Wayanad district

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Wayanad district
വയനാട് ജില്ല
Wayanad Ghat.jpg
Location(Marked Black) in Kerala, India
Location(Marked Black) in Kerala, India
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 Keshavendra Kumar IAS
 • District Panchayat President N.K. Rasheed
 • District M.L.A's Sulthan Bathery : I.C Balakrishnan
Kalpetta:C K Saseendran
Mananthavady : O.R Kelu
 • Total 2,131 km2 (823 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 816,558
 • Density 380/km2 (990/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 is a district in the north-east of Kerala state, India with headquarters at the town of Kalpetta. The district was formed on 1 November 1980 as the 12th district in Kerala by carving out areas from Kozhikode and Kannur districts. The district is 3.79% urbanised, with three municipal towns Kalpetta, Mananthavady and Sulthan Bathery.

Wayanad district is in the southern tip of the Deccan Plateau. Part of the Western Ghats is in the district. In the centre of the district hills are lower in height while the northern area has high hills.[citation needed] The eastern area is flat and open.

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]

Unlike all other 13 districts of Kerala, in Wayanad district, there is no town or village named same as the district (i.e., there is no "Wayanad town").



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 evidence of New Stone Age civilisation can be seen in the hills throughout the present day Wayanad district. Recorded history of this district is available from the 18th century. In ancient times, this land was ruled by the Rajas of the Veda tribe. In later days, Wayanad came under the rule of the Pazhassi Rajahs of Kottayam royal dynasty. When Hyder Ali becames the ruler of Mysore, he invaded Wayanad and brought it under his sway. In the days of Tipu, Wayanad was restored to the Kottayam royal dynasty. But Tipu handed over the entire Malabar region to the British, after the Sreerangapattanam truce, he made with them. This was followed by fierce and internecine encounters between the British and Kerala Varma Pazhassi Rajah 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 killed himself somewhere in the interior of the forest. Thus, Wayanad fell into the hands of the British and with it came a new turn in the Home of this area. The British authorities opened up the plateau for cultivation of tea and other cash crops. Roads were laid across the dangerous slopes of Wayanad, from Kozhikode and Thalassery. These roads were extended to the cities of Mysore and Ooty through Gudalur. Through the roads poured in settlers from all parts of Kerala and the virgin forest 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. In order 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 November 1, 1980 as the 12 district of Kerala

Cities and towns[edit]

Tourist places[edit]

  • Eddakkal Caves
  • Ambalavayal Heritage Museum
  • Banasura Sagar Dam(Asia's 2nd Largest and India's Largest Earth Dam)-India's First Solar Atop Dam[7]
  • Pookode Lake
  • Kuruva Island
  • Meenmutty Waterfalls
  • Sentinel Rock Waterfalls
  • Kanthanpara Waterfalls
  • Karapuzha Dam
  • Chembra Peak,the highest peak in Wayanad, at 2,050 m above sea level.
  • Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Karalad Lake
  • Phantom Rock

Religious sites[edit]


Wayanad district stands on the southern tip of the Deccan plateau and includes part of the Western Ghats. 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[13] environmental crisis. It has a large amount of dry and moist deciduous forest. Wayanad is home to endangered species.

Wayanad scenery on NH 212 Kozhikode-Kollegal
Wayanad Urban Bus at Wayanad Ghat
"New Expectations for tomorrow" Sunset at Wayanad Ghat.


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.


Rice planting in the fields of Wayanad. Taken near Mathamangalam.

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]


A tea plantation estate near Kalpetta

According to the 2011 census Wayanad district had a population of 816,558,[5] roughly equal to the nation of Comoros.[15] 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] Paniyas, Uraali Kurumas, and Kurichiyans comprise the tribes in Wayanad.


Wayanad District

District Headquarters: Kalpetta. District Collector, District Police Chief and District Judge are based at Kalpetta.

