Palakkad also is known as the Rice Bowl of Kerala, it holds a significant place in the itinerary of any person who is visiting Kerala, God’s own Country. With its numerous dams, historical monuments and the vast forest cover, it has everything to offer any avid traveler who wants to visit the place. Here we give you a peek into the much sought-after tourist destinations in Palakkad by listing out a few of them.
Parambikkulam Wildlife Sanctuary
Sprawling over an area of 643.66 square kilometers filled with greenery, this wildlife sanctuary is one of the most protected ecological parks in the country. Located at a distance of 89 kilometers from Palakkad, the sanctuary lies between the Anamalai Hills and the Nelliyampathy hills at an altitude ranging from 300 meters to 1438 meters above the sea level. Parambikkulam has been identified as the first ever scientifically managed teak plantation in the world. Parambikkulam also houses a Tiger Reserve spread over an area of 285 square kilometers which had 32-36 tigers according to the 2010 census. A 350-year-old teak tree called “Kannimara” which claims to be the biggest and the oldest in the whole world is situated here. Though it is part of Kerala, Parambikkulam can be accessed only via Pollachi. Apart from watching wildlife, trekking, bamboo rafting, visitors are treated with colourful dance show, put up by the local tribal women. Accommodation for the tourists are arranged by the forest department or else one can opt for many tree huts in the area that let you enjoy the wilderness from close quarters. If you are planning to settle here then you may consider the luxury villas available here.
Located around 62 kilometers from Palakkad, Nelliyampathy is a quiet and scenic hill station and lies close to the Nenmara town. The Nelliyampathy Hills offer a sweeping view of the Western Ghats. The journey to the hills along the Ghat section is absolutely breathtaking with winding hairpins and a view of the Palghat Gap that gives you a peek of the state of Tamil Nadu. On the way up, the visitors will view the vast expanse of tea estates managed by different plantation companies. The place is also famous for its orange cultivation. This quite unexplored hill station also attracts trekkers and bikers. Keshavan Para and Seethargundu are two viewpoints on the way to Nelliyampathy hills.
Malampuzha Garden and Dam
It is the largest dam in Kerala located at a distance of 10 kilometers from Palakkad. Surrounded by the Western Ghats on all sides, it is 1849 meters long with a height of 220 meters. The best time to visit the dam would be from April to August, as the monsoon season offers an amazing view of the dam with its gushing waters. Malampuzha Gardens is the only rock-cut garden in south India designed by the renowned artist and Padmashree award winner Nek Chand. Broken pieces of bangles, tiles, used plastic cans, tins and different kinds of waste materials were used to create this beautiful unique garden. The garden also houses the massive statue of ‘Malampuzha Yakshi’ (Female Vampire) built in 1969 by the reputed sculptor Kanayi Kunjiraman. The cable car ropeway – ‘Udan Khatola’ offers an aerial view of the dam and the rock gardens with a ride of 20 minutes.
Located in the Kalpathy village of Palakkad, the temple is also known as the Kasi Viswanathaswamy temple or “Kundukovil” which is its local name. It is one of the oldest Shiva temples in Kerala and is located along the banks of Kalpathy River, a tributary of Bharathapuzha River. The temple is surrounded by four Tamil Brahmin Agraharams or traditional villages, namely, New Kalpathy, Old Kalpathy, Chathapuram, and Govindarajapuram. Situated at a distance of 3 kilometers from Palakkad, the temple is famous for its Kalpathy Ratholsavam, which is an annual festival held in the month of November. Gigantic, colourful and ornate chariots are drawn through the streets of Kalpathy, and visitors from all over the world come here to witness the event. Devotees throng the streets in huge numbers dancing in their own way as these chariots pass and this is an extraordinary sight to behold.
Silent Valley National Park
Declared as a National Park in 1984, it is said that the Silent Valley had seen no human footprint until a few centuries ago. Located in the northeast corner of Palakkad in Mannarkad, the park is home to rare species of flora and fauna. The Nilgiri Tahr, Tigers, leopards, elephants, snakes, lion-tailed macaques and Malabar Giant Squirrels are a few of the animals those can be widely spotted here. The park also features a variety of flowering plants, orchids as well as species of moths and butterflies. It is the centerpiece of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, which is recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The place also has a mythological significance as it is said that ‘Sairandri’-the secret identity of Panchali from the epic ‘Mahabharatha’, hid in these forests along with the Pandavas while escaping ‘Kuauravas’. Therefore it is also known as ‘Sairandrivanam’.
Planning a trip to Palakkad? The charm and beauty of the places mentioned above will urge you to visit them over and over again.