Palakkad has a rich cultural tradition. The art and culture of Palakkad can be seen clearly from the dance forms, music and the temple festivals of this place. The Father of Malayalam literature Thunchathu Ezhuthachan spent his last days at Chittur in Palakkad and in memory of this the Thunchathu Acharya Madom was built at Chittur. The famous Malayalam poet and the founder of the art form Thullal, Kunjan Nambiyar was born in Killikurissimangalam in Palakkad district.
There is a famous school of Kathakali here called the Kalluvazhichitta. Palakkad district is famous for the Carnatic music and singers. The famous Carnatic singer Sri Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar was born here and Sri Palakkad Mani Iyer who was a Mridangam maestro was also from this district.
Several contributions have been made by artists of this district in the field of classical dance which include Chakyar Koothu, Thullal, Kathakali and Mohiniyattam. The famous personalities to be remembered in this context are Mani Madhava Chakiyar and Vazhenkada Kunju Nair.
Some of the main art forms of Palakkad are Kannyarkali or Desathukali, Tholpavakoothu and Paana. Kannyarkali is a folk dance form with some martial dance movements and is performed by the Nair community. Tholpavakoothu is the puppet show depicting themes from the life of Lord Sree Rama. It is narrated both in Tamil as well as Malayalam which shows the mixture of the culture from Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Paana is another art form which is a ritual conducted as part of a festival.