Monuments-peeping into the past

 

Monuments are great tellers of History. Volumes they speak on culture, tradition and socio-political scenes in days of yore. The protected monuments come under the administration of Archaeology Department of Kerala. Some of the popular monuments in various districts of Kerala are:

 

 
PADMANABHAPURAM
Padmanabhapuram Palace is an ancient historical monument representing the indigenous architectural features; especially the traditional style of southern Kerala. The palace is situated in the centre of the Padmanabhapuram fort with an area of 186 acres amidst hills, dales and rivers. All the buildings in it are elegantly designed and display a simplicity of architectural style characterised by pointed gables, dormer windows and long corridors. The earliest of structures was built sometime in 1335 AD. The most noteworthy edifices are the Entrace Hall (Poomukham), the Council Chamber (Mantrasala), the Natakasala (Theatre Hall), the Pooja Mandapa (place of worship), the Saraswathy shrine and above all the Uppirikka Malika (storeyed building) which contains well preserved mural paintings.

In the southern side of the main complex of Padmanabhapuram Palace but outside the compound wall there is a small palace. It is actually a traditional building in the style of a nalukettu. This wonderful architectural elegance shows the beauty of our domestic architecture. Now a Heritage museum is housed in this building.

Padmanabhapuram was the capital of erstwhile Travancore State till 1792. Now it is in Thakkala village of Kanyakumari district in Tamilnadu State. But the Palace and adjacent area of 6.5 acres of land is placed under the control of the Govt. of Kerala .
 
PANDAVANPARA
Pandavanpara is a monument protected by a kind of granite pagoda like natural rock facing west and covers an area of about 96 cents, situated between two huge boulders on a hillock sufficiently spacious to accommodate nearly fifty people. This peculiar shelter has engravings on its walls and especially in the lower portion of the entrance. The engravings at the entrance are mostly floral while on the interior some human figures could be seen in the hunting posture with bow and arrow. This particular characteristic of engraving and polishing in the gate show that this work was executed most probably by the Neolithic people.

 

KOIKKAL KOTTARAM
The Koikkal palace at Nedumangad is famous in history as the residence of the Perakom collateral branch of the ancient Venad Dynasty. This palace shows the general architectural characteristics of a typical old and influential Kerala house. The gabled roof, the corridors, the nalukettu style and the mainly wooden character of its construction that are seen in the Koikkal palace representing the stylistic perfection of the medieval architecture of southern Kerala.

Now a folklore and Numismatic museum, the first of its kind in Kerala has been set up by the Archaeology Department. The rich and varied collection of musical instruments, occupational implements, household utensils, models of folk art forms and rare ancient coins etc. displayed here represent the rich cultural heritage of the past. Located in Nedumangad Taluk, Thiruvananthapuram District.
 
BHAGAVATHY TEMPLE VIZHINJAM
This ancient Devi (sapta matrukkal) temple is in a square plan representative of the Chola type. The base pillars are in stone. The super structure is in the shape of a dome. It is a simple structure with sanctum sanctorum and ardhamandapa. The temple dates back to 9th and 10th century A.D. It is the earliest structural temple in Kerala. The temple is situated at Kottukkal village in Thiruvananthapuram district.

MADAVOORPARA ROCK CUT TEMPLE
Rock-cut temples are one of the main styles of Kerala architecture during the period from 7 to 9 century AD. This cave temple is found at the mid-height of the rock, facing southwest. It has an oblong shrine, with rock-cut linga, an ardhamandapa and pillared facade. The left wall of the ardhamondapa carries the figure of Lord Ganapathy and on the right side, there is a figure of the local chieftain. The temple roughly dates back to 850 A.D and is situated at Iroopara village in Thiruvananthapuram district.
 
AYYIPILLA ASAN & AYYINIPILLA ASAN SMARAKOM
Ayyipilla Asan is the author of Ramakadha Pattu, one of the epics in ancient Malayalam poetry and Ayyinipilla Asan, his brother is the author of Mavaratha Pattu, another literary work in ancient Malayalam. Considering the cultural and historical impotance, a small edifice for the family deity of the celebrated ancient poets of Kerala has been declared as protected monument in 1987. It is a small shrine with an extension. There is no particular idol in the sanctum sanctorum and the temple is situated in the Vizhinjam village of Thiruvananthapuram District.
 
