Historically, there was organized human life existed in these parts, at least ten centuries before Christ. The two caves of Ampukuthimala located between Sulthan Bathery and Ambalavayal, with pictures on their walls and pictorial writings, speak volumes of the bygone era and civilisation. Recorded history of this district is available from the 18th century. In ancient times, this land was ruled by the Rajas of the Veda tribe then came under the rule of the Pazhassi Rajahs of Kottayam royal dynasty. After that Hyder Ali invaded Wayanad and in the days of Tipu, Wayanad was restored to the Kottayam royal dynasty. But Tipu handed over the entire Malabar region to the British, after the Sreerangapattanam truce, he made with them. This was followed by fierce and internecine encounters between the British and Kerala Varma Pazhassi Rajah of Kottayam.
The Uraali Kurumas: Uralikuruma, the most versatile and colourful tribal people, is one of the rarest artisan tribes in Kerala. They are mostly found in the Wayan region. Uralikuruma is one of the three subdivisions of 'Kurumba' and the two others being 'Mulla' & ' Jen Kuruma' tribals. Uralikurumas herald themselves as the followers of ancient 'Kurumba' or 'Pallava' which were once so powerful through southern India. Uralikurumas are also called Bet Kurumas. While Bet Kurumas, found now in the Mysore district of Karnataka speak Kannada, these tribals in Wayanad speak a mixture of Kanada and Malayalam languages. Amongst the Kuruma tribals in Wayanad The Mulla Kurumas consider themselves superior to the other Kuruma sects. The Uralikurumas choose their life partners from their tribe itself. When a person dies they believe that the soul of the good become gods and that of the bad become devils. They worship deities as 'Bettu Chikkamma' and 'Bamadu' and also demons and ancestral spirits.
They play the flute and drum during their festival occasions festivals. The "Uch-alkali" is played in the month of February. Some men dance while some beat the drums and read the flute. An old man in the group performs rites to their deity 'Bettu Chikkamma'. Woman are not allowed to participate in theses ceremonies.They are also skilled potters with their women folk chiefly involved in this task. Baskets and mats of various types with reeds and bamboo and hand made pots are manufactured by them. But it has been seen that the younger generation now prefer working for non tribal landlords in plantation and paddy fields for an earning without much discomfort.
Chembra peak : Trekking to the Chembra peak is one of the risky tourist endeavours and is the highest peak in Wayanad at 2100m. above mean sea level. It is 14 kms. west of Kalpetta. Trekking to the top of this peak takes almost a day. Tourists can also stay one or two days at the top of the peak in temporary camps. District Tourism Promotion Council provides guides, sleeping bags, canvass huts trekking implements on hire charges to the tourists. The scenic beauty of Wayanad which is visible from the top of Chembra is very challenging and thrilling. The blue eyed water in the lake at the top of the hill never dries up even in the peak of summer. All along the steep and slippery way to the top of the hill, the whispering of the flowing spring which sprouts from the top of the hill accompanies the tourist. If he is fortunate enough, on his way he may come across a passing wild beast, may be a leopard who may instantly hide behind the bushes. Camping in the night with camp fire and sleeping bags at the top of the peak in shivering cold is everlasting experience
Distances from: Kalpetta (KPA)-14 Km, Sulthan Bathery (SBY)-42 Km, Mananthavady (MDY)-52 Km
Distances from: KPA-37 Km, SBY-12 Km, MDY-54 Km
Kanthanpara waterfalls: 22 kms south east of Kalpetta and 8 kms east of Meppadi, a beautiful waterfall about 30 mts in height. Relatively smaller than Sentinel Rock falls, and rather less frequented Kanthanpara and its surroundings offer a very pleasant site. A easy hike away from the main road, its perfect for picnics.Distances from: KPA-22 Km, SBY-23 Km, MDY-57 Km
Varambetta Mosque: 15 kms southeast of Kalpetta, near Padinjarathara: dating back 300 years, the oldest mosque in Wayanad.
Jain Temple at Puliyarmala: 4 kms north of Kalpetta. This old temple is dedicated to Ananthanatha Swami, one of the most revered Jain Saint.
