The commonly held belief is that the name Palakkad is a fusion of two Malayalam words, Pala, which was the name given for barren land during the Sangam period, and Kadu, which means forest.
Palakkad is the gateway to Kerala due to the presence of the Palakkad Gap, in the Western Ghats. Malayalam is the generally spoken language in Palakkad as it is the official language. The town is blessed with many small and medium rivers, which are tributaries of the Bharathapuzha River. Of the number of dams in Palakkad district, the largest Malampuzha dam is 12 km from Palakkad town.
Palakkad has a tropical wet and dry climate. Temperatures remain moderate throughout the year, with exception in March and April being the hottest months. A very high amount of precipitation is received in Palakkad, mainly due to the South-West monsoon. July is the wettest month, and the total annual rainfall is around 83 inches (211 cm).
The nearest international airport is Coimbatore International Airport, which is about 62 km from Palakkad.
There has been a proposal for a mini domestic airport at East Yakkara with respect to setting up domestic airports for enhanced air connectivity by the civil aviation ministry of India. 60 acres has been identified for the project at East Yakkara Palakkad.
There are two railway stations serving Palakkad - Palakkad Junction is a broad gauge railway junction (located at Olavakkode, which can be called a satellite town, about 4 km from the heart of the main town) and Palakkad Town railway station located in the heart of the Palakkad town. Close to Palakkad Junction is the office of Palakkad Railway Division. The cities of Coimbatore, Erode, Salem, Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Mangalore, Kozhikode and Ernakulam are connected by the broad gauge line. Train services to Pollachi, Dindigul and Madurai are through the broad gauge line through Palakkad Town station.
Palakkad is well connected by roads. The National Highway 47 from Salem to Kanniyakumari via Coimbatore, Palakkad, Thrissur, Kochi, Alappuzha, Kollam and the Palakkad – Kozhikode National Highway 213 via Malappuram pass through the district.
As per Census 2011, population of Palakkad in 2011 is 130,955; of which male and female are 63,833 and 67,122 respectively. Total literates in Palakkad city are 112,479 of which 56,065 are males while 56,414 are females. Average literacy rate of Palakkad city is 94.20 percent of which male and female literacy was 96.83 and 91.73 percent. Hindus form 68% of the population with 89098 members. Muslims constitute 27.9% of the population with 36620 members. Christians constitute 3.8% of the population with 5006 members.
The metropolitan area of Palakkad includes Hemambikanagar, Marutharode, Palakkad municipality, Pirayiri, Pudussery Central, Pudussery West, and Puthuppariyaram. Its urban / metropolitan population is 293,566 of which 143,650 are males and 149,916 are females. The literacy rate of Palakkad Metropolitan Area is 92.14%, much higher than the national average of 59.5%. Malayalam is the most spoken language.Palakkad Fort – Fort dating from 1766, built by Hyder Ali of Mysore. In 1784, after a siege which lasted eleven days, the British Colonel Fullerton stormed the Fort. Later it fell into the hands of the Zamorin’s troops, but was recaptured by the British in 1790. This well-preserved fort is also known as Tipu's (Tipu Sultan, son of Hyder Ali) Fort. Today there is a functioning jail and Hanuman Temple in the fort grounds.
Jainimedu Jain Temple of Jainimedu – Situated on the western border of Palakkad town and not far from the railway station, this is an historic Jain Temple. The area around the temple is known as Jainimedu. This is one of the few places in Kerala where vestiges of Jainism in Kerala have survived without substantial damage. The granite walls are devoid of decoration. The temple, 32 feet (9.8 m) long and 20 feet (6.1 m) wide, consists of four divisions with images of Jain Thirthankaras and Yakshinis in three of them. Kumaran Asan wrote his monumental poem Veena Poovu (the fallen flower) at a Jain house here during his brief stay with his master Sri. Narayana Guru.
Kalpathy One of the 21 Agraharams of Palakkad District on the banks of the Kalpathy river, famous for its annual Ratholsavam (Temple car Festival) and annual music festival. One of the oldest settlements of Tamil Brahmins in Kerala, it dates back to the 15th century. These Brahmins speak both Malayalam and Tamil.
Malampuzha Dam and Gardens -Malampuzha Dam is located eight km from Palakkad town. It was built in 1955 and the garden was renovated recentlly. The main attractions are the suspension bridge, the cable car ride and the fantasy park. There are several gardens including one cute Japanese garden. The Yakshi statue of Kanayi Kunhiraman is also reputed even though the nudity of the structure is not approved by the conservative society of Kerala. The dam is accessible by bus and the last bus returns to town by 8.00 pm. The nearest railway station is Palakkad Junction which is otherwise known as Olavakkod.
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Palakkad)
Govt Medical College Palakkad
Bharatha Matha School Palakkad
St.Sebastiain School Palakkad
Mission School Palakkad
Government College, Chittur
Government Victoria College, Palakkad
Mercy College, Palakkad
Chembai Memorial Government Music College