A Bus Stand in Anchal
|• Total||24.45 km2 (9.44 sq mi)|
|Elevation||45 m (148 ft)|
|• Official||Malayalam, English, Hindi, Tamil|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Anchal is a city located in the centre of the Kollam district of Kerala, India. It is located between the National Highway 744 and the Main Central Road. The nearest city to Anchal is Punalur. The city is also close to Kadakkal, an agricultural village known for its spice production and the site of the Kadakkal Devi Temple.
There are a number of different legends about the origin of the name Anchal. One legend speaks of how there used to be an "Anchalappis (അഞ്ചലാപ്പീസ്)" at the site of the present range office junction from which the name "Anchal" originates. Another speaks of how five famous disputes evolved in the region, eventually giving it the name of the land of five disputes, proverbs or puzzles. (അഞ്ചു തർക്കങ്ങളുടെ നാട് ) These five disputes are as follows:
Situated at Aeram, between the Anchal – Thadicadu road, the Anchal pond is constructed like a pool with a shape that loosely resembles a rectangle. However, it is connected to a water channel—more specifically, a natural stream. Its shape cannot be considered a perfect rectangle either with it having rounded edges at sides reminiscent of a bath. This has caused confusion in its definition, much like the famous heap paradox where the problem arises due to the inexactness of definitions involved in what a bath is and what a pond is.
There is a strychnine tree located at Vadamon near Thole school. Some of its leaves taste sweet and the other leaves do not have any special taste, not even the usual bitter taste typical of the leaves of the strychnine tree. Since no one has ever seen this tree bloom or fruit, it is uncertain what taste the seeds will have.
There is a temple at Aeram which appears to be situated in the paddy fields (wet unstable ground). However upon closer examination one can find that the altar is situated in solid ground, this causes a confusion as to whether the temple is in the field or in solid land.
There is a local legend of a sage who once lived in the Agasthyacodu temple. However, because representations show the sage lying on their stomach, it is not possible to determine whether the sage was male or female. Curiously there is a representation which shows the bossom but the temple itself is dedicated to Shiva, so one cannot easily put a finger on the gender issue.
There exists an old family known as the "kurumakkattukar" whose caste within the Nair caste cannot be determined due to the lack of sources and evidence.
Temples and Major Celebrations
Religion is a large part of life in Anchal. Kottarakkara Ganesh Temple is one of the oldest Ganapathy temples in Kollam district. It is believed to be a very old kavu turned into a temple. In 2009 the temple was rebuilt and given a new look. The main deity of the temple is Lord Ganesh.
Kalary Devi Temple is another temple located in Anchal. It is dedicated to Lord Kali Devi. It is also one of the oldest temples in Kerala. The Kadakkal-Anchal Thirumudi Ezhunellathu ritual centres around this temple. It is said that Kadakkal Devi is the sister of Kalary Devi and every 12 years Kadakkal Devi comes to Anchal to see Kalary Devi. It is one of the largest celebrations in Kerala, attracting thousands of visitors when it last occurred in 2014.  The celebration runs from Kaddakal temple in Kaddakal to the Kalary Devi temple in Anchal
Other Religious Centres
There are a number of other religious centres located in or around Anchal. These include:
- Agastyacode Sree Mahadevar Temple,
- Alayamon Sree Alappandevar Temple,
- Manakkadu Mahadevar Temple,
- Anchal Muslim Juma Masjid,
- St. George Orthodox Church.
- Yeroor Sri Maha Ganapathi Temple
- Alamcode Sreekrishna Swamy Temple
- Edamulackal Sreenagaraja Temple
- Panayamcherry Ayappa Temple
- Agasthiyakodu Guruvayoorappan Temple
- Maha Ganapathy Temple
- Nettayam Gurudeva & Sree Subramanya swami Temple
- Kalari Devi Temple
- Aerom Sreekrishna Temple
- Aerom Kolliyil Devi Temple
- Thazhamel Sri Ayiravalli Temple (Situated in Santhi Nagar Residential Association)
- Edamulackal Bhoothandha Temple
- Vadamon Temple
- Arrakkal Temple
- Mavila Templepathirimuttomv
- St. Mary's Malankara Syrian Catholic Church
- Mary Matha Syrian Catholic Church
- St. George Malankara Syrian Catholic church
- St. George Orthodox Church
- St. Paul's Marthoma Church
- Kapuchin Asram Church
- Islamic Educational & Cultural Centre, Anchal (Only One Centre That Muslim Ladies can do Their Namaz in Anchal Town)
- Anchal Muslim Juma Masjid
- Mukkada Muslim Juma Masjid→PUTHAYAM MUSLIM JUMA MASJID
- Karukone Juma Masjid (Facility for Ladies)
- Yeroor Muslim Juma Masjid
- Sreemurukan Kovil, mayiladumkunnu, yeroor
- Sreenarasimha Temple, Thrikkoyikkal, yeroor
- Nediyara Sreemahavishnu Temple
- RadhaMadhava Temple, Alenchery
- Sree Guruvayoorapan Temple, Agasthyacode
- Kottukal cave temple, Kottukal
- Mulakkal Mahavishnu Temple Archal
- Sree Alappan (Mahavishnu) temple Alayamon
- Alanchery Mahadevar Temple
- Agasthyacode Chavarkavu Temple
- Islamic Centre, Kannankode
Anchal does not have a railway station or airport. The nearest major railway station is Kollam Junction railway station located about 39 km away in Kollam. It is the second largest railway station in Kerala by area and also one of the oldest. Punalur railway station is about 11 km from Anchal and currently only connects to Kollam Junction. The nearest international airport is Trivandrum International Airport, situated approximately 55 km from Anchal in the city of Thiruvananthapuram. It is the main international airport in the state of Kerala and offers both national and international flights. The city is located between the National Highway 744 and the Main Central Road and is accessible by car. Multiple bus services also run between the city and other villages in Kollam district.
As of the 2011 census, Anchal has a total population of 33,088 of which 15,732 were male and 17,356 were female. The literacy rate is 95%, with 96.7% of males literate and 93.49% of females literate. The total number of the population in employment is 11,960. 71% of the population that are in employment are male, while the other 29% are female.
- Resul Pookutty – Won the Oscar Award for Best Sound Mixing for Slumdog millionaire.
- Rajiv Anchal – Malayalam screenwriter and film director
- East Coast Vijayan – Album maker and stage show organizer
- Shaiju Mathew – Author and filmmaker
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Anchal.|
- Panchayat List. Kollam.nic.in. Retrieved on 2014-07-11.
- അഞ്ചല് ഗ്രാമപഞ്ചായത്ത് (Anchal Grama Panchayat) » ചരിത്രം. Lsgkerala.in