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Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathi Kshethram
Kottarakkara is located in Kerala
Location in Kerala, India
Coordinates: 08°59′00″N 76°46′00″E / 8.98333°N 76.76667°E / 8.98333; 76.76667Coordinates: 08°59′00″N 76°46′00″E / 8.98333°N 76.76667°E / 8.98333; 76.76667
Country  India
State Kerala
District Kollam
 • Body Kottarakara municipality
 • Official Malayalam, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 691506
Vehicle registration KL-24
Nearest city Kollam (27 km), Punalur (17 km), Karunagapally(32 Km)
Lok Sabha constituency Mavelikara
Civic agency Kottarakara municipality

Kottarakkara (IAST: Koṭṭārakkara), also transliterated as Kottarakara, is a town and taluk in Kollam District (formerly known as Quilon), in Kerala state, India. The town is close to Kollam Port, which has a rich history linked to the early medieval period as well as a reputation as an important commercial, industrial and trading center. Kottarakkara lies 27 kilometres (17 mi) to the east of Kollam city center and 18 kilometres (11 mi) to the west of Punalur city on National Highway 208/220. It lies 35 kilometres (22 mi) north-east of Paravur.[1][2]

Kottarakkara, also known in the ancient days of the kings as the Elayadathu Swarupam, was a principality ruled by a branch of the Travancore Royal Family. It is the home of Kathakali, a well known dance drama which originated initially as Ramanattam created in the 17th century by Prince Kottarakkara Thampuran and later patronized by the Raja of Kottarakkara in the early 19th century absorbing other dance forms of Krishnattam with further innovations. Other historical places of interest include the Ganapathi Temple, Edakkidom Thettikkunil Maha Devi Temple and the over 700 year old Mar Thomas Church.


Kottarakkara, a compound word made up of the words Kottaram, meaning "palace", and kara meaning "land", literally means "land of palaces". The area which had several palaces was thus named "Kottarakkara."[3]

Kathakali traced its origin to the ritualistic (tantric) period of the Vedic Age and connected its growth from the popular, folk dance dramas.It was believed that Kathakali was conceived from Krishnanattam, the dance drama on the life and activities of Lord Krishna created by the Samoothirippadu (Samoothiri, Swamy Thirumulpad or Zamorin) of Calicut. The legend is as follows: Once Kottarakkara Thampuran the Raja of Kottarakkara who was attracted by the tone of the Krishnanattam requested the Samoothirippadu for the loan of a troupe of performers on the eve of some festive occasion. Due to internal feuds and political rivalry between them, the Samoothirippadu refused to send the performers and insulted with the remarks: “It is useless to depute the troupe, because Kottarakkara Thespian’s court would be neither able to appreciate nor understand anything of the highly artistic Krishnanattam and the high standard of the performance”. Here the political rivalry between the two chieftains leads to the art rivalry. So Kottarakkara Thampuran initiated a parallel mode of entertainment, which he called Ramanattam which was later transformed into Aattakatha, and yet later into Kathakali. While Krishnanattam is based on the stories of Lord Krishna’s activities, Ramanaattam described the complete story of Lord Raman. Krishnanattam was written in Sanskrit, “the language of the Gods”. Ramanaattam was in Malayalam, the language of the people. The use of Malayalam, the local language (albeit as a mix of Sanskrit and Malayalam, called Manipravalam), has also helped the literature of Kathakali become more understandable for the average audience. By the end of the seventeenth century, the finished product of Ramanaattam was placed before the world under the title Kathakali.


Kottarakkara is a small principality close to Kollam. It is now a modern taluk town with all essential facilities. As a taluk headquarters, it has six panchayats. It is surrounded by several other towns namely, the Chengamanadu (ചെങ്ങമനാട്)- (5 km from Kottarakara town), Vettikkavala 7 km ,Aipalloor (3 km from Kottarakara), Kizhaketheruvu (2.5 km from Kottarakara), Karickom, Thrikkannamangal, Nellikunnam, Kottathala, Moozhikkodu, Vendar, Mylom, Kalayapuram, Puthur, Poovattoor, Valakom, Neduvathoor, Neeleswaram, Pinattinmudu, Ambalathumkala, Ambalapuram, Annoor, Kareepra, Edakkidom, ഇടയ്ക്കിടം (7 km village), Kulakada, and many others.

