Palakkad

Rice bowl of Kerala

Palakkad FortNestling in the foothills of Western Ghats and famed for its verdant green paddy fields Palakkad is the largest producer of the state’s staple, rice. The granary is also known for its gurgling streams, forests and hills. The 40 km wide Palakkad Gap-only break in the Western Ghats- is the corridor connecting the district (and Kerala state too) with the neighboring Tamil Nadu state. The gap has facilitated trade, friendship and also conquests between the regions. Palakkad is where the twain of two rich cultures Malayali and Tamil- meet to confluence into a delightful cocktail.

The district is home to some of the best evergreen forest ranges which hold the globally famed Silent Valley National Park, a biodiversity hotspot. Parambikkulam Wildlife sanctuary here is one the best of its kind in the country. Nelliyampathy —literally gooseberry groves-located south of Palakkad gap atop hills 1525 metres above sea level abounds in plantations of orange, tea, coffee cardamom.The district is also known for its rich classical arts tradition. Some of the country’s best Carnatic musicians hail from here. It is also home for famed Kathakali villages abounding in the art’s many patron families and maestros including performing artistes,instrumentalists, singers etc.

Palakkad has many traditional gurukulams imparting training in Kerala’s ancient performing arts like Kutiyattam, Ottan thullal etc. Kalpathy, the settlement in Palakkad established in 18th century by Tamil Brahmins from Thanjavur is Kerala’s only hub of Carnatic music which has produced some of the biggest names in the field. Palakkad is famed for its traditional families practicing Ayurveda. Many of them today run some of the state’s best heritage Ayurveda resorts housed in their ancient and architecturally exotic tharavads (havelis) offering the celebrated and exotic rejuvenation and age-arresting therapies.

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