Wayanad History

History of Wayanad

The name Wayanad has been derived from the expression ‘Vayal nadu’ – the village of paddy fields . In the ancient times this land was ruled by the Rajas of the Veda tribe. In later times, Wayanad came under the rule of Pazhassi Rajas of Kottayam royal dynasty. When the state of Kerala was formed in 1956, Wayanad was part of Kannur district. Later South Wayanad was added to Kozhikode district and then on November 1, 1980 North and South Wayanad joined together to form the present Wayanad district. According to archaeological evidence , the Wayanad forests have been inhabited for more than three thousand years.Wayanad has a powerful history .Historians are of the view that organized human life existed in these parts, at least ten centuries before Christ .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 .

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 Home 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

Thirunelli, Wayanad

Photo Credit - Reji

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