NH 208 (Kollam to Thirumangalam) and meets the MC road (Thiruvananthapuram to Angamaly) at Kottarakkara. Kottarakkara is linked with Kollam (the district headquarters), both by road and rail, at a distance of 27 km. It is 72 km to the north of Thiruvananthapuram (the capital of Kerala) and 80 km to the south of Kottayam.[1][3][4][5]

Christian Churches[edit]

Kottarakara is a major center of Christian community. It is major center for the Malankara Orthodox Church. The Arts and Science college, B.Ed College and Higher secondary institutions were started by Orthodox Bishop H.H Marthoma Mathews II, in the name of St. Gregorios Parumala at Gregorios mount Kottarakara. Some important churches in Kottarakara include:

  • Padinjaretheruvu St.George Orthodox Church, Kizhakketheruvu Orthodox Valiyapalli,
  • St. George Salem Orthodox Church (Kunnumpurathupally)-Aipalloor,
  • Kottapuram Orthodox church,'
  • St.Mary's Orthodox Syrian Church ("Villoorpally") Villoor-Chengamanadu (ചെങ്ങമനാട്),
  • St.George Orthodox Church, Ambalathumkala (Kochu palli),
  • Mar Yacob Burdana Orthodox Church, Ambalathumkala,
  • Kalayapuram Kochupalli,
  • St.Mary's Orthodox Church, Neeleswaram.
  • IPC Rehoboth Church, Thrikkannamangal, Kottarakara,

Kottarakara has a major presence of Saint Thomas Christians of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church with its headquarters at Thiruvalla. Kottarakara Mar Thoma Church has a rich history of existence. This church had built by the King Ruled in Kottarakara. However, the history of when and who it was built is still remains unknown. This is the first church in Kottarakara. Kottarakara hosts the noted Kottarakara Conventions held by the Orthodox and Mar Thoma Churches. There are also Catholic churches namely St.Michale's Latin Catholic Church at Pulamon, Malankara Catholic Church namely 'Sacred Heart Church' at Neeleswaram, St. George Malankara Catholic Church, Ambalathumkala and Malankara Catholic Church, Ambalappuram. Pentecostal Churches (namely The Pentecostal Church, Church of God) and a mosques near the market in Kottarakkara.[6]

  • Malankara Orthodox Church, Kottarakara - Punalur Diocese, Headquarters & Bishop House in Kottarakara
  • Malankara MarThoma Suriyani Sabha [1], Kottarakara - Punalur Diocese, Headquarters & Bishop House in KOttarakara
  • The Headquarters of The Pentecostal Mission Church (Formerly CPM) is situated in Kottarakara.
  • The Headquarters of ElshaddaiMinistry is also situated in Kottarakara.


A close-up of a Kathakali artist

Historically, the small town was known as the land of palaces of kings in Kerala. Its earliest known palace construction is traced to the 14th century. This is attributed to the dynasty of Ilayidathu (also known as Kunninmel), who established themselves here. During the period 1383–1444, Chera Udaya Marthanda Verma ruled over Venad and built his palace here. It was then the capital of the Ilayidathu Swarupam (also spelled Elayadutharai Swarupam), which is testified by the remnants of seven palaces.[3]

