Palakkad

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Palakkad
Palghat, Palakkattussery
City
From top clockwise: Palakkad Municipal Office, IIT Palakkad, Government Victoria College, Palakkad, Chandranagar roundabout, Night view of Palakkad, Skyline of Palakkad
From top clockwise: Palakkad Municipal Office, IIT Palakkad, Government Victoria College, Palakkad, Chandranagar roundabout, Night view of Palakkad, Skyline of Palakkad
Nickname: 
Gateway of Kerala
Palakkad is located in Kerala
Palakkad
Palakkad
Palakkad is located in India
Palakkad
Palakkad
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
CountryIndia
StateKerala
RegionSouth Malabar
DistrictPalakkad
Government
 • TypeMunicipality
 • BodyPalakkad Municipality
 • ChairpersonK. Priya Ajayan (BJP)
 • Deputy ChairmanE. Krishnadas (BJP)
 • Member of ParliamentV. K. Sreekandan (INC)
 • Member of Legislative AssemblyShafi Parambil (INC)
Area
 • City26.60 km2 (10.27 sq mi)
 • Metro
1,363 km2 (526 sq mi)
Elevation
84 m (276 ft)
Population
 (2011)
 • City130,955
 • Density4,900/km2 (13,000/sq mi)
 • Metro293,533
DemonymPalakkadan
Language
 • OfficialMalayalam
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Postal Index Number
678 XXX
Area code+91-(0)491
Vehicle registrationKL-09
ClimateAm/Aw (Köppen)
Websitepalakkadmunicipality.in

Palakkad (Malayalam: [pɐːlɐkːɐːɖɨ̆] (listen)), formerly known as Palghat, historically known as Palakkattussery is a city and municipality in the Indian state of Kerala. It is the administrative headquarters of the Palakkad District. Palakkad is most densely populated municipality and fourth densely populated city in Kerala. It was established before Indian independence under British rule and was known by the name Palghat. Palakkad is famous for the ancient Palakkad Fort, which is situated at the heart of the city and was captured and rebuilt by Hyder Ali in 1766. The city is situated about 347 kilometres (216 mi) northeast of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.

The 18th-century Palakkad Fort has sturdy battlements, a moat, and a Hanuman temple on its grounds. North on the Kalpathy River, the 15th-century Viswanatha Swamy Temple is the main venue of the Ratholsavam chariot festival.The river Bharathappuzha flows through Palakkad.[3] Palakkad is located on the northern bank of Bharathappuzha River.[3]

Palakkad was included in the South Malabar region of Malabar District during the British Raj. The municipality of Palakkad was formed on 1 November 1866 according to the Madras Act 10 of 1865 (Amendment of the Improvements in Towns act 1850) of the British Indian Empire, along with the municipalities of Kozhikode, Kannur, Thalassery, and Fort Kochi, making them oldest modern municipalities in the state of Kerala.

Indian Institute of Technology, Palakkad is the first and only Indian Institute of Technology in Kerala.[4][5] It is also home to Government Victoria College, one of the oldest institutes of higher education in the state, opened in 1888, and NSS College of Engineering, which was the fourth engineering college in Kerala, opened in 1960.

Palakkad Railway Division of Southern Railway Zone, one of the oldest Railway Division in India is headquartered here. A residential colony of the railway employees of Palakkad Railway Division known as Hemambika Nagar Railway Colony,one of the residential colonies under Southern Railway is also located near the office.[6] The only school in the state run by Southern Railways is also located within the colony.[7] Multi Disciplinary Divisional Training Institute (MDDTI) for Group C and D employees of the division,is also situated inside the colony.[8]

Etymology[edit]

The commonly held belief is that the name Palakkad is a fusion of two Malayalam words: pāla, which is the local name for blackboard tree (Alstonia scholaris), and kāṭŭ, which means forest.[9]

History[edit]

