Wondering how the words chain and tree came together to find a way to this site? The first time when I heard about “Chain Tree”, I wondered what could it be. Apparently, this is a common fig tree on which a thick and strong chain is tied. The tree is located very next to the highway that leads you to Calicut (from Wayanad) and is about 100m before Lakkidi view point. As the tree looks very normal and nicely is surrounded by similar trees, it is very easy to miss spotting this place.
This is one of those places where the story behind the place is much more interesting than the place itself. The story is dated back to 18th Century when this area was being ruled by British. Wayanad, at that time did not have any approach roads. Instead, due to the heavy rains, this area was covered under dense thick rain forests. It was very difficult for anyone to get through such dense forests. However, the local tribes knew every corner of the forest.
During 18th Century, the then British Viceroy announced a reward to anyone who would find a way from Calicut to Wayanad through the Adivaram forest and hill range. Karinthandan, who was the local chief of Adivaram region during that time and who knew the paths through interior of the forests volunteered to show the route to one of the British engineers. The British engineer carefully noted down the unknown paths through the dense forest. On reaching the top of the hillock amidst the thick forest, he was so impressed by the places around that he wanted to take the credits for find the route. Hence he shot Karinthandan dead at this point.
The British then developed the roads through the path shown by Karinthandan to the engineer. However, lots of accidents were reported in this area even in the late 19th century. Reportedly many lives were also lost under mysterious circumstances when they were travelling in this road. Due to so many accidents, a priest was called to find the cause of the problems. According to the priest, the accidents were caused as the travelers were haunted by the ghost of Karinthandan! After lot of effort, the ghost was chained to the tree, which today is called “Chain Tree”. Today, a small shrine called “Changala Muneeswaran Kovil” is built next to the chain tree and is dedicated to Karinthandan. A lot of truck drivers and other believers, when travelling through this place, do take a 5-minute stop at the shrine/tree and pray for a safe journey before proceeding to their destination.
After reading through this story, you would want to stop to take a photo whenever you visit Wayanad. And, of course, if you are not aware of this story, I am sure you will be highly disappointed with the place, as you will find only a chain tied to a tree and you will wonder why this place is even in the list of places to be visited (you can find few tourist boards at Kalpetta that recommend to this place)!
Chain Tree is located at about 15 km from Kalpetta (the district head-quarters of Wayanad). This is place is very close to Lakkidi view point, which is the starting point of the winding ghat road to Calicut.
Place to Stay
- Vythiri (4 km)
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