History of Kottakkal

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History of Kottakkal

Kottakkal, an Eranadan village, is located on the western side of Malappuram, the district head quarters. Even though effervescent with the arrogance of city life in it's veins, Kottakkal sustains it's serenity, lingering on with the lost memories of bygone grandeur. Just walk through the alleys of this village where history slumbers…. You could hear the footsteps of centuries of Kerala history rustling in it's glades !..

Kottakkal, known as White Fort in Sanskrit, Venkalikotta and Venkitta Kotta in Malayalam was a small militarily base of the King of Valluvanadu till the first halt of 18th century in Christian era. Karuvayoor Moosad, the chief marshal and preacher of Valluvakonathiri lived here. May be the forts and castles constructed by him bestowed the title Kottakkal to this village. The suburbs of Kottakkal were known as Changuvettikadu, Eyyakkadu….Karuvayoor Moosad assassinated Thinayancherry Elayath , one of the ministers of Zamorin. Then Moonnarpadu Thampuran, the cousin of Zamorin of Calicut(EE EE ERAD RAJA OF CALICUT) killed Karuvayoor Moosad in a combat and restored control of the fort. The kith' and kin of this Thampuran dwelled in Kottakkal there after.

The invasion of Tippu, diverged the course of Kottakkal's history’s as in the case of many other villages. But the wondrous tact was that the diversion reflected on the cultural field only. A kin of Zamorin of Calicut who had been sheltered in Travancore fearing the Mysore invasion, later settled in Kottakkal after the death of Tippu in 1972. Among them the most prestigious Name was that of Manorama Thampuratty Highly scholastic and with her Travancore-Cochin connections, she could represent an inter kerala cultural course.

Throughout the world we find that the inspiration of renaissance, derived from the feudal period, later transmuted to the citadel of modern forces. Late acceptance of such a renaissance strategy may be the cause of the political forbearance of Kottakkal. To this, Kottakkal repented by challenging the war cries of British occupation by cultural confrontation. Probably this started with Kunhikuttan Thampuran who translated Maha Bharatham inspired by the religious movement developed after the 15th century. After that noble deed of expressing the elegance of our language, the great P.S. Varier carried it on. His attempts were closely related with the cultural resurrection of Kerala during the colonial period. He gave the local practice of medicine a new shape and dimension. He established a school of medicine in 1917 at Calicut with the idea of education and practice to the Arya Vaidya doctors and later transferred this institution to Kottakkal .Many cultural, intellectual and other activities were centered in this institution. Kavana Kaumudi edited by Kavikula Guru P.V. Krishna Varier, Parama Valsam Theatre, Dhanwanthary Magazine, Kathakali troupe.. were some of them. Even though the perception of Kerala Unity was visible in the works of Kunhikuttan Thampuran, the conception of a United Kerala materialized mostly through the Arya Vaidya Samajam founded by P.S. Varier in 1902. The Samajam was organized and operated on the political fields of Travancore, Cochin and Malabar. The first meeting of Indian National Congress was called for in 1920 and that itself makes the importance of these events more apparent.

All Indian villages were the states for the sudden agricultural developments in the beginning of 20th century . But such lightning strikes didn't affect Kottakkal due to the compassionate attitude of the landowners of Kizhake kovilakam. They were strict in matters of lease etc., they never tortured farmers. The general state of Hindu-Muslim landowner- tenant set up common to Malabar area was prevalent in Kottakkal also. Normally these relation lead to sudden commotions and outbursts but on the contrary Kottakkal has a history of a profound religious harmony followed by centuries. The events of 1921 have to be specially mentioned. That event in most places diverted from its prime target and turned into communal riots but still it didn't distort the peace of this small village. Intervening of P.S.Varier and the forbearance of Kovilakam helped the situation not getting violent. It is worth mentioning that Muslims guarded Kizhake kovilakam and Arya Vaidya Sala.