Palakkad Fort was captured and rebuilt by Mysore Sultan Hyder Ali in 1766 CE

The region around Coimbatore was ruled by the Cheras during Sangam period between the. first and fourth centuries CE and it served as the eastern entrance to the Palakkad Gap, the principal trade route between the Malabar Coast and Tamil Nadu.[10] Palakkad city was ruled by the Palakkad Rajas (Tarur Swaroopam).[11] Palakkad Raja had the right over the Taluks of Palakkad, Alathur, and Chittur.[11] The original headquarters of Palakkad Rajas were at Athavanad, Tirur Taluk, in present-day Malappuram district.[11] It is said that their lands at Athavanad area were given to the Azhvanchery Thamprakkal and the Palakkad-Chittur areas were bought from them instead.[11] The territory of Palakkad Rajas had been under the Zamorin of Calicut for sometime.[11]

In 1757, to resist the invasion of the Zamorin of Kozhikode, the Palakkad Raja sought the help of the Hyder Ali of Mysore.[12] In 1766, Hyder Ali defeated the Zamorin of Kozhikode – an East India Company ally at the time – and absorbed Kozhikode into his state.[12] The Hyder Ali rebuilt Palakkad Fort in 1766.[13] The smaller princely states in northern and north-central parts of Kerala (Malabar District) including Kolathunadu, Kottayam, Kadathanadu, Kozhikode, Tanur, Valluvanad, and Palakkad were unified under Mysore and were made a part of the larger Kingdom of Mysore.[14] His son and successor, Tipu Sultan, launched campaigns against the expanding British East India Company, resulting in two of the four Anglo-Mysore Wars.[15][16]

Tipu ultimately ceded the Malabar District and South Kanara to the company in the 1790s as a result of the Third Anglo-Mysore War and the subsequent Treaty of Seringapatam; both were annexed to the Bombay Presidency (which had also included other regions in the western coast of India) of British India in the years 1792 and 1799, respectively.[17][18][19] Later in 1800, both of the Malabar District and South Canara were separated from Bombay presidency to merge them with the neighbouring Madras Presidency.[13] Palakkad was under British Raj until 1947.

The municipality of Palakkad was formed on 1 November 1866 according to the Madras Act 10 of 1865 (Amendment of the Improvements in Towns act 1850)[20][21][22][23] of the British Indian Empire, along with the municipalities of Kozhikode, Kannur, Thalassery, and Fort Kochi, making them the first modern municipalities in the modern state of Kerala.

At the time of 1951 Census of India, Palakkad was the second-largest city in the erstwhile Malabar District after Kozhikode.[24] At that time only two towns in Malabar was treated as cities: Kozhikode and Palakkad.[24] Following the formation of the state of Kerala in 1956, the erstwhile Taluk of Palakkad in Malabar District was divided into three: Palakkad, Alathur, and Chittur, and Palakkad district was formed by taking parts of erstwhile Malabar District.[13]

Geography[edit]

Topography map-Palakkad (Palghat)

Palakkad is the gateway to Kerala due to the presence of the Palakkad Gap in the Western Ghats. The city is located in central Kerala. Malayalam is the official language in Palakkad. Two main tributaries of Bharathapuzha, Kalpathi River and Kannadi River flows through the city. Of the numerous dams in Palakkad district, the largest Malampuzha dam is 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Palakkad city.[25]

City is situated about 347 kilometres (216 mi) northeast of state capital Trivandrum,144 kilometres (89 mi) of Kochi, 50 kilometres (31 mi) southwest of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, 66 kilometres (41 mi) northeast of Thrissur, and 127 kilometres (79 mi) southeast of Kozhikode, which are mainly connected by National Highways namely, Salem-Kochi National Highway NH 544, and Kozhikode-Palakkad National Highway NH 966

Climate[edit]

Palakkad has a tropical wet and dry climate. Temperatures remain moderate throughout the year, with the exception being March and April, the hottest months. A very high amount of precipitation is received in Palakkad, mainly due to the South-West monsoon. July is the wettest month, and the total annual rainfall is around 83 inches (210 cm).

