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 only one municipal town of Kalpetta.
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. 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.〔Wayanad Rekhakal by O. K. Johnny, Mathrubhumi Books〕 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.
It is set high on the Western Ghats with altitudes ranging from 700 to 2100 m.
It is the least populous district in Kerala.
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").
Wayanad is the only district in Kerala that borders both the neighboring states Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Wayanad borders Kozhikode, Kannur, and Malappuram districts in Kerala; Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu; and Chamarajanagar, Mysore, and Kodagu (Coorg) districts in Karnataka.
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. The two caves of Ampukuthimala (Edakkal Caves) in Sulthan Bathery, with pictures on their walls and pictorial writings, speak volumes of a bygone civilization. The recorded history of this district exists only from the 10th century onward. In 930 AD, emperor Erayappa of Ganga Dynasty led his troops to south west of Mysore - an invasion to the prosperous kingdom he had heard of from traders and Jain monks. Mission accomplished and he called the conquered kingdom ‘Bayalnad’ meaning the land of swamps. After Erayappa, his sons Rachamalla and Battunga fought each other for the new kingdom of their father’s legacy. Rachamalla was killed and Battunga became the undisputed ruler of Bayalnad. In 12th century AD, Gangas were dethroned from Bayalnad by Kadamba dynasty〔The Kadamba kula A history of ancient and medieval Karnatak , By George M. Moraces BX furtado &sons Bombay 1931〕 of North Canara.〔https://archive.org/details/kadambakula035210mbp〕 In 1104 AD Vishnuvardhana of Hoysala invaded Bayalnad followed by Vijayanagara dynasty in 16th century. In 1610 AD Udaiyar Raja Wadiyar of Mysore drove out Vijayanagara General and became the ruler of Bayalnad and the Nilgiris. Bayalnad is the present Wayanad. When Wayanad was under Hyder Ali’s rule, the ghat road from Vythiri to Thamarassery invented.〔Madrass District Gazetteeers, The Nilgiris. By W. Francic. Madras 1908 Pages 90-104〕 Then the British rulers developed this route to Carter road.〔Report of the Administration of Mysore 1863-64. British Parliament Library〕 When Wayanad was under Tipu Sultan's rule British invasion started. Tussle and turbulent times followed. The British claimed Wayanad under the 1792 treaty of Srirangapatna citing it was part of Malabar. Tipu Sultan went in appeal before the Governor General. Considering his arguments, relying on the successive Karnatic rule for centuries in Wayanad and its geographical detachment from Malabar, in 1798, Governor General Lord Mornington declared by proclamation〔Proclamation No:CLXXXLL , A. Collection of treaties and engagements , By W.Logan, Calicut 1879〕 that Wayanad had not been ceded to the East India Company by the treaty of 1792. Consequently, the British troops withdrew from Wayanad conceding to Tipu’s rule. In 1799, after the fall of Sultan, the British handed over Wayanad by treaty of 1799 to the Raja of Mysore and . But by a supplementary treaty dated 29 December 1803 the East India Company repossessed Wayanad and thereafter administrated by Col. Arthur Wellesley from Srirangapatna and North Wayanad came under the rule of the Pazhassi Raja dynasty of ancient Kottayam. Wayanad eventually became part of Kerala despite its geographical delimitations and political descent in 1956 on State’s reorganisation. Even now there is a considerable Kannada speaking population and the reminiscence of centuries old Karnatic rule is omnipresent in Wayanad. Agriculture Cultivation started broadly after 1900 A.D onwards. The British authorities opened up the plateau to cultivation of tea and other cash crops by constructing roads across the dangerous slopes of Wayanad, to Kozhikode and Thalassery.Later, they extended these new roads to the cities of Mysore and Ooty through Gudalur. Settlers emigrated from all parts of Kerala and the fecund 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. 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 1 November 1980 as one the twelve districts of Kerala,〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Official Web Site of Wayanad District )〕 consisting of three taluks; Vythiri, Mananthavady, and Sulthan Bathery.
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