|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
|• Total||30 km2 (10 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,200/km2 (3,100/sq mi)|
|• Official||Malayalam, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Nearest city||Olassa, Kottayam|
Aymanam is a village in the Kottayam District of Kerala, India. It is the setting of Arundhati Roy's 1997 novel The God of Small Things where it is spelled Ayemenem. Aymanam is about 4 km on Kottayam-Parippu road. The nearest railway station, Kottayam, is 4 km away. Aymanam is 85 km from Cochin International Airport.
Ay means "five" in Tamil and Vanam means "forests" in Sanskrit. So Ayvanam, or Aymanam, means "the land of five forests". These are the Vattakkadu, Thuruthikkadu, Vallyakadu, Moolakkadu, and Mekkadu forests. The forests no longer exist in Aymanam, however, a few snake grooves remain. Ku is Sanskrit for 'worst'. Thus, Kummanam means "the horrible forest".
Famous People from Aymanam
1. Olassa Chirattamon Moose, India's traditional Ayurvedic doctor is famous in Ayurvedic History. Still Olassa Dhanwanthari Vaidyasala is keeping their tradition. Pancheril Kuttan and his son Padmanabhan (late) from Olassa are remembered in Balachikitsa Treatment. Few people who got converted into Christians from Olassa Chirattamon Moose family migrated to Changanasserry and built a new Christian catholic family named as Olassayil family.
2. WJ John Kollenkeril,who was from Aymanam discovered the site of Idukki dam and the possibilities of a power project.
3. Mr. John Joseph Pannackal (Mannoparampil),a prominent body builder at Valliadu had won "KERALA SREE" in body beauty competition in 1960's and "Most Muscular Man of India" after that.
4. An Olympic Gymnasium at Kottayam is run by Mr.John Joseph.
5. Krishna Kaimal is a famous Aymanam writer, as is Nalankal Krishna Pillai from Olassa.
6. The main character in the American-Malayali sitcom "Akkara Kazhchakal", George Thekkummoottil, is supposed to be from Aymanam.
7. Ajay Kumar (known as Undapakru or Guinness Pakru), is a popular Malayalam comedy actor who hails from Aymanam. He has made an entry into the Guinness Book of Records for being the shortest actor (86 cm height) to play a full length character in a film.
8. N.N. Pillai a popular drama and cinema artist who is from Aymanam, Olassa.
9. Vijayaraghavan (actor) (Son of N.N. Pillai) who is a famous Malayalam movie actor is from Aymanam, Olassa.
10. The Kollenkeril family,one of the oldest Syrian Christain family in Central Travancore are settled in Aymanam
Rivers and Rice Fields
The village borders Lake Vembanad on the west, near Kumarakom. The river Meenachil provides water for the village, and swells from June to August, flooding the area. Aymanam shares her borders with Arpookara, Kumara Nallooru, Kottayam Municipality, Thiruvarpu and Kumarakom. Most of the borders are marked by rivers or canals. This place is blessed with LIVE rivers and canals. Aymanam, Kummanam, Kudamaloor, Olassa, Parippu, Valliadu, Viruppukala, Kariemadam, Pulikkuttissery, Maniaparampu, and Kollathukari are the prominent place names in this Panchayat.
Two-thirds of Aymanam consists of puncha padams (paddy fields), which lie two meters below sea level. Extensive areas of these rice-fields stretch up to Vempanattu Lake. The names of these eleven padams are Eraweesvarm Padam, Palliar Padam, Kallumkathra Padam, Puthenkary Padam, Koduvathara Padam, Thollayiram Padam, Ollokkary Padam, Thattarkandam Padam, Menonkary Padam, Pullanapally Padam, Vattakayal.
Rice-Field Life Cycle and Design
Before 1970, these padams were only cultivated once a year. Following the monsoons, an outer bund made of mud was built around the padams, and water was pumped out to prepare the padam's soil for cultivation. This process took one month. The growing season started in August-September and finished in January-February in time for harvesting. During March, April, and May is the dry season during which these padams were open for cattle and ducks. In June-July the Monsoon start again, destroying the outer bunds by flood. This cycle repeated itself for years until 1970.
