Kozhencherry is a census town in Pathanamthitta district of Central Travancore region (South Central Kerala) in Kerala state, South India. As of 2011[update] census, the population was 12,021 people in 3,393 households.It is one of the main city in the Pathanamthitta, District. It is on the banks of Pampa river. It is a commercial centre and many banks and trade companies have their establishments here. It is believed that once the Kovilans of Thekencore kingdom's ruled this area. Kozhencherry used to be a part of the erstwhile Travancore kingdom.
View from Kozhencherry Bridge
|• Body||Town Panchayat|
|• Total||8 km2 (3 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,750/km2 (4,500/sq mi)|
|• Official||Malayalam, English|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|Nearest city||Tiruvalla, Pathanamthitta, Chengannur|
|Sex ratio||29:33 ♂/♀|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Pathanamthitta|
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||Aranmula|
|Civic agency||Town Panchayat|
Although Kozhencherry itself is not a municipal town the headquarters of Pathanamthitta district and municipality is in Kozhencherry Taluk. The other taluks in pathanamthitta district are Tiruvalla, Mallapally, Ranni, Adoor and Konni.
The main attraction of Kozhencherry is the Maramon Convention which is the second largest religious gathering in Asia. Maramon Convention have a great history and tradition of more than 120 years.Another main attraction of Kozhencherry is the Kozhencherry Bridge, which was built by British over 100 Years ago.
North, River Pampa; South, Thekkemala; East, Cherukole and West, Maramon.
Till the 19th century there were no proper roads in this area. The form of transportation was by boats. So the main market of Kozhencherry is near the river.
Now there are proper roads leading to all the small villages nearby. The T.K. Road (Tiruvalla-Pathanamthitta-Kumbazha Road/SH - 07) and M.K. Road (Mavelikkara-Kozhencherry Road) connects the town to other major towns. The Kottayam-Kozhencherry road(SH9) connect Panthanamthitta and Kottayam districts.Kozhencherry bridge connecting Kozhencherry and Maramon was opened in 1948. Cherukolpuzha bridge connects Melukara and Cherukolpuzha, thereby shortening the distance between Kozhencherry and Ranni.
The nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport (120.9 km)and Cochin airport (135.1 km). An airport in central Travancore is an aspiration of millions of central Travancorians working all over the world who support the Government exchequer with much needed foreign currency. In central Travancore most of household depending on remittance of their sons and daughters from foreign destinations. Today they had to depend distant Trivandrum or Nedumbassery airports.
Kozhencherry is the biggest township between the two major commercial centres in Central Travancore viz, Adoor and Thiruvalla. This geographical position makes Kozhencherry a trade point. Branches of various banks can be seen at various locations across town. Kozhencherry is the hometown as well as the registered office of Muthoot Finance (formerly known as Muthoot Bankers/Muthoot Chit Funds).
Tuesdays and Fridays were the market days. Because it was on the way from the sea ports to the interior, jungle produce was the main trading item. The products included coconut, rubber, cocoa, tapioca, plantain, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, vanilla, rambutan and other crops.
Demand for Taluk Headquarters and Municipality statusEdit
There is a widespread protest in and around Kozhencherry for not upgrading the Kozhencherry Panchayat to a municipality. The proposal is to merge Thottappuzhassery and Mallappuzhassery panchayats with Kozhencherry Panchayat to form a new municipality. Kozhencherry is one of the smallest Panchayat in Pathanamthitta district in area (only 8 km2), but a very high Population Density (more than 1750 peoples per km2)). This movement has the blessings of spiritual leaders like His Holiness Philipose Mar Chrysostom, and led by prominent leaders like Anto Antony, Victor T. Thomas, Adv. K. Sivadasan Nair, Annie Joseph, and Tholoor Riva Philip. Kozhencherry was once a conservancy town in the erstwhile Kollam district, along with Chengannur and Haripad (both are now municipalities). As per 2011 census, Kozhencherry is classified as an Urban area and designated as a census town. Most of the population is indulging in non-agricultural activity. Kozhencherry also has all the infrastructure for a municipality. Despite all these factors, the claim of Kozhencherry to become a municipality is ignored.
Another unfulfilled dream for the people of Kozhencherry is a new Taluk with Headquarters in Kozhencherry town itself. The headquarters of present Kozhencherry taluk is located at Pathanamthitta town. The demand is to scientifically reorganize the taluks of Kozhencherry, Konni, Ranni, and Thiruvalla to form new Kozhencherry and Pathanamthitta taluks.
