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Tiruvalla (alternately spelled Thiruvalla, Malayalam : തിരുവല്ല or തിരുവല്ലാ, Hindi : तिरुवल्ला, Sanskrit : श्रीवल्लभपुरम् ) is a city and also the headquarters of the Taluk of same name located in Pathanamthitta district in the State of Kerala in South India. The Municipal city is spread over an area of 27.94 km2, it is the biggest commercial centre in the district of Pathanamthitta. It lies on the banks of the rivers Manimala and Pamba, and is a land-locked region surrounded by irrigating streams and rivers.

തിരുവല്ല / തിരുവല്ലാ
Municipal City
Thiruvalla KSRTC Bus Station
Thiruvalla KSRTC Bus Station
Country  India
State Kerala
District Pathanamthitta
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 52,883
 • Official

Malayalam, English

Literacy = 98.5%
Time zone UTC+5:30 (IST)
PIN 689101
Telephone code 91-469
Vehicle registration KL-27
Nearest Airport Cochin International Airport Limited

Tiruvalla is regarded as the "cultural capital of Central Travancore", and also called "Land of non resident Indians".[2] Tiruvalla is also famous for the dance of Kathakali, which is hosted in the Sreevallabha temple almost everyday in an year. [3]



The city spans a geographic area of 27.94 km² with a population of 56,828 as of 2001.[4] Males constitute 48% of the population and females 52%. In Tiruvalla, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age. Tiruvalla has a large Non-Resident Indian Community.


Tiruvalla is on the western border of Pathanamthitta district. The municipal town limits are Thirumoolapuram, Kattod, Kaviyoor, Kuttoor, Kuttapuzha and Mepral. Formerly, some areas of present Changanacherry were parts of Tiruvalla taluk. Now the boundaries of the taluk are Varattar Bridge in the south, Parumala in the south west, Lappalam in the north, Maramon in the east and Neerattupuram in the west, situated in Alappuzha district. Maramon is the last point of Tiruvalla in the east, and it is in the Thottapuzhassery panchayat.Kottayam,Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi are the nearest major cities.

Tiruvalla is located at the meeting point of M C Road (Main Central Road/SH-01), the NH-220 and TK Road (Thiruvalla-Kumbazha Road) (Tiruvalla-Pathanamthitta-Kumbazha Road/SH-07/State Highway 7 (Kerala)); it links the eastern parts of the district with the western rice bowl of 'Kuttanad'. The Tiruvalla-Kayamkulam road is the most used link between the National Highway and the M C Road. Tiruvalla also connects to NH-47 through the Thakazhi-Ambalappuzha Link.



Kerala State Road Transport Corporation has a depot at Tiruvalla (station code: TVLA) which is one among the 29 major depots in the state. KSRTC operates long distance and interstate bus services from the Tiruvalla depot. KSRTC operates daily Interstate Airbus service to Bangalore from Tiruvalla. KSRTC has constructed a Bus Terminal cum multi-functional shopping complex in Tiruvalla as part of its modernisation. Private buses are operated from the Municipal Private Bus stand to various places such as: Mallappally, Kozhencherry, Ranni, Perunad, Manimala, Kottayam, Kayamkulam, Haripad, Mavelikkara, Ochira, Karunagapally, Thrikkunnapuzha, AayiramThengu, Kundara, Seethathodu, Chunkappara, Mundakkayam, Changanassery, and Chengannur.


Main article : Tiruvalla Railway station

Tiruvalla railway station (station code: TRVL) is the sole railway station in Pathanamthitta district. The station is in the "Class A" category under the Trivandrum railway division. Tiruvalla railway station lies in Tiruvalla city, between the Chengannur railway station and Kottayam railway station in the Ernakulam - Kottayam - Kayankulam railway line. Tiruvalla city has the facility of "I ticketing", and is one of the old computerised stations of Kerala. It is a major railway station, and rail connects Tiruvalla with most of the major cities of India, like Bikaner, Bhopal, Bangalore, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata (Howrah), Guwahati, Rajkot, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Mumbai and much more.


