Palakkad

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Palakkad or Palghat is one of the 14 districts of Kerala state in South India. It has Thrissur and Malappuram district of Kerala and Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu as boundaries. It is a predominantly rural district. Palakkad is the gateway to Kerala due to the presence of 'Palghat Gap', in the Western Ghats.

Palakkad
Missing image
Kerala_palakkad.gif
Palakkad district in Kerala
DistrictPalakkad district
Area4,480kmē
Population
Total
Males
Females

26,17,482
12,66,985
13,50,497
Density
584
Sex ratio1,066
Literacy rate (2001):
  Total
  Male
  Female

84.35%
89.52%
79.56%
Altitude? above sea level
Latitude10° 46`N to 10° 59`N
Longitude76° 28` and 76° 39`E
Temperature
Summer
Winter

°C to°C
°C to°C
Contents

Statistics

  • Area : 4,480 square kilometres
  • Population : 2,617,072 according to Census 2001
  • Language : Malayalam , Tamil and Telugu .
  • Climate : Tropical
  • Religions : Hinduism, Islam and Christianity.
  • Taluks : Palakkad, Chittur, Alathur, Ottappalam and Mannarkkad.
  • Parliament Constituencies : Palakkad and Ottappalam.

Palakkad was a part of Malabar district during the British rule. After independence, it became part of the Madras state. It was made part of Kerala state when the state was formed.

Agriculture is the main occupation. The most prominent crop is rice. Palakkad is known as the Rice Bowl of Kerala. But in recent times, rice cultivation has become unremunerative due to high wages and low prices. Hence farmers have turned to other crops and the area under rice cultivation has decreased drastically. In the areas bordering Tamil Nadu, crops like sugar cane, groundnut, tomato, jasmine etc are cultivated. Rubber is the main crop in the hilly regions in the different parts of the district. Tamarind, Neem and Palm are seen in abundance in the Palakkad, like in Tamil Nadu.

People

The main religion is Hinduism, with many castes - Nair, Ezhava, Namboothiri (Kerala Brahmin), Iyer (Tamil Brahmin), trader (Moothan), artisan community like carpenter (Asari), goldsmith (Thattan), blacksmith (Kollan) and potter (Kusavan). There are some tribals also in the forest areas. Nairs are traditionally the warrior caste. They are now in all fields, mainly in government service. Ezhavas are mostly farmers, the educated among them in other areas also. Namboothiris work as temple priests. They were big landlords once and some of the families were of great astrologers, physicians and scholars.

The Tamil Brahmins of Palakkad require special mention. They migrated from Thanjavur of Tamil Nadu centuries back, on the invitation of the then ruler. They were settled in 96 villages called Agraharams in different parts of the district. They are also basically priests. They brought along their rich cultural heritage, Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam dance among them.

Muslims are in majority in the areas bordering Malappuram district. Here almost every family has male members in the Gulf region. Due to the remittances from these people, the area has substantially improved economically in the recent years.

The Christians from the districts Idukki and Kottayam migrated to Palakkad and made the hilly terrains of the district their homes. They are very hard working and have a reputation of being good farmers. They have made enormous contribution in the fields of education and medical care by establishing schools, colleges and hospitals even in remote villages.

The language spoken by the majority is Malayalam, with a distinct Tamil flavour. Also, the accent differs according the community of the speaker. Tamil is spoken in the areas bordering Tamil Nadu, by Tamil Brahmins and some Muslims who have roots in Tamil Nadu. There are some Telugu speaking people also, who are believed to have been come to Kerala centuries ago as part of an invading army.

Traditions of Palakkad

In the months of March and April, after the harvests, festivals called Vela are celebrated in many villages. These festivals consist of parade of caparisoned elephants, traditional orchestra of percussion instruments (called Panchavadyam, Thayambaka, Pandimelam etc) and fireworks. These festivals are very popular; people from neighbouring districts and Tamil Nadu come to witness them. Nemmara Vallangi Vela and Chinakkathur Pooram are the prominent among them.

Another important festival is the Kalpathi Ratholsavam. This is festival of the Tamil Brahmins. The deities of the various temples are taken out on a procession in chariots. It is believed that the God goes out to see his people on these days.

Climate

The climate is hot and humid for most part of the year. Palakkad is one of the hottest places in Kerala. There is sufficient rainfall. The district is blessed with many small and medium rivers, which are tributaries of the biggest river Bharathapuzha. A number of dams have been built across these rivers, the largest being Malampuzha dam.

Industry

There are various industries in the district. The Public Sector companies ITI Limited and Instrumentation Limited have plants in Kanjikode, 12 km from Palakkad town. Other big companies are BPL, Coca Cola and Pepsi. There is an Industrial Area in Kanjikode with a number of medium industries.

There are no big cities in Palakkad. Even the district head quarter is a medium sized town. There are no big shopping complexes or large hospitals. People usually go to Coimbatore for these needs. But recently, all the major jewellers of Kerala have opened their showrooms in Palakkad town.

Educational Institutions

There are a number of schools and colleges including engineering colleges. Government Victoria College is a more-than-a-century- old institution which has many eminent persons as its former students. They include former Chief Election Commissioner T.N.Seshan, writers (the late) O.V.Vijayan and M.T.Vasudevan Nair and cartoonist Ravi Shankar.

Transport

The office of the Palghat Division of Southern Railway is situated near Palghat Junction Railway Station. Palakkad has a fairly good network of roads. The between Salem-Kanyakumari National Highway 47 and the Palakkad-Kozhikode National Highway 213 pass through the district. Another important road is the Palakkad Ponnani which connects NH 47 and NH 17.

Places of Interest

Palakkad is an important place in the tourist map of Kerala. The Tipu Sultan's Fort built in the 18th century, Malampuzha dam garden, Nelliampathy hills and Silent Valley hills are the main attractions. Nelliampathy is a hill station with tea and coffee plantations previously owned by Britishers. Silent Valley is a virgin rain forest land.

There is greenery everywhere during the rice cultivation period.


Palakkad has in its credit the oldest and richest cultural heritage of Kerala. Valluvanad, now comprising of Ottapalam - Shoranur regions is supposed to have the purest form of Malayalam.


Municipalities of Palakkad Dt.

1. Palakkad
2. Shoranur
3. Chittur-Tattamangalam
4. Ottapalam

Kerala Assembly seats of Palakkad Dt.

  1. Palakkad
  2. Chittur
  3. Kozhalmannam
  4. Kollengode
  5. Sree krishnapuram
  6. Mannarkkad
  7. Malampuzha
  8. Alathur
  9. Thrithala
  10. Ottapalam
  11. Pattambi

External links


Template:Districts of Kerala

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