub. Visit the Kanthanpara Waterfall and Meenmutty Falls for a refreshing break and set off on an adventure at the Neelimala View Point.


A small cluster of islands in the middle of the River Kabini, Kuruadweep is one of the most thrilling Wayanad places to visit. Explore the river and the jungle on specially-made bamboo rafts. The islands contain two freshwater lakes that are sanctuaries for migratory birds. If you get the forest authority permission, it is among the highly recommended places to visit in Wayanad.

Sulthan Bathery

The erstwhile Ganapativatom is now known by its military designation of Sulthan Bathery. It took on the new moniker when Tipu Sultan invaded the town and used its Jain Temple as a storeroom. The town’s pleasant weather is perfect for shopping outdoors. Surrounded by attractions such as Edakkal Caves, Chethalayam Falls and Wayanad Heritage Museum, the town is one of the most unique places to visit in Wayanad.


The ‘Gateway of Wayanad’ is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Wayanad. Sitting at an altitude of 700 metres, it is one of the wettest places in Kerala with an annual rainfall of 600 cm. Blessed with a plethora of scenic viewpoints, Lakkidi is one of the most thriving biodiversity hotspots of the Western Ghats. It will steal your heart with its verdant beauty.


Vythiri is an all-weather tourist attraction in Wayanad. Shielded by the green abundance of the Western Ghats, Vythiri lies a little off the beaten path. It is a great place to unwind and to get away from its all. The five-star resort here will pamper you with its hospitality and a fully-equipped spa. Definitely worth adding to your Wayanad tour package!


The largest town of Wayanad district is located along Mananthavady Pusha, one of the tributaries of River Kabini. Places of interest here include the tomb of Pazzhassi Raja and Valliyoorakkavu Temple. The tomb is dedicated to a local prince who laid down his life fighting the British and the temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga. You would need half a day from your Wayanad trip package to explore Manathavady.

Thirunelly (Thirunelli)

Thirunelly’s claim to fame is the 3000-year-old Thirunelly Temple dedicated to Lord Maha Vishnu. Built in the classical Kerala temple style of architecture, it is an enduring legacy of devotion. The 30 granite columns and the floor lined with huge granite slabs add to the majesty of the structure. It is certainly among the most historical Wayanad tourist places and a quick detour in your Wayanad trip package.


The Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary is one among the many in the regions that work hard to preserve their natural heritage. In a jungle dominated by teakwood trees, you will come across many other species of flora and fauna that make up a thriving, self-sustaining ecosystem. Preserving the delicate balance between mankind and nature, Tholpetty is one of the most ecologically crucial places to visit in Wayanad.


Ambalavayal gives you a taste of village life with an interactive tour that will have you participating in day-to-day activities of the village. It is a budding model for ‘Responsible Tourism’ that aims to showcase the unique culture, arts and crafts of the village in the least disruptive manner. For that, it is one of the most unique places to visit in Wayanad.


In an area replete with reserves and sanctuaries, the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary stands out as the second-largest wildlife sanctuary in Wayanad. Designated as a Project Elephant site, it puts in extra conservation efforts for the pachyderms. They share their home with an assorted mix of species like Indian bison, tigers and panthers. Such a biodiverse hotspot surely deserves a place in your Wayanad tour package.


Originating from the Pookode Lake, Panamaram is a tributary of River Kabini. Making its way through the forest, the rivulet acts as a guide for one of the most exhilarating treks in Wayanad region. Be ready for an adventure as you follow it all the way on its journey to meet the Kabini River. Clearly, this is one of the most interesting Wayanad places to visit.


The Pookode Lake of Wayanad is among the most relaxing places to visit in Wayanad. Surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty, it is one of the most popular Wayanad tourist places. It is a great picnic spot where you can spend a quiet day or go boating in the lake. A fresh-water aquarium and a handicrafts emporium are other attractions here.


