derives its name from the Pala (Alsteria Scholaris) tree and kadu (forest).
Its geographical position, historical background, rural nature, educational
status, tourist attractions and above all developmental activities are vivid
and varied. Palakkad
district provides the inlet for the rest of
India to the State through a 32 to 40 mt wide natural gap. In the 960 km
long Western Ghats this gap is perhaps the most influential factor in the
unique characteristics of the district. It has also contributed to the
commercial as well as cultural exchanges between the State and the rest of
The district which lies at the foot of the colossal Western Ghats has only
midland and highland areas. Much of the area is made up of plains, scattered
with a few hillocks. The plains are so fertile and productive that the
district is considered the "Granary of Kerala". Along with Idukki,
is the other district in Kerala which has the rare
distinguishing characteristic of not having a sea coast. Kerala's longest
river Bharathapuzha flows through the district. The Bharathapuzha has little
commercial significance but holds a special place in the cultural psyche of
the State. The present Palakkad district as an administrative unit was
formed on the first of January 1957. Palakkad in Kerala
famous Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary. The area is also perfect for
trekking. Other wildlife sanctuary in the region include the Silent Valley
National Park which has store of birds and animals.
The nearest airport is Coimbatore, 55 km. away. To
the south is Cochin Airport, 16Okm. away.
There are two railway stations, the main, Palakkad
Junction is 5 km from the city.
Palakkad is connected by good motorable roads to
all the major towns of Kerala and the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu.
Places of interest - Palakkad
Palakkad Fort :
The Palakkad Fort dates back to 1766 A.D.,
the fort is well preserved. It was built by Haider Ali of Mysore, supposedly
to facilitate communication between Coimbatore and the West Coast. In 1784
after a siege lasting eleven days, the British Colonel, Fullerton stormed
the Fort. It later fell into the hands of the Zamorin's troops but was
recaptured by the British in 1790. It is now preserved by the Archaeological
Survey of India.
Malampuzha Garden :
This famous picnic
spot which comprises a dam and beautifully landscaped gardens, is situated
on the lower hills of the Western Ghats. There are frequent buses to this
place from Palakkad. Situated at a distance of 10 km from Palakkad.
A forest range 75 km from Palakkad, the
Nelliyampathy hills comprise a chain of ridges cut off from one another by
valleys of dense evergreen forests and orange plantations. The height of the
hills range from 467 mt to the tallest peak Padagiri looming at 1572 mt.
Accessing Nelliyampathy from Palakkad is hair-raising in itself with over a
dozen hairpin curves on the ghat road passing through the fascinating
jungles of the Sahya Ranges. En route, 17 km from Palakkad, the shimmering
Pothundi Reservoir and its manicured surroundings make for an ideal stop
over. This hill country is the delight of trekkers.
Killikkurissimangalam at Lakkidi is the
birthplace of Kunchan Nambiar, the 18th century satirist and exponent of the
Tullal (classical art form). The poet's house has been preserved as a
monument by the State Government. Located at a distance of 30 km from
Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary :
Parambikulam is endowed
with luxuriant vegetation. Sprawled across 285 sq. km, and is 110 km from
Palakkad. The Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is home to rare wild animals.
It has one of the largest population of gaur (bison), sambar, spotted deer,
jungle cat, lion-tailed macaque, common otter, sloth bear etc. are also
seen. There are also a few tigers and leopards. Facilities for boarding and
lodging are available at the sanctuary. There are forest rest houses at
Thunacadavu, Thellikkal and Elathode. Motor transport and boat cruise can be
arranged on request.
Silent Valley National Park (40 km northwest of Mannarkad) :
The 89.52 sq. km national park is believed to be the sole surviving bit
of evergreen forests in the Sahya Ranges. An amazing factor of the Silent
Valley forest is that it is devoid even of the chirping of cicadas.
Elephants, tigers, wild dog, flying squirrel and lion-tailed macaque are
found here. Situated at a distance of 40 km northwest of Mannarkad.
Vehicular traffic is allowed upto Mukkali from Mannarghat. From Mukkali one
has to cover at least 24 km on foot to reach the source of river Kuntipuzha,
which flows through the valley. Admission to this part is restricted. Prior
permission is required to visit the park.
Kalpathi temple :
The Vishwanatha Swamy shrine, the oldest
Shiva temple is situated 3 km from Palakkad. The annual chariot temple is a
gala event. The annual 'Ratholsavam' or Chariot Festival at Sree Viswanantha
Swamy temple lasts for seven days. On the last three days, beautifully
decorated temple chariots are ceremoniously drawn through the streets by
thousands of devotees whose soul stirring chants rent the air. Huge crowds
of people and millions of hands try to reach out to be one of the privileged
to have the honour of pulling the chariots, as they proceed in stately