NEERAMONKARA TEMPLE
This Siva temple belongs to the 14th Century A.D. It is in circular Dravida style raised on a circular paved disc, which forms the outer path of Circumambulation. The temple has an inner covered ambulatory in addition to the one in the open. This lies behind the circular wall. The inner wall of this inner ambulatory is square and is surmounted by an octagonal dome. The central shrine containing a linga is built of laterite and between it and the circular prakara wall, there are pillars, two on each side of the four sides. The temple is situated at Nemom village in Thiruvananthapuram district.
 
VISHNU TEMPLE ARUVIKARA
The temple is of circular vimana with granite adhistana and plastered wall. The whole structure has been renovated. Considering its structural peculiarity the temple is declared as a protected monument from 28-9-1966 onwards. Location : Maranallur village (Neyyattinkara Taluk) in Thiruvananthapuram District.
 
THRIVIKRAMANGALAM TEMPLE
This Mahavishnu temple is famous for its sculptural extravagance. The temple appears to be very old. Certain sculptures in front of the temple depict chola features of the 11th and the 12th centuries. The figures of Dwarapalakas, Singers and Mridangists and the exquisite dance posses on the balustrade to the lateral steps, leading to the sanctum sanctorum are worth to be mentioned. Considering the artistic and cultural importance the temple with 47 cents of land, it was declared as a protected monument in 1965. Location: Thirumala village in Thiruvananthapuram District.
 
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM FORT
The Thiruvananthapuram Fort is built around Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple, which was the centre of many historical events. Even though the work was started in 1747, during the reign of Marthandavarma Maharaja, the fort was completed by Karthika Thirunal Dharma Raja in 1787 A.D. The height of the fort is about 15 ft. It was built in accordance with the plan of Thaikkad Vishnuthrathan Namboothiri, a famous architect of that period. The fort has four main gaeways viz. kizhakke kotta (East Fort), padinjare kotta (west fort), thekke kotta (south fort) and vadakke kotta (north fort). In addition to these there are gateways at Sreevaraham, Sree Kandeswaram and Vettimuricha Kotta in the southeastern side.

Considering the stuctural and historical value, in 1985 the Fort and Fort gates were declared as protected monuments by the Department of Archaeology. Location: Thiruvananthapuram District.
 
THIRUNARAYANAPURAM TEMPLE
A structural temple of 14th century A.D. The adhistana (foundation) and wall are of granite. Square vimana, tritala type of super structure, cloister namaskara mandapa etc. are the main features of this temple. It is a sikara type having a combination of the early Vijayanagara style of architecture with local forms and features. The carvings especially of the namaskaramandapa shows the characteristic of early Vijayanagara style. The temple is situated at Ottoor village in Thiruvananthapuram District.
 
 
KOTTUKAL ROCK CUT TEMPLE
The Kottukal rock-cut temple represents an outstanding and typical example for the rock-cut temple style of Kerala. It has two cells on either side with Sivalingas in each with a projection carrying the figure of Lord Ganapathy at the centre. The mukhamandapa of the large cell has two pillars carved in rock. The wall of the mukhamandapa carries a figure of Lord Ganapathy. There is a monolithic Nandi in each cave. One of the recess of the sanctum sanctorum carries the figure of Lord Hanuman near the monolithic Nandi, probably intended to recollect the Nandi-vanara episode in the Ramayana. It is dated to the 8 and 9th centuries A.D. Kerala government declared it as a protected monument in 1966. The temple is situated at Ittiva village in Kottarakkara taluk.

MADAN KAVU
Mangadu is a megalithic site situated 8 km. northeast of Kollam town. The site is located very near to 'madan kavu', a small traditional temple. This urn burial site is demarcated on the surface with uneven blocks of laterite with an area of approximately 10 x 10 m. The stone blocks form three circles and are in slanting position.
 
CHENNAMATH TEMPLE
This old Siva temple has circular 'vimana'. It is 'ekathala alpavimana'. It is of 'sandhara' type. Two armed 'dwarapalakas' in stone work is seen here on the flanks of the main entrance. The 'bali pita' is on the outside of the 'prakara' door on the eastern side. It is a unitary temple but with an interesting array of 'kostha devadas' on the wall. The windows are set within the pilastered divisions of the wall. It is an early medieval Kerala type temple and is situated at Meenad village in Kollam district.
 
SUSPENSION BRIDGE PUNALUR
The suspension bridge spanning the Kallada River in Punalur is the only one of its kind in south India and it is 400 ft. long. As this bridge erected in 1877 was found to be not strong enough, to cope with the mounting flow of passenger and goods traffic, a new concrete bridge has been constructed nearby. The suspension bridge is now of archaeological interest only. Its construction was commenced in 1871 -72 and completed in 1877-78 AD. Location: Punalur village in Pathanapuram Taluk.
 
