Wayanad district

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Wayanad district
Wayanad Scenery on NH 212 Kozhikode-Kollegal
Wayanad Scenery on NH 212 Kozhikode-Kollegal
Wayanad district is located in Kerala
Wayanad district
Wayanad district
Coordinates: 11°36′18″N 76°04′59″E / 11.605°N 76.083°E / 11.605; 76.083Coordinates: 11°36′18″N 76°04′59″E / 11.605°N 76.083°E / 11.605; 76.083
Country  India
State Kerala
Headquarters Kalpetta
 • Member of Parliament M I Shanavas
 • District Collector K. G. Raju IAS
 • District Panchayat President K.L. Poulose
 • Total 2,131 km2 (823 sq mi)
 • Total 780,619
 • Density 369/km2 (960/sq mi)
 • Official Malayalam, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
ISO 3166 code IN-KL-
Vehicle registration KL-12, KL-72, KL-73
Website www.wayanad.nic.in

Wayanad District in the north-east of Kerala, India, was formed on 1 November 1980 as the 12th district by carving out areas from Kozhikode and Kannur districts. Kalpetta is the district headquarters as well as the only municipal town in the district. The region was known as Mayakshetra (Maya's land) in the earliest records. Mayakshetra evolved into Mayanad and finally to Wayanad.[1] The Folk etymology of the word says it is a combination of Vayal (paddy field) and Naad (land), making it 'The Land of Paddy Fields'. There are many indigenous tribals in this area.[2] It is set high on the Western Ghats with altitudes ranging from 700 to 2100 m.[3][4]

It is the least populous district in Kerala.[5]


According to archaeological evidence, the Wayanad forests have been inhabited for more than 3,000 years. Historians are of the view that human settlement existed in these parts for at least ten centuries before Christ. Much evidences of New Stone Age civilisation can be seen in the hills throughout the present day Wayanad district. The two caves of Ampukuthimala, with pictures on their walls and pictorial writings, speak volumes of a bygone civilisation. The recorded history of this district exists only from the 18th century onward. Agriculture Cultivation started broadly after 1900 A.D onwards. In ancient times, this land was ruled by the Rajas of the Veda dynasty. In later days, Wayanad came under the rule of the Pazhassi Raja dynasty of ancient Kottayam. When Hyder Ali[6] became the ruler of Mysore, he invaded Wayanad and brought it under his sway. In the days of Tipu Sultan,[7] Wayanad was restored to the Kottayam royal dynasty. But Tipu handed over the entire [8] region of northern Kerala to the British, signing the treaty of Srirangapatna with British army officer and colonial administrator Cornwallis.[9] This was followed by fierce and internecine encounters between the British and Pazhassi Raja of Kottayam. When the Rajah was driven to the wilderness of Wayanad, he organised the war-like Kurichiya tribals into a sort of people's militia and engaged the British in several guerrilla type encounters. In the end, the British could get only the dead body of the Rajah, who committed suicide in the forest. Thus, Wayanad fell into the hands of the British and with it came a new era. The British authorities opened up the plateau to cultivation of tea and other cash crops by constructing roads across the dangerous slopes of Wayanad, to Kozhikode and Thalassery. Later, they extended these new roads to the cities of Mysore and Ooty through Gudalur. Settlers emigrated from all parts of Kerala and the fecund lands proved a veritable goldmine with incredible yields of cash crops. When the State of Kerala came into being in November 1956, Wayanad was part of Kannur district. Later, south Wayanad was added to Kozhikode district. To fulfil the aspirations of the people of Wayanad for development, North Wayanad and South Wayanad were carved out and joined together to form the present district of Wayanad. This district came into being on 1 November 1980 as one the twelve districts of Kerala,[10] consisting of three taluks; Vythiri, Mananthavady, and Sulthan Bathery.


Chembra peak:View from Hrudaya Saras

Wayanad district stands on the southern tip of the Deccan plateau and its chief glory is the majestic rugged terrain of the Western Ghats, with lofty ridges interspersed with dense forest, tangled jungles and deep valleys. Quite a large area of the district is covered by forest but the continued and indiscriminate exploitation of the natural resources point towards an imminent[11] environmental crisis.it has huge amount of decedious forest, dry along moist. Snuggled amidst the Western Ghats Mountains, Wayanad is one of the exquisite hill stations of Kerala. It is a revenue state due to foreign exchange of cash crops such as vanilla, tea, coffee, pepper, cardamom and many other condiments. Wayanad shelters endangered species as it has an amazing range of flora and fauna.


