Chengannur (also spelled Chengannoor or Chenganur) is one of the closest municipal towns in the Alappuzha district of the state of Kerala in South India. It is located in the extreme eastern part of the Alappuzha district, on the banks of Pamba River.
Gateway of Sabarimala
|• Total||5 sq mi (13 km2)|
|Elevation||23 ft (7 m)|
|• Density||3,594.9/sq mi (1,387.99/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC+5.30 (IST)|
|Vehicle Code||KL-30, KL-30|
|Nearest city||Kottayam (35.9 km), Mavelikkara (16.3 km), Pathanamthitta (24.3 km), Pandalam (14.4 km), Thiruvalla (9.2 km)|
Chengannur is 117 kilometres (73 mi) north of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram on the MC Road(State Highway 1). It is connected to Kollam and Kottayam by NH 220. Chengannur is noted for the Chengannur Mahadeva Temple (aka 'Dakshina Kailasam' as a major Shiva temple of South India) and its Old Syrian Church of the ancient Syrian Christian community. Chengannur is also a major destination of Sabarimala pilgrims known as the Gateway of Sabarimala.
The nearby municipal towns are Pandalam to the south, Mavelikkara to the west Pathanamthitta to the east and Tiruvalla to the north. The taluk comprises villages such as Kurattissery, Mannar, Ennakkad, Pandanad, Thiruvanvandoor, Chengannur, Mulakuzha, Ala, Puliyoor, Cheriyanad, Budhanoor and Venmony.
As of the 2001 Indian census, Chengannur Taluk had a population of 125,391. Males constitute 48% of the population and females 52%. 9% of the population is under 6 years of age. People of old age comprises 34%. The literacy rate of Chengannur is 97.82 % higher than state average of 94.00 %. In Chengannur, Male literacy is around 98.35 % while female literacy rate is 97.36 %.
Chengannur means land (ur) of the red (Chenga) soil. This soil is different from the soil of surrounding Kuttanad, hence the name "Chengannur".
In early modern period, Chengannur was a part of Kayamkulam dynasty and which is later came under Travancore kings when Kayamkulam was ceded by Marthandavarma in the 18th century.In the historical period there was migrations from "Kollam" to "Chengannur" Due To Natural Disasters.
Pepper, popularly known as "black gold", was a major export item of Chengannur. Angadical (Angadi means market in Malayalam) was the main market in Chengannur. Current Chengannur market is developed by Velu Thampi Dalawa. During the 19th and 20th centuries, this market played a major role in selling and buying goods produced in eastern region of the state with the coastal part of Kerala.
Mahatma Gandhi addressed at the Mills Ground (Called 'Mills Maithan' in local dialect) at Chengannur in 1925 as part of his visit to Travancore state. In 1938 as part of Indian independence movement, large gathering of people from all over Central Travancore were present at the Mills Maithan in Chengannur in response to a notification circulated by the State Congress. There was police lathi charge during the meeting and one person named 'Kutilil George' died and scores of people were injured.
Chengannur's Munsif court, which recently completed its centenary, was long the most important judicial center of the region.
Chengannur Municipality was formed in the year 1980 with Shri. P.K John Plammoottil (Retd. Deputy Superintendent of Police - DySP) as its First Municipal Chairman.
The cultural background of Chengannur originates from the era of Royal rule. Chengannur was a part of Vanjippuzha Principality which was under the rule of Travancore. Chengannur town is in the banks of Holy river Pamba which influenced the culture of this town. There are many "Chundan Vallam" (Snake boats) participating in Aranmula Boat Race hails from Chengannur and nearby areas. Padayani is a traditional temple art-form which is performed as part of the festival in Vadasserikkavu Devi Temple, located 2 km north of Chengannur town. Chengannur has produced several great artists. The most famous one is the famous Kathakali artist Chenganoor Raman Pillai, popularly known as "Guru Chengannur".
