The “vayals” of Wayanad

A great introduction to rural life in Wayanad

3hrs | Hike | Easy, Family Friendly | Except Monsoon | Central Wayanad

Culture, tribal temple, paddy fields, plantations, temple visit

* "vayal" :- a field (Malayalam). The name Wayanad is thought to have originated from "vayal-nadu", meaning land of fields.
This is a gentle walk that offers an introduction to the rural way of life in Wayanad. It meanders through paddy fields, grazing land and banana/arecanut/coffee/pepper plantations.
The trail starts off over paddy fields - after the harvest, they make for excellent grazing land. We will make our way along a little stream, though it is mostly hidden by tall reeds and is difficult to approach because of the swampy ground. Very soon, you will see the tall graceful arecanut palms further ahead - this is a major cash crop in this area. If you are lucky, you may witness a plucking in progress - watching the pluckers leap from one palm to another, over 60feet from the ground, makes for some heart-stopping moments. In between, you may see banana plantations - these are seasonal.
The hills on the horizon, as you look around, form part of the Ambukuthy range, which also houses the famous Edakkal caves, as also the curiously named "Phantom Rock".
Being a highly populated region, temples abound - in fact, you will see several of them as you stroll along - they are easily spotted because of the granite storied lamp in front. Ask your guide to explain who the presiding deity is and the story around it.
The walk will also take you through a couple of tribal settlements - we ask that you respect their privacy. In any case, the traditional mud/grass huts that offered photographic potential have been long replaced by concrete houses.
The walk ends on the main highway - very convenient for your car to pick you up and drive back for a well earned rest.