Palakkad district

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Palakkad District

Palghat District
Gateway of Kerala
Palakkad Fort 5.jpg
Palakkad City, Kunnathurmedu.jpg
Ottpalam town3.jpg
Pattambi Town1.jpg
Alathur Town1.jpg
Clockwise from top:
Palakkad Fort, Ottapalam town, Alathur town, Malampuzha Dam Water Canal, Pattambi town, Palakkad city
Palakkad district
Location in Kerala
Coordinates: 10°46′30″N 76°39′04″E / 10.775°N 76.651°E / 10.775; 76.651Coordinates: 10°46′30″N 76°39′04″E / 10.775°N 76.651°E / 10.775; 76.651
Country India
RegionSouth Malabar
 • CollectorMrinmayi Joshi,IAS
 • S.PDebesh Kumar Behera, IPS
 • DFONarendranath Veluri, IFS
 • Total4,482 km2 (1,731 sq mi)
Highest elevation2,383 m (7,818 ft)
 • Total2,952,254
 • Rank5
 • Density659/km2 (1,710/sq mi)
 • OfficialMalayalam, English [2]
 • Spoken
 • Religion (2011)
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
ISO 3166 codeIN-KL-PKD
Vehicle registrationPalakkad KL-09, Alathur KL-49, Mannarkkad KL-50, Ottappalam KL-51, Pattambi KL-52, Chittur KL-70
HDI (2005)Increase 0.761[5] ( High)

Palakkad District, in the southeastern part of the former Malabar district, is one of the 14 districts of the South Indian state of Kerala. It is located right in the middle of the state. It is included in South Malabar region. Also, it is the largest district in Kerala since 2006. The city of Palakkad is the district headquarters. Palakkad is bordered on the northwest by the Malappuram District, on the southwest by the Thrissur District, on the northeast by Nilgiris District, and on the east by Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu. The district is nicknamed "the granary of Kerala". Palakkad is the gateway to Kerala due to the presence of the Palakkad Gap, in the Western Ghats. The 2,383 m high Anginda peak, which is situated in the border of Palakkad district, Nilgiris district, and Malappuram district, in Silent Valley National Park, is the highest point of elevation in Palakkad district. The total area of the district is 4,480 km2 (1,730 sq mi) which is 11.5% of the state's area which makes it the largest district of Kerala. Out of the total area of 4,480 km2 (1,730 sq mi), about 1,360 km2 (530 sq mi) of land is covered by forests. Most parts of the district fall in the midland region (elevation 75–250 m or 246–820 ft), except the Nelliampathy-Parambikulam area in the Chittur taluk in the south and Attappadi-Malampuzha area in the north, which are hilly and fall in the highland region (elevation > 250 m or 820 ft). Attappadi valley of Palakkad district, along with the Chaliyar valley of the neighbouring Nilambur region (Eastern Eranad region) in Malappuram district, is known for natural Gold fields,[7] which is also seen in other parts of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.

In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Palakkad one of the country's 250 most backward districts out of a total of 640, along with Wayanad.[8] It is also one of the least urbanised districts in Kerala, with only 24.4% urbanisation rate, compared to the state average of 47.2℅.[8][9] Palakkad is also one among the two districts in Kerala, whose literacy rate is still below 90%, at the time of 2011 Census of India, along with Wayanad.[9]

The climate is pleasant for most parts of the year, the exception is the summer months. There is sufficient rainfall and it receives more rainfall than the extreme southern districts of Kerala. The district is blessed with many small and medium rivers, which are tributaries of the Bharathapuzha River. A number of dams have been built across these rivers, the largest being the Malampuzha dam. The largest in volume capacity is the Parambikulam Dam[10] Bhavani River, which is a tributary of Kaveri River, also flows through the district. Kadalundi River has its origin in Silent Valley National Park.


