Are picturesque hills with lush green all around your idea of pure bliss? Then for autumn break, pack your bags and take a bus ride to beautiful Wayanad. Nestled in the hills of the Western Ghats, Wayanad is a hill station in Kerala. The place gets its name from two local words, ‘Vayal’ meaning ‘paddy field’ and ‘Naad’ meaning ‘land’ combining to form ‘Wayanad’ or ‘The Land of Paddy Fields’.

This popular destination is the only district in Kerala to share its border with Karnataka; it is also the least populated district in the state. The exquisite hill station is home to many attractions. The most frequented tourist places in Wayanad include the ancient ruins, mysterious caves, exotic wilderness and adventurous jungle trails. All of these exquisite treasures have been made even more appealing with the folklores surrounding them.

Tea estates are a great option to stay. Its myriad list of offerings, warm hospitality and list of things to do, make it for a delightful stay experience amidst the lush and groovy tea plantations. Many of them serve delicious gastronomic delights and organise treks and bonfires.

Among the most popular tourist destination, Chembra Peak is a noted one among them. It is the highest peak in Wayanad making it a perfect trekking destination surrounded by lush tea plantations. An important fact to note here is that you require permission from the Forest Office in Meppadi if you wish to soar up the peak.

Another place to visit is the Edakkal Caves, two natural caves in the remote location of Edakkal in Wayanad. It is at 1,200 metres above the sea level on Ambukutty Mala. Archaeologists have constantly been drawn to the prehistoric carvings dating back 8,000 years that are found on the walls of these caves.

Banasura Sagar Dam in Kalpetta, the largest dam in India and is the 2nd largest in all of Asia is located in Wayanad. Constructed at the Banasura Lake, the dam holds huge amount of water and offers the scenic splendour of the mountains as its backdrop. Also take time out to visit the Thirunelli Temple is an age-old temple buried in a valley of North Wayanad that is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Legend has it that Lord Vishnu promised that the water from the nearby spring has the power to wash away sins, thus, naming it Papanasini, meaning ‘destroyer of sins’. It serves as a popular destination for pilgrims who come here to wash their sins away with a dip in these holy waters.

Finally, if you enjoy the wilderness, you surely would love to visit Muthanga, spread over a huge area filled with teak forests, bamboo groves and swamps. The bamboo groves offer a richness of bio-diversity. You will get to see spotted dear, bison, cheetah, wild bear and more.

And if you don’t feel like stepping out at all, staying back at the estate and enjoying the tranquillity is a good way to rejuvenate yourself.