Due to the proximity to the Western ghats, Palakkad becomes the point of entry for the north east monsoon into Kerala. The 'rice bowl of Kerala', has vast stretches of lush green paddy fields, with tributaries of Bharathapuzha river (Kunthipuzha etc), and fishponds (Meenkara) forming sliver streaks in between. The high ranges and the weather of the place has also gifted the place with not just velvet carpets of several tea and coffee estates (Sholayar, Attappadi etc), but also orange estates- probably the only ones in the state. Silent Valley , the dense green natural forest, belongs to this district. There is also a well maintained wildlife sanctuary at Parambikulam. Apart from the repertoire of natural beauty, Palakkad also showcases the famous 'Tippu Sultan's Fort walls', splendidly built dams (Malampuzha, Siruvani, Meenkara, Aliyar etc) and a few temples. The amusement park at Malampuzha, with its beautiful gardens, children's park, aquarium and ropeway is a fabulous place for family entertainment.
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This is the landmark of Palakkad, the rice bowl of Kerala.The magnificent fort that has changed hands many times (the Mysore rajahs, the East India Company, the Zamorins etc.) along the course of history is one of the must see historical places of Kerala. The structure that dates back to the 1700s, is also a brilliant case of architectural brilliance.
The location to the West of the fort, known by the name Kottamaithanam, is where Tippu's cavalry once camped. The vast ground in the area is usually the venue for many exhibitions, fairs and conventions. The children's park in the area is a major amusement. There is also a vast open air stadium called 'Rappadi' in the locality.
Chulannur Peacock Protection Centre - 22 kms away from Palakkad town and 5 kms from Peringothukrish
Mailadumpara comprises of vast area of land maintained as the protected region to rear and preserve the national bird- peacock. There is also the dense tropical forest- Kunjan Nambiar Smrudhi forest, in the Chulannur area.
Kottayi - 15 kms from the district headquarters
Kottayi became a popular place chiefly after Chembai Village, the birthplace of the celebrated maestro of Carnatic music, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavather, the maestro of Karnatic music. Ever since, this has been a pilgrim centre for those who enjoy and follow Carnatic singing. This is also the birth place of guru Kunju Kurup, a noted Kathakali artist. Kottayi's Kandethan temple is a beautiful structure that is now gaining popularity.
Malampuzha -13 kms from Palakkad town
The famous Malampuzha dam (that dates back to 1955) and the surrounding gardens have always remained the main attractions of Kerala. One section of the gorgeous garden has been modeled in the Mughal style and another in the Japanese style. There is also a brilliantly sculpted colossal 'Yakshi' or the witch. Within the Malampuzha gardens' compound, there are many more wonders including a fish-shaped aquarium, a snake park, a rock garden. The amusement park and the fancy park here makes Malampuzha quite popular with young tourists as well.
The great heights at which Nelliampathy is located (ie an altitude of 467m - 1572m above sea level) makes it the best spots to devour the lovely sight of the Sholayar mountain pass, waterfalls, valleys, dense forests and tea gardens of the nearby locations. The altitude has also gifted the place with an enjoyable chill climate where one can find vegetation quite different from those in most parts of the state. The high ranges and luxurious forests here offer trekkers several attractive spots to take off on challenging treks. The many rivers and streams that run through the thick woods and mighty mountains, paint a marvelous picture of the district.
Seetharkundu at Nelliampathy lures visitors with the offer of fabulous views of the beautiful valley below. Lord Rama was believed to have spent his days here during the "vanavaasa". Nearby is a dazzling stream of clear water that falls from great heights (1000m). This is a chief tourist spot.
Silent Valley National Park - 40 kms from Mannarkkad
The 90sq kms area that falls under the park is considered the best patch of evergreen forest in the state. The forest at Silent valley is also credited as being the major cause of summer rains in the state. The Kunthi river cuts through the vast area of the park. The park is home for several exotic species of trees and plants. Visitors can spot vivid wildlife (Great Indian Hornbill, the Nilgiri Laughing Thrush and the Lion-tailed Macaque etc) at the park, including many varieties of reptiles. Over 100 species of butterflies and 400 species of moths (including Ceylon Frog Moth) were identified here.
Silent Valley also houses core of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
The place is synonymous with the wild life sanctuary here. Located in Western Ghats, the place is a ideal home for the thriving animals and bird life. There is also a national park in the location. At the park, that is named after the noted ornithologist Salim Ali, visitors can observe several amazing varieties of birds. There is also a reservoir at Parambikulam.
JP Smirthivanam & Deer Park - 22 kms away from Palakkad
The forest and park that covers many acres come under the Walayar reserve forest. The protected area under the deer park provides opportunities to visitors to observe the graceful animals at close quarters. There are also several other animals including elephants that reside in the forest area. And the park also has arrangements for elephant rides.
Chulliyar Dam, Mangalam Dam and Siruvani Dam are other popular tourist sites. The splendid constructions across some of the important rivers of Kerala or their tributaries, these dam sites are also locations of great scenic beauty.
Palakkad also has many places that are of interest to those with an inclination towards literature and its history.
Thunchan Madom and Killikurissi Mangalam are also a similar sites. The former is noted as the place where Thunjathu Ezhuthachan, the father of Malayalam literature spent the last years of his life. The building there still has on display the ezhuthaani (pen) used by him. The latter is the birthplace of Kunjan Nambiar, the father of the celebrated artform Thullal. The place also has a center imparting training in learning the poet's arts form like Ottam Thullal, Parayan Thullal and Seethankan Thullal.
Kudallur and Thasarak are two of the famous villages in Kerala. These, being birth places of famous Malayalam literary figures, is a noted tourist destination as well.
Air : Nearest airport is in Coimbatore (55 kms away from Palakkad).
Rail : Palakkad has its own railway station. Palakkad Junction Railway Station is a major railhead of the Southern Railways.
Road: Palakkad is easy accessible by roads from Kerala and also from Tamil Nadu.