travel information, Kerala
The tourist destination
of Palakkad known as the granary of Kerala is a land of valleys, hillocks,
rivers, forests, mountain streams, dams and irrigation projects. Situated
at the foot of the Western Ghats, Palakkad is the gateway to Kerala from
the north. Palakkad derives its name from the Malayalam words Pala (a
tree Alsteria scholars) and Kadu (forest), which goes to prove that this
place was once a beautiful stretch of forests covered with the sweet-scented
flowers of the Pala tree.
Palakkad (the other
name Palghat is a contribution of the British Raj) is prime among Kerala's
most picturesque districts, thanks to its distinctive Palmyra trees and
extensive green paddy fields. Palakkad has probably the biggest mountain
pass in the world (30-40 Kms) separating the two folds of the Western
Ghats on the border of Kerala with Tamil Nadu. Palakkad is rightfully
therefore known as the Gateway of Kerala, giving the rest of India access
to the State. For precisely the same reasons, Palakkad had to bear the
brunt of invasions from the bordering kingdoms in the past. Palakkad is
a melting pot of different cultures and ethnic denominations, enriching
its life, arts & culture.
History of Palakkad
There are many views on how Palakkad (or "Palghat" the anglicised
version) got its name. One view is that the word 'Pala' (barren land)
together with 'Kadu' (jungle) gave the land its name.
Yet others believe that it is connected with the ancient Jain temple in
the town: 'Pali' being the sacred language of the Jains, giving the land
its name as 'Palighat', which over the years changed to Palakkad. However,
most believe that Palakkad is derived from 'Pala', an indigenous tree
which once densely occupied the land, and hence Palakkad or "the
forest of Pala trees."
Not much is known
about Palakkad's ancient history. It dates back to the Paleolithic period,
and several megalithic relics have been found in the region. At the turn
of the first millenium AD, for several hundred years the Perumals ruled
the land. Later their governors called Utayavars took possession of this
land and divided it among themselves. William Logan, the Scottish author
of the celebrated Malabar Manual, suggests that one of the hubs of the
Pallavas of Kanchi who invaded Malabar in the second and third centuries
One of the earliest
records about Palakkad has a chronicle of a war victory in AD 988 when
the king of Palakkad, Nedumpurayur Nadudayavar, stopped an invasion by
the forces of the King of Kongunadu at Chittur. Even today, a festival
is celebrated in memory of this victory at Chittur. The Nedumpurayur royal
family was later known as Tarur Swaroopam and finally as Palakkad Raja
In 1757, to check
the invasion of the Zamorin of Calicut, the Raja of Palakkad sought the
help of Hyder Ali of Mysore, who freed all parts of Palakkad invaded by
the Zamorin. Eventually, Haider helped himself to Palakkad and later his
son Tipu Sultan was the unquestioned ruler of this region. But after his
defeat to the British, Tipu ceded all his Malabar territories to the British
following the treaty with the English East India Company in 1872. Palakkad
formed part of the Malabar District of the Madras Presidency thereafter
Tourist Attractions in Palakkad
Palakkad Fort, situated
in the town close to Fort Maidan, is the best-preserved fort today in
Kerala. Hyder Ali of Mysore constructed it in 1766. Today, this Palakkad
Fort, popularly known as Tippu's Fort, is one of the protected monuments
in Palakkad town. It is square in shape, with walls of immense thickness
and with strong bastions at all four corners and in the middle. The old
drawbridge has since been replaced by a permanent one.
is one of the biggest tourist attractions of Palakkad in Kerala. This
Vrindavan of Kerala brings in tourists from the state & other states
every year. The garden has lush green lawns, innumerable flowerbeds, glittering
pools and fountains. The natural grandeur of the garden is enhanced by
fresh water aquarium, Snake Park and children's park with a toy train.
Another major attraction
of Palakkad is the Udankhatola - South India's only Passenger Ropeway.
Fly over the garden at 60 ft. height to have the best panoramic view of
the beautiful gardens nestled below the Blue Mountains. Unique by nature,
extremely safe and economical too, you are assured that this twenty minutes
sky ride in Palakkad will be an unforgettable experience.
Palakkad is also a
place of temple festivals. The temples that dot the landscape of Palakkad
have carved their own niche' in the arts & culture of this region.
Kalpathy Car Festival
swamy temple is the oldest Siva temple in Malabar. It was build around
1425 AD. by Kombi Achan, the then Raja of Palakkad. Kalpathy Car Festival
is based on vedic Tamil Brahmin culture. The main centre of the festival
is Kalpathy Sree Viswanathaswamy temple.
is a major festival held every year at the Manappullikkavu Bhagavathy
Temple. It is believed that the temple is about 1200 years old. It is
different from other Bhagavathy Temples by way of rites and rituals. Namboodiries,
that is, the Kerala Brahmins perform the daily rituals according to tantric
traditions. Both Saiva and Vaishnava traditions are observed in the poojas.
is a renowned festival of Palakkad attracting people from far and wide.
It is held annually on the Pooram day of the Malayalam month Meenam. The
Festival starts with the hoisting the sacred flag.
How to Reach Palakkad:
Air: nearest airport Coimbatore
junction railway station (5 km from the city) is a major railhead of the
is connected by excellent network of roads to all the major cities in
Tourist Destination in Kerala
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