Chengannur is famous for the craftsman who were brought by Kings of Travancore to build the temple in Sabarimala. Later generations of these craftsmen also famous for their skills and idols of many temples in Kerala are crafted by them. Mannar is a place in Chengannur Taluk which is famous for the Bronze industry.
Chengannur is a major 'Shaiva' pilgrim destination in India. Chengannur temple is one of the 108 temples believed to be created by Parasurama. Chengannur Suriyani Church is another example for the architecture excellence of this town. It was built by Vanjipuzha Chief.The Church is shared by Marthoma and Orthodox believers of the locality including cemetery and all other assets.It is famous for the unique architecture. There is a 33.5 feet tall Cross made from single stone is a major attraction of its Architectural beauty."Aval Nercha"(Flattened rice offering) at this church is another significant tradition which is believed to have been initiated by a member of the church "Mrs.Akkama" nearly 400 years ago.This custom is still practiced by the local believers and organised by the members of Mukkath Kudumba Yogam on Maundy Thursday every year. 4 out of 5 major Vishu temples believed to be created by Pandavas, Thrichittattu, Puliyoor, Aranmula and Thiruvanvandoor are in and around Chengannur. These temples are major Vaishnava pilgrim destination in South India.
According to the 2011 census, Chengannur has a literacy rate of 96.26% (males: 97.90%, females: 94.80%). Chengannur has a sex ratio of 1100. The total increase in the population from 2001 has been estimated as 0.61%. Its population is predominantly Hindu and Christian, with a very small number of Muslims. The most widely spoken language is Malayalam. The standard dialect of Malayalam spoken is the Central Travancore dialect. Most people are able to talk in English as well.
Chengannur is well-connected by road and rail. State Highway 1 (SH1), popularly known as the MC Road, passes through the heart of the town and connects Chengannur to state capital, Thiruvananthapuram and Angamaly in Eranakulam District. The Chengannur - Kottayam stretch of the MC Road is also part of the NH 220 which stretches between Kollam and Theni. Another major road is State Highway 10 which connects Chengannur to Mavelikkara and Kozhencherry. Besides these two roads, there are also many arterial roads running across the length and breadth of the town.
Kerala State Road Transport Corporation has a depot at Chengannur (station code: CGNR); it is among the 29 major depots in the state. The KSRTC depot at Chengannur has an inter-state bus service, which is operated to Kanyakumari. KSRTC runs buses to different cities and towns inside and outside the state. Some of the Major destinations are Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Mangalore, Mukambika, Kanyakumari, Coimbatore, Palani, Kannur and Wayanad. The Municipal Private bus stand is located in front of the railway station. Private buses leave this stand heading to various places in the Alappuzha, Kottayam, Pathanamthitta and Kollam districts. In addition to these, private luxury buses are available to Major cities like, Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Mysore, Salem, Mangalore etc.
Chengannur Railway Station (station code: CNGR), is an important railway station between Kollam and Kottayam. It is a major railway station in the Thiruvananthapuram railway division of the Southern Railway Zone (India). People from eastern part of the state are using this railway station for travelling to various parts of the country. All the trains traveling through this route stop at Chengannur station. It caters to the needs 3 districts, viz. Alappuzha, Kollam and Pathanamthitta. By rail, Chengannur is well connected to major cities in India like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Agra, Ahmedabad, Bikaner, Mangalore, Bhopal, Guwahati, Nagpur, Jammu and other major cities of the country. Recently, the station has been declared as "The Gateway to Sabarimala". The rail line between Chengannur and Thiruvananthapuram has been doubled and electrified. Two new lines are proposed from Chengannur: one to Thiruvananthapuram via Adoor and the other to Sabarimala via Pathanamthitta. Furthermore, an MRTS is proposed to be established between Thiruvananthapuram and Chengannur.There is one more small railway station at Cheriyanadu which is 6 km from the town center.
