Palakkad district

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Palakkad district
Paddy fields in Palakkad
Paddy fields in Palakkad
Palakkad district is located in Kerala
Palakkad district
Palakkad district
Coordinates: 10°46′30″N 76°39′04″E / 10.775°N 76.651°E / 10.775; 76.651Coordinates: 10°46′30″N 76°39′04″E / 10.775°N 76.651°E / 10.775; 76.651
Country  India
State Kerala
Headquarters Palakkad
 • Collector K.Ramachandran
Population (2011)
 • Total 28,10,892[1]
 • Density 627/km2 (1,620/sq mi)
 • Official Malayalam, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
ISO 3166 code IN-KL-PKD
Literacy 88.49%[1]

Palakkad District (Malayalam: പാലക്കാട് ജില്ല) is one of the 14 districts of the Indian state of Kerala. The city of Palakkad is the district headquarters. Palakkad is bordered on the northwest by the Malappuram District, on the southwest by the Thrissur District and on the east by Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu. The district is 13.62% urbanised.[2] The district is nicknamed "the granary of Kerala" and "Rice bowl of Kerala".[3]


In earlier times, Palakkad was also known as Palakkattussery.[4]


Nelliampathi mountains as seen from Nemmara village

It is a predominantly rural district. Coimbatore city of Tamil Nadu lies to the east of Palakkad. Palakkad is the gateway to Kerala due to the presence of the Palakkad Gap, in the Western Ghats. The total area of the district is 4480 km² which is 11.5% of the state's area. Out of the total area of 4480 km², about 1360 km² of land is covered by forests. Most parts of the district fall in the midland region (elevation 75–250 m), except the Nelliampathy-Parambikulam area in the Chittur taluk in the south and Attappadi-Malampuzha area in the north, which are hilly and fall in the highland region (elevation >250 m). Some of the notable peaks in the district are Anginda (2325 m), Karimala (1998 m), Nellikotta or Padagiri (1585 m) and Karimala Gopuram (1439 m).

The climate is hot and humid for most part of the year. Palakkad is one of the hottest places in Kerala. There is sufficient rainfall. The district is blessed with many small and medium rivers, which are tributaries of the Bharathapuzha River. A number of dams have been built across these rivers, the largest being Malampuzha dam. The largest in volume capacity is the Parambikulam Dam[5]


Taluks of Palakkad District[edit]

The district is divided into five taluks.[6]

Taluk Population (2001 est.)
Alathur 421909
Chittur 425575
Mannarkkad 355680
Ottappalam 842286 =
Palakkad 571622
Pattambi NA
Total 2617072

Municipalities of Palakkad District[edit]

The district includes four municipalities, which each belong to a taluk. The municipalities, with population estimates for 2001,[6] are:

Kerala Assembly Seats in Palakkad District[edit]

Legislative Constituency MLA Representing Party Front
Palakkad Shafi Parambil INC UDF
Chittur K Achuthan INC UDF
Nenmara V Chenthamarakshan CPI(M) LDF
Tarur A.K Balan CPI(M) LDF
Mannarkkad N Shamsudheen IUML UDF
Malampuzha V. S. Achuthanandan CPI(M) LDF
Alathur M Chandran CPI(M) LDF
Thrithala V.T Balram INC UDF
Ottapalam M. Hamza CPI(M) LDF
Pattambi C.P Mohammed INC UDF
Kongad K.V Vijayadas CPI(M) LDF
Shoranur K.S Saleekha CPI(M) LDF

Sreekrishnapuram, Kuzhalmannam and Kollengode Constituencies have been removed and Kongad, Shoranur, Nemmara and Tarur Constituencies were created during the 2011 General Election, as a result of delimitation for the Kerala Legislative Assembly, increasing the total number of seats coming under Palakkad district to 12.

Members of Parliament[edit]

District Panchayat[edit]

Under the amended Indian Constitution, decentralised planning has been implemented in the state. The headquarters of the District Panchayat is at Palakkad Municipal town. The District Panchayat office building is near the Civil Station.


In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Palakkad one of the country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640).[7] It is one of the two districts in Kerala currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).[7]


There are various industries in the district. The Public Sector companies[8] and Instrumentation Limited have plants in Kanjikode, 12 km from Palakkad town. Other large companies are the BPL group, Coca Cola and Pepsi. There is an Industrial Area in Kanjikode with a number of medium industries.


