(Open 0800 -1800 hrs) The old granite fort situated in the very heart of Palakkad Town is one of the best preserved in Kerala. It was built by Hyder of Mysore in 1766. The fort was taken over and modified by the British in 1790.Well preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India, there is an open-air auditorium and a small museum inside the Fort.The landscaped environs of the fort now host a children's park and a temple known as kota ambalam (fort temple).
(8 km from Palakkad) This nondescript village is famed for its special idlis that are quite different from the common South Indian variety. Round and flat, almost shaped like a dosa, the idlis are extremely soft and delicious. The recipe has been passed down from generation to generation and is a well-kept family secret.
(10 km from Palakkad) This famous picnic spot 4 which comprises a dam and beautifully landscaped gardens, is situated on the lower hills of the Western Ghats.
The garden: (Open 1000 -1800 hrs) • Lush green lawns • Well laid-out flower beds. Cool pools, fountains and pathways- • Rock garden. • Rosegarden with over a hundred varieties • An aerial ropeway across the garden. Ph: 2815280 • The dams and gardens are illuminated on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays from 1900 - 2000 hrs. On Other days they are illuminated on request for a fee. Ph: 2815140
The reservoir: Boating and fishing facilities are available here. Pedal boats, row boats, water scooters and motor boats can be hired from 1000 - 1800 hrs • A well maintained swimming pool (Tuesday holiday) • A fresh water aquarium (Open 1100 - 2000 hrs, 1300-2100 hrs on holidays) • A snake park (Open 0800 -1800 hrs) • A children's park • The passenger ropeuay. (Open 1000 -1230 hrs,1400 -1830 hrs) - This is the first of its kind in South India
(Open 1000 -1830 brs on weekdays and 0930- 1900 brs on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays). Ph 2815122,2815124
(45 kmfrom Palakkad) Situated on the way to Nelliampathy, the Pothundy Reservoir Complex is a charming location for picnics and half-day trips.
(8 km from Palakkad on Chittur-Kodumbu Road) The ancient temple here has some fine woodwork and stone sculptures. Legend has it that the outer wall of the temple was built by an army of gods who worked at it the whole night but left it unfinished by dawn as they didn't want to be seen by humans. Despite efforts later on, the work could not be completed and it is believed that humans cannot complete this work. The 4000 stone lamps fixed on the wall, lit up at night is a beautiful sight. Another attraction is the mizhavu - an instrument that is commonly used while performing the art forms of Chakyarkootbu and Koodiyauom, said to be the biggest among such existing ones.
(15 km from Palakkad) It takes a three-hour trek from the base of the Dhoni Hills to reach this reserve forest area with its small, beautiful waterfall.
Permitting Authoriiy: Forest Range Officer, Olavakkode, Ph: 0491-2552815
(15 km via Poodur from Palakkad) This tiny village is the native place of the late Chernbai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, the doyen of Carnatic music. Renowned singers perform at ganamelas or music concerts at his memorial in Kottayi Village.
(15 km from Palakkad) This is where the 16th century Malayalam poet Thunchath Rarnanujan Ezhuthachan lived for some time. It is here that Ezhuthachan translated the two Sanskrit epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabbarata, into Malayalam.People call this place the Gurumadom and on Vijayadasami Day, hundreds of children are brought here for a ritualistic initiation to learning.
(19 km south of Palakkad) Kollengode or the abode of blacksmiths enshrines the pristine beauty of rural Palakkad. The Kollengode Palace,the Vishnu Temple and the Memorial of the great poet P.Kunhiraman Nair are worth visiting. Seethakundu and Govindamalai Hills nearby are ideal for trekking.
(30km from Palakkad) Killikkurissimangalam at Lakkidi is the birthplace of Kunchan Narnbiar, the 18th century satirist and exponent of the Thullal (classical art form). The poet's house has been preserved asa monument by the State Government.
Regarded as the creator of Ottan Thullal, Kunjan Nambiar is said to have created this an form on being ridiculed for falling asleep during a Chakyarkoothu performance. He created history with his brand new dance form a solo dance and a classical satirical art form, which always has an absorbent storyline relevant to contemporary issues.The poet's house in Killi Kurissimangalam, has been renovated and preserved as a memorial.
(32 km from Palakkad) This picnic spot is the site of a dam across the River Gayathri which flows into the Bharathapuzha.
One of the most important junctions of the Southern Railway, this small and bustling town hasmany metal industries.
Setup in 2005, this initiative was launched by Nibha Namboodiri to take care of elephants that were either too old to earn their living or survive in the wild. In the absence of sponsors to fund her centre, she opened her home to visitors where one can get a taste of life in an ancestral home with the added advantage of being with an elephant. Living with Kennan as the project is called contributes towards providing care and love to neglected, domesticated elephants.
