Wayanad, a district in Kerala that borders the Bandipur forest of Karnataka is well known for its natural beauty. Its pristine landscapes have been wooing travellers to its fold for quite some time now. The lush green tea plantations, the misty mountain peaks, the quintessential waterfalls, the finger-licking dishes, the forests, and wildlife make Wayanad a haven for nature lovers and trekking enthusiasts. Even if you have not been to Wayanad, you would definitely have heard about the things to do and places to visit like Sultan Bathery, Chembra Peak, Edakkal Caves, etc. But do you know about the intriguing Chain tree in Wayanad and the amazing myths and stories behind it?
What and Where is the Chain Tree
Lakkidi is one of the highest locations in Wayanad at a height of about 700 metres. It stands atop the Thamarassery ghat pass. Situated here is a viewpoint that on a clear day offers a spectacular view of the valley below. Just about a kilometre from Lakkidi, by the wayside, stands a tree which is intriguingly bound by a chain!
So what is the story behind this tree and why is it chained? Read on to know the brow-raising facts about the Chain tree in Wayanad.
An Intriguing Past
In the years gone by, when India was a colony of the British, the route to Wayanad was known only to the local tribes. The British wanted to gain access to this treasure trove of nature and a British engineer enlisted the help of a local tribesman called Karinthandan to find the shortest route through the Ghats. Once he knew the route, he killed the tribesman so that he himself could take credit for finding the route. So the route to Wayanad remained smeared with the blood of this innocent tribesman.
Years later travellers through the route that Karinthandan had led the British Engineer and had met his own death, began to be harassed by what they thought was the spirit or ghost of Karinthandan. The ghost of the poor tribesman roamed the route and reportedly haunted passers by.
The Chain and the Tree
As the ghost of Karinthandan spread its tentacles of terror, a priest was called in to exorcise the spirit. The priest cast a spell and the ghost was captured and tied to a tree with a chain. The tree and the chain can be seen besides the highway at Lakkidi even today and has become a tourist spot of sorts.
The Strange Fact about the Chain
If you think about it, you will realize that it must have been many years since the priest tied the chain to the tree and the tree would have naturally grown over the years. But what about the chain?
Wonder of wonders, the chain has been reportedly been growing along with the tree!
On the second Sunday of every March an organization called PEEP(People’s Action For Educational and Economic Development of Tribal People), arranges a rally which is known as Karinthandan Smriti Yatra. This is to honour the memory of Karinthandan who is regarded as the first martyr of Wayanad.
These 5 brow-raising facts about the spectacular chain tree in Wayanad are sure to make you pack your bags and head towards this beautiful destination. You can camp at Sterling Wayanad and embark on your explorations from its pristine premises. The sight of the tree with the chain is sure to leave you intrigued and haunt you in your dreams.