Tharaka Clan and Angadipuram: The Migrants from Chola- Kaveri river banks near Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu

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In the 16th century, the Tharakas migrated from the Chola-Kaveri banks near Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu to Angadipuram, the capital of the Valluvanad kingdom. They have an important place in the history of Angadipuram. The Tharakas were Vaishyas who traded in gems. They were very rich. Perhaps they must have had more wealth than the Vellatiri king. Valluvakonathiri gave them the position of fathers in eight houses and settled them in Angadipuram. The Tarakans brought unprecedented progress to the trade sector of Valluvanad. They opened a new business center in Thaliparampilangadi. After the first day’s song by the king, the Kalam song of Thirumandhamkunn is followed by the eight songs of the fathers in the eight houses on the following days. Only after that, other people’s songs are performed. The Mathrishala in Tirumandhamkunn Temple was built by Tarakans. They built many temples around Angadipuram. Muthuvara Vishnu Temple, Manikyapuram Temples and Ravramanna Shiva Temple are some of them.

In the eight houses, the family members who have the position of fathers are Cherichachan in the house, Chakidil, Chaturasalakal, Padipurakkal, Kolangara in the house, Kadampotil, Velulat, and Thalilil. These tribals were the first Taraka families to come to Angadipuram. It is in this order that the right to perform Kalampath at Thirumandhamkunn (Reference: Valluvanad History). These ancestral houses have many branches. They come as Vadakkengadi, Kishkatra, Dagthetil, Cheenikal, Mutuvaratra, Patthayapurakkal, Vakkatil, Melatra, Vadakkatra and Puthanveed (Reference : Valluvanad Granthvari). Apart from these, Chengara clan, Pandath clan, and Satatal clan are some of the Tharaka clans. These are the latecomers. Some clans have moved away or merged with other clans. Thirumanankunnu Granthavari tells about the quarrels between some of them and the subsequent expiration of Valluvakonathiri by the wrongdoers.

Angadipuram resident, friend, and colleague Shri. According to Parameswarunni Sir, the Tarakans came from Andhra. They may have stayed on the banks of Cauvery near Thanjavur on their way to Kerala. The customs of the Tharakas have nothing to do with Tamil customs. Since the gem traders were located in the parts adjacent to Andhra, the ancestors of the Tarakans must be considered to be from Andhra. The Tarakans who came to Kerala are included in the Nair category.

Mutuvara Vishnu Temple.

The Mutuvara Vishnu temple, located near the railway flyover along the Kozhikode-Palakkad national highway, belongs to the Tarakas. Mahavishnu is the main deity. It is in Vattashrikov. During monsoons, the inside of the temple gets filled with water. This is due to the spring from the vast pond in front of the temple. A small stream is also flowing near the pond. When I visited this place, I had seen the sight of the water coming inside the enclosure being pumped and drained. Unlike some of the water temples visited earlier, the water that fills the enclosure here has nothing to do with the temple ritual. Only during the rainy season there is water like this.

Manikyapuram Ayyappa Temple

Manikyapuram is a temple owned by the Tarakas. Ayyappan is the main deity. Something different from other Ayyappa temples was noticed here. Here I saw a stone idol of an elephant facing the Ayyappa idol, just as in Shiva temples there is a Nanthi idol in the mandapam facing the deity. Moreover, small stone idols in the form of elephants are placed loosely around the shrine. Couldn’t figure out why. Manikyapuram Vishnu Temple is also near this temple.

Ravramanna Shiva Temple

This was a temple owned by the Tharakas. Shiva is the main deity. After the formation of Cherupuzha by many streams, the river first flows near the temple on the left side, then below Thirumandhamkunn, and thirdly near the Ravaramanna temple. There is a footpath from the temple to the river. The temple pool can be seen next to the river.

Tarakan School

Mr. AR Ramalinga Iyer started Ezhutpallikkutam in 1905 and later developed into Tarakan Elementary School, Tarakan Higher Elementary School, Tarakan High School and Tarakan Higher Secondary School. Nambuttharakan bought the school from Ramalinga Iyer and it came to be known as Tarakan School. The first manager was Mr. Namputharakan gave all consideration to the poor students in his school and allowed Ramalingaiyar to remain as the headmaster.

Sarva Sri is famous in various fields. MP Narayana Menon, MP Govinda Menon, Appadurai, Nanthanar, MP. Muralidhara Menon, Prof. CPK Tharakan, VK was a teacher in this school. Balakrishnan alias Ananthu, PA. Parameswaran and many others are alumni of the school.

Chengara Tharavad

It was the ancestral home of a sect of Tharakans. The mansion was sold, but the purchasers retained the building and the name. Now functioning as a heritage bar named Chengara Heritage.