At a distance of 39 kms from Kalpetta, 12 kms from Irupu Falls and 12 kms from Nagarhole National Park, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1973 and brought under the Project Elephant in the year 1991-92. The sanctuary is bordered with Nagarhole WLS & Bandipur WLS in Karnataka and Mudumalai WLS in Tamilnadu. Occupying an area of 345 sq. km, Wayanad WLS is the second largest WLS in Kerala and is now an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The sanctuary was set up with an objective of conserving the biological heritage of the region with due consideration to the general life style of tribes. The sanctuary is divided into two separate parts, known as Upper Wayanad WLS and Lower Wayanad WLS.
Upper Wayanad WLS at Tholpetty is known as Tholpetty Wildlife Range, it is located 39 Km from Kalpetta, 15 Km from Mananthavady & 13 km from Kutta. The sanctuary boasts of a large number of elephants nearly 900. Other animals of this sanctuary include Tigers, Panthers, Monkeys, Wild Dogs, Bisons, Deer, Bears, different types of snakes and Monitor lizards. The sanctuary houses various types of birds like Cuckoos, Peacocks, Babblers, Owls, Woodpeckers and Jungle Fowls. Peacocks and Peafowl tend to be very common in the area.
The Sanctuary is covered with moist deciduous teak forests and semi evergreen tree pastures. The floral variety of the park range from Teak, Bamboo, Maruthu, Karimarithi, Rosewood, Venteak, Vengal, Chadachi, Mazukanjirarn to Veteria indica, Lagerstroemia, Lanceolta, Terminalia Paniculata.
Entry to the sanctuary is only permitted as part of a jeep safari. The forest department has arranged two hour jeep safaris into the sanctuary from the entrance. This is an excellent option to remain safe as well as increase the chances of animal sighting. Visitors can take their own vehicle inside the park up to 20 Km and enjoy the surroundings. Prior permission is required to be taken from the Forest Department for this purpose. Visitors also need to take along a guide provided by the Forest Department compulsorily. Guided treks are also available (daily 8 AM -1 PM).
The forest department maintains many of the lodges and the rest houses in the vicinity of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. Mananthavady is considered as a base which provides several accommodation options.
The best time to visit the Sanctuary is from November to March. The sanctuary is closed during the monsoon season from June to August.
For more information contact: Wildlife Warden, Sultan Bathery, Tel +91 (0)4936 220454
Asst. Wildlife Warden, Tholpetty, Tel +91 (0)4935 240233)
Entry Fee: Rs. 5 for Indians, Rs.100 for Foreigners, Rs.150 for Heavy Vehicle, Rs.50 for Light Vehicle, Rs.25 for Camera, Rs.150 for Video, Rs.100 for Guide and Rs.300 per person for Jeep Safari.
Timings: 7 AM - 10 AM and 3 PM - 5 PM