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Palakkad

 

Palakkad is a town and a municipality in the state of Kerala in southern India. It is the administrative headquarters of Palakkad District. Palakkad lies near the Palghat Gap, a pass or natural depression through the Western Ghats ranges that run parallel to the west coast of India, and connects Kerala to the plains of the state of Tamil Nadu to the east. The city of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu is only about 50 km from Palakkad. A potpourri of Tamil and Kerala culture, some of the finest Carnatic musicians hail from this region which continues to be a largely agrarian society.

Area: 4480 sq. km
Population: 2, 382, 235 (2001 census)
Altitude: Above sea level +91-491
Telephone access code: + 91-491
 
Air: Nearest Airport: Coimbatore (55 km)
 
Rail: Palakkad junction Railway station is a major rail head of the Southern Railways
 
Road: Palakkad is connected by excellent network of Roads to all the major cities in India.
 
Tipu’s Fort/Palakkad Fort
(Open 0800-1800 hrs
Palakkad Fort (Tipu's Fort) is an old granite fort situated in the heart of Palakkad town (Palghaut) of Kerala state, southern India. It was built by Haider Ali in 1766 and remains one of the best preserved forts in Kerala. The Palakkad Fort is said to have existed from very ancient times, but little is known of its early history. The local ruler, Palakkad Achchan, was originally a tributary of the Zamorin, but had become independent before the beginning of the eighteenth century. [1] In 1757 he sent a deputation to HaiderAli seeking help against an invasion threatened by the Zamorin. Haider Ali seized upon the opportunity to gain possession of a strategically important location such as Palghat, and from that time until 1790 the fort was continually in the hands of the Mysore Sultans or the British. It was first taken by the latter in 1768 when Colonel Wood captured it during his raid on Haider Alis’s fortresses, but it was retaken by Haider a few months later. It was recaptured by Colonel Fullarton in 1783, after a siege that lasted eleven days but was abandoned the following year. It later fell into the hands of the Zamorin’s troops. In 1790 it was finally captured by the British under Colonel Stuart. It was renovated and was used as a base for operations that ended with the storming of Srirangapatnam. The fort continued to be garrisoned until the middle of 19th century. In the early 1900s it was converted into a taluk office.
 
Malampuzha Garden
10 km from Palakkad town, north Kerala. Dam, amusement park, boating facilities, rock garden and ropeway. Malampuzha, a little township on the foothills of the Western Ghats takes its name from the river Malampuzha. Nurtured by this tributary of Kerala's longest river, the Bharathappuzha, Malampuzha is a lush green town and has been a major tourist attraction for its trekking trails and the large irrigation dam.
Around the reservoir of the dam are beautiful gardens and amusement parks. Boating facilities are available on the lake. Other attractions in the Malampuzha garden are the beautiful rock garden, the fish-shaped aquarium, the snake park, the ropeway which takes you on an aerial tour of the park, and the gigantic Yakshi (an enchantress) sculptured by Kanai Kunhiraman, the leading sculptor of Kerala.
The most interesting feature of the rock garden is that the whole place is made of unwanted and broken pieces of bangles, tiles, used plastic cans, tins and other waste materials. The garden is a master work of sculptor Padmasree Neck Chand Saini. His rock garden in Chandigarh is world famous and attracts thousands of tourists every year.
 
Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is the most protected ecological piece of Anamalai sub unit of Western Ghats, surrounded on all sides by protected areas and sanctuaries of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the sanctuary is endowed with a peninsular flora and fauna which are excellently conserved due to total protection and minimal human interferences. The sanctuary being a major ecological continuum from Peechhi to Iravikulam through Anamalai aids the large viable populations of wildlife. It is the home ground for different races of indigenous people who are as well an integral part of the prevailing harmonious ecosystem. The thick, opulent habitat of the sanctuary with ample water supplys make it an abode for wildlife and there by for tourist who can have treasured memories of animal sightings and that of being in the lap of mother nature
Western Ghats is one of the world’s 34 bio diversity hotspots. While considering the abundance of Wildlife and the adorable beauty of Nature, Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is perhaps the most attractive piece of wilderness in the entire stretch of Western Ghats. Thus it is popularly revered as ‘Nature’s own abode’. It has a total area of 285 Sq. Kms. A tree house in the reserve forest area in Thunakkadavu has to be booked in advance.
 