Palakkad is the one of the most agrarian districts in Kerala. Palakkad is particularly known for paddy cultivation. Paddy is cultivated in around 83,998 Hectares in the district and occupies the first position in the production of rice in the state. Palakkad also occupies the first position in the state for the production of groundnut, tamarind, turmeric, tuber, vegetables, pulses, mango, banana, plantain and cotton. Rubber, Coconut, Areca nut, Black pepper etc. are also cultivated extensively like other parts of Kerala.


According to the 2011 census Palakkad district has a population of 2,810,892,[1] roughly equal to the nation of Jamaica[9] or the US state of Utah.[10] This gives it a ranking of 138th in India (out of a total of 640).[1] The district has a population density of 627 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,620 /sq mi) .[1] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–2011 was 7.39%.[1] Palakkad has a sex ratio of 1067 females for every 1000 males,[1] and a literacy rate of 88.49%.[1]

Malayalam is widely spoken in the region as other parts of Kerala. As Palakkad district is contiguous to Tamil Nadu, a significant percentage of the population (nearly 25%) speak Tamil.[11]

Sri Killikkurussi Mahadeva Kshetram (Shiva temple of Killikkurussimangalam).

Noted Personalities[edit]

Literary Personalities[edit]

Art, Dance, Drama, Music and Film Personalities[edit]

Methil Devika

Social, Political and Administrative Personalities[edit]


The official language Malayalam is widely spoken in this district, while English, Hindi and Tamil are also spoken and understood by many people. Languages used in this district include Allar, a Dravidian language with 350 speakers;[12] and Aranadan, another Dravidian tongue, kept alive by the low level of education of its native speakers numbering about 200.[13]


Palakkad Junction is an important station on the Southern Railway. Places like Pollachi, Dindigul and Madurai are connected by the meter gauge track beginning here. The trains on the meter gauge are the lifeline for the people of the district, bringing vegetables, fish and dairy products. The office of the Palakkad Division of the Southern Railway is situated near Palghat Junction Railway Station. The trains coming from Tamil Nadu are diverted to north and south Kerala from Shoranur Junction in Palakkad District. From here there is train service to Calicut, Ernakulam, Trivandrum, Shoranur and Nilambur. Shoranur Junction also has rail connections to Mangalore and the Konkan Railway, enabling travel towards Goa and Bombay.

Palakkad has a medium grade network of roads. The Salem-Kanyakumari National Highway 47 and the Palakkad-Kozhikode National Highway 213 pass through the district. Another important road is the Palakkad – Ponnani road which connects NH 47 and NH 17.

The nearest Airport is at Coimbatore which is 60 km from the town. It offers connections to all parts of India and a few international destinations via connecting flights. SpiceJet, JetLite (now Jet Konnect), Kingfisher Airlines (suspended as of Oct 2012), Goair, Paramount airways, Air Arabia and Air India are the major operators.


  • Ottapalam Eyecare Hospital[14]
  • Thangam Hospital[15]
  • Ahalia Eye Hospital[16]
  • Lakshmi Hospital[17]


Navaratri, the festival of nine nights is the most popular festival, celebrated throughout India with varied customs and traditions. Though, this Navaratri Festival is celebrated all over India, different part of it makes a different way of celebration as it symbolizes different things in different regions. They celebrate this festival in a unique way of their own as the people in the Agraharam of Kodunthirapully Palakkad do. Nestling in small beautiful landscape about 3 km west of Palakkad town limit, the Agraharam boasts with the collection of Vaishnavates 'Jaiminiya Samavedi Thalavakara Guru' sakha Tamil Brahmins in about 100 uniform row houses, arranged properly on both sides of the streets facing north and south directions. The Agraharam retain much of their original character and housed only Brahmins. The Agraharam may not attract devotees from far and wide to its precincts daily, yet it has its own unique features which could not be seen any where else. Apart from other usual Agraharam festivals the most important festivals of the Village is Navaratri festival, which is conducted for nine days. It is celebrated once every year during the end of September month and in the beginning of the month of October. It starts from bright fortnight day just after the Mahalayapaksha Ammavasa.