Kanjikode, an important industrial area of Palakkad city

In earlier times, Palakkad was also known as Palakkattussery.[11] Many concluded that Palakkad is derived from 'Pala', an indigenous tree which once densely occupied the land; and hence Palakkad or "the forest of Pala trees".Some believe, connecting the ancient Jain Temple in the town, that the sacred language Pali gave the name.[12] In 1757, to check the invasion of the Zamorin of Calicut, the Palakkad Raja sought the help of Hyder Ali of Mysore. Later his son Tipu Sultan became the ruler.

Before the Indian Independence, present-day Kerala state was scattered in South Canara and Malabar Districts of British India and two princely states namely Cochin and Travancore. The first All-Kerala conference of Indian National Congress was held in 1921 at Ottapalam, which was the then capital of South Malabar, on the bank of the river Bharathappuzha, which also later demanded a separate state for the Malayalam-speaking regions in future Independent India. Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee was formed in that conference. Before that, Malabar District, Cochin, and Travancore had separate Congress committees. Ottapalam is located right in the middle of Kerala state.


Shoranur Junction railway station is the largest railway station in Kerala which plays a major role in connecting the southwestern coast of India (Mangalore) with the southeastern coast (Chennai) through Palghat Gap. It is also the meeting point of three important Railway lines: Mangalore-Chennai line, Nilambur–Shoranur line, and Kanyakumari-Shoranur line, due to the presence of Palakkad Gap

The region around Coimbatore was ruled by the Cheras during Sangam period between c. 1st and the 4th centuries CE and it served as the eastern entrance to the Palakkad Gap, the principal trade route between the Malabar Coast and Tamil Nadu.[13] Palakkad city, which lies on the northern bank of the River Bharathappuzha, was ruled by the Palakkad Rajas (Tarur Swaroopam).[14] Palakkad Raja had the right over the Taluks of Palakkad, Alathur, and Chittur.[14] The original headquarters of Palakkad Rajas were at Athavanad, Tirur Taluk, in present-day Malappuram district.[14] It is said that their lands at Athavanad area were given to the Azhvanchery Thamprakkal and the Palakkad-Chittur areas were bought from them instead.[14]

Pattambi-Ottapalam Taluk were ruled by the Zamorin of Calicut, and Mannarkkad Taluk was a part of the Kingdom of Valluvanad, which was also later annexed by the Zamorin.[14] Pattambi - Ottapalam areas were originally a part of Nedunganad, which was later annexed by the Kingdom of Valluvanad, which was again followed by the conquest of the Zamorin of Calicut around 15th century C. E.[14] Other kingdoms in Palakkad district during medieval period included Kollengode and Kavalappara.[14] Both of them became a part of the kingdom of Zamorin of Calicut around 15th century CE.[14] Parts of Palakkad had also become under the Zamorin for sometime.[14]

In 1757, to resist the invasion of the Zamorin of Kozhikode, the Palakkad Raja sought the help of the Hyder Ali of Mysore.[15] In 1766, Hyder Ali defeated the Zamorin of Kozhikode – an East India Company ally at the time – and absorbed Kozhikode into his state.[15] The Hyder Ali rebuilt Palakkad Fort in 1766.[16] The smaller princely states in northern and north-central parts of Kerala (Malabar region) including Kolathunadu, Kottayam, Kadathanadu, Kozhikode, Tanur, Valluvanad, and Palakkad were unified under the rulers of Mysore and were made a part of the larger Kingdom of Mysore.[17] His son and successor, Tipu Sultan, launched campaigns against the expanding British East India Company, resulting in two of the four Anglo-Mysore Wars.[18][19]

Tipu ultimately ceded the Malabar District and South Kanara to the company in the 1790s as a result of the Third Anglo-Mysore War and the subsequent Treaty of Seringapatam; both were annexed to the Bombay Presidency (which had also included other regions in the western coast of India) of British India in the years 1792 and 1799 respectively.[20][21][22] Later in 1800, both of the Malabar District and South Canara were separated from Bombay presidency to merge them with the neighbouring Madras Presidency.[23] Palakkad was under British Raj until 1947.

