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Wayanad


Wayanad is blessed by nature with tiny mountains, verdant valleys and is an idyllic place for a visit.

If you had already fell in love with Munnar, then Wayanad will be another temptation provided you are a nature lover.  The mountains, the winding lanes and the thick forests on either sides give you an ethereal experience.

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 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 Raja of Kottayam royal dynasty.  When Hyder Ali becomes 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 Raja of Kottayam.  When the Rajah was driven to the wilderness of Wayanad, he organized 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 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 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 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. This district came into being on November 1, 1980 as the 12 district of Kerala comprising three taluks; Vythiri, Mananthavady and Sulthan Bathery.

Tourist Places of Interest:

Chembra Peak (2,100 meters (6,890 ft)),  BanasuraPeak (2,073 meters (6,801 ft)), Brahmagiri (1,608 meters (5,276 ft)) are some of the important mountains in the district. 

The Kabini River, one of the three east flowing rivers of Kerala, is an important tributary of the Kaveri River.  The Banasura Sagar Dam is built on one of the tributaries of the Kabini River.
The distance from the mean sea level and the amount of forest cover creates a pleasant climate in the region.  Generally the year is divided into four seasons; cold weather (December to February) hot weather (March to May) South West monsoon (June to September) and North East monsoon (October to November).  During the hot weather the temperature goes up to a maximum of 35 °C (95 °F)and during the cold weather the temperature goes down to 07 °C (45 °F).  The greater temperature variation in the last 5–6 years is in the range of 18 °C(64 °F) to 28 °C (82 °F). The average rainfall is 2,500 millimeters a year (98inches) .

Edakkal Caves is 32 km from Kalpetta near Ambalavayal, is famous for its pre-historic carvings and paintings.  Muthanga wildlife sanctuary: It is on the way from Mysore to Sulthan Bathery. Wild animals such as bison, elephant, deer, and tiger have been spotted. There are also quite a few wild birds in the sanctuary.  The JainTemple is near Koottamunda and the Ananthanatha Swami Temple.  Valliyoorkav is a temple of historic and social significance.   Pallikunnu Church,  14 km from Kalpetta is a famous Pilgrim centre in north Kerala.

Varambatta Mosque  is one of the oldest mosque in Wayanad and its famous for varambata nercha. Varambatta is one of the most sunni populated area in Wayanad. There are many institutions lead by Varambatta Sunni Jamaath Committee. Two deeni madrassas are going well named as Muneerul Islam Sunni Madrassa & Malharul Uloom Sunni Madrassa. SSF is leading youth wing in Varambatta. And a nercha is going on by Sunni Associations on Meenam every year.

Mazhuvannur Maha Siva Kshethram  is an ancient Shiva temple near Tharuvana. Karat Siva Temple is a very old temple near Kommayad.  SulthanBathery  is famous for its fort, which was built by Tipu Sultan.  The tomb of the king Pazhassi Raja,  who fought the British with the help of Kurichiyawarriors, is in Mananthavady.

Lakkidi, the entry-point to Wayanad on the road from Kozhikode, receives the highest rainfalls in Kerala.
Pookode Lake is a famous tourist centre near Lakkidi.  For the adventurous: Chembra peak,  Banasura peak and Brahmagiri peak will provide a tough trek experience.  KuruvaDweep (10 km from Mananthavady): is a unique and fragile delta system on the Kabini River.

An important and unusual pilgrim centre for sociologists and educationists is Kanavu a centre for alternative education which helps the adivasis (tribals) to adapt to the challenges without losing their cultural moorings.

AnanthanathaSwami Temple, (also known as Parswanatha Swamy Jain Temple at Puliyarmala) is a beautiful Jain temple located at Puliyarmala, 6 km from Kalpetta.  Pakshipathalam is a very popular trekking spot on the Kerala-Karnataka border.  Soochipara, Kanthapara, and Meenmutty are waterfalls in the Meppadi-Ambalavayal region.  Thovarimala Ezhuthupara is 5 km from Sulthan Bathery have 400M trekking to reach Thovarimala Ezhuthupara we can see Stone Age pictorial writing on a rock.  MeenmuttyFalls is 29 km from Kalpetta in Wayanad District. It is Kerala's second largest waterfall and the one most unspoiled in its natural setting.  HML Teafactory achoor: Big tea factory in Wayanad, 10 km from Vythiri.

The floras 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 dembalance 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 grand is, 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 horiculture on commercial basis.   For promoting the cultivation of vegetables and rising of orchards, the Kerala Agricultural University is running a Regional Agricultural Research Station at Ambalavayal.

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