Breathtaking ‘Gateway to Wayanad’

On the Western Ghats in southern India is a little green heaven called Wayanad. Cut out of the Northeastern part of Kerala, this district is one of the new hot-spots for travellers to...
Wayanad Ghat Section / Thamarassery Churam

On the Western Ghats in southern India is a little green heaven called Wayanad. Cut out of the Northeastern part of Kerala, this district is one of the new hot-spots for travellers to South India. Of the many far flung attractions here, there is one thing you should not miss if you like scenic drives. I’m talking about what you could call the ‘gateway’ into this hilly district — that is when  you are coming in from Kozhikode side — the Wayanad Ghat Section.

Wayanad Ghat Section / Thamarassery Churam

Locally known as the Thamarassery Churam (meaning ghats in Malayalam*), the roads through this ghat section  stretches upto a good 15 kilometres and is made up of 9 hair-pin-bends through what used to be rugged terrain. All the way through, you will see nothing but greenery and some exposed patches of the rocky Western Ghats.

The scene only gets better with the altitude. As you get into the ghat section you pass through some rubber and areca plantations and then before you know it, you will be surrounded by wilderness.

You will get better views of the surrounding hills and the valleys in between them as you work your way up. By the time you get to hair-pin-bend 9, you get to see the mountain tops. And if it is a little foggy, there’s nothing like it: you will see the mountains in different shades of green till they turn blue in distance, thanks to the fog settling down in the valleys.

Wayanad Ghat Section / Thamarassery Churam



If it is just after the rainy season that you are driving this way, the road may not be in the best condition. But I promise you, the uphill drive will be totally worth it.

When you reach the top of the ghats, stop, get out of your cars and set your eyes on the breathtaking view. The best part of it all — try to get a glimpse of the roads in the lower levels. Check out how tiny the cars down there look. Oh! and those huge KSRTC* buses will look like match boxes. That is quite a sight.

Wayanad Ghat Section / Thamarassery Churam
Wayanad Ghat Section / Thamarassery Churam

A word of caution: before you enter the Ghat Section, just make sure your fuel tank has enough gas to take you up the 15 kilometres; remember that it is an uphill drive that you are about to go on. There are no fuel stations within the ghat section, as such. However, there are cooling stations for you: places where you can pick up some cool drinks or even cool your vehicle’s engines. There are a couple small waterfalls by the roadside where you will see some vehicles stop for some cold refreshments for their fuming radiators (it is an uphill climb, afterall).

Wayanad Ghat Section / Thamarassery Churam

If you are driving through the Wayanad Ghat Section during the monsoons or the winter months, you might be in for some thick fog and some really cold weather. But worry not, there’s hot tea available at the chaya kadas (tea stalls) in 2-3 places on the way. Hey, and look out for the monkeys too. You’ll find plenty of them.

Wayanad Ghat Section / Thamarassery Churam

Whether you are going up the hill or down — I repeat — don’t forget to stop at the top and look down the ghat section. The scenery will take your breath away.

Have a great drive!

Wayanad Ghat Section / Thamarassery Churam
PS: Be good. Yield to uphill traffic and don’t forget to honk when you get to the blind curves; there are way too many of them.

PS: When you are driving through the Wayanad Ghat Section, make sure to also make a stop at the Chain Tree or Changala Maram. It is located just after the Ghat Section if you are coming up the hills, or just before the Ghats if you are going from Wayanad to Kozhikode/ Calicut.

Read about the story behind the Chain Tree HERE

*Malayalam – The language spoken in Kerala 
*KSRTC – Kerala State Road Transport Corporation 

You might also want to read ‘Growing up in nature’s backgroud’ (What it is like to grow up in a plantation in Wayanad)
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54 Comments on this post.
  • Josie
    16 January 2011 at 12:25 am

    Cool photos! Love the monkeys!

  • dNambiar
    16 January 2011 at 7:03 am

    Thank you, Josie

  • Santa
    28 February 2012 at 3:57 am

    lovely pics…

    • dNambiar
      28 February 2012 at 7:50 pm

      Thank you Santosh, these are pics from a point and shoot. It was one of those occasions when I deeply regretted not taking my SLR along. Not that I do fabulous work like you guys do but I could have had better images than these.
      There's no doubt that this area is much more beautiful in person. 🙂

  • Kishan P
    24 April 2012 at 6:22 am

    Now this is what I expect to see in Wayanad! Some day soon…

    • dNambiar
      24 April 2012 at 6:01 pm

      I'm sure, now that I have been through some of your post. You'll love it, Kishan. I wish I didn't have just my point-and-shoot that day. I'll be going that way again and again…I should have better pictures soon.

