pandyan king of Madurai became the king of Poonjar and the making of Madurai Meenakshi Temple at Poonjar



©2011 Google - Imagery ©2011 DigitalGlobe, GeoEye - Terms of Use

200 ft
100 m
in Poonjar, Kerala, India

Despite being the mighty Pandyan Dynasty Kings of Madurai, our destiny was to migrate to Malayalam country as refugee and leave Madurai, which under our rule became the great center of learning, the citadel of art and culture and dance, music and richer and prosperous. We built the sanctum sanctorum of the Madurai Meenakshi Temple. We controlled the seas and the Pandyan Army was agile for that. There were of course incessant wars also with our neighboring brothers the Cholas of Tanjore and the Cheras of Venad (Kerala).
The Exodus.
On that night, Madurai was celebrating its victory over Cholas and recapturing Madurai, which for a brief spell fell into the hands of Cholan and, was feasting and rejoicing the re-entry of their victorious King Manavikrama into the Madurai Fortress. But by the dead of night all, except one, were fast asleep in the fortress, our General Viswanatha Naicken, who had got heavy bribe from the Cholan and promise of a piece of the territory was awake to open the fort gates for the enemy.. The vindictive Chola army went on a spree of chopping off the sleeping soldiers and was seeking Manavikrama’s blood. The wise Minister hearing the commotion wasted no time; took Manavikrama and the immediate family through a secret escape tunnel and brought them to the safety of the wilderness said to be Agamalai,

 Agamalai view

 looking east and down southwards over the Agamalai Range and plains area near Theni and Bodi. Pass Peak is on the far right.

an enclave between two high mountains (Munnar-Kodaikanal Range and Bodinayakanur Kodaikanal range) and unknown and undetectable to the enemy. From there our ancestor trekked by night in disguise, reached Pulni worshipped Lord Subramanya, then traveled towards Malayalam Country and trekking Udumalpet,

Meenakshipuram and reached Palghatusserry (Palghat).



Google Satellite View of the [PALAKKAD  Fort-BUILT 1766]

                         South India after the Kalabhras
1100 A.D

1025 A.D

South India after the fall of the Kulasekharas

Getting help of a Namboodiri family our ancestor found a house to live in exile. But soon the Chieftain of the land found it was none other than Pandyan King Manavikrama and fearing subjugation, ordered Him to leave. The hapless family, despite being the richest with basket loads of gold, gems and jewels, once again knew not where to go. The Namboodiri friends advised Manavikrama to go over tothe  Vanneri near Kunnamkulam (Trichur), purchase land and build home and a few of them accompanied  family.
By the time a house was built at Vanneri, the Poligars of Theni, Uthamapalayam and Kumbam got news of the survival of their overlord and reached Vanneri to pay respects and seek His return to the throne; the Cholan Himself repenting for having sinned against the noble soul. Manavikrama not yet free from shock and dismay had no desire to return. The Poligars went back started to build palace at Mele Gudalloor to beseech Manavikrama to return. By the time Manavikrama had felt insecurity at Vanneri and looked for asylum elsewhere when the Elangallur King (Edapally) received Manvikrama with all the honors befitting the Pandyan King and sought the hand of His eldest daughter. The family adopted the Malayalee style of “Thali kettu” and Marumakkathayam and became Malayalees. The Elangallur King gave a gift of Ernakulam to the princess. Soon Manavikrama left for heavens.
But the fiercely freedom loving Pandyans could not remain idle guests. Kulasekhara, the eldest prince, wanted to settle nearer to Goodalloor and regroup the Poligars and the family’s lands situated between the eastern ridges of the Western Ghats and western ridges of Suruli Hills such as Goodalloor, Poothupatti, Anumanthampatti, Uthamapalayam, Thevaram, Theni and portion of Periyakulam reaching up to Vattalagundu.
By this time the family had made intimate relation with Namboodiris, who told Kulaswekhara that the Chieftain of Poonjar situated at the foothills opposite Goodalloor had died and was available for sale. Soon Kulasekhara sent emissaries to Venmalanad Kothavarman Kovil Adhikarikal of Thekkumkur Palace, a thaivazhi of Cheras and struck a deal, paid in gems and jewels and purchased Poonjar. Hearing Kulasekhara was Pandyan King, Adittya Varma, the Thekkumkur King, ceremoniously installed Kulasekhara the King of Poonjar at a grand ceremony held at Tali Temple (could be Mele Mankompu) and gave Kulasekhara the sword as authority and a piece of silk as insignia. Kulasekhara paid rich gifts and the Namboodiris and the inhabitants of Poonjar moved along with Him to Poonjar. Finding an ideal site by the side of Meenachil River built a temple for the original idols of Madurai Meenakshi and Sundereswar, which Manavikrama took at the time He was fleeing Madurai. And then built a temple for Lord Ayyappa. Palaces and fortresses came later. They shed their surname Perumals and adopted Rajas instead. The adopted names like Kerala Varma Raja, Godavarma Raja, Ramavarma Raja and everyone was identified by their birth stars like Rohininal, Avittamnal etc. The women were called “Thampuratti”, and they adopted three names Amba, Ambika and Ambalika denoting their ancestry to Kurushetra. The adoption of Malayalee customs and marumakkathayam prevented marrying Thampirattis. Everything was plenty and there was Nataka Sala, Nayattu, Oottupura (common mess) and separate living accommodation for men. Only Namboodiri could marry their women. The Grand maternal uncle managed properties for sisters and nephews and nieces.