Proposed Villages in Kozhencherry Taluk: Kulanada, Mezhuveli, Kidangannoor, Aranmula, Mallappuzhassery, Kozhencherry, Naranganam (from Kozhencherry taluk); Cherukole, Ayroor (from Ranni taluk); Thottappuzhassery, (from Thiruvalla taluk).
Proposed Villages in Pathanamthitta Taluk: Elanthoor, Chenneerkkara, Omalloor, Kadammanitta, Pathanamthitta, Kumbazha (from Kozhencherry taluk); Mylapra, Malayalapuzha, Pramadam, Vallicode (from Konni taluk).
Proposed Villages in Konni Taluk: Vallicode-Kottayam, Koodal, Kalanjoor, Konni, Konni-Thazham, Iravon, Aruvappulam, Thannithode, Chittar, Seethathode (from Konni taluk).
It is the far sightedness of some of the leaders in Kozhencherry, that made it a 100% literate town in Kerala. It was in 1822 that an English school with 40 students was first established in Kozhencherry by a mission. In 1906, the Mar Thoma Church took charge of the school and it was made a middle school. In 1918, this was upgraded to a High school. Now it is known as St. Thomas Higher Secondary School, Kozhencherry. The wood for constructing the main building of this school was from one single tree. During those days this school had students from far away places like Ranni, about 20 kilometers from the school. Paramel Kurumthottical Rev. K.T.Thomas was the manager of this school for many years.
The following educational institutions are now located in Kozhencherry.
- St. Thomas College, Kozhencherry
- MTLP School.
- District Government Hospital
- Regional Cancer Centre
- District TB Centre
- District Industrial Centre
- Fisheries, Pannivelichira
- Sub Registrar Office
- 110KV Sub Station, KSEB Ltd
- Transmission Construction Sub Division, KSEB Ltd
- PWD Sub-Division Office
- Police Circle Office
Christianity is the major religion of Kozhencherry. The town is the center of Marthoma and Orthodox Christians. St. Thomas Marthoma Valiyapally, Kozhencherry is the Biggest Marthoma church with around 1800 families. A large majority of them are NRIs. There are some families are converted to Pentecostalism, mainly Indian Pentecostal Church.
Maramon is a small town on the banks of Pampa River, opposite Kozhencherry town. The white sand river-bed available during summer season for the last hundred years between Maramon and Kozhencherry, witnesses the annual Maramon Convention, the largest Christian gathering in Asia. This convention is held for a week in February.
The historic St Marys Malankara Jacobite Syriac Orthodox Church is now known as Kozhencherry Kochupalli. This church is located adjacent to St. Thomas Marthoma Church (Kozhencherry Marthoma Valiyapally).
During the split of Malankara Church in 1880s, this church was awarded to Marthoma faction. Both Valiyapallys (St. Thomas Marthoma Church and St. Mathews Orthodox Church) were formed by division from St Marys Malankara Jacobite Syriac Orthodox Church. It was believed to be approximately 1000 years old Church. Near by Maramon Marthamariyam church is also having 450 years old.
St. Thomas Marthoma Valiyapally, KozhencherryEdit
St. Thomas Marthoma Church, also known as Kozhencherry Valiya Palli is a prominent Christian church under the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, located in the heart of Kozhencherry town on the banks of River Pamba in Pathanamthitta district of Central Travancore region of Kerala, India. The ever famous Maramon Convention, the largest Christian gathering in Asia, is annually in February on the sand bed of Pamba which is near to the church. This is one of the oldest churches in Kerala, established in AD 1599. In 1941 the new church was built adjacent to the old church. At the time of construction of the new church, this was the biggest Christian church building in the Central Travancore region.
The people in Kozhencherry are demanding Cathedral status for this church.
St Mathews Orthodox Valiyapally, KozhencherryEdit
This is the first church in the name of St Mathews in Malankara. This church belongs to Thumpamon Diocese.
Muthoot family belongs to this church.
St Beshanania Orthodox church, VanchithraEdit
It is an Orthodox Church located in Thekkemala. This church also belongs to Thumpamon diocese.
Cherukolpuzha Hindu ParishadEdit
The dry river-bed of river Pampa, between Ayroor and Kozhencherry, witnesses the annual gathering, the Cherukolpuzha Hindu Parishad (convention). The convention is held for a week in February. http://hmmp.org/
Aranmula boat raceEdit
Aranmula a suburb of Kozhencherry, is famous for its Parthasarathi Temple. This is the venue of the annual Snake Boat race on the Pampa, a water theme festival bringing in palliyodams (snake boats) from all over the state, to which thousands of tourists are attracted every year.
