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Malabar Manual Vol 2
William Logan

By V. Chappu Menon, B.A.

Boundaries Area and Population.—The Wynad taluk which forms part of the table-land of Mysore originally consisted of three divisions known as North Wynad, South Wynad and South-East Wynad, comprising seven, six and three amsams respectively. The North and South Wynad divisions still appertain to the Malabar district, but the south-east portion, consisting of the amsams of Nambalakod, Munnanad and Cherankod, was transferred to the Nilgiri district with effect from 31st March 1877 (Fort St. George Gazette, dated 13th March 1877).

This article is confined to the notice of the Malabar-Wynad, Mr. A. E. C. Stuart who has been engaged for some time in the settlement of forests and of escheat claims in Wynad having, with the sanction of Government, undertaken the preparation of a special manual for the entire tracts known at present as the Nilgiri-Wynad and the Malabar-Wynad.

The Malabar-Wynad is bounded on the north by Kottayam and Coorg, on the east by Mysore, on the south by the Nilgiri district and Ernad, and on the west by Calicut and Kurumbranad.

Area.—999 square miles, of which 80 square miles may be said to be under cultivation.

Population.—According to the census of 1881, the population numbered 88,091 souls, of whom 76,898 were Hindus, 9,056 were Muhammadans, 1,983 were Christians and 154 belonged to other classes. The males were to the females as 49,661 to 38,430. The number of houses occupied was 8,666 and of those unoccupied 3,982.

Physical Aspects.—Wynad is an elevated and exceedingly picturesque mountainous plateau. It is generally rugged and broken and has some of the largest mountain peaks in the district. The central portions consist of ranges of low hills of easy slopes, covered with grass and low bamboo jungle, while the eastern parts are fairly open and flat and merge insensibly into the table-land of Mysore. The Nilgiri-Kunda range abuts on the south-east corner of the taluk, while the Bramagiri hills on the north separate it from Coorg. The average height of the plateau above sea-level is 3,000 feet, though many of the mountain peaks are over 5,000 feet, e.g., Vavul mala (Camel’s Hump), the highest peak in the taluk, is 7,677 feet ; Vellera mala, 7,364 feet ; Banasur, 6,762 feet ; and Bramagiri peak, 5,276 feet.

Mountains and Forests.—The table-land of Wynad is composed of low ridges with innumerable valleys running in all directions ; the only space which is of a more level surface is about Porakudi, Panamaram and Ganapativattam, in the south-east. The eastern portion is under heavy forest and few hills appear. The whole of it is undulating. The ghats from the Periah pass towards the Tamarasseri pass and 11 miles to the east are lofty consisting of immense peaks, from 5,000 to 6,000 feet and occupy a large surface.

To the north of Manantoddy (5 miles) is a lofty ridge branching off from the ghats and north of it (4 miles) is the famous mountain of Bramagiri. This ridge forms the limit common to Coorg and Wynad and between these two ridges lies the valley of Tirunelli. In the interior are several detached hills of considerable elevation. The following are the principal mountains —

(1) The Balasur or Banasuran mala (ബാണാസരൻ), called after the giant Banasuran who is supposed to have built a fort on its summit.

(2) Bramagiri, supposed to be the abode of the god Brahma, and which would make a splendid sanatorium.

(3) Chambra mala (ചമ്പ്രമല)

(4) Tala mala (തലമല).

(5) Tariyott or Terriote mala (നരിയോട്ട്മല).

(6) Vavul mala (Camel’s Hump).

(7) Elampileri mala (എളമ്പിലേരിമല).

The forests in Wynad are very valuable. A note on them prepared by the District Forest Officer, Mr Rhodes Morgan, will be found at the end of this paper.

Rivers .—The important rivers in the taluk are —

(1) The Kabbani which has its principal sources in the Western Ghats. They take their rise in the valley of the high mountains northwest and north-east above the Tamarasseri pass. Several streams, such as the Kalpetta, the Manantoddy and the Bavalli join this river, which when united drains nearly the whole of North and South Wynad.

