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The Gateway of Kerala, Palakkad

The Gateway of Kerala, Palakkad


Palakkad, a district embodied with rich Flaura and Fauna also called as the Gateway of Kerala is an important place in the God’s own country as it gives access to the rest of India to the State. The previous name was ”Palghat”, which was contributed by the British Raj. Palakkad is a land of typical Palm trees and widespread extensive green paddy fields. Palakkad, a place brimming with vibrant tradition and culture, where one can find the envelope of Mother Nature is among Kerala’s most picturesque districts and is the main paddy producing region in the state. Palakkad lies near the Palghat Gap, a pass through the Western Ghats that run parallel to the west coast of India linking Kerala to the state of Tamil Nadu. The Silent Valley National Park, a famous tourist spot in the district rises to the Nilgiris, the queen of hills is an eternal spectacle for any visitor. Any visitor to Palakkad will have a blissful feel with the diversified display of nature. Forests like Silent Valley, Attappadi, hill station like Nelliyampathy, historical monuments like Tippu Sulthan fort, traditional Ayurvedic treatment centres, culture of tribes, rivers, dams and temples make Palakkad a place worth visiting.


Palakkad was also known as Palakkattussery. Some etymologists trace the word “Palakkad” from the word “Palai Nilam”, which means “Dry Lands”. The commonly held belief, however, is that the name is a blend of two words, “Pala”, a tree that is found copiously in Palakkad, and “Kadu”, means forest. When considering the old name “Palghat”, another possibility also exists that the name may be due to the covering with a range of “Ghats”.



History of Palakkad is still a mystery for many. There lies no proper solid evidence stating the history of Palakkad. Several Megalithic relics have been found in the core part of the city. It is believed that The Perumals ruled the land for several hundred years at the turn of the first millennium AD, next to which their governors called Utayavars took possession of the land and they divided the land among themselves. Another narration in the history reveals the victory of Nedumpurayur Nadudayavar, the king of Palakkad in AD 988, of stopping the incursion of the Kongunadu King at Chittur, now a town near the Tamil Nadu Kerala border. In memory of the great victory a festival is celebrated every year called “Kongan Pada”. The royal family by name  Nedumpurayur was later known as Tarur Swaroopam which was again titled as Palakkad Raja Swaroopam.

It is believed that in 1757 the King of Palakkad sought the help of Hyder Ali, The King of Mysore in order to check the invasion of The Zamorins. Hyder Ali unchained Palakkad from the invasion of The Zamorins and was then the unquestioned ruler of Palakkad. Tipu Sultan being the successor took over the control of Palakkad after Hyder Ali. But following the treaty with British for The East India Company dating back to 1872 Tipu sultan had to relinquish all his territories to the British. Subsequently Palakkad was made as a part of the Malabar district of The Madras Presidency.



Palakkad is known for its rich cultural tradition. Various dance forms of Kerala such as Chakkiar Koothu, Thullal, Kathakali and Mohiniattam have been maintained and enriched by creditable contributions by endowed artists. It is believed that The Father of Malayalam literature Thunchathu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan had his last days spent at Chittur near Palakkad district. To honour this great person and as a token of honour and appreciation, there is the “Thunchathu Acharya Madam” at Chittur. Another popular poet in the state Kunjan Nambiar who was also the founder of the art form “Thullal” was born in a small village by name Lakkidi in Palakkad district. Most of the temples in the town have beautiful engravements, paintings and sculptures of great artistic and traditional values.




This fort is widely known as Tipu Sultan Fort but it was his father ruler Hyder Ali who actually built this fort in the 18th century. The fort fell into the hands of the Zamorin’s troops of Calicut but was later recaptured by the British in 1790. This fort is very well preserved till date and gives a glimpse of the history of The great Ruler and his structural savour.

Malampuzha Dam and Malampuzha dam garden:


This dam was built for irrigation purpose at a distance of about 10 km from Palakkad town, on the river Bharathapuzha at the base of the hills of Western Ghats. An attractive garden, rope car, a rock garden, mini zoo, aquarium, boating and an amusement park very near to the dam are the attractions for the tourists of all age groups.


Kalpathy, situated adjacent to Palakkad town on the bed of Kalpathy River is one of the 18 Agraharams of Palakkad District. The temple festival of Kalpathy, “Kalpathy Ratholsavam” is unique and very famous and this Agraharam is having a very long history of centuries as it is one of the oldest localities in Kerala where the Tamil Brahmins are settled.

Dhoni Waterfalls


Green forest, shallow water and rejoicing waterfall is definitely a speculating scene to watch. It falls under the western ghats and is 15km from Palakkad town. A beautiful temple near the mountain valley adds its beauty and the myth associated with this place states that this temple was built by the goddess for Lord Shiva.



Jain temple at Jainmedu is one of the very few existing Jain temples in Kerala. It is believed that this temple was built 500 years ago for the Jain sage Chandranathaswami

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