Palakkad City Map
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Different people hold different views on why the region is called Palakkad. Some say it is so due to the dense growth of the Pala trees while others believe that since the land was known to be barren and the words Pala in Malayali denotes aridity, Palakkadu stands to mean a barren jungle (kadu means forest or jungle). Yet others believe that the region was initially called ‘Palikaddu’ in honor of the ancient language Pali spoken by the Jains who built the famed Jain Temple in Palakkadu city. With time this Palikadu slowly turned into Palakkad. No matter what the reason of the region's nomenclature, the town is called Palakkad as it is the administrative headquarters of the district with the same name.
Palakkad town lies very close to the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu, and hence is very influenced by it. The easiest access to Palakkad City is through Tamil Nadu only. Coimbatore (in Tamil Nadu) is 52 kilometers away and the closest airport.
Southern Railways division of Indian Railways connects the city to the rest of the country through excellent links. Again Coimbatore is the nearest major Junction. Meter gauge trains connect Palakkad town with Pollachi, Dindigul and Madurai. These meter gauge trains form the support system for trade in the town. The small time traders use these intensively to transport goods such as vegetables, fish, poultry and dairy products.
On the roadways front, the city stands on Palakkad-Kozhikode National Highway 213. About 9 km from the town, National Highway 47 between Salem-Kanyakumari lends connectivity. The Palakkad Ponnani connects NH 47 and NH 17 and is an important Road in the city.
Places Of Interest In and Around Palakkad City:
- Palakkad Fort was built in 1766 by Hyder Ali, the Sultan of Mysore. It was later captured by the British and is also known as Tipu's Fort (in honor of Tipu Sultan, son of Hyder Ali).
- In Palakkad town at a place called Jainmedu, stands an ancient and famous Jain Temple. Close to the railway station of the city, this is a major tourist attraction. This 32 feet long, 20 feet broad temple is dedicated to the Jain Thirthankaras and Yakshinis.
- Punarjani Guha a 15 mt. long rocky tunnel and Killikkurussimangalam, the birthplace of the celebrated Thullal exponent Kunchan Nambiar are also noteworthy tourist attractions.
- On a weekend trip one could visit Nelliyampathi, about 80 km away. It is a rocky hill station of dense flora growth.
- The Silent Valley National Park is 80 km. from Palakkad and home to the rare Lion-Tailed Macaque and tigers as well. 135km away is the The Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary which preserves fast diminishing wildlife species such as elephants, boars, bison, crocodiles, tigers and panthers.
- Malampuzha dam garden and the Kanhirapuzha Dam are places worth seeing. Malampuzha has been developed as a fun picnic spot with recreational options such as an amusement park and boating complex besides the lush picturesque gardens. Kanhirapuzha Dam too has a sprawling garden in beside it and both these are easily accessible from Palakkad city.
- Temples: The Anjaneya (Lord Hanuman) Temple inside Palakkad Fort, the Devi Temple at Manappulli kavu, Sri Viswanatha Swamy temple at Kalpathy, the Thirupuraikkal Temple at Vadakkanthara and the Kunnathurmedu Sreekrishna Temple are centers of traditional religious practices and grand Festivals.
A trip to Palakkad is a walk into the cultural hub of Kerala. Rich in Carnatic music, the performing arts, birthplace of the literary maestros, Palakkad still retains its rustic flavor. Paddy fields and swaying palms, folk music and a pleasant climate make this the Promised Land for most tourists. The Festivals such as the Kalpathi Ratholsavam, Chittur Konganpada, Nemmara-Vallanghi Vela and the Manappullikavu Vela evoke a deep sense of religious fervor and one feels that one is living the traditions that were followed hundreds of years ago. This sense of nostalgia and a rich history attract hundreds of tourists to Palakkad every year.