- About Sulthan Bathery
Sulthan Bathery, earlier known as Ganapativatom, is a quaint town in the
Wayanad district of Kerala. The place became known as Sulthan Bathery
after Tipu Sulthan of Mysore invaded the region and used the Jain
temple here as a battery. During Tipu Sulthans invasion in the 18th
century an imposing fort was built here unfortunately no remains of it
stand today. This picturesque town is situated at an altitude of 1000
meters above MSL, flanked by majestic hills with patches of cliffs,
valleys and plains interwoven with the mountainous terrain. Present day
Sulthan Bathery is not only the largest town in Wayanad but also the
hub of all tourism and commercial activities in the district. The
regional population predominantly comprises of tribals and the economy
is essentially agrarian in nature.
Watch the scenic beauty of the place unfold before your eyes as you take a drive from Kalpatta to the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary at Muthanga. The historic town lies close to the Kerala- Karnataka border.
- Tourism Attractions
Jain Temple :
The Jain Temple of Sulthan Bathery built in the 13th century has withstood the tests of time- having served as a place of worship for Jains, Hindus and later used as an ammunition store (battery) by Tipu Sulthans army. This place of historic importance is one of the prominent tourist attractions here. The temple has quite a few exquisite stone carvings.
Edakkal Caves :
Edakkal caves are situated on the Ambukuthi Mountains at a distance of about 16 km from Sulthan Bathery. Located at an altitude of 1000 m above MSL, is a set of three caves, considered to be one amongst the earliest sites of human settlement on the face of the planet. Each of these caves has numerous ancient stone scripts, various animal and human figurines, symbols, ancient weaponry figures et cetera depicted on the walls. These depictions, estimated to be over 7000 years old, have contemporaries only in Stiriya in the European Alps and a few places in Africa.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary :
En route from Sulthan Bathery to Mysore is the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary at Muthanga. The sanctuary is a safe haven for a diverse variety of flora and fauna including many rare and endangered ones. This fragile eco-system falls under the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The sanctuary shares borders with the Nagarhole and Bandipur reserves of Karnataka and with the Mudumalai reserve of Tamilnadu. Wayanad Sanctuary puts much emphasis on scientific conservation measures that are eco-friendly and sustainable.
Ganapathi Temple :
The eight century old Ganapathi Temple is a famous place of Hindu worship in Sulthan Bathery. This ancient temple, located in the heart of the town, was the very reason why Sulthan Bathery was earlier referred as Ganapativattom.
Mariyamman Temple :
The Mariyamman Temple is the focal point of tribal population in the area their lives revolving around the temple and its rituals. The temple, believed to have been gifted by Pazhassi Raja to the tribals as a gesture of thanksgiving for helping him fight the British Empire, is a place of immense importance for the tribals.
Ambalavayal Heritage Museum :
This heritage museum, situated 12 km to the south of Sulthan Bathery, is one of the largest and best archaeological museums in the State. Exhibits in the museum include many 2nd century rare artifacts including ancient stone weapons, hunting equipments, clay sculptures and other interesting related artifacts. These rare exhibits, evidencing the existence of an advanced civilization in the mountainous terrains of Wayanad, lure archaeologists, historians and lay people alike. The museum also has an interesting display of stone engravings known as Hero Stones that portrays the valorous feats of the ancient tribal warriors.
Chembra Peak :
Chembra Peak is the tallest peak in Wayanad located at an altitude of 2100 m above MSL. A climb up the peak is both exciting and highly adventurous.
Chethalayam Waterfalls :
This gorgeous cascade is located near Sulthan Batheri. To reach this waterfall one has to trek through 4 km across the hilly terrain.
Pookot Lake :
The Pookot freshwater lake, 3 km from Lakkidi, has a fresh water aquarium, a childrens park and facilities for boat riding. Pookot Lake, lying amidst picturesque tropical vegetation and hills, is one of the natural, fresh water bodies of Wayanad.
