The literal meaning of Purakkad is "out of forest". The village of Purakkad was the scene of battle between Travancore and Kochin forces in 1754 AD ad between Travancore and the forces of Zamorin in 1756 AD. There was an ancient port at Purakkad. The Dutch East India Company had a factory at that time. A crucifix was presented by Dutch seafarers who landed on Purakkad beach when their ship was lost at sea in a terrible storm. The crucifix has never been repaired since all these years. Now the church housing the crucifix faces demolition threat because of road widening plans.
Sree Venu Gopala Swamy Temple of Purakkad is one of the oldest temples that belongs to Goud Saraswat Brahmins. The temple was built more than 400 years ago with the help of Chembakassery Raja, when a group of Goud Saraswat Brahmins migrated from Goa.A famous shrine of the Muislim community is also there.