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Wayanad District

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About the Wayanad district

Click on the following link to download district statistics as per NITI Ayog website
http://niti.gov.in/file/353/download?token=h9oGfakR

Brief About Waynad District
Wayanad History
HISTORY
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 the 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, 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 Kurichye 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 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 verietable 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 hects.) 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 are 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.Its geographical position is peculiar and unique . The difference in altitudes of each locality within the district presents a variation of climatic conditions. Nature has blessed this part of the country beautifully with mist- clad mountains and sylvan valleys. The idyllic nature of Wayanad, its nearness to Udagamandalam (Ooty) and Mysore with well-laid roads to these centers, offer tremendous tourist potentialities.  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, infact, is a splendid spectacle. The east flowing rivers of Wayanad are in striking contrast to the various rivers of the rest of Kerala. The river Kabani of Wayanad is a perennial source of water to Cauvery. The Panamaram rivulet, originating from Lakkidi and the Mananthavady rivulet originating from Thondarmudi Peak meet six kms. north of Panamaram town and after the confluence, the river is known as Kabani. Coffee is ubiquitous in Wayanad. It is cultivated in every panchayat, both in the form of large plantations and small holdings.Coffee is cultivated in an area of 75,057 hects.with Wayanad  having the highest area of 66,999 hectares. Pepper is grown as an additional crop on trees that are groomed to give shade to the coffee shrubs. In Pulpally area, there are exclusive pepper gardens. Tea is cultivated in large estates.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 groomed to give shade to the coffee shrubs. In Pulpally area, there are exclusive pepper gardens. Tea is cultivated in large estates.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 exhibitted recently, at various centres. Wayanad has an agricultural economy and it has no major industry to boast of. Heavy industry will probably tilt the ecological and demographic balance adversely. The idyllic nature of this district, together with its colourful tribal life and brazing climate, will make tourism pay rich dividends.  Development activities are bringing about a change in the poor man's quality of life. Through the co-operative sector, Adivasis are provided with a better deal in the economic life. A labour contract co-operative society for the benefit of Adivasis is also functioning here. A notable feature of life in Wayanad is that it is touched to its very roots by the operation of the nationalised, commercial and co-operative banks. The branches of these banks located in the remote areas of the district have a busy time during the marketing time of cash crops.

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 .

Placed on the southern tip of the Deccan plateau, its prime glory is the majestic Western Ghats with lofty ridges interspersed with magnificent forests, tangled jungles and deep valleys. In the centre of the district, hills are lower in height, while the northern area has high hills and they give a wild and mountainous appearance. Some of the major peaks are Vellarimala, Banasura, Brahmagiri, Chembra, etc. ranging from 1500 mts. to 2100 mts. height.

The eastern area is flat and open. Due to the peculiar terrain, there are east flowing and west flowing rivers. The low hills are full of plantations like tea, coffee, pepper and cardamom while the valleys have a predominance of paddy fields.

The altitude of Wayanad varies from 700 to 2100 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.

Elsewhere, Wayanad offers a panorama of undulating hills and dales, which are converted into paddy fields. The hills, which might have been thick forest once, are now plantations of coffee, tea or cardamom. There is lushy luxuriant green all round. On a clear day from the river bed of Kabani, Wayanad will seem to be a fairy land with the deep blue mountains juxtaposed with the blue sky and white vagrant wads of cottonwools like clouds amidst them.

The soil of the Wayanad district is mainly of the forest type. It promotes a lushy luxuriant growth of vegetation, which makes Wayanad clothed in uniform greenery. The district has 787 ha. under forests

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