The district of Palakkad, also known as the rice granary of Kerala, is a land of hillocks, valleys, rivers, forests, mountains and meandering streams. Situated at the foot of the Western Ghats, this is the gateway to Kerala from the north. It was through this passage that, time and again, conquests and trade took place. Derived from the Malayalam words Pala (tree) and Kadu (forest), this land abounding in forests full of the Pala trees and lush green paddy fields is also a melting pot of various cultures. The Palghat Brahmins, or Palghat Iyers as they are called, speak both Malayalam and Tamil (language of the neighbouring state, Tamilnadu).