No. of Taluks: 3

No. of state Assembly Legislators: 3[16]

  • Kalpetta - Current MLA is Mr. C. K. Saseendran
  • Sulthan Bathery - Current MLA is Mr. I.C. Balakrishnan
  • Mananthavady - Current MLA is Mr. O. R. Kelu

Lok Sabha Representation: 1



The KozhikodeMysore National Highway 212 (NH 212) passes through Wayanad district. This highway is the primary access to Wayanad from the major cities of Kerala (Kozhikode, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram) as well as Karnataka (Bangalore and Mysore).[17] [18]

State Highways passing through Wayanad are:

  • State Highway SH 29 connects to the road to Gudalur and Ooty at the "Kerala - Tamil Nadu state border". This highway was originally Kozhikode - Vythiri - Kerala State border however the section Kozhikode - Chundale is now part of NH212. This highway now starts at Chundale near Kalpetta.
  • State Highway SH 54 is an alternate road connecting Kalpetta with Kozhikode. This highway starts at Kalpetta and proceeds to Kozhikode through Padinjarethara, Poozhithode, Peruvannamuzhi, Perambra and Pavangad, Kozhikode. Note that the section Padinjarethara to Poozhithode is not yet laid as the environmental clearance to build the road through the forest is pending.[19]
  • State Highway SH 59 Hill Highway (Kerala) - This proposed highway connects both ends of Kerala state, passing through entire hilly regions of the state. This highway will connect Wayanad with Kannur district to the North and Malappuram district to the South. In Wayanad, this highway passes through Mananthavady, Kalpetta and Meppadi. The section connecting Meppadi with Nilambur in Malappuram district is to be built. Note that currently there is no direct road link between Wayanad and Malappuram, though these are neighbouring districts.

All national and state highways passing through Wayanad District intersect at its headquarters Kalpetta,[20] making it the "Gateway of Wayanad".

NH 212 traffic control[edit]

En route to Mysore on NH 212, past Wayanad district boundary, which is also the Kerala state boundary, NH 212 passes through Bandipur National Park. There is a night traffic ban imposed on this stretch since 2009.[21] The alternate road to take is, leave NH 212 at Kalpetta and proceed to Mysore through Mananthavady, Kutta, Gonikoppal, and Hunsur.


Wayanad district is not connected by rail network but the Railway is Under Progress Nanjangud-Sulthan Bathery-Nilambur Railway Line is approved . The nearest railway station is at Kozhikode, 72 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).[22]


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)[23] in Panamaram and the nearby Nadavayal.[24]

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. ^ http://wayanad.nic.in/history.htm
  7. ^ http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/in-other-news/300416/kerala-solar-panel-atop-dam-a-reality.html?ref=yfp
  8. ^ http://www.wayanadtravel.com/where-to-go/valliyoorkavu-temple/
  9. ^ http://www.keralatourism.org/wayanad/pallikunnu-church-meenangadi.php
  10. ^ http://www.wayanadtravel.com/where-to-go/varampetta-mosque/
  11. ^ http://www.wayanadtravel.com/where-to-go/seetha-lava-kush-temple/
  12. ^ http://www.wayanadtravel.com/where-to-go/puliyarmala-jain-temple/
  13. ^ "ingentaconnect Consuming the Forest in an Environment of Crisis: Nature Tourism,...". ingentaconnect.com. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  14. ^ a b Ministry of Panchayati Raj (8 September 2009). "A Note on the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme" (PDF). National Institute of Rural Development. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  15. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison: Population". Retrieved 1 October 2011. Comoros 794,683 July 2011 est. 
  16. ^ "Assembly Constituencies – Corresponding Districts and Parliamentary Constituencies" (PDF). Kerala. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 18 October 2008. 
  17. ^ "Bangalore to Mananthavady via HD Kote". www.paru.in. Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  18. ^ "Bangalore to Wayanad". www.paru.in. Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  19. ^ "Padinajrethara Poozhithode road". The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-05-02. 
  20. ^ "Road map of Wayanad district". Kerala PWD. Retrieved 2014-05-02. 
  21. ^ "Bandipur-road-to-be-closed-at-night". DNA India. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  22. ^ "Train to Wayanad". www.paru.in. Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  23. ^ "Protests mounting against Panamaram airport in Kerala". Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  24. ^ "Feeder airport proposed in Wayanad". Retrieved 2013-06-17. 

External links[edit]