Palakkad district in Kerala, earlier known as Palakkattussery, was formed on 1stJanuary 1957. It serves as the gateway to Kerala for the rest of the country as it connects the state through the Palghat Gap in the Western Ghats which is 32-40 kilometers wide. Palakkad has faced many invasions from rulers of various states including the Zamorins and Tipu Sultan who is also known as the “Tiger of Mysore” before the Britishers conquered its region. The district has rich lush green expanses of paddy fields and is the largest producer of rice in Kerala. Thus it is aptly nicknamed as the “Granary of Kerala” and also as the “Rice Bowl of Kerala”.
The district which has no coastal line has 8 rivers originating from its hills including Bharathapuzha which is the second longest river in Kerala. Palakkad Fort, Malampuzha Dam, Dhoni WaterFalls, Kalpathy temple, Silent Valley and Kanjirappuzha dam are a few of the tourist attractions in the district. Apart from historic and religious sites, Palakkad has strong links with ancient famed Malayalam folklore “Parayi Petta panthirukulam”.There is a huge statue of “Naranathu Bhranthan”, a character in the folktale, who is one among the 12 children of a parayi (untouchable) woman, in Pattambi, Palakkad. ”Vaayillakunnilappan Temple” in Palakkad, one of the famous temples in Kerala, is also related to this popular Malayalam legend.
Palakkad has vast and rich reserves of forests and houses the Silent Valley National Park which is one of the significant biodiversity hubs in Kerala. Tucked away in the Nilgiri Hills of Palakkad, it was explored by the botanist RobertWight in 1847. Located at 1 1/2 hours’ drive from the Palakkad city, the Park is home to rainforests and animals like the Nilgiri Tahr and the lion-tailed Macaques.
The largest district in the state also has numerous dams to its credit including the Malampuzha Dam which is the largest dam in the state. Palakkad has witnessed growth over the past many years across diverse sectors that helped it reach out to the external world, in turn, attracting people from various places including industrialists. Some of the salient features that confirm the rapid progress of this region of Kerala are as follows.
As mentioned before Palakkad unfolds the state of Kerala to the rest of the nation through the Palghat gap which acts as an inlet for the northeast monsoons and dry winds. Palakkad borders with the state of Tamil Nadu on its eastern side and shares its border with Nilgiri Hills on the northern side. Towards the west, it lies along the border of Thrissur and Malappuram districts.
Palakkad is well connected by roads as bus services are available to and from its neighboring districts as well as towns in Tamil Nadu. The State Transport Buses and private buses regularly conduct services to cities like Coimbatore, Kochi, Calicut, and Thrissur. There are also luxury buses that operate services to Palakkad from Thiruvananthapuram, Bangalore, and Chennai. Located around 4 kilometers from Palakkad town, the Palakkad Railway Junction also known as the Olavakkode Junction is a major railhead in Kerala connecting it to major cities in India including Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad. Palakkad Town Station, located at the center of the town has train services to neighboring cities like Pollachi, Dindigul and Madurai. The nearest airport is the Coimbatore International Airport located 50 away from Palakkad town at Peelamedu in Tamil Nadu.
Palakkad boasts of a few of the oldest and reputed educational institutions in Kerala –The Government Victoria College and NSS College of Engineering that are famed for their courses offered in Arts, Commerce, Science, and Engineering respectively. The city also added another feather to its cap when it got one of the recently proposed IITs in the nation which started functioning from its new transit campus at Kanjikode. In 2014, Palakkad got a Government Medical College known as the Institute of Integrated Medical Sciences which was a significant milestone that marked its progress in the medical field. The Palakkad town is also blessed with numerous schools and colleges that offer education of global standards within and outside the city limits.
The Kanjikode-Puthussery-Walayar Industrial belt is said to be the most developed industrial belt second only to Kochi. The industrial boom in the city took wings with the Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA) setting up 5 Industrial Parks in the district. Palakkad is the only destination in Kerala where KINFRA has set up the largest number of industrial parks.
Appreciating Land Values:-
Palakkad is increasingly becoming a real estate destination. The city has given way to a lot of townships thanks to urbanization, industrialization, and migrators who come here to work. In order to cater to these working class and also the native people, state of the art housing projects are on the rise. As the land values in Palakkad are showing an upward trend in Palakkad, investing in villas in Palakkad will promise you good returns in the long run.
It is said that Winter is the best season to explore Palakkad as the weather during this season beginning from December to the first quarter of February would be extremely pleasant making it perfect for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The summers are very hot, April being the hottest.
Rich in History, Religion, and Culture:-
Palakkad is a land bestowed with unique festivals and events, historical monuments, temples, etc. Palakkad takes pride in one of the rarest temples in Kerala called the Jainimedu temple located at Jainimedu, 3 kilometers away from Palakkad town. The 15th-century temple has the deity of Chandra Prabha, who is a Thirthankar of Jain faith. It was built by a family of diamond traders who had migrated from kanahalli in Karnataka. One significant festival of Palakkad that draws tourists from all over India is the Kalpathy Chariot Festival. It is an annual festival held in November at the Kalpathy temple which is one of the oldest Shiva temples in Kerala located in Kalpathy village which is also known as the ‘Varanasi of the South’. The chariots are extensively decked up and drawn through the streets during the festival. Apart from the numerous tourist destinations that Palakkad has to offer, it can also serve as the best place from where you can plan for weekend getaways to Pollachi, Ooty, Wayanad, Kodagu, and Athirappilli as it lies in close proximity to these places.
Hope you found this article inspiring and informative enough to prove that Palakkad is indeed a significant and attractive destination that witnessed rapid growth over the past many years.