The municipality of Palakkad was formed on 1 November 1866 according to the Madras Act 10 of 1865 (Amendment of the Improvements in Towns act 1850)[24][25][26][27] of the British Indian Empire, along with the municipalities of Kozhikode, Kannur, Thalassery, and Fort Kochi, making them the first modern municipalities in the modern state of Kerala.

Present-day Palakkad district was a part of Malabar District before the formation of Palakkad district.[28][16] Thrithala Revenue block of present-day Pattambi Taluk was a part of the Ponnani taluk in Malabar.[29] Rest of Pattambi Taluk, Ottapalam, and Mannarkkad Taluks were included in the Valluvanad Taluk of Malappuram Revenue Division in Malabar District, with its headquarters in the town of Perinthalmanna.[16][30] The remaining three Taluks of current Palakkad district (Palakkad, Alathur, and Chittur) together formed the Palghat Taluk of Malabar District during British Raj.[16][30]

At the time of 1951 Census of India, Palakkad was the second-largest city in the erstwhile Malabar District after Kozhikode.[31] At that time only two towns in Malabar was treated as cities: Kozhikode and Palakkad.[31] Following the formation of the state of Kerala in 1956, the erstwhile Taluk of Palakkad in Malabar District was divided into three: Palakkad, Alathur, and Chittur.[23] Palakkad district was formed by taking parts of the erstwhile Malabar District.[30] On 16th June 1969, Perinthalmanna taluk and Ponnani taluk were separated to form Malappuram district.[29] On same day, Parudur village of Tirur Taluk was transferred to Palakkad district.[29][32] Later some years, the Silent Valley National Park of Karuvarakundu village in Eranad Taluk (now Karuvarakundu is a part of Nilambur Taluk) of Malappuram district was transferred Mannarkkad Taluk in Palakkad district.[32]


Kerala Legislative Assembly seats[edit]

Legislative Assembly constituencies with their limits

There are 12 legislative assembly seats in Palakkad

Sl. No Constituency MLA Party Alliance
1 Thrithala V. T. Balram INC   UDF
2 Pattambi Muhammed Muhsin CPI   LDF
3 Shornur P. K. Sasi CPI(M)   LDF
4 Ottapalam P. Unni CPI(M)   LDF
5 Kongad K. V. Vijayadas CPI(M)   LDF
6 Mannarkkad N. Samsudheen IUML   UDF
7 Malampuzha V. S. Achuthanandan CPI(M)   LDF
8 Palakkad Shafi Parambil INC   UDF
9 Tarur A. K. Balan CPI(M)   LDF
10 Chittur K. Krishnankutty JD(S)   LDF
11 Nenmara K. Babu CPI(M)   LDF
12 Alathur K. D. Prasenan CPI(M)   LDF

Members of Lok Sabha[edit]

There are two Lok Sabha seats in Palakkad district.

Sl. No Constituency MP Party Alliance
1 Palakkad V.K Sreekandan INC   UDF
2 Alathur Ramya Haridas INC   UDF
3 Ponnani
(Thrithala only)
E. T. Mohammed Basheer IUML   UDF

Subdistricts (Taluks)[edit]

Taluks of Palakkad
Density of Population in Palakkad District.svg
Density of Population palakkad talukwise.svg
Population in Palakkad District Talukwise.svg
Subdistrict Area
(in km2)
Pattambi 369 467,722 18
Ottapalam 477 462,970 24
Mannarkkad 1,209 384,393 25
Palakkad 713 612,116 30
Chittur 1,136 437,738 30
Alathur 571 444,995 30
Sources: 2011 Census of India,[33] Official website of Palakkad district[34]
  • Under the amended Indian Constitution, decentralized planning has been implemented in the state. The headquarters of the District Panchayat is at Palakkad Municipal town. The District Panchayat office building is near the Civil Station.