Nelliyampathy
Located about 75 km from Palakkad, Nelliyampathy is located on the high ranges of the Western Ghats and offers a stunning view of the Sholayar Pass.It is situated at a heightof467 m to 1572 m above sea level. The Nelliyampathy hills consist of a chain of ridges cut off from one another by dense evergreen forests, valleys and orange plantations. It offers great views ofthe mountains and enchanting valleys interspersed with sprawling tea, coffee, cardamom and orange plantations. It is on the border between Tamil Nadu and Kerala and so lies in the middle of many other tourist destinations.
 
Attappady
 Attapaddy situated on the northeastern side of the district of Palakkad and spread over an area of 827 sq. kms and has the largest tribal settlement. The place consists of mostly hilly highland terrain, fed by the tributaries of the River Cauvery. An extensive mountain valley above the crest of the Ghat ranges with numerous rivulets of the Bhavani River, Attapady is inhabited mainly by tribes and some settlers from Tamil Nadu. A beautiful synthesis of mountains, rivers and forests, Attapaddy is of great interest to anthropologists, as this is the habitat of many tribes like the 'irolas' and 'mudugars'.The Malleshwaram peak is worshipped as a gigantic 'Shivalinga', by the tribals who also celebrate the festival of Shivratri with great gusto. The tribals celebrate the festival by lighting the top of this peak. Silent Valley National Park, Siruvani Drinking Water Reservoir is the tourist centres of the valley. The highest peak in the district is situated here. A PWD rest house and a few private hotels offer accommodation at Agali. 
 
Silent Valley National Park
 Permitting authority: Asst. Wildlife warden, Silent valley National park, Mukkali
Silent Valley National Park (Core zone: 89.52 square kilometers (35 sq mi)) is located in the Nilgiri Hills, Coimbatore- Palakkad districts in South India. The area under this national park was historically explored in 1847 by the botanist Robert Wight, and is associated with Hindu legend.. There is a huge demand for last many years creating Nilambur - Karulai - Silent Valley- Coimbatore road.

The park is one of the last undisturbed tracts of South Western Ghats montane rain forests and tropical moist evergreen forest in India. Contiguous with the proposed Karimpuzha National Park (225 km²) to the north and Mukurthi National Park(78.46 km²) to the north-east, it is the core of the Nilgiri International Biosphere Reserve(1,455.4 km²), and is part of The Western Ghats World Heritage Site, Nilgiri Sub-Cluster (6,000+ km²) under consideration by UNESCO
Plans for a hydroelectric project that threatened the parks high diversity of wildlife stimulated an environmentalist Social Movement in the 1970s called Save Silent Valley which resulted in cancellation of the project and creation of the park in 1980. The visitors' centre for the park is at Sairandhri.

Fantasy Park
Open 1000 -1830 hrs on weekdays and 0930- 1900 hrs on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays.
 
Thiruvalathoor
Thiruvalathoor stands as an eternal symbol of faith and religious fervor, believed to be as old as 3000 years! Situated at a distance of 10 km from Palakkad, this sacred temple is frequented by hundreds of devotees every day. Apart from its religious importance, the ancient temple is also knows for fine display of wood work and stone sculpture. The 4000 stone lamps fixed on the wall,lit up at night is a beautiful sight. Another attraction is the Mizhavu-an instrument that is commonly used while performing the art forms of Chakyarkoothu and Koodiyattom, said to be the biggest among such existing ones.
 
