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Pala is a central town in Kottayam district.There are many legends about how this region became known as Pala. Pala is believed to be an old time holy place of Hindus. The very word Pala was derived from Palazhi, the mythological Ocean of Milk from which nectar or “amrutha” was churned out.

It is also believed that the word comes from ‘Palathu Chettiyar families, the then prominent settlers of the region. Another school maintains that the first group of Christian settlers who came from Paloor was instrumental in christening the place Pala. According to another school, the palayam ( fort) of the Meenachil Karthas (the ruling family ) was situated in the region and so the name Pala got established. The first Kartha families were known as Njavakattu Karthas.

Pala was the headquarters of the Meenachil region. Meenachil derives its name from the famous Meenachil river. It is believed that the famous Pala market was established in 1736. It is then Meenachil Karthas who decided to allot a place to the Christians to form a market in and around the places where the present Government hospital is situated. It is believed that later a Meenakshi temple was established somewhere on the shores and over centuries, the holy abode of Meenakshi came to be known as Meenachil.

Palai presents scenic exhuberence. Pala rests calmly on the banks of Meenachil river, on the lap of the Western ghats. Tributaries Lalam and Meenachil empty into Meenachil river. Two bridges are in the town across the river.

Palai is a transit point between various places of attraction like, Thekkady Wild Life Sanctuary in the Western ghats, Sabarimala, the pilgrimage centre; Vagamon and Munnar, the tea estates and Illikakallu a fabulous treating centre , Ilaveezhapunchira, Kolahala Medu and Mamala Aruvi, the maiden forest area full of springs. Pilgrim centres like the famous Bharananganam (of Sr.Alphonsa fame) Aruvithura St.Georges Church, Kadappattoor Temple and Mannanam Town are popular with devotees flocking during the Sabarimala season. The road from Pala to Sabarimala is the most frequented thoroughfare.

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