A foothill region of western Ghat, the origin of Palakkad derived from two words -“Pala” means a type of sweet smelling flower and “Kaadu” means forest. It has been visited for its rich flora and fauna, diverse culture, rivers, dams and temples. A Kerala tour with visit to Palakkad is now becoming a revered tour to the tourists of all regions of the world. While coming to Palakkad one can have wonderful experience as it has lots of to offer to its visitors. Palakkad in Kerala is now a major attraction to the tourists due to the Silent Valley National Park, Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary and rich music and art forms. Palakkad is home to a lot of veteran musicians and litterateurs of Kerala.
Season Timing :
Summer days are hot in Palakkad, so one should avoid this summer season. The best time to visit Palakkad is in between November and February as weather is cool during this period.
How to Reach :
Coimbatore Airport located 60 km away is the nearest airport to reach Palakkad. It has domestic service to other cities of India.
One can reach Palakkad driving from Coimbatore and bus services are available from Thrissur, Guruvayoor, Cochin, Calicut, etc
Palakkad is easily accessible from Palghat Junction and the town station.
The art and culture of Palakkad is witnessed in its dance forms, music and the temple festivals. While visiting Palakkad don’t forget to view a musical concert or puppet show. The main art forms of Palakkad are :
Kannyarkali also known as Desathukali is popular art form performed by the Nairs of Palakkad. Martial dance movements along with folk dance are displayed by the dancers. A nilavilakku (lamp) is lit and he dancers perform the dance around this. An orchestra of drums- chenda, maddalam, edakka and udukku create music to the dancers.
The literal meaning of Tholpavakoothu is leather puppet play. This art form is performed at Ottapalam and Kavalappara areas of Palakkad at the Kaali temples. The main subjects of the art form are Shri Rama and his life. Both Tamil and Malayalam languages are used in the narration of the dance form as the culture of Palakkad beholds influence of culture of Tamil Nadu. People make a stage for this puppet play.
Music and other Art Forms :
Known as the music capital of Kerala, Palakkad is home to the foremost exponent carnatic music, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar as well the Mridangam maestro, Palakkad Mani Iyer. Palakkakd is also home to great musicians and litterateurs of great repute.
A popular art form of Palakkad, Paana is a festival, where a canopy of coconut leaves is created near the shrine of the Bhadrakaali. A ritual sword is placed on the ritual ground. It is a ritual of three hours. This ritual is the belief of the people that an oracle happens in the tune of the drumbeat.
Known for its paddy cultivation, Palakkad has wide variety of temple festivals and other harvest festivals celebrated as offerings to the deities. A Palakkad tour to Kerala arranged by Indian Memoirz offers one the best opportunity to explore its myriad celebrations.
Nemmara Vallangi Vela :
Mainly a harvest festival, Nemmara Vallangi Vela is celebrated by the local agrarians with great pomp and gaiety. A grand parade of the elephants takes part in the cultural procession where the elephants are decorated colorfully. It is a festival of ten days celebrated at the temple of Nellikulangara. Display of fire works and performance of musical group and dance groups are the main feature of the festivals.
Kalpathi Ratholsavam :
Kalpathi Ratholsavam is a festival of Kalpathy temple which is located on the banks of the Kalpathy River. It is believed to be over 700 years old, lasts for ten days. On the first day of the festival vedic recitations and cultural programs are conducted. The unique feature of this festival is the decoration of the chariots.
Tourist Places in Palakkad
Palakkad tour in Kerala has lots of sightseeing destinations to its tourists; the most important attractions that add zing to your tour are :
1Malampuzha Dam :
Malampuzha Dam is a major attraction of Kerala tour to Palakkad due to its various adjacent tourist spots like Malampuzha gardens, a Rope way, a Snake Garden, a Rock Garden and an aquarium. The giant statue of the Demoness at Malampuzha gardens sculptured by sculptor Kanayi Kunjiraman is a feast to the eye. The night view of the garden is spectacular; the wide varieties of rose are glittered with different hues. Boating facilities are here at the lake of the dam.
2Silent Valley National Park :
A renowned wildlife spot, Silent Valley National Park denoting its meaning of the name is located at a distance of 40 kilometers from Mannarkad. This is the best one to spot a lion-tailed Macau or a hornbill’s nest. This national park is also home to a wide variety of endangered species, 100 varieties of medicinal plants and herbs. Four types of forests are seen in this park-the tropical hill forests, temperate, grasslands and moist tropical evergreen.
3Palakkad Fort :
Built by Haider Ali in the year 1766, this Palakkad fort is an attraction to the tourists. The ground between the Fort and the Palakkad town hall, called the Kota Maidanam, is now a playground for cricket matches and other public meetings. The children’s park built on one side of the fort adds beauty to the entire spot. A Hanuman temple is located here.
4Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary :
Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary located at Palakkad is home to the Cannimare Teak Tree, Asia’s largest tree. Four tribal settlements -that of the Kadar, Malsar, Muduvar and the Malamalasar are seen in and around the area of the park. Visiting this park one can spot a variety of animals, birds, butterflies, fish and other reptiles, some of them are Lion-tailed Macaque, the sloth bear, the Indian day gecko, the Mountain Skink, the Great Pied Hornbill, etc. One can visit the tree house in the Thoonakkadavu area for a clear view of the forest.
To view the best tribal culture one must visit Attappadi where tribal culture is unfolded in its pure form. This valley is also home to herds of elephants seen on the roadside or any location of the area. The tribes here celebrate colorful festivals with great pomp and gaiety. Kerala tour with Palakkad will be more mesmerizing if one visits this tribal life.
Bestowed with wildlife, hardcore tribal life, Palakkad is a unique spot in Kerala; Indian Memoirz plans a tour to this pulsating abode of nature.
Pilgrim Centre in Palakkad
5Punarjini Guha (Natural Tunnel)
Punarjini Guha, a natural tunnel in rocky cliff is 2 kms away from the Thiruvalla Temple; the deity of the temple is Sri Raman which is believed to be 'Swayambhoo' (Born on its own), and its abode is on the western side. On can reach this spot on foot trekking through the rugged hills. The narrow tunnel is about 15 meters long. People have a belief that if one crawls on the tunnel he is relived of sins and gifted with rebirth. Only men can crawl here, women are allowed once a year on Ekadeshi Day.
5Jain Temple of Jainmedu
Jain Temple of Jainmedu is located in Vadakkanthara village to the west of Palakkad town. This temple is 32 feet long and 20 feet wide granite temple. Jainism is survived in this region. The famous poet Kumaranasan wrote his monumental famous poem 'Veenapoovu' ('Fallen Flower) at this Jain house.
5Thenari (Natural Spring)
The waters of Thenari Natural Spring is believed to be holy as once Sita Devi, wife of Rama drank water here. Legend says that one day on their exile days Sita felt thirsty and Rama using his bow created a spring to satiate Sita's thirst. A temple dedicated to lord Rama is located here.
The other religious centers of Palakkad are Kalpathi temple and Thrithala Shiva temple.
More great destinations can be found in the Explore India page.
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