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Welcome to web site of Kodungallur Kovilakam

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Kodungallur Kovilakam contributed to richness of Kerala culture by nurturing traditional art forms and literature, while adapting to changing times as winds of change were lashing on shores of this land of rich tradition and values.

.... At that time, Kodungallur Puthen Kovilakam was a veritable university of highest excellence. There were as many as three hundred students studying many subjects in various classes at this Gurukulam. From Kavyams to the higher books of nyayam, vedantam, alankaram, ayurveda, jyotisham, silpam and the important arts of sangeetham, and abhinayam were taught here. Those prepared to give instruction to students were Vidvan Kunniramavarma Thampuran, Sakran Thampuran, Valia Kochunni Thampuran, Kunjan Thampuran, Kavisarvabhauman Cheriya kochunni Thampuran, Mahamahopadhyaya Bhattasri Godavarma Thampuran, Cheriya Kunjunni Thampuran (also called Bhagavathar Thampuran) and Marumakan Thampuran......

Source: The Book 'Knowledge before printing and after - The Indian tradition in changing Kerala'

A few illustrative examples are:


The book Hindu Astronomy written by P D Sharma lauds contribution made by Vidwan Ilaya Thampuran mentioning him as versatile scholar both in Sanskrit and Malayalam (page 190, last para). He is mentioned as holding he front rank among renowned scholars and patrons of literature produced by scholarly royal house of Kodungallur
Performing arts
Vazhakunnam Neelakandam Namboothiri, father figure of Magic in Kerala, studied ?Maathangaleela? under the expert, Kochunni Thampuran of the Kodungallur Kovilakam. He was given the title 'Kavisarvabhouman' by Raja of Cochin 'Kochi Valia Thampuran' in appreciation of his knowledge

Pattikkamthodi Ravunni Menon is considered as the father of modern Kathakali practice. He was student of Bhagavathar Kunjunni Thampuran. Kerala Kalamandalam has instituted an award in the name of Bhagavathar Kunjunni Thampuran. This award is given to exponents of classical art forms such as Kathakali and Koodiyattom, below the age of 40.

First major recognition for Padmashri Mani Madhava Chakyar was from Kodungallur Bhattan Thampuran. Mani Madhava Chakyar considered Mudramothiram from Kodungallur Bhattan Thampuran as the most prestigious award that he ever got

Ashtavaidyan Thrissur Thaikkat Unni Mooss (founder of SNA Oushadhasala) learned Toxicology from Kodungallur Kovilakam

Popular K.P.Namboodiri�s Dantadhavanachoornam is prepared based on the recipe discovered from ancient ayurvedic texts by a royal physician Kochukuttan Thampuran at Kodungalloor Kovilakam
Humanist values
Pandit Karuppan was a poet, dramatist and social reformer. He was well known crusader against untouchability and social evils. Pandit Karuppan was from a lower middle class family in Dheevara community of Hindu fishermen.
Poet Kundani Govindan Asan, a poet from Ezhava caste, was also a student of Kodungalloor Kovilakam<
Though palace was out-of-bounds for lower caste Hindus, Kunhikkuttan Thampuran kept a soft corner for Karuppan and affectionately encouraged him to sit near him. He studied Sanskrit under those Thampurans, and that helped him to get moulded into a poet of standing. He studied �Manushyalaya Mahachandrika� (on house building architecture) and �Ashtanga Hridayam�(on Ayurveda) also from the Royal Gurus.
Moving with the times
During early days of communist movements, many leaders had to operate from safe place where they will not be easily found out to ensure that movement has sustainable momentum. Despite being movement against the establishment and traditional practices, Kodungallur Kovilakam provided safe haven for the veteran communist leader Sri A K Gopalan (known popularly as AKG).A golden sickle and hammer, made from golden bangles of ladies of the Kovilakam, was presented to the great leader, as a mark of respec
Many members of Kodungallur Kovilakam adopted the spirit of democracy and communism, and participated in freedom and communist movements. This included even lady members (thampurattis) led by Kunjikutti Thampuratti, Rama Thampuratti, and Indira Thampuratti. Ladies from Kodungallur Kovilakam was one of the first (in Kerala) to go out of Kovilakam campus to adopt modern education in schools and college, much against the traditional highly restricted movements of ladies at that time. Rama Thampuratti, and Indira Thampuratti participated in Paliyam Sathyagraham along with other male members from the Kovilakam as well as other party workers.
Paliyam Sathyagraham was a movement in 1947-48 to allow entry for Hindus of lower castes in the roads surrounding the Paliam family home in Chendamangalam and the temples. This movement was momentus in that the success of this and similar movements led to the temples in Cochin being opened for all Hindus in 1948
Modern times
In tune with the tradition, a government college, technical institute and Samskrita Vidyapeetham was established under the dynamic leadership of Kunjukutty Thampuratti. With these, she helped imparting free education to the poor and needy in and around Kodungallur .

Kunjipilla Thampuratti and Bhattan Thampuran were actively involved in discussions with Swami Vivekananda

Just as with other royal families in Kerala, there is not much written information about Kodungallur Kovilakam, except for very recent past. However, much of its history is part of folklore. This web site is a humble attempt to consolidate information scattered around and preserve for the benefit of posterity, with the hope that a rich culture based on social and human values is not lost in the onslaught of fast pace of modern life and new social order. Any kind of guidance and support in improving an authenticity would be very helpful. We request support, especially in terms of information and specific write up , from all members and well wishers of Kodungallur Kovilakam.