Calicut / Bangalore to hot spots of Mananthavady, Kerala– Travel Guide

Calicut/ Bangalore to Mananthavady, Kerala– Travel Guide

Destination Point: Mananthavady
Mananthavady
            One of the most popular tourist places in South India is situated in Wayanad District, Kerala on the banks of Kabani River. Mananthavady, Maha Aanandavaadi. The Name derived from a Jain temple, located outskirts of old Mananthavady town, on the banks of river Kabani, with a name of Maha Anantha Swamy Temple ( PANDIKKADAVU).  Maha Ananda. Some people believes, The term also stands for Man Eytha vadi,  which has some  connections with Ramayana. Mananthavady is one of the oldest towns of Wayanad . As you know Waynad is not a specific place. It’s a district's name  known as Wynaud in British era. The area is  its closely related Deccan plateau  and can be termed as a border and extreme end of the plateau. so the culture is mixed with other states  place surrounds with the aura of peace and calm  everywhere, right from the hustle-bustle of main road to the very calm, traditional tribal  dominated old Mananthavady to the woods/villages around/beyond Valliyoor Kavu temple to the walk path around Pazhassi Tomb.



 The place is ideal for families as well as young couple looking for some hide and seek with the flavor of romance on top of it. Mananthavady is largely visited by the honeymoon couples and in summers people from all walks of life (children to old) run to seek pleasant weather from low hot burning lands of South India. All languages are  easily accepted, all caste and religious people are living here with utmost harmony. For example at Mananthavady town and is the center of worship of the people living at Mananthavady, whether it's for Muslem, or Christians, or, Hindus, or, tribal community…. are situated within  a short distance. . The almighty   also governs the tall mountains along with raw nature and it’s only after her permission that one gets to enjoy this beautiful place to the core. When people think of Mananthavady the second keyword that comes is of course Wayanad Ghats which no doubt is a must visit place if you go to Mananthavady.
Some views of Mananthavady…








Climate

Climate in Mananthavady is almost nice throughout the ,where you can enjoy cold in winters (December-February) and nice pleasant cool weather in summers. The best time although to visit Mananthavady is all around the year, but I like to spent  time there in May to June when heat is burning the low lands of South India. July-August  will experience rainfall but this place has again its unique beauty when it rains. I like Oct and November, with emerald green every where  after plants rejuvenated  their leafs.   Light chilling  drizzling may also occur in the months of January and February.



Best Time to Visit
All around the year:
April to June is the best time to visit Mananthavady but do keep in mind that in summers (April-June)The season is dry  and a little grey in colour toot  But if you enjoy it, then it’s really awesome time to visit Mananthavady. Also, you can take the shelter in  forest glades in such extreme cases which is far off from the hustle bustle of the city crowd. All wildlife is very active around the roads itself and spotting animals is a common affair.  Right from accommodation to food to shopping to taxi / auto fares, everything is moderately cheap  in this summer holidays.
For honeymoon, of course if you get married in winters then Mid-November to February end is the best time. I you are looking for adventure sports then, hit for trekking December to February season is the best time and for rafting in Kuruwa is on from  September  onwards. Would do well. All of you who seek trekking in mountains, like Bahmagiri or Pakshipathalam, or Banasura hills or Chembra peak near  Mananthavady, it’s always dependent on weather on the current day of the year .
Do avoid Valliyoorkkavu Pooja  holidays mainly in March last week when the rush is at peak  by local communities. If you want to meet Tribal community  of Wayanad, then this will be a good option. Again groups  students  flood the to see Wayanad, and Mananthavady towns in February and March.  But it is nice to watch them  and they make no disturbance to other visitors. Jan  to March is   Festival as well as cropping seoson  of pepper and Coffee  in Wayanad,   when people are engaged with  heavy rworks.

Some More Views Mananthavady…







How to reach Mananthavady
By Air
Nearest Airport is Mysore, (Yes Mysore, not Calicut) near Mananthavady  and lies  about 100 KM away. But Bangalore is the right place to  touch down and you  can have triple advantage of Bangalore, Mysore Mananthavady in same trip.  From Bangalore, you can hire a taxi to reach Mananthavady in 5 hrs approximately. The fare of taxi could be Rs 3300- Rs 4000, depending upon the bargaining skills as well as season time. But I would like to take a Self drive car from Bangalore and drive  as per my wish. For Keralites, the Wayanad Ghat road is  a must see and that is the most suitable  entry point  to them. If you are from north India, Calicut airport is a good choice to take as the drive on Villages of Kerala and hill road itself a pleasure.
By Train

