Sunday, September 17, 2017

Muttom Light House, Kanyakumari

Muttom Light House, Kanyakumari
Muttom has a lighthouse due to which its presence is recorded in the international shipping chart. This lighthouse was constructed by British during colonial Time. The lighthouse, though near the sea, is situated 110 ft. (34 m) above sea level. The skeleton was built when India was part of the British Empire until 1947. The lighthouse at Muttom near Colachel, a tiny coastal village in the district, known for its scenic beach dotted with rocks and rock caves, has transformed into a tourist attraction after its renovation, with schoolchildren in particular eager to visit the area.


Last year, around 4,000 people visited the lighthouse, which is 15.22 metres high. A nominal entry fee of Rs.10 is charged for adults and Rs.3 for students under age 12. The entry is free for school students if they are in uniform. The visitors are allowed to climb to the top of the lighthouse. The lighthouse is steeped in history. The then British Government started its construction in 1857 and completed the work in 1882.



The lighthouse guided British vessels cruising between Colombo and ports on India’s west coast. Until 1875, a light used to be hoisted on a mast to guide fishermen at sea. Later, a column was constructed and the light hoisted on it. A masonry tower came up around the column, and a wick lamp supplied by a Birmingham company was installed atop the new tower.


The same company then supplied another, technically more advanced light which was installed on the tower towards the close of 1909. The lighthouse was formally commissioned on January 1, 1910. In 1993, the Tamilnadu Government banned the entry of tourists, as well as students, into the lighthouse in view of doubts over its stability. But after it was renovated, visitors were allowed to enter the lighthouse a few years later.


Connectivity
Muttom is located at about 17 Kms from Nagercoil, 10 Kms from Eraniel, 12 Kms from Colachel, 8 Kms from Mandaikadu, 22 Kms from Suchindrum, 15 Kms from Thuckalay, 32 Kms from Kanyakumari and 73 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram.
By Road:
Buses serving this village:
·       From Nagercoil - 5C, 14A, 14C, 14DV,14EV, 5F,
·  From Thuckalay and Monday Market (alias Thingalchanthai or Thingal Nagar) -  47, 47C, 12G
·        From Kadiapattanam - 14A, 14C, 14F, 5C, 46C, 47C,9K, 302, 302C, SSS
·        From James Nager - 14DV
·        From Kanyakumari - SSS
·        From Marthandam - 46C
·        From Ramanthurai – 9K
·        From Colachel - 5C, SSS, 9K, 5F, 14F
By Train:
Nearest Railway Stations are located at Eraniel 12 Kms) and Nagercoil (19 Kms).
By Air:
Nearest Airport is located at Thiruvananthapuram (74 Kms).

Manalikarai Madam, Kanyakumari

Manalikarai Madam, Kanyakumari
Manalikarai Madam is located at Manalikarai, a small village located in the southern part of ancient Travancore state, presently under Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu in Kalkulam Taluk. The area comes under Padmanabhapuram division in Kalkulam Taluk in Kothanallur Panchayat. The Malayalam name Manalikkara was very popular during the Travancore state rule and after the reformation of Indian states in 1956, this place is more known as Vazhikkalampadu and it became the part of Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu.