Chembra Peak (2,100 metres (6,890 ft)), Banasura Peak (2,073 metres (6,801 ft)), Brahmagiri (1,608 metres (5,276 ft)) are some of the important mountains in the district. other unknown peak peaks still exist.


The Kabini River, one of the three east flowing rivers of Kerala, is an important tributary of the Kaveri River. Almost the entire Wayanad district is drained by Kabini and its three tributaries, the Panamaram, Mananthavady, and Kalindy rivers. The Banasura Sagar Dam is built on one of the tributaries of the Kabini River

Veera Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja -Painting by Raja Ravi Varma


The higher elevation and forest cover creates a comfortable and a cool climate. wayanad has cool weather through year except April and may which reaches the peak summer, it maximum to 31 degrees rarely, temperature remains around 29 degrees, cool breeze in summers. in monsoon it rains heavily alomost with annual average rain of 3200 mm of rain, temperatures in night dips below 20. misty weather all around from (last of May–Oct) monsoon are high humid and long last monsoon for a week without break. rainforest around wayanad get very high rain, pre monsoons showers starts in month of October. winters are chilly in some areas of northern wayanad, temperature of water remains almost above freezing, January is coldest month. winter last from (Nov–Feb)

Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies it as subtropical highland (Cwb).[12]

Climate data for wayanad
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 21.1
Daily mean °C (°F) 17
Average low °C (°F) 7
Precipitation mm (inches) 18
Mean monthly sunshine hours 248 232 248 240 217 120 124 124 150 155 180 217 2,255
Source #1: Climate-Data.org, altitude: 1461m[12]
Source #2: Weather2Travel for sunshine and rainy days[13]


Wayanad is 3.79% urbanised. Agriculture, is the main stay of the economy.oranges Coffee, tea, cocoa, pepper, plantain and vanilla are the main crops. Besides these cash crops, the most important crop in the district is rice. Dams and aqueducts have been constructed to take water to the otherwise dry areas in the district. Price of land is going up even though Agrarian crisis.wayanad has two or more rice with its own property, gandagashala and geerakashala are most aromatic rice in world.

In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Wayanad one of the country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640).[14] It is one of the two districts in Kerala currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).[14]

The NREGS (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) enacted by the current UPA government has helped and Wayanad and Palakkad were the only districts selected to receive the benefits under this scheme because of the acute need in these areas.[15] The daily wage under NREGS at Rs. 125, regardless of gender, in Kerala is the highest among all the states. Work under NREGS includes building elephant trenches (crop-raiding by wild elephants is another problem in Wayanad), waterbodies, roads, etc.


A tea plantation estate near Kalpetta

According to the 2011 census Wayanad district has a population of 816,558,[5] roughly equal to the nation of Comoros[16] or the US state of South Dakota.[17] This gives it a ranking of 482nd in India (out of a total of 640).[5] The district has a population density of 383 inhabitants per square kilometre (990 /sq mi).[5] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–2011 was 4.6%.[5] Wayanad has a sex ratio of 1035 females for every 1000 males,[5] and a literacy rate of 89.32%.[5]

No. of Taluks: 3 (Mananthavady, Sulthan Bathery, and Vythiri)
No. of state Assembly Legislators: 3 (Mananthavady, Sulthan Bathery, and Kalpetta)
Lok Sabha Representation: 1 (Wayanad constituency).
District Headquarters: Kalpetta. Other Important Towns: Sulthan Bathery and Mananthavady.

There are tribal populations in the area who still practice age-old customs and rituals and live a nomadic life. Some of the tribal populations include Paniyas, Adiyas, Kattunayakan, kurumans and Kurichiyans. It is the district with the highest share in the adivasi population (about 36%) of Kerala. Wayanad also has a large settler population. The Jains from Karnataka came in the 13th century. The Hindu Nairs from Kottayam-Kurumbranadu, in Kannur district, made an entry in the 14th century and established their feudal system. They were followed by Muslims (26.87%). There were large scale migrations from southern Kerala in the early 1940s. Christians came in the 1950s from Travancore region. In the last few decades there was a complete marginalisation of the indigenous people. Alienated from their land, exploited by the settlers and neglected by the state, their struggle for rights to the land has so far been unsuccessful.

