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he district of Wayanad was formed on November 1, 1980 as the 12th district from Kannur and Kozhikode districts. The total area of Wayanad is 2132 sq km. As per the 2001 census, the district has a total population of 780,619.

Wayanad lies in the Nilgiris Biosphere and is part of the 1600-km long Western Ghats, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most striking feature about Wayanad is the fact that it is home to so many natural attractions and wonders. There are no artificially made tourist attractions that would unnerve your senses.

In ancient times, the region was known as Mayakshetra (Maya’s land). This name soon morphed into Mayanad and later on it came be known as Wayanad, according to historical records. However, the folklore has it that Wayanad connotes to the ‘land of paddy fields’. The name is a combination of Vayal (paddy field) and Naad (land). Wayanad occupies a prominent position in the history of Kerala as it was home to Pazhassi Raja, who fought against the British rulers.

Wayanad lies at an altitude varying from 700 - 2100 metres above the sea level. This picturesque hill station has a unique position in the global tourism map with its enchanting beauty, abundant wildlife and lush greenery captivating tourists from all over the world. Abundant with natural scenic beauty, Wayanad is a leading tourist destination in Kerala. It is an ideal destination for tourists of any kind as this beautiful place on earth is a potpourri of everything that is appealing to various segments of tourists.

For those who want to unleash their adrenaline rush, Wayanad is an ideal spot for doing all those adventure activities such as trekking. For nature lovers, Wayanad gives many options for eco-tourism activities such as forest visits. And for the family, the place provides a perfect place to chill out and picnic. For the honeymooners, Wayanad offers so many romantic hideouts and captivating localities.

Bamboo, honey and spices

Wayanad is a treasure trove of verdant forests, abundant bamboo forests, hills, numerous waterfalls, large tracts of tea and coffee plantations, etc. Thanks to its unique geography, Wayanad is a fertile ground for growing cash crops like pepper, ginger, cardamom, tea, coffee, spices, and such other condiments. Most of the reserve forests in the State are located in Wayanad. 

Apart from its spices, Wayanad is also known for its honey. Thanks to its unique geography with vast forest cover, numerous tribes eke out a living by doing honey collection. Today Wayanad honey is famous world over with tourists making it a point to collect the signature honey before they go back. One can also savour the special cuisine unique to the place, such as the bamboo rice payasam, etc.

Another attraction is the tree houses which is a major hit among the tourists both within and outside India. A stay at tree house means that one can savour the nature in its entirety, by being close with the nature.  

Climate

Its distance from the sea level and the vast forest cover means that Wayanad boasts of a salubrious climate, a reason why it is a favourite destination of tens of thousands of tourists from world over. There are 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 days, the temperature can go up to a maximum of 35 °C and during the cold weather it goes down to as low as 07 °C.

Rivers

Wayanad is endowed with so many rivers and waterfalls. The Kabini River, one of Kerala’s three rivers that flow towards Bay of Bengal, is an important tributary of the Kaveri River. Kabani and its tributaries constitute a powerful river system in the landscape of Wayanad.

And Panamaram stream originates from the Pookode lake, which flows swiftly through mountains and joined by other rivulets before going down into Panamaram Valley.

Almost entire Wayanad is drained by the Kabani River and its tributaries, such as Panamaram River, Mananthavady River and Thirunelli River.