The nearest airports are Cochin International Airport (105 km) and Trivandrum airport (126 km). The proposed rural Aranmula International Airport would be the closest airport upon completion, at 18 km away. The Air India has a reservation office only at Tiruvalla in the whole district.


Old tradition tells that the name Tiruvalla comes from the word "Valla Vaay", named after the river Manimala which was known as Vallayār in ancient times. Before roads were developed,Tiruvalla village developed at the mouth of river Vallayar,connected far and near places through waterways, hence known as Valla vāi(vāy in old Malayalam means mouth of river).[5]. Later the Dravidian Prefix 'Thiru (means holy /revered) attached to it and became Thiruvalla.

At the time of Aryan migration to south India it become one of the 64 Brahmin settlements. They correlated the name to "Sree Vallabha" means Husband of Lakshmi Devi. Sree Vallabha is the presiding deity of the Tiruvalla Temple and argues that shreevallabha Puram (Land of Vallabhan) became Tiruvalla.[5] Tiruvalla as per the Sanskrit work "श्रीवल्लभ क्षेत्र माहात्म्यम्" (ശ്രീവല്ലഭ ക്ഷേത്ര മാഹാത്മ്യം) (śrīvallabha kṣētra māhātmyaṁ) is "श्रीवल्लभपुरम्" (ശ്രീവല്ലഭപുരം)(śrīvallabhapuraṁ). The work is said to be of 10th century CE.[5]

Geography and ClimateEdit

Tiruvalla city area lies at an altitude of 21 m above sea level, on the basin of the rivers Pamba and Manimala. Tiruvalla is dotted with several natural canal streams (called "thodu" in Malayalam) like Chanthathodu, Manippuzha, Mullelithodu, and several others. The city area has riverine alluvial soil, and eastern parts have a laterite loam kind of soil classified under "Southern Midlands" agro-ecological zone, while the western suburbs like Niranam have a more sandy type of soil that resembles beaches. (Kuttanad agro-ecological zone)[6] The reason for this is believed to be the older status of Niranam as a port, before reclamation of Kuttanad from sea occurred. The Upper Kuttanad region in Tiruvalla has the "Karappadam" type of soil, which is clay loam in texture, has high organic matter, and is situated in areas about 1–2 m above sea level.[6]

The climate of Tiruvalla city is classified as tropical. There is significant rainfall in most months of the year. The short dry season has little effect on the overall climate. The Köppen-Geiger climate classification is Am. The temperature here averages 27.3 °C. In a year, the average rainfall is 2975 mm.[7]

Climate data for Tiruvalla
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 31.3
Average low °C (°F) 22.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 22

At an average temperature of 29.0 °C, April is the hottest month of the year. July has the lowest average temperature of the year. It is 26.4 °C. Between the driest and wettest months, the difference in precipitation is 574 mm. Precipitation is the lowest in January, with an average of 22 mm. With an average of 596 mm, the most precipitation falls in June.[7]

Due to proximity to the equator, Tiruvalla has very less variation in average temperature. During the year, the average temperatures vary by 2.6 °C.[7]

Tiruvalla has two monsoon seasons, the "Advancing monsoon season" during June through September, which is fed by the Southwest monsoon and the "retreating monsoon season", during October to December by the Northwest monsoon. Tiruvalla lies on the windward side of the western ghats, and thus receives maximum rainfall during the "advancing monsoon" season.


This article is primarily about the history of the settlements in areas of present city around the temple, known historically as Tiruvalla. For the history of the places in Tiruvalla, also refer : History of Niranam, History of Koipuram, History of Kumbanad, History of Kavumbhagom.

Ancient periodEdit

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that the area had been inhabited since 500 BCE, although an organized settlement was only founded around 800 CE. The present day areas of Niranam, and Kadapra on the western part of Tiruvalla were submerged under the sea before then.[5] It is one of the 64 ancient brahmana graamams (ബ്രാഹ്മണഗ്രാമം).