Glass temple, Koottamundu: This temple is located on the slopes of Vellarimala and is dedicated to Parshwanatha Swami of the Jain faith. The mirrors inside the temple wall reflect images of the icons in the temple's sanctum sanctorum.NB: Permission is restricted now a days.
Sultan Bathery, also known as Sulthan's Battery lies approximately 25 kms. from Kalpetta. Associated with Hyder Ali and Tipu Sulthan, Sulthan's Bathery no longer has a fort. It is worth visiting for the Jain temple, which has some interesting stone carvings. Sulthan Bathery can be seen on a drive from Kalpetta to Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Muthanga.
With at least three distinct sets of petroglyphs, the earliest thought to date back over 3000 years, it is assumed that the Edakkal caves had been inhabited at various stages in history. Distances from: KPA-27 Km, SBY-12 Km, MDY-45 Km
Muniyaras-Excavations at various points around the foot of the Ambukuthi Hill have unearthed a distinctive series of ancient burail vaults commonly called Muniyaras. Remnants of Stone Age tools and pottery found within these cellars are displayed at the Wayanad Heritage Museum. Distances from: KPA-27 Km, SBY-11 Km, MDY-44 Km
The forest Department has facilities for providing elephant rides to tourists, here.
Wildlife Warden, Wayanad Wildlife sanctuary, Sulthan Bathery. Ph: 04936 220454Distances from: KPA-42 Km, SBY-17 Km, MDY-59 Km
Thrissilery Shiva Temple: This stunning temple of rather perfect architectural proportions, is inextricably linked with the Vishnu temple at Thirunelly. It is believed that the performance of ancestral rites at Thirunelly remain unfinished unless followed by offerings at this temple. Within the premises there is also a shrine devoted to Jala Durga, believed to have been installed by no less than the legendary Parasurama.Distances from: KPA-50Km, SBY-25 Km, MDY-41 Km
Seetha Lava Kusha Temple: This is the only temple dedicated to Lava and Kusha, the sons of Lord Rama. Local legends connect this region with many important episodes from the Ramayana. As the favoured shrine of the Pazhassi Raja, this temple has traditionally permitted entry to devotees from all faiths.Distances from: KPA-50Km, SBY-25 Km, MDY-41 Km
Pookot Lake Tourist Resort: This resort in Vythiri is the most sought - after tourist spot of Wayanad. Boating facilities are arranged to the very vast natural lake which lies in the lap of surrounding mountains. Thicks bushes and tall trees along the path round the lake gives a calm spiritual atmosphere. A fresh-water aquarium with wide varieties of fishes is managed by Fisheries Department. Children's park and shopping centre for handicrafts and spices of Wayanad are arranged by DTPC .
Distances from: KPA-71 Km, SBY-78 Km, MDY-36 Km
Boys Town-15 kms north of Mananthavady. A herbal garden, nature care centre, sericulture unit, perma-culture centre etc. are situated here. A Jean park, the Indo-Danish project for promoting herbal gardening is also situated here.
Thirunelly temple: It is known as 'Thekkan Kasi', (Kasi of the South). It is believed, that a dip in the river Papanasini, running crystal clear down hill, wipes one off all sins 32 kms north east of Mananthavady and 66 kms from Kalpetta. Nestled amidst mountains and forests, this ancient riverside temple is a fine specimen of classical Kerala temple architecture. The temple is surrounded by Kambamala, Karimala and Varadiga. Legend is that this temple was dedicated by the Creator, Lord Brahma to propitiate the Preserver, Lord Vishnu. The idols is in the form of Chathurbhuja.The Shrine is shielded with 30 granite columns and the ground is paved with huge square pieces of granite. The crystal clear water of the Papanashini river running downhill add to the enchantment of the place. This temple draws pilgrims from allover, primarily for ancestral rites. A short walk from Thirunelli temple is the clear mountain spring known as Papanasini. A ritual dip here is believed to wash one away of all worldly sins. Pakshipathalam, an interesting trekking centre, is about 10 kms away from here.
Distances from: KPA-66 Km, SBY-71 Km, MDY-32 Km