In the 17th century, history[clarification needed] also records the emergence of an early format of the famous Kathakali dance drama known as Ramanattam, which emerged as a result of the rivalry of the kings of the two neighbouring principalities of the Raja of Kottarakkara and that of the Manaveda, Zamorin of Kozhikode (the Raja of Kozhikode, then known as Calicut, who had developed the Krishnattam (an eighty-day dance drama format). Manaveda refused the request of the Prince of Kottarakkara to send the Krisnaattam troupe to Kottakkara with a snide remark that "no connoisseur at Kottarakkara could appreciate Krishnaattam". Prince Tampuran felt insulted and then decided to take it a challenge and invented his own form of the dance form which was called the Ramanattam with the Rama theme developed in the Krishnaattam style.[7][8] Thus, Kottarakkara town got the distinction of being the first in Kerala from where the famous Indian classical dance form originated when it was the capital of the Elayadathu Swarupam, the principality in central Kerala, which was a branch of the Travanacore royal family. He adopted eight stories into creating into dance drama formats which were known as Ramanattam, meaning dance related to Rama (of the Hindu epic Ramayana fame), which were precursors to the Kathakalli which developed in later years with amalgamation with other formats of Krishnattam and early forms of Kathakalii; however only three formats of this creation are performed now as part of Kathakalli. Four more dance drama episodes of Kathakalli plays developed 200 years later, after Ramanattam.[8]

In 1739, the Dutch and allied forces had attacked the Travancore forces who were backed by the British at Kottarakkara. The Dutch then installed the princess of Elayadathu Swarupam, who had escaped earlier from Kottarakkara to Tekkumkur as the ruler of the state. In return, the princess had gifted to the Dutch a large farm about 15 miles from Kollam and also at Bichnor where they established their “redoubt”. Followed by this victory, on December 30, 1739 the armed forces than attacked the Travancore and won many battles.[9]

However, in the 18th century, the last queen of this dynasty surrendered her kingdom to Marthanda Varma (her cousin), following which the queen went to Cochin where she sought asylum from the Dutch. The Dutch had provided her a pension of 2 rupees and 5 annas.[6][10]

After Tipu Sultan invaded Malabar, Dharma Raja the royal family member of North Malabar settled in Kottarakara. In the mid 19th century, the family line disintegrated.[3]

In 1835, it became part of the administrative unit of Kollam as part of the Travancore state which had two revenue divisions, the Kottayam and the Kollam. In 1949, it became part of the integrated state of Travancore and Cochin.[2] The town Village, Block and Jilla and, of course, the state and central governments.


Kottarakara Assembly Constituency is part of the Mavelikkara (Lok Sabha constituency).[11]

Aisha Potty-MLA of Kottarakara constituency has been representing Kottarakara in Kerala Legislative Assembly as CPI(M) Member for two consecutive terms.The constituency has returned the following candidates after the formation of Kerala State in 1956. 1957: E Chandrasekaran Nair (CPI) 1960: D.Damodaran Potti (PSP) 1965: R.Balakrishna Pillai (Kerala Congress) 1967: E.Chandrasekaran Nair (CPI) 1969 (Bye election):C.Achutha Menon (CPI), Chief Minister 1970: Kottara Gopalakrishnan (INC) 1977, 1980, 1982, 1987, 19991, 1996, 2001: R.Balakrishna Pillai (Kerala Congress - B)


Kottarakkara Palace

The town contains many notable places of worship, including Sree Maha Ganapthy Temple (in the suburb of Kizhakkekara), dated to the 10th-11th century, shrine of Ganapathy, Mahadeva Temple (in the western suburb of Padinjattinkara), Kottarakkara Goshala and Kulasekharanellor Sree BhadraKali Temple, amongst many other temples.

Kottarakkara Sree Manikanteswara Mahadeva

Kottarakkara Sree Manikanteswara Mahadeva Temple is located near the "Althara", on the northern side. Shiva in the form of a fierce hunter is deified here. Another shrine next to it is a Durga temple, where the deity installed is known as Pazenadu Bhagavathy. Devi[12] The idol of was carved out from the root of the jack tree by Perumthachan.[6]

Edakkidom (ഇടയ്ക്കിടം) Thettikkunil Sree mahadevi temple near kottarakkara[4]

Ambalapuram Shri Gauri Shankara Temple, Ambalapuram



Transportation is mainly dependent on private buses as well as the state run KSRTC buses. It is well connected to the capital city of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram by KSRTC Fast Passenger, super fast, deluxe, a/c buses. Buses are also ply to the district headquarters of Kollam and Pathanamthitta and to towns in Tamil Nadu like Coimbatore, Tenkasi and Sengottai and Daily trips to Mookambika, Munnar, Bangalore, Kumali, Ooty.


