Palakkad or Palghat is one of the 14 districts of Kerala state in South India. It has Thrissur and Malappuram district of Kerala and Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu as boundaries. It is a predominantly rural district. Palakkad is the gateway to Kerala due to the presence of Palakkad Gap, in the Western Ghats.Palakkad is believed to derive its name from pala (tree) and kadu (forest). When the Zamorin of Kozhikode invaded Palakkad, the Raja of Palakkad sought the help of Hyder Ali of Mysore and forced Zamorin to retreat. Later Hyder Ali annexed all the Malabar region with his kingdom. The Hyder Ali Fort in the centre of Palakkad Town is the proof of their dominance. In the year 1872 the defeat of Tipu Sultan, son of Hyder Ali faced defeat in the hands of East Indian Company, all the territories were ceded to British. After Indian Independence, the Palakkad administrative unit was formed on January 1st 1957. Palakkad has the best irrigation system in Kerala. The irrigation projects & dams are at Malampuzha, Walayar, Chittur, and Pothundi
¤¤ Facts and Figures
Area : 4480 sq km.
Altitude : Above Sea Level.
Palakkad, Ottappalam, Alathur, Chittoor, Mannarkad
Palakkad, Ottappalam, Chittoor, Shornoor, Thathamangalam
¤¤ Tourist Season
September to February
¤¤ Tourist Attractions
Palakkad Fort The old granite fort situated in the very heart of Palakkad town is one of the best preserved in Kerala. It was built by Hyder Ali of Mysore in 1766. The fort was taken over and modified by the British in 1970. It is now preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Malapuzha Garden (10 km from Palakkad) This famous picnic spot which comprises of 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.
¤ Lush green lawns.
¤ Well laid-out flower beds.
¤ Cool pools, fountains and pathways.
¤ Rock garden.
¤ The rose garden has over a hundred varieties of the flower.
¤ An aerial ropeway across the garden.
¤ The dams and gardens are illuminated on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays from 19:00-20:00 hrs. On other days they are illuminated on request for a fee.
¤ The Reservoir Boating and fishing facilities are available here. Pedal boats, rowboats, water scooter and motorboats can be hired from 10:00-18:00 hrs.
¤ A well maintained swimming pool (Tuesday holiday).
¤ A fresh water aquarium (Open 12:00-20:00 hrs & 13:00-21:00 hrs on holiday).
¤ A snake park (Open 08:00-18:00 hrs.)
¤ A children's park.
¤ The Passenger Ropeway This is the first of its kind in South India.
¤ Road train trips in the garden (08:00-20:00 hrs.)
¤ Telescope tower.(10:00-17:00 hrs.)
¤ Fantasy Park
Pothundy (45 km from Palakkad) Situated on the way to Nelliampathy, the Pothundy Reservoir Complex is charming locations for picnics and half-day trips.
Thiruvalathoor (10 km from Palakkad) The ancient temple here has some fine wood work and stone sculptures.
Dhoni (15 km from Palakkad) It takes a three hour trek from the base of the Dhoni hill to reach this reserve forest area with its small, beautiful waterfall.
Kottayi (15 km via Poodur from Palakkad) This tiny village is the native place of the late Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, the doyen of Carnatic music.
Kollengode (19 km south of Palakkad) Kollengode or the abode of blacksmiths enshrines the pristine beauty of rural Palakkad. The Kollengode Palace, the Vishnu Temple and the poet P. Kunhiraman Nair Memorial are worth visiting. Seethakundu and Govindamalai hills near Kaachankurichi are ideal for adventurous trekkers.
Lakkidi (30 km from Palakkad) 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.
Meenakara (32 km from Palakkad) This picnic spot is the site of a dam across the river Gayathri which flows into the Bharathapuzha.
Ottappalam (35 km Palakkad) The town is known for its numerous places of worship and their colourful festivals. Durga Temple. The Pooram at Chenakkathur. The Nercha festival commemorating the Aulia.
