Nellarachal in Wayanad
Far removed from the madding hubbubs of urban life is Nellarachal – a small hamlet in the district of Wayanad in Kerala. This rustic paradise has in store umpteen gems that have some unique stories to tell you. Be it the ethnic cuisine of Vellan, the unerring archery of Govindan, the multihued pastoral world exposed in Rameshan’s paintings, everything has a quintessential bucolic charm and loveliness in it.
Geographically, Nellarachal seems like a piece of peninsula, if one may use that term, for three sides of this land is bordered by the water of Karapuzha River. The exploration can begin from the picturesque setting of Karapuzha reservoir. Since this village tour is arranged by Kerala Tourism you will be provided with a guide, who will familiarize you with the nooks and cranny of Nellarachal.
The first stopover of the trail is Thudi where you can watch the indigenous hands engaged in the making of this wonderful tribal percussion instrument. Try your tunes on this ethnic instrument or buy one that catches your fancy. The centre also has so many other handicrafts items on display. In the next stopover the indigenous people of Wayanad will explain to you the medicinal properties of eucalyptus and they will show you the various stages involved in the making process of eucalyptus oil.
In the pages of history, Wayanad has a unique position as the battleground for many historical wars. Pazhassi Raja, who was the prince regent in one of the provinces of Malabar and an early freedom fighter, has led guerilla warfare against the British with the help of Kurichia tribal group of Wayanad. Carrying the legacy of this tribal spirit is Govindan, an expert archer of Nellarachal. One cannot watch but in awe the veteran hands of Govindan using the different tools and weapons in his collection.
Now we can take a halt for a sumptuous lunch at Vellan’s house. Boiled rice and traditional delights will occupy the plantain leaf laid before you in minutes. All the vegetables are sourced directly from Vellan’s farm. Please don’t let the lip smacking delicacies of Vellan take your grip on time for there are plenty of spots remaining in your one-day expedition schedule. The Spice Plantation, Tribal Art Centre, Rameshan’s Paintings, Uravu Bamboo Craft Village… the list is endless.
One cannot savour all the stories of Nellarachal in a single visit. So charismatic are they that none will leave this place without yearning for a comeback.
District Tourism Promotion Council, Wayanad
Ph: +91 4936 202134
Nearest railway station: Kozhikode, about 74 km.
Nearest airport: Calicut International Airport, about 87 km.