Mananthavady is the third biggest town in the Wayanad district. The town is built around an ancient Latin church. The church is on a beautiful hillock and the whole city traffic flows around the hill. Mananthavady is the gateway to the Wayanad, Nagarhole, Bandipur and Mudumalai sanctuaries.
Mananthavady is accessible by bus from Mysore, Kozhikode, Kannur and Ooty. There is no rail link. The nearest airports are Kozhikode and Bangalore.
- Kannur-Iritty-Kottiyoor-Boystown-Mananthavady.94 km (Very steep and risky climb)
- Thalassery-Kuthuparamba-Nedumpoyil-Periya-Boystown-Mananthavady. 82 km
- Vadakara-Kuttiady-Niravilpuzha-Kanhirangad-Kallody-Mananthvady. 67 km
- Mananthavady-Kutta-Gonikupa-Virajpet-Madikeri.115 km
- Mysore-HDKote-Bavali-Mananthavady.112 km
- Mananthavady-Nalammile-Panamaram-Kambalakkad-Kalpetta. 37 km
Getting around is easy because of ubiquitous autorikshaws. Autorikshaws charge ₹15 per km and buses are even cheaper at only ₹7 for three km. Air-conditioned Volvo bus is available to Kalpetta for ₹67 (8:35AM, 10:55AM and 2:55PM)
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.
- Bavaly Dargah, Mysore Road.2 (18 km).
- 1 Changadakkadavu Bridge (3 km). Scenic place with school and mosque.
- 2 Chettappalam Village (3 km). Church, river, bridge, scenic paddy fields.
- Hodangadi Basadi. Jain temple.
- 3 Kuruva Dweep (Kuruva islands) (17 km east of Mananathavady), ☏ . 950 acres of ever green forest on the tributaries of east flowing river Kabini, is an ideal picnic spot, far away from the disturbances of city life. The island is uninhabited. Rare species of birds, orchids and herbs are the sovereigns of this supernal kingdom. As a precaution do not stay on this island after dusk. The island is sometimes closed for entry depending on whether the water level is dangerously close to flooding. Hence, in rainy season it is best to call up the authorities beforehand to enquire whether it is open.
- 4 Latin Church. This church is on a hilltop in the exact middle of Mananthavady town. Unfortunately the ancient church is now 'renovated' into a concrete building. Free.
- Mananthavady Park (on the banks of the Mananthavady puzha, 1 km from the Panchayath Bus Stand). The park is known for its bat colony. The attempts by the authorities to get rid of the bats lead to protests by environmental activists.
- 5 Ondayangadi Village (4 km). Durgah, church, scenic spot.
- 6 Panamaram Bridge (10 km). Scenic paddy fields, river.
- Pazhassi Museum and Garden, Near Bus Station (walkable distance). Tu-Su 9AM-1PM and 2-5PM. Memorial of the Lion of Kerala Veera Pazhassi Raja, who organized a guerrilla warfare against the British East India Company. ₹5.
- Puthiyadam Adeeshwara Swamy temple. Jain temple.
- Thavinchal Dargah, Thalappuzha Road (5 km). If you are not spiritually inclined, the scenic surroundings will be sufficient for a spiritual lifting.
- Thirunelli Temple (36 km from Mananthavady). Famous Hindu pilgrim centre on the river side inside dense forest.
- Tholpetty Sanctuary, Kerala 673 592 (24 km on the Coorg road; take a bus to Kuta town), ☏ . 6AM – 8AM and 3PM – 5PM. Tholpetty wildlife reserve forest is another UNESCO international biosphere reserve apart from Muthanga, part of Nilgiris reserve. Two entry batches are permitted.
- 7 Valliyoorkkavu Temple, 3 km. This temple is dedicated to Mother Goddess and is worshipped in three principal forms of Vana Durga, Bhadrakali and Jala Durga. It is the most important place of worship for the tribal communities. The annual 15-day festival is in March/April and is the grandest of all festivals in the district. Slave trade used to take place here during the festival. It is still the largest congregation of all tribals of Wayanad.
- 8 Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary), ☏ . 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.
- 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.
- 1 Boys Town '42', Thalappuzha (15 km). There is a herbal garden, nature care centre, sericulture unit, perma-culture centre, etc., established by the Wayanad Social Service Society and Gene Park (the Indo-Danish project for promoting herbal gardening) here. You can also find a church and orphanage. The locals call this place '42' denoting the distance in miles to Kannur.
- Forest Ride. Take the 6:10AM bus to Kutta or the 6:15AM bus to Thirunelly Temple. Both buses goes through dense forests. You can choose a window seat and enjoy the scenes.
- Maze Walking. Mananthavady town has a very confusing maze-like layout. It is only 6-km² area but the little town is extremely confusing even to those who have visited the place several times. In the evening traffic it is very unpleasant to walk as sidewalks are extremely crowded and the maze doesn't give a clue. But early morning walk can show you that the town is built in the shape of an enormous digit '8'. The bigger circle of the digit eight encircles the Latin Church Hill and the smaller circle encircles the Government Offices Hill. There is a Gandhi statue on the meeting point of the two circles in the digit '8'.
