Palakkad was earlier ruled by the Chera kings. After the decline of this dynasty, Palakkad was ruled by the Rajas who belong to the Zamorins of Calicut. Some regions of Palakkad were under the Rajas of Vengunad and the Valluvanad region was under the control of the Valluvakonathiris. The Chittur region was attacked by the Kongu king but their invasion was resisted by the people.
In 1757, the Zamorins of Kozhikode conquered Palakkad. The Raja at that time asked the help of Mysore ruler Hyder Ali who made the Zamorins to retreat from Palakkad. But then Hyder Ali conquered some parts of Palakkad and finally the whole of this region went into his hands. Later his son Tipu Sulthan handed Palakkad to British after a war. Then Palakkad district became a part of the Madras presidency and then later became a territory of the princely state of Cochin and Madras. When the state of Kerala was formed in 1956, Palakkad was made a separate district.