Stadium bypass, developing brand street
Growing Skyline of Palakkad city
Upcoming Shopping Mall in Kanjikode
Joby's Mall, first mall in Palakkad

The presence of Palakkad Gap and proximity to Coimbatore make Palakkad economically important. Palakkad city is one of the largest industrial hubs in Kerala. Kanjikode area of Palakkad city is the second industrial hub of Kerala after Kochi. Kanjikode is one of the largest industrial areas in Kerala and companies like Indian Telephone Industries Limited (ITI), Instrumentation Limited, Fluid Control Research Institute, Saint-Gobain India Private Limited (formerly SEPR Refractories India Private Limited), Patspin India Ltd, Pepsi, PPS steel (Kerela) Pvt Ltd, United breweries, Empee Distilleries, Marico, Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), Rubfila International Ltd, Arya Vaidya Pharmacy have production facilities. The commercialization of Palakkad City is Picking up and growing at steady pace in recent years, Nowadays Palakkad City and the suburbs are witnessing rapid amount of commercial and public development activities. The developments are mainly concentrated on the bypass roads, Both Stadium and Calicut bypass roads passing through city are getting major commercial projects. Major national and international branded Retail chains, food Chains, Restaurants, Hotels, Shopping complexes, Textiles, branded jewellers, Vehicle Showrooms, are functioning in and around city. There are many housing colonies consist of Villas and apartments are also present in Palakkad City and suburbs.


A view of the railway bridge over the river Bharathappuzha at Shoranur


The nearest international airport is Coimbatore International Airport, which is about 62 kilometres (39 mi) from Palakkad. However, Cochin International Airport and Calicut International Airport serve the city as well.

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.[35]


BEM School Junction, Palakkad
Olavakkode Railway Station, palakkad

The Palakkad railway division is one of the six administrative divisions of the Southern Railway zone of Indian Railways, headquartered at Palakkad. It is the smallest railway division in Southern Railway. It was formed by dissolving the Podanur division. Managing 588 route kilometers of track in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Mahé (in the Union Territory of Puducherry), it is one of the oldest railway divisions in India. The major stations under this railway division are Palakkad Junction, Shoranur Junction, Tirur, Kozhikode, Thalassery, Kannur, Kasaragod, Mangalore Central, Mangalore Junction and Pollachi Junction. It is the only division in India with no terminal facilities in its headquarters. The terminal facility of Palakkad division is situated in Shoranur Junction & Mangalore Central of Karnataka state. It is the only division headquarters in India with no originating train to its state capital. In India, Palakkad division has the fewest pitlines.

Palakkad is the HQ of the Palakkad Railway Division of Southern Railway Zone. The city is served by two railway stations – Palakkad Junction is a broad gauge railway junction (located at Olavakkode, about 4 km from Municipal bus stand) and Palakkad Town railway station located in the heart of the Palakkad city. The cities of Coimbatore, Tiruchirappalli, 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.[36] The Shornur Junction also has rail connections to Mangalore and the Konkan Railway, enabling travel towards Goa and Bombay. The trains coming from other parts of India are diverted to the north and south Kerala from Shoranur Junction in Palakkad District. From here, there is train service to Calicut, Ernakulam, Trivandrum, Shoranur and Nilambur.


Stadium bypass road, Palakkkad

Palakkad has a medium-grade network of roads. The National Highway 544 from Salem to Ernakulam via Coimbatore, Palakkad and Thrissur – Kozhikode National Highway 966 via Malappuram merges with NH 544 in the city.[37] Another important road is the Palakkad – Ponnani road which connects NH 544 and Mumbai-Kanyakumari coastal NH 66.

Palakkad City has four Bus Stations includes KSRTC Terminal Palakkad and three Private Bus stands named Stadium Bus Stand, Municipal Bus stand, and Town Bus Stand.

KSRTC Bus terminal, Palakkad


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.