 
ROCK CUT TEMPLE, THRIKKAKUDY
It is the oldest cave temple in Kerala. It belongs to the latter half of the 8th centruy AD, if not earlier, as suggested by its close resemblance to later Pallava work. The cave is 19 feet 8 inches broad and 8 feet 6 inches high. Two pillars, 8 feet 8 inches in height, divide the breadth of the cave into three openings, two of which are 5 feet broad with the the other only 4 feet 8 inches. The central shrine is a cylindrical rock-cut linga. The entrance faces west.

Inside the square 'garbhagriha', Sivalinga is fixed on a rectangle peeta. Two 'dwarapalaka' (sentinel) figures are seen. One of them is of a local chieftain and the other carrying 'gada' (maze). On the north and south walls of the 'ardha' (half) mandapa, there is a figure of Chathurbhuja Ganapathi and a 'bhikshu' respectively. Location: Thiruvalla taluk in Pathanamthitta District.
 
 
NARASIMHA TEMPLE, CHATHANKULANGARA
This beautiful temple contains many wooden sculptures, which are considered to be of 14th century AD. The temple structure is 'chaturasra alpavimana'. 'Nirandhara' type, although having a passage around the sanctum. Above the granite 'adhistana' (foundation) the outerwall is ornamented with 21 panels of different wooden sculptures of deities and 'puranic' scenes. Dwarapalakas on both sides. 'Bali pita' is well outside the inner scheme. 'Dhwajastambha' is in the open. The temple is situated at Chengannoor taluk in Alappuzha district.
 
BUDDHA IMAGE AT KRISHNAPURAM PALACE
This Buddha image is of 96 cm in height. It is in a yogic posture. 'Jvala' (flame) and the upper cloth on the left shoulder which spread over the chest with many foldings is very clear. It is datable to the 9th century A.D. This image found from Maruthoor Kulangara near Karunagappally and is now in a better state of protection. Location: Karthikapally taluk in Alappuzha district.
 
BUDDHA IMAGE AT MAVELIKKARA
This Buddha image is about 3 feet high, including the pedestal upon which it is seated. It has the 'jvala', 'usnisha' and the upper cloth over the chest to indicate its Buddhist character. The sculpture shows highly skilled craftsmanship in depicting the characteristic ornamentations. The 'jvala' is prominent. The image is in a yogic posture and is datable to the 9th century A.D. Location: Mavelikkara village in Alappuzha district.

BUDDHA IMAGE AT KARUMADI
This image of Buddha is popularly known as Karumadikkuttan. It is made of black stone. It has a broken left hand. Several local stories are associated with the installation of the image at the site. The 'usnisha', 'jvala' and traces of the upper cloth passing over the chest indicates that it is a Budha image. It is about 3ft. high and in a yogic posture. It is datable to the 8th century A.D. It was declared as protected monument in 1965 with 10 cents of land around it. Location: Ambalappuzha taluk in Alappuzha district.
 
BUDDHA IMAGE AT BHARANIKAVU
This Buddha image, executed very elegantly with the upper cloth, particularly the many folded part of it passing over the left shoulder and lying flat on the chest. The 'usnisha' and 'jvala' are prominent. It is in a yogic posture. Presently, the image is inside the compound of Bharanikavu Badrakali temple. It was declared as protected monument by Travancore Government in 1941 and is situated at Kattanam village in Alappuzha district.
 
KRISHNAPURAM PALACE
This palace is the best example for the Kerala style architectural buildings, especially the residence of local chieftains and royal palaces of Travancore. Its gabled roof, narrow stair - cases, dormer windows, heavy doors, narrow corridors etc. are worth to be mentioned. It carries one of the largest mural paintings of the 18th century school in Kerala, covering an area of 150 sq.ft. An archaeological museum is also accommodated inside the palace. The palace and the surrounding area is declared as protected . Location: Karthikappally Taluk in Alappuzha district.
 
 
PUNDAREEKAPURAM DEVASWAM
The temple is of 'chathurasra vimana' having sheet roof. Square 'arthamandapa' has beautiful carvings on the ceiling and having 'dwarapalakas'. Main deity is Vishnu with Sathyabhama seated on Garuda. Beautiful murals are seen on the lime plasted granite walls of the 'garbhagriha'. The temple and the murals dates to AD 17 and 18 centuries and is situated at Vadayar village in Kottayyam taluk.
 
