A drive of 40 mins from Malappuram would take to the once capital city of the Valluvakonathiri which is Perinthalmanna. Today the town is well known for being a trading centre in the state Kerala. Most of the Kovilakam or the royal residences are more or else in a dilapidated state while some are still occupied by the members of the royal family.
The gardens at most of these palaces are filled with weeds and snakes, and the once filled stables and storehouses are empty. Yet these structures are examples of the splendor of a glorious past which still remain mostly untouched, narrating the rustiness in the air inconsequential.
There are many stories which are still alive in the place today, where the paths are lined with ungainly bars and bakeries and where ancient structures are often pulled down to make way for the swanky modern buildings.
The Land Of Many Stories
These stories have withstood the test of time and even though the structures to which they refer to have remained untouched or do not exist as they previously did. A large number of such tales can be given a rebirth at Perinthalmanna.
It is a Herculean task to ignore the stark contrast between tradition and modernity which is omniscient here. One can see devotees trekking up a hill to reach the much-famed Thirumandhamkunnu Temple, their silk skirts rustling in the wind fragrant with fresh flowers, to ask for blessings. The road below is filled with a racket of cars whilst the shops lining the temple road thrive.
At the foot of the hill stands a platform, with a signboard written in Malayalam to rescue the Chaverthara from non-recognition with no apparent success. The platform is a memorial dedicated to the Chaver soldiers of the Valluvanad Kingdom; the soldiers sat here in prayer for 41 days before setting off to kill the Zamorin King.
For the curious traveller who is very passionate about getting to know more about myths and legends, Perinthalmanna is a definitely a treasure trove.
The Beautiful Temple Of Agandipuram
One of the most beautiful temples in the town is the Thirumandhamkunnu Temple which stands atop a hill and provides you a breathtaking view of the village side of Perinthalmanna. As per legends, Lord Shiva gifted a lingam, which was very close to his consort Parvathi, to King Mandhatha of the Surya Dynasty.
While returning from Mount Kailash, the king decided to take a break at the hill top as he was awestruck with its scenic beauty. After getting to know about the incident, Parvathi got furious and arrived at the spot to claim back the lingam. A battle began between the Goddess and the King during which the lingam split into two.
Pleased by the King's devotion, the Goddess allowed him to keep both the pieces of the lingam and she too decided to stay here as she couldn't part with the idol. The construction of the temple is also home to beautiful carvings and mural paintings which attracts numerous visitors from various parts of Kerala and also from across the country.
One of the closely guarded royal homes of the erstwhile kings is the Mankada Kovilakam. The Kovilakam is home to some unique architectural features (traditional Kerala style of architecture) with teak wood pillars, wooden ceilings and also housing two courtyards.
PC: Akash Ponganadu
This form of architecture is something which remains unique to the various royal homes found here. As this Kovilakam is still used by the members of the royal family, it is advisable to seek prior permission before entering these homes.
How To Reach Perinthalmana
By Air: The nearest major airport is the Karipur International Airport at Kozhikode which is located at a distance of 52 km from here. The airport is well connected to all the major cities across the country as well as to a few cities abroad.
By Train: The nearest major railhead is the Shoranur Junction which is located at a distance of 40 km from here. The railway station is well connected to all major towns and cities across the state and across the country with regular trains to Bengaluru, Chennai etc.
By Road: The place is well connected by roads and has regular bus services which operate from here to various parts of the state and to major cities like Bengaluru, Chennai etc.