<< Kerala Religion

The main religion prevalent in Palakkad is Hinduism, with many castes - Menon, Pisharody, Nair, Ezhava, Ezhuthachan, Namboothiri (Kerala Brahmin), Iyer (Tamil Brahmin), trader (Moothan), Gupthans, artisan community like carpenter (Asari), goldsmith (Thattan), blacksmith (Kollan) and potter (Kusavan). There are some tribals also in the forest areas. Nairs are traditionally the warrior caste. They are now in all fields, mainly in government service. Ezhavas and Ezhuthachans are mostly farmers, the educated among them in other areas also. Namboothiris work as temple priests. They were big landlords once and some of the families were those of great astrologers, physicians and scholars.

The Tamil Brahmins of Palakkad require special mention. They migrated from Thanjavur of Tamil Nadu centuries back, on the invitation of the then ruler. They were settled in 96 villages called Agraharams in different parts of the district. They are also basically priests. They brought along their rich cultural heritage, Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam dance among them. Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavagthar, Palakkad Mani Iyer, M.D. Ramanathan are some of the prominent names in the field of Carnatic music.

Muslims are in majority in the areas bordering Malappuram district. Here almost every family has male members in the Gulf region. Due to the remittances from these people, the area has substantially improved economically in the recent years.The earliest Christians in the district were from Thrissur district, who settled at Melarcode (R C Kambolam) around 1550 CE as traders of coconut oil and spices to near by districts. Later on, Christians from Idukki and Kottayam districts migrated to Palakkad and made the hilly terrains of the district their homes.

The language spoken by the majority is Malayalam, with a distinct Tamil flavour. Also, the accent differs according the community of the speaker. Tamil is spoken in the areas bordering Tamil Nadu, by Tamil Brahmins and some Muslims who have roots in Tamil Nadu. There are some Telugu speaking people also, who are believed to have come to Kerala centuries ago as part of an invading army.

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