Stone axes have been reported from Tiruvalla, belonging to Neolithic Age.[8] Tiruvalla has many Neolithic remains and got civilized earlier. The Aryan culture presented Tiruvalla as one of the 64 Brahmin settlements of Kerala, and one of the important too. Ptolemy mentions the Baris river, the present "Pamba" river.[9]

Tiruvalla was also an important commercial centre with the Niranam port in olden days, which is described by Pliny as "Nelcynda".[10] At this light, the "Bacare" could have been modern "Purakkad". The fact that modern western Tiruvalla contains the coastal kind of sand, and several sea shells in the soil despite being land locked proves that prior to the reclamation of Kuttanad from sea, Niranam and the whole western Tiruvalla could have been a coastal area.[5]

The Growth to FeudalismEdit

Upto the beginning of the 10th century CE, Ays were the dominant powers in Kerala. The Ay kings ruled from Tiruvalla in North to Nagercoil in South. Ptolemy mentions this as from Baris (Pamba river) to Cape Comorin "Aioi" (Kanyakumari).[9] By 12th century, we get the picture from the Tiruvalla copper plates, which are voluminous records that centre around the social life around the temple.[9] The society The Tiruvalla temple had a large Vedic learning school (actually comparable to modern university) ("Tiruvalla salai"), which was one of the foremost learning centres[11] in Kerala. The Tiruvalla salai was one of the richest among the Vedic schools of Kerala, and according to the copper plates, the pupils of the school were fed with 350 nazhis of paddy everyday,[11] which shows the vastness of its student population. Tiruvalla held a very eminent position among the spiritual and educational centres in ancient times.The Sri Vallabha Temple was one of the wealthiest temples of ancient Kerala, as is evident from the inscriptions in the plates. The part of the temple land required to 'feed the Brahmins' required 2.1 million litres of rice seeds, and for the "maintenance of the eternal lamps" required more than 340,000 litres of paddy seed capacity.[12] Due to the length, the antiquity and the nature of the language, Tiruvalla copper plates form the "First book in Malayalam", according to Prof. Elamkulam.[13]

Significant contributions to the language and social system came out in this age. The first people to translate Ramayana into almost Malayalam language were the Niranam poets (Kannassas) who lived in Tiruvalla Niranam in 14th century CE.

The Namboothiris enjoyed a very exalted status in this period, and Tiruvalla was one of the great settlements, wealthy and educated in the age.

Medieval periodEdit

Tiruvalla copper plates

The rulers of Tiruvalla now belonged to the Thekkumkoor Dynasty, which had one of its headquarters at Idathil near Kaavil Temple. Idathil (Vempolinadu Edathil Karthavu)[14] was the family name of the Thekkumkoor kings. Today's Paliakara Palace is a branch of Lakshmipuram Palace of Changanacherry, which is a branch of Alikottu Kovilakam of Pazhancherry in Malabar. Similarly, Nedumpuram Palace is a branch of Mavelikkara Palace is an heir to the Kolathiri tradition of Udayamangalam. The Thekkumkoor kings lost their control in the course of time and Vilakkili (വിലക്കിലി) Nampoothiris were rulers in 1752-53 when Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma, the king of Travancore, seized it in a bloody battle in which the ruler was killed, though some dispute it, saying the surrender was peaceful as the Namboothiris were not naive to challenge the mighty army of Ramayyan, the shrewd and sadistic Dalava (ദളവ)- head of administration and advisor - of Travancore.[5] Ruins of Vilakkili illam can be seen on the side of Kavmbhagom-Muthoor road.