Major Towns[edit]

Other Towns

  • Pulpally
  • Meenangadi
  • Panamaram


Wayanad District


All the three legislative constituencies in Wayanad Distinct (Kalpetta, Sulthan Bathery and Mananthavady) are part of the newly constituted Wayanad Lok Sabha Parliamentary constituency. M I Shanavas of Indian National Congress is the present member of Parliament from Wayanad Lok sabha Constituency. The erstwhile North Wayanad constituency is now renamed as Mananthavady. Smt. P. K. Jayalakshmi represents Mananthavadi, Shri. M. V. Sreyams Kumar represents Kalpetta and Shri. I. C. Balakrishnan represents Sulthan Bathery in Kerala Legislative Assembly.


The KozhikodeMysore National Highway 212 (NH 212) passes through Wayanad district. Wayanad is well connected by road to various parts of Kerala and other neighbouring states. Buses go frequently between important centres like Mysore, Bangalore, Ootty, etc. While travelling from Mysore on NH 212, at a place called Gundlupet the road forks, one goes to Ooty and the other goes to Sultan Bathery, which is a prominent town of Wayanad.[19] Buses are frequently available to Kozhikode, Kannur, Thalassery, Vadakara, Gonikoppal, etc. More than 50% of the traffic in and out of Wayanad passes through NH 212, mainly from Kozhikode. The nearest railway station is at Kozhikode, 75 km from Kalpetta. Other railway stations near to Wayanad are Thalassery (80 km from Mananthavadi), Kannur (93 km from Mananthavadi) and Mysore (110 km from Mananthavadi and 115 km from Sultan Bathery). Kozhikode International Airport at Karipur is the nearest airport, 95 km from Kalpetta. Kannur International Airport, under construction at Mattannur is at a distance of 70 km from Mananthavady. There is a proposal for new feeder airport in the Wayanad district is at Cheekkalloor (11°43′37″N 76°05′35″E / 11.727°N 76.093°E / 11.727; 76.093)[20] in Panamaram and the nearby Nadavayal.[21]

NH 212 passes through Bandipur National Park and then through the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary which is on the Kerala–Karnataka state border. The roads are good except for some sections inside the Bandipur Forest.

Ghat Roads[edit]

Mainly 5 Ghat roads are used for reaching Wayanad from coastal towns and lower hilly towns of Kerala :
1. From Thalassery : Nedumpoil–Periya Ghat road, which connects Kasargod, Kannur, Thalassery and Kuthuparamba with Wayanad
2. From Kozhikode: ThamarasseryLakkidi Ghat road, part of NH 212, which connects Kozhikkode and the rest of Kerala, south of Kozhikkode with Wayanad
3. From Vadakara : Kuttiady–Pakramthalam Ghat road, which connects Thalassery, Mahé, Vadakara, Nadapuram, Kuttiady and Thottilpalam with Wayanad
4. From Iritty : Kottiyoor–Ambayathode–Palchuram–Boys Town Ghat road, which connects lower hilly towns and villages of Kannur and Kasargod districts with Wayanad. The towns are : Panathur, Udayagiri, Cherupuzha, Alakode, Sreekandapuram, Payyavoor, Iritty, Peravoor, Kelakam, Kottiyoor, etc.
5. From Nilambur : Vazhikkadavu–Nadukani Ghat road, which connects Nilambur, Palakkad, Thrissur and Perinthalmanna, with Wayanad.


wayanad is home to tribals in kerala, it has highest number of tribals more than half of district population is tribals, they have theier dances along with fire dances. in thirunelly area tribals live in forest they take honey and live in theiir own world, wayanad tribals uses echofriendly thiing made out of bamboos etc.. The native Adivasis mainly consist of various sects like Paniyas, Kurumas, Adiyars, Kurichyas, Ooralis, Kattunaikkans etc..This is the land where tribes live in thatched roof, mud, bamboo and brick houses set in swampy valleys and plateaus.

