TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN AND AROUND PALAKKAD Palakkad, known as the granary of Kerala, is a land of hillocks, valleys, rivers, forests, wildlife, mountain streams, dams, farms and tribal settlements. The land of the palmyrah trees charms its visitors by offering a plethora of tourist attractions covering places of religious/historical/literary/social and environmental importance. The five hundred year-old Jain Temple with granite walls located at Jainmedu on the banks of river Kalpathy is a major tourist attraction. Built by a Jain king and dedicated to a sage, it houses the deities of Jwalamohini and Rishabhanathan. The Shiva Temple at Thiruvalathoor situated in the southern part of the district has a conical roof and whitewashed walls replete with oil lamps. It is said the woodwork and stone sculpture of the temple were completed overnight. The festival of Mahashivarathri is celebrated on a grand note at the premises. Vadakkanthara Temple can be visited on the way to the Jain Temple in Jainmedu. The presiding deity of Bhagawathy is believed to be an incarnation of Kannagi, the heroine of Tamil epic Silappadhikaram. An offering of fireworks is held regularly as a ritual outside the temple precincts. Vishwanathaswamy Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located on the southern banks of river Kalpathy, about 3 km from Palakkad. This ancient temple built in 1425, is noted for the length of its flagpole which is decorated and made part of the grand celebration during the annual seven-day Chariot festival, still a huge crowd puller. The Gramam village of Palakkad comprises avenues of the typical agraharams or residences of their occupants namely Kerala iyer families, originally Thamizh Brahmins who had migrated from the neighbouring state and set up base here. This community still follows the unique custom of passing down the ancient vedas and sasthras verbally through generations. Tipu’s Fort otherwise known as Palakkad Fort, was built by Tipu’s father Hyder Ali but later on fell into the hands of the British and then the Zamorins in the 18th century. Presently it remains under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India and contains an auditorium, a museum and a children’s park. Nelliampathy is an exotic hill station about 54 km south of Palakkad and perched at a height of 4600 ft above sea level. This small green town is perfect to soak in the magical beauty of dense forests rich in wildlife as well as lush coffee, tea and orange plantations. Attapadi is a mountainous terrain consisting of streams, rivulets and forests. The valley is known for its tribal community comprising mainly irulas and mudugars. Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary nestled in the Anamali hill range, some 47 km away from Palakkad, is an excellent place to get a good sight of elephants, gaurs, chitals, sambhars, deer, Nilgiri langurs, wild dogs, leopards and tigers. There is also a dam here that offers pleasurable boating rides. The Silent Valley National Park is a serene and majestic eco-tourism locale frequented by nature enthusiasts from all over. Located on the Kundali Hills of the Western Ghats , 65 km north east of Palakkad, it lies uninhabited and untouched by the passage of time, continuing to preserve the innumerable rare flora and fauna found within the jungle area. Malampuzha, the popular picnic spot 14 km from Palakkad is famous for its wonderful landscaped garden with carpeted lawns, decorative plants, trees and blossoms of varied shapes and hues. The rose garden with over 100 species of roses to savour, is especially attractive. The snake park, a ropeway and a fantasy park besides the boathouse offering waterride facilities in the reservoir are additional attractions. The Valiya Angadi or Big Bazar shopping centre inside the city offers plenty of shopping options for shoppers viz. metal bells, thookku/peacock/nila vilakkus or lamps, traditional utensils, jewelleries, handicrafts, Tranvancore sarees, Kerala souvenirs and more. Gurumadom of Thunchath Ramaujan Ezhuthachan, considered as Father of Malayalam, is located near Chittur town on the banks of river Sokanashini. This monument houses some relics, manuscripts and other memorabilia that were used by the Guru. The site throngs with parents and infants for the initiation ceremony during Navarathri. For further info and images, look up the site palghat.net