Wayanad forest area has been inhabited by people for more than 3000 years. Long back the Wayanad area was ruled by the Vedar kings. The Vedars captured a Prince who was the Raja of Kumbala and was kept as hostage. So the Raja of Kottayam and Kurumbranad invaded this area. The Vedar ruler along with his people was killed. The Vedar king’s daughter survived in the battle and she was married to a Nair aristocrat named Nanthillath Nambiyar. The remaining Vedars who survived settled at Veliyambam and Nambiyar was made the Moopil Nair of this region.
Later they decided the partition of Kottayam-Malabar and the Kurumbranad. The Raja of Kottayam possessed the North Western part of Wayanad and the Raja of Kurumbranad had control over the South Eastern part of Wayanad. Some disputes arouse between them and the Raja of Kurumbranad gave his region to the Raja of Kottayam. The palace and some properties were not handed over however. The Raja of Kottayam then divided Wayanad onto 10 Swaroopam and a governor was appointed in each place. These Swaroopam were further divided into Chiefdoms and was under the control of the Moopil Nairs.
During the 18th century, Wayanad was ruled by the Pazhassi Raja of Kottayam. It was during that time the Mysore ruler Hyder Ali captured Wayanad. But the Raja of Kurumbranad helped the British to defeat the Mysore ruler Tipu Sulthan to capture Wayanad and thus Wayanad came under the control of the British. There were fights between Pazhassi Raja and the British and finally Pazhassi Raja was killed in 1805.
In 1956, when the Kerala state was formed Wayanad was a part of the Cannanore district. In 1957, South part of Wayanad was combined with Kozhikode district and north part remained with Cannanore. Later in 1980, the district of Wayanad was formed by combining both the north and south part.