The current Meenachil taluk was a principality under the local chieftains, the Meenachil Karthas (also known as Njavakkat Karthas) beforeMarthanda Varma annexed it to Travancore in 1754. The name of the place comes from Goddess Meenakshi, the deity of the Karthas. Veera Kerala Damodara Simhar was a chieftain belonging to this family.[1] The southern bank of the river was the kingdom of Thekkumkoor, the capital of which was Changanassery, and the northern bank, that of Vadakkumkoor, with its capital at Kaduthuruthy. The Poonjar royal family also held sway over significant areas of the district towards the east.
Visakham Thirunal Rama Varma (19 May 1837 - 4 August 1885) was the Maharaja of the erstwhile Indian kingdom of Travancore from 1880-1885 AD. He succeeded his elder brother Maharajah Ayilyam Thirunal to the throne of Travancore.
Visakham Thirunal as First Prince with his brother Ayilyam Thirunal and the Dewan Rajah Sir T. Madhava Rao

He married a daughter of Irayimman Thampi who was also of royal descent. In 1873 the Maharajah and his wife had their eldest daughter Bhagavati Pillai Kochamma who married Sri Rajaraja Varma Avargal of the Mavelikara Royal family. Their next daughter was born in 1876, Rukmini Pillai Kochamma who married Sri Kerala Varma Thirumulpad. The Maharajah's youngest daughter, Bhageerathi Pillai Kochamma was born in 1877 and was married to Sri Rama Varma of the Royal Family of Poonjar. The Thali Kettu Kalyanam of the Maharajah's daughters was conducted on the 18th of May 1883 in a grand public ceremony with the above mentioned husbands, as recorded by the French Ambassador in the Travancore Court.
Lt. Col. Goda Varma Raja (13 October 1908 - 30 April 1971), known as G.V. Raja,
col. g v raja

 was the founder President of the Kerala State Sports Council[1]. He is considered the father of Tourism in Kerala[2].Raja was born October 1908 at Poonjar in Kottayam. He was also the husband of Princess Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore, the sister of Maharajah Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma [3]. He was an honorary Colonel in the Travancore state force

Sri.Rama Varma Raja, Valiya raja of Poonjar Palace


Visitors touring the palace are awestruck with the fabulous collection of authentic antiques, sculptures, lamps, weapons, jewel box, and furniture dating back to the ancient times. Close to the palace is situated a remarkable replica of the Madurai Meenakshi Temple. The walls of this temple are studded with sculptures that recount stories from the Puranas. The row of lamps, known as Chuttuvilakku carved on the stone walls of the Sastha Temple nearby is the most enthralling sight. It is an amazing spectacle as such rock-cut lamps are rare in India. Poonjar is a palace where the past relives itself, the elegance and the charm of the past recreates the magic of the history, which still lingers in the passages of this palace.
How to Reach Poonjar Palace Kottayam
By Air: The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport, located at a distance of around 80 kilometers.
By Rail:The Kottayam railway station is at a distance of 30 kilometers from the palace.
By Road:Kottayam is well connected to Kerala by a wide network of roads and can be easily reached from anywhere in Kerala.


The Poonjar Palace is a magnificent testimony to the royal luxury of a bygone era. An extraordinary royal collection of antiques and exquisite furniture including a palanquin, a thoni carved out of a single piece of wood for Ayurvedic massages, huge chandeliers, palm leaf engravings, jewel boxes, varieties of lamps, sculptures of Nataraja (the dancing Siva), grain measures, statues and weapons embellish the palace. A unique conch preserved here is taken out once a year for ritualistic purposes.

Near the palace is an amazing replica of the Madurai Meenakshi Temple.



 The walls of this temple bear sculptures that narrate stories from the Puranas (the legends of ancient India). However, the most fascinating thing here is the Chuttuvilakku (row of lamps) carved out on the stonewalls of the Sastha Temple nearby. Such rocks cut lamps are rare in India.

Sanatana Dharma:-

Poonjar Lease
Not a surprise that Mr. John Daniel Munro, fell in love with her and entreated Poonjattil Koickal Rohini Thirubal Kerala Varma its janmi and head of Poonjar Royal Family and secured a lease on 11.7.1877 executed as Document No. 733 of 1052 ME (1877) of Meenchil Sub Registyry, Kerala.

