Wayanad District came into existence on 1st November, 1980 as the 12th District of Kerala consisting of Mananthavady, Sulthanbathery and Vythiri Taluks. The name ‘Wayanad’ is derived from ‘Vayal Nadu’ which means the land of paddy fields. It is a picturesque plateau situated at a height between 700 meters and 2100 meters above the mean sea level nested among the mountains of the Western Ghats on the Eastern portion of North Kerala and on the sides of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka States.
The District was carved out from the then Kozhikode and Kannur Districts. About 885.92.sq.km of area of the district is under forest. In ancient times the land was ruled by the Vedar Rajas. Later Wayanad came under the rule of Pazhassi Raja of Kottayam Royal Dynasty. The modern history of the district is associated with the events that took place during the Mysorean invasion and the long spell of the British rule stretching over a period of about two centuries. There were stories about fierce encounter between the British and Pazhassi Rajah in which the adivasis were considered to in forefront of Pazhassi Raja and contributed much towards the safety of wayanad.
Formation: November 1, 1980 as the 12th district of Kerala by carving out areas from
Kozhikode and Kannur districts.
Derivation of the name: ‘Vayal naadu’ mean land of paddy fields.
Area: 2,131 km2
Male : 4,01,684
Female : 4,15,736
Sex Ratio : 1035
Rate of Growth of population:4.6%(2001-2011)
Literacy Rate : 89.03%
Wayanad District is situated on the southern top of the Deccan plateau. Its prime feature is the dominance of Western Ghat Mountain Range.
East :Tamil Nadu and Karnataka
North : Coorg District of Karnataka
South : Malapuram
West : Kozhikode and Kannur Districts.
The People and Population:
One important characteristic feature of the district is the large adivasi population, consisting mainly of Paniyas, Kurumas, Adiyars, Kurichyas, Ooralis, Kadars, and Kattunaikkans. They are the different aboriginal tribes of Wayanad. The tribal population in wayanad constitutes 18.5 per cent of the District population and 36 per cent of the State’s tribal population. Major communities found in the District are Paniyan (44.06%), Mullu Kuruman (17.34 %), Kurichian (16.10 %), Kattunaickan (11.33%), Adiyan (7.41%) and Urali Kuruman (3.13 per cent). The Kurichyar is the most developed among them. They are small land owners, whereas the members of other tribes are mostly labourers. Wayanad district stands first in the case of adivasi population (about 36%) among other districts in the state.
Wayanad has a large settler population. People from almost all parts of Kerala have migrated to this fertile land for building up their lives. Wayanad has a small Jain community consisting of Gowders who came from Karnataka. They have built beautiful temples all over the district. Almost all sections of Christianity are well represented. One fourth population of Wayanad is constituted by Christians. Muslims constitute another one fourth population and rest of the population belongs to Hindus. Their hard work and sacrifice helped them to prosper. On the other hand, the last few decades have seen the complete marginalisation of the indigenous people.
The high altitude district is characterised by the cultivation of perennial plantation crops and spices. The major plantation crops include coffee, tea, pepper, cardamom and rubber. Coffee based farming system is a notable feature of Wayanad. Coffee is grown both as pure crop and as mixed crop along with pepper. Pepper is grown largely along with coffee in the north eastern parts of the district, especially in Pulpally and Mullankolly areas. Coffee in Wayanad (66,999 ha.) shares 33.65 per cent of the total cropped area in the district and 78 per cent of the coffee area in the state. Other major crops are rubber (63,015 ha.), coconut (59,452 ha.), cardamom (38,348 ha.), tea (31,792 ha.) cassava and ginger. A recent increase in the area under coconut cultivation is noticed in the lower elevations. Paddy is cultivated in 22,772 hectares of land. Now, there is a sudden shift of crops to plantain crops and most of the paddy fields are now filled with plantain of various kinds.
The rice fields of Wayanad are in the valleys formed by hillocks and in majority of paddy lands, only a single crop is harvested. Ginger cultivation in Wayanad has also substantially increased in recent times and the ginger produced is mainly marketed in the form of green ginger. Homestead farming assumes importance in this district. The average size of holdings is 0.68 ha. A variety of crops including annuals and perennials are grown in these small holdings. The crops include coconut, areca nut, pepper, vegetables, tuber crops, drumstick, papaya, etc. and fruit trees like mango and jack. The crop patterns/crop combinations prevalent in this district are not based on any scientific norms. Therefore scientific cropping patterns suitable for the agro-ecological situation are to be recommended.
Kalpetta is the headquarters of the Wayanad District Administration with Civil Station and other main offices. There is only one Revenue division named Mananthavady in the district. It consists of 3 Taluks viz, (1) Vythiri, (2) Manathavady , and (3) Sulthanbathery and 49 Revenue villages. Kalpetta Municipality is the only statutory town in the district. The district has 4 development blocks viz, (1) Mananthavady (2) Kalpetta (3) Sulthanbathery, and (4) Panamaram comprising of 25 panchayats.
Block Panchayaths and Grama Panchayaths:
The Veera Pazhassi Tomb
The Edackal Caves