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Tiruvalla, alternately spelled Thiruvalla, is a town and also the headquarters of the Taluk of same name located in Pathanamthitta district in the State of Kerala, India. The town is spread over an area of 27.94 km . It lies on the banks of the rivers Manimala and Pamba, and is a land-locked region surrounded by irrigating streams and rivers.

Thiruvalla KSRTC Bus Terminal
Thiruvalla KSRTC Bus Terminal
Country India
 • Total52,883
 • OfficialMalayalam, English Literacy = 98.5%
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code91-469
Vehicle registrationKL-27
Nearest AirportCochin International Airport Limited

Tiruvalla is regarded as the "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 town 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.


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 became 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 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 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]


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.

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]

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]


The current Chairperson of the Municipality is Cherian Polachirackal and the Vice Chairman is Sreerenjini S Pillai for 2018–2020.[15]

Tiruvalla's assembly constituency is the part of the newly formed Pathanamthitta (Lok Sabha constituency).[16] Current MLA is Adv. Mathew T Thomas. Current MP Pathanamthitta (Lok Sabha constituency) is Anto Antony.


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.[17]


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.


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.[18] 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".[19]

Indoor CricketEdit

The Kerala Cricket Association has set up the world class indoor cricket stadium complex in Tiruvalla, with world class facilities, with 24-7 practising facility. The facility is adjacent to the Tiruvalla Municipal stadium, and is constructed on 8000 square feet, 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.[20]

Notable person'sEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Efforts on to give facelift to Thiruvalla". The Hindu. 17 December 2015. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Where Kathakali is a daily affair". The Hindu. 11 August 2006. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  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 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Shree Vallabha Mahakshethra Charitham, P. Unnikrishnan Nair
  6. ^ a b "KISSAN – Kerala". Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  7. ^ a b c "Climate: Thiruvalla - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table -". Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Indus Civilisation and Tamil Language – Part 03", page 34.
  9. ^ a b c Menon, A. Sreedhara (1 January 2007). A Survey Of Kerala History. DC Books. ISBN 9788126415786.
  10. ^ Library, John Rylands (1 January 1967). Bulletin of the John Rylands Library. Kraus Reprint.
  11. ^ a b Cultural Heritage of Kerala. D.C. Books. 1 January 2008. ISBN 9788126419036.
  12. ^ Joseph, George Gheverghese (10 December 2009). A Passage to Infinity: Medieval Indian Mathematics from Kerala and Its Impact. SAGE Publications India. ISBN 9788132104810.
  13. ^ Congress, Indian History (1 January 1970). 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
  15. ^ "Council". Thiruvalla Municipality. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  17. ^ Census of India – Thiruvalla City population Religion data
  18. ^ "This Tiruvalla Defender Stood Like a Wall in London Olympics". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  19. ^ "Untitled Document". Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  20. ^ "World-class indoor cricket facility for Thiruvalla". The Hindu. 9 September 2015. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  21. ^ "Tiruvalla's Sajeev John misses the Nobel again – Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 25 December 2018.

External linksEdit