Changanasserry (also known by its former name Changanacherry) is a municipal town in Kottayam district in the state of Kerala, India. Changanassery is the gateway to the Western Ghats and Kuttanad. It is one of the major educational and religious centres of Kerala, with nearly 100% literacy. There are five colleges, eight higher secondary schools, one vocational higher secondary school and ten high schools within a four-kilometre radius of the town.
Top left: Vazhappally Maha Siva Temple. Top right: Anchu Vilaku Lamps. Middle left: Saint Berchmans College. Middle right: Saint Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral. Bottom left: Vandipetta Boat Jetty. Bottom right: Main gate in Nair Service Society Headquarters.
|Elevation||11 m (36 ft)|
|• Official||Malayalam, English|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|Vehicle registration||KL 33|
Changanassery is located 18 km south of Kottayam on the Main Central road. With a population of about 50,000 in 2001, its population was already 36,000 as early as the 1951 census. The town is situated near the tripoint of Kottayam, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta districts. It had one of the leading markets in Kerala connecting the main three districts.
The first recorded history on the origin of Changanacherry is obtained from Sangam period literature. According to Sangam era documents, Uthiyan Cheralathan (Perum Chorru Udiyan Cheralathan, Athan I, or Udiyanjeral - AD c. 130) is the first recorded Kera (Chera) dynasty ruler of the Sangam period in ancient South India.  He had his capital at a place called "Kuzhumur" in Kuttanad and expanded the kingdom northward and eastward from his original homeland (izham or illam in Tamil). His lifetime is broadly determined to be between the first and third century AD. His queen was Veliyan Nalini, the daughter of Veliyan Venman. Present-day Changanacherry and Kuttanad was the capital of the Kera (Chera) dynasty at that time until it was burnt down by Karikala Chola, changing the name of Kuzhumur to Chutta-nadu ("burnt-land"), which became Kuttanad. Similarly, "Keralathan" is the Malayalam pronunciation of Tamil "Cheralathan" and the world "Keralam" may be a derivative version of "Chera-izham" or "Kera-illam", meaning "Chera-homeland" in Tamil). Keralathan's descendant was Senguttavan Cheran (Chenguttavan means "brave-hearted" in Malayalam); the towns of Chenganacherri and Chengana are named after him). Sengana-cherri means "Sengan's town" in old Tamil. After the Chera dynasty defeat, the word cherri took on the concurrent meaning of "the land of the defeated" and eventually was equated to mean a slum in Chola kingdom.
The city is governed by the Changanacherry Municipal Council. Sri. Lalichan Antony is the chairperson of the municipality and the vice chairperson is Smt. Ambika Vijayan.
It heads the taluk Kachery (office). It also heads the Munsiff's court and the judicial first class magistrate's court. Changanacherry assembly constituency was a part of Kottayam (Lok Sabha constituency). However, after the Delimitation Commission's Report in 2005, in order to retain Mavelikkara Lok Sabha Constituency, Changanacherry segment in Kottayam and the neighbouring constituencies in Alappuzha and Kollam districts were put together under Mavelikkara constituency. Sri. Kodikunnil Suresh represents Mavelikkara constituency in Parliament and Sri. C. F. Thomas has been representing Changanacherry Constituency in the Kerala Legislative Assembly for almost the last four decades.
As of the 2011 India census, the total population of Changanassery UA/Metropolitan region is 127,987. The male population is 61,807, while the female population is 66,180. The literacy rate of Changanassery Agglomeration is 97.56%, which is higher than the national urban average of 85%. The literacy rates for male and female for Changanassery stood at 98.19% and 96.98% respectively. Total literates in Changanassery UA were 113,597, of which males were 54,901 and the remaining 58,696 were females. The child population (age 0-6) of Changanassery UA is around 9.02% of the total Changanassery UA population, which is lower than the national urban average of 10.93%. The total number of children in Changanassery urban region was 11,550, of which 5,895 were males while the remaining 5,655 children were females. A large percentage of the population from Changanacherry resides abroad in the Gulf, Europe, and America.
The state-run Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) runs bus services to nearby towns. Separate private bus terminals are available for those traveling to Eastern High Range areas. Also, a combined bus station facility for both private and state buses travelling to Western Changanassery (Kuttanad), Southern Changanassery (Mavelikara) and Northern Changanassery (Kottayam) is available. There is a dedicated KSRTC bus station in the heart of the town. Govt Water Transport facilities are available to remote places and major towns nearby. Changanacherry railway station serves Western Changanassery (Kuttanad) and Eastern Changanassery (Karukachal).
|Ferry Services from / to Changanacherry|
|Changanacherry||07:45||Lisieux (near Kavalam)||Kidangara-Michael Church-Krishnapuram-Kavalam|
|09:15||Alappuzha||Kidangara-Michael Church-Krishnapuram-Kavalam-Lisieux-Rajapuram-C Block-Kuppapuram-Soman Jetty|
|16:45||Alappuzha||Kidangara-Michael Church-Krishnapuram-Kavalam-Lisieux-Rajapuram-C Block-Kuppapuram-Soman Jetty|
|Lisieux (near Kavalam)||09:15||Kavalam-Krishnapuram-Michael Church-Kidangara|
|Lisieux (near Kavalam)||16:15||Kavalam-Krishnapuram-Michael Church-Kidangara|
Centres of worshipEdit
Notable worship centres near Changanacherry include St. Mary's church, Parel (Parel palli), Ettumanoor Temple, Manarkadu Church, Chakkulathukavu Temple, Mannarshala Temple, Chettikulangara Temple, Mavelikkara, Chengannur Mahadeva Temple and Anikkattilammakshethram Temple. The Syro-Malabar Catholic Archdiocese of Changanassery is the largest Catholic diocese in India, established in 1887, Puthuppally St George Orthodox Church, St Johns Orthodox Valiyappally Vakathanam.
Christians comprise 48.03% of the population, Hindus are 46.92%, and Muslims are 4.80%.
- Raja Raja Varma Koil Thampuran
- Mannathu Padmanabha Pillai
- Ulloor S. Parameswara Iyer
- Kerala Varma Valiya Koil Thampuran
- A. R. Raja Raja Varma
- Changanassery Parameswaran Pillai
- Kainikkara Kumara Pillai
- Accamma Cherian
- P. K. Narayana Panicker
- L. P. R. Varma
- Mar Thomas Kurialacherry
- Mar James Kalassery
- Mathew Kavukattu
- Muttathu Varkey
- Mar. Joseph Powathil
- Mar George Alencherry
- Dr. L.A. Ravi Varma
- Mar Thomas Tharayil
- Anju Bobby George
- Raju Narayana Swamy
- Bheeman Raghu
- Boban Alummoodan
- Geethu Anna Jose
- Parvathy Omanakuttan
- Matthew Pothen Thekaekara
- Prof. K J Thomas Kanayamplackal
- Prof. T.V. Varkey
- C.F Thomas
- Singh 2008, p. 384.
- Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. pp. 60–61. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4.
- "Changanacherry Municipality".
- "Courts in Changanacherry".
- "Assembly Constituencies - Corresponding Districts and Parliamentary Constituencies" (PDF). Kerala. Election Commission of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 October 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- "Census of India 2011: Data from the 2011 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.