 
MANGALADEVI TEMPLE
The temple complex on the top of the Mangaladevi hills facing the Cumbam valley of Tamilnadu consists of four shrines of different sizes and orientation, confined to a well defined 'prakara' with a fairly large sized 'gopuradwara'. Among the four temple precincts, one is large facing east with a covered 'garbhagriha', 'ardhamandapa' and an open courtyard. There is a sub-shrine with the trunk of an image, the navel of which appears to be that of a female in 'ardha-paryanka' pose. The image is made of soft granite. There are other two sub shrines in the complex. The temple dates to AD 8 and 9 centuries.

Considering the historic and Architectural value, the Department of Archaeology declared it as a protected monument in 1983. It is situated in Kumili village of Idukki District.
 
EZHUTHUPARA
Ezhuthupara at Marayoor is noted for the collection of Pre-historic cave paintings. Pictures in this megalithic art gallery are drawn in two different media consisting of reddish brown soil, containing multicoloured iron minerals and white clay soil. Similar paintings have not been discovered anywhere else in Kerala. Location: Devikulam taluk in Idukki district.
 
 
KALLIL ROCK CUT TEMPLE
The unique rock-cut temple at Kallil near Perumbavoor in Ernakulam district, which may be assigned to the peiod after 800 A.D. was originally a Jain shrine. But during the period of the decline of Jainism, it got itself transformed into a Hindu temple, dedicated to Goddess Bhagavathi. On one of the facades of this rock shelter is a carved, unfinished seated image of Mahavira, represented also on the back wall of the cavern.
 
PAZHOOR PERUMTHRIKKOVIL
It is 'sandhara' type temple with cardinal doors on four sides. The plinth and the wall together are of granite stone work and the rest of timber and sheet roof in circulr vimana. 'Dwarapalakas' are made of wood. Main deity, the sivalinga is facing east. Square 'ardhamandapa' contains beautiful wooden carvings on the ceiling. 'Pranala' is a typical ornate Keral type with standing 'yaksha' bearing at its tip. It has some of the notable examples of old workmanship in wood, illustrating various 'puranic' scenes and figures from the Bhagavata, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The temple can be dated to AD 12th century. Location: Muvattupuzha taluk in Eranakulam district.
 
PALLIPPURAM FORT
This hexagonal building is the oldest extant European monument in India. It was constructed by the Portuguese in 1503. It is popularly known as Ayakkotta or Alikkotta. In 1663 the Portuguese surrendered it to the Dutch. In 1789, through the strategic diplomacy of Raja Kesava Dasan, the able Devan of the Raja of Travancore, the Fort was purchased by Travancore from the Dutch. Location: Pallipuram village in Kochi taluk.
 
OORAMANA TEMPLE
This structural temple dates to the 12 and 13th century A.D. It is of circular 'vimana' with granite stone plinth with plastered walls bearing beautiful mural paintings. They include various puranic scenes like Gajendra moksha, Sivathandava, Sastha on hunting, Sreerama Pattabhisheka, the war between Rama and Ravana etc. Main deity is Narasimha Moorthy facing east. 'Pranala' is of the ornate medieval type. 'Dwarapalakas' are painted on the wall. Square 'ardha mandapa' carries beautiful carvings on the wooden ceiling.

The temple is situated at Melmuri village in Ernakulam district.
 
STONE INSCRIPTION (HEBREW)
There is an inscription seen in front of the Jewish synagogue at Chennamangalam. The Hebrew stone inscription having eight lines shows that the synagogue was built in 1615 and the expenditure was met by David Gastiline, one of the leader of the Jews. It was declared as protected monument in 1966 and is situated in north Paravoor taluk of Eranakulam district.
 
STONE INSCRIPTIONS, CHENNAMANGALAM
Stone inscription lying in the church compound of Vaipikkotta seminary, Chennamangalam.
 
ARIYITTU VAZHCHA KOVILAKOM
A traditional style 'nalukettu' which was used for the 'ariyittu vazhcha', a ceremony in connection with the coronation of the new heir of Cochin Royal family. The old building in fornt of the Palliyarakavu Bhagavathy temple stands as protected monument . Location: Mattancheri village in Cochin taluk, Ernakulam district.
 
SIVANARAYANA TEMPLE THIRUNAYATHODE
This 'sandara' temple is of 'vritta vimana'. Granite stone for 'adhistana' and wall. Granite wall is coated with plaster on which murals are seen. Dwarapalakas in stone work are seen on all the four sides. Unified copper roofing for the whole temple and unitary type without any subsidiary shrines. 'Pranala' set in the 'kantha' and supported by a 'gana' figure. Main deity is Sivalingga in front of which is fixed the figures of Lord Siva and Lord Vishnu in the same 'peetha'. The concept is not of Sankara Narayana but of Siva and Vishnu in separate entity having equal importance. The square 'ardha mandapa' has carvings of 'navagraha' on the ceiling. This temple can be dated to the 11th and 12th century AD. Location: Angamali village in Ernakulam district.
 
