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Malabar Manual Vol 2
William Logan

By P. Karunakara Menon.

Boundaries.—The Taluk is bounded on the north by Ernad Taluk and a portion of Nilgiris district, on the east by Coimbatore district, on the south by Palghat Taluk, Cochin State and Ponnani Taluk, and on the west by the Ponnani and Ernad Taluks.

Area. —According to the figures adopted for the census of 1881, the total area of the Taluk is 963 square miles ; 137,417 acres or about 214 square miles of which are under cultivation, and 273,454 acres cultivable, while 3,000 acres represent the extent of hills and forest and other lands not cultivable.

Soil—The soil is chiefly red loam, except where black alluvial clay is found in the valleys.

Topography.-—The Taluk extends along the foot the Western Ghauts, many spurs of which run into it, e.g. in the amsams of Tuvur, Tiruvalamkunnu, Kottopadam, Arakurushi, Tenkara, Kumaramputtur, Kalladikkod, etc. A part of the Arakurushi amsam lies east of the ghaut and is known as the Attappadi valley which contains the head waters of the Baavani river. The area of the valley is estimated at about 200 square miles. The whole of it as well as the spurs and slopes of the ghaut are covered with valuable timber and other trees, and abound in elephants, bison, tigers, sambur, etc.

There are also several detached hills in the Taluk, such as Panakkodan mala, the Avunhikkadan mala, the Chirattamanna mala, the Anangan mala1, etc. The whole Taluk may be said to be one series of hills and dales, the latter being cultivable with paddy, while the borders of the former are covered with gardens containing jack, areca, and various other trees, in the midst of which stand the houses of the people.

NOTEs: 11. The origin of this word Anangan is interpreted in two ways—(1) picturesque (the Sanskrit word Anangan being a synonym for cupid), (2) without limbs (the Sankrit word signifying അൻ = without, and അംഗം = limbs) meaning that the hill is one single elevation without arms. END OF NOTEs

These hills are covered with scrub jungle or grass, and afford pasturage for cattle and thatching material for the houses of the poorer classes2. The principal rivers are the Ponnani or Walayar river which forms2 the southern boundary of the Taluk, the Malappuram or Anakkayam river which forms the northern boundary and the Mannarghat or Thutha river, a tributary of the Ponnani river. All those streams are perennial and are largely used for floating timber in rafts from the hills to the coast during the rainy season and are also passable for small boats for several miles except in the hot season.

NOTEs: 2. In the Nenmani hills experimental coffee cultivation is carried on. END OF NOTEs

The subjoined table gives the rainfall of the Taluk for a series of years.-

From all these it may easily be concluded that the climate is not very healthy, fever is present more or less throughout the year and is the chief prevailing disease. In the months of January, February and March generally a sort of malarious fever prevails throughout the Taluk, sometimes, attended with serious results.

Population.—The total population, as per last census is 308,102 against 292,482 in 1871. Of this number 153,236 are males and 154,866 females. Hindus number 225,075, Muhammadans 82,883, Christians 142 and "Others" 2. The average population per square mile is 320, but in reality it is far greater, inasmuch as Attappadi valley in Arakurushi amsam and the portion of the Taluk along the foot of the ghauts is very thinly peopled ; while a great part of the Taluk is not at all inhabited.

The total number of houses in 1881 was 57,220, of which 52,644 were occupied and 4,576 unoccupied. There were 55 occupied and 5 unoccupied houses in every square mile, and on an average 5.9 persons in every occupied house. As elsewhere in the district, all houses stand in detached "compounds,” except in the case of towns and bazaars, where they are built in the form of streets. The bulk of the people are occupied in cultivating the soil.

The figures in the above table against “agricultural” shows the largest number as compared with the other Taluks of the district.

The language spoken is Malayalam, except in the case of foreigners. In the Attappadi valley, however, the inhabitants, who are quite ignorant and without any education, speak a form, of Canarese.

Administrative Divisions.—For purposes of administration the Taluk is divided into 64 amsams, each having an Adhikari who collects the tax and is also Village Magistrate and Munsif, and who has under him an accountant (menon) and a couple of peons, except in one instance (Arakurishj amsam) in which the number of peons is four. There is of course a Tahsildar with the powers of a Magistrate of the 2nd class, whose headquarters are at Perintalmanna and who is assisted in his revenue work by a Deputy Tahsildar stationed at Cherupulasseri and usually invested with 2nd-class magisterial powders

Cultivation, etc. —The staple produce is rice, though arcea, jack, and plantains are also grown largely and coconuts on a small scale The areas under the several crops arc returned as follows —

Nanja 78,815

Gardens 23,116

Punja 35,486

"Punja" represents upland cultivation, such as modan, punam, gingelly, etc. The areas under each crop vary considerably from year to year, according to the nature of the season and other circumstances.

