Monday, April 25, 2011

TRISSUR DISTRICT

GURUVAYOORAPPAN
THIRUVATHIRAKALI

Trissur District was formed on 1st July 1949.Trissur,Chavakkad,Mukundapuram,Kodungallur and Thalappally are the thaluks.Chalakkudi puzha,Karuvannur puzha and Kacheripuzha drains this district.
Trissur is raised to as a city corporation recently..The real name of the place is 'Thrisivaperoor' which got shortened as 'Trissur'.The place name has connection with the famous Siva temple "Vadakkumnatha Temple' which is situated in the heart of the city.The meaning of Trissur is' Place of Lord Siva'.Vadakkumnatha Temple is one of the famous Siva temples in Kerala.
Trissur is referred as the cultural capital of Kerala because of the presence of 'Kerala Kalamandalam, and also it is the venue of Trissur Pooram,Aarattupuzha pooram etc.
The city of Trissur developed around Vadakkumnatha Siva temple.The architect of Trissur city  was 'Sakthan Thampuran'
who was the ruler of Cochin Kingdom(1790-1805).(His palace is in Trissur city which is converted to a heritage museum now)His original name was 'Rama Varma' but popularly known as 'Sakthan Thampuran' since he was very powerful and a mighty ruler.There are some stories which reveals his character.
On both sides of the Vadakkumnatha temple was covered with trees,weeds,shrubs and turned out to be a forest like area.It was believed that those trees were sacred and not allowed to cut down.When Sakthan Thampuran was sworn in as the ruler he understood that those mini forests should be cleared for the development of the area.Moreover it was the dwelling place of some robbers,foxes and jackals.It is said that King's mother was also against the idea of cutting the trees since she feared it would bring illfates.King did not believe such superstitions and made clear all those area.It helped people to travel fearlessly, and the area developed.As it was believed by the people for centuries that  it was sinful to cut down the trees, nothing wrong happened to anybody.Next story is that one day an astrologer who was claimed to be an expert to predict the death time of any person arrived in the King's court.He thought that by predicting the death date and time of Sakthan Thampuran he would get a big reward.The King demanded to predict his death time and so the astrologer after some calculation predicted that Sakthan Thampuran would die on - day and at - time.The King seemed not happy even though the predicted date was several years ahead. The King then asked the astrologer to calculate and predict the death time of the astrologer himself.So he  calculated his own death date and time and predicted.According to that date astrologer would also die   several years later.The King replied to the astrologer "So you says that you will live for  several more years.But I am telling you that you are going to die now" saying this he drew his sword and cut off the head of the astrologer in front of the court members.Everybody was astonished about the King's cruelty of killing that innocent man..Sakthan Thampuran explained to the court members that he did not want to cultivate superstitions in his country.,If the astrologer could calculate correctly the death date and time  he would not have entered the King's court on that day for spreading superstitions was the King's explanation.
                                     ' Trissur Pooram' which has earned worldwide fame was started by 'Sakthan Thampuran in the year 1798.Before that 'Aarattupuzha Pooram' which is still celebrated 12kms away from Trissur city at Arattupuzha was the main pooram festival of Kerala.But Trissur Pooram festival has earned much importance than any other pooram festivals.Thrissur Pooram is celebrated every year in the month of Medam(mid April-mid May).The venue of the pooram festival is on the grounds of Vadakkumnatha temple which is known as 'Thekkumkadu Maithanam'.Many temple deities from the near by areas are brought there as processions on decorated elephants.They will be grouped under Paramekkavu Bhagavathy Devaswom and Thiruvambady devaswom  and the decorated elephants which will be 15 on either sides stand face to face.The elephants adorned with golden nettipattom(Headdress) and other accessories like aalavattam venchamaram and parasols(colourful umbrellas) creates wonderful pageantry.Panchavadyam (Drums and other hereditary  musical instruments) will be played.Meanwhile different types of colourful umbrellas will be raised on the elephants as a competition by both the groups.They will change those umbrellas frquently which is known as Kudamattam.Many of these display are done during the day time and at night also.Spectacular fireworks will be there afterwards.The role of  Lord Siva (Vadakkumnathan) is as a spectator in this event.There will be a large gathering of people from several parts of India and abroad  to witness the Pooram festival.This year's Trissur Pooram festival is on 12th May 2011.