MANJAPRA TEMPLE
It is a temple of square 'sikhara' type. The roof and all parts of the 'sreekovil' (sanctum sanctorum) is made of granite rock. Dwarapalakas are of granite. It has 'ghanadwaras' on three sides. The main diety is Lord Vishnu in 'varadamudra'. This figure dates to the 9th and 10th century AD. Idols of Lord Ganapathy, Goddess Bhadrakali, Lord Sastha and Naagar (serpent god) are also seen here. This type of temple is very rare in Kerala. Location: Manjapra village in Aluva Taluk.
 
ULIYANUR MAHADEVA TEMPLE
This structural temple is in the form of 'vritha vimana' with granite 'adhisthana'. It has a unified tiled roof for the whole temple. The temple is of 'sandhara' type with four cardinal openings with wooden doors, square 'namaskara mandapa' with a granite Nandi inside. 'Bali peetha' is outside the Chuttambalam. Balustrades are of peculiar type and 'pranala' is of unusual pattern with a bull head at the tip and supported by an 'yakshi' figure. Main deity is Sivalinga facing east. The temple dates to the 12th century AD.

Considering the structural importance, this ancient temple was declared as protected monument by the Department of Archaeology in 1998. Location: North Paravoor taluk in Ernakulam district.
 
OLD KACHERI MALIKA - U.C. COLLEGE, ALUVA
The old Kacheri Malika is a beautiful building in which the Alangad Taluk Kacheri functioned under the Travancore kingdom. It is built in a blended style of Indo-European architecture. Since 1922, the Union Christian College has been functioning in this building. Location: Aluva taluk in Ernakulam district.
 
KOTTAYIL KOVILAKOM
This is a centre of historical importance. The word Kottayil Kovilakom means the palace inside the fort. It is the place where the royal palace of the Villar Vattathu Raja, who ruled over the area of Chennamangalam and adjacent coastal areas was situated. The remains around the old well was declared as protected site in 1936. A Vishnu temple and the remainsof the Vaipikotta seminary are seen nearby this protected site. The Kovilakam is in north Paravoor taluk.
 
VAIPIKOTTA SEMINARY
The Vaipikotta seminary was built by the Portuguese in 1577. Many 'vattezhuthu' inscriptions were encountered during the exploration done here in 1935. The potteries collected from the nearby areas of the church are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum Thrissur. The seminary with 50 cents of land was declared as protected . Location: Chennamangalam village in north Paravoor taluk.

 

 
SAKTHAN THAMPURAN PALACE
The old Vadakkechira palace was renovated to the present style by Sakthan Thampuran, the famous king of the Perumbadappu dynasty. Now it is known as Sakthan Thampuran palace. It is a two-storied building with a 'nalukettu'. The palace is an exquisite example for the combination of Kerala-Dutch architectural Style. Thick walls, tall ceiling, floor with beautiful Itlian marble tiles and spacious rooms are the pecularities of this building. Now it is a protected monument under the Department of Archaeology. The palace is in Thrissur taluk.
 
TIPPU'S FLAG STAFF
The flag staff of Tippu Sultan which was erected in 1789 is now protected in front of the Sakthanthampuran palace near the fort wall.
 
OLD FORTIFICATION
The eastern and western gateway and old fortification around the Sakthan Thampuran Palace are also protectd monuments due to its stylistic importance.

TWO IMAGES
Two stone images of Nagaraja and Nagayakshi under the saptaparna tree in Vadakkechira palace (Sakthan Thampuran Palace) compound are protected by the Department.

TOMB OF ZAMORIN
A monument put up at the Vadakkechira palace compound where Zamorin Raja of Calicut was cremated in 1748.

TOMB OF SAKTHAN THAMPURAN
A monument put up at the same site where Raja Ramavarma alias Sakthan Thampuran was cremated in 1805.

TOMB OF RAMAVARMA RAJA
A monument put up at the palace site where Ramavarma Raja of Cochin was cremated.