Kottarakara railway station is located on the Kollam-Sengottai railway line. Kottarakara railway station, which currently connects to Kollam, Trivandrum, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Madurai, Nagercoil, Paravur, Tirunelveli, Guruvayur, Varkala and Punalur through the direct passenger and fast passenger services. There are six pairs of services right now and heard that many more services would be inducted in this route since the Punalur-Schengotta ghat section has been closed for Broad Gauge conversion. Once the conversion is over, this will serve as the shortest route from Kollam to Chennai and from Kollam Port & Cochin Port to Tuticorin Port. Further, a new line from Chengannur to Thiruvananthapuram via Kottarakkara is awaiting survey. Kottarakkara will become a junction once the new line materializes.


The nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport in Thiruvananthapuram. A new green field airport has been proposed at Aranmula, 45 kilometres (28 mi) from Kottarakkara.

Notable individuals[edit]

Notable individuals born in Kottarakkara include:

Education institutions[edit]

Schools & Colleges[edit]

  • Mar Baselious English Medium School, Kottapuram,
  • Govt. Boy's Higher Secondary School, Kottarakara,
  • St. Gregorious High School, College Junction, Kottarakara,
  • St. Gregorious Higher Secondary School, College Junction, Kottarakara
  • Marthoma Girl Higher Secondary School, Kottarakara
  • St.Mary's HS, Kizhakketheruvu
  • Mar Baselious English Medium School, Kottapuram
  • Govt. Boy's Higher Secondary School, Kottarakara
  • Town UP school, Kottarakara
  • MAMHS-Chengamanadu,
  • MTMM LPS-Chengamanadu,
  • Chethady UPS-Chengamanadu,
  • BRM Central School -Chengamanadu,
  • MGM Residential Public School -Mylom, Kottarakara,
  • Govt. Model Higher Secondary School,Vettikavala.
  • Carmel Residential Senior Secondary School, Kadalavila, Nellikunnam P.O.,
  • KNNMVHSS, Pavithreswaram
  • K .N .Sathyapalan Memorial Central school Edakkidom ഇടയ്ക്കിടം
  • Divine Public School, Puthoor, http://divinepublicschool.com/
  • Neduvathoor Higher Secondary School
  • Siddhartha Central School, Puthoor
  • S K V V H S S
  • Sreenarayana Guru Senior Secondary School, Ezhukone
  • Mar Ivanios Bethany Secondary School, Kalayapuram
  • MSCLPS, Neeleswaram
  • DVUPS, Neduvathoor
  • WLPS, Ambalappuram
  • Veluthampi Memorial High School, Ambalappuram
  • DVUPS, Annoor
  • WLPS, Anakottoor
  • Govt. HSS, Kaniyapoika, Puthoor
  • St. George English Medium School, Puthoor
  • Little Flower LPS, Kallumpuram, Puthoor
  • Junior Technical School, Irumpanangadu


  • St. Gregorios College
  • University Institute of Technology (UIT)
  • IHRD College of Engineering, Thrikkannamangal
  • Mercy college of Nursing, Valakom
  • Vijaya Nursing College
  • Sree Sankara Sanskrit Vidhyapeedom, Edakkidam (ഇടയ്ക്കിടം)


  • Pranav Hospital
  • Dist. Head Quarters Hospital
  • Vijaya Hospital
  • Sri Sathya Sai Hospital
  • Kristuraj Hospital
  • Aroma Hospital, Chengamanadu
  • Lotus Heart Centre, College Road
  • Maitri Hospital, Pulamon
  • Nirmala Hospital, Mylom
  • Mercy Hospital, Valakom
  • S.N. Ayurveda Medical College, Pangode
  • Govt. Homeopathic Dispensary, Ambalappuram
  • Govt. Ayurveda Dispensary, Neduvathoor
  • Sreenerhra Precise Eye Care Hospital, T.B.Jn, Kottarackara

