Mananthavady is a small town on the banks of the Kabini river in the Wayanad district of Kerala, India. Mananthavady lies on the western ghats of Kerala, south east of Kannur, at a height of about 500 m above sea level. Forests of Mananthavady are one of the most noted scenic beauties of Kerala. This place has a historic importance since this is the last resting place of the Great Pazhassi Raja who fought against the British.
This area was once ruled by the Pazhassi dynasty and the tomb of Pazhassi Raja is an important tourist place here. This is also the head quartesrs of the Adivasi Gothra Mahasabha. The Adivasi Autonomous Council, which led to tribal rights movement under C.K.Janu, was formed in a small hamlet called Panavalli near Mananthavady. The District Hospital in Mananthavady is the only major treatment facility for the service of the tribal communities and other less privileged sections of Wayanad. It is also the headquarters of the NGO Wayanad Social Service Society, established in 1974 for the development of Agriculture & Animal Husbandry, Community Health, Co-operative Credit Unions, Women’s Development, Skills development (vocational), housing etc.
This memorial of the 'Lion of Kerala' - The Veera Pazhassi Raja, who organised the guerilla pattern of warfare against the British East Indian company is 32 km northeast of Kalpetta.
This Valliyoorkav temple (3 km) 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 most grand of all festivals in the district. Slave trade was used to take place here during the festival. It is still the largest congregation of all tribals of Wayanad.
This 950 acre, uninhabited island, on the eastward bound Kabani river is an ideal picnic spot. The dense ever green forest is home to rare species of birds, orchids and herbs. The Kuruva dweep is a set of islands on the tributaries of east flowing river Kabani, far away from the disturbances of city life.
Rare species of birds, orchids and herbs are the sovereigns of this supernal kingdom. Mainly there are three islands and a few submergible satellite islands. The main island contains two small fresh water lakes. Several migratory birds are also seen here. These islands present a unique eco system which may be of great interest of nature lovers.
'Dweep' refers to island in Malayalam. Kuruva Dweep is a group of three uninhabited islands located 17 km east of Mananthavady. This place is an ideal picnic spot. It is full of small streams and thick forest. Kabini river originates from Wayanad district joins Kaveri river in Karnataka and flows to Bay of Bengal. Kabini is one of the 3 rivers which flow towards the east in Kerala.
You’ll be ferried to the island in a boat and you get to spend time there as much as you want and need to return before 4.30 PM. You can either walk around and explore the vegetation or spread a mat, setup a camp and relax for some time. You can also cross the river on a raft and go to other side of the river bank, to see some nice green paddy fields and couple of huts, shops and tree top huts. One can stay in tree top huts for Rs 750. Boat fee: Rs 10, Island entry fee: Rs 10, Rs 30 for still camera.
Begur Wildlife Sanctuary
This sanctuary, 20 km east or Mananthavady, is home to many exotic species of fauna. Bee-eater (Nectyronis othertoni), a rare blue beard bee-eater bird has been sighted in Wayanad. The blue bird bee-eater is the largest bee-eater in the world. This rare bird builds nests on the ground and usually dwells in forest especially low land forest clearings and open hill forests. The bird has pale blue forehead and a "beard". The upper parts of the head are green and the belly adorned with soft streaks. The long tail is yellow below and square ended. The bird has de-curved slender black bill and short wings. Its call is audible from a good distance.
Before feeding the young, the bird gives a special kind of call to its young ones, perching on a nearby tree as if signaling them to come to the entrance of the nest to receive the food. The nests are found to be almost two and a half meter long inside, a peculiar to this species. The nest and the chicks are highly vulnerable to attack of snakes. Out of the 24 species of bee-eaters seen in the world, six have been spotted in India. Bee-eaters play a major role in
controlling insect pests, especially wasps, which are poisonous.