Everything changed after farmers founded Thollayram padam, where successfully built permanent bunds could be used to farm double the previous crop yield. When massive efforts took place to install this technology all over the region, a new problem arose. There was no place for the trapped flood water to go. Small canals were not enough to hold the flood water. This resulted in the mass destruction of outer bunds and their crops. In an attempt to fix this, many farmers constructed outer bunds to face the floods. Some were successful and some not.
Now almost all padams are protected by permanent outer bunds. But the ecology of the region has changed. Thanneer Mukham Bund, a salt water barrier across Vembanttu Lake, transformed the weather patterns of the region by effecting the water currents. Now, the monsoon season brings a lot of muddy water and waste from the rivers. All this mud and waste used to be carried away by the currents out into the ocean. After the Thanneer Mukham Bund was built all this waste and mud stay in Vembanattu Lake and start forming shallow regions in the lake, damaging local fish habitats.
Houses of worship
Sree Narasimha Swamy temple is located in the heart of Aymanam. Pandavam Sree Darmashasta temple is famed for its murals. The St George Jacobite Syrian Christian Church, Kallumkathara, is situated nearby. St.Mark's C.S.I CHURCH, OLASSA has a good old history. The Hermon Marthoma Church, Aymanam has been an old place of worship for the marthomites which has an old history. St.George Catholic Church Aikarachira and Parippu Sri Maha Deva Shethram are centuries old worship places in Aymanam.
Located very near to Kottayam town and Kumarakom, is Kudamaloor on the banks of the Meenachil River. The village is a fine example of a typical Kerala rural ambience. Kudamaloor is in Aymanam Panchayat, the home town of the Man Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy. The novelist has woven her famed novel The God of Small Things around this village.
Kudamaloor is more popular as the headquarters of erstwhile Chembakassery kings. In the place where the palace of kings once stood now stands Valiyamadom Nalukettu, the present residence of the royal family. The village is dotted with many old Nalukettu structures and mansions. Near Eraveeswaram temple the remains of the fort of the kings are still visible. Raised platforms and canon holes in the wall have survived the onslaught of the climate for years.
Kudamaloor is a well known village on many counts. In art and architecture the village is always in forefront. The birthplace of renowned Kathakali exponent is Kudamaloor. Many sons of the village are reckoned stalwarts in Kerrida art forms and folklore arts. Call the experts in Sopanasangeetham, Kalamezhuthu and Kalamezhuthu Pattu, Kalaripayattu, Mudiyettu etc.the village is ready to supply them.
Kudamaloor High School
A government funded campus for 1st graders to 10th graders was the only school for the entire community regardless of any social divisions. A majority of the students from Aymanam graduated from this school. Rejected by the neighboring schools for many reasons, students end up with this School. Primary School in Aikarachira, Edassery in Prippu, Upper primary, Parippu, CSI School Olassa, Upper Primary in Kallumada were the primary educational institutions in Aymanam.
Two prominent institutions, Kathakali Yogam and Sopanam Kalavedi & Research Center, rooted here promote folklore arts and Kathakali.
The village has ten temples. Vasudevapuram temple (is accredited for mural paintings), Ayyappan Kavu, Karukulangara Sri Bhadrakali Temple (Tiyattu,Garudan Parava and Thookam are the novelties of the temple festival), Eraveeswaram Mahadava temple, Pandavam Sri Dharma Shastha Temple, Pandavam Sri Subrahmanya Swami Temple etc. are very ancient.
Unheard anywhere else, a church known as St Mary’s Church was built and promoted by a Hindu king. The offering in the Church is of typical nature. It is a traditional water bag and rope used for drawing the water from the well.
In popular culture
The God of Small Things
|“||May in Ayemenem is a hot, brooding month. The days are long and humid. The river shrinks and black crows gorge on bright mangoes in still, dustgreen trees. Red bananas ripen. Jackfruits burst. Dissolute bluebottles hum vacuously in the fruity air. Then they stun themselves against clear windowpanes and die, fatly baffled in the sun.
The nights are clear, but suffused with sloth and sullen expectation.
But by early June the southwest monsoon breaks and there are three months of wind and water with short spells of sharp, glittering sunshine that thrilled children snatch to play with. The countryside turns an immodest green. Boundaries blur as tapioca fences take root and bloom. Brick walls turn mossgreen. Pepper vines snake up electric poles. Wild creepers burst through laterite banks and spill across the flooded roads. Boats ply in the bazaars. And small fish appear in the puddles that fill the PWD potholes on the highways.
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