ANCIENT HOUSE OF ARNOSE PADIRI AND ST. FRANCIS XAVIER FORANE CHURCH
Rev. Joannes Ernesto Hanxleden SJ was one of the most remarkable of scholar missionaries who dedicated their lives to enrich Malayalam literature with their immortal contributions. The German priest, Father Hanxley -den (Arnose Padiri) reached Kerala in 1700 AD. During the thirty years of his life in Kerala, he provided Malayalam with a varied and rich flair. Important among them includes Puthen Pana, Umma Parvam and Malayalam Sanskrit dictionary. His Varthamana Pusthakam is written in chaste prose and is a work of great literary merit. He was a pioneer prose writer in Malayalam. Arnose Padiri built a residence for himself, towards the west of the St. Francis Xavier Forane in Veloor. It is a rectangular two-storied building resembling the pilgrim halls of Hindu temples. The upper storey of the building is supported by nine pillars made of solid rocks and five laterite stones.

The church of St. Francis Xavier Forane was constructed by Arnose Padiri in 1724. It is a beautiful monument of Indo-European style. The roof is made in Kerala style with wood and is supported by fine huge wooden beams. The ancient altar and the beautiful murals on the arch surface above it add attraction to the church. The balcony at the back of the main hall of the church having an area of 27 sq m. is supported by wooden elephants.

Considering their historical importance, the ancient house of Arnose Padiri and the church of St. Francis Xavier were declared as protected monument in 1995 by the State Archaeology Department. Location: Talappally taluk, Thrissur district
 
TRIKKUR MAHADEVA TEMPLE
This live rock-cut temple dates to the 8th century A.D. The Sivalinga faces east and the door of the 'garbhagriha' is on the north. There is a sculpture of Lord Ganapathi on the eastern wall. The arrangement of 'dwarapalakas' and other deities are slightly disturbed to suit the terrain of the rock in which the temple and the figures have been carved. The 'linga' is in the centre, fixed on to a rectangular pedestal. There is an evergreen pond on the top of the rock. The temple is situated at Mukundapuram taluk in Thrissur district.
 
VATTEZHUTHU INSCRIPTIONS
A granite slab with Vattezhuthu inscriptions on it, measuring 6 ft by 4.5 feet can be found in the compound of the Thazhekkad church. A granite slab with a three-line inscription in vattezhuthu measuring about 1 feet by 3/4 feet lying in front of the Sreekovil of the Thazhekkad Siva temple. Location: Mukundapuram taluk, Thrissur district.
 
MENHIR
A megalithic monument (Menhir type) in granite of 15 feet tall and 12 feet 4 inches broad, standing opposite Anappara on the left side of the Viyyur-Thanikudam Road. Location : Mukundapuram Taluk in Thrissur district.
 
MONOLITHIC MONUMENT
Monolithic monument (Menhir type) one in standing posture of 12 feet 3 inches tall and 10 feet 6 inches broad. One in lying posture, 6 feet long and 5 feet broad. Both are now inside the Khadi and Village Industries compound at Kuttoor village in Thrissur taluk.
 
PORKALAM DOLMANS
Three dolmans already excavated by the department. Contents including prehistoric potteries and iron implements were taken to Thrissur Archaeological Museum. The three dolmans with 5 cents of land is located in Thalappaally taluk, Thrissur district.
 
KOTTAPPURAM FORT
The Kottappuram fort or Cranganoor Fort was built by the Portuguese in 1523 AD. Later it was captured and destroyed by the Dutch in 1662. The remains of the Fort is protected by the Department of Archaeology due to its historical importance. The remaining part of the original fort wall shows that it was built by laterite and was 18 feet in thickness. Location: Kodungalloor taluk in Thrissur district.
 
ARIYANNOOR TEMPLE
This temple can be dated to AD 14th century. The main deity Hari Kanyaka (Mohini concept) is facing east. The temple has a granite 'adhisthana' with laterite but ornate wall. The murals and sculptures around the 'garbhagriha' have deteriorated. The temple with its walls, ruined 'gopurams', two-storied shrine and broken idol along with its constituent portion including the two 'dwarapalakas' and the wooden images attached to Namaskara Mandapam are declared as protected under the purview of the Protected Monuments Act by the Department of Archaeology in 1936. Location: Thalapally taluk in Thrissur district.
 
NEDUMKOTTA OR TRAVANCORE LINES
The Travancore lines or Nedumkotta as it was called, ran from the Vypin Island to the Western Ghats and often through Cochin territory. It was mainly a ditch 16 feet broad, 20 feet deep and 56 km long with a bamboo barricade by its side, protected by ramparts and bastions at strategic points. It was bilt during the reign of Marthanda Varma. Dalawa Marthanda Pillai took up the work and captain D' Lannoy personally supervised the constructions. Nedumkotta was destroyed in 1790 during the attack of Tippu Sultan. A portion of the ruined fort is protected at Palamuri and Kottavathil in Thrissur district.
 