(2) The Chola or Solayar, one of the main tributaries of the Beypore river which leaps down in a magnificent cataract from the crest of the hills close to the Choladi pass into the Nilambur valley.

(3) The Manantoddy pula which has its sources in the mountains between Banasur peak and the summit of the Kuttiyadi and Periah passes and joins the Kabbani near the famous Fish Pagoda.

(4) The Panamaram pula.

(5) The Kunattu pula (കുന്നത്തു) in Vayitiri amsam.

(6) The Putusseri pula in Kurumbala amsam.

(7) The Kanayamcheri pula (കണയഞ്ചേരി) in Etannatassakur amsam.

(8) The Alatur pula (ആലത്തൂർ) in Ganapathi Vattam amsam.

Nos. (4) to (8) united join the Manantoddy river near the Fish Pagoda and form the upper waters of the Kabbani.

The Rampur and the Moyar rivers chiefly drain the South-East Wynad.

Passes— main passes uniting the low country with the taluk are —

(1) The Smugglers’ pass from Dindimal to Manatana.

(2) The Periah pass descending on Kannavam in Kottayam taluk.

(3) The Ellacherum pass (Cardamom Mountain pass) leading to Kuttiyadi in Kurumbranad taluk.

(4) The Kuttiyadi pass also descending on Kuttiyadi.

(5) The Tariyott pass likewise leading to Kuttiyadi.

(6) The Tamarasseri pass into Calicut taluk.

(7) The Choladi pass leading into the Nilambur valley.

(8) The Karkur pass into the Ernad taluk.

Nos. (2), (6) and (8) are broad roads open for cart traffic. No, (3) is only available for horse or pack-bullocks. The remaining are minor passes, used only by foot-passengers.

History.— The traditionary history of Wynad is very obscure, but the following account of it has the merit of having been in vogue in the early years of British rule.

The country was formerly held by a line of Vedar Rajas ruling the Vedars (wild hunters), and thus much is probably correct, for Wynad has been the last refuge and is still the home of many aboriginal tribes, Kurumbars, Kurichiyars, Panniyars, etc., driven up probably from the low country of Malabar.

In the times of the Vedar Rajas, a man of the Kshatriya caste called the “Cumbala Raja” (? Kumbla) came to Wynad from the north with a view to visit the Tirunelli shrine. He was taken prisoner and carried before the Vedar Raja, who insisted, before permitting him to depart, on his marrying one of the daughters of the kingly Vedar line.

Being a Kshatriya he would not consent to marry into the Vedar tribe, but as the Raja was inexorable he at last agreed on the condition that the ceremony should be carried out in accordance with Kshatriya customs. This was allowed and a delay occurred while marriage pandals and other preparations were being made. Taking advantage of this delay, the imprisoned Raja communicated with the Kshatriya Rajas of Kottayam and Kurumbranad in the low country, and these princes, with their forces, put in an appearance on the wedding day. The Vedar Raja was besieged in his fort ; the fort was taken, and the Vedar Raja and most of his people were slain.

The intended bride of the "Cumbala Raja” was given, it is said, in marriage to one of the Nambiar caste who was entrusted by the Kottayam and Kurumbranad Rajas with the government of the country.

The allied Rajas next consulted, it is said, how to divide the country so as to avoid disputes. To this end they set out in different directions and agreed to make the place where they should meet the boundary. This plan failed, as may well be conceived by any one who has even now-a-days tried to find his way through the elephant grass and tangled swamps with which Wynad abounds.

The Kottayam Raja then generously gave up all his claims to the country to the Kurumbranad Raja, stipulating only that if posterity failed the latter country should come to him and his posterity.

An ascetic with matted hair, who had been one of the attendants of the Cumbala Raja, settled down, it is said, in Wynad, and his daughter was afterwards married to a Kottayam Raja. It is not said what became of the other attendant who is described as a Sudra Vellalan. Subsequently the Kottayam and Kurumbranad families fell out, and by the time the British raj was established, the Kottayam family was supreme in the taluk.

It is unnecessary to detail here the events of the Palassi (Pychy) Raja’s rebellion and death, as these have been treated fully in Volume I.