  • Sugato Tripathy
    19 August 2012 at 5:43 am

    nice pics…would love to know more about wayanad…

    • dNambiar
      20 August 2012 at 3:33 am

      Thank you Sugato. You'll like it if you like places that are not too touristy. It's pretty quiet and the attractions are far flung. It's nice and green too. 🙂

  • magiceye
    11 October 2012 at 2:28 am

    Your post has strengthened my desire to ride the Wayanad hills!!

    • dNambiar
      11 October 2012 at 4:45 pm

      Great idea. I think the 'born again biker' SHOULD do that. That'll be fun and while you are in the south you might also want to try out the Kalhatty ghats near Ooty. That will also be quite an experience.

    • dNambiar
      11 October 2012 at 4:47 pm

      I look forward to all YOUR pictures. 🙂

  • umashankar
    11 October 2012 at 3:06 am

    Lovely, misty post. Cute monkeys too. The bit about checking out the fuel tank is a prudent advice.

    • dNambiar
      11 October 2012 at 4:59 pm

      Thank you USP. Steaming radiators are also a common sight here.
      I've travelled this way I-don't-know-how-many-times. When I was little I was bored of driving this way. Later on I began loving it and now I miss those drives.:)

  • Ajeeth boaz
    11 October 2012 at 4:07 am

    Beautiful pics…

    • dNambiar
      11 October 2012 at 5:00 pm

      Thanks Ajeeth. All YOUR pictures are outstanding. 🙂

  • AmitAag
    11 October 2012 at 4:28 am

    Lovely post! Breathtaking no doubt:) Thank you Divya:)

    • dNambiar
      11 October 2012 at 5:01 pm

      I know — it's your kind of place.
      You're welcome. And thank YOU. 🙂

  • Jay Singh
    11 October 2012 at 4:30 am
    • dNambiar
      11 October 2012 at 5:04 pm

      They do, right? That's the view from the upper end of the ghat section. It's real fun to stand there and watch other vehicles drive up the hair bends down there.

  • Deepa Gopal Sunil
    11 October 2012 at 5:22 am

    I have been there during our Interzone College Fest…its a beautiful place! Loved the pics and your narration:)
    Good Day!

    • dNambiar
      11 October 2012 at 5:11 pm

      Hey Deepa, Nice to see you here. I'm sure that was a memorable trip. That was in 97 or 98, that the Interzone competitions were held here, right?

      Thank you Deepa. 🙂

  • sandeep ingilela
    11 October 2012 at 5:58 am

    Magnificent mountains. I wonder how you got photos of those monkeys?. Great pics though.

    • dNambiar
      11 October 2012 at 5:12 pm

      They are. The view from the top is great. Oh the monkeys! There are too many out here and they are least bothered by the humans who come that way. 🙂

  • Debopam
    11 October 2012 at 6:50 am

    Thanks for sharing…..

    • dNambiar
      11 October 2012 at 5:39 pm

      My pleasure, Debopam. 🙂

  • Rahul Bhatia
    11 October 2012 at 7:05 am

    Just the other day, I thought of traveling to this lovely destination, when this amazing post comes from you Divya withall the visual splendor:) Thanks Divya!

    • dNambiar
      11 October 2012 at 5:40 pm

      Go for it. And don't forget to drive this way. 🙂 Have a superb trip.

  • Ghazala Hossain
    11 October 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Lovely pictures. Perfect place for a picnic 😀

    • dNambiar
      11 October 2012 at 5:45 pm

      Thank you Ghazala. You'll find ice cream at the view point but it's not exactly a place to sit down and have a nice outdoor meal. And there are too many monkeys around. 🙂

  • Meoww
    12 October 2012 at 2:27 am

    Love the shots of the windy roads from the top. Should be a dizzy ride. I love those kind 🙂 Monkey menace at the tea shops 😀

    • dNambiar
      13 October 2012 at 6:57 am

      That's the best part about this drive. But it's not exactly a good place for people who cannot handle winding roads. It can make them sick.

