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History of Palakkad:
Some are of the opinion that Palakkad derived its name from the combination of two Malayalam words – ‘Pala’ (barren land) and ‘Kadu’ (jungle). Other studies refer to its connection with the ancient Jain temple called ‘Pali’ which again is the sacred language of the Jains. However, most people believe that Palakkad is derived from ‘Pala’, a native tree that was once found in abundance here and hence the name Palakkad or “the forest of Pala trees”. Having derived its name from the Malayalam words Pala (a tree Alsteria scholar) and Kadu (forest), Palakkad was formerly a beautiful area replete with dense forests strewn with the fragrant flowers of the Pala tree. 


Palakkad is one of the fourteen revenue districts of Kerala. Its geographical position, historical background, rural natural, educational status, tourist attractions and above all, the developmental activities that are carried out, are wide and varied.

The district is perhaps the foremost in fostering Carnatic music. Great musicians like Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar and Palakkad Mani Iyer, who have enriched Carnatic music by their contributions, hailed from this district.

Palakkad district is situated in the South West Coast of India, bounded on the North by Malappuram in the East by Coimbatore of Tamilnadu, in the South by Thrissur and in the West by Thrissur and Malappuram districts. It lies between 10'21 and 11'14 North latitude and 76'02 and 76'54 East longitude. The total geographical area of the district is 4480 sq.k.m representing 11.53 per cent of the State's geographical area. The forest land per cent covers 136257 hectares.

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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.
 

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.

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PALAKKAD DISTRICT

The Panchayats in Palakkad District are:
Akathethara, Alanelloor, Ambalappara, Ananganady, Ayiloor, Chalavara, Lakkidypperoor, Nelliyampathy, Nenmaara, Pallassana, Elavencherry, Chaalisserry, Kappoor, Magalasserry, Pattithara, Thirumittakkode, Thruthaala, Agaly, Puthoor, Sholayoor, Akathethara, Keralasserry, Melorkkode, Elappully, Polppully, Elavancherry, Koduvaayoor, Kollankode, Muthalamada, Puthunagaram, Vadavannoor, Aalathoor, Erimayoor, Kannambra, Kaavasserry, Kizhakkancherry, Melarkkaad, Puthukkode, Tharoor, Vaniyamkulam, Koppam, Kulukkaloor, Muthuthala, Nellaaya, Ongalloor, Pattaambi, Puthuppariyaaram, Kodumpu, Malampuzha, Puthuppariyaaram, Paruthoor, Peruvempu, Cherppulasserry, Kadampazhippuram, Karimpuzha, Thiruvegappuram, Aanakkara, Kongadu, Kottaayi, Kuthanoor, Kuzhalmannam, Maathoor, Malampuzha, Mankara, Mannoor, Marutharode, Mundoor, Parali, Piraayiri, Maruth Road, Polppully, Elappully, Puthusserry, Pookkottukaavu, Sreekirshnapuram, Thrukkadeeri, Karaakkurissi, Karimpa, Kottoppaadam, Kumaramputhoor, Pottasserry, Thachanaattukara, Thachampaara, Peringottukurissi, Thenkurissi, Peruvemp, Puthusserry, Kannaady, Vallappuzha, Vilayoor, Vandaazhi, Vadakkancherry, Vellinezhi