The attainder passed on him and his heirs in Wynad deserves, however, a few remarks.

On the 16th June 1805, Lieut.-Colonel MacLeod offered rewards for the apprehension of the Palassi (Pychy) Raja and eleven of his principal adherents, and “also made known that all the estates and property belonging to the described rebels is confiscated from this date”. The rebel leader and five of his followers were killed on the 30th November 1805.

The sentence of forfeiture pronounced on the 16th June 1805 has never been effectively carried out, though from time to time attempts have been made to ascertain the exact limits of the "Pychy escheats” with a view to the assertion of the rights of the State therein.

The consequence has been that many of the lands in Wynad—the janmam property of the Pychy rebels and therefore the property of the State by forfeiture—have been usurped by fictitious janmis, whose claims are now being investigated. The decisions arrived at in the various claims preferred and investigated will be carried out at the new revenue settlement of the tract about to be commenced.

Subdivisions of the Taluk for Administrative Purposes.—Wynad originally comprised eleven hoblis consisting of thirteen amsams, the latter being subsequently increased to 16 by the creation of Peria, Vayitiri and Cherankod amsams. The names of the hoblis and of the ancient and modem amsams are shown below : —

Pulpalli desam which formed part of the Kuppatod amsam was transferred to Puthadi amsam in 1884 under Board’s Proceedings, dated 9th Angust 1884, No. 2754.

The taluk was formerly under the Sub-Collector, Tellicherry, who was replaced by the Deputy Collector on the creation of that class of officers on the 12th August 1859. Its civil jurisdiction vested in the Deputy Tahsildar, Vayitiri, and the Deputy Collector, Manantoddy, until 1879, when a separate Munsif’s Court was established at Vayitiri for the entire tract (vide notification in the Fort St. George Gazette, dated 28th January 1879, page 112).

The seven amsams of North Wynad forming the Tahsildar-Magistrate’s jurisdiction are subordinate to the District and Sessions Court, Tellicherry, for judicial purposes ; whilst those of the South Wynad forming the Deputy Tahsildar’s charge are subordinate to the District and Sessions Court, Calicut (vide notifications in the Fort St. George Gazette, dated 2nd January 1863, 3rd March, and 15th October 1886).

Until recently, the District Munsif, Vayitiri, was subordinate only to the District Court, Calicut, but in the Govemment notifications, dated 3rd March and 15th October 1886, already quoted, he was placed in subordination to both the North Malabar and South Malabar District Courts. The District Munsif is generally invested with first-class magisterial powers with a view to presiding at the Bench of Honorary Magistrates for South Wynad.

The following are the principal public offices :—

(1) The Deputy Collector and Magistrate located at Manantoddy.

(2) The Tahsildar and Sub-Magistrate located at Manantoddy.

(3) The Police Inspector located at Manantoddy.

(4) The Deputy Tahsildar and Sub-Magistrate located at Vayitiri.

(6) The Police Inspector located at Vayitiri.

(6) The District Munsif located at Vayitiri.

(7) The Sub-Registrar, Manantoddy, under the District Registrar. Tellicherry.

(8) The Sub-Registrar, Vayitiri, under the District Registrar, Calicut.

(9) Combined Postal and Telegraph office at Vayitiri.

(10) Other Post offices at Manantoddy, Kalpetta. Tariyott, Sultan’s Battery and Mepadi.

(11) Police stations at Manantoddy, Oliyot, Koroth, Panamaram, Kalpetta, Vayitiri, Mepadi, Tariyott, Sultan’s Battery and Periah.

(12) Sub-Assistant Conservator at Manantoddy and his subordinates,

(13) Local Fund Supervisors and Sub-Overseers at Vayitiri and Manantoddy.

(14) Local Fund Middle School at Manantoddy.

(15) Vaccine staff for North and South Wynad under the control of the Deputy Inspectors of Tellicherry and Calicut circles respectively.

(16) Hospitals at Vayitiri and Manantoddy in charge of Apothecaries ; the latter being supervised till August 1886 by a European medical officer, who drew a special allowance of Rs. 150 per mensem from Government.