  • Rachna
    12 October 2012 at 5:11 am

    I love Wayanad. We stayed in Blue Ginger resort in Vythri. Lush green and so beautiful. You made those memories come alive :).

    • dNambiar
      13 October 2012 at 6:59 am

      Have you gone beyond Vythri? If not, next time you should drive down to Kozhikode and experience this ghat section.

  • vinishashah
    12 October 2012 at 6:36 am

    Awesome clicks 🙂 🙂

    • dNambiar
      13 October 2012 at 6:59 am

      Thank you Vinisha 🙂

  • Panchali
    12 October 2012 at 7:34 am

    Divya, The pics are honestly breathtaking..and made me tipsy!!:))
    I have been to Coorg and Wayanad some years back..and it was like standing almost in the middle of natural and raw nature!Beautiful blog~
    And I lovedddddddddd your page-setting!!

    • dNambiar
      13 October 2012 at 7:12 am

      Tipsy? That's exactly how I wished you'd feel. The view from the top is amazing. My hubby's lost count of the times he's driven this way. He misses doing it. 🙁
      Coorg and Wayanad are good old neighbours. And yes, raw nature indeed. (Btw, Wayanad is Home;)envious? ). 🙂

      So glad you like my new theme. The older one was getting too common. And this one goes better with 'tipsy' 😀

  • Akshay Kumar G
    12 October 2012 at 11:10 am

    Been there a few times, the views are breathtaking indeed. Loved the pictures. 🙂

    • dNambiar
      13 October 2012 at 7:13 am

      Hey Akshay, long time. I hope you're doing good.
      🙂 Isn't it! Thank you.

  • Upasana
    12 October 2012 at 3:33 pm
    • dNambiar
      13 October 2012 at 7:14 am

      Thank you so much, Upasana. And welcome here.

  • Puru@ShadowsGalore
    12 October 2012 at 9:28 pm

    I love when huge buses look like matchboxes. A lovely post ! 🙂

    • dNambiar
      13 October 2012 at 7:15 am

      That's one of the best parts, isn't it. Otherwise they act like they own the roads. 🙂
      It's so cool to literally look down at them. 🙂
      Thank you so much, Puru.

  • Rajesh
    13 October 2012 at 4:31 am

    Amazing captures.

    • dNambiar
      13 October 2012 at 7:16 am

      Thanks Rajesh. 🙂

  • Ashwini
    16 October 2012 at 4:16 am

    Awesome snaps!!

    • dNambiar
      24 October 2012 at 1:09 am

      Thank you Ashwini. 🙂
      When's your next travel post gonna be up?

  • Swapna
    17 October 2012 at 2:23 am

    Beautiful pics Divya. I haven't been able to visit my hometown Palakkad for a few years now and these pics are making me feel nostalgic.Ah well, hopefully soon.

    • dNambiar
      24 October 2012 at 1:12 am

      Thanks a ton, Swapna. There's a lot of lush green around there. I'm sure you miss sights like this. I hope you get to go soon. Does the little one like travelling?

  • Arti
    23 October 2012 at 3:22 am

    I will be going to Wayanad very soon, and your post is only increasing all my excitement! Nice to get a lovely feel of it here, I cant wait to be there now 🙂

    • dNambiar
      24 October 2012 at 1:14 am

      That's so cool. Enjoy Wayanad, Arti.
      Can't wait to hear about your account. Have loads of fun, take loads of pics, ok. 🙂

  • Ring Rong
    19 June 2013 at 7:10 am

    Thanks your information, Nice photos. Hey, guys. My children were forcing me to take them to holidays and I took them to Wayanad and Kannur.
    Ring cab guys [] made my travel simple and joyful. They understand our requirements better
    and suggest tailor made travel solutions to us. Dont miss RingCab guys [] service, do try them out!

  • Home on the range* |
    5 December 2016 at 11:37 pm

    […] Wayanad posts:- Breathtaking Wayanad Ghat Section  Chained here is an unsettled spirit History in stone – A Jain temple now in […]

  • Chained here is a restless spirit | Tipsy from the TRIP
    17 January 2017 at 11:16 pm

    […] to the time when India was under British colonisation and there was no motor-able road through this part of the Western Ghats. It is believed that a tribal youth by the name Karinthandan who knew the way through the dense […]

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