Popularly known as the Gateway of Wayanad, Lakkidi is an ideal place to experience the awe-inspiring beauty of Wayanad. Located at an altitude of 700 m above MSL, Lakkidi is blessed with the abounding gifts of nature. The exciting drive up to Lakkidi along the nine hairpin bends is in itself a thrilling experience. Lying close to Lakkidi is an amazing vantage point- the Lakkidi View Point, offering dazzling views of the surrounding cliffs and valleys.
Phantom Rock :
Close to the Ambalavayal town is a skull shaped rock formation known popularly as the Phantom Rock. Locally known as Cheengeri Mala, this skull shaped rock is situated amidst scenic surroundings.
Kuruva Island :
This enchanting island lies at a distance of 17 km to the east of Mananthavady. This 950 acre island is thickly wooded without any human habitation and is home to many rare species of birds, flora and exotic orchids.
Thirunelli Temple :
Lying along the banks of the picturesque Papanasini River is the ancient temple of Thirunelli, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This marvel in stone is set in the most dramatic of settings- perched on a hillock in the midst of lush jungles with the scenic Papanasini quietly flowing by its side. The shrine is surrounded by 30 carved granite columns. According to Hindu mythology the holy waters of Papanasini has the potency to absolve one of all sins.
Situated in the lush Brahmagiri hills is the Ornithologists paradise- Pakshipathalam. Gear yourself up with a powerful pair of binoculars and you wont be disappointed here. To reach the sanctuary, however, one has to traverse through 17 km of dense wilderness. The rare birds here include the Asian fairy blue bird, the paradise flycatcher, the gold fronted chloropsis, the emerald dove, etc.
- Things To Do
For the adventure lovers there are plenty of opportunities in Wayanad.
Trekking at Edakkal is a not-to-be-missed activity- you can enjoy a trek
and see the historic caves both in a single go. The one kilometer long
trekking path consists of a neatly laid concrete pavement which is a bit
steep in certain places.
Yet another popular trekking destination is the Chembra Peak- the tallest peak in Wayanad located at an altitude of 2100 m above MSL. Be well prepared, for the climb usually takes one full day to complete. Necessary provisions and trained guides are available on hiring basis from the District Tourism Promotion Council. There is a handsome reward awaiting those who make it to the top - a panoramic view of unsurpassed grandeur.
A lovely 4 km long trek across hills to reach the scenic Chethalayam Waterfalls is another popular trek route. Along this not-so-strenuous trek you can also watch a large variety of birds and exotic flora.
The Pookot freshwater lake offers facilities for boat riding. Pookot Lake, lying amidst picturesque tropical vegetation and hills, is one of the natural, fresh water bodies of Wayanad.
Bring out the ornithologist in you at Pakshippathalam. A watchtower constructed in the place is an ideal vantage point for spotting birds.
Typical Wayanadan artifacts are the best buys here; they can be brought
from most of the way-side shops/shacks at a comparatively lower price.
Around the Pookot Lake one can shop for spices and souvenirs. If you
have serious shopping plans, we recommend that you go to the neighboring
city of Calicut, which has many shopping areas. Clothes and accessories
can be brought from the numerous shops lining the Sweet Meat Street and
Mavoor Road in Calicut. The wholesale spice market is located at the
Big Bazaar Road. Calicut is also famous for hand-crafted artifacts
including rosewood carvings, coir products, miniature snake boats and
also buffalo horn carvings.
- Moving Around
Jeeps are the best mode for traversing the hilly terrain and sloppy
roads of the region. Hired taxis and auto-rickshaws can be used for
moving around- which would be a little bit expensive but worth the
money, especially if you are traveling with family or luggage. Most of
the places are connected by frequent buses, so if you want you may cut
down on your transportation expense by taking a bus. If on a group
travel, book tourist buses in advance.
- Best Time To Visit
An all-year-round-destination blessed with a salubrious climate. When the heat builds up in the plains during summer (June- October) you can seek a welcome respite at Sulthan Bathery.
- How to Reach
By Flight :
Calicut Airport at a distance of 105 km is the nearest airport.
By Rail :
The nearest railway station is located at Calicut at a distance of 105 km.
By Road :
Sulthan Batheri is well connected and easily accessible by road.