Climate data for Palakkad (1981–2010, extremes 1943–2005)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 37.6
(99.7)
40.0
(104.0)
41.4
(106.5)
41.8
(107.2)
41.2
(106.2)
40.4
(104.7)
33.6
(92.5)
33.8
(92.8)
35.8
(96.4)
36.2
(97.2)
38.0
(100.4)
36.6
(97.9)
41.8
(107.2)
Average high °C (°F) 32.7
(90.9)
35.2
(95.4)
37.3
(99.1)
36.6
(97.9)
34.5
(94.1)
29.9
(85.8)
28.8
(83.8)
28.9
(84.0)
30.4
(86.7)
31.5
(88.7)
31.6
(88.9)
31.5
(88.7)
32.4
(90.3)
Average low °C (°F) 22.0
(71.6)
22.4
(72.3)
24.1
(75.4)
25.0
(77.0)
24.8
(76.6)
23.2
(73.8)
22.6
(72.7)
23.0
(73.4)
23.0
(73.4)
23.1
(73.6)
23.1
(73.6)
22.3
(72.1)
23.2
(73.8)
Record low °C (°F) 15.6
(60.1)
15.8
(60.4)
18.6
(65.5)
18.8
(65.8)
19.2
(66.6)
19.0
(66.2)
18.8
(65.8)
19.2
(66.6)
19.4
(66.9)
15.8
(60.4)
16.1
(61.0)
14.0
(57.2)
14.0
(57.2)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 3.6
(0.14)
3.6
(0.14)
15.7
(0.62)
61.3
(2.41)
125.1
(4.93)
410.6
(16.17)
453.2
(17.84)
290.3
(11.43)
154.9
(6.10)
196.1
(7.72)
102.3
(4.03)
21.3
(0.84)
1,838
(72.36)
Average rainy days 0.3 0.3 0.9 3.3 5.9 18.7 20.0 15.8 9.2 10.1 4.7 0.9 90.1
Average relative humidity (%) (at 17:30 IST) 46 39 38 52 60 79 82 81 75 73 65 56 61
Source: India Meteorological Department[26][27]

Transport[edit]

Air[edit]

The nearest international airport is Coimbatore International Airport, which is about 62 kilometres (39 mi) from Palakkad. However, Cochin International Airport and Calicut International Airport serve the city as well.

There has been a proposal for a mini domestic airport at East Yakkara with respect to setting up domestic airports for enhanced air connectivity by the civil aviation ministry of India. 60 acres has been identified for the project at East Yakkara Palakkad.[28]

Palakkad Junction Railway Station
KSRTC Bus terminal, Palakkad
G.B.Road, Palakkad
English Church road

Railways[edit]

The Palakkad railway division is one of the six administrative divisions of the Southern Railway zone of Indian Railways, headquartered at Palakkad. It is the smallest railway division in Southern Railway. It was formed by dissolving the Podanur division. Managing 588 route kilometers of track in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Mahé (in the Union Territory of Puducherry), it is one of the oldest railway divisions in India. The major stations under this railway division are Palakkad Junction, Shoranur Junction, Ottapalam, Tirur, Kozhikode, Thalassery, Kannur, Kasaragod, Mangalore Central, Mangalore Junction and Pollachi Junction. The terminal facility of Palakkad division is situated in Shoranur Junction & Mangalore Central of Karnataka state.

The city is served by two railway stations – Palakkad Junction is a broad gauge railway junction (located at Olavakkode, about 4 km from Municipal bus stand) and Palakkad Town railway station located in the heart of the Palakkad city. The cities of Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam,Kozhikode,Coimbatore,Mangalore,Tiruppur,Erode, Salem, are connected by the broad gauge line. Train services to Pollachi, Dindigul and Madurai are through the broad gauge line through Palakkad Town station.[29] Shoranur Junction Railway Station also has rail connections to Mangalore and the Konkan Railway, enabling travel towards Goa and Bombay. The trains coming from other parts of India are diverted to the north and south Kerala from Shoranur Junction in Palakkad District. From here, there is train service to Calicut, Ernakulam, Trivandrum, Shoranur and Nilambur.

