Mannarkkad has memories of the invasion of Tippu Sultan and Mopila riot. In 1921, hundreds of people lost their lives.The former Ruler/Desavazhi of Mannarkkad is known as 'Mannarkkadu Muppil Nair'. He was a 'Samantha' under 'Valluvakonathiri' of Valluvanadu. The famous novel of Malayatoor Ramakrishnan 'Ponni' is based on the 'Adivasis' of Mannarkkadu. The Sandalwood smuggler 'Veerappan' used 'Shiruvanni Forests' of Mannarkkadu Muppil Nairs as his shelter.
The population of Mannarkkad is estimated at 150,000+. Mannarkkad has an agri-based economy; main agriculture produce consists of natural rubber, coconut, areca nut, banana, plantain, nutmeg, pepper and rice. But due to inordinate use of chemicals, the natural ecosystem has been adversely affected. But over a decade of control, the town has revived many almost extinct natural species of reptile, butter flies, fresh water fish and other organisms.
70%-80% of the agri-income is earned by 20%-25% of the population. Of the rest, 10% are into trading and the remaining 65% of the total population are below slightly above or below the poverty line.
The town has for ages attracted immigrants from all over and is an amazing community of people who speak multiple languages including Kannada, Telugu, Tulu, Tamil etc. For this reason, you will find shades of a metropolitan city in terms of harmony among multiple cultures in this rather small town. Within Kerala, it had been also a destination for immigrants from southern Kerala seeking their fortune in rubber plantation sector.
Nestled between two rivers kunthippuzha and nellippuzha, Mannarkkad (Mannarghat) valley is famous for its natural beauty. Silent Valley Rain forests and the Attappadi high range add grandeur to the scenery. It is a common destination for trekkers.
Present Mannarkkad M.L.A is Mr. Jose Baby who is also the deputy speaker of Kerala Legislative assembly.Shri.T.Sivadasa Menon,Former Kerala Finance Minister also born in Mannarkkad.
Mannarkkad is famous for Mannarkkad Pooram. It is the festival celebrated Kumbha masam of every year. The Adivasis from Attappadi will reach the UdayarKunnu temple where the pooram happens to see Devi.