Facts About Palakkad
Midland- 7.62 to 76.2m above Sea level. Highland- 914 to
2133m above sea level
(Annual): 240 cm
Tropical oppressive hot season (March to May) plenty
of rainfall during monsoons (June -Sep., Dec.-Feb.)
Season: September to February
How to get there:
Air: The nearest airport
is Coimbatore, 55 km away. To the south is Cochin Airport, 160 km
away and Trivandrum International Airport 382 km away.
Palghat is connected by good motorable roads to all the major towns
of Kerala and neighbouring Tamil Nadu. There are long-distance KSRTC
bus services to Trichur, Guruvayoor, Cochin, Calicut, Kottayam and
Trivandrum. Inter-state services, including those of the Tamil Nadu
government's Thiruvalluvar Transport Corporation, operate to Chennai,
Madurai, Trichy, Ootty, Palani and Pollachi.
transport: For local transport there are yellow-top taxis, tourist
taxis, buses and autorickshaws.
the more fertile and thicklyt forested districts of Kerala, Palghat,
close to the Tamil Nadu border, is supposed to have derived its
name from the pala (Alsteria Scholaris) tree and kadu (forest).
The whole area is said to have been once covered by pala trees.
district, which lies at the foot of the colossal Western Ghats,
has only midland and highland areas. Much of the area is made up
of plains, interspersed with a few hillocks. The plains are fertile
and productive, so much so that the district is considered the granary
with Idukki, Palghat is the other district in Kerala which has the
rare distinguishing characteristic of not having a sea coast. The
highland features the great Palghat Gap, a huge opening nearly 32.2
km wide, which is a break in the Western Ghats. Through this gap
hot land-winds rush into the district every January and April.
longest river Bharathapuzha flows through the district. During the
hot season its wide sandy bed is nearly totally dry, except for
some miles from its mouth. Being too shallow and rocky for water
transport, the Bharathapuzha has little commercial significance,
but holds a special place in the cultural psyche of the state.
the heart of Palghat town, there is a well-preserved fort which
dates back to 1766 A.D. It was built by Hyder Ali of Mysore, supposedly
to facilitate communication between Coimbatore and the west coast,
In 1784, after a siege lasting eleven days, the British colonel,
Fullerton, stormed the fort. It later fell into the hands of the
Zamorin's troops but was recaptured by the British in 1790.
of the few existing Jain temples in Kerala is the Jain Temple at
Jainamedu in the Vadakkanthara village on the western border. With
granite walls devoid of any decorations, this temple comprises four
divisions and is 32 feet long and 20 feet long and 20 feet broad.
Legend has it that the temple was built about 500 years ago by a
jain head named Inchanna Satur for the Jain sage Chandranathaswamy.
low quadrangular building on the banks of the Kalpathy river, the
Kalpathy Temple, dedicated to Lord Siva, dates back to 1425 A.D.
It is build as a replica of the Kasi temple at Benares. The ratholsavam
('chariot festival'), held every Novermber, is Palghat's biggest
festival and attracts thousands of devotees.
extensive mountain valley above the crest of the ghat ranges, with
numerous rivulets of the Bhavani river draining it, Attapadi is
populated mainly by tribes (mostly Irulas) and some settlers from
Tamil Nadu. Hardly affected by 'development' work, Attapadi offers
forests in their elemental grandeur. It is about 38 km from Mannarghat
from where there are frequent buses to Anakkatti. Accommodation
is available at Mannarghat and at Agali, the most important town
in Attapadi, there is a PWD Rest House and a VIP Guest House.
a forest range area 75 km from Palghat, comprises a chain of ridges
cut off from one another by valleys of dark evergreen forests in
which can be found very valuable teak of extraordinary height and
girth. The highest peak is Nellikota or Padagiri, 15,232 metres
above sea level. A hill with coll climate, Nelliampathy is accessible
by bus from Palghat. On the way, about 17 km en route, there is
a dam and park at Pothundi.