Road[edit]

Palakkad has a medium-grade network of roads. The National Highway 544 from Salem to Ernakulam passes through the outskirts of the city. National Highway 966 starts from Ramanattukara in Kozhikode and joins National Highway 544 at Chandranagar, one of the suburbs of the city.[30] Other important roads are the Palakkad – Ponnani road which connects NH 66 and Mumbai-Kanyakumari coastal NH 66. State Highway 52 begins near Chandranagar, which is 2.6 km from the city centre, which connects to Pollachi, and State Highway 27 begins at the Civil Station and connects to Meenakshipuram (Kerala-Tamil Nadu State Border).

Palakkad City has four Bus Stations includes Palakkad KSRTC bus terminal and three Private Bus stands named Stadium Bus Stand, Municipal Bus stand, and Town Bus Stand.

Demographics[edit]

Religions in palakkad
Religion Percent
Hindus
68%
Muslims
27.9%
Christians
3.8%
Others
0.3%

As per Census 2011, population of Palakkad in 2011 is 130,955; of which male and female are 63,833 and 67,122 respectively.[31]

Total literates in Palakkad city are 112,479, of which 56,065 are males while 56,414 are females. The average literacy rate of Palakkad city is 94.20 percent of which male and female literacy was 96.83 and 91.73 percent. The literacy rate of the Palakkad Metropolitan Area is 92.14%, much higher than the national average of 59.5%.[32][33]

Hindus form 68% of the population with 89098 members.[31] Muslims constitute 27.9% of the population with 36620 members.[31] Christians constitute 3.8% of the population with 5006 members.[31]

Governance[edit]

Legislature[edit]

Palakkad city is represented in the Kerala State Assembly by two elected members, one from Palakkad Assembly constituency and another from Malampuzha Assembly constituency, however Palakkad Municipality forms part of Palakkad Assembly Constituency. As of 2021,Shafi Parambil is the representative of Palakkad Assembly Constituency and A. Prabhakaran is the representative of Malampuzha Assembly Constituency.

The city is also a part of the Palakkad Lok Sabha constituency and elects a member to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament of India, once every five years. The current MP is V. K. Sreekandan of the Indian National Congress.

Executive[edit]

Collectorate of Palakkad district is located in the city and Mrunmai Joshi IAS is the District Collector currently. Many other offices including District Court Complex and District Panchayat Office is also situated within the city. Palakkad taluk office is also located in civil station which administers an area of 713 km2 with a population of 6,21,622 making it most populous taluk of the district.


Law and order[edit]

The city is the headquarters of Palakkad District Police.[34] Mainly, there are three police stations that serve the city, which are North, South and Traffic police stations.[35][36][37] However, Hemambika Nagar, Palakkad Kasaba,Malampuzha and Walayar Police Stations also serve the city.[38][39][40][41] Kerala Armed Police 2 Battalion is situated at Muttikulangara, one of the suburbs.[42] District Armed Reserved Police Camp of Palakkad district is located at Kallekkad, located about 10 km from the centre of the city.[43]

Economy[edit]

Stadium bypass road
Growing Skyline of Palakkad city
A Shopping Mall in Kanjikode
Joby's Mall, first mall in Palakkad
Valiyangadi or Big Bazaar

