||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (March 2011)|
|Elevation||238 m (781 ft)|
|• Official||Malayalam, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Thodupuzha (Malayalam: തൊടുപുഴ) is a town and a municipality in Idukki district in the Indian state of Kerala, spread over an area of 35.43 km2. It is 282km from Trivandrum. Geographical Classification of Thodupuzha Region is Malanad or Idanad.
Thodupuzha is also the name of the river that flows through the town. It is the largest town in the district and is the commercial centre. The town is being modernised with the help of a programme sponsored by the World Bank which is financing the programme through the Government of Kerala. It was once part of the territory of the princely state, Travancore. It lies in central Kerala, southeast of Muvattupuzha. The Thodupuzha municipality area is characterised by hilly terrain with a lot of green vegetation.
Hindus, Syrian Christians and Muslims co-exist in harmony adding to the diversity in faith and religion. The place has a large population of Syrian Catholics. The Muslim minority are mostly rawthers who were the warriors of Madurai Raja and migrated from Madurai and Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. As well as that, there are some converts from lower castes to Islam but these are only a few.
P. J. Joseph got elected from the Thodupuzha assembly constituency for the seventh time. He is the Working Chairman of the Kerala Congress (M) party.
The name 'Thodupuzha' might have come from two words, 'thodu' (which means a rivulet) and 'puzha' (which means a river). It is believed that the stream developed into a river, and the town on the banks of the river came to be known as Thodupuzha.
There is another version which defines the word ‘thodu’ (Malayalam word) as ‘touch’ and ‘puzha’ as ‘river’. Thus the town touching the river became Thodupuzha. Mattathil Kovilakam was the protectors and rulers of the Desham (region)Thodupuzha that they were in and a reporting relationship emerged to a "Naadu Vaazhi" (Ruler of the land)of Keezhmalainadu. Naadu is a group of Deshams came to known as Thodupuzha.The last ruler of the desam was Elasamprathi(Ruler of a region appointed by Maharaja of Keezhmalainadu) Shri Narayana Menon originally from Trivandrum and he was the representative of Maharaja Raja.His official residence was Mattathil Kovilakam located in Chalamkode Village. Official Head Quarters of Keezhmalainadu were Karikodu.
In records of Kerala state Archaeology Department Sarvadhikari Elasamprathi Shri Narayana Menon of Keezhmalainadu/Vadakku was the ruler and father of Thodupuzha. The Kings of Vadakkumkoor used to live at Karikode for several years . At the time of King Marthanda Varma, Vadakkumkoor became part of the state of Travancore. He appointed his representative 'sarvadhikari' Elasamprathi Narayanamenon from Neyyattinkara (Trivandrum) to flourish Thodupuzha. The period of his reign was the golden age of Keezhmalainadu . He erected many splendid monuments, the most famous of which is the government offices, Pandika Shala and Temples. The Karikode Mosque and many other buildings in Thodupuzha and Muvattupuzha also date from his reign. He was also the founder of the new style tax collection in this region. He traveled every day from Chalamkode to Karikkodu in a Pallakku (palanquin). The relics of the fort is still there at Karikode.The Annamalai Temple, which carries the traits of Tamil Architecture is at Karikode. At this temple one can see many statues and lamps made out of stone and metal, believed to have been made in the 14th century. Thodupuzha is an ancient town with a history dating back to many centuries. The Buddhist and Jain religions which made their first inroads into Kerala in 300 BC have left their impact at Thodupuzha and neighbouring areas. The Buddhist religious relics found at Karikode near Thodupuzha is ample proof of this surmise. In AD 100, Kerala was divided for administrative reasons into several provinces such as Venadu, Otanadu, Navishainadu, Munjunadu, Vempolinadu, and Keezhmalainadu. Thodupuzha and Muvattupuzha were in Keezhmalainadu which had its headquarters at Karikode. Keezhmalainadu was in existence till AD 1600. In that year it lost a battle with Vadakkumkoor and became a part of it. The church at Muthalakodam, a small town, 4 kilometers from Thodupuzha, is believed to have been constructed before 13th century . The Ninnar Mosque near Karikode is said to have been constructed by Sarvadikari Elasmprathi Narayana Menon and instructions given by the Vadakumkoor Raja for his Muslim soldiers.