Unlike to other Tamil Brahmin Agraharam where in the festival is celebrated with "Bommai Kollu" in every house, at Kodunthirapully this festival is celebrated in a unique manner and conducted in typical Kerala style and customs with elephants, processions, drums, panchavadyams and burning of crackers. This might be due to the influence of Namboodri culture of Kerala on Tamil Brahmins. Here it is the community festival celebrated in the temple in a befitting manner, associated and bound up with Lord Sri Rama, who is incarnation of Lord Maha Vishnu. It is believed that Lord Sri Rama worshipped Durga Devi for nine nights prior to killing of the demon king ten-headed Ravana on Vijaya Dasami day. And the Navaratri Celebration at this Agraharam is deemed and treated as a benediction in praise of Lord Sri Rama.

It is very joyous celebration celebrated all the days of Navaratri with great fervor and devotion with special significance to each of its day. It is also an occasion for family reunion. People who have gone out in search of their livelihoods make it a point to visit their ancestral homes and relatives during the festival. This generates enthusiasm and emotional bond between families and its members. An air of festivity descends on the whole village for 9 days. Nine to ten houses are grouped together and assigned a particular day, which they will take the full responsibility of the celebration including feeding the devotees. They compete with one another with much enthusiasm and gusto to make their participation more colorful.

The really memorable one is on the last day, Mahanavami and is held in high esteem. The origin of the Mahanavami lost in antiquity but they might have been around the period of migration.

The Mahanavami Navaratri festival is very much awaited by the devotees out here, and is mainly celebrated with deep devotion and adoration towards Sri Devi and Bhu Devi Sametha Adhikesavaperumal and within the two temples that are closely linked with each other Lord Sri Adhikesava Perumal temple and Lord Ayyappa temple.

There are continuous series of program for the whole day and night. Commencing in the early hours of the morning, the celebrations last till the break of dawn, of the next day. Several caparisoned, more than 18 prominent elephants participates in the procession preceded by Panchavadyam, Chendamelam and Nadaswaram. The celebration is highlighted by day-and-night elephant processions. A huge crowd gathers to watch and listen to the performance, which is really a feast for the eyes and ears. On the day of Mahanavami, the temple opens by 4.00 in the early morning with Nirmalaya Darshanam which is the first pooja of the day, followed by temple rituals like Ganapathy homam, Vakacharthu, Usha Pooja, and Ashtapadi. By 7.00 a.m in the morning the poojas would come to an end and now it is the time for the ceremonial Procession. At 7.00 in the morning the participating elephants after their bath lined up in the Agraharam Street for feeding. All the elephants were fed with cooked rice flakes mixed with coconut, jaggerey, ripe plantain and ghee. By 07.30 a.m. in the morning the Utsavamoorthy, the Processional deity of the Agraharam Lord Ayyappa in the Swaroop of Lord Kothanda Rama is taken out from the Lord Adhikesavaperumal temple accompanied by Nadaswaram and is mounted on a majestic bejeweled elephant preceded by Panchavadyam. The commencing of the Panchavadyam, the combination of the musical instruments like Timila, Maddalam, Edakka, Elathalam, Kombu and two auxiliaries Sankhu and Kuzhal, begins by blowing Sankhu three times in midst of complete devotional silence is really delightful and takes all to the supreme bliss.

This is then taken round to the temple of Lord Ayyappa preceded by Panchavadyam, accompanied by an array of elephants in their entire caparisoned splendor with colorful silk parasols, (Muthukuda) swaying white tufts (Venchamaram), and peacock feather fans (Aalavatton). The deity that has reached the Lord Ayyappa temple; after offering the pooja to the Lord is again mounted for the ceremonial return procession of the deity from the temple of Lord Ayyappa to the temple of Lord Adhikesavaperumal by 10.30 a.m accompanied by Valia Pancharimelam a part of Chendamelam in an elaborate form. While the deity returns from Lord Ayyappa temple, the Adikeshava temple will be getting ready for the Deeparadhana, the mid-noon pooja, and the deity that has returned is led inside the sanctum sanctity of the Lord Adhikesavaperumal temple to offer the mid-noon pooja.

