Kerala, with its unique beauty, has never failed in attracting nature lovers to her lap. With the ongoing pandemic, after being confined to their own homes, people have finally started getting out and about to explore places with ample amounts of fresh air, clean surroundings and at the same time are soothing to the eyes and soul alike. Responsible tourism is all about reminding the tourists in us to treat each destination with respect and being responsible for the places where we step our foot onto. Responsible tourism initiative in Kerala was implemented by Kerala Tourism in an attempt to conserve the environment and enhance the welfare of locals. Wayanad, with its abundant cultural history and enthralling beauty, offers a whole package when it comes to nature tourism which still manages to conserve its pristine nature. It is termed as the ‘green paradise of Kerala’ for its lush greenery, exotic wildlife, waterfalls, peaks and trekking trails which is a feast for any nature lover.
Over the years, Wayanad has witnessed a marginal increase in the number of tourists flocking in to enjoy nature’s abundance while staying true to the cause of responsible tourism as well. It is a perfect getaway from the hectic life amidst all the chaos of daily routines, while transporting us to another realm with its exceptional peace and quietness. For a nature traveller, Wayanad has a lot to offer ranging from tribal handicrafts to mouth-watering traditional delicacies. To give the traveller an enriching experience, nature tourism packages are devised in such a way that it includes activities which are based on experiencing Village life in four of the chosen villages in Wayanad – Nellarachal, Thekkumthara, Cheruvayal and Chethyalathoor.
Another major attraction of Wayanad is the experience of staying in a tree house. With the rain forests adorned with peaks and lush plains, a stay amidst the lush greenery and a chance to marvel at the beauty of nature from above the canopy of rainforests is irreplaceable. Treehouses are constructed by utilising locally sourced materials and following the traditional architecture of the tribals while offering the best of services and amenities one could ask for.
Wayanad is a land of dams, peaks, wildlife sanctuaries, caves, lakes, waterfalls, and most of all the local tribes of Wayanad who still are untouched by civilization and have made the forests their home. Taking time off to rejuvenate oneself by exchanging experiences with the children of nature can help calm our mind and heal the soul with the natural retreat. For a rich jungle experience, there are a number of forest resorts set amidst the exuberant greenery. The stay in jungle resorts is one of a kind experiences where the gentle rustling of trees and chirping of birds await the travellers all day long, which is a therapy in itself. Enjoying the pristine and rejuvenating atmosphere amidst the woods in a forest resort is assured to be the best and irreplaceable memory of an entire trip to Wayanad for years to come.
With nature’s goodness galore, there are a few Nature tourism spots around Wayanad where each location offers a different experience.
Whenever Wayanad is mentioned, the very first thing that comes to any nature enthusiasts’ mind is the Edakkal Caves, which is an archeological site of prehistoric value and is well known for its cave arts which dates back thousands of years. The trek enroute the caves in itself is quite enthralling that takes around 45 minutes to reach. The way atop is quite mesmerising with the beautiful surroundings.
Kuruva Island aka Kuruvadweep is a cluster of small islands over the river Kabani and a protected river delta. It is being promoted as a site for ecotourism for its blend of natural colours. The island is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Any nature / adventure traveller would love to catch a glimpse of bridges built with bamboo trees and rake in the scenic beauty of the beautiful island.
Known for being the most upraised hilltop in Wayanad, Chembra peak is a perfect zone for trekking enthusiasts. Enroute the pinnacle of Chembra peak, we get to witness a lake moulded in a unique heart shape which is a noteworthy halting point for tourists.
It is one of the tallest mountains which is known for adventurous yet treacherous trekking trails in Wayanad and is loved by adventure / nature enthusiasts. While on the trek there are the tumultuous Meenmutty waterfalls. Once atop, the view from there is breathtaking and is rewarding considering the arduous climb of 3 hours. Resting at the foot of the hill is the largest earthen dam in India, the Banasura Sagar Dam.
To have a surreal experience while enjoying a wide walk through nature’s lap is what Bamboo forests can be best described as. It is known to preserve the most vulnerable species of flora and fauna and also a provider of daily life necessities to the tribal communities. Bamboo rice / Mulayari is collected from the bamboo trees which is an integral part of several traditional dishes in Wayanad.
A freshwater lake which can be defined as an epicentre for adventure tourism fit for all age groups which makes it a favourite tourist spot for families. A wide range of fun and thrill activities are provided there including boating, zip lining, wall climbing etc.
A remote village away from the crowds is undoubtedly the perfect getaway to unwind and relax oneself. The unique attraction of Kolagappara is it being an elephant shaped rock which makes it a worthwhile climb.