The dilapidated old bridge and new bridge at Ranni
|• Total||1,004 km2 (388 sq mi)|
|Elevation||331 m (1,086 ft)|
|• Density||207/km2 (540/sq mi)|
|• Official||Malayalam, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Sex ratio||47:50 ♂/♀|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Pathanamthitta|
Ranni (Malayalam: റാന്നി), sometimes spelled Ranny, is one of the 5 Taluks in the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala, in India. According to the Census of India 2001, the population was 207,782. The taluk headquarters is a small township on both sides of the Pamba River. Ranni is also one of the largest taluks in Kerala. The renowned Hindu temple of Sabarimala is in this taluk, situated approximately 66 km from the main town, Ittiappara. Ranni is known for its natural beauty, forests, hills, river and good climate.
Ranni is derived from similar word in malayalam which means "Queen" or "Rani". Ranni is known as "The Queen of the Eastern Hill Lands".
The history of Ranni can be traced 5000 years back to the early settlement activity of Adi Dravidans around Sabarimala and Nilackal. The temple at Sabarimala is an early temple of Kerala, dating back to around 2000 years. The deity's sitting posture and resemblance of the prayer 'Sharanam vili' to "Buddham Sharanam / Sangam Sharanam" points to the Buddhist past. Buddhist hermits always prefer to stay in interior jungles for solitary contemplation to attain Nirvana. The word 'Ayya' is a Buddhist Pali word means Lord/God. A church at Nilackal is believed to be one of the seven churches founded by St. Thomas in AD 54. There was an ancient trade route passed through Nilackal between Kerala and Pandian kingdom.
The former rulers of Ranni was known as Ranni Kartha or Karthkal of Ranni they were the "Samanthas" and blood related family of Thekkamamkoor Raja.18th Century Anizham Thirunal Marthandavarma of Vennad annexed Thekkamkoor kingdom and confiscated all the lands belongs to the former rulers. Ranni Karthas Kioyikal (Palace) were stand at a place called Areekkal.
In the 18th century, Jacobite Knanaya Christians under the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch migrated to Ranni and later established the church, St. Thomas Church of Ranni. A significant number of Malankara Orthodox Christians & Mar Thomites also migrated from surrounding areas. In the early 19th century, Dr. Claudius Buchanan visited Ranni and was presented an old hand written Syriac Bible, from Ranni St. Thomas church.
Ranni is located at  The location and elevation is measured around the township. However, towards the east, the elevation is much higher. River Pamba flows through Ranni. The township is situated on either side of the river. According to the Census of India, Ranni has a total of 1,004.61 square kilometres (387.88 sq mi). Out of the total area, 708 square kilometres (273.36 sq mi) or 70% is forest. This forest cover gives Ranni its lush green and scenic beauty.. It has an average elevation of 131 m (433 ft) above sea level.
|Climate data for Ranni, Kerala|
|Average high °C (°F)||31.2
|Average low °C (°F)||22.4
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||21
Like the rest of the state, Ranni has a wet and maritime tropical climate. The region receives most of the rain from the South-West monsoon from June to August and the North-East monsoon during October and November. Although the summer is from March to May, it receives locally developed thundershowers in May. Due to the higher elevation, the climate is cooler towards the eastern area.
Business is centered on the market in the main township, Ittiappara situated on the northern side of the river. The economy of Ranni is primarily from agriculture. Ranni is the largest rubber producing taluks in Kerala. The hilly terrain, high humidity and good rain makes it suitable for rubber cultivation. Other major crops are cocoa, coconut, tapioca and pepper. NRIs are also another major source of income.
Ranni is largely dependent on private buses. Most of the long route KSRTC buses ply on the State Highway - 08. The State Highway - 08 (Punalur-Pathanamthitta-Muvattupuzha Road) connects the town to other major towns. There is a KSRTC bus depot in Ranni. Auto rickshaws are available and generally hired for short distance (1–3 km) where bus service are non-existent or rare. Jeep is another preferred mode of transport where the terrain is hilly or rugged.
A train service connecting Ranni is one of the long-standing demands. Although the Union Government has cleared a proposal in 1995, the project awaits implementation. The nearest railway stations are at Chengannur and Thiruvalla.
The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport (110 km)and Trivandrum airport. The proposed rural Aranmula International Airport would be the closest airport upon completion, at 12 km away.
As of the census of 2001, Ranni had a population of 207,782 with a density of 207 per square kilometre. The female-to-male ratio is 1063:1000 higher than the state average of 1059:1000 and significantly higher than the national average of 933:1000. There were 50,132 housing units at an average density of 5 per square kilometre. A very low housing density owes to a large reserved forest area. Ranni's literacy rate is 95%.
Although most of the residents are Malayalis there are some Tamil and Sikh settlers. Much of the Tamil polulation are temporary workers who are mainly employed in the construction sector. The population of migrant workers from the northern parts of India have increased over the last few years because of the shortage of local unskilled manpower. Ranni still has few settlements of aborigines known as 'adivasis' deep in the forest area.
Ranni taluk is a part of Pathanamthitta district administration. The taluk headquarters is on the southern side of the river, known as Perumbuzha. Ranni taluk is divided into 11 villages. Villages are the smallest subdivision. The following are the list of villages:
Primary, middle and secondary schools are run in all the villages of Ranni taluk. However, there are only 7 senior secondary schools covering 6 out of the 11 villages. This is primarily due to the reason that till 1997-98, these were offered as pre-degree courses in colleges. As of 2001, there are 138 primary, 59 middle and 35 secondary schools.
There are three colleges in Ranni taluk. St. Thomas college, affiliated to the M.G. University, is an arts and science college established in 1964. For almost four decades this was the only college in the taluk. In 2005, Caarmel Engineering College, a self-financing engineering college was established. This is situated in the Ranni-Perunad division. The Vishwa bhramana arts college and Govt polytechnic college are situated in vechuchira. The Mar Thoma Teachers’ Training College Ranny is a self- financing institution affiliated to the M.G. University, and approved by NCTE
Ranni assembly constituency is part of Pathanamthitta (Lok Sabha constituency). The main two political parties are the Congress and the CPM or CPI. BJP(Bharatiya Janatha Party) now AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) has significant importance in the election. Raju Abraham is the elected representative of Ranni assembly constituency. He successfully contested assembly election in 1996 and has been winning every elections since.
There is 3 local television channels, Citi TV, operational in Ranni. The channel, established in 2002 telecasts news, documentaries,advertisements, albums and other program Malanad Tv is operating from Pazhavangadi and Vismaya TV established 2014 this is the largerst local channel in Pathanamthitta district.
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