Thalassery  is the closest major Railway Station from where it would take anywhere around 2-3 Hours to reach Mananthavady by bus/car. But Kozhikode is more appropriate for road trip with a running time of 3-4 hours
By Road

Mananthavady is about 110 KM from Calicut (approximately) and takes around 3-4 Hours to reach.
Generally the route followed for Mananthavady from Calicut by road is –Calicut – Thamarassery) – Adivaram – Kalpetta(82 KM) Panamaram– Koilery-Mananthavady (110 KM)
KSRTC  low floor Volvo Buses also run from Calicut everyday from KSRTC  Bus stand  and reaches Mananthavady in about 3 hrs.  The fare is around Rs 110 on side. The similar type along with numerous local busses buses leaves from Mananthavady and reaching Calicut, and beyond.
fom Bangalore
Bangaluru
1.Mysore-HD kote- Bavali-Mananthavady (6 am to 6 pm only)
2. Mysore Hunsur-Nagerhole-Kutta-Manathavady(6 am to 6 pm only)
3.. Mysore -Hunsur-Gonikoppal- Kutta-Manathavady (24 hrs open)
4. Mysore gundalpeta-Bathery-Mananthavady-(9 am to 9 pm only)

From KAnnur
1. Koothuparamba-Nedumpoil-Periaya-Mananthavdy-Great road
2. Koothuparamba-Nedumpoil-Kottiuoor -boys town-Mananthavady-Gud road

Road Conditions

Calicut to Mananthavady roads run on NH-212 and State  highways and are pretty much in great shape being a highway. In the entire route there are one or two rough patches so that you never lose your concentration, especially the drive from Adivaram to Lakkidi is horrible with with trucks running madly all over the road on both sides, slowing you down terribly. A slight bypass  to Kalpetta stretch is also in bad shape but rest of the road conditions are pure bliss to drive.

Preferred Vehicles

Best way is to take your car/bike and hit the road as there is no such specialty required in the vehicle is it 2X2 or 4X4. You can take it as long as its engine runs and fuel exists 

Bus Service from Calicut – Mananthavady


Buses ply from Calicut  from midnight to midnight 30-40 minutes frequency.
As per KSRTC  FB Page, KSRTC  operates 6 daily  low floor Volvo buses from Mananthavady to Calicut.  

Timings from Mananthavady: Mananthavady is one of the places with lot of busses plying all around the clock. Come in Mananthavady at any time. You will get food and accommodation even in midnight.

 Itinerary

From  Bangalore

The best place to start your itinerary in Wayanad is surely not in Wayanad, But in Karnataka!  I would suggest any one of the places like Kabani(BAVALI), Nagerhole,and Wild Life Santuary,Iruppu falls  are located in  the gateways to Wayanad,. Interestingly, there are a good number of holiday resorts in these areas, most of them located close to one or the other tourist spot. The adventure traveler can choose to stay in jungle resorts or tree houses. The other option is the “home stay”, very popular in these parts. Many of the residents here let out a portion of their house to tourists. Whichever the choice, advance booking is recommended.

From Calicut

If you are from Calicut to visit Mananthavady you require at least 3 Nights, 4 Days and it would be great if you have more  but ideally in 3 Nights / 4 Days you can cover majority of this place. I would also provide some add-on or pop-up day tours which you can include exclude as you like.
Day – 0: : Leave Calicut in the early morning to avoid traffic about 5 AM  to reach Mananthavady   morning  by 10 am either by car/or bus. You can have a morning  look at  Wayanad Ghats on the way which has a special glory in morning hue.  If you are using car, Pookot lake  on NH 212 is a never miss, and it will take only 2 hrs, but it will worth. Jain temple at Panamaram, built in the 13th century, is on the way.

