No religion can be said to be predominant in this district. The different religious groups of the state are more or less equally represented. A characteristic aspect of Wayanad is a large Adivasi population. Though they are in the Hindu fold, primitive forms of worship still prevail among them. Ancestral worship and offerings to propitiate the spirits of ancestors are still prevalent. Two deities commonly worshipped by the Adivasis are Thampuratty and Vettakkorumakan. They are worship the Hindu gods of various temples in the district. Adivasis do not have any temple of their own. Paniyar, Adiyan, Kurichyar, Kurumar, Kattunaikar, Kadan and Oorali are the different aboriginal tribes of Wayanad. The Kurichyar are the most developed among them. They are small landowners, whereas the members of other tribes are mostly laborers.
Some of the centuries old temples and their Brahmin settlements suggest the earliest attempts that were made to bring the Adivasis under the Hindu religious fold. The Thirunelly and Valliyoorkavu temples which are known outside Wayanad as the temples of Adivasis, are in fact run by Hindu settlers with the help of Brahmin priests. Adivasis are allowed to worship and participate in the festivals of these temples. More than anything else, the myths woven around the temples including the one about Sita, Rama’s consort and her two sons Leva and Kusa, have drown the aboriginal mind to the Hindu system of belief.
Wayanad has a small Jain community consisting of the Gounders who came from Karnataka. They have built beautiful temples all over the district.
Almost all sections of Christianity are well represented. The Syrian Catholics have their Bishop’s house at Sulthan bathery and the Roman Catholics have their own at Mananthavady. The Bishop’s house of the Jacobite Syrian Church is at Meenangadi. One fourth of the population of Wayanad is constituted by Christians. They are the largest religious groups in Wayanad. A section of Kurichyas of Mananthavady has been converted to Chriatianity.
Muslims constitute another one fourth of the population. They are Moplas who came from Malappuram and Kozhikode districts. A large number of them are laborers. Muslim woman labourers are a usual sight here. Hindus of different castes like Nairs, Thiyyas etc. who settled here from different parts of Kerala, form the rest of the population.
“If you have a day to chop down a tree,
spend half a day sharpening your axe.”