Dhoni: 15 km from Palakkad it takes a three hour trek from the base of Dhoni hills to reach this reserve forest area with its small, beautiful waterfall
 
Kottayi: This tiny village is the native place of the late Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, the doyen of Carnatic music. Renowned singers perform at Ganamelas or music concerts at his memorial in Kottayi Village
 
Kollengode
19 kms to the south east of Palakkad is the pristine Kollengode, once the capital of the erstwhile Kollengode Rajas. The town derives its name from the Kollen blacksmith community that resides here. The town is surrounded by the Nelliampathy Hills on one side and a large area of fertile paddy fields on the other. The Gayathri River, a tributary of Bharathpuzha winds its way through the town.
The magnificent Kollengode Palace is a prime example of the traditional architectural style of Kerala. The Archaeological museum is located in the Kollengode Palace and houses a collection of murals from all over Kerala.  On display here is a well-preserved and extraordinary treasure of Veerakallu or hero stones, which are stone engravings, and sculptures of heroes of the bygone era. Also exhibited are temple models, olagrandhangal (manuscripts on dry palm leaves), megaliths etc. It is interesting to note that most of the exhibits here were recovered from the forests of Thrissur and Wayanad.
Other places of interest include a shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Trekkers and adventurous picnickers will love the verdant trekking areas around Seethakundu and Govindamalai near Kachankurichi.
 
Kunjan Smarakam
Kunchan Smarakam - Location: Killikurissimangalam at Lakkidi, about 30 km from Palakkad, north Kerala. Kunchan Smarakam, the memorial to poet Kunchan Nambiar, is not a conventional monument. In this house where the inventor of the satirical art form ' was born, young artists are trained in the various divisions of the art form -, Parayanthullal. In addition to Thullal, the Smarakom celebrates the Navarathri festival in a grand way. The fifth day of May, the birthday of the poet is celebrated with much fanfare as Kunchan dinam. Kunchan Smarakam - Nearest railway stations: Lakkidi, a few minutes drive from Killikurissimangalam is a minor station; Ottappalam about 12 km from Lakkidi.
 
Shornur: One of the most important junctions of the Southern Railway, this small and bustling city has many metal industries.
 
Elephant Care Centre, Shornur,
Set up in 2005, this initiative was launched by Nibha Namboodiri to take care of elephants that were either too old to earn their living or survive in the wild. In the absence of sponsors to fund her center, she opend her home to visitors where one can get a taste of life in an ancestral home with the added advantage of being with an elephant. Living with Karan as the project is called contributes towards providing care and love to neglected, domesticated elephants.
 
Ottappalam
35 km from Palakkad this temple town is known for its numerous places of worship and their colorful festivals. It is also home to the famous Varikkaseri Mana, where Malayalam films are shot almost round the year.
 
Chinakkathoor Vela:
The colorful Chinakathoor pooram held annually at the Sree Chinakkathoor Bhagavathy Temple, Palappuram in the district of Palakkad in north Kerala. The highlights of the festival include a grand procession of 33 tuskers in the evening, and performances of the Panchavadyam or the traditional temple orchestra and various art forms like Vellattu, They yam, Poothanum thirayum, Kaalavela, Kuthiravela, Aandi Vedan, Karivela, and so on. The Tholppavakkoothu, a ritualistic shadow puppet show, is presented at the temple premises every evening for the 17 days preceding the festival. Another beautiful sight is the procession of sixteen well-decorated models of the kuthira (horse) and the kaala (bull) brought ceremoniously to the temple by devotees.
 
Thiruvilwamala:
The village, which is more of a temple town, is located on the banks of the Bharathapuzha River, with nearest towns being Shoranur and Ottappalam. The place is famous for the Vilwadrinatha temple, which is among the rare Sri Rama temples in Kerala. Even though people believe the deity as Lord Rama, actually it is of Lord Vishnu. Niramaala & Ekadashi are the famous festive events here. The main attraction of here is the Sree Rama Temple and the legendary Punarjani Caves. The belief is that if you are able to go through the caves successfully you will be reborn as a human being-considered the highest degree of salvation in Hinduism. The Iver Mutt believed to have been set up by the Pandavas here on the banks of the river is very popular for performing rituals for the end.
 
Siruvani: 48 km from Plalakkkad, Siruvani is the home to certain tribals like the Mudugars and Irulas.
 
Mangalam Dam:
A popular picnic spot, the dam is built across the Cherukunnath River, a tributary of the Mangalam River.
 
