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 majestic Western Ghats with altitudes ranging from 700 to 2100 m.
Places of importance
There are various places of touristic, ecological, religious, and historic importance in the district.
Thirunelli Temple is a very old temple on the foothills of Brahmagiri.This temple is dedicated by Brahma to Vishnu in the form of Chatturbhuja. The Thirunelly Temple embodies classical, traditional Kerala architecture. This temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu-the god who maintains life, attracts hordes of devotees especially for performing ancestral rites. The shrine is shielded with 30 granite columns and the ground is paved with huge square pieces of granite. It is believed that a ritual dip in the stream Papanasini, running crystal clear downhill, wash one away of all worldly sins. This temple is often referred to as the -Kasi of the south.Puthari (October), Chuttuvilakku (January), Navarathri, Sivarathei and Sree Krishna Jaynthi are the festivals conducted in this temple.
Edakkal Caves, 32 km from Kalpetta near Ambalavayal, is famous for its pre-historic carvings and paintings.
Muthanga wildlife sanctuary: It is on the way from Mysore to Sulthan Bathery. Wild animals such as bison, elephant, deer, and tiger has been spotted. There are also quite a few wild birds in the sanctuary.
The Jain Temple near Koottamunda and the Ananthanatha Swami Temple.
Valliyoorkav is a temple of historic and social significance.
Pallikunnu Church, 14 km from Kalpetta is a famous Pilgrim centre in north Kerala.
Varambatta Mosque is one of the oldest mosque in wayanad and it's famous for varambata nercha.
Mazhuvannur Maha Siva Kshethram is an ancient Shiva temple near Tharuvana. Karat Siva Temple is a very old temple near Kommayad.
Sulthan Bathery is famous for its fort, which was built by Tipu Sultan.
The tomb of the king Pazhassi Raja, who fought the British with the help of Kurichiya warriors, is in Mananthavady.
Lakkidi, the entry-point to Wayanad on the road from Kozhikode, receives the highest rainfalls in India.
Pookode lake is a famous tourist centre near Lakkidi.
For the adventurous: Chembra peak, Banasura peak and Brahmagiri peak will provide a tough trek experience.
Kuruva Dweep (10 km from Mananthavady) is a unique and fragile delta system on the Kabini River.
Ananthanatha Swami Temple, (also known as ParswanathaSwamy Jain Temple at Puliyarmala) is a beautiful Jain temple located at Puliyarmala, 6 km from Kalpetta.
Pakshipathalam is a very popular trekking spot on the Kerala-Karnataka border.
Soochipara, Kanthapara, and Meenmutty are waterfalls in the Meppadi-Ambalavayal region.
Thovarimala Ezhuthupara is 5 km from Sulthan Bathery have 400M trekking to reach Thovarimal Ezhuthupara we can see stone age pictorial writing on a rock
Meenmutty Falls is 29 km from Kalpetta in Wayanad District . It is Kerala's second largest waterfall and the one most unspoiled in its natural setting.