This place belonged to constituency of Princely Travancore State in 1235 AD. The Inscription about Taxation was written in a pillar in front of the Manalikkara Alwar Temple in year 410 ME during the rule of Venadu ruler King Veera Ravi Kerala Varma. The place Manalikkara has its influence as one of the branch of Travancore royal family in Kalkulam in 1610 AD. Raja Sri Illaya Rama Varma from Venadu was from Manalikkara branch of the family in Kalkulam.
The old building in Manalikkara is Manalikkara Madam or Manalikkara Kalpaka Mangalathu Madam is the monastery of Brahmins. The Brahmin scholars lived in Manalikkara proved their expertise in tantric rituals, vedics and literatures. They served as priests in several temples in Kalkulam. The last patriarch of the family who lived in Manalikkara is K V Manalikkara whose name is Kesavaru Vasudevaru. He was a good writer and poet. His contributions in Malayalam script writings, poems and translations are memorable.
The major translations by K V Manalikkara from Sanskrit to Malayalam are Sasthreeya Bhouthikavadha Rekha, Rahul Sankrityante Darshana Rekha, Samugiya Rekha and Vishwarekha. He also translated Maxim Gorky’s book "Mother" in Malayalam. He also wrote and published the second smallest book in the world called "Rasarasika" is 1.5 cm’s in length and 1 cm in width contain 5 characters in each line readable only through lens.
The Manalikkara Madam is founded by this Hindu Brahmin family, residing in a place called Mathur in Kalkulam Taluk. They were the priest of Thiruvattaru Adhikesava temple. To overcome the poverty, they believed in worshipping lord Ganesha deity which was then lying in the place called Kottur. They brought the deity to Manalikkara Madam and started worshiping. The writer and lyricist S.Ramesan Nair is also from the neighboring village Kumarapuram who wrote poem about Manalikkara Lord Krishna.
There is a small library named "Keasva Vilasam Vayanashala" in Manalikkara which had been a contribution from the scholars of Manalikkara Madam. Although it is not functioning now, the memories are still alive. Palm leaf manuscript bundles about ancient scientific researches and vedic literature's were found from Manalikkara Madam that later shifted to Oriental Research and Manuscript Library of University of Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram. The 13 plays in Sanskrit called Swapnavasavadatta written by the famous playwright and ancient poet Bhasa were unearthed from Manalikkara Madam in 1912 by T.Ganapati Sastri that was believed to be lost till the time. 
The Sanskrit literature Devi Mahatmiyam written in palm leaves fabricated in the shape of garland was also found in Manalikkara Madam. It consists of a string of fifteen beads, each made of inseparable palm leaves pressed against two ingeniously worked out knots. "Aryamanju sreemoola kalpam" a rare work about Buddhism also unearthed from Manalikkara Madam. The script is in Devanagari, written with special resinous ink. It consists of 307 palm leaves. The "Manalikkara Shasanam" written by Ravi Kerala Varma and the Unnuneeli Sandesam script found by the poet Ulloor S. Parameswara Iyer were from the library of Manalikkara Madam.
Manalikarai is located at about 13 Kms from Marthandam, 10 Kms from Thiruvattaru, 10 Kms from Padmanabhapuram, 12 Kms from Eraniel, 20 Kms from Nagercoil, 9 Kms from Thuckalay, 18 Kms from Colachel, 42 Kms from Kanyakumari, 27 Kms from Boothapandi, 16 Kms from Thirparappu and 58 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Nearest Railway Station is located at Eraniel and Nearest Airport is located at Thiruvananthapuram. 

Colachel Pillar, Kanyakumari

Colachel Pillar, Kanyakumari
Colachel Pillar is a heritage structure located in Colachel Town in Kanyakumari District of Tamilnadu. Colachel was an important port city during Travancore Kingdom. Colachel was the location of the battle between the Travancore Kingdom and the Dutch East India Company forces. The Travancore Army completely exterminated the superior and better equipped Dutch Forces which landed at Colachel in July 1741 during the reign of the Travancore King, Sree Padmanabhadasa Maharajah Sree Anizham Thirunal Veera Bala Marthanda Varma Kulasekhara Perumal. In the battle of Colachel, Capt. Eustace De Lannoy, the Dutch Naval Forces Commander, was captured. To commemorate this great victory of the Travancore Army over the Dutch at Colachel, the Travancore Government installed the Colachel Pillar at the very spot where the Dutch had capitulated to the Maharaja of Travancore.

History
Colachel was the location of the battle between the Travancore (Anglicised form of Thiruvithaamkoor) forces led by King Marthanda Varma (1729–1758) and the Dutch East India Company forces led by Admiral Eustachius De Lannoy on August 10, 1741. It was the first time in Indian history that an Asian country defeated a European naval force. The Dutch marines landed in Colachel with artillery and captured the land up to Padmanabhapuram, the then capital of Travancore.

The arrival of Marthanda Varma's Nairs (the warriors) from the north forced the Dutch to take up defensive positions in Colachel, where they were attacked and defeated by the Travancore forces. Twenty-eight high level Dutch officers, including Admiral D'lennoy, were captured. To commemorate this great victory of the Travancore Army over the Dutch at Colachel, the Travancore Government installed the Colachel Pillar at the very spot where the Dutch had capitulated to the Maharaja of Travancore. The defeat of the Dutch in Colachel was the turning point of the Travancore – Dutch War.

D'lennoy went on to serve Marthanda Varma for the next two decades and was promoted to the post of the Valiya kappithan (Senior Admiral) of the Travancore forces same status like a Nair lord. He modernized the Travancore army, and built the Nedumkotta, a line of fortifications in the north of the kingdom, which held up the army of Tippu Sultan in 1791, during his ill-fated invasion of Travancore. D'lennoy is buried in the Udayagiri Fort, also known as Dillanai kotta (D'lennoy's fort) which is located 7 kilometers north of Padmanabhapuram (about 14 kilometers from Nagercoil).
The Pillar
The Colachel War Memorial / Victory Pillar is a pillar of valour and remembrance of the great victory of Travancore Army over the Dutch Forces. The granite Pillar is cylindrical in shape and 15 ft. in height excluding the pedestal. The pedestal alone is 10ft. high and the whole structure is of 25 ft. At the top of the pillar a stone conch representing the insignia of the Travancore Govt. is seen being seated on a lotus bowl.

