We started this series to ensure that no one misses the beautiful places in Kerala, our home. 🙂 Every place has got famous destinations and lesser known ones. While well-known ones are crowded & more commercial, the lesser known ones are charming & beautiful since they are still untouched. It’s about those destinations which are less known to tourists, while travelers explore these places somehow. Last week we wrote about Trichur, this week let us introduce you to Palakkad (Palghat). Palakkad (Palghat) is towards the Kerala – Tamilnadu border and a city with very good cultural and educational growth along with the beautiful scenic locations, the Malampuzha Dam and some beautiful places nearby.
Palakkad town has a mixed culture which includes Kerala culture and a bit of classic Tamil-Brahmin culture. This city hosts the famous Chembai College of music which is built in memory of musician Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar and also hosts the Govt Victoria College which is a really old institution. There is a 17th Century fort build by Hyder Ali for the famous Tipu Sultan. This Fort stands in the heart of Palakkad. This is a beautiful place to walk around and see.
Kalpathi is a small place in Palakkad which is an early Brahmin settlement (Agraharam) and is known as the Dakshin Kasi or Varanasi of South. Kalpathi Ratholsavam (Temple car festival) is an annual fest held at the temple here. This place has the good old charm and still has kept the charm as it is.
10km from Palakkad town is the Malampuzha dam & gardens, Rock Gardens. There is a ropeway ride in the Malampuzha gardens which will let you see the beautiful Dam and whole of the gardens and the mighty western ghats at a distance. This is a very famous picnic spot for people around Palakkad. There are some good stay options next to it.
If you drive further through the road from Malampuzha, you start seeing the reservoir on your right side and beautiful mountains ahead. It’s a beautiful drive and off-roading enthusiasts can try off-roading in the reservoir areas in summers or seasons with less water. There are homestays on the bank of the streams and in the middle of the beautiful greenery. These are places you will not see on the tourist map.
About 56km from Palakkad lies the beautiful Nelliyampathy Hills. The beautiful peaks covered with cloud necklaces give the feeling of places you see in movies. The Nelliyampathy Hill Ranges is the perfect place from where you can view the whole of Palakkad as well as the Palghat Gap. The road from Palakkad going through Nenmara and Pothundy dam area winds through paddy fields and lush green scenery. Nelliyampathy hills are famous for the tea & orange plantations. This place is also known for animal spotting because of Parambikulam wild life sanctuary which is 102kms from here. You can have a picnic at the Pothundy dam while going to Nelliyampathy and then continue with stops at beautiful view points. There are few resorts on top of Nelliyampathy and some home stay options too. Places like Sitharkundu View Point, Kesavanpara, Nelliyampathy Guha (caves) etc are some of the places to see other than the beautiful scenery all the way. Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is around 102kms & is a good place for animal lovers. There are some trekking options too in Nelliyampathy
Silent Valley is a rain forest which lies around a couple of hours distance from Palakkad. This is like Amazon of Kerala with thick forest which is still untouched because of which this is home to many animals, birds, insects & reptile species. This place has some indigenous tribes too. There are not many stay options here and it is better to contact the Forest office or Wild life department for booking the accommodation. You can contact through phone, email.On the way to Silent Valley, a slight deviation will take you to the Kanjirapuzha Dam which is another beautiful Dam.
Nearest airport to Palakkad: Coimbatore International Airport (Tamilnadu), about 55 km from Palakkad
From Kochi Airport, Palakkad is 110kms and you can board a train from the nearest station or hire a taxi or board a bus.
Also from Thrissur, Palakkad is only 2hrs by road.
By Rail: Palakkad is approachable by rail from anywhere.
By Road: Buses ply from Chennai, Bangalore and other places to Palghat (Palakkad)
In Palakkad, there are many traditional Kerala ancestral homes (Nalukeettu) which are famous for their architecture. Apart from this, the city and surrounding have lots of temples and many other attractions which you can visit if you have time. Palakkad is one of the oldest cities in Kerala with still has its heritage charm.