|This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2008)|
|• Official||Malayalam, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Kavalam is a village in Kuttanadu, Kerala state, India. It is located on the borders of Alapuzha and Kottayam districts, on the banks of Vembanad Lake. The Pampa river flows through the village to merge into the famed Vembanad Lake. Its natural scenic beauty is legendary and has been used by many filmmakers. Relatively untouched by modernity, Kavalam is a green haven.
Interspersed with the kayals (canals) and lakes, this belly of Kerala is serene. The lakes and kayals are filled with flocks of ducks, and in summer the rice paddies of Kuttanad turn golden. With a longtime history behind it, Kavalam is part of Kerala's cultural folklore.
A decade back, this sleepy village was accessible only by the lake boats provided by the government of Kerala. As in many other remote parts of Kerala, this non-accessibility gave Kavalam a laidback atmosphere. The place is now accessible from Alleppey, Kottayam and Changanacherry by road. What makes Kavalam unique is its vast "watery junction" that joins five canals at one place unlike other road junctions — a rare sight indeed!
The village boasts a snake boat named Kavalam Chundan, which is a regular participant in the snakeboat Vallamkali races. Kavalam Chundan is the subject of the legendary film song of the 1960s "Kuttanadan Punchayile Kochu penne, Kuyilaale."
Legend has it that the great Pandava prince Bhimsena visited the village during his foray into the forests of southern India. He chanced upon the daughter of the village headman and was stunned by her beauty. He approached the headman, asking to marry his daughter. The woman's brother put forward a challenge to the great Bhima: a wrestling match to the death. The Pandava was surprised and began to roar in laughter, for he had never lost a wrestling match. As the villagers tried to dissuade the youngster, Bhima began to lose his composure. He agreed to the fight on the condition that the story not be told outside the village and that the fight should not be to the death. He did not want to carry the guilt of taking the life of an innocent young man. The wrestling match was held, and Bhimsena was defeated. Stunned, he blessed the villagers with a strong heart and rich harvests.
Prominent natives of Kavalam
- Muricken (Kayal Rajav) - A leading agriculturalist in Kuttanad.
- Kavalam Narayana Panicker - Poet, Dramatist
- Ayyappa Paniker - Poet
- Madhava Panikkar - Diplomat, administrator, historian
- Kavalam Srikumar - Singer
- Kavalam Sajeev - Singer