Ottapalam is a town in Palakkad district in Kerala state, south India. Situated on the banks of the Bharathapuzha River (or Nila), Ottapalam claims a rich cultural heritage and has hosted many historic events. Headquarters of the taluk by the same name, it is one of the municipalities of the district. It used to be a major town of the erstwhile Valluvanad, during the reign of the Zamorins of Calicut.
K.R. Narayanan, India's first president from the dalit communities, represented Ottapalam Lok Sabha constituency in Parliament for three terms in 1984, 1989 and 1991.
Killikkurussimangalam, near Lakkidi, is the birthplace of Kerala's famous poet and father of the traditional solo dance, Ottamthullal, Kunjan Nambiar. It is 8 km away from Ottapalam. The renowned Koodiyattam artiste late Padma Shri Mani Madhava Chakyar also hails from Killikkurussimangalam.
Independant India's first foreign secretary, KPS Menon, was born in Ottapalam. He also served pre-independence India as a Agent-General to China.
Kerala Kalamandalam, the school dedicated to the training and promotion of Kerala's own traditional art forms, is located in Cheruthuruthy, a few km away from Ottapalam. Founded in 1927 by the revered Malayalam poet Vallathol, Kerala Kalamandalam trains students in Kathakali, Koodiyattam, Mohiniyattam, Bharatanatyam and other indigenous theatrical performing arts and music. These art forms, in the oldern days, were generally performed in traditional theatres attached to Hindu temples, known as Koothambalams.
Recently Ottapalam become a popular shooting location for Malayalam and Tamil movie industry.