Day – 1:
 Check-in at the hotel, at Mananthavady, rest for few minutes after lunch  and go on for Local Sightseeing. This may include Main road (which of course you can’t avoid any day), Pazhassi Tomb and Valliyoorkkavu  Temple in the evening through the streets of old Mananthavady. Have Dinner at one of the traditional / western cuisine restaurant at Mananthavady. Near to the river Bank of Kabani , Pazhassi Raja Park is a  popular tourist spots to visit with children. It has lots of Bats hanging on trees. 
 Come back to hotel for the rest.  If you want to Skip stay at Mananthavady and stay at Thirunelly is also possible, as night travelling through forest is not banned yet. Thirunelly also boast economical stay at  Panchatheertham  Inn, and lot of  3-4 star holiday homes and hotels  available.
Day – 2: 
Leave for Thirunelli    early in the morning see wildlife on the way to Thirunelly. Mind it, its glory  of the trip so be prepared and it’s always better  go on slow speed to enjoy the beauty of the forest. Before e early morning may be 8 A.M. Pooja  and  ritual can be performing in the morning is a delight. Expect most of the persons  of   came only to do the rituals after they  lost some family members  . It is believed the Ash  will reach  ultimately at Bay of Bengal, Not at the Arabian Sea ,and so it has a special place among Keralites. Enjoy  a trek towards Papanasini, under thick shades of forest trees. Pakshipathalam is nearby, about 14 km trek, and you will need special permission from forest office
Beware: Male devotees can enter the temple only if they are bare-chested. Non Hindus are not expected inside the sanctum  of temple, but anybody can roam near temple premises and go to  Papanasini  Track , please respect the local rituals.

If you are more interested in Kuruwa Island ,  try  it in the morning, because it entry closes at 3:30 PM at  then proceed to  Tholpetty Wild life sanctuary, and evening can be spent at Thirunelly temple. All three in almost  in one route. Come back in the evening . If you do not own a car, book a cab from Mananthavady for one day.
Day – 3: Check out hotel and leave for Tholpetty Wild life Safari or Banasura sagar Dam or Edakkal cave.  if you want to do some adventure sports and enjoy the day there.. Leave for home in the night, either by taking the evening bus or by you own car.

Add-on or Top-up Days

My article is mainly on Mananthavady, and you can add on …some points.

Day – 4:
 If you are not interested in visiting a unique place then include Edakkal in your trip with a night stay at Bathery  Temple. Well the views it offers is just breathtaking. So you can also opt for Thirunelly in place of Tholpetty Wild life Safari if you don’t like adventure sports then replace this day with the trip to Edakkal and Jain temple  Temple at Bathery , just 40 odd KM from Mananthavady.  Lakkidi is also a good option for honeymooners n it’s one of the best places to stay and must visit for couples looking for ideal romantic point.
To get the glimpses of the views from Thirunelly Temple, check these links of my visit to this beautiful place.
You may take a day trip to Thirunelly and leave for Mananthavady same day if you don’t like much but better include a night stay at this lovely place. Next morning you can leave to Calicut from Thirunelly itself.
Beware: Male devotees can enter the temple only if they are bare-chested. Non Hindus are not expected inside the sanctum  of temple, but anybody can roam near temple premises and have  Papanasini  Track , please respect local culture

Day – 5 :
 Another set of location you may include is that you leave for Wayanad is  Bathery  if it’s the penultimate day of the trip or early morning on any day if you have ample amount of time. Just it would be great if you can do it on the way back to home towards Calicut or similar route.
If you have time then dedicate a day for Muthanga  and try to enjoy the environment to the core besides the Nool Puzha River.
Leave for Calicut in the evening and reach by morning.

Accommodations

There are a lot of Hotel options available in Mananthavady for accommodation ranging from luxury Hotels to budget range Hotels. Well I have been to all three kinds on my previous trips to Mananthavady and this is what I felt a nice list to narrow down the choices. Of course I would say these are just Hotels either known to me or I have taken feedback from my family members who have stayed there. 
           