- Neeravil River walk, Pandikkadavu Bridge, Post Office Road (3 km). Get into any going to Kuttiady or Kallody. Get down at Pandikkadavu. Have a walk in the scenic bridge.
- Picnic @ V.C.Road (3 km). The Valliyoorkkavu Temple area is ideal for unpacking your picnic basket as the whole locality looks like a lush green lawn. There are two ancient temples, one orthodox church, foot bridge and river in this place in addition to an expanse of greenery.
- 2 Visit Dwaraka village (6 km). Spectacular St. Alphonsa Church, scenic surroundings. Juses Christ and chariot statue. Ask for Nalam Mile bus stop.
- Visit the Aaram Mile village (9 km). Mosque, playground, arecanut plantations.
- Tibetan Settlement, Kushalnagar. Direct buses are available from Mananthavady. Last bus returns by 6PM.
- Trekking on Estate Road, Ambukuthy area parallel to Thalassery Road.
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 tea and coffee are also sold in many places. Shops near Edakkal caves offer many options such as spiced versions.
- KL 58 Ammayi Salkaram, Thamarassery Road. Tender Beef and Biriyani. Green Semiya Payasam is also available.
You can buy handbags and souvenirs made by tribal people at very reasonable rates.
- Kannur Bakery, Thalashery Road (1 km).
- Marina Supermarket, Kannur Road (1 km).
- Thriveni Supermarket, Coffee House building (1 km).
- Bismillah Restaurant, Near Post Office (1 km). Opens at 6:30AM.
- Holiday Hill Restaurant, Kattikkulam (1 km). ₹50 for lunch.
- Grace Restaurant, Gandhi Park (1 km). Opens at 6AM.
- 1 Indian Coffee House, Kannur Road (1 km), ☏ . The best economy restaurant of the city. Special non-economy section upstairs.
- Matha Restaurant, opp. bus station. Cheap and best meat and fish dishes and Biriyani.
- Riveria Udupi Vegetarian, Post Office Road (1 km), ☏ .
- Rolex Restaurant, Mysore Road (1 km). For Palappam and Mutton curry.
- Unniyappam stall, Thettu Road on Thirunelli Road.
- Winberry Restaurant, Opp. Divisional Forest Office (1 km on Mysore Road).
- Anugraha Cottage, Chettappalam Bridge (3 km).
- 1 Century Grand Hotel, Kozhikode Road Jn., ☏ . ₹1,200.
- Cloud Nine Dormitory, Mysore Road (2 km).
- Coffee House Asbe Lodge, Kannur Road. (1 km), ☏ . The rooms clean and well furnished. This is the cheapest hotel in the entire district of Wayanad if you also need some quality. Another attraction is the presence of the cheapest restaurant in the town in the same building. ₹220, with TV ₹270..
- Dew Drops Rest House, Mysore Road, ☏ . big rooms. ₹400.
- Dream Land Residency, Valliyoorkave Jn. (Mananthavady-Koyileri-Panamaram Road), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Good budget hotel with modern amenities.
- Greens Residency, Kannur Road (2 km), ☏ .
- Haksons Lodge, Mananthavady, ☏ .
- Holiday Hill Suites, Kattikkulam (11 km).
- Jungle Lodge, Near Bretheren Church (4 km).
- Kabani Tourist Home, Valliyoorkavu Road (near Busstand), ☏ . ₹400.
- KTDC Hotel, Thirunelly, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. ₹1,600.
- P.K. Tourist Home, B.Street, Kannur Road, ☏ . ₹200.
- Parakkal Tourist Home, Valliyoorkavu Road Jn, ☏ , . ₹270.
- Riveria Lodge, Post Office Road (1 km), ☏ . ₹300.
- St. Sebastians Dormitory, Kutta Road, Kattikkulam (12 km), ☏ . ₹80 per head per night. Only groups are entertained. 09744943482
- Thekkans Resort, Kuruva Island Road, ☏ , .
- Wayanad Gate Resorts, Kattikkulam (11 km).
- White Fort Hotel, Chettappalam (3 km).
- S.N.Hostel, Choottakadavu Road, Near Post Office, ☏ , . The owner Mr. Gopalakrishnan Master lives behind the hostel. This is a sharing type of accommodation with common reading rooms and television rooms. Toilets are plenty in number but they are also shared. Inmates are given good facilities for washing clothes and ironing them. ₹2,000 per month.
- A.One Lodge, B.Street on Thalassery Road (2 km near Erumatheruvu), ☏ . ₹200.
- The eastern hills of Kerala are vulnerable to attacks from an Indian communist group called Maoists. In 2015, 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.
- Internet Cafes, available in plenty near the Coffee House area.
- KSRTC Bus Station, Mananthavady, ☏ .