(35 km from Palakkad) This temple town is known for its numerous places of worship and their colorful festivals. It is also home to the famous Varikkasseri Mana, where Malayalarn films are shor almost round the year.
Chinakkathoor Vela: The colourful Chinakkathoor Pooram is held annually at the Sree Chinakkathoor Bhagavathy Temple in Palappurarn near Ottapalam. The highlights of the festival include a grand procession of 33 tuskers in the evening and Pancbauadyam recitals - the traditional temple orchestra in addition to various art forms. Tboippauaekootou, a ritualistic shadow puppet show, is presented at the temple premises every evening for 17 days preceding the festival. Another beautiful sightis the procession of sixteen elaborately decorated horse effigies brought ceremoniously to the temple by devotees.
(13 km southeast of Ottappalam) River Nila which flows through the region got its name Bharathapuzha from a sacred place here called Bharatha Khandarn, The main attraction here is the Sree RamaTemple and the legendary Punarjani Caves.The belief is that if you are able to go through the caves successfully you will be reborn asa human being - considered to be the highest degree of salvation in Hinduism. The Iver Mutt believed to have been set up by the Pandavashere on the banks of the river is very popular for performing rituals for the dead.
(46 km north of Mannarkad and 48 km from Palakkad) The reservoir at Siruvani was built for Tamil Nadu by the Kerala Government. Siruvani is also home to certain tribals like the Mudugars and lrulars. Permitting athourity. Divisional Forest Officer, Mannarkkad, Ph:04924- 222574
(50 kmfrom Palahlzad) A popular picnic spot, the dam is built across the Cherukunnath River, a tributary of the Mangalam River.
Situated by the Nila, this small town was once the seat of Sanskrit learning. It hosts the Pattambi Nercba, a festival held in memory of a Muslim saint of Malabar featuring a grand procession of nearly 100 caparisoned elephants, colourful floats, music concerts like Pancbaoadyam and Thayambaha and other folk art forms.
(75 km from Palakkad) This place is noted for its monuments and historic ruins. The SivaTemple and the ruins of a mud fort near Thrithala on the Chalissery Road are notable cultural monuments. The Kattilmadam Temple, a small granite Buddhist monument on the Pattambi-Guruvayoor Road, is of great archaeological importance. It is believed to date back to the 9th/10th century AD. The PaakkanaarMemorial, honouring the Pariah Saint, stands near Thrithala-Koottanad Road. This is also the native place of renowned writer and social reformer, V T Bhattathiripad.
(110 km from Palakkad) Sprawled across 285 sq. km, the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is home to rare wild animals. Boating & cruising facilities are available at the Pararnbikulam Reservoir. The Rest Houses of the State Forest Department at Thunakkadavu, lIikkal and Anappady offer accommodation. A tree house in the reserve forest area in Thunakkadavu has to be booked in advance.
Permitting authority: Divisional Forest Officer, Parambikulam, Thunakkadavu; Ph 04253-277233
This small hamlet is famous for having produced the maximum number of Kathakali artistes in the entire State. Almost every family in this village, which is the abode of about 50 Kathakali artistes, has at least one artist to its credit.
(Located at Vellinezhi, Cberplassery) The ancestral home of feudal lords belonging to the priestly Namboodiri Brahmins of Cherplassery, who have made significant contributions in the fields of Kathakali, percussion, classical music, literature, vedic education and Sanskrit learning. This heritage house is patronised by Pattikkamthoti Ravunni Menon who developed the modern Kathakali - Kalluuazbi Chitta. Reputed patrons of the arts, the progenies
of the clan preserve their heritage including the 300-year-old mana.
(40 km south ojNenmara and 75 em southeast of Palakkad) This fascinating hill station is at a height of 467 to 1572 m above sea level. At least 10 hairpin bends have to be negotiated on the Ghat Road that passesthrough the breathtaking evergreen forests of the SahyaRanges.Seethakundu at Nelliyampathy offers a panoramic view of about one third of Palakkad. This hill country is the delight of trekkers. The District Tourism Promotion Council of Palakkad provides good accommodation facility.
Famous for its murals, this temple is located near the Nelliyampathy Hills.
(Thekkegramam near Arikkode) Located on the banks of the River Sokanasini (tbe destroyer of sorrows), this is a memorial to Thunchath Ezhuthachan, the author of Adhyatma Ramayana, who spent his last days here. A sricbakra, some of the idols worshipped by him, a stylus, wooden slippers and a few old manuscripts are exhibited here.
