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Athirampuzha is the name of a Panchayat and a small town in Kottayam district of Kerala state, South India. Athirampuzha is situated 10 km north of Kottayam town, 3 km from Ettumanoor and 2 km from Main Central Road S.H.1 of Kerala.
It is one of the oldest trading centers in Travancore. The place is believed to have trade relations with Middle East from centuries ago. Mahatma Gandhi University is located in Athirampuzha. Mannanam K.E. College, Amalagiri B.K. College, Ettumanoor I.T.I., St. Aloysious School, St. Marys School[disambiguation needed], #St. Ephrems Higher Secondary School Mannanam, K.E. School Mannanam, St.Gregorious U.P.School Mannarkunnu etc. are located in Athirampuzha Panchayat. Ettumanoor Rail way Station and Industrial Estate is really located in Athirampuzha. Ettumanoor, Kumaranalloor, Arpookara, Kudamaloor, Mudiyoorkara, Aymanam, Kumarakom, Kaipuzha, Neendoor, Onamthuruth, Kurumulloor, Kanakkary, Pattithanam are the neighbouring places of Athirampuzha. Government Medical College, Kottayam, Caritas Hospital, Matha Hospital in Thellakom are situated very near to Athirampuzha. Athirampuzha is having many post offices like Amalagiri, Priyadarshini Hills, Sreekandamangalam, Kottackupuram etc. Luka Mathai Plathottam(1888-1968) introduced homeopathy to Athirampuzha. He published many books including Varthamanappusthakam in 1936. (This entitles as the first travelogue in any Indian language).He was the Managing Director Plathottathil PVT LTD.(a company which was registered according to the norms of East India Company, used to pay income tax to British government and dealt with cotton handlooms in a large scale) .Justice K.K. Mathew Kuttyil, Post Master General of India and First Malayalee Postal board member C J Mathew Chackalackal, Deepika Daily Chief Editor K.M. Joseph Karivelil were the some of the prominent people from Athirampuzha.
The St. Mary's Syro-Malabar Catholic Church at Athirampuzha is one of the oldest in Kerala, was constructed around 835 AD. Though dedicated to Mother Mary, it is the feast of Saint Sebastian which attracts a large crowd. The statue of St. Sebastian installed here, is considered to be very ancient. During the days of the Portuguese, three figures were brought to Kerala. Legend says that the smallest of them was brought to Athirampuzha by local traders. This is known as Adiyelpicha Roopam (the tortured figure). The statue of St. Sebastian in Athirampuzha is unique as it is the only statue of the Saint without arrowation is very attractive.There are lots of Christian families in athirampuzha are into this famous feast.The main feast are on 24 and 25 January. The famous vedhagiri hill is a Hindu pilgrim center located in the ward 1 of Athirampuzha panchayath. Charis Bhavan, a well-known MSFS charismatic retreat center also located in Athirampuzha.
It is believed that Athirampuzha was a well-established developed village and settlements where there even at AD 1200. The famous traveler Marco Polo's travel descriptions, "The description of the world", have some references about Athirampuzha. While he was traveling through Kerala he reached a port town called 'Athiramkari'. The description of this place closely matches to Athirampuzha. According to Marco Polo Athiramkari was a trade center famous for Pottery, Cattle's, vegetable market (still exists) and clothes. 'Chantha Kulam' was the center of trade where boats could dock. It is believed that mappilas (Christians) and Hindus (nairs) where settled in Athirampuzha during that period.It is believed that Athirampuzha is the origin of the very old Syrian Christian family "Kallumkal" which literally means stone on stone - the family which has branches all over Kerala built the first house in stone - a departure from houses made from timber, around 1050AD. Athirampuzha was now established by the Mathirampuzha - Kollappallil family and Thekkedathu family (at Velamkulam) which is present yet today
Athirampuzha remained as a famous port town till mid-1900s. Later more roads where developed which reduced the importance of backwater trade routs. The old boat shed (renovated later) still exists near the Chantha kulam. The nearest rail head is Ettumanoor Railway Station just 1.5KM far from Athirampuzha Town. Major express trains like Venad Express and Parasuram Express stop here.During the festive season some long distance trains have a temporary halt here.The contact phone number of the station is 0481-2535531.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Athirampuzha.|
- A good article on Athirampuzha is at: http://www.triadebuilders.com/Athirampuzha.htm
- The official website of St.Mary's Forane Church,Athirampuzha:http://athirampuzhachurch.org/
- For more pictures - http://www.windiaw.com/2013/02/athirampuzha-fast-developing-area-in.html