After performing all the mid-noon poojas, by 3.30 p.m. the Utsavamoorthy is again taken out from the temple premise for the procession. More than 18 prominent richly bejeweled caparisoned elephants line up at Lord Adhikesavaperumal temple premise with colorful parasols, swaying venchamaram and aalavattam. Out of these elephants, the processional deity Lord Ayyappa in the Swaroop of Lord Kothanda Rama goes directly to the temple of Lord Ayyappa accompanied by Nadaswaram, as it cannot be taken out of the Agraharam premises. The remaining elephants are staged at one big open play ground. The colorful exchange of silk parasols to the rhythm of Panchavadyam; a musical treat, is a unique feature that takes the attention of all. Singarimelam, a part of Chendamelam and Nadaswaram, also accompanies this. All these add to the festive tempo a great pomp and gaiety. At this time the temple get ready to offer Sandya Deeparadhana that starts by 6.30 in the evening. The temple of Lord Sri Adhikesavaperumal is fully lit with numerous oil lamps and Lord Sri Adhikesavaperumal with his two consorts Bhudevi and Sridevi on the two sides bejeweled with all kinds of jewelry and ornaments, luminous like crores of rising sun is in full prasanna mood to fulfill the desire of the devotees. It is the common belief that one who prays to Lord Adhikesavaperumal for the boon of a male child on the Mahanavami day at this auspicious moment shall surely be blessed with a boy on the subsequent year and accordingly the devotee donates an elephant for the procession. Thousands from far and near throng at this temple to have a darshan of their Lord. In the mean time the Nadaswaram and Thayambaka are performed to please the deity and also to entertain the devotees. The Processional deity of the Agraharam Lord Ayyappa in the Swaroop of Lord Kothanda Rama after offering the pooja at Lord Ayyappa temple is once again mounted on a bejeweled elephant for the final return to the temple of Lord Adhikesavaperumal at late night. Four other elephants preceded by Pandi Melam in the illumination of traditional oil lamps (Pandhams) accompany the deity. The devotees without sleep, move along with the procession and enjoy all the activities that is going on as they know that this occasion will arrive only once in a year. With the reaching of Nada-paandi-melam at Lord Adhikesavaperumal Temple from the temple of Lord Ayyappa, the Mahanavami Program reaches its final stage and the Deity is led inside the sanctum sanctity of the Lord Adhikesavaperumal temple accompanied by Nadaswaram and also with rare Jaiminiya Samavedic hymns. All these celebrations will come to an end only on the subsequent morning by 6.00 a.m. The Prasadam "Neiyyappam" is then offered lavishly to all devotees. It is not heard that devotees here have ever returned with empty hands. And may be this is the reason why people from far off places make the Kodunthirapully village their destination to be a part of this grand festival. The governance of the Celebration is managed by "Mahanavami Committee" the elected body of the occupants of the Adhikesavapuram Street, the rightful group of persons authorized by the Kodunthirapully Agraharam to conduct the 9th day celebration of Navaratri Festival at their individual capacity with separate entity. Now the Committee owns and has with them innumerable number of various kinds of elephant ornaments. The income received by way of renting to the festivals is the main source of revenue for the celebration.

Schools and Colleges[edit]

There are a number of schools and colleges, including:

Places of interest[edit]

