Wayanad District 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.
It is the least populous district in Kerala.
Wayanad is a derivative of the term Vayal Nadu, where Vayal means Paddy fields and Nadu the land, comprising it to indicate a land of paddy fields. Wayanad is explicitly beautiful with mist clad mountains, intense forests and fertile green plantations. The forests of Wayanad are cosmic landmasses for animals to enjoy their natural dwelling.
Snuggled amidst the Western Ghats Mountains, Wayanad is one of the exquisite hill stations of Kerala. It is a revenue state due to foreign exchange of cash crops such as vanilla, tea, coffee, pepper, cardamom and many other condiments. Wayanad shelters endangered species as it has an amazing range of flora and fauna. Wildlife aficionados and nature lovers will find Wayanad wildlife sanctuaries as the right place of visit. The place enjoys a pleasant climate the whole year.
Having an influential history, numerous evidences depicting new Stone Age civilization is seen on the Wayanad hills. Relicts and edicts are found in this place emphasizing the prehistoric epoch. According to the history, Wayanad was ruled by the Veda tribes, it was then taken by Pazhassi Rajas, and later Hyderali conquered Wayanad. When Tipu took over, he handed it to British. It was the British who introduced cash crops, laid roads and developed Wayanad significantly.
The prominent festivals such as Onam, Maha shivaratri and Vishu display eternal harmony. Rice, rasam, sambhar, poricha kootu, moru kootan, avvial, pal payasam, and many more items make their food a classy food.
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 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. the city has a cool winter and a moderately warm summer. The district enjoys a subtropical highland climate according to the Köppen climate classification.