In The Land Of Palmyrahs – Palakkad

Palakkad or Palghat which stands first in the state of Kerala’s artistic and cultural traditions is also the granary of Kerala.  I stayed in Palakkad for 3 days to see Kalpathi Ratholsavam (Chariot Festival) that trumpets the artistic and cultural tradition of this land.  The celebrations of Ratholsavam take place from early morning to 11.00 – 11.30 a.m. and from evening 4.00 – 4.30 till late night, so I got around 4 to 5 hours in between to explore Palakkad sights near Kalpathi. 


 Palakkad Fort.

The Palakkad Fort is a manmade mountain of protection in the same way as nature protects Palakkad with mountains.  The fort was built by the then ruler of Mysore, Hyder Ali, in 1766 A.D.  Later on, it became the military camp of Hyder Ali’s son, Tipu Sultan.  This fort came to be known as Tipu’s Fort in 1799 when Tipu got killed in the battle with the British. 

Palakkad Fort.

The Fort that stands as a rumination of the memories of a bygone age is currently under the preservation of the Archaeological Survey of India.  The Fort is an impressive construction with broad moats all around and huge walls made of granite panels. As I went inside the fort, the first thing I saw was a temple.  


Hanuman Temple

The deity of the temple is Hanuman.  On the left-side wall of the fort, there are carvings of elephants and some other intricate figures.  A garland made of holy basil or tulsi is seen on these forms.  Inside the fort, there is a vast ground with centuries-old large trees.  There is a beautiful well situated in the right corner of the fort.  Government offices and Palakkad Sub Jail are now functioning in the buildings inside the fort.  


Malampuzha Dam

I spent some time inside the fort walking on top of the wall of the fort, catching a glimpse of Palakkad from Peeranki (firearm) Point, and taking a look at the tourists strolling in the fort.  Even though, this fort is one of the well-preserved ones in India, there seem to be some shortcomings.  I came out of the fort.  There is a large ground outside the fort which had once served as a stable for the elephants and horses of Tipu’s army.  Currently, there is a children’s park where public meetings, exhibitions and competitions are staged; there is also an open-air auditorium called “Rappadi”.


Malampuzha Garden.

After seeing the sights in the fort, I started my trip to Malampuzha.  The distance from Palakkad to Malampuzha is only 14 km.  Even from old days, Malampuzha is one of the prominent tourist spots included in school tour packages.  Though numerous tourist spots have sprouted up, the importance of Malampuzha has not diminished even now.  Sites like Malampuzha Dam, the garden around the reservoir of the dam, the hill ranges that stand as guardian, the beauty of all these is something that cannot be described in words; they have to be seen and enjoyed.


Malampuzha Yakshi.

Malampuzha Dam is the largest reservoir for irrigation in South India.  The Malampuzha Garden is known as the Vrindavan Garden of Kerala.  In short, Malampuzha Garden is a lovely garden that energizes the mind and pleases the senses aesthetically with all the lush green lawns, large trees, seats arranged in the shades of these trees, garden full of different varieties of flowers, fountains and small ponds.  Ride in the ropeway car across the garden is unforgettable.  Malampuzha Garden is a feast for the eyes and is more captivating than the gardens we see in other places.  


Ropeway.

The garden offers a lot to watch and enjoy, like the fish-shaped aquarium, children’s train, Japanese-model garden, hanging bridge above the canal, telescopic tower, snake rehabilitation center, the Yakshi created out of a single monolithic granite piece by Kanayi Kunhiraman in 1969, etc.  The Rock Garden in which the artifacts displayed are made of waste materials is something that should not be missed out.  Visiting time is from morning 10 o’ clock to evening 5 o’ clock.


Kava.

Besides these, the Thread Garden situated in proximity to the Malampuzha Fantasy Park is another major attraction of the place.  This garden has a diverse collection of flowers and plants that have been made out of colorful embroidery threads and are woven by hands without using needle or any other instrument.  The Thread Garden provides us with a totally different experience.


Kava.

When I was about to return, a person, seeing camera in my hands, told me that there is another scenic spot named Kava on the other side of Malampuzha Dam.  Kava is an awesome place which puts up a wonderful scenery with clouds during the rainy season.  This incredible place can be reached by travelling 12 km round Malampuzha Garden, on the way to Anakkal.  Kava is a favorite monsoon destination.  Hearing this, I decided to visit Kava and started driving in that direction.  I enjoyed the indescribable natural beauty of the place; the lake kissing the expansive ground; Western Ghat Mountain Ranges in the background; the palm trees standing on the boundary of the ground, spreading their leaves; and cattle feeding on grass.  I realized that the information given by that person is totally true.  Even though it was sunny, there were clouds in the sky that looked like a bundle of cotton wool, and there was a chill in the air; the scenery was just like what somebody said, “If there is heaven on earth, it is here! It is here! It is here!  I decided that Kava will be my next monsoon destination.  I started my trip back to Kalpathi.

 


 
...

Ashok S P Feb-15- 2018 198