(17) Bench of Magistrates, North Wynad.

(18) Do. South Wynad.

Manantoddy.—In Vemom desam of Ellurnad amsam, is the headquarters of the Deputy Collector and of the Tahsildar of Wynad. It contains, in addition to public offices, a hospital, a travellers’ bungalow, a chattram in Buffalo street and another at Bavalli and a middle school, and is the centre of some trade. A weekly market is held here on Sundays.

There was formerly a cantonment at this place on a low flat hill, consisting of a small redoubt, an artillery shed, a range of officers’ quarters, place-of-arms, hospital, etc. The important religious institutions in the Ellurnad amsam are—(1) Tirunelli temple (തിരുനെല്ലി ക്ഷേത്രം) (2) Trichaleri temple (തൃശ്ശലെരി ക്ഷേത്രം), (3) Valliyurkava (വള്ളിയൂർക്കാവ്), the famous Fish Pagoda (VoL I., p. 537), (4) the Roman Catholic church. There is a Protestant cemetery at Manantoddy and another at Vayitiri. Tirunelli and Trichaleri are considered most sacred places, and a short account of the origin of the temple at the former locality is given below.

Tirunelli temple (literally the temple having the sacred nelli tree) lies in a valley of the mountains to the south of the Bramagiri peak. It is known by three different names, viz., (1) Tirunelli temple (തിരുനെല്ലി ക്ഷേത്രം) (2) Amalaka temple (ആമലകക്ഷേത്രം) and (3) Sidha temple (സിദ്ധ ക്ഷേത്രം). It is believed to have been dedicated by Brahma to Vishnu known as Deva Devesan (ദേവദേവേശൻ) and Tirunelli Perumal (തിരുനെല്ലി പെരുമാൾ). The mythological origin of the temple is as follows.

Once upon a time when Brahma was enjoying one of his periodical peregrinations, he happened to be delighted beyond measure with this place with a grove of most beautiful trees and plants, of flowers and foliage among which stood a nelli tree (Phyllanthus emblica), on which was seen the image of Vishnu with four hands bedecked with numerous fine jewels.

The image immediately vanished from sight. Being overtaken with grief and surprise at this sudden disappearance, Brahma engaged himself in deep contemplation, when the image reappeared and he heard the following words uttered by an invisible being : “The image that thou hast seen is that of Vishnu, the excellence of this place draws and keeps him here". Convinced of these divine utterances Brahma made a temple, consecrated Vishnu therein and entrusted its keeping to two pious Brahmins of the Amalaka village.

The Brahma ordained that visits to, and prayers at, the temple would remove the sins committed though they were for generations, and secure paradise, and that the performance of prayers and ceremonies would lead to the translation of the spirits of the departed, who have not obtained salvation, to the "Pithurloka" (regions of blissful spirits) wherein to enjoy eternal happiness. This blessing, pronounced by the Brahma, is believed in by Hindus, and pilgrimages are therefore undertaken to the shrine.

In connection with the temple there are seven holy water fountains, which are:

(1) Papa-nasini (പാപനാശിനി), literally extinguisher of sins, (2) Panchathirtham (പഞ്ചതീർത്ഥം), (3) Irnamochini-thirtham (ഋണമോചിനിതീർത്ഥം), (4) Gunnika-thirtham (ഗുണ്ണികതീർത്ഥം) (5) Sata-vinnu (ശതവിന്ദു), (6) Sahasravinnu (സഹസ്രവിന്ദു), (7) Varaham (വരാഹം).

There is a rock called Pinnapara (പിണ്ഡപ്പാറ) where offerings to the spirits of the departed are made, and this rock is supposed to be the bone of an asuran (demon) named Palana-bhedi (പാഴാണഭേദി), who was killed by Vishnu and who at the time of his death prayed to that deity that his body might be converted into a rock extending from Tirunelli to Gaya and divided into three parts fit for the performance of offerings for the departed, viz., at (1) Tirunelli representing his foot, (2) Godaveri representing the middle part, and (3) Gaya representing the head.