The Kaavil market (കാവിൽ കമ്പോളം), which is no longer in existence, was once one of the most famous markets of Kerala, where there were even foreign trade links. Even now, the houses in this street are known as "Kaavil" among residents, and the houses in the area which is now Pushpagiri-Thukalassery are known as "Malayil" because they are in an elevated area compared to Kaavil. The Kaavil market was actually situated in the street starting from Erankavu Temple to the Kaavil temple in the present Kavumbhagom. It was also the first settlement area of the early Christians in Tiruvalla. The renowned Poem "Unnuneeli Sandesham" discusses this then famous street and its people. This was the heartland of Tiruvalla up to the 19th century. (East to MC road was forest area. Dens were found in the KSRTC garage area, which are now buried.) The first school in Tiruvalla started sometime in mid 19th century in Kaavil market, along the road to Pallippalam. Still, all major religious processions are required to pass through this way, even though new roads have been constructed in parallel.

Tiruvalla Christians were part of the autonomous Indian Syrian Church, which was not affected by the schism which occurred in the 17th century due to the intervention of Portuguese colonists (Introduction of Catholicism in India). By 19th century, inspired by the work of the British missionaries, a reformation movement happened which eventually resulted in a schism, leading to the formation of Marthoma Church.

Modern periodEdit

Tiruvalla was never under direct British rule, and before India's independence from Britain, it was governed by the Travancore dynasty. The Tiruvalla municipality started functioning in 1919, with Shri Pullamplavil M.K Kesavan Vaidhyan as the first Chairman of the Municipal Council. The constitution was officially approved on 8 October 1920. The municipal office has established several public health facilities, libraries and sports facilities.


The Tiruvalla has been an active centre of education since the age of "Tiruvalla sala" from 11th century onwards. The first higher secondary school in Tiruvalla is the Mar Gregorious Memorial school, opened in 1902. Also, the oldest residential school for girls in Kerala, the Balikamadom is also more than a century old in Tiruvalla. The first English education school in Travancore was at Tiruvalla C.M.S school.

An engineering college, which is government controlled self financing type, managed by Cochin University, is there at Kallooppara. (College of Engineering Kallooppara)

Mar Thoma college, Kuttappuzha, Tiruvalla - 3.

There are two medical colleges in Tiruvalla, run in private sector : The Pushpagiri medical college and the Believers Church medical college. These are the only medical colleges in the whole district. There is also a dental college, the Pushpagiri Dental college, in Tiruvalla.


The current Chairperson of the Municipality is K V Varghese and the Vice Chairman is Aleyamma Varghese for 2015-2020

Tiruvalla's assembly constituency is the part of the newly formed Pathanamthitta (Lok Sabha constituency).[15] Current MLA is Adv. Mathew T Thomas. Current MP Pathanamthitta (Lok Sabha constituency) is Anto Antony.


Tiruvalla as one of the old centres of Brahmanism in Kerala as well as Syrian Christians of Kerala, has shown a great heritage of tolerance and plurality.

The city inside the modern municipal limits has comparable number of Hindus (46.92%) and Christians. (48.03%) Muslims form 4.80% of the population.[16]

The pilgrimage center of Sabarimala is only about 100 km from Tiruvalla and Parumala Church, Paliakara Church a major Christian pilgrimage centre is located in the heart of the city.   The spiritual conventions at Kalloopara, Maramon, Kumbanad and Ayroor-Cherukolpuzha are all located east of Tiruvalla.

The city's Sree Vallabha Temple (ശ്രീവല്ലഭമഹാക്ഷേത്രം) is one of the famous Vishnu temples of India. It is one of the 108 "Vaishnava Divya Desams".

Another old and significant temple in Tiruvalla is the Mahadeva-Hanuman temple at Kaviyoor, which also has the "Thrikkakkudi" cave temple nearby.

The Sree Chakkulathukavu Devi temple is located west of Thiruvalla Taluk. The Mar Thoma Church, the Believers Church, the St. Thomas Evangelical Church, the Indian Pentecostal Church of God (IPC) and the Sharon Fellowship Church have their headquarters in and around Tiruvalla. The headquarters of Malankara Marthoma Church and the Niranam diocese of Malankara Orthodox Church, and Malankara Catholic Tiruvalla Diocese are also in Tiruvalla. The Niranam, Parumala, Paliakkara, and Kallooppara churches are also common pilgrimage destinations.