The inscription engraved on the pedestal is in English letters as follows:
THIS PILLAR
COMMEMORATES
THE VICTORY OF
THE TRAVANCORE
ARMY
OVER THE DUTCH
AT COLACHEL ON
THE
31ST JULY 1741 A.D.
15TH KARKADACAM 916
Colachel Day is celebrated every year to commemorate the victory of Travancore Forces led by King Marthanda Varma over the Dutch in the Battle of Colachel on July 31, 1741 AD, wherein for the first time in the history of the nation, an Indian Force defeated a well-equipped European Force.
Connectivity
Colachel is located at about 4 Kms from Mandaikadu, 8 Kms from Eraniel, 19 Kms from Nagercoil, 40 Kms from Kanyakumari, 12 Kms from Muttom, 13 Kms from Thuckalay, 17 Kms from Marthandam, 21 Kms from Thiruvattaru, 27 Kms from Vilavancode, 28 Kms from Kollamkode, 29 Kms from Suchindrum and 63 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Nearest Railway Station is located at Eraniel and Nearest Airport is located at Thiruvananthapuram.

Chinnamuttom Beach, Kanyakumari

Chinnamuttom Beach, Kanyakumari
Chinnamuttom Beach is located at Chinnamuttom Village in Kanyakumari District of Tamilnadu. The name “Chinna Muttom” comes from Tamil word Muttu (Edge). Chinnamuttom is at the southernmost point of the Indian Subcontinent. Though the coastal areas of Kanyakumari District are at the juncture of the Western Coastal Plains and Eastern Coastal Plains, Chinnamuttom is the only coastal area that lies on the Eastern Coastal Plains. Chinnamuttom is surrounded by sea on three sides. The coastal area has black sand and is rich in minerals. There are numerous illegal mines near Chinnamuttom's coastal area.









Chinnamuttom Beach is located at about 5 Kms from Kanyakumari. Kanyakumari is located at about 20 Kms from Nagercoil, 13 Kms from Suchindrum, 47 Kms from Thiruvattaru, 33 Kms from Thuckalay, 47 Kms from Marthandam, 100 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram and 245 Kms from Madurai. Kanyakumari Town is well connected to major cities by road / rail / air across India. Nearest Railway Station is located at Kanyakumari and Nearest Airport is located at Thiruvananthapuram.

St. Mary’s Church, Vallavilai, Kollemcode, Kanyakumari

St. Mary’s Church, Vallavilai, Kollemcode, Kanyakumari
St. Mary’s Church is located at Vallavilai Village near Kollemcode in Kanyakumari District of Tamilnadu. Vallavilai is located north-west to Cape Comorin (Kanyakumari) and south-east to Trivandrum (capital of Kerala). This place has historical importance since the Portuguese invasion in India. St. Francis Xavier was visiting the coast from Punnalkayal to Kanyakumari in November – December 1544. After had a rich mission experience at the Fishery Coast, St. Francis Xavier entered the Travancore Kingdom.

When St. Xavier planned for a general conversion, he might have come to the Travancore Coast that extended from Kanyakumari to Quilon. Though there was a large population of infidels living outside the coast Francis Xavier tried first to convert the people of the coast. On December 1544, 10000 Mukkuva fishermen living in thirteen villages along the coast and Vallavilai is one among them got converted to Christianity.

The Church is located at about 250 meters from Vallavilai Junction Bus Stop. Vallavilai is located at about 3 Kms from Kollamkode, 18 Kms from Marthandam, 28 Kms from Thuckalay, 25 Kms from Colachel and 44 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Nearest Railway Station is Parassala Railway Station, Kerala located at about 12 Kms from the Church. Kuzhithurai Railway Station, Tamilnadu is located at about 16 Kms from the Church. Nearest Airport is located at Thiruvananthapuram.

St. Peter Paul Church, Manalikarai, Kanyakumari

St. Peter Paul Church, Manalikarai, Kanyakumari
St. Peter Paul Church is located at Manalikarai, a small village located in the southern part of ancient Travancore state, presently under Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu in Kalkulam Taluk. The area comes under Padmanabhapuram division in Kalkulam Taluk in Kothanallur Panchayat. The Malayalam name Manalikkara was very popular during the Travancore state rule and after the reformation of Indian states in 1956, this place is more known as Vazhikkalampadu and it became the part of Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu.