Siruvani (46 km north of Mannarkad and 48 km from Palakkad) The reservoir at Siruvani was built for Tamil Nadu by the Kerala Government to meet the drinking water requirements of Coimbatore. The gateways on either side of the road across the dam are typical of the Kerala and Tamil architectural styles. Siruvani is also home to certain tribals like the Mudugars and Irulars.
Mangalam Dam (50 km from Palakkad) This dam is built across the Cherukunnath River, a tributary of the Mangalam River. The dam site is a popular picnic spot.
Thrithala (75 km from Palakkad) This place is noted for its monuments and historic ruins. The Siva Temple and the ruins of a mud fort near Thrithala on the Chalissery road are notable cultural monuments. The Kattilmadam Temple, a small granite Buddhist monument on the Pattambi-Guruvayoor road, is of treat archeological importance. It is believed to date back to the 9th/ 10th century AD. The Paakkanaar memorial, honouring the Pariah saint, stands near Thrithala Koottanad road. This is also the native place of renowned writer and social reformer VT Bhattathiripad.
Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary (110 km from Palakkad) Sprawled across 285 sq km, the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is home to rare wild animals. Boating/ Cruising facilities are available at the Prambikulam reservoir. The Rest Houses of the State forest Department at Thoonakkadavu, Thellikkal and Anapppady offer accommodation. A tree house in the reserve forest area in Thoonakkadavu has to be booked in advance. The oldest teak tree, kannimari is found here.
Nelliyampathy (40 km south of Nenmara): This fascinating hill station is at a height of 467 to 1572 m above sea level. At least 10 hair pin bends have to be negotiated on the Ghat road that passes through the breathtaking evergreen forests of the Sahya Ranges. Seethakundu at Nelliyampathy offers a panoramic view of about one third of Palakkad. This will country is the delight of trekkers.
Chittur Garumadam (Thekkegramam near Arikkode): Located on the banks of the river Sokanasini (the destroyer of sorrows), this is a memorial to Thunchath Ezhuthachan, the author of Adhyatma Ramayana, who spent his last days here. A srichakra, some of the idols worshipped by him, a stylus, wooden slippers and a few old manuscripts are exhibited here.
Thenari It is believed that the waters of this natural spring, located in front of the old Sree Rama Temple here, are the waters of the Ganges.
Mayiladumpara This grove takes its name from the large number of peacocks found here.
Jain Temple of Jainimedu Situated on the western suburbs of Palakkad town, not far from the railway station, this historic 32 feet long, 20 feet wide granite temple displays images of the Jain Thirthankaras and Yakshinis. The region around the temple, known as Jainimedu, is one of the few laces in Kerala where the vestiges of Jainism have survived. It is at a Jain house here that poet Kumaranasan wrote his monumental poet Veenapoovu (The fallen flower).
Thiruvegappura Sankaranarayana Temple This temple in Palakkad district dates back to the 14th century while its koothambalam (temple theatre) was probably added in the 15th or 16th century.
Ongallur Taliyil Shiva Temple Situated near Pattambi, this temple has some of the most intricate laterite sculptures in Kerala.
Attappady (38 km north-east of Mannarkad) A beautiful synthesis of mountains, rivers, and forests, Attappady is of great interest to anthropologists as this is the habitat of many tribes likes the Irulas and Mudugars. The Malleeswaram peak is worshipped as a gigantic Sivalinga by the tribals who also celebrate the Sivarathiri festival with great gusto. A PWD Rest House, and a few private hotels offer accommodation at Agali.
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. The peculiarity of the Silent Valley forest is that it is devoid even of the chirping of cicadas. Vehicular transport is possible only up to Mukkali, nearly 24 km from the park. The rest of the way has to be covered on foot up to the source of Kunthipuzha which flows through the valley before merging into the Bharathapuzha (Nila).