Particulars of Revenue —The subjoined statement shows the Revenue of the Taluk from various sources for a series of years.-

Roads.—The Taluk is intersected by 17 main roads :

The most important of these is road No. 7 from Palghat (via Parli), Pattambi, etc., to Ponnani, which enters the Taluk at the south-eastern corner and traverses its whole length along the southern boundary, a distance of 24 miles. Next in order comes road No. 6 from Calicut to Palghat via Kondotti and Malapuram ; the total length of it in this Taluk is 39 miles.

The Madras Railway passes through the Taluk nearly parallel to road No. 7. Pattambi, Shorannur, Ottappalam and Lakkidi are Railway stations in the Taluk. Pattambi is the nearest station to the headquarters of the Taluk from which it is distant 14 miles. The Deputy Tahsildar's station (Cheruplasseri) is about 13 and about 12 miles respectively by road from Pattambi and Ottappalam, while Shorannur and Lakkidi are farther off.

The subjoined list gives information regarding the principal festivals in the Taluk:-

The following statement gives the particulars of weekly fairs or markets held in the Taluk :-


Perintalmanna.—Chiefly inhabited by Mappillas is the headquarters of the Taluk. There is also a Munsif Court, Sub-Registrar’s office, Post office and a school ; six miles from Perintalmanna is Mankata, the seat of the Walluvanad Raja, who enjoys a Malikhana of Rs. 13,400 from Government.

Angadipuram.—Has a beautiful temple called Tirumandhan kunnu situated on the top of a hill. In the well-known Mappilla outrage of 1849, the insurgents occupied this temple and were shot in the vicinity. In memory of two privates of H.M.’s 94th Regiment who fell in the action, the Walluvanad Raja, the owner of the temple, has caused a tomb to be erected over their graves in the compound of the public bungalow.

The tomb bears the inscription shown in the margin (below).

The following tradition is told of the origin of this temple.

The site of the temple was originally a forest. A female of the Cheruma caste while lopping the branches of a tree happened to sharpen her knife on a stone close by. Whereupon the stone began to bleed. This news was carried to one Kattilamittath Nambudiri, who believing in the sanctity of the stone, cleared the jungle around, while another (Chenamkandath) Nambudiri cleared the ground and a third, Pandalakkott Nambudiri, erected a pandal over the stone and commenced to make pujas and eventually a temple was erected at the spot.

There is an important mosque also in the place known by the name of Puthanangadi Palli about 3 miles west of the Taluk cutcheri. The mosque has an inscription in Arabic engraved on planks and set up in the walls explaining the benefits of erecting a mosque. This Palli consists of two separate buildings close to each other. Originally there was only a single building, but another was built close by subsequently for the following reasons given by tradition.

Karuvayur Mussad, the prime minister of the Walluvanad Raja, took oath to pull down the original mosque. On the other hand one Murikunnan Pokar Muppan also took oath that he would take off the head of the Mussad if he were to pull down the mosque, and exhibit the same for public view on the spot as a sign of revenge (വെന്തലകുത്തുക) and also that two mosques shall be erected in the place of one. The Mussad and both accomplished their respective aims. Hence the presence of two mosques now in the same compound adjoining each other.

Mannarkatt.—This is a jungly place. Horns, honey and wax are obtained abundantly and cheap. This place took its importance as the centre of commerce in olden times. The different products of the Attappadi valley are brought down here and taken to various places

Karimpozha.—This is the seat of the Eralppad or second Raja of the Zamorin family. The celebrated Hindu author, Thunchath Ezhuthassan, lived here. There are a number of families of Chettis who manufacture thin cloths of the patterns peculiar to natives (male and female) of Malabar and similar in kind, though inferior in quality, to those manufactured in Tinnevelly. The cloth is known by the name of "Karimpula Pavu.’’

Cherupulasseri.—There are the Deputy Tahsildar’s office. Sub-registry office, a school and a Post office here. There is also a temple called "Ayyappan Kavu."’ Vaniamkulam.—Has the most important fair in the district. Cattle, grains, nuts, fish (dried), cloths of various sorts and curry stuffs are obtainable at the fair. Elephants and horses are also brought here for sale at times.

Police.—The following is the list of Police stations in the taluk:-

Religious Institutions.—-The following is the list of religious institutions in the Taluk :—

Trigonometrical Survey Stations.

List of Charitable Institutions in the Taluk.

Commentary                MMVol 1               MMVol 2

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