This place belonged to constituency of Princely Travancore State in 1235 AD. The Inscription about Taxation was written in a pillar in front of the Manalikkara Alwar Temple in year 410 ME during the rule of Venadu ruler King Veera Ravi Kerala Varma. The place Manalikkara has its influence as one of the branch of Travancore royal family in Kalkulam in 1610 AD. Raja Sri Illaya Rama Varma from Venadu was from Manalikkara branch of the family in Kalkulam.
The Church is located at about 500 meters from Manalikarai Bus Station. Manalikarai is located at about 13 Kms from Marthandam, 10 Kms from Thiruvattaru, 10 Kms from Padmanabhapuram, 12 Kms from Eraniel, 20 Kms from Nagercoil, 9 Kms from Thuckalay, 18 Kms from Colachel, 42 Kms from Kanyakumari, 27 Kms from Boothapandi, 16 Kms from Thirparappu and 58 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Nearest Railway Station is located at Eraniel and Nearest Airport is located at Thiruvananthapuram. 

St. George Church, Manalikarai, Kanyakumari

St. George Church, Manalikarai, Kanyakumari
St. George Church is located at Manalikarai, a small village located in the southern part of ancient Travancore state, presently under Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu in Kalkulam Taluk. The area comes under Padmanabhapuram division in Kalkulam Taluk in Kothanallur Panchayat. The Malayalam name Manalikkara was very popular during the Travancore state rule and after the reformation of Indian states in 1956, this place is more known as Vazhikkalampadu and it became the part of Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu.

This place belonged to constituency of Princely Travancore State in 1235 AD. The Inscription about Taxation was written in a pillar in front of the Manalikkara Alwar Temple in year 410 ME during the rule of Venadu ruler King Veera Ravi Kerala Varma. The place Manalikkara has its influence as one of the branch of Travancore royal family in Kalkulam in 1610 AD. Raja Sri Illaya Rama Varma from Venadu was from Manalikkara branch of the family in Kalkulam.

The Church is located at about 1 Km from Manalikarai Bus Station. Manalikarai is located at about 13 Kms from Marthandam, 10 Kms from Thiruvattaru, 10 Kms from Padmanabhapuram, 12 Kms from Eraniel, 20 Kms from Nagercoil, 9 Kms from Thuckalay, 18 Kms from Colachel, 42 Kms from Kanyakumari, 27 Kms from Boothapandi, 16 Kms from Thirparappu and 58 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Nearest Railway Station is located at Eraniel and Nearest Airport is located at Thiruvananthapuram. 

Thiruvithamcode Arappally (St. Mary's Church), Thiruvithamcode, Kanyakumari

Thiruvithamcode Arappally (St. Mary's Church), Thiruvithamcode, Kanyakumari
Thiruvithamcode Arappally is located at Thiruvithamcode in Kanyakumari District of Tamilnadu. Thiruvithamcode Arappally is also called as Royal Church or Thomayar Kovil or St. Mary's Orthodox Church or Amalagiri Church. This Church is cute and quaint, almost hidden amid the coconut groves and lotus ponds of this charming border village near Thuckalay, a short drive from the National Highway that connects Thiruvananthapuram and Kanyakumari. It is the existing oldest church structure in the World.





Legends
As per local folklore, In Mylapore, Christians were persecuted by Chola Kingdom. Hence 64 families mainly from Brahmin Vellala Chetty community who had accepted Christianity, with the help of St. Thomas, fled to Venadu. St. Thomas brought them to Travancore crossing the Western Ghats (Sahaya Parvatham) through Aralvaimozhi Pass. The King of Venadu, Imayavaramban Cheralathan received them and offered for them food and land. But when they were offered Vibhuthi, they refused it.


The King also gave 64 houses for them built on 64 fragments of land. He also gave another 24 cents of land for worship. It is said that St. Thomas only kept a cross on that place and church was built later. It has been noted in in ancient Tamil poems by Thachilayar who mentions that King Imayavaramban Cheran made “Kadavul Mana” meaning House of the Lord. Also, he is mentioned as Santor Puravila meaning Protector of Saints. Santor is derived from the Latin word, sanctus which means holy.



And hence it can be assumed that Santor mentioned is about Christians. In later years, the Christians from Thiruvithamcode migrated do different parts of Travancore for business and also to escape from fatal diseases. In 1825, there was a great epidemic of Cholera in Kerala which took the lives of many. Also, many people had to leave from one place to another place. Many people from Thiruvithamcode migrated to Kollam, Kundara, Kadambanad, Adoor, Chathannur etc. which were Christian areas.