The presence of Palakkad Gap and proximity to Coimbatore makes Palakkad economically important. British Physical Laboratories(BPL) was founded in 1963 in Palakkad. Market Road is one of the oldest and longest roads devoted for trade and commerce. It stretches from Melamuri Junction on the west to Shakunthala Junction on east covering a distance of 3 km, was the commercial centre of Palakkatussery and a major market place for buying and selling of goods.[44] These stretch of the city is known by Valiyangadi or Big Bazaar. Many wholesale shops are along this road. Kanjikode area of Palakkad city is second largest industrial hub in Kerala after Kochi.[45] Kanjikode has many companies like Indian Telephone Industries Limited (ITI), Instrumentation Limited,[46] Fluid Control Research Institute(FCRI),[47]Saint-Gobain India Private Limited (formerly SEPR Refractories India Private Limited), Patspin India Ltd,[48] Pepsi, PPS steel (Kerala) PVT Ltd, United Breweries, Empee Distilleries, Marico, Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), Rubfila International Ltd, Arya Vaidya Pharmacy,[49] Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala[50] have production facilities. There are also many other steel manufacturing units and other production centres making it second largest industrial area in Kerala.

The commercialization of Palakkad city is Picking up and growing at a steady pace in recent years, Nowadays Palakkad city and the suburbs are witnessing a rapid amount of commercial and public development activities.[51] The developments are mainly concentrated on the bypass roads, Both Stadium and Calicut bypass roads[52][53] passing through the city are getting major commercial projects. Major national and international branded Retail chains, food chains, Restaurants, Hotels, Shopping complexes, Textiles, branded jewelers,and Vehicle Showrooms, are functioning in and around the city. There are many housing colonies consisting of Villas and apartments also present in Palakkad City and its suburbs.[54][55]

Civic Administration[edit]

On 3 July 1866, the Governor of Madras declared Palakkad as a city.[56] The municipality of Palakkad was formed on 1 November 1866 according to the Madras Act 10 of 1865. (Amendment of the Improvements in Towns act 1850).[57] On 11 September 1912, the system of electing the city father by the councillors began.[56] City Council expanded to 28 wards in 1938, 32 wards in 1973 and 36 wards in 1978.[56] During the period 1995-98 and in 2015 when Municipality celebrated 150 years, there were proposals to upgrade Palakkad Municipality to a Municipal Corporation.[58][59][60] Palakkad Municipality has 52 wards now, headed by Municipal Chairperson.[61] The current Chairperson of Palakkad Municipality is K.Priya Ajayan and E. Krishnadas is the deputy chairman.

Proposed Palakkad Municipal Corporation[edit]

The metropolitan area of Palakkad includes Palakkad Municipality, Hemambika Nagar, Marutharode, Pirayiri, Pudussery West, Pudussery Central and Puthupariyaram.[33] Its urban / metropolitan population is 293,566 of which 143,650 are males and 149,916 are females. The proposed Palakkad Municipal Corporation has an area of 197.566 km2.[62] Following local bodies are the local bodies which supposed to be the part.

Education[edit]

Thd city of Palakkad has number of Prominent Educational Institutions which provide a great platform for higher education.Government Victoria College, Palakkad was established in the year 1866, making it one of the oldest institution of higher learning in Kerala. First and the only Indian Institute of Technology in the state of Kerala, Indian Institute of Technology, Palakkad is located in the city. The campus currently functions in two campuses-temporary one at Ahalia Campus and the Nila campus which are separated by 13 km. It is one of the five new IITs proposed in the 2014 Union budget of India.

Government Medical College, Palakkad, started in 2014 is the first Government medical college in the district. It is the first medical college in country under Scheduled caste Development Department. NSS College of Engineering at Akathethara, is the fourth Engineering Institution established in Kerala, India. It was founded in 1960 by Nair Service Society.The college is one among the only three Govt-Aided Engineering college in Kerala and is the first Govt-Aided Engineering college accredited by NBA of AICTE. Chembai Memorial Government Music College is one of the main center of excellence in teaching Carnatic music in the state. It was given the name of the legendary Carnatic musician Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar from Palakkad. Mercy College is a women's college located in the city which was established in 1964. It is the first Women's college in the Palakkad District. The college is organized by the University Grants Commission.