Lakkidi is the place called Killi Kurussimangalam, the birth-place
of Kerala's famous poet Kunjan Nambiar,
the father of the traditional solo dance ottanthullal.
Malampuzha, a scenic
spot just a short drive from Palghat (14 km), is the site of a large
irrigation dam built across the Bharathapuzha. The town is set at
the base of the hills of the Western Ghats and around the large
reservoir are beautiful landscaped rose gardens and amusement parks
for children as well as facilities for boat cruises on the reservoir.
Illuminated on Saturdays and Sundays, the gardens and the fountains
offer a picturesque sight. Also on display in the gardens is Yakshi,
a well-known work of art by the illustrious Kerala sculptor Kanai
Kunhiraman. (Timings: 10 a.m. to 12 noon; 2 p.m. to 6.pm. Entry
fee: Rs 8 per head.)
also features a passenger ropeway designed to carry 400 passengers
per hour in each direction from Hermit's End near the Government
Guest House to the KTDC hotel over a distance of 625 metres at a
height of about 6 feet above the gardens.
sanctuary, one of the best Kerala, sprawling over 285 sq km, the
Wildlife Sanctuary is part of the neighbouring Anamalai
Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu. It has a rich diversity of flora and fauna.
It has a large population of gaur (bison), sambar and spotted deer,
Nilgiri langur, jungle cat, lion-tailed macaque, sloth bear and
otter along with some tigers and leopards. The Cannimare teak tree,
said to be Asia's largest, stands about 5 km from Thunakadavu, the
headquarters of Parambikulam.
can be done at the lake at Parambikulam. Trekking in the sanctuary
is possible with the permission of forest officials. Parambikulam
can be visited throughout the year except during June-August when
the monsoons are on. The sanctuary can be reached by bus from Pollachi
(40 km from Coimbatore and 49 km from Palghat). All vehicles (except
two-wheelers) are allowed entry into the sanctuary between 7 a.m
nd 6 p.m. None is allowed in after 6.30 p.m. Entry fee: Rs. 0.50
per person; Rs 5 per light vehicle; Rs 10 per heavy vehicle.
rest houses and inspection bungalows are available at Thunakadavu,
Thellikkal and Elathode. There are two watch towers in the sanctuary,
one at Anappadi and the other at Zungam.
more details, including accommodation reservations, contact the
Divisional Forest Officer, Teak Plantation Division, Thunakadavu
Post, (via) Pollachi.
86 km from Palghat (46 km north- east of Mannarghat), is the Silent Valley National Park.
The Silent Valley was saved from destruction and made world-famous
by a sustained campaign to protect its unique natural environment.
It contains India's last substantial stretch of tropical evergreen
rain forests. Spread over 90 sq km, it is also perhaps the closest
to a near virgin forest in the entire Western Ghats. Among the animals
found here are the lion-tailed macaque, elephants, tigers, wild
boars, flying squirrels and wild dogs.
are frequent buses from Palghat to Mannarghat (40 km). From Mannarghat
vehicles are allowed up to Mukkali from where one has to walk at
least 24 km to reach the source of the river Kuntipuzha which flows
through the valley. Mannarghat has a PWD Rest House and a few small
lodges. Admission to Silent Valley is restricted and prior permission
is required to visit the park. For details, contact the Divisional
Forest Officer, Palghat.
the banks of the Bharathapuzha, 75 km away from Palghat, is Thrithala
where can be found the ruined remnants of a large fort around which
is a deep moat hewn from laterite. Some historians believe it belonged
to a forgotten Raja of Kuttanad. The Kattil Madom temple, a domed
structure of granite slabs, on the Pattambi-Guruvayoor road has
archaeological importance. It is supposed to display Buddhist influence
and was probably built in the 9th or 10th Century and marks the
transition from the Chola to the Pandya style of architecture.