How To Reach Thirunelli Temple – A Famous Vishnu Temple on The Hills of Wayanad

This is guide for people looking to travel from Bangalore to Wayanad by road and guide on how to reach Thirunelli temple.

On September 14th 2019, We went on 3 days road trip from Bangalore to Wayanad to celebrate our 4th Wedding Anniversary. During our stay in Wayanad, We visited Thirunelli Mahavishnu temple on the hills, about 10 mins drive from our resort. Early morning pooja performed at 5.30 in this temple is said to be very special. Though we couldn’t make it so early, we went around 10am.

So, this how to reach Thirunelli temple, a famous Maha Vishnu temple on the hills of Wayanad.

How to Reach Thirunelli Temple Wayanad

Thirunelli Vishnu temple in Wayanad, Kerala is situated 32 kms from Mananthavady.  The Temple is situated in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains and trees with good parking facilities. 

Thirunelli temple lies in the valley of Bhramagiri Hills, the name is connected to Lord Brahma and the ancient history of this temple.

We traveled from Bangalore to Wayanad in mid of September by car to celebrate our 4th Wedding Anniversary. Thirunelly was our stay destination in Wayanad, we checked in at Jungle Retreat on our first day, and Visited Thirunelli Vishnu temple on the next day morning. 

There are 3 routes if you are travelling from Bangalore to Wayanad with almost same distances.

If you want to know the best route on how to reach Thirunelli temple from Bangalore, read here.

Of all the routes, If you are planning to take Nagarhole reserve forest route, call up their office to confirm the entry for visitors to save any unplanned deviation.

There are hardly few shops selling refreshments, pooja items and some ayurvedic products. 

Driving your own vehicle – Once you reach the temple, park your vehicle from the ample parking area, walk about 200 meters to reach the temple. There is no vehicle parking fee, nor any shoes counter fee.

Taking Bus or Auto or Taxi– You could take it from Kutta, the nearest public transport with bus and taxi facilities connecting Wayanad, including services to Nagarhole National park. 

Thirunelli temple images
Ambalam View, Thirunelli temple Wayanad, Kerala

How We Planned Our Wayanad Road trip

During our 3 stays in Tirunelly Kerala, we came to know that the restaurant choices are very limited. We found one in Kutta while we were on the way to Nagarhole Jungle safari,  called Safari Inn , an accommodation serving with veg and non – veg food choices. Food and price was satisfactory.

This was our travel itinerary –

Day 1 – Travel from Bangalore to Wayanad

Day 2 – Tirunelli Vishnu Temple and Nagarhole jungle safari

Day 3 – Travel From Wayanad to Bangalore

Another suggestion I have for restaurant while you are travelling via Gonikoppal, is Spice Rack Restaurant, click here for the location and review.

Wayanad to Bangalore distance is 250 to 300 kms depends on the location you start.

Definitely you would need 2 days for up and down travel to Tirunelly, visit temple, do jungle safari and return back to your home. You could plan one day trip if you are travelling from Coorg or Mysore or any other nearby places in Kerala district.

We skipped Thirunelli wildlife sanctuary since we had plan to go Nagarhole wildlife jungle safari.

Our Experience in the Famous Maha Vishnu Temple Wayanad

Second, despite all the crowd, you could only hear the noise of the surrounding nature, definitely a rare sight in a very famous temple I say. That’s how we listened to the Papanasini river nearby, otherwise we had no clue of its popularity and historic significance, since we didn’t do much research about this temple beforehand. 

When it is normal in pilgrimage places to get surrounded by the aggressive beggars before you even set foot inside the temple, worst even when you are pulled between the street vendors, this temple was offering a tranquil experience.

Third, People were offering prayers in silence, moving in disciplined pace inside the temple maintaining silence. Some were praying by lighting up the temple’s embossed brass lamp of different sizes kept exclusively for the purpose. Hundreds of the lamps are kept for devotees as personal belongings are not allowed inside except for the pooja items. 

Fourth, since it was maintained by a private trust, there was no unholy behavior of priests and administration are witnessed. Temple surroundings are including the parking area are beautifully maintained, even the stairs and the path leading to the holy river are maintained well.  

This was our very first trip to Wayanad and to the ancient MahaVishnu temple, unlike our frequent visits to Thirukovilur Vishnu Temple. 

First thing you notice here is the calm and serene location of the temple located in a valley surrounded by trees and mountains.

Fifth, Small Sivalingas about 10 to 15 cms are found in the couple of places inside the temple, around the main sanctum which I believe is connected to the temple history.

a sacred pond in thirunelli temple images
Panchatheertham with Sivalinga (almost invisible) and Lord Vishnu Foot carved on Rock stone.

Thirunelli Temple – How to Pray, Dress Code and Temple Timing

Before you know how to reach Thirunelli temple, I think it is essential to plan the trip according to the temple open timing and the temple procedures.