                               Guruvayoor Sree Krishna Temple which is one of the most important Krishna temple in India and the most important temple of Kerala is in this district.This centuries old temple is known as 'Southern Dwaraka'.The idol of this temple was  worshiped by Lord Krishna himself while he was the ruler of Dwaraka Kingdom..The deity is actually of Lord Mahavishnu but according to certain beliefs it is worshiped as Krishna.Thousands of people visit this temple every day.From 2km from the temple there is an area known as Punnathur Kotta where the elephants belonging to Guruvayoor temple are kept.There are so many elephants there and it is very interesting to watch all of them closely.So many tourists come to that place every day.
Mammiyoor Siva temple which is nearby is a famous temple.
In Trissur, 2km from the city there is a zoo and museum.Different species of animals can be watched at the zoo.
Peechi dam is another tourist attraction which is 23km from the city.There is a beautiful garden adjacent to it.
There is a waterfall known as Athirappally waterfalls 32kms away from Chalakkudi which is a major attraction.5km from there another water fall by the name 'Vazhachal' exists.
35kms away from Trissur city there is 'Chimmini wild life sanctuary' where dense forest exists which is the dwelling place of Elephants,Tigers,Leopard,Bison, Deer etc.
Choolannur is a place in Trissur district where Peacocks can be seen in plenty.
Chavakkad beach and Nattika beach are very beautiful.Chavakkad beach is the place where the sea confluences with a river.
Lourdes Church is one of the largest churches in Kerala.There is an underground shrine here which is admired as a masterpiece of architectural design.
Puthen Pally(Baslica ).This Church is the biggest and tallest church in  Asia.This is situated in Trissur city.It is 25000sq.ft in area.The ceiling is painted with marvelous mural paintings of the holy Trinity.
Cheraman Juma Masjid is  very famous which is the oldest mosque in India.This is situated near Kodungallor.The design of this mosque resembles Kerala temple.
Kodungallor is famous for the most important' Bhadrakali.' temple of kerala.This is known as 'Srikurumba Bhagavathy temple'.Kodungallor was an ancient sea port which was the biggest port in Kerala at that time..The port was destroyed by a flood in 1341A.D.
Koodalmanikya temple which is dedicated to Lord Bharatha(Sri Rama's brother) is an important temple and very beautiful.
Trippayar Srirama Temple is one of the most famous Sri Rama temple in India.Another two temples exists for Sri Rama's brothers Lakshmana and Satrugna at Moozhikkulam and Payammal respectively.Visiting the four temples of Sri Rama  and his three brothers on a single day which is known as' Nalambala Darsanam' is considered sacred by the Hindus and performed in the month of Karkidakom(July-August) every year.
Cheru thuruthy Kalamandalam is an institution which give training to several art forms of Kerala is in Trissur district.This was established by famous Poet Vallathol Narayana Menon.
Kathakali,NangiarKoothu,Koodiyattam,Ottanthullal,all types of dances including Bharathanatyam,Mohiniyattam, Kuchippudi etc  and Panchavadyam are taught here with extreme perfection.The students who come out from this institute after several years of training will be experts in that art form.Now this Institute is Kalamandalam Deemed University for Arts and Culture.Students along with the sophisticated training in the respective field  can obtain BA,M.A Degrees and very talented students can do research and get M.Phil and Ph.D Degrees too in their art form of interest.
Thrissur city witness another spectacular event every year.This is during the Onam festival.People from nearby places come to Trissur city on that day with 'Tiger' makeup by painting their body with  yellow colour and black stripes resembling  a tiger and putting masks of tiger.Each and every corner of the city will be occupied with tigers of many varieties and they dance to the tune of drums and musical instruments. This is known as Puli Kali Later in the afternoon all the tigers gather together and conducts a colourful procession
The celebrities of this district includes Former Chief Minister and writer C.Achutha Menon,Former Minister and writer Mundassery Master,Kodungallor Kunjikuttan Thampuran,Kovilan,Kunjunni Mash,Dr.Mrs.Leelavathy,Madmpu Kunjikuttan etc
From the film field celebrities are Bhavana,Bahadur,Bharathan,Gopika,Innocent,Jotsna,Kalabhavan Mani,Lal Jose,Lohitha Das,Mala Aravindan,Jhonson,Sathyan Anthikkad,Samyuktha Varma,Unni Menon,Vani Viswanath,Sheela,Oduvil Unnikrishnan,Ouseppachan,T.G.Ravi,Philomina,Biju Menon etc.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