  1. Holiday Hill Hotel Kartikulam, Mysore Road, Mananthavady , a 3 star hotel, s comfortable designed and well-appointed rooms fitted with modern conveniences. In-room amenities include air-conditioner, cable television, intercom, ironing board, sofa unit, hot/cold running water and bathroom amenities. Guests can visit Kuruwa Dweep(5.7 km), Padiri Reserve Forest(14.2 km), Thirunelly Temple(21 km), Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary(26 km) and Nagarhole National Park(32 km) which are situated near to the hotel.The hotel offers facilities such as laundry, room service, guide service, transfers and parking space. Guests can make use of recreational facilities such as gymnasium, spa, massage and Ayurveda centre.Restaurant at the hotel dishes out scrumptious and delicious north and south Indian cuisines. I felt this hotel is economical with a range of Rs 1500 including Breakfast 
  2. Abhirami Farm Resorts, Located at Thonichal, Mananthavady, and Abhirami Farm Resorts adjoins Thonichal Shiva Temple (Approx. 1km) it ensures a stay wrapped with complete peace and simple pleasures of life. The enchanting environment with mist-clad peaks, greenery and exotic flora and fauna all around, makes discerning travelers fall for this resort at the very first sight. The warmth of the cozy rooms, the taste of the flavorful food coupled with the contemporary business facilities strikes a great balance.These huts ideal for honeymoon lovers are located a bit isolated towards Old Mananthavady, again which is what love birds seek. But, don’t catch it into very off – season as it may also scare a bit out of you being alone. At least we felt so when we stayed and moreover food is not that good quality
  3. Hotel Bahmagiri, is a four star hotel at Mananthavady offers a wide range of options both to the tourists offers sightseeing, trekking, camping and jungle safari. Is just on the Main road provides you with ample facilities being on the Main road. Rooms are really comfortable and worth the money. Even if you don’t stay do have a meal or two in its restaurant. Range is Rs 2200- Rs4000. It has an in house bar and it causes disturbances, in the late night by local drunkards, at least during our stay. It is safe bet if you are in dilemma for cheap hotel, I believe.
  4. Century Grand Hotel Situated in Mananthavady, 13 km from Thirunelly Temple, features air-conditioned rooms and free private parking. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Every room includes flat-screen TV and equipped with a private bathroom fitted with a shower. Built is modern and luxurious. This is and not at all a budget hotel. We stayed here in very off season and still we got a room for 1500 I believe. But I must say the money was worth it as the Hotel has all sorts of deserving offerings one would like. 
  5. Hotel Haksons. Is one of the best budget hotels with standard of quality and service. It is located amidst the of Mananthavady town. Everything is so nearby and I would really recommend it for families with children. Kids tend to demand this and that every now and then which makes a good choice as everything you get in Mananthavady is so nearby. But avoid if you have more budget. Range is 650-2000 and you can always stay here if you are short on budget. 

Budget Hotels in Mananthavady

Budget Hotels If you are short on budget either choose you can very well walk to the streets of Mananthavady where you will get very good deals for some cheap hotels in Mananthavady.

You can find lots of budget hotels around Mananthavady in town , Bus stand area, Mananthavady and hotels on the Mananthavady – Thirunelly road. The one at Mananthavady – Thirunelly road named The White fort, but I have no personal experience .and one just before that hotel are real good and economic options of stay in Mananthavady, like green Residence and Hotel Ciba etc.

Food Joints

  • Indian Coffee house  located near the town  is very famous for its cuisines. A meal here is a must for us whenever we go to Mananthavady.
  • Century, located at  far from Main road, has a great variety of Chinese dishes topped with great taste.
  • Wynn Berry, located just at the start of Main road shops is also quite good in food quality. In fact one of the trip we just had our meal on this restaurant only.
  • Local hotels:

  • I would always love the yummy taste of Kerala poratta with Chicken or Beef . A variety of taste it can be offer. Kerala poratta is different from North Indian counter parts like Nan, Roti or chapattis. It has its own glorious taste. And it will provide maximum taste of your curry chosen. Every curry will go with it. So try your best and favorite curry with Kerala poratta. One must try in a life time. My ultimate choice is Poratta with Beef fry. Beef curry of Beef fry is always available in all hotels in Mananthavady. No need to worry it's safe and delicious, and very tasty is the best place for Kerala Porattas in Mananthavady. If you love Non veg then do not forget to check this awesome place.
    Believe me, you can get Arabic foods like Chicken Shawarma and Grilled chicken (original one) in Mananthavady town near KT complex. It s a good food joint although I have never been there due to long queues.
Tips to travel in Forests