Pulpally is one of the most unassuming Wayanad tourist places that boasts of a rich history and an important connection to the epic Ramayana. It is believed that Sita made this her home after being banished from Ayodhya and gave birth to her twins here. Pulpally has one of the rare temples dedicated to Sita. This must find a place in your Wayanad trip package for its idyllic beauty.


Vaduvanchal is among the most interesting places to visit in Wayanad. It is a treasure trove of attractions that includes the Phantom Rock. This fascinating skull-shaped rock formation gets its name from the fictional comic book hero, Phantom. Then there’s Neelimala View Point, which opens up to some stunning panoramas of the valley. This is a good place to include in your Wayanad trip package.

The largest earth dam in India and the 2nd largest dam in Asia is a beautiful culmination of stories and natural beauty. Located on Banasura peak, the third largest peak in the Western Ghats, this spot is said to serve King Banasura as his place of refuge when he took a vow of severe penance. The dam was constructed to support the hydroelectric power plant. Massive rock structures and a beautiful road making its way through enchanting greenery will take you to a world where there’s only peace and serenity. This place to visit in Wayanad will give you the most tranquil experience in nature’s lap.

A bird’s eye view is said to be the most exhilarating view of any place. Head to Chembra, the highest peak in Wayanad and get the best bird’s eye view of Wayanad, with a sneak peek of some parts of Tamil Nadu. This gorgeous peak, crowned with lush green weeds and plants, will steal your heart. A lake shaped like a heart on the top of the hill is Wayanad’s way of expressing its love for you. The beauty of this places turns most travellers into trekkers and that is certainly the best possible way to explore Chembra peak. Become a part of the local trekking groups or join fellow travellers for Chembra trekking. Trekking during night time is not allowed as the mountain spends the starry nights exclusively with the wild animals and itself. This place to visit in Wayanad deserves to be on the top of your itinerary.

Have you ever dreamed of wandering into your own Narnia land? If yes, then Kuruva Island is the destination you would want to be at. Bamboo bridges, beautiful orchids and herbs and with no signs of human existence, this Island will show you how a world without humans looks. Inhabited by rich flora and fauna and several islands clustered together, Kuruva is your perfect escape from the modern monotony. The island is surrounded by several streams where you can go boating or rafting. The wooden rafts will make your rafting experience thrilling and bring you closer to nature. If this island is your main reason to visit Wayanad, then it’s best to not book your vacation during monsoon season as Kerala Tourism Department shuts down the entry to Kuruva. Though Kuruva Island is included in Wayanad tourist places, this place looks absolutely untouched by tourism.

Spread over 13 acres, there will be no barrier between the holy union of the lake, clear blue skies and you! The lake is surrounded by mesmerizingly beautiful greenery. Pookode lake also surprises visitors with its shape of the Indian map. With tourist services such as boating and a freshwater aquarium, this lake demands your uninhibited attention. If you want to get the best view of the lake then you must plan your visit during sunset. You can buy souvenirs from the local shops run by Kerala Tourism Department. Include Pookode lake in your list of Wayanad tourist places and get ready for an awe-inspiring experience. 

Looking at Wayanad, you’ll be certain that humankind reached this place much later. The undisturbed serenity of the place shows how human culture hasn’t proliferated here yet. However, Wayanad has had visitors much before we can even imagine. Edakkal caves have stone-age carvings that exhibit the life of some of the earliest species of humans who lived right here, in Wayanad. As the origins of the caves go way back in time, there are also many mythological stories surrounding them. One of the stories that is popular among the locals is that the caves were formed when the two sons of Lord Rama shot an arrow at the stones. A 45-minute trek to this place will open doors to the Neolithic age that existed in 6000 B.C. Not just the stone age, but the artwork in the caves is believed to trace back to Indus Valley civilization too. Edakkal caves in Wayanad are surely the top contenders for places to visit in Wayanad.

