Palakkad, a dazzling jewel at the foot of Western Ghats is the gateway to Kerala. This land of green paddy fields and tall coconut trees is blessed with great scenic beauty and natural resources. With its extremely picturesque setting, there’s no shortage of tourist attractions in Palakkad. It is a blissful paradise of misty mountains, evergreen forests, huge dams, wildlife sanctuaries and historical monuments.
Palakkad also known as the granary of Kerala still holds a tint of its old rural charm in its slow moving bullock carts transporting goods, villagers lazing around huge banyan trees in the temple compounds, children playing or flying kites in the countryside etc.
Etymologically Palakkad formerly called as Palghat derives its name from the two words ‘Pala’ and ‘Kadu’. Pala is a tree abundantly found in this region and Kadu means forest. Being at the border of Tamil Nadu the culture at Palakkad is a rich mix of both. Palakkad amuses travellers with its profuse natural resources.
This fort is the landmark of the city. Palakkad fort rising above a tiny hill situated at the end of the city welcomes all visitors to this marvellous place. This fort is historically important which tells us about the tales of many heroes of the past.
This well maintained fort is the best place to spend time in breezy evening. With its architectural beauty and historical importance it draws the attraction of all visitors. Kotta Maithanam, west of the fort is very famous for being the place where Tipu’s cavalry camped. Nearby the fort there is a children’s park and open air stadium.
Malampuzha, ‘The Vrindavan of Kerala’ is a perfect place for a family picnic. Malampuzha is located close to Bharathapuzha at a distance of 13 km from Palakkad town. Malampuzha, a place blessed with both natural beauty and man made architectures at the bottom of western ghats near forests and rivers among stones and grass.
The huge dam located in the hilly region is amazing. Since the completion of the dam the place is converted to a wonderful tourist spot. The place derived its name from Malampuzha River, a tributary of Bharathapuzha.
Other attractions in Malampuzha are Malampuzha Gardens, a fish shaped freshwater aquarium, snake park, a children’s park, a Reservoir, Garden House , Japanese Garden, Hanging Bridge, Sculpture of Yakshi, Ropeway, Road Train, Telescopic Tower, Rose Garden and Fantasy Park. Rose Garden in Malampuzha is famous for having over a hundred varieties of roses.
The reservoir offers you the opportunity to enjoy fishing and boating. The Garden House has a unit of water sports. The passenger ropeway is a thrilling experience. This ropeway gives you a complete view of the entire garden set upon the blue Mountains. This is the first of its kind in South India.
The Malampuzha thread garden is another place which is worth a visit. There are plenty of fabulous life like models in the thread garden. The Rock garden and Telescopic tower is also attractions of this place.
Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
Cuddled in the valley between Anamalai ranges of Tamilnadu and Nelliyampathy ranges of Kerala on the Western Ghats lies the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary. Parambikulam situated about 125 km from Palakkad has a variety of attractions.
Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is the most protected ecological piece of Anamalai sub unit of Western Ghats, surrounded on all sides by protected areas and sanctuaries of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
The untouched beauty of nature in wildlife sanctuary attracts so many people. It spreads over an area of 285 square km. This is a famous haunt of bird watchers. One can see all sorts of animals and birds here.
Parambikulam also has a reservoir which offers you entertainment options like fishing and boating. The place is famous for teak plantations. The oldest teak tree, ‘Kannimaree’, stands here. There is a national park here, which is named after Salim Ali, the famous bird observer.
Silent Valley National Park
Silent Valley National Park is a unique preserve of tropical evergreen rain forests. The Silent Valley National Park spreads an area of 90sq. km is situated in the north eastern corner of the district. Silent Valley holds rich biodiversity. The rarest species of animals and birds are seen in the valley.
There are more than 1000 species of flowering plants, more than 34 species of mammals, about 200 species of butterflies and many other species of animals here. Apart from these, the National Park houses more than a thousand kinds of trees.
Siruvani dam situated 80 km away from Palakkad town is the common reservoir of Kerala and Tamilnadu. The dam and the surrounding is blessed with amazing natural beauty. The dam constructed across Siruvani Puzha, a tributary of Bhavani Puzha supplies drinking water to Coimbatore municipality.
There is a waterfall from 2000 feet height on the eastern side of the dam. The beauty and the cool climate of the place attracts so many visitors to this place. With its natural beauty and cool ambiance this dam really worth a visit.
Choolanur Peacock Protection Centre
Chulanur is situated 22 kms away from Palakkad town this is the only sanctuary exclusively for the national bird peacock in Kerala. It is also known as Mayiladumpara Peacock protection centre. This place harbors many species of plants and butterflies endemic to this area. Kunjan Nambiar memorial forest and Mayiladum Parai are other attractions of this place.
This huge beautiful dam located 48 km south of Palakkad town is constructed across Cherukunnu Puzha, a tributary of Mangalam river. The dam situated among the natural beauty of Palakkad has so many wild animals here. There are deer, wild elephants and rare species of birds on the fringes of the reservoir. The dam is also a famous picnic spot.
Thunjan Madom also called as Guru Madom on the banks of ‘Sokanashini’ (destroyer of sorrow) Chittur Puzha is a place blessed with the presence of literary men Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan, the father of Malayalam language. In Sokanashini, an old building at Chittur Thekkegramam village he spent his last years. The pen he used for writing is still kept here as a precious memento.
Temples in Palakkad
There are so many popular temples in Palakkad. You can also visit some of the most wonderful places of worship. Some of the temples here are Jain Temple, Vadakkanthara temple, Manapullikavu, Kalpathy Agrahara and Viswanathaswamy Temple, Kumarapuram temple, Emoor Bhagavathy Temple and Thiruvalathoor Shiva Temple.
Villages around Palakkad
You can also visit any of the village or Agrahara in Palakkad. The villages here are really beautiful and serene. You can feel the difference once you spend time in these villages. Take a stroll down Kalpathy, Kumarapuram, Ramanathapuram, Ambikapuram or Chokkanathapuram to experience the tradition and culture of village life.
Where To Stay in Palakkad
Palakkad has some nice hotels both inside and outside the city. The hotels here offers all comforts. Some of the best places to stay in Palakkad are Sri Chakra International, Hotel Gazala, Hotel Indraprastha, Hotel KPM International, Marhaba Residency, Kanoos East Fort Resort, Kairali Towers, Kapilavasthu, Fort Palace Hotel, ATS Residency, Hotel Ambadi etc.
There are some really nice places to stay outside Palakkad also. They are Kairali Ayurvedic Health Resort, Silent Valley Ayurvedic Health Centre, Kandath Tharavadu, Olappamanna Mana, Planters Retreat and Mythiri Homestay.