|Location||Tamil Nadu - Kerala, India|
Palakkad Gap or Palghat Gap is a low mountain pass in the Western Ghats between Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu and Palakkad in Kerala. It has an average elevation of 140 metres (460 ft) with a width of 30 kilometres (19 mi). The pass is located between the Nilgiri Hills to the north and Anaimalai Hills to the south.
Origin and history
There are various theories about the origin of Palakkad gap. One among them is that it is caused by the landslide due to rivers flowing in opposite directions. The Bharatha Puzha river originates in the Palakkad Gap from rivulets and tributaries feeding from steep escarpment slopes along the flanks of the Ghats.
Palakkad gap has played a major role in enabling human migration into Kerala from parts of Tamil Nadu. From 300 B.C. to 13th century, it also helped the Cheras rule the entire Kerala and the Kongu Nadu as one geographical unit from Karur in Western Tamil Nadu. Tamil Brahmins migrated to Palakkad from Central Tamil Nadu via the Palakkad gap from the 15th century to 18th century.
Effect on weather
The gap affects the weather patterns in Southern India as it allows the moisture-laden Southwest monsoon winds into western Tamil Nadu, moderating summer temperatures and generating greater rainfall in the region relative to the rest of lowland Tamil Nadu. It also allows the hot winds coming from Tamil Nadu which warm the eastern part of Kerala compared to the rest of the state and the tropical cyclone winds from Bay of Bengal bearing rain during the summer.
Transport and trade
The gap is the lowest pass through the Western Ghats in the region and the only break in the 1,600 kilometres (990 mi) stretch of the Western Ghats that runs along the entire eastern edge of Kerala isolating it from the neighboring Tamil Nadu. It acts as an important transport corridor between the two States by linking Palakkad District of Kerala with Coimbatore District of Tamil Nadu and has served as a vital trade route between the east and west coasts of peninsular India since ancient times.
Both the NH 47 highway and the Coimbatore - Shoranur railway line joining Kerala to Tamil Nadu pass through the gap. The gap also helps for VHF line of sight communications between the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
The Palakkad Gap funnels the winds blowing from the west on to Coimbatore and Tirupur districts in Tamil Nadu making the region one of the major wind power generation areas. The average annual wind speed is 18-22 km/hr. Large windmill farms can be seen in and around Udumalaipettai and Kadathur.
Palghat-Coimbatore NH 47 runs through the gap
- "Britannica Encyclopedia". Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- Nair, Dr. S. Sathis Chandran, (20 May 2004). A Note on the Ecological Impact of the Proposed Pathrakkadavu Hydro-Electric Project (PHEP) in the Kunthi River, Palakkad District of Kerala: India - Silent Valley Rainforest Under Threat Once More
- "Tiruppur District Official Webpage". Retrieved 6 November 2013.
- "TamilNadu Energy Development Agency". Retrieved 6 November 2013.
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