WAYANAD-THE NEW FOREST DESTINATION OF KERALA
vast stretches of mist - capped mountains green meadows of valleys,
white water springs, blue water lakes and wild forest fabricate the
splendid natural beauty of Wayanad. It is at a height of 700m to 2100 m
above sea level. Wayanad's climate and geography make it ideal for the
cultivation of coffee, tea, cardamom, pepper and rubber. Its pretty
image not withstanding, perhaps what the visitor finds most endearing
about this quaint little hill station is its large tribal population
and their fascinating lifestyles. Including revered monarchs of barely
fifty-strong tribes. Not surprisingly, based on evidences still found
on these hills, historians contend that civilization existed in these
parts at least a thousand years before Christ.
A view from Lakkidi Wayanad is situated in an elevated picturesque mountainous plateau in Western Ghats.
It lies between north latitude 11degree 26'28'' and 11degree 48'22''
and east longitude 75 degree 46'38'' and 76 degree 26'11''.
a panorama of undulating mist clad hills and dales, Wayanad is blessed
with a unique geographical position. Luxuriant plantations of coffee,
tea, cardamom, pepper and rubber are strewn all over the hills of
Wayanad. It is bound on the east by the Nilgiris and the Mysore
districts of Tamilnadu and Karnataka respectively. It shares the
borders with Coorg district of Karnataka on the north, on the south
with Malappuram district and on the west with Calicut
and Cannanore districts. The natural scenic beauty of Wayanad and its
rich natural resources offer several opportunities for adventure
tourism. Located at the northeastern tip of Kerala, Wayanad was earlier
a part of Kannur district. Panorama, Manathavady and Kabini, the fast
flowing rivers lend a unique beauty to the whole region.
unique geographical features of Wynad, expressed in rugged mistcovered
mountains and pastoral valleys, lend this northern district a peculiar
charm and a delightful challenge for hikers and nature lovers. The last
populous of Kerala’s districts, Wynad is relatively backward and
development has not appreciably improved the lives of the tribes who
comprise a sizeable section of the population. Wynad’s climate and
geography make it ideal for the cultivation of coffee, tea, cardamom,
paper and rubber. Plantations, especially of coffee, abound. Once ruled
by the Kalpetta, the district headquarters, is the famous Ananthaatha Jain Temple
at Puliyarmala. This district is said to have been a stronghold of
Jains in the past. Another pointer to this fact is the Glass Temple Of
Koottamunda, 20 km from Kalpetta. Located on the slope of the
Vellarimala hill, this temple is dedicated to Parswanatha Swami of the
Jain faith. The mirrors inside the temple walls reflect in thousands of
beautiful patterns the images of the icons in the temple’s sanctum
Trekkers would like to head for the Chembra Peak,
18 km away, the Banasura Sagar Dam near Padinharathara, also 18 km
away, as well as the Meenmutty waterfall, 40 km from Kalpetta.
There is a land not far from Calicut, the city of Zamorins,
yet a world apart from Kerala's agricultural and industrial epicentres.
It is a quiet place where scenic beauty wild life and traditional
matter, simplicity is a virtue and beauty still blossoms from the
mountainous horizon and from the green glaze of alluring vegetation.
This is Wayanad - the green paradise - the border world of greener part
of Kerala. Clean and pristine, enchanting and hypnotising this land has
a history and mystery, culture and social epistemology yet to be
discovered. Located at a distance about 76 km. from the sea shores of Calicut in the Western Ghats,
this station is full of plantations, forests and wildlife. Wayanad
hills are contiguous to Mudumala in Tamil Nadu and Bandhipur in
Karnataka, thus forming a vast land mass for the wild life to move
about in its most natural abode.
name Wayanad has been derived from the expression 'Vayal nadu' - the
village of paddy fields. In the ancient times this land was ruled by
the Rajas of the Veda tribe. In later times, Wayanad came under the
rule of Pazhassi Rajahs of Kottayam royal dynasty. When Hyder Ali
became the ruler of Mysore,
he invaded Wayanad and brought it under his way. In the days of Tipu,
Wayanad was restored to the Kottayam royal dynasty. But Tipu handled
entire Malabar to the British after the Sreerandapattam truce that he
made with them. This was followed by fierce encounters between the
British and Kerala Varma Pazhassi Rajah of Kottayam. Even when the
Rajah was driven to the wilderness of Wayanad he waged several battles
with his Nair and Kurichia-Kuruma tribal soliders against the British
troops and defeated the latter several times through guerilla type
encounters. The British could get only the dead body of the Rajah who
killed himself somewhere in the interior forest. Thus Wayanad fell into
the hands of British, and with it began a new turn in the history of
this area. The Britishers opened up the Plateau for cultivation of tea
and other cash crops. Roads were laid across the dangerous slopes of
Wayanad from Calicut and Telicherry. These roads were extended to the city of Mysore
and to Ooty through Gudalur. Roads facilities provided opportunities
for the people of outside Wayanad to flow and settle to these jungle
When the state of Kerala was formed in 1956, Wayanad was part of Kannur district. Later South Wayanad was added to Kozhikode district and then on November 1, 1980 North and South Wayanad joined together to form the present Wayanad district.