Muchukunnu-a Heritage Village

Jan 15, 2015
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Muchukunnu is a serene village situated on the bank ‘Akalappuzha’, the River Akala, near Quilandy in Kozhikode district, Kerala (India). The land is rich in its culture and heritage.

Muchukunnu-a Heritage Village

Muchukunnu is a serene village situated on the bank ‘Akalappuzha’, the River Akala, near Quilandy in Kozhikode district, Kerala (India). The main road to the village is from Quilandy, deviate from Anakkulam on Quilandy-Vatakara national highway. This road to Muchukunnu ends at Akalappuzha, where the construction of the bridge is progressing. Muchukunnu is a land rich in culture and heritage. Many communities live here in harmony. At Muchukunnu you can still see artisans from different communities engaged in their traditional work like pottery, bell metal work, screw pine weaving , handloom weaving etc., all situated within two kilometre radius.

The Temple & Sacred Grove

The centre of attraction in Muchukunnu is Kottayil Shiva Kshethram, the temple, which has traditional architecture, a huge and well structured compound wall and a pond. Over six acres of land surrounded to the temple is a sacred grove called Kottayil Kavu, with thick foliage and rich biodiversity. According to a report by Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI), Peechi, Kottayil Kavu is the one among the 22 remaining Virgin Forests of Kerala. It is said that the temple earlier belonged to the Zamorin, the King of Kozhikode, and it was handed over to the Rajas of Kodungallur Kovilakom as per a deal between them. From the Rajas of Kodungallur Kovilakom, the management of the temple and sacred grove went into the hands of feudal lords of Nair community. At present the whole property including the temple and sacred grove is managed by a family trust called the Muchukunnu Devaswom Trustee Board and is supported by a public committee ‘Kshethra Samrakshana Samithi’. The present Koyilothumpadi temple earlier functioned as Kovilakom, the home of Rajas for camping during their visits.

Khadi & Handloom

Muchukunnu is the birth place of Kelappaji, a Gandhian and freedom fighter, who involved in many social and political issues of Kerala. Because of his presence, two Khadi (hand woven cotton fabrics) units are still working. One unit of Khadi with a retail show room is in the main road, which is under Kannur Sarvodaya Sangham. Another unit is just off the main road which is under Khadi Board. They weave Khadi materials and produce cotton yarn, cotton beds etc.

There are two three families in Muchukunnu who are engaged in weaving at their homes in their traditional handlooms. Two families Vilakkumkandy Meethal Narayanan and Vilakkunkandy Gangadharan are residing nearby. But the other family of Govindan is at Off Hill road. In these units the ladies in the family help to wind the bobbins and the men do the weaving of Mundu (Dhothiyou) or Thorthu (Kerala towel).

Bronze smith

There is only one traditional family of bronze smith (Moosari) in Muchukunnu which is situated near the Handloom unit of Govindan, at Off Hill road. Here you can see Chandukutty Moosari and his son Abhilash with an extra ordinary craftsmanship, making traditional oil lamps, utensils, idols of God, ornaments and other objects for temple rituals etc in bell metal.

Potters

Other community lives in Muchukunnu is the traditional potters. Some potters’ families at Kodakkattumuri jointly formed a co-operative unit named Moodadi Manpathra Nirmana Shakarana Sangham, for making clay products. Potters Gangadharan and Radhakrishnan are heading this unit.

Another traditional potter is T V Kunhikrishnan Nair at Kodakkattum Padi, near to Daivathum Kavu Paradevatha Kshethram.

Vazhe Pathalam

From the main road, the road adjacent to the tile factory will lead you to Vazhe pathalam, a remote area where you can see two natural laterite caves, with a lot of local legends. Among the families residing here, you can see many families from the mat weaving community. They make mats using screw pine for household purpose. But now a days,  very few families are making these.

Other activities

In the evenings during working days and holidays you can also visit a Chenda training centre, run by Sasi Marar. Chenda is the traditional percussion instrument of Kerala, used in many temple rituals.

Location /access: Muchukunnu; On Kozhikode- Kannur road, From Anakkulam stop (Pisharikkavu, near Quilandy) take diversion to Akalappuzha road, then Kottayil Shiva Kshethram is about 3km. All other heritage locations are situated within 2km radius.(Kerala, India)

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