Wayanad is a district in the north-east of Kerala, a state in India. It is known for its scenic beauty, pleasant climate, rich culture, and diverse wildlife. Wayanad is a popular tourist destination that attracts visitors from all over the world. In this article, we will explore some interesting and unknown facts about Wayanad that will make you want to visit this place.
Table of Contents
Origin of the Name Wayanad
The name Wayanad is derived from two Malayalam words: ‘Vayal’ and ‘Nadu’, which mean ‘paddy field’ and ‘country land’ respectively. Wayanad is the only plateau in Kerala, and it has vast areas of paddy fields that give it a unique charm. The name also reflects the agricultural heritage of the region, as rice is the main crop grown here.
Borders with Two States
This is the only district in Kerala that shares its borders with two other states: Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. This makes Wayanad a cultural melting pot, as it has influences from different languages, cuisines, religions, and traditions. You can find people speaking Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, and English here. You can also enjoy a variety of dishes, from spicy Kerala-style curries to mild Karnataka-style dosas. Wayanad is also home to many indigenous tribes, such as Kurichyas, Kadans, Adiyars, Kurumas, Paniyas, and Ooralis, who have their own customs and beliefs.
The Only Earth Dam in India
It has the distinction of having the only earth dam in India: the Banasura Sagar Dam. It is also the second largest earth dam in Asia. The dam was built across the Kabini River, a tributary of the Kaveri River, to provide irrigation and drinking water to the region. The dam also generates hydroelectric power for the state. The dam offers breathtaking views of the Banasura hills in the backdrop, and you can enjoy activities like speedboating and camping here.
The Only Pine Forest of Kerala
Another unique feature of Wayanad is that it has the only pine forest of Kerala: Chandanathode at Mananthavady. The pine forest is located on a hilltop, and it offers a refreshing experience for nature lovers. You can trek up the hill and enjoy the aroma of pine trees. The forest also provides a habitat for many birds and animals.
The Only Luv Kush Temple
The place boasts of having the only Luv Kush Temple in Kerala: the Sita Lava Kusha Temple at Pulpally. The temple is dedicated to Sita Devi, the wife of Lord Rama, and her twin sons Luv and Kush. According to legend, Sita Devi spent some time here during her exile, and gave birth to her sons here. The temple is considered sacred by Hindus, and attracts many pilgrims.
The Only Mirror Temple
The district also has the only mirror temple (Kannadi Ambalam) in Kerala: The Parswanath Jain Temple at Vythiri. The temple is a Jain temple that belongs to the Digambara sect. The temple is famous for its walls that are covered with mirrors. The mirrors reflect the light from lamps and candles, creating a dazzling effect. The temple is also known for its intricate carvings and paintings.
Existence since New Age Civilisation
It has a long history that dates back to the New Age Civilisation. The edicts and caves of Ambukuthimala and other evidence suggest that Wayanad was inhabited by humans since prehistoric times. Wayanad was also part of many ancient kingdoms, such as Chera, Pandya, Vijayanagara, Mysore, and Hyder Ali. Wayanad witnessed many battles and revolts during the colonial era, such as the Pazhassi Raja’s rebellion against the British. Wayanad became a separate district in 1980 by carving out areas from Kozhikode and Kannur districts.
Ooty of Kerala
It is often referred to as the Ooty of Kerala because of its similarity with Ooty, a hill station in Tamil Nadu. Both places have a cool climate throughout the year, and offer picturesque views of mountains, valleys, lakes, and forests. Both places are also ideal for trekking, boating, camping, and wildlife watching. However, Wayanad has its own charm and identity that make it stand out from Ooty.
No Coastal Area or Railways
It is a district that has no coastal area or railway lines. This makes Wayanad a secluded and serene place, away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. It is accessible by road from nearby cities, such as Kozhikode, Mysore, Bangalore, and Kochi. The nearest airport is at Kozhikode, which is about 100 km away from Wayanad.
Rich in Wildlife
Wayanad is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, as it has a rich and diverse flora and fauna. There are three wildlife sanctuaries: Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, and Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary. These sanctuaries are part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, and are home to many endangered and endemic species, such as tigers, elephants, leopards, gaurs, deer, bears, langurs, macaques, civets, otters, mongooses, and birds. there are also has many waterfalls, such as Meenmutty Falls, Soochipara Falls, Kanthanpara Falls, and Chethalayam Falls, that add to the beauty of the landscape.
It is a district that has many interesting and unknown facts that make it a unique and attractive place to visit. Wayanad is a place where you can experience the best of nature, culture, history, and adventure. Wayanad is a place that will leave you spellbound and mesmerized. Wayanad is a place that you should not miss.