Unbridled, fascinating and raw, Wayanad is a fascinating destination. With the Western Ghats crowning the forest-rich district, it is home to a range of flora and fauna. The lofty ridges, rugged terrain and dense jungles provide endless opportunities for trekking, plantation visits and wildlife tours. Wayanad is pleasant throughout the year. Temperatures drop to freezing levels in the high-altitude regions during winter. But travellers remain undeterred, the lure of mist-capped mountains, valleys and white water springs being too good to miss. Wayanad, home to at least 50 indigenous tribes, has always remained a source of interest to researchers and tourists alike.
Lakkidi, a sight to behold during the monsoons, is considered the gateway to Wayanad. It is now dotted with plantation homestays. Historians believe human settlements existed in these regions at least 10 centuries before the advent of Christ. Evidence of the New Stone Age civilization has been found here. The Edakkal Caves are one such spot, bearing rock engravings from the Neolithic age. In the 18th century, Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore, built a fort at Sultan Bathery where Pazhassi Raja – the Lion of Kerala, fought against the British. Different wildlife sanctuaries have been established here as part of efforts to conserve nature. The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, established in 1973, borders the protected areas of Nagarhole and Bandipur in Karnataka on the northeast and Mudumalai in Tamil Nadu on the southeast. Wayanad, a relatively new district, was created in 1980 by merging various regions in Kannur and Kozhikode districts. It comprises the three taluks of Mananthavady, Sultan Bathery, Vythiri and Kalpetta - the region's district headquarters.