town, central Kerala state, southwestern India. The town lies on the Ponnani River in a break in the Western Ghats range known as the Palghat Gap. Its location has always given the town strategic and commercial importance. It is a marketplace for grain, tobacco, textiles, and timber; its industries include tobacco processing, rice milling, weaving, and light manufacturing. In Palghat are Government Victoria College (established 1888) and an engineering college. Across the river, to the north, is the rail junction of Olavakod. Palghat has an ancient fort, captured by the British temporarily in 1783 and permanently in 1790. Pop. (1981) town, 111,245; metropolitan area, 117,956.
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