Conserving Kurungattu Mana

Sep 01, 2016 | Vol. 08 Issue 04
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The efforts taken by the Kurungattu mana family  of Pothannur, in Kalady panchayath of Malappuram district for conserving their 100 year old ancestral home is worth noted.

In this fast changing cultural scenario of Kerala, where everyone looks forward for convenience and utilizing technological advancement, conserving a vernacular building is quite a difficult exercise.  In this context, the efforts taken by the Kugurgattu Mana family of Pothannur, in Kalady panchayath (village) of Malappuram district (Kerala) for conserving their 100 year old ancestral home is noteworthy.

Kurungattu Mana is the home of Nambuthiri-s constructed in a traditional architecture of Naalukettu style with a centre courtyard (Nadumittam) and four blocks around it. The walls are in laterite stone with wooden doors and windows and tiled roof.  Apart from the ground floor, the western block has a ground plus two floors. The eastern and western blocks are about 500 sq ft each and the other two, less than that.  'Poomugham', the sit out and 'Adukkala', the Kitchen are extended buildings.

“Ours is an ancient family of Nambuthiris and this structure was reconstructed hundred years ago. Till the recent past we were living together in the same home.  My brother's son Vasudevan and my cousin Narayanan reside nearby with their families” said Raman Nabmuthiri, the present owner of the Mana.  Raman Nabmuthiri has two sons who work at different places.

In the Mana (home), one small room facing the centre courtyard is dedicated to the family deity Goddess Bhagavathi. By tradition, Vadakkini , the spacious room on the northern side of the centre courtyard is  for conducting  ceremonies and rituals connected to the Nambuthiri community.  There is a small cellar in the western block and the ground floor is occupied by wooden granaries for stocking rice and paddy.  Apart from the ground floor there are two more floors in this block.  Vadakkera, the room in the north block is the private space for ladies. The kitchen is an extended portion with a well attached to it.

In the Mana compound there is a sacred grove dedicated to Snake gods and a man-made pond for domestic use.  Padippura, the entrance block to the compound is not in use now, but they are planning to renovate it.

The Mana also has a temple with two sanctum sanctorum. The square one is with laterite walls and has no roof. It is dedicated to the deity Lord Anthimahakalan, a form evolved from Lord Shiva. The other one is circular in shape and is in a dilapidated condition. Here the deity is Goddess Kaara Bhagavathi. The huge peepal tree and a large pond in the temple compound are part of their heritage.

Vasudevan Nambuthiri, working in Doordarshan T V Channel said that no proper history of the family is available, but it says that Kurungattumana Nambuthiri were the ministers of the rulers who ruled Ponnani and surrounding area based at Thirumalasseri Kotta, during the time of Perumals in Kerala history.

Both Raman Nambuthiri and Vasudevan Nambuthiri are keen on conserving the architectural heritage of Kurungattu Mana.

Access: Naripparamba (3km), Edappal (5km), Malappuram Dt.

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