Kalpetta (Malayalam: കല്പറ്റ) is a city and a municipality in the Wayanad district in the Indian state of Kerala. A small town surrounded by dense coffee plantations and mountains, it is the headquarters of the Wayanad district. It lies on the Kozhikode-Mysore National Highway (NH 212) at an altitude of about 780 metres above sea level.
Being a rural town, Kalpetta is a very small and friendly place. The prices are the lowest in Kerala state.
Kalpetta is easily accessible by bus from Mysore, Ooty and Kozhikode. Rail link is not available. The nearest airport is Kozhikode. National Highway 212 connects Kalpetta with Mysore and Kozhikode. State highways connect the city with Ooty in Tamil Nadu and Coorg in Karnataka state. Night traffic is banned on the Mysore road.
- Bangalore-Mysore-Gundalpet-MuthangaForest-Sultanbattery-Kalpetta.285 km (The best roads are in this route)
- Sultan Battery-Kolagappara-Kakkavayal-Muttil-Kalpetta-Chundale-Vythiri. 35 km (Main Wayanad Road)
- Kozhikode-Thamarassery-Vythiri-Kalpetta. 70 km.
- Vadakara-Kuttiady-Kanhirangad-Vellamunda-Tharuvana-Padincharethara- Kalpetta. 88 km
- Mananthavady-Nalammile-Panamaram-Kambalakkad-Kalpetta. 37 km
- Malappuram-Nilambur-Nadukani-Devala-Vaduvanchal-Meppadi-Kalpetta. 131 km
Autorikshaws charge ₹15 per kilometre, and buses are even cheaper at only ₹7 for 3 km.
Cars can be rented for as cheap as ₹1800 a day with a driver. The rate is even cheaper if you rent without a driver.
- 1 Banasura Sagar Dam (24 km). the largest earthen dam in India
- Chembra Peak (17 km). Standing tall at 2100 m, the Chembra Peak is the highest peak in Wayanad, and a favorite trekking spot. It is part of the Western Ghats. The trek to the top can take up to 2 hours. The heart-shaped lake on the peak forms one of the attractions for the mountain trek here. To do the trek, you need to pay an entrance fee from the entry guard house near Meppadi. Typically, start the trek in the morning as you are not allowed to start the trek after noon. If you are not game for a hectic 2-hour trek, you can still do a flat trek till a nearby viewpoint and visitors center for a nominal fee. The Chembra Peak area has a variety of orchids and other flowering plants, and plenty of bird species, making the trek an enjoyable experience. Good toilets are available near the guard house. The road leading to the entrance was in bad condition as of October 2017. ₹20 for visiting area entry.
- 2 Edakkal Caves (28 km). 9AM-4PM (last entry). This must-see location of breathtaking beauty in the Ambukuthy Mountain is not a cave in the real sense. As stated in the India Antiquary, it is only "a cleft about 96 ft long and 22 ft wide in the rock". The word edakkal (eda+kal) means middle of the rock. It is a fissure made by a corner of rock splitting off from the main entrance to Edakkal Caves due to some natural causes. The depth of both the cleft and the fissure is 30 ft. What makes it a cave to the ordinary observer is the fact that in the other portion of the large cleft, an enormous rock, weighing several tonnes, has fallen forming a roof over a large part of it. The rock wall contains some interesting carvings, which represent human and animal figures and objects of human use and symbols. These carvings, dating to the Neolithic age (6000 BCE), speak of a highly civilized people of pre-historic age and inspires the archaeologists and historians to rewrite the history of Wayanad and Kerala as a whole. Specifically, look out for the carvings interpreted as the woman with the jug, the sun, the chieftain, the animal, and the peacock. The caves were discovered in 1894 by an English police suprintendent named Fred Fawcett. The story goes that he discovered a hunting axe, which eventually led to the discovery of the caves. However, the caves were taken over by Archeological Survey of India only in 1984, so some vandalism can also be spotted on the walls. A vertical cleft near one of the corners offers a rare view of Wayanad. These caves are said to have been frequented by Jain monks at a later age. The guard at the caves may be ready to help out with information. The caves are accessible now with steep but strong steps. There are excellent views of Wayanad on the way up, and there are a separate set of steps leading down as a faster route. ₹30.00, additional for camera.