Offerings at any of these three places are supposed to have special benefits in producing happiness and in the propitiation of the spirits. For the safeguarding of the temple four shrines have been created, viz., the shrine (1) of Durga at the east, (2) of Siva at the south, and (3) at the west and (4) of Subramaniam at the north. These four shrines are supposed to represent (1) Valliyurkava temple (വള്ളിയൂർക്കാവ), (2) Trichaleri temple (തൃശ്ശളെരി) (3) Tricharakuimu temple (തൃച്ഛറകുന്നു), and (4) a temple said to exist in the Brahmagiri mountains.

There are some old copper plate grants in this temple in the Vatteluthu (വട്ടെഴുത്തു) character which have not yet been deciphered.

In the desam of Arattuthara (literally a place of bathing the idol), in Ellurnad amsam, is situated the Valliyurkava temple, at which a festival takes place annually, when an immense concourse of people assemble and live in small booths built from materials obtained on the spot. Feeding the mahseer and other carp which abound in the pool of the river lying close to this shrine is considered meritorious, and hence the popular name of the “Fish Pagoda” by which it is generally known to Europeans.

Vayitiri.—In the amsam of the same name, is the seat of the District Munsif and of the Deputy Tahsildar. It contains likewise the offices of the Sub-Registrar and the Police Inspector and is a place of some importance. The Bench of Magistrates for South Wynad meets at Vayitiri. There is a Hindu temple known as Kunnath ampalam now in ruins. There is also a Roman Catholic chapel in fair condition and a chattram.

About a mile to the south-west of the village lies the Pukkote lake, a natural sheet of water among hills, the only thing of the kind of which the district can boast. On the picturesque bank of the lake the European planters of the district have built a club, and there is a large store adjoining it.

Lackadi—in the same amsam, lies at the head of the Tamarasseri ghat pass and contains a bungalow, a chattram and the ruins of the old Mysorean stockade (Lekkiti-kotta), from which it derives its name.

Periah—in the amsam of the same name, is about 19 miles from Manantoddy and lies on the road to Tellicherry. It is celebrated for its cardamom cultivation, and has a travellers' bungalow, a chattram and a Police station.

Nallurnad.—Payingatiri, in Nallurnad amsam, is a Brahman village ot some note, and is about two miles from Manantoddy. The amsam contains a mosque known as Pallikkal Angadiyil palli (പള്ളിക്കൽ അങ്ങാടിയിൽ പള്ളി) and a bazaar.

Kupputot.—Panapuram or Panamaram (literally the place of palms) in Kuppatot amsam was once a strong military post consisting of an extensive square mud fort with a sepoy place-of-arms and other buildings ; but the whole of it is now in ruins.

It contains now a Mappilla bazaar and a Police station.

Putati.—Putati and Purakati in Putati amsam, are places of note. At the former is a temple known as Arimula Ayyappan temple, on the east wall of the mandapam of which is an inscription, dated K.A. 922 (A.D. 1746), in a mixture of four languages. There is a Canarese inscription on a stone which belonged to the Patiri temple, but is now in the possession of Patiri Manjaya Gavundan. In the hamlet of Pakkam is a free Standing stone.

At Kaniyampatta, in the Putati amsam, there is a bungalow belonging to the District Board.

Porunnanur amsam contains the bazaar known as (1) Kellurangadi palli (കെല്ലൂർ അങ്ങാടിപള്ളി) and also three mosques called (1) Kellurangadi palli (ചൊല്ലൂർ അങ്ങാടി പള്ളി), (2) Palanchana angadi palli (പഴഞ്ചന അങ്ങാടി പള്ളി) and (3) Kandattvayal palli (കണ്ടത്തവയൽ പള്ളി).

Tondarnad.—Korom or Koroth in Tondarnad amsam is a place of considerable trade chiefly in the hands of the Mappillas. It contains a travellers' bungalow, a Police station, two Hindu temples known as Tondarakotta (തൊണ്ടരക്കോട്ട ക്ഷേത്രം) and Bhagavati Kavu (ഭഗവതികാവ്) and two mosques called Koroth angadi palli (കൊറൊത്ത അങ്ങാടി പള്ളി) and Koroth putiya palli (കൊറൊത്ത പുതിയ പള്ളി).