View from outside the northern wall of Palakkad fort.
  • Palakkad Fort – Situated in the heart of town, this is the most beautiful and best preserved fort in Kerala, recalling many old tales of valour and courage. The Fort, which dates back to 1766, was built by Hyder Ali of Mysore. In 1784, after a siege which lasted for eleven days, British Col. William Fullarton (1754–1808) stormed the fort. Later it fell into the hands of the Zamorin’s troops, but was recaptured by the British in 1790. This well-preserved fort is also known as Tipu's Fort, after Tipu Sultan the son of Hyder Ali. It is under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India.
  • Malampuzha dam garden – A large irrigation dam on the Bharatapuzha river, on the valley of Western Ghats. There is a beautiful gardens, an amusement park for children and a boating facility on the reservoir.
  • Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, sprawling over 285 km²., is 135 km from Palakkad and adjacent to the Indira Gandhi National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu. Besides being an abode of elephants, wild boar, sambar, bison, guar, crocodiles, and a few tigers and panthers, it has a rich assortment of semi-tropical plants and trees. Trekking in the forest is allowed with prior permission. Boating can be done at the lake. The Cannimare Teak Tree, which is said to be Asia’s largest, is here near Thunakadavu.
  • Silent Valley National Park – A thick rain forest, with many rare species, it has been declared a National Park. It is 80 km. from Palakkad. It is popularly known as the "Evergreen Forest" and noted for its eerie silence because of the lack of cicadas, which are common elsewhere. It is an important biosphere reserve in the Western Ghats and the home of tribal people. The valley is a habitat for the rare Lion-Tailed Macaque. The park is also a protected area for tigers.
  • Killikkurussimangalam – The birthplace of Kunchan Nambiar, the great Malayalam satirical poet and creator of the Ottamthullal art form. There is a library dedicated to him in the village. The very famous and old Killikkurussi Siva temple is situated here. The home of abhinaya (acting) authority, Natyacharya Vidushakaratnam Padma Shri Guru Mani Madhava Chakyar (who took Koodiyattam to new heights), is also a special cultural attraction of the village. The Mani Madhava Chakyar Smaraka Gurukulam, a school devoted to the teaching of Koodiyattam, is located at the same site.
Sri Killikkurussi Mahadeva Kshetram Shiva temple of Kiillikkurussimangalam
A small waterfall in the Nelliyampathi mountains.
A small waterfall in the Nelliyampathi mountains.
  • Nelliyampathi – Known as the Ooty of Kerala, about 80 km from Palakkad. It is a hill station in the forest between a series of ridges cut off from one another by valleys of dark evergreen forests
  • Sholayar – Highest peak in the district, with coffee and tea plantations.
  • Attappady – About 38 km. northeast of Mannarkkad. It is a place of great interest to anthropologists, as many Irulas and Mudugars live here. These Adivasis worship the mountain peak Malleswaran as a gigantic Shiva Lingam. This peak and the River Bhavani are of great mythological significance to the tribes.
  • Pothundi Dam - It is the second earth dam (Dam built using mud, not using cement) in India. This dam is in the valley of Nelliyampathy hills. There is a beautiful garden and the view of nelliyampathy hills are interesting.
  • Walayar Dam – It is around 25 km from Palakkad town, on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It is an easily accessible location. There is also a deer park located 3 km from Walayar.
  • Chulanur – A peacock sanctuary.
  • Sholayar Forest – Highest peak in the district, with coffee and tea plantations and Sholayar dam bordering Valparai and Athirapally Waterfalls near Chalakkudy.
  • Dhoni – A reserve forest area about 15 km. from Palakkad. This forest has many interesting sights including a small but splendid waterfall. The site can be reached after a fairly long climb of three hours from the base of the Dhoni hills.
  • Jainimedu Jain temple of Jainimedu – Situated on the western border of Palakkad town, not far from the Railway station, is a historic Jain temple. The place around the temple is known as Jainimedu. This is one of the few places in Kerala where the vestiges of Jainism in Kerala have survived. The granite walls are devoid of decoration. The 32 × 20 ft. temple consists of four divisions with images of tirthankaras and yakshinis in three of them. Kumaran Asan wrote his monumental poem Veena Poovu "The Fallen Flower" at a house here during a brief stay with his master Narayana Guru.
  • Meenvallam Water Falls. Situated near Kalladikode is a famous water fall. Water fall is divided in to number of smaller ones on top of other.It was a famous Hiking destination before the Hydro electric power Station proposed.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "District Census 2011". 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  2. ^ Census GIS India
  3. ^ "‘Rice bowl’ will loose 30,000 hectares if conversion legalised". The Hindu. 2012-07-20. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  4. ^ "Ittipangi Achan passes away". The New Indian Express. 2011-07-31. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  5. ^ Fact sheet on Indian dams at
  6. ^ a b "*** Official WebSite Of Palakkad District ***". Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  7. ^ a b Ministry of Panchayati Raj (September 8, 2009). "A Note on the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme". National Institute of Rural Development. Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
  8. ^ ITI Limited
  9. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01. "Jamaica 2,868,380 July 2011 est" 
  10. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-30. "Utah 2,763,885" 
  11. ^ "District at a Glance", statistics on Tamil
  12. ^ M. Paul Lewis, ed. (2009). "Allar: A language of India". Ethnologue: Languages of the World (16th edition ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  13. ^ M. Paul Lewis, ed. (2009). "Aranadan: A language of India". Ethnologue: Languages of the World (16th edition ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  14. ^ "Ottapalam Welfare Trust". Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  15. ^ "Thangam PMRC Hospital Palakkad Kerala". Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  16. ^ "It works!!". Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  17. ^ "". Retrieved 2013-12-29. 

Satellite Images[edit]

External links[edit]