The Mappila Outrageous Act passed as a result of the 1921 revolt slowed down the political activities of Malabar generally. But Kottakkal was little affected and owing to the cultural activities the political keenness was increasing. During these period the political activities were lead by students of Ayurveda College. Their attempt to celebrate National Day in 19731 was a declaration of solidarity to the Youth Leadership of Congress. By that time lessons of social justice and equality were induced to our line of thoughts. As a result the Navajeevan Yuva Jana Samajam was formed under the leadership of P.V.Krishna Varier, P. Sankara Varier, Pulickal Sooppi Kuttykakka and CR.. Varier. The principal aim of this organization was the eradication of un-touchability and awareness against malign influences. This was the indication that the political activities of Kottakkal have transcended from intellectual exercises to new horizons of creativity. The political support of P.M. Krishna Menon from Ramanattukara and K.C.K. Raja expedited it. Kottakkal was under national attention as it staged the 1939 Parappur Kerala State Congress meeting. The slogan “Enemy of Unity, Enemy of Strike" was approved in this meeting. Farmers began to work as a part of National movement after this meeting. So many agricultural movements raised up in Kottakkal, Amariyil Kunhikomu being a leader. Many other societies were also formed in Mannazhi, Chengottur and Kuttippuram and they struggled against agricultural debts...
If the power of joined forces of people can keep the pages of history on fire, we are also not far behind. The cholera eradication activities of 1943 is an epic of religious harmony. A relief committee and an orphanage were set up in Kottakkal with the help of Servants of India Society to help the orphans left by cholera. This seemingly impossible feat was achieved with the power of unity even while the country was suffering from the perils of 2nd world war and famine. A Co-operative society was established under the President of P.K. Varier was on this grounds.

In the land of Manorama Thampuratty, the development activities of women were not less. There were modern publications like Amritha Bhashini, Bala Chandrika etc., published by Kovilakam. Independence and socialism were mainly discussed in these publications. The earlier women's movement were started by Vallikad Kamalakshi, Kunhanujathi Thampuratti, Madhavikutt'j Varier, V.P.KaIyani etc.,...

During the Malabar District Board, under the auspices of Odayapurath Chekkutty, a text book namely Komalavali Padavali was published from Komala Press in Kundu Bazar. Sada Mohammed Sukri sahib, S. Mohammed Badusha, all from Batkal near Mangalapuram (Mangalore) were among the chief personalities who had impressed their personal marks on the social, cultural and political fields of Kottakkal. Their activities greatly helped in the unity of Mappila tenants and to expedite cultural growth. Sayyed V. T. Abdulla Koya Thangal, Melethil Mohammed Sahib also had joined them.

Kottakkal is one of the oldest Panchayath in Kerala. Many personalities famous in Kerala and India were born and brought up in this panchayath. The great diplomat Shri. M.K Vellodi, M.A. Vellodi, Kelu Eradi, K.C.U. Raja, the great physician P.K. Varier, the famous politician U.A.Beeran(Former Minister), M.P. Abdussamad Samadani (Member of Parliament) , all have contributed to the dignity of Kottakkal. The first president of Kottakkal Panchayath was P.S. Varier who was also known as Appu Varier. The first Panchayath came into existence in 1953. The mode of election was nomination. Appu Varier was followed blj P.Sankara Varier as president. Since 1963 the panchayath was presided by U.A.Beeran Sahib for a long time. Then Chemukkan Mohammed Kutty alias Kunhava and Cherada Fathima also were presidents. Now Paroli Mossa Kutty is the President of Kottakkal panchayath.

After Independence, Kottakkal is still changing its shape and dimensions, not succumbing to any comparisons. Bygone days are bygone, we love our ancestry but still love to embrace the novelty. Consumer culture, parallel economy, environmental problems and deteriorating cultural field are posing a menace to our country. Having nothing creative to do, Kottakkal is slumbering . . .

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