WAYANAD

Wayanad -The name Wayanad is derived from the expression ‘vayal nadu’ which means the land of paddy fields

Wayanad is the most beautiful place of god’s own land. It is really the natures wonder land with its exotic legends, mysterious mountains, caves, landscapes, un negligible scenic beauty and aesthetic value. This land nestled among the mountains of Western Ghats and fondled by the peaks. Wayanad is one of the few districts in Kerala that has been able to retain its pristine nature. The very first pre-historic engravings in kerala were discovered here leaving the evidence of new Stone Age civilization. Its prime glory is the majestic Western Ghats with magnificent forest and plantations. This north eastern part of the state lies at the height of 900 to 1200m above sea level. Misty hills, lush forest and pleasant atmosphere make wayanad an unforgettable holiday destination.
Wayanad is often called the Green Paradise of God's own country-Kerala. It's a hill station district in the northern part of Kerala; with mist cladded peaks and green paddy fields. The place is famous for its scenic beauty, wildlife and traditional folk. The name "Wayanad" is derived from "Vayal nadu" which means the country of paddy fields.

HISTORY

Wayanad, One of the fourteen districts in Kerala, India, is situated in an elevated picturesque mountainous plateau in Western Ghats .Comprising an area of 2126 sq. kms., Wayanad has a powerful history. Historians are of the view that organized human life existed in these parts, at least ten centuries before Christ. Countless evidences about New Stone Age civilization can be seen on the hills of Wayanad. The two caves of Ampukuthimala located between Sulthan Bathery and Ambalavayal, with pictures painted on their walls and pictorial writings, speak volumes of the bygone era and civilization.
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 Rajas of Kottayam royal dynasty. When Hyder Ali became the ruler of Mysore, he invaded Wayanad and brought it under his sway. In the days of Tipu Sulthan, 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 Raja of Kottayam. When the Raja was driven to the wilderness of Wayanad, he organized the war like, people's militia with the help of Kurichya tribals and engaged the British in several guerrilla type encounters. In the end, the British could get only the dead body of the Raja, 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 history 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 forestlands 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 fulfill 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.

SALIENT FEATURES
The total geographical area and population of Wayanad are 2126sq.kms, (2, 12,560 hectares) and 6, 72,128 respectively, which account for 5.48 per cent and 2.31 per cent of the state total. The male and female population is 3, 41,958 and 3, 30,170 respectively. The female-male sex ratio is 966 per 1000 males. The density of population is 315 per sq.km. (1991 census) against 260 in 1981, showing an increase of 21 per cent. The literacy in the region is 85.54 per cent; Male literacy ratio is 90.28 and female literacy ratio is 80.80.
A visitor may be impressed by the extensive paddy fields of the districts. Agriculture in Wayanad is equally divided between paddy and plantation crops, except coconut. The hills, which are deep blue in bright sunlight and lie mist-covered most of the time, juxtaposes with the green of these paddy fields. This, in fact, is a splendid spectacle.
Wayanad has the highest concentration of tribals in Kerala. They form 17.1 per cent of the total population of the district. The aborigines of Wayanad have a great political tradition. This area was originally reigned by the Rajas of the Veda tribe. Later, political authority came to the Pazhassi Rajahs of Kottayam royal dynasty.

The Kurichyas of Wayanad have a great martial tradition. They constituted the army of Pazhassi Veera Kerala Varma Rajah 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.

TOPOGRAPHY

Wayanad lies between north latitude 110 27' and 150 58' and east longitude 750 47 ' and 700 27'. It is bounded on the east by Nilgiris and Mysore districts of Tamilnadu and Karnataka respectively, on the north by Coorg district of Karnataka, on the south by Malappuram and on the west by Kozhikode and Kannur.
The altitude of Wayanad varies from 700 to 2300 meters from sea level. The hill ranges of Vythiri taluk, through which the road from Kozhikode ascends the Wayanad plateau over mind-boggling bends and ridges are the highest locations. From the highest altitude of the Western Ghats on the western boarder of the district, the plateau of Wayanad gradually slopes down eastward. Further from Mananthavady, it becomes a common plain of paddy fields with the swift flowing Kabani coursing through it.

CLIMATE
Wayanad has a salubrious climate. The mean average rainfall in this district is 2322. m.m. Lakkidi, Vythiri and Meppadi are the high rainfall areas in Wayanad. Annual rain falls in these high rainfall areas ranges from 3000 to 4000 m.m. High velocity winds are common during the southwest monsoon and dry winds blow in March-April. High altitude regions experience severe cold. In Wayanad (Ambalavayal) the mean maximum and minimum temperature for the last five years were 29°Cand 18°C respectively. This place experiences a high relative humidity, which goes even up to 95 per cent during the Southwest monsoon period. Generally the year is classified in four seasons, namely, cold weather (December-February),hot weather(March-May),Southwest monsoon (June-September)and Northeast monsoon (October-November) .The dale,“Lakkidi', nestled among the hills of Vythiri taluk has the highest average rainfall in Kerala. The average rainfall in Wayanad is 300 m.m. per year. There is a decreasing trend in rainfall in this area. The average rainfall data shows that the lowest rainfall received from northeast monsoon is in Wayanad district.

GETTING HERE AND AWAY:
Wayanad is accessible from all parts of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamilnadu by road.
The nearest railway station is at Kozhikode – 71 Kms from Kalpetta

RAIL DISTANCES FROM MAJOR CITIES TO KOZHIKODE

New Delhi 2851 Kms.
Mumbai 1425 kms.
Kolkata 2331 Kms.
Ahmadabad 1875 Kms.
Hyderabad 1425 Kms.
Bangalore 330 Kms.
Kozhikode is the nearest airport - 94 Kms from Kalpetta


 
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