Of particular mention are their indegenous streams of holistic herbal medicine which is getting increasing attention in recent years. The adivasis also have a rich legacy of arts and crafts. This includes music, dances, ornementation and handicraft that draw inspiration from natural themes, motifs and materials. The Kurichyas of Wayanad have a great martial tradition. They constituted the army of Pazhassi Raja who engaged the British forces in several battles. The descendants of those warriors are still expert archers. The excellence of Kurichya archery has been exhibited recently, at various centres.

Though Adivasis are in the Hindu fold, primitive forms of worship still prevail among them. Ancestral worship and offerings to propitiate the spirits of ancestors are still prevalent.

Flora and fauna[edit]

Beautiful View of Karapuzha Dam
Karapuzha Dam in Wayanad

The flora of Wayanad are characteristic of the Western Ghats and the plantation crops grown in the cool climate. A major portion of the district is covered by coffee. Trees of the wild type like rose-wood, anjili (Artocarpus), mullumurikku (Erthrina), several species of caussia and many other nondescript varieties are still preserved here and there, to give shade to the coffee plants. These trees give a sembalance of wilderness to the landscape of Wayanad. In a majority of coffee plantations, the age-old species are replaced by the silver-oak which is suited to the cold climate. This tree grows quickly and its cultivation is widespread among coffee plantations for shade and for giving support to pepper. It is used for the plywood industry and thus is economical to the farmers. Eucalyptus grandis, a shorter variety of eucalyptus, whose fragrant smell suffuses the very air around it, is cultivated on a large scale in certain parts of the district. Eucalyptus oil is extracted on commercial basis from its leaves.

Of the 20,864 hectares of reserve forest, the major portion is teak plantation. Arecanut palms and jack trees are also grown here. Tea is grown as an industry in large estates. The soil and climate of Wayanad are suitable for horticulture on commercial basis. For promoting the cultivation of vegetables and raising of orchards, the Kerala Agricultural University is running a Regional Agricultural Research Station at Ambalavayal.

There are bonnet macaque, slender loris, mongooses, jungle cats, squirrels, jackals, hares, etc., in the limited forest areas. The world's largest venomous snake, the King Cobra is also found here. Elephant, bear and other wild animals from the neighbouring wild life sanctuaries of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, stray into the Begur forest range and the forests around Muthanga, which is 20 kilometres away from the town of Sulthan Bathery. Karapuzha Dam near menangadi-10 km, Banasura Sagar Dam 20 km from vythri. Today large game is found only in region that border with Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Here there is one of the largest concentrations of wild Asiatic elephants in whole world. Tiger, bison, sambhar, spotted deer, boar, leopard, wild dog and other large mammals are also present in fairly decent numbers.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wayanad Rekhakal by O. K. Johnny, Mathrubhumi Books
  2. ^ "Kerala Tourism". 
  3. ^ "Wayanad". 
  4. ^ "Wayanad Map" (PDF). 2008. Retrieved 7 September 2008. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "District Census 2011". Census2011.co.in. 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "Hyder Ali". mapsofindia.com. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  7. ^ Azeem Ayub. "Tipu Sultan". renaissance.com.pk. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  8. ^ "Kerala". berchmans.tripod.com. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  9. ^ History of Tipu Sultan By Mir Hussain Ali Khan Kirmani, Asian Educational Services, 1997
  10. ^ "Official Web Site of Wayanad District". ayanad.nic.in. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  11. ^ "ingentaconnect Consuming the Forest in an Environment of Crisis: Nature Tourism,...". ingentaconnect.com. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  12. ^ a b "Climate: wayanad - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  13. ^ "Munnar Climate and Weather Averages, Kerala". Weather2Travel. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  14. ^ a b Ministry of Panchayati Raj (8 September 2009). "A Note on the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme". National Institute of Rural Development. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  15. ^ India Today – The most widely read newsweekly in South Asia
  16. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 1 October 2011. "Comoros 794,683 July 2011 est." 
  17. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 30 September 2011. "South Dakota 814,180" 
  18. ^ "Assembly Constituencies – Corresponding Districts and Parliamentary Constituencies" (PDF). Kerala. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 18 October 2008. 
  19. ^ "Mysore to wayanad". mysore.ind.in. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  20. ^ "Protests mounting against Panamaram airport in Kerala". Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  21. ^ "Feeder airport proposed in Wayanad". Retrieved 2013-06-17. 

External links[edit]