According to the 2018 Statistics Report, Palakkad district has a population of 2,952,254,[1] roughly equal to the nation of Armenia[39] or the state Utah in the U.S.[40] so it a ranking of 138th in India (out of a total of 640).[6] The district has a population density of 659 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,710/sq mi).[6] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–2011 was 7.39%.[6] Palakkad has a sex ratio of 1067 females for every 1000 males,.[6] The literacy rate of Palakkad district is 89.49%, which is the lowest in Kerala.[41]


Religion in Palakkad District (2011)[4]

  Hinduism (66.76%)
  Islam (28.93%)
  Christianity (4.07%)
  Other (0.24%)
A farmland in Palakkad
IIT Palakkad is the only IIT in Kerala.


The administrative language and widely spoken language is Malayalam. Minority Dravidian languages like Irula (3560 speakers) and Kurumba (1028 speakers) are also spoken here. According to the 2011 census report, the percents of mother tongue of the total population is as follows:

Languages in Palakkad district[42]
Language Speakers
Distribution of languages
Source: 2011 Census

Tourist attractions[edit]

Panoramic view of Mangalam Dam
View of the Western Ghats Mountain Range from Mangalam Dam Reservoir
Pothundi Dam, constructed in 19th century (British period), is one of the oldest dams in India
Entrance to the Varikkasseri Mana-one of the oldest traditional Namboothiri family houses (illam) in Kerala
Paddy field at Vadavannur

Silent Valley National Park[edit]

It is located in the rich biodiversity of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Karimpuzha Wildlife Sanctuary, New Amarambalam Reserved Forest, and Nedumkayam Rainforest in Nilambur Taluk of Malappuram district, Attappadi Reserved Forest in Mannarkkad Taluk of Palakkad district, and Mukurthi National Park of Nilgiris district, are located around Silent Valley National Park. Mukurthi peak, the fifth-highest peak in South India, and Anginda peak are also located in its vicinity. Bhavani River, a tributary of Kaveri River, and Kunthipuzha River, a tributary of Bharathappuzha river, originate in the vicinity of Silent Valley. The Kadalundi River has also its origin in Silent Valley.

Noted personalities[edit]

Education in Palakkad[edit]

Physics Department of Government Victoria College, Palakkad. The college was established in the year 1866, making it one of the oldest colleges in South Malabar.

Palakkad city is home to the only Indian Institute of Technology in Kerala. Government Victoria College, Palakkad, established in 1866, is one of the oldest colleges in the state.[45] The Government Medical College, Palakkad[46] is started in 2014 is the first Government medical college in the district. The NSS College of Engineering[47] at Akathethara, is the Fourth Engineering Institution established in Kerala, India. The Chembai Memorial Government Music College[48] is one of the main centres of excellence in teaching carnatic music in the state. The Mercy College, Palakkad[49] a women's college established in 1964 is one of the familiar institution in Palakkad city.


Major Malayalam Newspapers include Malayala Manorama,Mathrubhumi, Deshabhimani, Suprabhaatham Daily, The Hindu have printing centers in city and there are also few evening newspapers published from the city. Local news channels like (ACV) are also functioning in city . Palakkad Press Club is located on Robinson road, Sultanpet. A private FM Station operating in Palakkad at Ahalia Campus. There is a long term demand for setting up a government FM Station in Palakkad. At the present total number of 8 cinema halls are operational in Palakkad which screens Malayalam, English, Tamil,Hindi movies, there are few other multiplex screens are under construction and expect to open near future in and around city.

Sports in Palakkad[edit]

Palakkad has produced some world class athletes. Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium in the center of city was once used for Major sports meets and football matches in the state, but the stadium is not currently in condition for conducting games due to the lack of maintenance. There is a proposal for the renovation of the stadium with international facilities by the Municipality.[50] The city has Fort Maidan[51] also known as Kota Maidanam, a multi-use stadium in the center of the Palakkad. It is currently used mostly for cricket matches. Fort Maidan holds a maximum capacity of 10,000 people. Up till 2002 the ground was considered for local cricket only.[52] In 2003, the Ranji Trophy was introduced in Fort Maidan. The city has an Indoor Stadium[53] located near Government Victoria College, Palakkad with a total area of 1 Lakh Sq.ft with commercial establishments still unfinished & incomplete. There is a Synthetic Track with eight lines operational in the ground of the newly constructed Government Medical College, Palakkad. [54]