The nearest Airport is Trivandrum International airport which is about 116km from Chengannur. Other nearby airport is Cochin International Airport (CIAL) which is about and 127km from Chengannur. With these two airports, Chengannur is well connected to Major Indian cities as well as the Countries in Middle East, Far East, Europe and Americas.
|Climate data for Chengannur, Kerala|
|Average high °C (°F)||31.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||26.8
|Average low °C (°F)||22.5
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||21
|Source: Climate-Data.org (altitude: 13m)|
|Chengannur Town officials|
|Municipal Chairman||Smt. Shoba Varughese|
|Deputy Superintendent of Police|||
The two administrative systems prevailing in the Chengannur are Revenue and local self-government. As per the revenue system, Chengannur is one of the two revenue divisions of Alappuzha district. The Chengannur revenue division comprises Karthikapally, Chengannur and Mavelikkara taluks consisting of a total of 44 villages.Under the local self-government system, Chengannur is divided into 1 statutory town and development blocks consisting of 11 panchayats.
Chengannur is a part of the Mavelikara constituency which after demarcation extends from Changanassery in Kottayam district to Kottarakkara in Kollam district. Kodikunnil Suresh of the INC has been representing the Mavelikkara constituency since 2009.
Chengannur's assembly constituency (Number 110) is a part of the Mavelikkara (Lok Sabha constituency).The first speaker of the Kerala legislative assembly, Sankaranarayanan Thampi, was an MLA from Chengannur. K. K. Ramachandran Nair was the MLA from 2016 onwards. He died and was replaced in the by-elections conducted on 28 May 2018 by Saji Cheriyan of Left Democratic Front.
There are many state Government offices, Banks and educational institutions located in Chengannur. A good number of people work in these institutions. Other major source of income is from the Non Residential Indians, which is a common economical factor in the central Travancore region, and the rest of Kerala as well. Agriculture is also there in the outskirts, but mostly confined to Rubber Plantations. There are no major industries in Chengannur, but a number of small scale industries are present. Major private employers are limited to banks, hospitals and shops.
Chengannur Central Hatchery in chengannur which was started in 1961 was Asia's biggest poultry hatchery under government initiative.
In Sabarimala season, which starts from mid-November to mid-January there is a huge boost in economical activities in this town. Since Chengannur is the nearest Railway station to Sabarimala Temple, most devotees use this railway station to visit the temple. During this season a boost in restaurant, hotel and transportation business is visible.
- M. R. Kurup - ISRO Scientist and Founder of the First Solid Rocket Propellant Plant in India
- K. M. Cherian (doctor) - Renowned Cardiac Surgeon who performed India's first coronary artery bypass surgery
- Chenganoor Raman Pillai - Kathakali Artist
- Puthencavu Mathan Tharakan - Malayalam Poet
- Acharya Narendra Bhooshan - Indian linguist and Vedic Scholar
- Captain Thomas Philipose - Maha Vir Chakra Awardee
- Pothan Joseph - Renowned Journalist
- George Joseph - Indian Freedom Fighter and Editor of Young India , The Independent (India) magazines
- Puthenpurayil Mathew Joseph - Renowned Educationist and Founder Principal of Laxmibai National College of Physical Education
- Sony Cheruvathur - Former Captain of Kerala cricket team
Places of worshipEdit
- Alapuzha Taluk Census Archived 25 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine, alappuzha.gov.in Census 2001.
- "Chengannur Mahadeva Temple". chengannurtemple.com.
- Presidents of Panchayat - Chengannur Taluk Archived 25 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine, alapuzha.gov.in 2001
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
- "Average Temperatures, weather by month, Chengannur weather averages". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
- "official "
- "sp "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)"
- "CPM wins Kerala's Chengannur Assembly seat, bypoll seen as referendum on LDF govt performance". The Times of India. 31 May 2018. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
- "How to Reach Sabarimala - Routes To Ayyappan Temple". www.ayyappatemple.in.
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