Etannatassakur.—Kalpatta alias Kalpatti, in Etannatassakur amsam is a place of some note from its being the residence of some Brahmans and Chettis. It is on the high road from the Tamarasseri pass, and contains a bungalow and a chattram.

Tariyott—is another place in the same amsam of some note, and contains a chattram.

Ganapativattam— (literally the circle or range of the god Ganapati) otherwise known as Sultan's Battery from the fact that Tippu Sultan had a fort here, is a village of little importance. There was a British regiment stationed here in the early part of the present century. On the hill known as Nalapat chala kunnu is a stone having an inscription in old Tamil on two sides. It has not yet been read. There is another on the Dipastambha (lamp post) at the Ganapati temple, and a third on a stone standing in the north court of the Mariyamma temple. In the hamlet of Kitanganat are twelve dolmens, a menhir and three carved stones.

Muppainad—contains a small fort and a pagoda of some importance dedicated to Vettakorumakan. The Devaswam is usually known as the Muttil Devaswam. In the hamlet of Muttil are 22 dolmens, and in Chingeri 2.

Christian Churches and Cemeteries.—There are two Roman Catholic chapels in the taluk, one at Manantoddy and the other at Vayitiri, also a Protestant chapel at Chundale and a temporary edifice at Vayitiri used for divine service by the Protestant community. At Vayitiri the service is performed by the Chaplain of Calicut, and at Manantoddy by the Chaplain of Cannanore.

At the latter station there is no separate building, the service being performed in the Local Fund school-house. There are two Protestant cemeteries, one at Manantoddy and the other at Vayitiri, which are in good condition. The Roman Catholic cemeteries are not secured by proper walls.

Bungalows and Chattrams.—There are bungalows at (1) Periah, (2) Koroth, (3) Manantoddy, (4) Lakkidi, and (5) Sultan’s Battery, and chattrams at (1) Periah, (2) Manantoddy, (3) Bavalli, (4) Kalpetta, (5) Tariyott, (6) Lakkidi, (7) Vayritri and (8) Sultan’s Battery.

Mines, Minerals and Manufactures.—Iron ore may be obtained in several parts, but none of it is manufactured. The principal rocks, which are gneisses, granites, etc., are traversed by quartz reefs, which are frequently auriferous, but they are found chiefly in South-east Wynad.

The favourable, reports on the auriferous character of the Wynad fields led to several companies being formed for working gold, and although several blocks of estates were purchased for this purpose, no operations are now being carried on in Malabar-Wynad. The collapse of the mining industry, which at one time promised to be so important, told seriously on the other, and ordinary pursuits, such as the planting of coffee and other products. The jungle tribes from a remote period used to work gold from the sands of rivers which are sometimes mixed with gold particles. This practice has now fallen into desuetude.

Soil and Productions.—The soil in the cultivated valleys is a fine rich brown, on the heights it is mostly red mixed with gravel. Towards the east and the woody tract it is almost black and rich from the accumulation of dry leaves and other matter. The productions are generally different kinds of rice, horse-gram and other dry grains, castor and other oil seeds and sugarcane, from which latter, jaggery to a very limited extent is manufactured.

Since 1840, the cultivation of coffee has occupied the attention of European planters and proved for a long time highly remunerative. Owing, however, to leaf-disease and other causes, the industry began to languish, and hopes are now centered in tea and cinchona plantations as well as in coffee.

The taluk produces very little pepper and no coconuts nor arecanuts, though a few trees of each may be seen. Cardamoms are produced in great plenty between the Periah and Kuttiyadi passes, and are considered to be of a superior quality. Small quantities are also obtained on the slopes of the mountains forming the Tamarasseri valley above the pass. Large quantities oi honey and bees' wax are obtained from the forests and rocks among the mountains. These useful articles find a ready sale in the seaport towns, from whence they are exported. Some tobacco is produced, but only in small quantities and for private consumption.