Ahalia Campus is the largest edu-health campus in Kerala. It is located about 18 km from the centre of the city consisting of a number of educational institutions and medical institutes. It has three hospitals,one medical college, one school and five colleges which includes an engineering college, college of pharmacy, college of optometry, college of paramedical sciences and college of management. Basel Evangelical Mission Higher Secondary School, located in the city was established in 1858 making it one of the oldest schools in Kerala. Government Moyan Model Girls Higher Secondary School located in College Road was founded in 1917 and is one of the largest government schools in the state and one of the schools having large strength of students studying.[64]

Healthcare[edit]

First government medical college in the district,Government Medical College, Palakkad is located in the city. District Hospital located in Court Road is one of biggest district hospitals in Kerala. There are also some private hospitals for serving the city. Rajiv Gandhi Co-Operative Multispeciality Hospital is a Coperative Hospital located at Kallekkad, one of the suburbs of the city.[65]Ahalia Campus is the largest edu-health campus in Kerala located about 18 km from centre of the city, consists of 3 hospitals and 1 medical college including Ahalia Foundation Eye Hospital, Ahalia Ayurvedic Medical College and Hospital, Ahalia Diabetes Hospital and Ahalia Women and Children's Hospital.[66]

Prominent People[edit]

Culture[edit]

Palakkad is a city where people from all the religion live together with peace. Many temples,mosques churches and other religious centres are located in and around the city.[67][68]Manappullikavu Vela is one of the largest fests that takes place in the city. It is hosted by 8 sets of commities or deshams. Large crowd gathers in front of the fort for witnessing the fest. Elephants and the fireworks are the highlights.[69]Kalpathi Ratholsavam is an annual fest that takes place in Kalpathy, which is the first heritage village in Kerala. Chariot is the main attraction of the fest.[70] There are also many other festivals in the city where people come and enjoy with unity by forgetting about religion.

Heritage villages or mostly called by agraharams are important as far as the city is concerned. There are around 24 heritage villages in and around the city[71] where the Tamil Brahmins migrated from parts Tamil Nadu many years before live together.[72] A Jain temple is located at Jainamedu, one of the suburbs of the city and is one of the few places in Kerala where the vestiges of Jainism in Kerala have survived.[73] Sree Emoor Bhagavathy temple located at Kallekulangara, another suburb of the city is believed to be consecrated by Parasurama for the safety of Kerala.[74] Holy Trinity English Church located near Palakkad Fort was established in the year 1855.[75] The only Urdu Juma Masjid in Kerala is located at Diara Street.[76]

A street in Kalpathy

Media[edit]

Some of the major Malayalam and English newspapers from Kerala including Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhumi, Deshabhimani, and Suprabhaatham Daily, have printing centers in the city and there are also few evening newspapers published in the city. Local news channels like (ACV) are also functioning in the city. Palakkad Press Club is located on Robinson road, Sultanpet. A private FM Station operating in Palakkad at Ahalya Campus. There is a long-term demand for setting up a government FM Station in Palakkad. At present total number of 8 cinema halls are operational in Palakkad which screens Malayalam, English, Tamil, and Hindi movies, there are few other multiplex screens are under construction and expect to open near future in and around the city.

Sports[edit]

Palakkad has a rich history of producing some world class athletes in the state, Palakkad, Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium in the center of city was once used for Major sports meets and football matches in state, now the stadium is not in condition for conducting games due to the lack of maintenance, There is a proposal for the renovation of the stadium with international facilities by the Municipality,[77] The city has Fort Maidan[78] also known as Kota Maidanam, is a multi-use stadium in the center of the Palakkad, India. It is currently used mostly for cricket matches. Fort Maidan holds a maximum capacity of 10,000 people at a time. Up until 2002 the ground was considered for local cricket only.[79] In 2003, Ranji Trophy was introduced in Fort Maidan. The city has an indoor stadium[80] located near Government Victoria College, Palakkad with a total area of 1 Lakh Sq.ft with commercial establishments is still unfinished & incomplete. There is a Synthetic Track with Eight lines operational in the ground of the Government Medical College, Palakkad.[81]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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