Celebrated as the granary of Kerala, Palakkad is a vast expense of verdant plains interspersed with hills, rivers, mountain streams and forests. The gateway to Kerala from the North, a 40 kilometer break in the mountain known as the Palakkad Gap give access to this land situated at the foot of the Western Ghats. The pass acts as a corridor between Kerala and neighboring Tamil Nadu and played a major road in the trade contacts between East and West coasts of peninsular India. Deriving its name from the Malayalam words Pala Alseria scholaris and Kadu forest, this place was once a beautiful stretch of forest covered with the sweet-scented flowers of the Pala tree. A potpourri of Tamil and Kerala culture, some of the finest Carnatic musicians hail from this region which continues to be a largely agrarian society.