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Sulthan Bathery or Ganapativattom? Know the history of this Wayanad town that BJP wants renamed

Kerala Bharatiya Janata Party chief K Surendran reignited a historical debate by suggesting the renaming of Sulthan Bathery in Wayanad district back to its former name, Ganapativattom. This suggestion has sparked controversy, especially during the Lok Sabha Elections, drawing criticism from the ruling Left and Opposition Congress

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Sulthan Bathery or Ganapativattom? Know the history of this Wayanad town that BJP wants renamed
First Published Apr 11, 2024, 1:08 PM IST

Kerala Bharatiya Janata Party chief K Surendran reignited the historical debate over Suthan Bathery in Wayanad district when he suggested that the place should be renamed by its former name, Ganapativattom. Surendran said that the name Sultan Bathery came as a part of foreign domination and the name change was inevitable. The timing of the remark, coinciding with the Lok Sabha Elections has sparked outrage among the ruling Left and the Opposition Congress who termed it as an attempt to divide the society.

History of Sulthan Bathery

Sulthan Bathery, also known as Sultan Bathery, holds a significant place in the history of Kerala, India. Situated in the Wayanad district, this town's roots stretch back centuries, intertwining with legends, conquests, and cultural exchanges.

The origin of the name "Sulthan Bathery" is steeped in history. It is believed to have been named after Tipu Sultan, the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore, who used the region strategically during his military campaigns in the 18th century. The term "Bathery" is thought to be derived from the term "Battere," which means a line of troops.

However, before the arrival of Tipu Sultan, the area was known by its original name, "Ganapativattom." It was inhabited by indigenous tribes like the Kurichiyans and Paniyas, who lived in harmony with nature and practised traditional agricultural methods.

The Sulthan Bathery Kotta

The town's transformation began with the construction of the historic fort by Tipu Sultan. The fort, known locally as "Sulthan Bathery Kotta" or "Tipu's Fort," served as a military outpost and played a crucial role in Tipu Sultan's efforts to control the Malabar region. It was strategically located to monitor trade routes and maintain dominance over the surrounding areas.

The fort's architecture reflects a blend of Mysorean and indigenous styles, with thick walls, bastions, and watchtowers. It stood as a symbol of power and authority during Tipu Sultan's reign, witnessing numerous battles and conquests.

The Ancient Trade Route

Apart from its military significance, Sulthan Bathery was also an important centre for trade and commerce. It was situated along ancient trade routes that connected the ports of Kerala with the hinterlands of the subcontinent. Traders from different parts of India and abroad frequented the town, exchanging goods and ideas.

Jain Landmark in Sulthan Bathery

One of the town's most prominent landmarks is the Jain Temple complex. Dating back to the 13th century, these temples are a testament to the region's rich Jain heritage. The intricate carvings and architectural details reflect the craftsmanship of the artisans of that era.

Over the centuries, Sulthan Bathery has witnessed the rise and fall of kingdoms, cultural exchanges, and the ebb and flow of history. It has remained a melting pot of cultures, with influences from Hindu, Jain, and Islamic traditions shaping its identity.

Modern Age Sulthan Bathery

Today, Sulthan Bathery is a bustling town, bustling with activity and vibrant culture. It serves as a gateway to the Wayanad district, attracting tourists with its historical sites, scenic beauty, and warm hospitality. The town's rich history and cultural heritage continue to captivate visitors, offering a glimpse into Kerala's storied past.

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