CHERAMAN PARAMBU
The Cheraman Parambu has an area of three acres. It is believed to have been the seat of the palace of Cheraman Perumal. The trial digs conducted in the area has revealed the existence of a number of Chinese shreds along with local potteries. Considering the historical importance the site is declared as protected. Location: Kodungalloor taluk in Thrissur district.
 
IRUNILAKODE TEMPLE
This is one of the few rock-cut temples in Kerala with a central figure on the wall and dates to AD 8th and 9th centuries. The main deity is Dakshinamoorthy in sitting posture with his left leg placed over the other, with serpents coiling round the body and with an Akshamala, Keyoora and Khadaka on the two upper hands. The 'linga' on the side is believed by the local people as growing in size every day. The temple is situated at Thalappally taluk in Thrissur district.
 
KIZHTHALI TEMPLE
This is one of the eighteen Thali temples in Kerala dating to the early 13th and 14th century AD. It is dedicated to Lord Siva. The old temple is in ruins and a new structure in its place has been put up. The area is marked by the presence of several broken and damaged idols of gods and goddesses and some of them had been removed to museums. The idol in the structure probably represents the one in the original temple. Location: Methala village in Kodungalloor Taluk.

 

 
 
KATTILMADAM
It is a monument dating to the 12th and the 13th century AD. This beautiful granite structure, which is known as Kattilmadam is in Dravida style with octagonal 'griva' and 'sikhara'. Its unique structure having ornated 'sthambha pada', peculiar 'pranala', huge granite pieces used for making the wall and the roof etc. make it worthy to be protected. Location: Ottappalam taluk in Palakkad district.
 
 
SREE VENKITATHEVAR TEMPLE
This Siva temple is ornated with beautiful murals on the walls of the 'garbhagriha' and mgnificent wood carvings on the 'griva'. The temple itself is a speciment of indigenous style of temple architecture of the 19th century. The 'garbhagriha' and 'mukhamandapa' are square in form. It has 'dwithala vimana' with sheeted roof and 'dwarapalaka' figures made of wood and 'pranala' with support at the tip.

The writings on the wall of the 'garbhagriha' shows that the murals were completed in 1053 M.E. The temple is located at Eranad taluk in Malappuram district.
 
 
MONUMENTS INDICATING THE FIRST ARRIVAL OF VASCO-DA-GAMA
Vasco-da-Gama landed at Kappad a few miles north of Kozhikkode on 20th May 1498. It was an event, which was destined to write the name of Kerala in the annals of world history. A monument was erected there to indicate the historical event.
 
KOTTAKAL KUJALIMARAKKAR'S HOUSE
The house stated to be the residence of the Kottakal Kunjalimarakkar, one of the heroes of Kerala history, is an ordinary single-storied building, built in laterite stones and with thatched roof. It is situated in a garden land measuring 19 cents. The old house must have been destroyed by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The wood works of the existing house are very strong and substantial. They would suggest that they formed part of same old house built previously. Location: Quilandi taluk in Kozhikode district.
 
TIPPU SULTAN'S FORT
In 1788 Tippu Sultan transferred the capital of the Province of Malabar from Kozhikode to the South bank of Beypore river and built a Fort at the modern village of Feroke. But Tippu's grand project of founding a new capital ended in failure because he was compelled to retire to Coimbatore due to the appraoch of monsoon. Considering the historical importance, a part of the laterite fort remaining at Paramukku, Kottasthala has been declared as protected monument by the Department of Archaeology in 1991. The Fort is in Kozhikode Taluk.
 
KALPATHOOR PARAVATHA TEMPLE
Main deity of this temples is Kirathamoorthy and it face west. The ancient temple is having granite 'adhistana' with laterite wall. 'Dwarapalakas' are made of wood. 'Pranala' is of usual ornate type with a 'gana' support on its tip. The ceiling of the 'mukhamandapa' and the 'balikal pura' have beautiful wooden carvings. Almost dilapidated eastern 'padippura' carries splendid carvings of miniature figures on its ceiling, depicting different 'puranic' scenes like 'Sree Rama Pattabhishekam', 'Anantha Sayanam', 'Siva Parvathi Parinayam' etc. The temple can be dated to AD14th centruy. Location: Quilandi taluk in Kozhikode district.
 
 
TOM OF VEERA PAZHASSI
The tomb of the celebrated historical giant and reputed warrior Veera Pazhassi is a historical monument that has laid his great memories on the sands of time. It is a protected monument under the Department of Archaeology. A small site museum is also functioning here. Location: Mananthavadi taluk in Wayanad district.