Aranmula a village close to Kozhencherry is famous for its metal mirrors, known as Aranmula kannadi. This is the magic mirror of many a legend. It is a special type of [mirror], composed of a special metal alloy, instead of glass. It is a front surface reflection mirror, which eliminates secondary reflections. to achieve their reflective surface the metal is polished for several days.
Representatives of Christians met together at Trivandrum in 1932 and formed All Kerala Christian Maha Sabha. A special meeting of this was held on 9 – 11 May 1935 at Kozhencherry. In this meeting T. M. Varghese proposed that " The elections to the Legislative Assembly of Travancore was not properly held and so it must be dissolved and new election should be carried out." On the last day, 11 May, the programme was an All Kerala Joint Political Meeting. C. Kesavan was a speaker. He declared, "I am talking about Sir C.P. We don't need that animal. The Travancore became notorious after his arrival." This infuriated Sir C.P. Ramaswami Iyer Dewan (prime minister) of Travancore. C. Kesavan was arrested and spent about two years in jail. To commemorate this incident a statue of C. Kesavan was erected at the Kozhencherry town.
Presently the main political parties in Kozhencherry are:
Development Demands of KozhencherryEdit
- Kozhencherry Municipality need to constitute for the overall development of the region by merging the panchayats of Mullappuzhassery and Thottappuzhassery with Kozhencherry Panchayat. The resultant municipality will have 3 villages - Kozhencherry, Mullappuzhassery and Thottappuzhassery.
- Kozhencherry Taluk with headquarters in Kozhencherry town. The present Kozhencherry taluk need to be bifurcate into Kozhencherry and Pathanamthitta taluks. At present, the headquarters of Kozhencherry taluk is located in Pathanamthitta town. The new Kozhencherry taluk comprises the villages of: Kozhencherry, Mullappuzhassery, Aranmula, Kidangannur, Mezhuveli, Kulanada, Elanthur, Naranganam (from Kozhencherry taluk), Cherukol, Ayirur (from Ranni taluk), Thottappuzhassery.
- Kozhencherry KSRTC Bus-Station and Depot: At present, there is no Bus-depot in Kozhencherry. A new Bus-Station and Depot need to be constructed in the present Panchayat Stadium and nearby area.
- Enlarged Private Bus-Stand with a 5-storeyed Shopping Complex: This comprises: a) Present Pvt Bus-Stand, b) Vandipetta, c) Present Post-Office, d) Market. The new Post Office can be accommodated in the Shopping Complex. This project also should have under-ground Parking Facilities.
- Kozhencherry Bypass: The present plan of Kozhencherry Bypass will not help to ease the traffic situation in Kozhencherry, rather it will give more pressure town. The current proposal is to construe the bridge very near to Kozhencherry market, and the bypass passing adjacent to Kozhencherry District Hospital. The new proposal is: the bypass starting from Chavittikulam Temple Junction (near Thekkemala in Kozhencherry-Mavelikara Rd) to Maramon (in Thiruvalla-Kumbazha Road) via Vanchitra. A new bridge need to be constructed. This will help vehicles from Thiruvalla to bypass Kozhencherry while travelling to Pathanamthitta/Konni
- Kozhencherry Mini-Bypass: This road starts near Thanungattil Bridge in TK Road and ends in Kollerethu Temple Junction (near Kozhencherry East, in Kozhencherry-Mannarakulanji Road), via Sthuthikkattu Temple. This will help vehicles from Chengannur/Pathanamthitta/Pandalam to bypass Kozhencherry while travelling to Ranny/Naranganam, etc.
- Public Stadium: The present stadium is already in pathetic condition. The previous LDF panchayat samiti constructed many buildings and also used to for driving tests. No sports events can be conducted here. Hence the existing stadium can be used for KSRTC Bus-Station and Deport. So there is a need for a brand new stadium exclusively for Sports/Games activity.
- Brand-New Market. The present market need to be shifted to a new-place for the development of Private Bus-Stand. In the new market, separate sections for Vegetables, Fruits, Chicken, Beef/Mutton, and Fish
- Malls & Multiplexes. At present, there is no multiplexes/cinema theater in Kozhencherry. This will increase the revenue for Kozhencherry. There are any business groups in Kozhencherry who can consider this. For e.g., Muthoot Groups, Poyyanil Group, Mulamoottil Group, etc.
