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The name Wayanad is believed to be derived from the expression, vayal nadu, the village of paddy fields. However scholars have their own reasons to disagree. According to them, Wayanad, in earlier times was known as Mayakshetra (Mayas land). It later gave way to the name Mayanad and still later to Wayanad.
Evidence in form of relics and edicts indicate inhabitation of the area as early as in the New Stone Age. However, recorded history is available only from the time of the 18th century. In earlier times the land was ruled over by the Veda rajas and later it came under the Pazhassi Raja of the Padinjare Kovilakom of the Kottayam family. During the reigns of Hyder Ali of Mysore, Wayanad came under his rule, however with the defeat of his son, Tipu Sultan, at the hands of British, the entire Malabar region went to the British. This was followed by an intense revolution led by the Pazhassi Raja. The revolution ended only after the death of the raja himself.
The British reign ushered in an era of tea and other cash crop cultivation. Roads were laid down in the precarious areas of the regions thereby opening up newer land for cultivation. With the increase in the British power, organized cultivation came into limelight.
Post independence, when the state of Kerala was created in 1956, Wayanad formed a part of the Kannur district of Kerala. Later, its southern part was added to the Kozhikode district. Finally, in the year 1980 on 1st November, north and south Wayanad were merged together to form the 12th district of Kerala, Wayanad.The district is predominantly a tribal stronghold settled in scattered communities in the lush green vegetation and abundant forests here.
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