Palakkad The Beautiful Gateway to Kerala

Palakkad is a stunning place covered with lush green paddy fields which you must visit to gain a different experience with nature. Palakkad gap is a 32 km wide pass across the Western Ghats and forms the Gateway to God's own land, Kerala. No label fits well enough to describe the beautiful land of Palmyra Trees, Palakkad.

The word Palakkad has been derived from the words Pala and Kadu, Pala is the name of a tree with sweet-smelling flowers (whose fine smell spreads over 500 meters) and Kadu means forest. The place justifies its name as it is covered in greenery and forests all around.

 

When to visit

In the pleasant and cool breezy weather spanning from September to April. The summers could be extremely hot and monsoons too wet.

 

How to Reach 

Nearest Airports

Peelamedu Airport at Coimbatore (55km away/ 1.5 hrs away), Kochi's Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery (115km away/ 2.5 hrs away).

Nearest Railway station

Palghat Railway Station.

By Road

NH47 which connects Salem to Kanyakumari via Coimbatore, Ernakulum, Thrissur, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kollam.

Bus

KSRTC Bus Stand at Palakkad on the Shoranur Road. It offers daily rides from Thrissur, Kochi, Kozhikode, Bengaluru, etc.

 

Things to See

Palakkad Fort

Also known as Tipu's Fort, Palakkad fort remains to be one of the well-preserved forts in Kerala till date. It was constructed back in 1766 by Haider Ali amidst the green jungles located at the foothills of the Sahyadri ranges. It shelters attractions like a Hanuman Ji's Temple, Martyr's Column, a garden, and a sub-jail as well. The solid laterite walls depict the old historic tale of courage and bravery. It had been built with the motive of improvising upon the communications between the two opposite sides of Western Ghats. However, the fort had been attacked and then captured by the British. The Archaeological Survey of India has now preserved it within the gardens of the landscape, built paved walkways, a museum, and an open-air auditorium.

Pricing: Free

Timing: 8 am to 6 pm

Malampuzha Dam

The Malampuzha Dam and gardens are located in the lower hills of the Western Ghats. The backwaters of the dam and the gardens built on the premises have successfully made it a famous tourist spot. The gardens here are the only rock-cut gardens in South India made by Nek Chand, renowned artist (winner of Padmashree Award). Made from broken pieces of bangles, used plastic containers, tins, and other waste materials, this is surely a unique and eco-friendly garden. Fountains, rose gardens, flowering beds and an aerial ropeway together make it a soothing place.

Pricing: Children (3 to 12 years old): INR 10, adults: INR 25 

Timing: 9:00 am to 8:00 pm

 

Silent Valley National Park

The Kundhali Hills of the Western Ghats have the last stretch of virgin tropical evergreen rainforests. These rainforests form the Silent Valley, National Park. With lush green forest and stunning views of the valley, many endangered and rare species of animals living peacefully, this National Park surely has a lot to offer. Alongside the park, the river Kunthi cascades beautifully from the Nilgiri Hills with pure and clear waters.

 

Vadakkanthara Temple

The Vadakkanthara Temple is the home of Goddess Bhagavathi who is an incarnation of Kannagi, the heroine of a Tamil epic Silappatikaram, who is again an incarnation of Goddess Parvati. There are surely some interesting yet unusual customs in this temple. A noteworthy one is that every day at 6:00 am and 6:00 pm, 101 crackers are lit and burst within the temple premises. This is a symbolic way of shooing away evil spirits. Most of the rituals performed here center around driving away negative energy.

Timings: 4:30am to 12:00pm

 

Jain Temples 

The Jain temples are located at Janimedu near Palakkad, on the Kalpathi River. It is believed to be over 500 years old. The temple houses many deities and idols at different divisions including Chandranath, Vijayalakshmi, Padmavathi, Parswanathan, and Rishabhanathan. It is adorned with granite walls, 32 ft long and 20 ft wide and is enshrined with pictures of Jain Tirthankaras and Yakshinis.

Timings: 7 am to 10:30 am and 5 pm to 7 pm

 

The Agraharams

Legend has it that a prince of the Kochi dynasty once fell in love with a tribal girl and ended up being ostracized for the affair. He left his family and settled here to set up the dynasty of Palakkad. The Nambodiri Brahmins left the place but Tamil Brahmins who lived on the other side of the Palakkad gap came and settled down here. The places where they settled grew into 'gramams' or 'agraharams'. These lie along the banks of the Kalpathi river. These 'gramams' are namely, Chokkanthapura, Ambikapuram, Kumarapuram, and Ramanathapuram with three shrines dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, and Ganesha.

 

Vishwanathaswamy Temple

This is a small yet impressive Shiva Temple. It had been constructed after the Kashi Vishwanathaswamy Temple of Banaras. The temple had been built back in 1425 and has an imposing flagpole on which the temple banner flies during the chariot festival, Kalpathi Ther held in November.

Timings: 5 am to 10 am and 5 pm to 8 pm

 

Manapullikavu Temple

It is an ancient temple that lies on the banks of the Bharatapuzha River. The temple shelters the deity Bhadrakali, who is a female incarnation of Paramashiva. Legends say that the goddess came here to protect the temple from an asura called Neelan and after defeating him, the goddess blessed all her devotees with prosperity. It is believed even today that the goddess protects all her devotees from the negative force and grants them all of their wishes and desires.

Timings: 6 am to 10:30 am (Mon, Wed, Thurs and Sat), 6 am to 11:30 am (Sun, Tues and Fri) and 5 pm to 7 pm every day.

Where to Stay:

Sri Chackra International

Range: INR 1600 to INR 3700

 

Hotel Gazala

Range: INR 2,300 to INR 4,000

Hotel Indraprastha

Range: INR 1700 to INR 6,000

Hotel KPM Regency

Range: INR 1,250 to INR 4,500

Kanoos East Fort Resort

Range: INR 560 to INR 900

Kairali Towers

Range: INR 700 to INR 2,000

Kapilavasthu

Range: INR 775 to INR 1,800

Fort Palace Hotel

Range: INR 1,500 to INR 3,750

ATS Residency

Range: INR 2,000 to INR 5,000

 



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