- Tourism and Pilgrim Developments in Aranmula, Maramon, Charalkunnu Hill-Station, Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls, etc. A Mini-Zoo exclusively for monkeys at Kurangumala (Monkey Hills).
- Recreation Park and Garden in Pannivelichira: Pannivelichira need to be developed on the lines of Lalbaug in Bangalore or Brindhavan Garden in Mysore. More trees need to be planted in this area and convert it as a big garden. Parks need to be constructed for children and aged people for recreation. Musical Fountain facility need to be provided. Fishing facility need to be encouraged. Boating facility can also be provided.
- Police-Station: There is a need for Police-Station in Kozhencherry.
- Fire-Station: There is a need for Fire-Station in Kozhencherry.
- Railway-Station: There is a need for Railway-Station in Kozhencherry.
- Courts: There is a need for Munsif Court and other courts based in Kozhencherry.
- Joint RTO Office: There is a need for Joint RTO Office in Kozhencherry.
- Aranmula International airport and Aerotropolis : The completion of international airport in Aranmula along with development of an Airport City (Aerotropolis) based on this airport.
- Chengannur - Pampa Sabari Railway Line. The survey of this line is already completed. It start from Chengannur and passes through Aranmula, Kozhencherry, Ayroor, Ranni, Vadasserikkara, Ranni Perunad, Lahai, and Pampa.
The Greater Kozhencherry regionEdit
Kozhencherry Panchayat is divided into 12 wards.
- Melukara East
- College ward
- Kozhencherry East
- Thekkemala East
- Thekkemala west
- Kozhencherry Town
T.B. Junction is about half kilometer from Kozhenherry town centre where the road from Thekkemala to Kozhencherry centre has been reserved for one-way traffic to increase traffic capacity. The police station, an electricity office, a tourist bungalow, the Park Hotel and two petrol stations are in this area.
Thanungattil Paalam is a famous bridge in Kozhencherry, near to T.B. Junction on the way to Thekkemala. There were some pollution problems that occurred in this area due to hotels dumping of waste. However, in recent times, bioplants were established in Kozhencherry to produce biofuels. This also helped to reduce the pollution in Thanungattil Paalam area.
The CI Office, Kozhencherry Stadium, Driving Training Center, Village Office, Krishi Bhavan etc. are situated near to Thanungattil Paalam.
Villages in Greater Kozhencherry RegionEdit
Arattupuzha, Aranmula, Ayroor, Charalkunnu, Cheekkanal, Cherukole, Cherukolpuzha, Edayaranmula, Elanthoor, Elavumthitta, Kadaminatta, Karamveli, Kattoor, Keekozhur, Kidangannoor, Kulanada, Kuriannur, chaliyaikkara, Moscopadi, Kuzhikkala, Manthuka, Malakkara, Mallappuzhassery, Maramon, Mezhuveli, Naranganam, Nedumprayar,Moscopadi, Nellikkala, Onthekadu, Pannivelichira, Parappuzha, Prakkanam, Punnakkadu, Thadiyoor, Theodikal, Thottappuzhassery, Vayalathala
The population of Kozhencherry consists
- Christians - Abel Worship Center(cherukole)Mar Thoma Church, Malankara Orthodox Church, Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, Church of South India(CSI), St. Thomas Evangelical Church, Seventh-day Adventist , Pentecost Churches includes, Assemblies of God, Church of God, The Pentecostal Mission, Indian Pentecostal Church of God, Born again (Christianity), Pentecostal Maranatha Gospel Church, and various Independent Pentecostal churches.
- Hindus - Ezhavas, Nairs, Gaud Saraswat Brahmins, Pulayas, etc.
- Muslims are a minuscle minority, concentrated in pockets like Kattoor and Naranganam.
Languages of KozhencherryEdit
- "Search Details: Kozhenchery". Census of India. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
- Mathew, N.M. ‘’Malankara Marthoma Sabha Charitram’’, (History of the Marthoma Church), Volume III. Page 39
- IANS (9 February 2008). "Kerala set for Asia's biggest Christian convention". TwoCircles.net. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
- "St Thomas Mar Thoma Church, Kozhencherry - Parish History". www.kozhencherrymtc.org. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
- Later Chief Minister of Kerala.
- Dewan (prime minister) of Travancore, Sir C.P. Ramaswami Iyer was known as Sir C.P.
- Mathew, N.M. ‘’Malankara Marthoma Sabha Charitram’’, (History of the Marthoma Church), Volume III. Page 72-73.