India is rapidly climbing up the global tourism ladder and figures prominently among the elite class of tourism hotspots. The landscape of India is especially endowed with a resplendent geography complete with vast expanse of beaches, mountain ranges, waterfalls, whitewater rapids and an extensive network of rivers and backwaters. These geographic marvels combined with the eternal quest for adventure inherent in man have made India, a mandatory pit stop on any adventure seeker’s itinerary.
Kerala, arguably India’s most enchanting state, was recently declared as one of the 50 must-see destinations of a lifetime by National Geographic Traveler. Primarily renowned for its immense cultural contributions to the world, Kerala is steadily emerging as a world player in adventure tourism. The landscape of Kerala is dotted with innumerable mountain peaks, rivers, backwaters, lakes and other natural wonders and nowhere is this more evident than in the beautiful district of Wayanad. The terrain of this breathtaking place poses a challenge to even the most dauntless among adventure seekers.
Trekking, a staple among adventure sport activities, is indeed a challenge anywhere in the world and in Kerala, it takes on new meaning. A trek to Chembra peak, Wayanad, is generally considered a risky proposition which can take up an entire day. The peak at 2100 meters above sea level is the tallest in Wayanad and reaching it is a challenging endeavor fraught with risk, but the reward is a panoramic view of the breathtaking beauty of Wayanad. Tourists can stay for a day or two at temporary facilities maintained by the district tourism promotion council and even set up a campfire to ward off the biting chill of the night in authentic adventure style.
Rock climbing is another sport that is a permanent fixture on the adventure tourist’s to-do list. A watered down version of mountaineering, rock climbing covers a broad range of recreational, sporting and adventure activities and involves the scaling of steep rocky massifs using only one’s hands and feet. Soochipara falls, one of the four prominent waterfalls of Wayanad, is an excellent destination for rock climbing, with the cliff facade providing the ideal terrain for pursuing this exhilarating activity.
For the adventurer who prefers to take to the waters rather than staying on terra firma, Wayanad has a whole range of water-based adventure activities including rafting, canoeing, and white-water surfing. These activities are centered around the picturesque Kabini River, the rapid currents of which will ensure that budding as well as battle hardened helmsmen get their share of action, with the mesmerizing vista of the lush green forests thrown in as a bonus.
Wayanad has not yet been affected by the menace of mass tourism, and has successfully managed to retain its old world charm. The enterprising traveler can indulge his adventurous streak here with élan and be assured of a heady rush of adrenaline in this modern day Narnia.