KERALA INFO: Palakkad District Information

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Palakkad District Information

by by V.A.Ponmelil (All rights reserved by the author)  (Feedback)

District Area

4,480 Sq.Km.



Sex Ratio


Growth Rate


Density per km2



84.31 %


  241 cm (Annual)

The name Palakkad means “jungle of barren land”. There is another belief which says that it is connected with the ancient Jain temple of the town as ‘Pali’ being the sacred language of the Jains, giving the land its name as “Palighat”. But most believe that Palakkad is derived from 'Pala', an indigenous tree which was once densely covered this land and hence the name Palakkad meaning “the forest of Pala trees."

Palakkad is also referred as a land of palm trees and paddy fields. It is the chief granary of Kerala, often called the Gateway of Kerala. Palakkad lies at the foot of the gigantic Western ghats on the border of Kerala. The district is very rich in flora and fauna along with mountains, forests, and fertile valleys, rivers and mountain streams. Palakkad district shares borders with Malappuram district in the North and Northwest, Trichur in the South and Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu in the East.

Covered over the midland-plains and mountainous highlands, the district does not have a coastline. It has the biggest mountain pass in the world. The vast Nilgiri Hills and the colossal Anamalai ranges wrap on either side of this natural gap. Palakkad division is divided into the Mannarkkad East Range, the Mannarkkad West Range, the Olavakkode Range and the Palakkad Range. The highest peak is the Anjinad peak. The other major peaks include the Karimala, the Karimala Gopuram, the Kalladikkode, the Nellikkotta or the Padagiri and the Vellachimudi.

The major rivers of the district are the Bharathapuzha (Nila), the Kollengode, the Kannadi, the Kalpathy, the Chitturpuzha, the Bhavani, the Shiruvani, the Thuthapuzha and the Gayatri. Some of the key irrigation projects and dams are at Malampuzha, Walayar, Mangalam, Gayatri, Chittur, Meenkara, Pothundi and Kanhirapuzha.


History of Palakkad dates back to the Paleolithic period as several megalithic relics have been found in the region. The Perumals ruled this region for several hundred years. Later Utayavars, the governors of Perumals took over the possession of this land and divided it among themselves. The Scottish author of the celebrated Malabar Manual, William Logan, mentioned that one of the hubs of the Pallavas of Kanchi who invaded Malabar in the second and third centuries was Palakkad.

The earliest records about Palakkad reveal the chronicle of a war victory of the king of Palakkad in A.D 988. The king of Palakkad, Nedumpurayur Nadudayavar, stopped an invasion by the forces of the King of Kongunadu at Chittur. Even today, a festival is celebrated in memory of this victory at Chittur. The Nedumpurayur royal family was later known as Tarur Swaroopam and finally as Palakkad Raja Swaroopam.

The Raja of Palakkad sought the help of Hyder Ali of Mysore to check the invasion of the Zamorin of Calicut in 1757. Hyder Ali freed all parts of Palakkad invaded by the Zamorin. Eventually, Haider helped himself to Palakkad and later his son Tipu Sultan was the unquestioned ruler of this region. But after his defeat to the British, Tipu gave his Malabar territories to the British following the treaty with the English East India Company in 1872. Then Palakkad formed the part of the Malabar District of the Madras Presidency thereafter.  

Places of Interest

Palakkad fort, Chittur Gurumadam, Attapaddy, Dhoni, Kalapathy Temple, Mangalam Dam, Nelliyampathy, Pattambi Nercha, Silent Valley National Park, Thrithala, Jain Temple, Malampuzha Dam, Kanjirapuzha, Kottayi, Chulannur Peacock Protection Centre, Seetharkundu, Parambikulam, JP Smirthivanam and Deer Park

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