- Janamaithry Park, Calicut Road (1km). Ayyappa Temple, Forana Church.
- Karappuzha Dam (40 km). Very scenic.
- Madakkimala Village, Mananthavady Road (5 km). Looooooong scenic bridge near Kairaly service station.
- 3 Meenmutty Falls (25 km hike). A spectacular waterfall.
- 4 Muthanga Sanctuary (42 km). Wildlife tours are available.
- 5 Pazhashi Museum (Pazhashi Tomb), Mananthavady (35 km). ₹5.
- 6 Pookode Lake (Pookot) (15 km from Kalpetta). Pookode is a scenic lake spread over 13 acres and surrounded by greenery, with boating facilities. The Panamaram river originates from this lake. Blue lotus, lillies and many fresh water fish species can be sighted along the way. A rare species of fish named Pethia Pookodensis is said to be exclusively found here. A calm walk around the lake can also be done. Be safe while walking, as there are leeches along the way, so preferably wear shoes and take salt with you. There are good snack and souvenir stalls near the entrance. Monkeys can be a nuisance near the entrance, so be careful. ₹10 for entry, ₹30 for boating.
- 7 Puliyarmala Jain Temple (6km from Kalpetta). A very famous Jain temple dedicated to Anantnath Swami. It is a large temple complex, built in Dravidan-Hoysala style. Tipu Sultan used this temple as an ammunitions storage and stationed a large battery of arms and ammunitions inside this temple, which resulted in naming the city as Sultan Battery. A must see for tourists, with large number of Jain statues and sculptures and many relics in ruins.
- Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS), Ambalavayal (25 km). 9AM – 5PM. RARS conducts agricultural research on paddy, tropical fruits, spices and vegetables. It has a horticulture division which houses many rare ornamental plants and flowers. RARS was successful in developing 13 varieties of paddy. The area is well-developed for taking calm walks amidst the bridges, paddy fields and statues. A moon garden is located near the entrance. A fruit garden is under construction, and a children's play area is available. A mini birds park in RARS houses surprisingly rare, exotic and colorful varieties of birds, mainly fowl. ₹20, additional ₹20 for camera.
- 8 Soochippara Falls (Sentinel Rocks.) (20 km). 8AM to 5PM. Spectacular three tiered waterfalls in Vellarimala, surrounded by dense equatorial forest vegetation. Soochipara means 'Needle-like rock'. The 15-20 min drive from Meppadi offers scenic views of some of the best tea estates in Wayanad. The waterfalls are 200 m (656 ft) and offer a cliff face that is ideal for rock climbing. The waterfalls are a bit crowded at times. 32 lady volunteers of the VSS control the visitors. After the entrance, a walkway leads to a beautiful viewpoint. From here, approximately 200 steps lead down to the falls. The trek takes approximately 30 minutes, and sometimes requires negotiating boulder steps. The view of the falls is worth the trek. There is generally a guard posted near the falls. The climb back can be hectic. Soochippara falls is appreciably a plastic-free zone, so the entry guards will ask you to store your plastic bags at the guardhouse and reclaim it when you return. Plenty of eating and souvenir-shopping options are available near the entrance. ₹20 . Additional for camera..
- 9 Thirunelli Temple (64 km). Riverside Hindu holy place.
- Wayanad Ghat Road View Point (16 km). Good place for long view photographs.
- Wayanad heritage museum, Kerala 673593, ☏ (mobile). Tu-Su 9AM – 5PM. The heritage museum gives a short and sweet experience of about half an hour, showcasing a rich collection of historical artifacts. The artifacts are almost fully from Wayanad. It showcases Wayanad’s ancient history and culture, especially on its tribal population and their customs, via four galleries with four different themes: Veerasmruthi (war-related), Jeevasmrithi (lifestyle, agriculture and culture), Gothrasmrithi (people and tribes) and Devasmrithi (Religion). More are under construction. The hero stones found in the Veerasmruthi gallery date back to olden times even before the oldest Tamil scripts, which even refer to these stones. Several agricultural implements can be found in the Jeevasmrithi gallery. The Devasmrithi gallery showcases a very rich collection of figurines of gods and goddesses. ₹20.
