Palakkad is the gateway to Kerala from Tamil Nadu through a 40 kilometer break in the Western Ghats. The Palakkad Gap, as it is called, once facilitated trade between the east and west coasts of Peninsular India. Palakkad derives its name from the sweet-scented flower of the ‘pala’ tree and from ‘kaadu’, meaning ‘forest’, Palakkad is a lush district of fertile plains, hills, rivers, mountain streams and forests. This ‘Granary of Kerala’, is also ‘The Land of the Palmyra’, thanks to the abundance of the tree here with its rich cultural associations. A mix of Tamil and Kerala culture, some of the finest Carnatic musicians hail from this largely agrarian region.