KOZHIKODE DISTRICT




Kozhikode District was formed on January 1, 1957.Its area is 2344sq.kms.Taluks are Kozhikode,Koyilandi and Vadakara.
Rivers Mayyazhi puzha,Kuttiyadi puzha,Korapuzha Kattayi puzha,Chaliyar and Kadalundi puzha flows through this district.
Kozhikode was the capital of the Zamorins.They had trade relations with Arabs and China from very ancient times.The place name Kozhikode means Fortified Palace.The British named it as 'Calicut' which is also used still now.
Kozhikode was entered in to history with the landing of Portuguese Navigator Vasco Da Gama discovering the sea route to India.He landed at 'Kappad' beach of Kozhikode with three ships and 170 men. This was in 1498 and the ruler Zamorin received them.There is a monument at Kappad  beach related to this historical incident.
                       Kozhikode beach is famous with Light house,Park,Aquarium etc.A planetarium is situated near by.
At East Hill which is five kms. from Kozhikode there is Pazhassi Raja Museum.Articles from stone age is preserved here.
There is Krishna Menon Museum and Art Gallery near Pazhassiraja museum.At the art gallery paintings of Raja Ravi Varma are displayed.Kirtdas which is 7km from Kozhikode city is famous for a museum and library.
Thusharagiri Water fall near Peruvannamuzhi dam is a tourist attraction.The main water fall is 75mts high.
Peruvannamuzhi dam is worth visit.It is 60kms from Kozhikode.The crocodile sanctuary is a major attraction.
Kakkayam dam site is also beautiful.There is 'Urakkuzhi' water falls near by.
Kunjali Marakkar Memorial is visited by tourists.Kunjali Marakkar attacked the Portuguese several times.His sword and other weapons are preserved there.The ruins of kunjali Marakkar fort is also there.
Velliam Kallu is a huge rock in the sea near Kottackal.Kunjali Marakkar captured Portuguese ship near this rock.
Kuttiyadi Hydro Electric Project is 78 kms away from Kozhikode.It was commissioned in 1972.
Farokke is a town which was built by Tipu Sultan.This is 7km from Kozhikode city.
Kallayi is a place well known for timber trading.
Vallikunnu beach is a lovely palm fringed beach of Kozhikode.The Kadalundi bird sanctuary is located nearby.Mittayi Theruvu is famous in Kozhikode city.This is a trading street here which is also known as S.M.Street.From very ancient times Kozhikode is famous for the sweet "Halwa'.People visiting and passing through the city will buy and take home 'Halwa' of Kozhikode.This sweet made from flour,sugar and ghee is very tasty.
Mahi which is part of Pondichery state is located in between Calicut and Kannur District.Mahi which is 9km in area is a trading center.St.Theressa Church which is very ancient is at Mahi.
Beypore is a small harbour and  Boat building yard.
Vadakara and nearby places were known as 'Kadathanadu'.This place has earned fame as the center of martial art form 'Kalari Payattu'.From very ancient time itself this martial art was existing here and the Budhist Monks practiced it from here and spread there at China also.There are many methods of fighting and defending in this system.Unarmed  methods are also a part of it.Usually stick,spear,dagger,sword,shield etc
are used.The meaning of 'Kalari' means school or training center.At the Kalari massage which is done with hands as well as feet are taught as part of the training.Even bone fracture was treated in the traditional way.
All these methods needs regular training and practice.In the history there were many 'Kadathanadan heroes
like 'Thacholi Othenan,Palattu Koman,Payyamvelli Chandu etc.The house of 'Thacholi Othenan' still exists.
They used a special type of sword which was very long and flexible.It was known as 'Urumi'.We get details regarding those famous heroes and this martial art from folk songs of 'Vadakkan Pattukal'.
Lokarkavu, a  temple which is situated 5km from Vadakara  is famous as it was the protective Divinity of
Thacholi family and other  Kadathanadu heroes.Mural paintings and sculptures can be seen in this temple.
The Muslims of Kozhikode loves music very much.They have helped to promote Mappila Pattukal which are written in Malayalam but contains Arabic words which they use in conversations commonly.The tunes of these songs have also Arabic touch which are so sweet and melodious.They generally like to sing and hear good music and so Ghazals are also so much interested to them.
The eminent personalities of Kozhikode includes writer M.T.Vasudevan Nair who is one of the 'Njan Peet' award holder in India.Thikkodiyan and S.K.Pottakatt (another Njan Peet award holder) are from this district.Vaikom Muhammed Basheer and Uroob(P.C.Kuttikrishnan) lived here for a long time.
Film personalities include M.T.Vasudevan Nair,I.V.Sasi(Directors),Music composer the late Baburaj,lyricist the late Girish Puthencherry hailed from here..Mamukkoya, the famous actor is  from Kozhikode.The great comedian Kuthiravattom Pappu hailed from Kozhikode.
The headquarters of a largely circulated daily of Malayalam 'Mathrubhumi' is Kozhikode.
Rakthachamundi Theyyam make-up
Thali temple is an important temple,Kuttichira Mosque is very sacred for the Muslims and CSI  Church is an important shrine for the Christians.