It is believed that the waters of this natural spring, which flows by the old Sree Rama Temple here, is as sacred as the waters of the Ganges.
(15 km south of Kuttipuram Town, in Kumbidi) This incomplete temple situated in the village of Panniyoor is said to have been begun by Perunthachan. Considered a masterly carpenter by all, he was asked to build a temple that would architecturally equal those in heaven. Lord Indra, worried that the temple would match heavenly standards, disrupted Perunthachan's efforts daily, ensuring that the temple never got completed.
(25 km south of Palakkad and 40 km east of Cheruthuruthy) This grove at Nedungathpara takes its name from the large number of peacocks (mayil) found here that can be sighted often at dawn and dusk.
(3 km from the centre of Palakkad, on tbe southern bank of the Kalpathy River. Open 0700 - 1030 hrs, 1700 - 1900 hrs) Situated on the western
suburbs of Palakkad Town, not far from the railway station, this historic 32 ft long, 20 ft wide granite temple displays images of the Jain Thirthankaras and Yakshinis. The region around the temple, known as Iamamedu, is one of the few places in Kerala where the vestiges of Jainism have survived. Palakkad was once home to a communiry of 400 Jain families, but only a few families remain today. It is at a Jain house here that poet Kumaranasan wrote his monumental poem Veenapoovu or the fallen flower.
(Near Chunnambuthara, en route to Jainamedu. Open 0500 - 1130 hrs ,16.30- 1930 hrs) The Vadakkanthara Bhagavathy is a reincarnation of Kannagi, the heroine of the Tamil epic Silappadhikaram. Fireworks at 6 pm sharp in the temple compound is a tradition here and people have been known to set their clocks by the sound. The main festival Vaiiya Vela is held here once in three years along with 15 other temples.
(East Yakkara. Open 0600 - 1030 hrs, 1700 - 1900 hrs) One of the two major temples in Palakkad besides the Vadakkanthara Shrine, the idol here is swayambu (self-created). The main idol in the sanctum sanctorum is a later installation. Vela Pratishta Festival in May is the main celebration here.
This temple dates back to the 14th century while its koothambalam (temple theatre) was probably added on in the 15th or 16th century.
Situated near Pattambi, this temple has some of the most intricate laterite sculptures in Kerala.
(38 km northeast of Mannarkad) A beautiful synthesis of mountains, rivers and forests, Attappady is of great interest to anthropologists as this is the habitat of many tribes like the hulas and Mudugars. The Malleeswaram Peak is worshipped as a gigantic Sivalinga by the tribals who also celebrate the Sivaralhri Festival with great gusto. A PWD RestHouse, and a few private hotels offer accommodation at Agali.
(By the southern banks of the Kalpathi River, on tbe road to Mannarkad and Kozhitzode. Open 0500-1100 brs, 1700 - 1930 brs) The Siva Temple built as a replica of the Kasi Temple at Benarus, dating back to 1425 AD, has an imposing kodimaram or flagpole. It is from this flagstaff that the temple banner flies during the Ka!pathy Ratholsaoam; a chariot festival held in November in which all the temples in the area participate, Apart from the temple, one reason to visit the place is to experience life in an old Palakkad agraharam or Brahmin settlement.
(Near Kalpathy Bridge. Open 0600 - 1030 hrs, 1700 -1900hrs) Accessed via the Kumarapuram agraharam on the banks of the Bharathapuzha, this temple used to be a major centre of vedic learning. 'l'bc presiding deity at the temple is Lord PrasannaVenkatachalapathy. The rituals performed here are similar to those at the Famous Tirupathy Temple and it is believed that the two deities, Lord Balaji in Andhra and the Lord venkatachalapathy here have equal powers.
Built by the senior most Lady of the Royal Family of Kollengode 124 year's ago, this three-tiered palace is today a reputed centre for Ayurveda. For those serious about understanding the holistic benefits or Ayurveda, Kalari Koviiakarn would be an excellent choice.
(40 km northwest of Mannarkad) The 89.52 sq. km national park is believed to be the sole surviving bit of evergreen forest in the Sahya Ranges. The peculiarity of the Silent Valley Forest is that it is devoid even of rhe chirping of cicadas. Vehicular transport is possible only up to Mukkali, nearly 24 km from the park. The rest of the way has to be covered by foot, up to the source of Kunthipuzha which flows through the valley before merging into the Bharathapuzha River,
Permitting authority, Asst. Wildlife Wal'elen, Silent Valley National Park, Mukkali;Ph: 04924-253225
Originating from Thuppanadu River, these falls drop step by step from a height of 5 to 45 metres. Ph: 04924-240705