2296 ft. (700 m) above the sea level, a young man’s soul is bound to a Ficus tree, at a location which can only be accessed after navigating via nine harrowing hairpin turns. You have reached Lakkidi, the gateway to the paradise that we call Wayanad. While moving from Adivaram (Downhill) to Lakkidi through steep mountains and a serpentine Ghat pass, one sees visuals that go beyond the normal picturesque sights that most of the area is famous for. These are vivid images that most high definition cameras cannot capture. The endless spread here is beyond the imagination and words that most poets and writers can muster.
The lush greenery of the hills, gorges and the streams seen on both sides of the passage up the hill are unforgettable. Tourists often stop by Lakkidi View Point, the vantage point where from one sees a panoramic view of the valley. The Ficus tree on the road to Vythiri, with a huge chain around it, is what attracts a large chunk of the crowd. It is said that a tribal youth, Karinthandan, guided a British engineer in making way through Wayanad’s forests. Once successful, however, the engineer decided that he did not wish to share this glory with his guide and killed the poor young man. To this day, his soul is chained to the tree, exiled inside it by a priest who wanted it to stop haunting travellers who passed by the area.