The Gateway of Highrange
A Rainy Morning in Kanjirappally Town
|• Official||Malayalam, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|PIN||686507 (Kanjirappally Head Post Office)|
|Vehicle registration||KL-34 (Kanjirappally) or KL-05 (Kottayam)|
|Coastline||0 kilometres (0 mi)|
|Nearest cities||Kottayam, Thodupuzha, Pala|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Pathanamthitta (Kanjirappally Niyamasabha Mandalam)|
|Climate||Tropical monsoon (Köppen)|
|Avg. summer temperature||31 °C (88 °F)|
|Avg. winter temperature||23 °C (73 °F)|
Kanjirappally is a taluk and a town in Kottayam district situated about 38 km (24 mi) away from the district capital, in the state of Kerala, India. National Highway (old NH 220 Kollam - Theni now NH 183) connects Kanjirapally to major nearest cities. Kanjirappally, also known as the Gateway of Highrange since it is the geographic entrance to the 'Malanad' or the Hill country of Kerala, which extends to Idukki district and then to Tamil Nadu.
Rubber plantations are a major source of income for the local population. Part of the Syrian Christian belt, the place has a large population of Syrian Catholic Christians. The Christians of Kanjirapally are known to be the earliest agrarian group in Kerala to have switched to plantation agriculture by the beginning of the 20th century. The place is, therefore, home to many legendary Syrian Christian families of Kerala, who owe their affluence to plantation agriculture, particularly Rubber.
Since the early 1980s, Kanjirapally has won a special place in the hearts of Keralites, through scores of Malayalam movies that depict the region as a pocket of Christian affluence. The term 'Achayan', which is colloquially used among the Nasranis of Central Travancore, has always been synonymous with Kanjirapally.
Syrian Catholic settlements
The Syrian Christian colonization of Kanjirappally had a profound impact on the history of commerce and agriculture in these parts. The Christians claim their roots from early settlements at Nilackal or Chayal on the banks of Pamba River, in the Sabarimala Hills of eastern Kerala. There is also a strong belief that the flourishing Christian community here was founded by Saint Thomas the Apostle himself. The place was in the forest recesses far away from seats of power. Nilackal became an important depot for spices like pepper, cardamom etc. and the Christians were engaged in this lucrative trade as procures and sorters. Following a catastrophic event in the mid 14th century, the Christian inhabitants of Nilackal fled the region, a large section of whom migrated to the present day Kanjirapally, which is 30 miles Northwest of the ancient town. The direct descendants of these settlers constructed the Pazhayapally (meaning the 'Old Church') in the middle of the town. Following the agrarian expansion of the 19th century, the Syrian Christians spread to places around Kanjirapally, such as Manimala, Ponkunnam, Erumely, Mundakayam and their surrounding regions, clearing forests and setting up farms.
Kanjirapally boasts the highest number of rainy days per year in India, that is 163. The place receives the highest amount of Summer rains, Winter rains and Northeast Monsoons (Thulaam Mazha) in Kerala, making it one of the very few places in India enjoying equatorial rainforest type climate, with no distinct dry season. The well distributed rainfall pattern of Kanjirapally is the primary reason for the phenomenon of high yield of latex from Rubber plantations in and around the town. The average annual rainfall is 4156 mm.
Kanjirappally is an old town that boasts of its religious harmony. The population in the town area is a mixture of Syrian Christians, Muslims, and Hindus. However, the Syrian Christians constitute the vast majority in the interior regions of Kanjirapally, where agriculture thrives. They also make up the dominant socio-economic community of the region.
- Ganapathy Koil is a beautiful Hindu temple built in granite. Hindus from Kerala come here to offer prayers. It was built by the Vellala community of Tamil Nadu, but this 900-year-old structure is almost in ruins today, although the carvings and inscriptions on its granite pillars are still visible.
- Madhura Meenakshi Temple is another beautiful temple in the heart of Kanjirapally Town. Devi Madhura Meenakshi is worshipped there.
- St. Dominic's Syro-Malabar Catholic Cathedral is the mother church of the Diocese of Kanjirappally and was built in 1826. The 150th anniversary of St. Dominic's Cathedral was celebrated in 1977.
- Nainaru Mosque is one of the popular mosques in the region. The Nainaru Mosque attracts Muslims from the town as well as the surrounding areas to offer their prayers.
The K. K. Road (NH 183: Kollam-Theni) (Kottayam-Kumily Road) connects Kanjirapally to major nearest cities like Mundakkayam (16 km), Kottayam (38 km), Kuttikkanam (34 km), Kumily (72 km) and Ponkunnam (5 km).
- Pamba - Chemmalamattam - Erattupetta - Neriyamangalam (SH44) connects Kanjirapally to Sabarimala (65 km), Erumely (15 km), Pamba (60 km), Erattupetta (16 km) and Thodupuzha (46 km).
- Main Eastern Highway (Muvattupuzha-Pala-Manimala - Pathanamthitta-Punalur Road) connects Kanjirappally to other major towns.
- Kanjirappally-Manimala (12 km) road connects Changanassery easily. Chenappady (8 km) connects Ranni (26 km).
- A link road that connects Pala (26 km) directly from Kanjirappally through Thambalakkadu (3 km).
The nearest international airport is Cochin International Airport in Nedumbassery, the nearest railway station is in Kottayam and Changanassery and the nearest KSRTC bus station is in Ponkunnam. The area between Ponkunnam and Kanjirapally is gradually reducing with rapid commercialisation. The nearest Medical College is at Kottayam. A railway station is expected to be built at Kanjirappally as a part of Angamaly-Sabarimala rail route in future.
Kanjirappally assembly constituency is part of Pathanamthitta (Lok Sabha constituency). Previously it was part of Muvattupuzha (Lok Sabha constituency). Most of the local administration offices like PWD, Railway Reservation Counter, Employment Exchange, Taluk offices etc. are now located in the recently constructed Mini Civil Station.
- St Antony's Public School Anakkal, Kanjirappally
- AKJM Public School, Kanjirappally.
- St. Mary's Higher Secondary School Kanjirappally.
- St. Dominic's Higher Secondary School Kanjirappally.
- St. Joseph's Public School and Junior College, Kunnumbhagam Kanjirappally.
- Mumtaz Memorial MYCA School Kanjirappally.
- Alfeen Public School, 26th mile Kanjirappally.
- St. Ephrem's HighSchool, Chirakkadavu Kanjirappally.
- Assumption High School Palampra Kanjirappally.
- St.Joseph's L.P School Velichiyani.
- Government Higher Secondary School Kanjirappally.
- Infant Jesus Public School Kanjirappally.
- John Joseph Murphy Memorial Higher Secondary School.
- N.H.A.U.P. School.
- Government L P School Thampalakkad, established 1910.
- Assaf Islamic Model School(for Islamic Education), Edakunnam P.O, Kanjirappally
- Assumption High School,Palampra P.O,Kanjirappally
- Amal Jyothi College of Engineering Koovappally, Kanjirappally - 5 km from Kanjirappally town.
Arts and science colleges
- College of Applied Science IHRD(under MG University)Petta Junction, Kanjirappally.
- St Dominic's College, 27th Mile Kanjirappally
- GOV Bed college Petta junction kanjirappally
- Kumar, PK Pradeep. Physiographic Features and Changes in the rainfall pattern of Kerala. Physical Oceanography and meteorology division.
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