Pazhassi Raja: Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja belonged to Kottayam royal family. He revolted againt the British revenue policy by organising the tribals like Kurichiyas and Kurumbas of Wayanad. His strong guerilla warfare could successfully resist the wicked British forces several times. He succeeded in winning the full support of his people in this long war with the foreign power. At last to the ingratitude of someof his fellowmen, the 'Lion of Kerala' had to surrender. But before being captured byt he British he is said to have committed suicide on 30th November 1805. The dead body of the great patriot was brought at Mananthavadi, led by T.H. Baber the then sub-collector of Malabar and buried there with all respect.
 
CAVE AT EDAKKAL
Ambukuthimala or Edakkalmala is one of the principal hills of Wayanad District. Edakkal cave is found on its Western slope. The cave contains carved figures, some inscription and symbols on the walls. The carvings clearly represent human and animal figures. Human figures with peculiar head dress and 'swasthika' in various forms are distinctly carved. Specimen of circular 'Sun Symbols' and some magic squares are seen engraved on the walls of the cave. It is believed to be the ancient human shelters of 5000 B.C. Location: Sulthan Batheri taluk in Wayanad district.

The cave and 50 cents of land has been taken over by the Department of Archaeology and declared as protected monument on 4-7-1985.
 
 
THODEEKKULAM SIVA TEMPLE
Thodeekulam Siva Temple is famous for its murals, which seems to belong to the middle stage of Kerala mural tradition, perhaps of AD 10th and the 13th century. The wall of the 'garbhagriha' is of laterite with plaster coating on which murals have been painted. The temple is of 'chathurasra vimana', 'dwithala' with copper roof. No dwarapalakas. Main deity is Sivalinga facing east. Pranala is long and rather simple shaft channel, set mildly carved at the tip. In front of the square 'namaskara mandapa' is a granite Nandi. 'Bali peetha' is in the open. The temple is situated in Thalasseri taluk of Kannur district.

EZHIMALA FORT AT ETTIKULAM
The Ezhimala fort or Ettikulam fort lies about 2 km south of Mount De-eli or Ezhimala. The fort was built by the Portuguese and subsequently held by the French and the English. It consists of three hexagonal prismatic structures, one of which has been completely damaged. the side walls of the fort are of various lengths and are almost ruined.

Ezhimala, may be a variation of 'Azhimala', which meant 'the mount near the sea' was the seat of a powerful kingdom, which comprised the whole of the present districts from Wayanad to Kasargod and produced the great warrior king Nannan in the 5th century. In the later days Ezhimala was the capital of Mooshika and Kolathiri Rajas. Location: Thalipparambu taluk in Kannur district.
 
 
POYILKOTTA
This laterite fort was believed to be built by the Bednore Naikans in the 17th century AD. The fort is in complete decay. The remains show that the original fort was eight feet in thickness and more than fifteen feet high. Inside the fort there is a temple and a big pond with steps. Considering the historical importance, the fort with an area of 8.44 acres of land has already been declared as protected monument in 1985 and is situvated at Muliar village in Kasargod taluk.
 
CHANDRAGIRI FORT
This ancient fort is made of hard laterite stones. It was built by the Sivappa Nayaka of Bednore in the 17th century AD, who established his authority over the area and built a chain of forts. The Chandragiri river on which it rises marked the traditional boundary between Kerala and Thuluva kingdom. The two sides of the fort are facing the sea. There are eight view towers with 'peeranky' (cannon) holes from which the sea route can be guarded closely. The main watch tower faces north. On the eastern and western side there are two underground passages. A deep well and a pond with flight of steps are there inside the fort. The fort with an area of 7.76 acres is located at Kalnad village in Kasargod taluk.
 
PILICODE CAVE
It is a megalithic site having an area of 3 acres 28 cents. A number of rock-cut tombs found in this laterite zone are of archaeological value. The cave is at Hosdurg taluk in Kasargod district.
 
LIST OF MUSEUMS UNDER THE KERALA ARCHAEOLOGY DEPARTMENT

 

  • Padmanabhapuram Palace Museum, Thuckalai, Kanyakumari District, Tamilnadu.
  • Folklore Museum at Koikkal Palace, Nedumangadu, Thiruvananthapuram District
  • Kottarakkara Thampuran Memmorial Museum for Classical Arts, Kottarakkara, Kollam District
  • Krishnapuram Palace Museum, Kayamkulam, Alappuzha District
  • Hill Palace Museum, Thrippunithura, Ernakulam District
  • Archaeological Museum, Kollangodu House, Thrissur
  • Pazhassi Raja Museum, East Hill, Kozhikode