Chain Tree is a Ficus tree with a massive steel chain hanging on it, and is along the national highway near the Wayanad Ghat Pass at Lakkidi, in the district of Wayanad. This is a quick stop for many travellers from Kozhikkode to Wayanad and the chain on the tree has a (fictitious) story to tell. Chain Tree is a popular Ficus, which has many myths associated with it. According to one of the legends, the road up was built by a foreign engineer but the route was given to him by a local tribal youth who was shot to death by the engineer.
His spirit is said to have stuck to the tree causing many accidents on the hairpin curve. Another story says that when the British first came to Wayanad, the Adivasi Mahouts took them to the top of the mountains. As the Portuguese were close behind them, they did not want the Mahouts to go back and get the Portuguese. Hence they killed the Mahout whose spirit lived in the area causing accidents. A local priest later chained the spirit to the tree with a chain over it.
It is in memory of local tribal youth Karinthanandan, who guided a British engineer to reach Wayanad from Adivaram. British engineer killed tribal youth, just to get the fame of discovering Wayanad. The dead tribal’s soul haunting the travellers who pass by the area, so the priest chained his soul to the tree.
The native tribesmen who lived in the forests knew the mountainous terrain well, and one of their youths Karinthandan showed the British engineer the shortest route to reach Wayanad. But after learning the route and eager to take credit for the discovery, the British engineer killed the youth, so says the legend. The spirit of the dead youth used to haunt the place, waylaying travellers and terrifying them to death, especially unwary foreigners who happened to pass along.
It is believed that a Hindu priest conducted some rituals and chained the ghost to the ficus tree. The tree has grown considerably since then. Local people believe that the chain keeps growing with the tree. You can still find a heavy iron chain dropping down from the high branches of the tree and anchored to the ground. A tiny shrine has been erected where the chain is anchored.
Activities / Things to Do
Things to carry
Additional information / F.A.Q
The myth of the tree is associated with the tribal chief Karinthandan, who lived between 1700-1750 AD. During the British colonial era, Wayanad didn’t have any developed roads. Wayanad was blessed with dense forests and hills only the tribes knew the paths through these forests. Karinthandan belonged to the Paniya tribe, he was the chief of that tribal community.
He knew every path in the forest. So when the British Viceroy announced a reward for to those who find a way from Thamarassery to Wayanad to through the forest, a British engineer took the help of Karinthandan to find the route. After a lot of effort, the priest was able to chain the ghost to a Ficus tree, which is now known as the Changala Maram or Chain Tree.
A small temple built near the tree and started to worship Karinthandan.
You will find this chained tree in Lakkidi which is among the highest points in Wayanad and a way to the Thamarassery Ghat Pass. About a kilometre away from Lakkidi, stands this tree which you can see bounded by a chain.
Over the years, the tree has naturally grown tall, but quite unbelievably, the chain too has grown taller along with the tree. It is actually growing which is seriously scary, a fact that has no explanation!
It's on National Highway 766, Lakkidi, Kunnathidavaka, Kerala. easily accessible from Kalpetta, Vythiri or Calicut
Yes of course, but for history buffs only.
You can see a small tea shop under the shade of the tree, selling tea, cool drinks and snacks to the travellers who stop by the tree to pay respect to the soul bound on the tree. There is a Coffee Day located just about 100 meters from the Chain Tree.
Lakkidi Viewpoint, Pookode lake, Banasura dam and Karlad lake