  • I have said there are forest roads in and around Mananthavady. Some roads are banned for night traffic.  If you travelling by car - Avoid that roads and plan accordingly.
  • Spotting of wild life including  tigers, and leopards  elephants, Indian Guar(Kaattu pothu) Deer are possible in  state highways  from Bavali to Mananthavady ,Tholpetty(Kutta) to Mananthavady  and Thirunelly to Mananthavady Roads.
  • Do not stop  or get out from the car for photography. It is an offence and forest department can charge on you.
  • I like to travel  from Mysore to Mananthavady through Bavali route. Most picturesque, high rate of spotting wild animals, shortest route and excellent road. Because it traverse  through core area of Nagarhole WLS, parallel to River Kabani, so wild animals tend to stay near waterholes. Unfortunately ,this road will close from 6 pm to 6 am  at Bavali and from other end .Still it’s a good bet, No need of a wild life safari! My t rick is drive up to Anderasande or Bavali   reach around 5.30 pm and spend for a tea break  there. Just before closing the gate I  pass  through the gate. And drive very slowly to spot a large number of   animals, especially tigers and leopards which start preying by this time.
  • Interestingly Mananthavady- Kutta-Gonikoppal- Hunsur road is opened for 24 hrs, even it crosses  Wayanad WLS in Tholpetty. But Mananthavady- Kutta-Nagerhole-Husur road will be closed at 6 pm to 6 am 
  • Rolls your glasses up in your car. If you see  Wild animals on the road, please do not get out from the car or make any sounds. Keep a distance of at least 50 meters. Simply  watch them within one or two minutes they will  walk away calmly.
  • All animals are fearing  of you. They will not attack, unless  provoked  and by you are standing in n close range with them. Some elephants will stay at side of the road, may be without any other options. Closely watch them especially if it is a tusker or a female elephant with calf. Do not approach.  These are the only instances they will charge.
  • Even waiting up to 5 minutes, if the elephant  not moved from the  first position , you may  pass him without fear.  Do not honk  horn or  throw something  towards elephant, to provoke and make  chasing  your car. It will be harmful to an innocent  car behind you.
  • In cases of a possible charge. Be calm,  do not switch of the car.  Do not reverse. Put it in first gear .  Honk horn and put headlights and shout at most at the same time. Revv the engine with little quirk movements. Normally all elephants will run away.   If it is  a rogue  elephant or in his must, the story will be different. Don’t worry the history of attacks by these route is nearly zero. 
  • Still he is charging, best way is to distract  him by throwing something smelly  or cloths(eg.SHIRT) to him. when  he will focus to tear it you can turn back
  • Do not exert yourself too much in bike riding through forests. But still I love to ride .
Around Mananthavady:
There are ample of places around Mananthavady and inside Mananthavady town which as a tourist can be visited and clicked for some great memories in life. I will try to enlist some of them below –
Local Sightseeing
You can check below destinations within Mananthavady town –
Mananthavady Main road
You can enjoy food and shopping at this very road. There are many  Hotels as well on the road . There is one Temple, named Kanchi Kamakshi Amman Temple, and a number of Mosques  as well at the Main road just aside Bus and Taxi Stand

Pazhassi Tomb
It’s near Hospital Hill  approximately 15-20 minutes' walk. Autos run all time in Mananthavady to take you to the local tourist joints, in a very minimal charge. But I feel walking down to these places has fun of its own kind.

Valliyoor Kavu temple
As you cross through the streets of lovely Old Mananthavady you will reach this temple, an auto ride is a good option
Latin Church
Situated at the e heart of Mananthavady town .Actually whole town is build around the road of a hill  in which Latin Church situates.
Bishop's House
Bishop's House is situated just few 500 odd Meters from the bus stand at Main road. You can surely buy some souvenir from the shops in front of the local Mananthavady monastery.
Rose Garden
Personally I didn’t like this place at all and considered it as total waste of time.
Other trails
Other trails in the woods through local villages and old Mananthavady which can be enjoyed as well.
Banasura Sagar Dam
The Banasura Dam, India's largest earth dam (and second largest in the world) is in Wayanad is a must visit for every tourist who goes to Mananthavady. You can Travel  directly to Calicut by another awesome gut road. It is a main point of Calicut-Mananthavady- connectivity trough Kuttiady Perambra.Kuttiady  ghat road is also super in quality and save distance and time to travelling towards, Thalassery, Vadakara, and Calicut..

Tholpetty Wild life Safari Wayanad
Tholpetty wildlife sanctuaries in this region. Elephants, leopards, deer and snakes can be spotted here. For trekking adventure traveler’s delight with treks through hills and forests.


Thirunelly Temple
This is just amazing place which I have already explained in the Itinerary section and if you are really looking for some Pilgrimage joint, Thirunelly Temple is surely the place to be.
Wayanad
As i said,It’s a major district of Kerala and is located at the banks of Kabani River. The list of places to see is exhaustive.  You can  read it here and add it as your wish. The district abounds with waterfalls, named and unnamed, and there is a viewpoint at literally every turn on the road. I will come with more details soon. By the time you may ask any questions about the itinerary and I will be glad to assist you

Conclusion

If you ever have been to Mananthavady then please share you valuable thoughts and suggestion as well so that it can help other fellow travelers to plan their journey to Mananthavady accordingly. I will be looking forward to your comments and suggestions.PAck your backpacks, have a camera and take it .Just  place it  and shoot at any place blankly in Mananthavady in Wayanad. You will get a scenery, I bet it. 

BY JeyKey, Mananthavady Locals


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