The district of Palakkad is part of the erstwhile Malabar District of Madras Presidency. There are many views on how Palakkad (anglicized version, Palakkad) got its name. One view holds that the
word 'pala' (barren land) together with 'kadu' (jungle) gave the land its name. Palakkad is bounded in the north by the Malappuram District
, in the south by Thrissur District
and in the east by the Coimbatore District
of the state of Tamil Nadu
. It opens the state to the rest of the country through the Palakkad Pass. This natural gap in the
is about 40 km long. It has been perhaps the most influential factor in the commercial and cultural development of Kerala
Palakkad, covering an area of 4,480 sq km, has a population of over 2.6 million.
Hinduism is the pre-dominant religion. The district is one of the main granaries of Kerala and its economy is primarily agricultural. The proximity to Tamil Nadu has resulted in the mixing of Malayalam and Tamil cultures. This district is perhaps the foremost in fostering Carnatic music in Kerala. Great musicians like Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar and Palakkad Mani Iyer hailed from Palakkad.
Forests, numerous streams, dams, and gardens have made Palakkad a paradise for tourists. The Palakkad Fort, situated in the very heart of the town, is the most beautiful and the best preserved fort in Kerala. The
Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, spreading over an area of 285 sq km, offers a scintillating sight of rare wild animals. The Kattilmadam temple on the
Guruvayoor road has an archaeological significance. The Nelliyampathy hills are extremely fascinating and offer an easy escape from the scorching summer. Palakkad is connected to Coimbatore and Thrissur by national highways and rail.