History
It is believed by the Christian communities in Kerala that the historic Thiruvithamcode Arappally, also called Amalagiri church as named by the Chera King Uthiyan Cheralathan, was built by St. Thomas, known as the Apostle of India, in 63 AD. It is now declared an international St. Thomas pilgrim center. In 53 A.D., the disciple of Jesus Christ, St. Thomas came to India and seven and a half Churches. He built Churches in Kodungalur, Kollam, Niranam, Chayal, Kokkamangalam, Kottaikavu, Palayur which are all situated in Kerala. In 63A.D., he built a Church for St. Mary at Manikramam in Thiruvithamcode. Only this church built by him is called as Half Church (Ara Palli), since the height of the church is less. But many people have many views about this Ara Palli.



According to one part of people says Ara Palli is misunderstood as Half Church (Ara = half). Because “Ara” is related to the word “King” in local language. As in words such as Arasan = King, Aramana = King’s house (Palace), Arayal = King Tree (banyan tree), Arayannam = King bird. Hence Ara Palli / Arayan Palli = King’s Church. As long back, Thiruvithamcode was the Capital of Travancore. The land where the church is situated is donated by the King. Hence the name as “Ara Palli.



According to a historian, the original church was built under the patronage of King. The present church has been built in the site of the original church. The church has been rebuilt at least five times but keeping the style of the original church. Around 80 years back, the ruins of this church were found by the late Rev. Fr. Koottumkal Geevarghese Ramban, who restored the church to its present glory.



This church has many names like St. Mary’s Orthodox Church, Thomayar Koil, Amalagiri and Ara Palli. This church is under the control of Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church. In 16th December 2007, The Catholicose of the East Baselios Marthoma Dydimos I proclaimed this church as St. Thomas International Pilgrim Centre.


 It is said that during the 1940’s, this church was tried to be converted as a Hindu temple due to the resemblance of a Hindu temple. Some believe that it was Hindu shrine which was converted into a Church. But there was a cross curved on a pillar which stopped the issue. According to believers, this cross was carved by St. Thomas himself. The Church’s alter, baptism basin, incense burner is believed to be from Portuguese.

There are some ancient references to the church such as in the Book of Duarte Barbosa, which talks about ‘Tharusayikkal’ believed to be about Thiruvithamcode. Also, the canons passed at the famous Synod of Udayamperoor in 1599 show that a group of Christians living in Thiruvithamcode were in dire need of a priest and that there was urgent need to reconstruct the church.
The Church
This church is 45ft in length, 15ft broad and 10ft in height. This church is constructed fully with granite stone. It claims to be the world's oldest church that still has daily prayers. The church has three main parts built in the 17th century and a 20th-century entrance hall. Its walls are built of locally quarried stone, chiseled with a multi-tipped chisel, a technique known in Kerala and possibly introduced there by foreign contact in the 16th century. First up is the foyer. Carved onto the granite architrave (the door frame) are what appears to be two kneeling angels in front of an object which could be a chalice.





Tucked in an alcove inside the antechamber is an old world baptismal font, made of granite, and said to be as old as the church itself. Right in front of the font, on what is the southern wall of the sanctum, is a cross. It is believed to have been carved by St. Thomas himself. Just outside, adjacent to the western exit of the antechamber, he pointed out the remnants of an ancient stone trough where it is said that priests washed their feet before entering the church. Then, there is the well near the church and according to legend, the well was dug at the time of St. Thomas and also it has never dried up.





The present church is reputedly built on the site of the original church. Since then, it may have been rebuilt at least five times but the native style of the original church seems to have been faithfully maintained. Adjacent to the church is the newly built St. Thomas Pilgrimage Centre, which also function under the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. The church today is maintained by the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. Catholicose of the East and Malankara MetropolitanBaselios Marthoma Didymos I proclaimed the church as an international St. Thomas pilgrim center on 16 December 2007.




Connectivity
Thiruvithamcode Arappally is located at about 250 meters from Thiruvithamcode Bus Stop. Thiruvithamcode is located at 3.5 Kms from Thuckalay, 13 Kms from Marthandam, 6 Kms from Eraniel, 6 Kms from Azhakiyamandapam, 6 Kms from Padmanabhapuram, 10 Kms from Colachel, 13 Kms from Thiruvattaru, 16 Kms from Nagercoil, 40 Kms from Kanyakumari and 60 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. If enroute on NH 47 towards Kanyakumari, take a right at Azhakiyamandapam to Thiruvithamcode. If coming from Madurai / Kanyakumari, at Thuckalay Main bus stand take a right to reach Thiruvithamcode. Nearest Railway Station is located at Eraniel and Nearest Airport is located at Thiruvananthapuram.