The bioregion of Kozhinjampara - Chittur is filled with pleasing landscapes, small settlements and attractive old buildings, many of them with a long history. The region is also home to a rare mix of people and communities practicing unusual vocations that go back in time but have continued to this day.
Experience the special character of this region’s geography and socio-economic culture that originated in the deep past.
Trysting with History
Chittur the thaluk headquarters of Kozhinjampara is a small town in Palakkad district located on the banks of the river Kannadipuzha – literally the river that gleams like a mirror.
Being in the rice growing heartland it is referred to as the ‘nellara’ (granary) of Kerala. This place has a history and cultural make up unlike any other in the state. The town is a thriving hub of literary, musical and religious cultures having been settled by generations of scholars and musicians from various communities.
Thunjathu Ramanujan Ezuthachan, a poet and linguist and one of the grand architects of the Malayalam language as it has come to be spoken today, spent his last days here. His final resting place (samadhi) is famous for the ‘Vidyarambham’ ceremony, where young children are symbolically initiated into the world of words and knowledge.
The tradition of classical music is a long standing one here. The Government college is among the few in the state that offers formal guidance and training to aspiring musicians who want to take up the study and practice of Indian classical music as a vocation. The town hosts concerts yearly -particularly during certain prominent temple festivals - which draw classical music lovers from all around the state and the country to attend.
The town is also home to many important temples, the most famous one being the Chittur Bhagavathy Kshetram, which plays a central role in the ‘Konganpada’ celebration.
It honors the deity for her role in saving the town of Chittur from the incursions of the neighboring kingdom of Konganad - the areas around present-day Coimbatore in neighboring Tamil Nadu. The three-day festival re-enacts the critical milestones of this famous conflict that is believed to have happened around the 10th century CE.
Chittur is still home to many prominent Hindu communities who can trace their ancestry to the early times of the town’s origins and evolution. The town is clean and not very congested, except when there are temple festivals and other public events. It wears the palpable aura of a bygone time that witnessed many a social and cultural high. It has an mixed social milieu and one can hear both Tamil and Malayalam being spoken in the town’s streets and shops.