At the formation of Kerala state in 1956, Thodupuzha was part of the Ernakulam district. In the year 1972, Idukki district was formed by joining Thodupuzha taluk along with Devikulam, Udumbanchola and Peermade taluks, which were part of the erstwhile Kottayam district.
As of 2001[update] India census, the total population of 46,226. Males constitute 49%of the population and females 51%. Thodupuzha has an average literacy rate of 82%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 84%, and female literacy is 81%. In Thodupuzha, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age. The majority of Thodupuzha's population consists of Christians, closely followed by Hindus and then Muslims .It also has a large population of people of the " Vellala Pillai" clan who migrated here from "Tenkasi" in Tamil Nadu. They spread later on to different parts of Kerala and their main deity, the symbol from Tenkasi is situated near Erattupetta and all Vellala Pillai people meet there once a year to mark the plight of them from Tenkasi.
Thodupuzha has an excellent network of roads which connects it to the nearby towns and cities. The Main Eastern Highway (Muvattupuzha - Punalur / SH-08 / 154 km) passes through Thodupuzha and connects it to two of its neighboring towns, Muvattupuzha and Pala. Thodupuzha-Puliyanmala road (SH-33) connects Thodupuzha to Idukki District centre at Painavu as well as tourist destinations like Idukki Dam and Thekkadi. Alappuzha-Madurai road (SH-40) also passes through Thodupuzha town. SH-43 which connects Muvattupuzha with Theni passes through some parts of the Thodupuzha Taluk but doesn’t pass through Thodupuzha town.Other state highways, Tekkady - Ernakulam and Sabarimala - Neryamangalam also passes through Thodupuzha town. The nearest Railway Stations are Aluva which is 56 kilometres from Thodupuzha. Kottayam Railway station is at 55 kilometres from Thodupuzha and Ernakulam Junction Railway Station is at 60 kilometres. The suggested Sabari Rail route to Sabarimala passes through Thodupuzha,with station expected at Manakkad . The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport at a distance of 54 kilometres from Thodupuzha. New 4 Lane Highway Proposed from Muvattupuzha to Kakkanad if materializes will connect Thodupuzha to Kochi in Less than 45 minutes to reach reducing the distance to 50 kilometres.
Economy and Infrastructure
Thodupuzha's economy is driven by agriculture, business and small industries. Farmers in Thodupuzha raise a number of crops, mostly rubber. Other crops such as pineapple, coconut, rice, pepper, cocoa, tapioca, banana, ginger, turmeric etc. are also being cultivated in plenty. In recent years Thodupuzha has showed more interest in promoting tourism. The planned developments in Thodupuzha after the changeover from Taluk to Municipality status has changed the face of Thodupuzha a lot in the last decade. The new private bus stand, Temple Bypass road, Kanjiramattom Bypass road, Kothayikkunnu Bypass, Vengaloor Bypass, Mangattu Kavala 4 lane road, Mini Civil Station, New Bridge, Municipal Park, Shopping complex at bus stand, New Townhall complex etc. are noted landmarks to change the look of Thodupuzha to a planned city. The famous footwear brand Lunar’s has its base at Thodupuzha. Thodupzha is strategically located in en route of Highranges other Central Kerala towns of Ernakulam and Kottayam. However the lack of well developed roads from Highranges to reach Thodupuzha has made High range population uses Aluva - Munnar road and Kottayam - Kumaly road as their main transport route, though these routes are through two borders of the district. The new state highways announced Tekkady - Ernakulam and Muvattupuzha - Theni once fully operational will drastically change the mobility from highranges, eventually people from highranges can access Thodupuzha in short distance. It is expected that the current flow of highrange population to Ernakulam and Kottayam towns for their commercial activities will be cut short and instead reach Thodupuzha which they can reach with half the time to reach other major cities. A study by some major business houses proved this fact, many known brands like Bhima, Josco, Titan, Bata, Reliance, More set up their outlet in Thodupuzha. Many other known brands are waiting to enter Thodupuzha.
