Being a Palakkadan, the most frequent question that I get asked is, “Why is Palakkad so hot?”. I mean it is obvious that Palakkad is one of the hottest districts in Kerala and it is universally acknowledged that only a true Palakkadan can survive the tropical heatwave that hits Palakkad in summer. But if you pick the right season to visit, then Palakkad could be a dream destination.
If you ask me, the right season to visit Palakkad would be from June to December, and if it’s raining then our place has got a very different vibe to it. Don’t expect highly modernised city life here, but rather a simple town with a bunch of simple people. If you ever visit Palakkad then you must not miss the following places for it will change your perception of our district.
Malampuzha is a village in Palakkad, famous for the Malampuzha dam and garden. The key attraction of the garden is Malampuzha Yakshi and the ropeway. There exists a beautiful island behind the dam called Kava island, and it is my favourite place on this list. The sunset in this region is breathtaking and should not be missed. Kava is also known as the womb of rain clouds as the first rain clouds are formed from Kava and then spread throughout Kerala. The road from Malampuzha dam to Kava is the real game-changer. It’s a favourite route for local bikers as both sides of the road are completely covered by thick green trees making the journey pleasant and refreshing.
Also known as the Tipu’s Fort, is situated in the heart of Palakkad. It was recaptured and rebuilt by Haider Ali, Tipu Sultan’s father, for strategic communication between Coimbatore and the western coast. Keeping the history aside, it is a very beautiful monument surrounded by greenery. The fort is quite famous among young lovers, and a simple walk through the perfectly kept lawn around the fort can make you feel romantic even if you’re single as Pringle!
For us, it is Varikkassery Mana but for an outsider, it’s Kanimangalam Kovilakam. It has been home to many Malayalam movies; the latest one being Pretham 2. It is one of the oldest Namboothiri houses in Kerala, and truly captures the essence of Valluvanadan culture in Palakkad. It is a perfect example of the architectural style of traditional Namboothiri illams and maybe to get a bit nostalgic about our history.
Meenvallam is a hidden treasure! It is the perfect spot for all adrenaline junkies for it can be quite dangerous. It is a five-step waterfall of which only two or three steps are accessible. On the way to the waterfall, there is a big pool where swimming is allowed. The pool is surrounded by dense forest and hence, you can feel close to nature and enjoy nature at its best while taking a dip here. Just a word of caution though – the pool dries out in summer so you’d want to visit in the monsoon season. It is also one of the trekking options I’d recommend in Palakkad.
This is a beautiful valley in Pathrakadavu, Mannarkad. It is untouched by civilization and hence, the name Virgin Valley. The main attraction here is the river Kunthi and the peculiarly shaped rocks that surround it. Kunthi originates from the Silent Valley and thus, the water is clean and crystal clear. But the rocks get slippery during monsoons so you wouldn’t want to visit when it’s raining. Winter would be the best season to visit the Virgin Valley. The air around the valley is so pure and refreshing that it will cleanse both your body and your soul. It is a place that every nature enthusiast must visit.
The British named this place the Silent Valley as the forest here lacks cicada’s. It is rich in flora and fauna; notable among them is the Lion-tailed macaque. Trekking is prohibited so you will have to hire a jeep from the Forest Department. If you are someone who hates walking long distances, then this is the ideal place for you because the Forest Department’s jeep takes you almost everywhere and you get to enjoy nature without putting much effort.
Nelliyampathy, locally known as ‘pavangalude Ooty’, is a hill station close to Palakkad city. It is like all the other hill stations but widely underrated by tourists. The place is calm and quiet, maybe because it is not crowded with tourists. The biggest boon and bane of the place is poor network connectivity. If you’re looking for a place to totally unplug, unwind, and reboot yourself then Nelliyampathy is the best option for you. The major attraction of Nelliyampathy is Seethargundu viewpoint.
Kalpathy, the first heritage village in Kerala, is the brahmin hamlet of Palakkad. This place is recognised by UNESCO and is famous for its architecture, food, and music. Kalpathy is also known for Kalpathy Ratholsavam, an annual chariot festival. It is quite an exotic sight to see a giant chariot being pulled by both elephants and humans. The festival is usually celebrated in November and this time it is scheduled for 14th-16th November. My favourite thing about Kalpathy is the filter coffee that you get here. If you happen to pass through Kalpathy then make sure that you get yourself a cup of coffee; I can assure you that you will not be disappointed.
Palakkad has to offer a wide variety of food items and one among them is Ramassery idli. It is famous for its fluffy texture and softness. It stands out from the normal idli because it is flatter. If you visit Palakkad don’t miss this and if possible also pay a visit to NMR Biriyani house, where you will find the best biryani in Palakkad.
These are just a few of the many places to visit in Palakkad the list doesn’t end here so keep adding more in the comments section!