After parking the vehicle, we went straight to the temple to pray. But, ideally you will be carrying a change clothes after taking a dip in the nearby holy River called “Papanasini”. Then pray to the Sacred pond called Panchatheertham, a rock carved with miniature sivalinga with footprint of Lord Vishnu. There is a change room near this pond, but not sure of the tidiness. There are no restrictions if you want to enter the temple wearing wet clothes straight from the river.

The temple is open from  5.30 am to 12.30 and 5.30 to 8.00 pm. Early morning pooja is very special here, as devotees can perform poojas to their forefathers. 

If you are planning to attend the early morning pooja, it is better to book the Thirunelli agraharam resort at the foot of this temple stairs.

To know more about the temple, pooja timings and the contact number – visit this website http://thirunellitemple.org/index.php.

Temple dress code for ladies is to wear decent attire of sarees or salwars, and for gents, only dhoti is allowed. 

To know about the ancient history, check this website.

Thirunelli Temple wayanad images
The holy river called “Papanasini” where poojas performed for forefathers

The name “Papanasini”, a holy river name of this Thirunelli temple reminded us of the similar experience we had in our recent trip to Papanasam, another famous tourist location near Kerala border. Even there is similarity in the name you see. And it was also a beautiful temple location amidst hills, with Thamirabarani river and Agasthiyar Waterfalls to crown the place.

Here in Thirunelli temple, we did not visit the Lord Shiva temple / cave near to the Vishnu temple due to lack of time. We left temple as soon as clicking pics in river and panchatheertham.

Then after chilling out for some time in Kutta, had lunch and went for jungle safari by 3pm.

Thirunelli Wildlife Sanctuary images
Places to Visit Thirunelli Wayanad

Returing To Bangalore From Wayanad – Via Kabini River

Next day, we checked out of the resort and returned back to Bangalore.

We took the following route to return back to Bangalore.

Wayanad (resort) – Tholpatty – Bavali wild life forest road – Mysuru – Bangalore

This route is one of the best scenic route suited for a peaceful drive.

You could use the same route to reach Thirunelly Vishnu temple, that is Bangalore – Mysuru – Bavali wildlife road – Tholpatty road. Somewhere in the tholpatty road it is approx. 13 kms journey to the temple. Less traffic and no bumpy roads to reach the destination.

On the way back, we stopped in Mysore for a long break. We had lunch in one of the non veg restaurants called Nandhini. Then had evening coffee at Malgudi cafe house situated inside the green hotel.

(Malgudi cafe house in Mysore is the best for coffee, dessert and sandwiches).

This is guide for someone on how to reach Thirunelly Vishnu temple from Bangalore by road via Mysuru and Nagarhole. Hope it helps to plan your journey.

Bangalore to Wayanad Trip Plan: 4 Routes with Same Distances, Which One To Take?

When you are planning on a Bangalore to Wayanad trip plan, you will be presented with 4 different routes. Which one will you take?.

We went on a 3 days Car trip from Bangalore to Wayanad, and stayed in Jungle Retreat resorts on Thirunelli road.

When we started our onward trip, our journey didn’t go as planned. We had to pivot from the plan to reach Wayanad. And we had to take entirely different route for the return journey.

So, I now know which route works best to reach Wayanad from Bangalore.

Bangalore To Wayanad Trip Plan By Car

Whenever we plan a trip, it is always my responsibility for the itinerary and the baggage packing.

It is in my best interest to look for a best route with more good choices for pit stops. 

So I take at-least a week’s time to analyse the routes, gather info from the forums, etc., Finally it wouldn’t take much time to plan the travel including pit stops and list out the travel essentials.

After the trip plan is designed, I would then discuss with hubby to take his opinion. Sometimes he agrees with the plan, sometimes he suggests alternative. At times he would add any additional sightseeing places along the way.

Now, all my research has gone for a toss as we faced an unexpected roadblock, and had to take an entirely new route to reach Wayanad.

So, from our experience I am suggesting the best route for Bangalore to Wayanad trip plan by road.

Even Though we stayed in Thirunelli, for the ease of reading I have mentioned the end destination as “Wayanad”. Since your destination could be anywhere in Wayanad so feel free to change it accordingly in google map.

4 Routes with Same Distances

Here is the Wayanad trip plan from Bangalore, with restaurant choices for all the routes.

Route 1:

Bangalore to Wayanad via shravanabelagola – Srirangapatna – Bandhipur Tiger Reserve(320 km)

This route looks best for the people travelling from Peenya, Yeshwanthpur, Malleshwaram and other nearby places. And I suggest taking the Nice ring road (toll road) and connecting to the Mysore highways. 

Restaurant choices – Plenty of Veg and Non veg Choices on the NH until Karnataka Border.

Route 2:

Bangalore to Wayanad via Srirangapatna – Hunsur – Nagarhole national park – Kutta (253 km)

This route looks best for the people starting from Bangalore South zone, this was the route we took to reach Wayanad on our onward journey. 

The drive was smooth in NH, except we were diverted from Nagarhole National Park because of heavy rains. 