Acting as the bridge that connects two of the magnificent parks in South India - Bandipur in Karnataka and Mudumalai in Tamil Nadu - this wildlife sanctuary is your real-life Jungle Book. Established as a wildlife sanctuary in 1973, this place was just a dense rainforest before that. The sanctuary houses trees of various species residing together. Maruthi, Karimaruthi, rosewood, venteak, vengal trees will keep you company while you dive into the world of wildlife here. Several other wild animals such as peacocks, cuckoos, woodpeckers and jungle fowls complete the jungle book experience with the magnificent wild elephants. Spread over an area of 345 sq. km, this Wayanad tourist attraction deserves an itinerary of its own. The best time to visit this sanctuary is from June to October when the jungle is booming in its utmost grandeur.

Wayanad’s affection for wildlife can be realized when you discover two sanctuaries residing in the same town. With a 2-hour jeep ride to discover the dense rainforests and the wildlife here, you will have your own National Geographic moment in Tholpetty wildlife sanctuary. Carry your binoculars and spot herds of wild elephant, guars, deer, tigers, leopards and bears. If you are a daredevil at heart then go scouting to get a glimpse of various species of reptiles, fishes, butterflies and birds. A visit to Tholpetty sanctuary will give you an unparalleled Wayanad sightseeing experience. This dense rainforest will take control of all your senses and will only let you feel calm and tranquil. If there’s any anxiety or noise that you’re carrying in your mind during your visit to this sanctuary, the chirping birds, cool breeze and lush green trees will ensure that you leave it behind. 

The temples of South India have their own unique charm. If you are expecting a huge marble temple filled with millions of devotees, then you will be surprised to spot a quaint wooden structure with only a few visitors. Known as the Kashi of the South, this place is very popular among travellers. Lined with walls that are planted with shrubs and a roof that reflects the Kerala style housing, this place is sure to bless you with calmness and peace whether or not you are religious. Nelli in Malayalam means gooseberry. The mythical stories named this temple from an episode when the Lord Vishnu’s idol was residing on a gooseberry tree and was found later by Lord Brahma who then built the Thirunelli temple. The Papanashini stream flowing adjacent to the temple is believed to wash away all the sins by the local devotees. This Wayanad tourist attraction is your go-to place for some peace and for architectural musing.  

A first glance at this museum will give you an idea of a beautiful Kerala style mansion. However, a closer look will reveal that it houses many centuries worth of artefacts under its roof. With carvings, stone age weapons and other artefacts from the Neolithic age, this museum exhibits the past of Wayanad. The recent artefacts that do not belong to stone age are from the Vijayanagar empire. A stone carved sculpture of Lord Ram is the most fascinating artefact dating back to this glorious era. Located in close proximity to Edakkal caves, a tour of this museum and of the caves will fill you with extensive historical knowledge. This museum is a must place to see in Wayanad for those who want to learn about the journey of Wayanad through the ages.  

An ancient structure with almost no visitors, this temple is easy to miss. If desolate structures lost in oblivion spark your curiosity, then there isn’t a better Wayanad sightseeing place for you. Pillars adorned with beautiful stone carvings welcome you into the world of relics that were left to enjoy some solitude with nature. The temple is nothing but a cluster of ruins sprinkled with lush green bushes. At first glance, it might look like a mysterious place, however the affable pleasantness of this place will befriend you soon. Though partly damaged, this temple attracts curious travellers and history buffs. If timeless remnants interest you, then this temple deserves a place in your itinerary.

With temples, sanctuaries and museums, Wayanad is a treasure trove for anyone looking for an uncommon itinerary. Visit Wayanad and as you stop by to look at the skies, find yourself staring not at the skyscrapers that remind you of the daily grind, but at tall trees that remind you that it’s utterly important to stop by and breathe a little. Head to this tropical hill station and see a new place, experience a new world and find a new you. With SOTC, you can plan your trip on your own accord. Pick the Wayanad tour packages or other Kerala tour packages that capture your interest and we will craft a travel plan that will take you to places to see in Wayanad that will enrich your traveller’s soul. 

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