Pattambi
The annual feast of the Pattambi Mosque situated 61 kms from Palakkad, falls in the first week of February. About 70- 80 tuskers are lined up for the festival. Throngs of believers from all corners of the state attend this festival, which is held in memory of Aloor Valiya Pookunjkoya Thangal - a Muslim saint of South Malabar. The town is illuminated brilliantly and a pageant replete with traditional musical ensembles like 'Panchavadyam' and 'Thayambaka' is taken out in the night. Various art forms get under way on the banks of the river Bharathappuzha.
 
Thrithala
Thrithala, Palakkad is an important archaeological site of Kerala. Thrithala is located at a distance of 75 kilometers from Palakkad, on the banks of the River Bharatapuzha. The most fascinating thing about Thrithala is that it is an ancient archaeological site of Kerala and is still well preserved even today. The place is known for its excellent Ayurvedic treatments that are offered in some of the best resorts and hospitals built there. Thrithala is known for its historic ruins and monuments that date back to as early as the 9th or 10th century. Thrithala is famous for its Shiva temple that has an interesting story behind it. According to legends, a child known as Agnihotri went to the river with his mother to bathe. The child collected some sand and formed a heap on the shore. When the mother tried to remove it, she found that it had hardened in the form of a Shiva Lingam. Thus, was built the famous Shiva temple that exists even today. It is said that the river changed its course to make space for the temple to be built. One of the oldest temples is the Kattil Madom temple that dates back to the 9th or the 10th century.
 
Olappamanna Mana
Olappamanna Mana, in a 20-acre eco-friendly atmosphere, would be an interesting place for tourists who want something out of the ordinary, for those who want to explore the Kerala countryside and the way of life there, for those who want to know more about the cultural heritage of the State, and for those who want to learn the nuances of Kathakali as performing art form. Olappamanna Mana is for those on the look out for a real heritage home-stay as different from star hotel accommodation. Olappamanna Mana is also for those who want to savor the nuances of wholesome, delectable vegetarian cuisine, as only the traditional Namboothiri household can deliver. Pure Vegetarian Home made Kerala Style food. No non –vegetarian stuff, alcohol or any intoxicating drinks. Fresh fruits and vegetables. Water supplied will be filtered, boiled and cooled or mineral water. Usually stainless steel utensils washed and dipped in boiled water and fresh banana leaves are used for serving food.
 
Jainamedu Jain Temple
Jain Temple of Jainimedu is 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).This temple has been built about 500 years ago by jain head, Inchanna Satur, for the jain sage Chandranathaswamy. The granite walls are devoid of any decoration. An idol of Chandranthan occupies the first division of the temple, Vijayalakshmi and Jwalamohini the scond, Rish abha Nathan the third, and parswa Nathan and Padmavathi the fourth. An air of austerity marks this quiet place. The main altar is unadorned while lit lamps flank the main stature palakkad was once home to a community of 400 Jain families, but their numbers are less now.
 
Kalpathy Agrahara and Vishwanatha Swamy Temple
The Kalpathy Vishwanatha Swamy shrine is the oldest Shiva temple situated 3 kms from Palakkad.The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is famous for the annual Chariot Festival. The festival is a gala event and lasts for seven days.
The Kalpathy Vishwanatha Swamy temple is the oldest Shiva temple in Malabar. It was built around 1425 A.D. by Kombi Achan; the then raja of Palakkad.Kalpathy Car Festival is based on Vedic Tamil Brahmin Culture.
On the last three days of the car festival, beautifully decorated temple chariots are ceremoniously drawn through the streets by thousands of devotees whose soul stirring chants rent the air. Three magnificent chariots, bedecked with flowers and flags, dominate the festival, each sanctified by the presence of the lord. Crowds of people and millions of hands try to reach out to be one of the privileged to have the honor of pulling the chariots, as they proceed in stately grandeur.
The weeklong annual Chariot Festival begins in the month of November, every year. Thousands of devotees haul the huge, intricately carved temple chariots through the streets. Vedic recitals are held in the temple throughout the festival. Vedic chants sonorously recited by the Vedic scholars escorting the god, makes Kalpathy come alive with the spirit of true devotion and joyous celebration. The Tamil Brahmin villages adjacent to the temple have been declared a World Heritage site. A visit to these villages offers a glimpse of the cultural life that existed 1000 years ago.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
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