Thodupuzha was administered by a village panchayat and village union for several years, But on 1 September 1978, Thodupuzha was upgraded into a municipality and the Thodupuzha Municipality came into being. The Thodupuzha Municipality was formed by joining together the Thodupuzha Panchayat and the neighbouring Panchayats of Kumaramangalam, Karicodu and Manacaud. The municipality was administered by a special officer for 10 long years. In 1988, elections were held and the first popularly elected municipal council came into existence with Advocate N. Chandran as the Chairman . Today the Municipality has 28 wards. There is a Chairman, a Vice Chairman, and various Standing Committees to carry out the civic administration. T.J Joseph of Indian National Congress is the present Municipal Chairperson of Thodupuzha Municipality.
Thodupuzha is an assembly constituency and P J Joseph is the present MLA of Thodupuzha. He got elected 7th time from Thodupuzha marked with highest majority in the history of Idukki district. He is admired for the planned developments carried out during the tenure as MLA and Minister. Knowledge city, Malankara DAM tourism project, Sports complex and Thodupuzha ring roads are his dream plans which we should see how it materialises. Thodupuzha assembly constituency is part of Idukki (Lok Sabha constituency)& P T Thomas is the present MP.
There are at least 2150 hospital beds within the municipal area, serving a population less than 50,000 making a hospital beds per 1000 population of about 250 which is above UK average of 3.78 and USA average of 3.32. Besides, Thodupuzha is also an important hub of alternate medicine, with 3 major Ayurvedic groups having their headquarters in Thodupuzha. There are so many hospitals in Thodupuzha area. Some of the famous are District Ayurveda Hospital, Taluk Hospital (Karikode), St. Mary's Hospital (Idukki Road), Holy Family Hospital(Muthalakodam), Chazhikattu Hospitals, Archana hospital (Muvattupuzha Road), etc.
The age old Ayurvedic Group Dhanwanthari Vaidyasala (Estd.1933) has a 60 bedded Ayurvedic Hospital In Thodupuzha.
Thodupuzha is blessed with natural scenic beauty. Although Thodupuzha itself is not a major tourist destination, it is the gateway to top tourist destinations like Munnar, Thekkadi, Vagamon, Idukki Dam, Malankara Dam, Peermade etc. Thommankuthu which is 20 kilometres east of Thodupuzha is famous for its numerous waterfalls. The place is ideal for nature lovers. To enjoy the panoramic beauty the best way is to undertake a trek that takes one to the top of the mountain, a nearly 12-kilometre trek. Malankara Dam is a beautiful reservoir across the Thodupuzha river at 6 kilometres from Thodupuzha town. Elaveezhapoonchira is another trekking destination which offers a serene grassland at the top of a hill. Other major tourist spots include Nadu Kani Pavilion, Thumbichi Mount, Moolamattom power house, Uravappara, Kolani Kavu, Paramada echo point, Elappilly waterfalls etc. Thattakuzha is also a nice place in thodupuzha.
The natural scenic beauty of Thodupuzha has attracted many Malayalam movie makers. Of late Thodupuzha has become a hot spot for Malayalam movies especially with Achayan background. Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njanum, Kunjikoonan, Rasathanthram, Palunku, Veruthe Oru Bharya, Swantham Lekhakan, Kadha Parayumbol, Samastha Keralam PO, Pappy Appacha, Vairam: Fight For Justice, Janapriyan, Arya (2005 film), Swapnam Kondu Thulabharam,Elsamma Enna Aankutty, Marykkundoru Kunjaadu, Oridathoru Postman, Vismayathumbathu,Evidam Swargamanu,daivathinte swantham cleetus etc. are some of the movies shot at and around Thodupuzha.