Inams.—The inams granted in the Wynad taluk are the following:

(1) Pumalathalachil Bharadevata (goddess) temple in Kuppattot amsam, Rs. 96-10—4.

(2) Pallimalamma Bhagavati (goddess) temple in Tondernad amsam, Rs. 11-6-0.

The inams granted in the above amsams are intended to defray the expenses attending the usual ceremonies in the temples.

Cattle and other Animals.—Cattle and buffaloes are numerous and are sometimes a source of mischief to planters. Sheep and goats are almost unknown except such as are imported for food. The taluk abounds with deer (sambur) and wild pigs. Elephants and bison are also to be found in the ghat forests. Tigers are fairly numerous, and panthers abound to such an extent as to be an intolerable nuisance to any one with pet dogs.

A peculiar practice of spearing tigers and panthers obtains among the Chettis in Ganapativattam, Muppainad and Putati amsams. When a kill takes place, the beast of prey is quietly allowed to gorge itself with beef, and under such circumstances it lies up in the first favourable sheltering cover it finds. Word is sent round the country and the people bearing nets and spears quietly assemble at the spot. If the patch of jungle in which the animal has lain up is of small extent, the nets are immediately run up round it and fastened to stout stakes driven into the ground. The nets are of ordinary thin rope, and, when stretched, are about 5 feet high.

Ordinarily, however, the matter is not so easily arranged, but the probable course of the animal after it is roused is usually well known, a piece of likely jungle is selected and three sides of it are beforehand netted in. Scouts are posted, the animal is then disturbed, and as soon as it enters the netted space, the fourth side is immediately closed with nets, the workers being protected by the spearmen while this ticklish operation is in hand.

The animal thus netted rarely escapes, the netted space is gradually reduced in size by clearing away brushwood and eventually the animal is confined in a space measuring some 18 or 20 yards in diameter.

The aid of the village deity is invoked, and the huntsmen armed with spears challenge the animal to combat at the time pronounced by the oracle to be favourable for action. The ground where the so-called combat is fought is called Narikandi (tiger-ground), and people sometimes have to await the oracular revelations for four or five days.

At the hour appointed, the animal is enraged by every sort of device : when its first low muttered growls are heard, the spearmen surrounding the net in an unbroken phalanx shout in response ; the growls gradually become louder and more continuous, until at last breaking into short and sharp savage grunts, the maddened animal delivers a charge full at the net when the spearmen half mad themselves from arrack and excitement receive it on their spear points. Several such charges are usually delivered before the animal receives its death thrust.

The skin of a tiger or panther thus slain is never removed either for obtaining rewards from Government, or for sale, but the carcass is hung, on a horizontal bar and there allowed to rot.

Fairs and Markets.—Weekly markets are held on Sundays at Vayitiri and Manantoddy. A large fair is held for five days at Valliyur Kavu (fish pagoda) during the annual festival ; markets are also held at Kalpetta, Tariyott, Mepadi and Sultan’s Battery.

Climate.—The climate of Wynad is much cooler than the low country, being about 3,000 to 4,000 feet above the level of the sea. The thermometer during the cool weather is as low as 60°, but during the months of March, April and May, it rises to 84° and sometimes higher. On the whole, it is considered unhealthy, owing chiefly to defective water-supply and the prevalence of malaria.

Manantoddy is, from a climatic point of view, better than Vayitiri, and has comparatively an open country around it. From October to January the climate may be said to be fairly dry, cool and salubrious ; from February to May hot land-winds blow and fever is prevalent ; from June to October rain falls with short intermissions, and though the temperature is lower and fever less general than in the preceding months, dysentery, diarrhoea and rheumatism are common. The average rainfall of the taluk for three years is given below :

Trigonometrical Stations.—There is but one survey station to be preserved and annually reported on (Board’s Proceedings, dated 28th July 1886, No. 1706).

Traffic Registry Stations.—Two stations for registering the traffic with Mysore were opened in December 1880 at Bavalli and Sultan’s Battery. The statistics of trade for 1885-86 are given below:-

Imports into Malabar from Mysore

Exports from Malabar to Mysore


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