- 10 Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Muthanga wildlife sanctuary) (16 km), ☏ . 6AM-4PM. Established in 1973, the Wayanad Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is contiguous to the protected area network of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka on the northeast and Mudumalai of Tamil Nadu on the southeast. Rich in bio-diversity, the sanctuary is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, which has been established with the specific objective of conserving the biological heritage of the region. This was the first UNESCO international biosphere to be declared in India. The sanctuary is very rich in flora and fauna including elephants, three types of deer, wild goat, jungle fowl, black bear, leopard, boar, jackal, monitor lizard, python, viper, porcupine, vultures, mongoose, long-tailed drongo, etc. Flora such as crocodile bark and the invasive species of Senna are omnipresent. ₹250 for Indian nationals.
- Safari trips into the forest are conducted by the forest office daily in two batches, one in the morning (7-9AM) and one in the afternoon (3-5PM). It is best to go as early as possible in these slots to be able to do some sightings, as the animals retire during the hot sun. The safari is done in jeep, and the officials are happy to guide you around the sights in the forest. A maximum of 200 safaris are allowed per batch, so make sure you are early enough if going on a holiday. Carrying a camera requires an extra charge.
- There is a new wildlife museum near the forest entrance where you can view facts and displays on the sanctuary. Toilets are available, and food stalls opposite the entrance.
- International Meditation Society of Wayanad. A small Buddhist Theravada Hall for Buddhist prayers and Meditation along with lectures about Buddhist Philosophy. Ideal for Buddhist tourists to have a meditation and Yoga sessions here.
- Kalpetta Walk. 1. Start from Zodiac Hotel, head north, pass civil station and reach SKM highschool. Return through the bypass, Goodalayi road and go upto Meppadi road. Come back by Janamaithri Park side. (4 km)
- Boating at Pookode Lake.. Boating can be done on Pookode lake for a nominal fee ₹30 for 2.
- Kalpetta Walk. 2. Start from Kalpetta Bus Station, head south towards on Calicut road, turn left at Jana Maithree Park toward Meppadi. Walk in the scenic road for three km and come back in the same route.
- Learn Horseriding. The Veteriniary University at Pookode teaches horseriding to the public. Fee ₹5,000. Course duration 24 days (one hour every day).
- Myladippara Trekking Centre. Myladippara is a cliff to the east of Civil Station, adjacent to the new NH bypass road. Trek to the Myladippara offers a charming experience. Beware of inconspicuously hidden leeches along the way.
Tribal curiosities and souvenirs are available at cheap rates.
- Grand Fresh Hypermarket, Old Bus Station (1 km).
- Momento Engraving, Kainatty Junction (3 km).
- 1 Walnut Cakes, Old Bus Station.
- Zara Botique, near Woodlands Hotel (1 km). No parking facility
Kerala food is available in restaurants. European food is available in resorts and home stays only.
Bamboo rice (called Mulayari by locals) can be found in Wayanad. These are seeds of the Bamboo plant, richer in protein than rice and wheat, but tasting like rice. Bamboo rice payasam stalls can be spotted near Edakkal caves walkway. Bamboo is said to yield seeds after a long span, so it is said that harvesting bamboo rice is a 'once-in-a-lifetime' experience.
Home-made chocolates and local Wayanad spices, tea and coffee are also sold in many places. Shops near Edakkal caves offer many options such as spiced versions.
- 1980s Nostalgia, Goodalayi Bypass (2 km), ☏ . A lot of parking space.
- 1 ClayHut Restaurant (Opposite to New Busstand Kalpetta), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 11AM-23PM. Seafood and Kerala style foods. 250.
- Indian Coffee House, Opp. Collecorate (1 km). Udupi style vegetarian. No parking facility
- Kalpana Restaurant, Old Bus Station. No parking.
- New Hotel (Near New Bus Stand), ☏ . No parking. They are calling it 'new' since 1957.
- Oottupura Restaurant, Green Land Nagar (Near Navodhaya School). Lunch with Payasam noon to 3PM.
