Wayanad District (വയനാട്) in the north-east of Kerala, India, was formed on November 1, 1980 as the 12th district by carving out areas from Kozhikode and Kannur districts. Kalpetta is the district headquarters as well as the only municipal town in the district. The region was known as Mayakshetra (Maya's land) in the earliest records. Mayakshetra evolved into Mayanad and finally to Wayanad. 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. Wayanad district stands on the southern tip of the Deccan plateau and its chief glory is the majestic rugged terrain of the Western Ghats, with lofty ridges interspersed with dense forest, tangled jungles and deep valleys. It is the least populous district in Kerala.
Wayanad district stands on the southern tip of the Deccan plateau and its chief glory is the majestic rugged terrain of the Western Ghats, with lofty ridges interspersed with dense forest, tangled jungles and deep valleys. Quite a large area of the district is covered by forest but the continued and indiscriminate exploitation of the natural resources point towards an imminent environmental crisis.
- Mountains: Chembra Peak (2,100 metres (6,890 ft)), Banasura Peak (2,073 metres (6,801 ft)), Brahmagiri (1,608 metres (5,276 ft)) are some of the important mountains in the district.
- Rivers: The Kabini River, one of the three east flowing rivers of Kerala, is an important tributary of the Kaveri River. Almost the entire Wayanad district is drained by Kabini and its three tributaries, the Panamaram, Mananthavady, and Kalindy rivers. The Banasura Sagar Dam is built on one of tributaries of the Kabini River.
- Climate: 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 millimetres (98 in) per year.
Wayanad is 3.79% urbanised. Agriculture, is the main stay of the economy. Coffee, tea, cocoa, pepper, plantain and vanilla are the main crops. Besides these cash crops, the most important crop in the district is rice. Dams and aqueducts have been constructed to take water to the otherwise dry areas in the district. Price of land is going up even though Agrarian crisis. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Wayanad one of the country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640). It is one of the two districts in Kerala currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).
The NREGS (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) enacted by the current UPA government has helped and Wayanad and Palakkad
were the only districts selected to receive the benefits under this scheme because of the acute need in these areas. The daily wage under NREGS at Rs. 125, regardless of gender, in Kerala is the highest among all the states. Work under NREGS includes building elephant trenches (crop-raiding by wild elephants is another problem in Wayanad), waterbodies, roads, etc.
Flora And Fauna:
Places Of Importance:
- The flora 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. In a majority of coffee plantations, the age-old species are replaced by the silver-oak which is suited to the cold climate. Eucalyptus grandis, 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.
- One can still see the bonnet macaque, slender loris, mongooses, jungle cats, squirrels, jackals, hares, etc., in the limited forest areas. The World's largest venomous snake, the King Cobra is also found here. Elephant, bear and other wild animals from the neighbouring wild life sanctuaries of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, stray into the Begur forest range and the forests around Muthanga, which is 20 kilometres away from the town of Sulthan Bathery.