Kanavu (meaning ‘place of dreams’) is a unique learning community nestled among the rolling hills of north Kerala’s Wayanad District
, which has a high concentration of tribes. Founded by KJ Baby and his wife, Shirley, in 1993, this is an important and unusual pilgrim center for sociologists and educationists to help the adivasis (tribals) adapt to the challenges without losing their cultural moorings.
With its innovative teaching methods and visible impact on a crop of students drawn from the social underclass ranging in age from two to over 60, this institution has come under the limelight during the recent years. Eminent poets, writers, educationists, musicians and experts from various fields in Kerala and from other parts of the country visit Kanavu from time to time. They stay with the children and impart their special skills to them.
Standing on six acres of land donated by a trust, Kanavu starts the daily routine with kalaripayattu, the traditional martial art of Kerala. Kanavu promotes the rich tribal heritage, music, painting, dance, theatre and martial arts followed by academic instruction in specific subjects. Tribal folk songs and rituals form the core of the effort to reinforce their sense of identity.
Kanavu can be appraoched by road from Kalpetta via Nadavayal.