AGREEMENT executed on the 11th day of July One thousand eight hundred and seventy seven/ 29th Mithunam 1052 by Punhatil Koickal Kela Varma Valiya Rajah, aged 47, in Punhatil Edavaga, Kondur Proverty, Meenachil Taluk with Mr. John Daniel Munro, aged 43, a Christian Coffee Planter at Peermedu in Peruvanthanam Muri, Kanjirappally Proverty, Changanachery Taluk.
As you have made an application for the lease of the property known as Kannan Devan Anchunat Mala, belonging to Us at Punhatil Edavaga, in Kondur Proverty, Meenachil Taluk for Coffee Cultivation all the hills and jungles on the said premises within the following boundaries, with the exception of such parts as are used by the tenants for agriculture, public utility, water supply, and other purposes, We lease unto you the said premises under this Agreement in consideration of deposit of 5000 British Rupees received.
Schedule of property

South of :Chinnan Ulpathi
West of: Chinnar ulpathi, Thandokaram, Kumarikal, Kattumala, Thallayar, Thandokaram, south of Thandokaram lying east-west and then west of Vinayaganadi Thandokaram and then south-west of Alanchimedu, Pullannur Ana and Karimkulam.

North of : Devicolam Medu, Devicolam and Munnar
East of : Munnar and Anaikulam and south of Chinnar ulpathi.

1. You shall clear the jungles within the said boundaries of the premises and cultivate coffee up to the year 1058, and from the year 1059 pay Us a yearly rent at the rate of 3000 British Rupees and obtain receipt.
2. You or your men shall deliver to Us the ivory, cardamom, wax, frankincense and other forest produces which may be collected by you or your men from these lands, and shall receive the ususal kudivila. If elephants be caught from these lands you shall also entrust them with Us and shall receive usual rewards.
3. The roads, rivers and water courses if there be any on these lands, shall continue to exist as hereto before.

3. Whenever you think to give up the lands of your own accord, you shall relinquish your claims to houses, improvements &c. effected therein, and to the sum of Rupees 5000 deposited with Us and shall surrender the premises to Us.
4. If you fail to comply with the covenants of this Agreement by failing to pay Us the sum of Rs. 3000/- annually as agreed upon, or violate any other covenants specified herein you shall without any dispute or claim for the value of improvements effected on the premises or claim for the refund of the Rupees 5000 received by Us surrender the premises to Us.
This Agreement has been executed in the presence of witnesses
(1) Hariswaran Damodaran Namboodiri, Kallampally Illam, Kidangoor Proverty, Kottayam Mandapathum Vathukal.
(2) Thuppan Nambotha Namboodiri, Thirithiyil Illam, Mariyidam Kara in the above said Proverty.

(A true translation of the Deed in Malayalam Language translated, printed and published by the State Government in its Travancore Land Revenue Manual Vol. II 1935 Edition)



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
—  town  —
Nearest cityKottayam
Parliamentary constituencyPathanamthitta
Time zoneIST (UTC+05:30)

A view from Kaippally, the hilly region of Poonjar
Poonjar is a small town in the Kottayam district of Kerala state, India. Before the independence of India, Poonjar had been the capital of the Poonjar Koyikkal Swaroopam or Edavaka.




The ancient palace and temples dedicated to Sree Dharma Shastha and Meenakshi are located on the banks of the Meenachil River. Raghubir Singh, the famed National Geographic photographer, has published photographs of this temple, nestled in the foothills of the high ranges of Kerala, in National Geographic. The S.M.V. High School, dedicated to the memory of the eldest nephew (Sri Moolam Tirunal) of Maharaja Shri Chitra Tirunal, was the only school in the district for decades and luminaries of all political and religious hues who have played formative roles in modern Kerala have passed through its gates. The school, as well as five temples, are currently managed by a family trust. Colonel Goda Varma Raja, the consort of the Maharani of erstwhile Travancore, Karthika Tirunal, and brother-in-law of Maharaja Sri Chitra Tirunal, was a member of this family. His elder brother was P. R. Rama Varma Raja, who, after a difference of opinion with C. P. Ramaswami Iyer, left Travancore in the late 1930s, and purchased 36,000 acres (150 km2) of land in Alakode,Taliparamba taluk of Kannur district. He was often referred to as the Alakode Raja.
In the recent past, July 1877, among other leases, the family leased 125,000 acres (510 km2) for 99 years, to a British planter named Thomas Munro. This is the famous Kannan Devan Hill Produce Company (KDHP) lease. This lease, not ownership, was passed on to Finlays in the 1930s, and subsequently taken over by TATA Tea Ltd in the 1950s. The lease has since expired and the land ownership is in dispute.


Geographically Poonjar is divided into Poonjar Thekkekara and Poonjar Nadubhagam villages. It is secular in nature. There are more than 6 temples and 6 churches

©2011 Google - Imagery ©2011 DigitalGlobe, GeoEye - Terms of Use

200 ft
100 m
in Poonjar, Kerala, India