- Swamy's Udupi Restaurant (Near Old Bus stand.). 8AM to 8PM. Vegetarian restaurant, no parking facility.
- Bungalow Cafe, New Bus Stand Building, front side.
- Vrindavan Wines, Old Bus Station (1 km).
- Zodiac Wines, opp. Collectorate (2 km).
- ArunTourist Home. near KSRTC
- By the Way Dormitory. near New Bus Stand. 09387411731, 04936208705 ₹200.00
- [dead link] Chandragiri Inn, Main road (near Old Bus stand.), ☏ .
- Hotel Wayanad Empire. KSRTC Kalpetta. 04936206633
- Kalpetta Tourist Home, Old Bus Station. ₹300.
- M.G.T International, Main road, ☏ .
- Megha Lodge. Near Old Busstand., 04936202584 ₹400 upwards.
- PPS Tourist home, ☏ . From ₹250.
- Sinai Dormitory, Near Panchayath Office.
- Little Castle Dormitory, Near Kinfra Police Station.
- Morning Might Dormitory, Near Coffee Research Station.
- Affas Tourist home, Near New Bus Stand, ☏ .
- Falcon Residency, New Bus Stand, ☏ . ₹800.
- 1 Green Gates Hotel (luxury 3 star hotel), T. B. Road, ☏ . Check-in: 1PM, check-out: 11AM. A three star hotel on a hillock. The in-house facilities include a games parlor with pool table, table-tennis, carrom, chess, darts, a state of the art fitness center, an Ayurvedic spa, children's play area, a garden and a swimming pool. The service at the hotel is good. ₹2,750.
- Haritagiri Ecotel, ☏ .
- Harithagiri Village, Old Bus Station (1 km). Hotel and Ayurvedic spa.
- Hill View Residency, Opp. Fire Station (1 km on Calicut Road), ☏ . ₹1,060.
- Planet Green Plantation Resort (Kalpetta), Manjilam Kolli Road, Chuzhali, Via KSRTC bus Depot (3 km from Kalpetta bus stand), ☏ . Check-in: noon, check-out: 11AM. Inside a coffee plantation, surrounded by acres of tea estates. Rooms face Chembra Peak and green hills. The resort is built in estate house style on pillars in a sloping hill. There are two blocks consisting of five rooms each with separate entry. Deluxe cottage ₹3,000, premium suites ₹4,000.
- Space Park Residency near KSRTC Kalpetta 9048898949 04936206688. Family rooms, dorm, conference hall.
- 2 Woodlands Hotel, Old Bus Station.
- Banasura Lake View Cottage, Padincharathara, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Free breakfast and dinner. 1,250.
- 3 Sharoy Resort, Bible Land Post, Manjoora, Wayanad, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 4 Wayanad Silverwoods Resort, Vythiri-Tharuvana Road, Manjoora, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Perched on a hillock on the banks of the Banasura Sagar Dam, set on 16 acres and provides a view of the Banasura Sagar with the Banasura Mountains as the backdrop. The resort has 34 cottages and 21 rooms with recreational facilities including a fitness centre, club house, Ayurvedic spa, infinity pool and kids' play area. The resort also has a convention centre, travel desk, parking, Wi-Fi and concierge and provides airport transfers.
- The eastern hills of Kerala are vulnerable to attacks from an Indian communist group called Maoists. Recently they attacked the ticket counter of Silent Valley National Park, Mukkali. As the Maoists are armed and dangerous, be careful when you trek in lonely areas.
- Leeches are common in the hills. Carry some table salt to dislodge the leeches.
- Monkeys can be a nuisance, especially at places like Lakkidi viewpoint. Be careful and keep your car windows closed, and food items hidden.
- Falcon Tours and Travels, New Bus Station, ☏ .
- High Speed Internet, Opp. Catholic Syrian Bank, Old Bus Station. (1 km).
- Bandipur National Park, 104 km, famous for its tiger and elephant reserve and protected sandalwood trees
- Mudumalai National Park, 76 km, offers a variety of flora and fauna plus the opportunity to go on an elephant safari
- Nagarhole National Park, 72 km, an exclusive hunting reserve it is a well managed park with tiger, gaur and elephants