Palakkad district is a district of Kerala state with its administrative headquarters located at Palakkad town. The district got its name from its headquarters town Palakkad. The term Palakkad is derived from two Malayalam words, one is Pala, which means barren land during the Sangam period and the other is Kadu, which means forest. There are also many interesting stories associated with the name of the place. The evidence found by the historians had proved the fact that human life existed in this region since from the Paleolithic age. At the very beginning the place was under the control of the Perumal rulers. Later, many rulers came to this place and ruled over it for a long period. The defeat of the great ruler Tipu in the third Anglo Mysore war of 1792 led to the end of the monarchical system in this place and the place passed off to the British. Then the British merged Palakkad to the Malabar district of Madras Presidency but after India got its independence in 1947 Palakkad became a part of the Madras state. Palakkad as a separate district came into existence on 1st January, 1957.
Ottupulackal Velukkuty Vijayan, an eminent Indian author and cartoonist who was a significant figure in the modern Malayalam language literature was born on 2nd July, 1930 at Palakkad town. He was honoured by many prestigious awards such as Padma Bhushan, Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award, Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award and many more.
Geographically, the district lies at 10°79'N latitude, 76°65'E longitude and 94 m Altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 46.94% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 4,482 sq km. and it is bounded by Malappuram district on the Northwest, Thrissur district on the Southwest and Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu on the East. The climate of the district is characterised as tropical dry and wet climate. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 2404.4 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into six taluks namely Alathur, Chittur, Mannarkkad, Ottappalam, Palakkad and Pattambi. Moreover, it comprises 21 towns and 131 villages. The administrative language in the district is Malayalam.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 28,09,934 out of which 13,59,478 are males and 14,50,456 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 1067 (females for every 1000 males). In the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 7.35% including 7.30% were males and 7.40% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 66.76% of the total population. The population density in the district is 627 persons per sq. km. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Malayalam with 93.71%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 34,063 out of which 17,395 were males and 16,666 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 18,364 out of which 9,853 were males and 8,511 were females.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the district. More than half of the population in the district are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are groundnut, tamarind, turmeric, tuber, vegetables, pulses, mango, banana, plantain, cotton, rubber, coconut, areca nut, black pepper, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the famers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from these agricultural products helps in its economy to a great extent. Industrially, also the district is quite well developed. Some of the large companies in the district are the plants of Instrumentation Limited, BPL group, Coca Cola, Pepsi, etc. The district is popularly known as "the granary of Kerala" and "the Rice bowl of Kerala" because it produces a huge quantity of rice every year. In the year 2020-21 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 47,72,825 lakhs at current price and Rs. 30,15,747 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 41,71,015 lakh at current price and Rs. 26,84,705 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 1,38,763 at current price and Rs. 89,316 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. Some of its recognised educational institutions are Government Victoria College, Indian Institute of Technology, NSS College of Engineering, Mercy College, Co-Operative Arts & Science College, Chembai Memorial Government Music College, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 89.31% including 93.1% are males and 85.79% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 22,39,492 including 11,22,600 are males and 11,16,892 are females.
Kateekal Sankaranarayanan, a veteran Indian politician and the ex-governor of the Maharashtra from 22nd January, 2010 to 24th August, 2014 was born on 15th October, 1932 in the district. He had also served as the Governor of Assam from 26th June, 2009 to 27th July, 2009 and Arunachal Pradesh from 4th September, 2007 to 26th January, 2008. He is a member of the Indian National Congress.
During the year June 2021, there were 80,653 domestic tourists and 2 foreign tourists. The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Palakkad Fort, situated at the centre of the town is the most beautiful and best preserved fort in the state of Kerala which depicts its glorious history. It was constructed by Hyder Ali of Mysore in 1766. Malampuzha dam garden, located on the western ghats of the Bharatapuzha River is an amusement park with a beautiful garden which has the boating facility on the reservoir. Silent Valley National Park, situated 80 km. away from the Palakkad town is a thick rain forest with many rare species since it has been declared a National Park. This park is also popularly called as the "Evergreen Forest". Pothundi Dam in the district is the second earth dam in India. This dam is in the valley of Nelliyampathy hills and the natural scenery of this valley is very mesmerising. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Killikkurussimangalam, Nelliyampathi, Attappady, Walayar Dam, Chulanur, Jainimedu Jain temple, etc.