If you’ve ever been to Kerala, you’d know why they call it God’s Own Country. And, places like the very beautiful Wayanad is one of the reasons this nickname continues to be appropriate for this gem of a travel destination in South India. With lush tea gardens and fresh hill-station air, delicious food and breathtaking scenery, there’s so much more to fall in love with this place. This year, I was lucky to attend the monsoon carnival in Wayanad called ‘Wayanad Splash’, an annual festival that really allows you to enjoy the fantastic tropical monsoon in all its glory.
Our journey started from Delhi from where we flew to Calicut, we stayed there for one night at Hotel Raviz. The hotel is situated in the heart of the city and it is a home for all the travellers whether they are there for work or leisure. The rooms are huge with spacious bathroom and all the basic amenities present in the room. The hotel staff was very courteous and helpful. There’s a spa and wellness centre on the property where guests can pamper themselves. A library is available for those who love reading. Guests can enjoy palate pampering all day dining offerings at Keraleeyam, with a unique selection of a la carte menu as well as a buffet. Café Mavoor offers a plethora of beverages and fine Pastries, whereas Pergola is an al-fresco dining restaurant that serves brilliantly simple cuisines with exciting live counter options. The property is 25 km from Calicut International Airport and 3 km from Kozhikode Railway Station. It was a comfortable night at The Raviz, Calicut. From here we headed to our destination Wayanad, for the Wayanad Splash festival.
Wayanad Splash is a yearly carnival jointly conducted by the Government of Kerala, Kerala Tourism & the Wayanad Tourism Organisation. Held every July, the event showcases the numerous Tourist attractions & activities in the Wayanad District of Kerala. The three-day carnival is a great way for us to learn more about Kerala Tourism, the best places to visit and the culture and tradition of Wayanad. The festival is also the second largest meet for travel-related businesses based in Kerala, which was a great learning opportunity for us.
The moment we arrived in Wayanad we were greeted with the excellent hospitality of the people. Because the festival is monsoon themed, there were a lot of water related activities that we got to enjoy, from the day we arrived! The best of these, we feel, were the mud games, which allowed us to just let loose and get dirty with the rest of the visitors! The games that were played included mud tug-of-war, mud football and even mud volleyball. Then we were taken to our host resort to refresh and relax for the night.
The resort that was chosen to host us was simply the best that Wayanad had to offer. Clean, comfortable and welcoming, we really enjoyed our stay. We stayed at the Vistara Resort, it’s situated right next to the river. The view from the rooms is just mesmerising, with the river flowing right next to you and mountains across the river. You can picturise it as a beautiful scenic painting. Having the morning tea amidst the cool breeze, water flowing and the birds chirping who wouldn’t want to wake up to this!
During our stay in Wayanad, we were also invited by Vythiri Resort for lunch which we thoroughly enjoyed. Before lunch, we had a complete resort tour and let me tell you we were awestruck with the luxurious beauty of the resort. It’s situated in the lap of nature, surrounded by dense forest. The rooms are as luxurious as it can get, with glass flooring and swimming pool right beneath the bed. They even have tree houses, which is the best experience you can get of living in the jungle with all the facilities. If you want to experience luxury but also want to be a part of wilderness than Vythiri Resort is the place to stay at.
We also got to see a lot of places during this trip. Being a hilly area, Wayanad has a lot to offer in terms of natural places of interest. Must see places include Pookode Lake, where you can take a boat-ride in the most serene waters, Edakkal Caves, which requires you to trek a steep slope for approximately 3-3.5km to reach there, the enchanting Karlad Lake, and the majestic Soochipara Waterfalls which are situated at the bottom of a 2 km steep walk. Trust us, you won’t mind the trek one bit when you feel the spray of the Soochipara Falls on your face after the walk down!
We loved being at these places and experiencing their natural beauty. But it’s something that we’d gladly do again! We’d also really recommend this to anyone who asks.
A trip to Wayanad is best for a nature lover because of all the nature-related activities that you get to take part in when you’re there. These include zip lining, bamboo rafting and other adventure sports like boating, trekking etc. We would like to thank MuddyBoots for the adrenaline rushing adventure sports experience. It’s a known fact that most of us avoid adventure sports in India citing safety issues but the folks at Muddy Boots have the best of equipment, top International standards and thorough expertise. This trip wouldn’t have been so much fun without them.
And when you’re done with all the adventure activities, you can relax by visiting the many Ayurvedic spas that are around for an authentic Kerala style de-stressing session, which is simply one of our favourite part of the trip.
Since the Wayanad Splash is also a convention of sorts for travel-related business owners from Kerala, it was a good opportunity for us to meet people from the industry while we were there. We got to interact with Dr Venu, the principal secretary of Kerala Tourism and Mr. Suhas the DM of Wayanad about the initiatives they are taking for national and international tourists and about the culture and tradition of the place. This gave us a glimpse into why the tourism industry in the state is such a success and our respect and admiration for the different things that the state had to offer grew by so much.
While this isn’t our first time to Kerala, it amazes us how we can never get tired of the place. Every time we go to Kerala, whether for business or pleasure, it’s a new experience. The expertise of the Kerala Tourism Industry in what it does is simply world class and the land is equally blessed with so much beauty, you simply cannot resist the trips there.
Our weekend in Wayanad came to an end too soon we feel, with so much left to be discovered. Which is why a second, longer trip to this delightful place is something we wouldn’t mind. We highly recommend you put it on your ‘Must Visit’ lists, for an experience quite unlike any other you’ve had before.
How to Reach Wayanad by Air
Calicut International Airport, located around 65 km away serves as the nearest airport to Wayanad. You can avail flights till Calicut from different parts of Kerala as well as rest of India, depending upon availability. On arrival at the airport, local taxis or buses can be availed to travel till Wayanad.
Distance from Calicut Airport to Wayanad is 98.2 Km and it’ll take approximately 3 hrs by road.
How to Reach Wayanad by Road
A wide network of roads provides access to Wayanad from different parts of Kerala as well as Karnataka. You can board KSRTC buses that run up to Kozhikode at frequent intervals from nearby cities like Mysore, Chennai, Kochi, Bangalore and Trivandrum, you can even take a direct bus from your nearby city till Wayanad.
How to Reach Wayanad by Rail
Wayanad district is not connected directly by rail. You can take a train till Kozhikode, the nearest railway station to Wayanad. There are quite a number of trains that connect Kozhikode with major towns and cities on a regular basis. After getting down at the station, taxis or buses can be boarded to travel to Wayanad.