Tiruvalla is headquarters for two Malayalam satellite channels which cater to Christian Devotional content, Power Vision and Athmeeya Yathra.

Radio Macfast 90.4 is an FM Station managed by the Mar Athanasios College for Advanced Studies, in Tiruvalla. This FM station is the first on-campus community radio in Kerala.

Tiruvalla also has one of the first high-definition sound recording studios (the Department of Sacred Music and Communications), which caters primarily to the christian community internationally, though secular recordings also take place.


The popular sports in Tiruvalla are the football and cricket. The football history of Tiruvalla can be traced back to the legendary footballer from Tiruvalla, Thomas Varghese, called "Tiruvalla Pappan". He represented India in the London Olympics of 1948, and is described as one of the best defenders of 40's - 50's from India.[17] Today, Tiruvalla hosts many district and state level football and cricket tournaments. There is a stadium in Tiruvalla maintained by the Tiruvalla Municipal Council. This is the venue for most of the tournaments. It is also called "Prithi stadium".[18] The Kerala Cricket Association is ready to develop the stadium to a world class stadium with the permission from the Municipality.

Indoor CricketEdit

The Kerala Cricket Association has set up the world class indoor cricket stadium complex in Tiruvalla, with world class facilities, with 24X7 practising facility. The facility is adjacent to the Tiruvalla Municipal stadium, and is constructed on 8000 square feets, on 50 cents of land. The facility also houses a library, multi-gym, board room, KCA district office, and a conference hall. Specially made natural grass wicket is the speciality of the practising nets in the courtyard. This indoor cricket facility is perhaps, the first of its kind in the state.[19]

Health CareEdit

Tiruvalla has appreciable health care facilities. There are several small and large hospitals situated in and around the city. The hospitals belong to the Allopathy or Ayurvedic schools of medicine. The following are some of the major hospitals in Tiruvalla :

Famous personalities from the talukEdit

Places in TiruvallaEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Efforts on to give facelift to Thiruvalla". The Hindu. 2015-12-17. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-03-20.
  3. ^ "Where Kathakali is a daily affair". The Hindu. 2006-08-11. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2018-08-25.
  4. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Shree Vallabha Mahakshethra Charitham, P. Unnikrishnan Nair
  6. ^ a b "KISSAN - Kerala". Retrieved 2016-03-20.
  7. ^ a b c "Climate: Thiruvalla - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table -". Retrieved 2016-03-20.
  8. ^ "Indus Civilisation and Tamil Language - Part 03", page 34.
  9. ^ a b c Menon, A. Sreedhara (2007-01-01). A Survey Of Kerala History. DC Books. ISBN 9788126415786.
  10. ^ Library, John Rylands (1967-01-01). Bulletin of the John Rylands Library. Kraus Reprint.
  11. ^ a b Cultural Heritage of Kerala. D.C. Books. 2008-01-01. ISBN 9788126419036.
  12. ^ Joseph, George Gheverghese (2009-12-10). A Passage to Infinity: Medieval Indian Mathematics from Kerala and Its Impact. SAGE Publications India. ISBN 9788132104810.
  13. ^ Congress, Indian History (1970-01-01). Proceedings of the Indian History Congress.
  14. ^ P. Shungoonny Menon, A history of Travancore (first edition: 1878, new edition: 1983), page 130 and 131, ISBN 978-81-7020-040-6
  16. ^ Census of India - Thiruvalla City population Religion data
  17. ^ "This Tiruvalla Defender Stood Like a Wall in London Olympics". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2016-03-20.
  18. ^ "Untitled Document". Retrieved 2016-03-20.
  19. ^ "World-class indoor cricket facility for Thiruvalla". The Hindu. 2015-09-09. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-03-20.

External linksEdit