Ayurveda Centres[edit]

  • Chandra Nursing Home, Thalachira,
  • MVM Ayurvedics, Pooyapally
  • M/s K.Cheriyan, Indian Drugs Merchants, Pulamon
  • Parakkal Angadikada, Pulamon
  • Jayasobhitham Aryavaidyasala
  • Kottakkal Arya Vaidyasala
  • Rishi Ayurvedics


  1. ^ a b "Kollam Town". Kollam District officialwebsite National Informatics Centre. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Short History of Kollam". Kollam: National Informatics Centre. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d "History". kottarakkara.com. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Kottarakkara Taluk". Kollam; National Informatics centre. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  5. ^ "District Information". Kollam: National Informatics. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c "Kottarakkara". Kottarapuram Family Club. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  7. ^ C. Rajendran; University of Calicut. Dept. of Sanskrit (2002). Living traditions of Nāṭyaśāstra. New Bharatiya Book Corp. ISBN 978-81-87418-46-7. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  8. ^ a b K. Ayyappapanicker; Sahitya Akademi (1997). Medieval Indian literature: an anthology. Sahitya Akademi. pp. 317–. ISBN 978-81-260-0365-5. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  9. ^ M. O. Koshy (1989). The Dutch power in Kerala, 1729-1758. Mittal Publications. pp. 64–. ISBN 978-81-7099-136-6. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  10. ^ "New Kottarakkara portal". Xomba.com. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  11. ^ "Assembly Constituencies - Corresponding Districts and Parliamentary Constituencies" (PDF). Kerala. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  12. ^ K. Srikumaran (1 January 2005). Theerthayathra: a pilgrimage through various temples. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. p. 129. ISBN 978-81-7276-363-3. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 

1.^ "Kollam Town". Kollam District official website National Informatics Centre. Retrieved 22 February 2011.

2.^ "Short History of Kollam". Kollam: National Informatics Centre. Retrieved 22 February 2011.

3.^ a b c d "History". kottarakkara.com. Retrieved 23 February 2011.

4.^ "Kottarakkara Taluk". Kollam; National Informatics centre. Retrieved 22 February 2011.

5.^ "District Information". Kollam: National Informatics. Retrieved 22 February 2011.

6.^ "Kottarakkara". Kottarapuram Family Club. Retrieved 23 February 2011.

7.^ C. Rajendran; University of Calicut. Dept. of Sanskrit (2002). Living traditions of Nāṭyaśāstra. New Bharatiya Book Corp. ISBN 978-81-87418-46-7. Retrieved 23 February 2011.

8.^ Parankamveettil; An ancient Hindu Pillai Converted Christian Family based from Aippalloor spreads areas at Kizhakketheruvu,Chengamanadu, Kottarakara,Elampal,Ayoor etc was Engaged in Agricultural Production,Tradings ,Religious,Social and Cultural activities. ISBN 978-81-87418-46-7. Retrieved 23 February 14.

9.^ K. Ayyappapanicker; Sahitya Akademi (1997). Medieval Indian literature: an anthology. Sahitya Akademi. pp. 317–. ISBN 978-81-260-0365-5. Retrieved 23 February 2011.

10.^ M. O. Koshy (1989). The Dutch power in Kerala, 1729-1758. Mittal Publications. pp. 64–. ISBN 978-81-7099-136-6. Retrieved 23 February 2011.

11.^ "New Kottarakkara portal". Xomba.com. Retrieved 23 February 2011.

12.^ "Assembly Constituencies - Corresponding Districts and Parliamentary Constituencies" (PDF). Kerala. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2008-10-20.

13.^ K. Srikumaran (1 January 2005). Theerthayathra: a pilgrimage through various temples. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. p. 129. ISBN 978-81-7276-363-3. Retrieved 23 February 2011.

External links[edit]