And the route was closed for both – travellers and the safari tourists. 

So we had to take the Gonikoppal route to reach Wayanad (route 3). 

But thanks to the road diversion, we got to eat in one of the best restaurants in Gonikoppal. 

Restaurants in Coorg and Wayanad
Gonikoppal_SpiceRack Restaurant

So if you plan to take this jungle route, you could call up the National park office to check for road conditions and the entry for the travellers beforehand to avoid any time delay. 

Note on Nagarhole Wildlife Safari

Although Nagarhole to Kutta route was closed for wildlife safari, Safari from Kutta to Naharhole was operative. And we were able to book tickets to safari from the resort we stayed at, and it was a seamless process instead of booking directly. If you are not booking through the resort / hotel you are staying, you need to be there 45 mins before safari time to stand in a queue for booking.

Restaurant choices – Limited after you cross Hunsur, and very limited going forward. We found a small restaurant in Safari Inn lodge in Kutta during our wildlife safari, otherwise we had no choice but to eat in our resort. 

Route 3:

Bangalore to Wayanad via Srirangapatna – Hunsur – Gonikoppal -Tholpetty – Tirunelli – Kattikulam (303 kms)

This is the next best route with good restaurant choices and good roadways connecting wayanad. We had a good time travelling via Gonikoppal, we absolutely loved driving through woods and hair pin bends.

We reached only around 8pm to the Jungle Retreat Resort in the Thirunelli road. 

sightseeing and stay in wayanad
View from our resort in wayanad

One of the main attractions in the Thirunelly is the Vishnu Temple on the hills and we were just 6kms ride away from the temple. 

Next day morning we went to this temple on the account of celebrating our Wedding anniversary.

Read how to reach Tirunelli Vishnu Temple, temple timings and dress code.

Also this is the best route to reach Coorg from Bangalore with Gonikoppal being the centre point for pit stop. 

Read our Coorg Bike trip experience here.

Restaurant Choices – After Hunsur, Gonikoppal is the best place with good restaurant choices. Otherwise it’s difficult to find any except for small tea shops.

Route 4:

Bangalore to Wayanad via Kanakapura – Malavalli – Somanathapura – Kabini -Bavali – Kattikulam (290 kms)

We discovered this route on our way back from Wayanad to Bangalore. Since route 2 doesn’t always work, this is the best Bangalore to Wayanad road trip plan I could suggest you and also from Wayanad to Bangalore by Kabini River. 

This is also the only best route from Bangalore to Kabini river.

best route from Wayanad to bangalore via kabini river
Kabini River view

Kabini reservoir view at this location – https://g.page/Kabini-Resort?share

Which is One Best Route to Reach Wayanad from Bangalore?

From the list of 4 routes mentioned, I found Route 4 is the best route for Bangalore to Wayanad trip plan with so many advantages – 

1. Good roadways all the way connecting Wayanad 

2. No restriction for drive through Nagarhole National park entrance 

3. Enjoy Wildlife enroute

4. Awesome view of the Kabini river as far as your eyes could see (some resorts here with Kabini River view are pretty expensive).

Don’t Break Forest Law – Otherwise Pay 500 rupees fine

Note that when you drive through Nagarhole national park, you have but 1hr to cross the exit gate. 

If you delay more than 1 hr to reach the exit gate, that means you have stopped your vehicle in the middle of forest, which is against the forest law. 

And you will be asked to pay Rs. 500 for breaking the law. 

Also if any forest rangers found you wandering outside the vehicle, you will be levied heavy penalties, just a heads up guys :).

No one would warn you about this at the entry gate. You can inquire about this time restriction at the entry gate when you purchase an entry ticket (Ticket with time stamp, with fare 100 rupees for car). 

Things to Note Before Plan Your Wayanad Trip

  1. Don’t bother to take route 1 and route 2, directly go for route 4. It is the best Bangalore to Wayanad trip plan I could suggest. 
  2. If you have kids with you during travel, you could take them to Tholpetty park as well apart from Nagarhole National Park safari ride. And Thirunelli Vishnu Temple for spiritual Soul.
  3. Mandatorily pack some food and snacks, or you could buy some when you are in Mysore. It helps when you are left with no good restaurants of your choice. This tip is actually helpful for travelling to any place you see. 
  4. Carry a water kettle to make instant noodles, instant soup and instant coffee when you think your resort is charging you way too much for simple snacks and beverages. This is the best water kettle I have been using for ages and it works best for all kinds of travels. 
  5. Carry back up power banks to charge your mobile phones for emergencies. This is one of the most essentials in our travel bags apart from toiletries, water bottles, kettle and protein packed snack bars
  6. Thanks to our car we were able to charge our phones, otherwise it would have been so difficult in those 3 days. Also it doesn’t hurt to carry 3 or 4 different network sim cards, from our experience “Jio” saved us more than “Airtel”. On the safer side it is better to share the resort’s contact details to your family members for emergencies.

Related – Best Bluetooth Earphones under 2000 rupees for travel.