Major Towns in Palakkad District[edit]



A typical Palakkadan paddy field (from Nemmara)

See also[edit]


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  4. ^ a b "Religion – Kerala, Districts and Sub-districts". Census of India 2011. Office of the Registrar General.
  5. ^ "Kerala | UNDP in India". UNDP.
  6. ^ a b c d e "District Census 2011". 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  7. ^ "Mineral Resources in Kerala".
  8. ^ a b Ministry of Panchayati Raj (8 September 2009). "A Note on the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme" (PDF). National Institute of Rural Development. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
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  10. ^ "Fact sheet on Indian dams at". Archived from the original on 13 December 2006.
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  12. ^ "The Palakkad district, an overview - History and Geography of Palakkad district" (PDF). INFLIBNET. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
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  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i Shreedhara Menon, A (2007). 'Kerala Charitram. Kottayam: DC Books. pp. 199–201. ISBN 9788126415885.
  15. ^ a b K. V. Krishna Iyer (1938), Zamorins of Calicut: From the earliest times to AD 1806, Norman Printing Bureau, Kozhikode
  16. ^ a b c d 1951 census handbook - Malabar district (PDF). Chennai: Government of Madras. 1953. p. 1.
  17. ^ Raghunath Rai. History. FK Publications. pp. 14–. ISBN 978-81-87139-69-0. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  18. ^ British Museum; Anna Libera Dallapiccola (22 June 2010). South Indian Paintings: A Catalogue of the British Museum Collection. Mapin Publishing Pvt Ltd. pp. 12–. ISBN 978-0-7141-2424-7. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  19. ^ Edgar Thorpe, Showick Thorpe; Thorpe Edgar. The Pearson CSAT Manual 2011. Pearson Education India. p. 99. ISBN 978-81-317-5830-4. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  20. ^ The Edinburgh Gazetteer. Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green. 1827. pp. 63–. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
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  26. ^ Presidency, Madras (India (1915). Madras District Gazetteers, Statistical Appendix For Malabar District (Vol.2 ed.). Madras: The Superintendent, Government Press. p. 20. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  27. ^ HENRY FROWDE, M.A., Imperial Gazetteer of India (1908–1909). Imperial Gazetteer of India (New ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. Retrieved 2 December 2020.CS1 maint: date format (link)
  28. ^ Logan, William (2010). Malabar Manual (Volume-I). New Delhi: Asian Educational Services. pp. 631–666. ISBN 9788120604476.
  29. ^ a b c K. Narayanan (1972). District Census Handbook - Malappuram (Part-C) - 1971 (PDF). Thiruvananthapuram: Directorate of Census Operations, Kerala. p. 3.
  30. ^ a b c Devassy, M. K. (1965). District Census Handbook (3) - Palakkad (1961) (PDF). Shoranur: Government of Kerala.
  31. ^ a b 1951 census handbook - Malabar district (PDF). Chennai: Government of Madras. 1953.
  32. ^ a b [2]
  33. ^ "Taluk-wise demography of Palakkad" (PDF). Directorate of Census Operations, Kerala. pp. 161–193. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  34. ^ "Villages in Palakkad". Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  35. ^ "60 Acres Identified For Airport Project". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 21 May 2011. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011.
  36. ^ "Train services resume on Pollachi – Palakkad section". Coimbatore. The Hindu. 17 November 2015. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  37. ^ "National Highways and their lengths" Archived 6 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine. National Highways Authority of India. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  38. ^ Decadal Variation In Population Since 1901
  39. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 1 October 2011. Jamaica 2,868,380 July 2011 est
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  41. ^
  42. ^ "Census of India - Language". Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  44. ^ "Biography" (PDF). Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research. 3 June 2018. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  45. ^ "District Profile". Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  46. ^
  47. ^ Official website
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^
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  52. ^
  53. ^
  54. ^
  55. ^

Satellite Images[edit]

External links[edit]