The first centre of higher learning which started functioning in Thodupuzha Taluk was Newman College. It was established in 1964 by the Syrian Catholic Diocese of Kothamangalam, and named after Cardinal Newman. The second college of Thodupuzha was established in 1982: St.Joseph's College at Arakkulam. Besides these, a number of parallel colleges are also active in the field of higher education in Thodupuzha.
The University College of Engineering, Thodupuzha managed and run by the Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, is located in Thodupuzha which is the first of its kind in the state of Kerala. The college started functioning in 1996. The college campus is located in a picturesque place spread over 25 acres (100,000 m2) of land at Muttom, 7 km from Thodupuzha, by the side of State Highway No 33. Other colleges in Thodupuzha include Santhigiri College at Vazhithala, Al-Azhar College of Arts and Science, Al-Azhar Dental College, Al-Azhar Engineering College and Al-Azhar Training college at Thodupuzha East, Perumpillichira College of Applied Science at Olamattom, and St. Thomas College of Teacher Education. The Village International School, MKNMHSS Kumaramangalam, De Paul High School,De Paul Public School,Co-operative Public School, Vimala Public School,Jai Rani High School,Jai Rani Public School, THSS Muttom are some of the famous schools in Thodupuzha
Janaranjini Vayanasala, Kolani, Thodupuzha, is one of the biggest libraries in Kerala and has around 30000 books including novels, children's books, stories, poems, Vedas, Upanishads etc. It is accommodated in its own two-storied building with separate TV room, reading room, book room, computer centre with high speed internet facility, and mini conference room.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (October 2011)|
- P J Joseph Minister.
- Elasamprathi Narayana Menon
- Swami Ayyappadas –General-Secretary-Sabarimala Ayyappa Seva Samajam state and Kerala Kshethra Samrakshana Samithi.
- S. Gopinath IPS (Thrisure Range IG Kerala Police)
- S.Balachandran -Rear Admiral (Rtd.)
- Elizabeth Antony –Wife of A.K.Antoney.
- Tom Jose –IAS (Rtd.)
- Tomin J Thachankary IPS -(DIG Kerala Police)
- Ajithkumar Nair –IFS - (High Commission of India, London)
- Asif Ali (Film Actor).
- Asin(Film Actress).
- Jaffer Idukki(Film Actor).
- Nishanth Sagar(Film Actor)
- Adv.C.K.Vidya Sagar (General convenior of Sree Narayana Dharma Vedi)
- Rajesh Touchriver-(Film Director)
- Thodupuzha Vasanthi(Film Actress)
- Dr P. K. Abdul Aziz vice-chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU)
- Shiny Wilson  olympian and Asian Games Medal Winner
- Preeja Sreedaharan olympian and Asian Games Medal Winner
- Naduparampil Pappachen Pradeep Defender for the Indian National Football Team, former captain of the U23 team.
- Gandhi Square
- Thodupuzha Sri Krishna Temple
- St. Sebastian's Town Forane Church
- Karikode Devi Temple
- Manakkad Narasimha Swami Temple
- Town Hall
- Thodupuzha Mini Civil Station
- Kanjiramattom Siva Temple
- Private Bus Stand
- Newman College
- Kanjiramattom Junction
- Mini Civil Station
- Municipal Park
- KSRTC Stanyd
- Jyothi Super Bazar
- uravappara Temple
- Boys High School
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- "Assembly Constituencies - Corresponding Districts and Parliamentary Constituencies". Kerala. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
- "National workshop on Cryptology begins". The Hindu. 11 September 2004.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Thodupuzha.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Thodupuzha.|
- Santhigiri College Thodupuzha official website
- Thodupuzha newman college official site
- Ernakulam Official website
- Kottayam Official website
- Muvattupuzha Official website
- Muvattupuzha website
- Pala Official website
- M.G University college of engineering official website