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Title: Kunhimangalam  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Payyanur, List of Hindu temples in India, Places of worship in Kannur district
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Location in Kerala, India

Coordinates: 12°3′10″N 75°14′20″E / 12.05278°N 75.23889°E / 12.05278; 75.23889Coordinates: 12°3′10″N 75°14′20″E / 12.05278°N 75.23889°E / 12.05278; 75.23889

Country  India
State Kerala
District Kannur
Population (2001)
 • Total 18,014
 • Official Malayalam, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Kunhimangalam is a small village situated in the north end of Kannur District in the state of Kerala. Payyanur and Payangadi are the main neighboring towns of Kunhimangalam.[1][2]


According to our scriptures, during Rama-Ravana warfare, Lord Hanuman, when carrying a piece of Himalaya Mountain for the “Mritasanjeevani” herb, a part of the mountain dropped here in this region which was identified as Ezhimala. As per the study, rare herbal medicines still exist on this hill.

Stepping deep into the history, this region was known as Elimala. Environment, weather conditions and in particular the fertile soil made this land suitable for habitation from centuries ago. It is believed that people were in existence at this village ever since the Stone Age Civilization (between BC 300 & AD 100).

Once upon a time, "Ezhimannan", the ruler of Ezhimala, governed Kunhimangalam. At that time, the province of Ezhimala spanned between “Badagara” and “Mangalore”. In Sang literature, this area is referred to as “Ezhil Malai” which means high hillock. In the later years, it is widely believed that Ezhilmalai reduced to Ezhimala. In the history, this region is also known as “Elimala”, “Mooshika Sailam”, “Sapta Sailam”, “Mount Eli” and “Mount the Eli”. It was the seat of the renowned Mooshika dynasty. This dynasty reached its apex of grandeur during the administration of King Nandan. The vestiges of the history illustrate that it was an occupied region from the very ancient antiquity.

Ezhimala was also a well-known attraction of the ancient sailors. The Ezhimala hills are renowned for rare medicinal herbs with mythological significance. Here the sea is bluer than in other areas and the sand at this beach has a different texture. Carved stone pillars, prehistoric mosques, burial chambers, caves and granite platforms are visible at the foot of the hills; all these indicate presence of human life in this hilly region in the past. Mesmerizing sea view, 286m high hillocks and the reminiscences of ancient life, all are the facts that fascinated the sightseers. Then the Mount Dili lighthouse proved the center of attraction for tourists. This mountain range was an eminent milestone for sailors because of its majestic form and the lighthouse.

According to historians, during the 12th century when China’s main mode of transportation was through sea, ships from China and other countries sailed through the river “Changoorichal” which is the west frontier of this village. “Changoorichal” was named after the china’s biggest ship “Changu” anchored in this river. Also, Marco Polo, the famous voyager mentioned about Ezhimala in his travelogue.

Also residuals of four or five caves made of stones at “Thiyyar Vekkum Chal” are the reminiscences of the Stone Age civilization. There is a reference about 64 villages - 32 Tulu villages and 32 Malayalam villages - at the time of commencement of Kerala. Among these Tulu villages, Kunhimangalam is also mentioned. There is a story behind the origin of the name “Kunhimangalam”'.

It is evident from the history of Kunihmangalam, a Namboodiri family known as “Kunhaangalam Taravadu” ruled the so-called Kunhimangalam. They ruled the village in an acceptable manner, but over the time this family started to become extinct and at last one mother and a son left as the only members of the family. One day both the mother and son went to river Kaveri to pray for their departed family members and while coming back when they looked from top of the Gadikuzhi hills they noticed that soldiers of Chirakkal Tamburan triumph over the Kunhaangalam Taravadu. The mother and son ended their life in fire with grief. Later, it is believed that the mother emerged as Goddess “Veerachamundi” and the son as God “Veeran”. Due to the high adoration and gratitude towards this Namboodiri family, the people around this area constructed a temple at the same place where the Taravadu existed and they called it as “Kunhimangalam Molom”. The people started worshipping “Veerachamundi” and “Veeran” as their Goddess/God and the village is then being known as Kunhimangalam.

After several years, when all the activities centered in the then existed Kunhimangalam-Cheruthazham panchayat, the people of Kunhimangalam village got provoked and made confrontation for forming a separate panchayat for them. Under this circumstance, Kunhimangalam Panchayat came into existence during the year 1962. Initially the Panchayat Office was situated in a rented building in “Theru”. The first Panchayat President was Mr. U. Kunhiraman who administrated the panchayat under his commanding guidance for more than 24 years. The first panchayat election was conducted not based on the political parties as today. In those days people’s movements were very much effective and most of the works were carried out through such movements. Hindus and Muslims dominate the area. However, there are a few numbers of Christian families too. All these people from different communities co-existed peacefully adopting their own rites and rituals.

At present, the President of Kunhimangalam Panchayat is Mrs.C.Chandrika. The Panchayat is under development in various aspects. The neighboring towns Payyanur and Payangadi are very fast developing towns that influence in the economical and commercial aspects of this village.


Rural Dispensary, Children's Home, Various Cultural forum, Libraries, Agricultural Development Office, Mini Stadium, Fish Market, ICDP center, Three Post Offices, Telephone Exchange, Electricity office, the bold environmental organization SEEK operating with its HQ, Consumer (Maveli) store, Milk societies, Cinema theater, Village office, Panchayat office, Banks, Railway Station, etc. are some of the facilities available here.

There are two main roads and several link roads that connect this Village to the main centers of the district. National Highway 17 passes through this village. Also the railways cross through this village and the Railway Station is known as “Ezhimala”.


Kunhimangalam has 13 alphabets in its name and coincidentally it is divided into 13 ‘wards’ and the district, which it belongs to, is the 13th district of Kerala.


In this village, human relationship is cherished much and nurtured the ethics of communal harmony and enhanced cultural heritage. We can proudly and sincerely state publicly that the poisonous seeds of social evil never flourished in this small land. Hindus, Muslims and Christians all breathe in a friendly atmosphere. More than mere human relationships, we can find communities loving each other, depending each other and raising the value of communal harmony and cultural heritage. The social equality can be witnessed through the involvement of Hindus and Muslims in each other's festivals and celebrations.

Christians are recently inhabited but Hindus and Muslims are integrated in most of the places. There are two main churches at this village; one at Kovvappuram and the other at Edat known as Capuchin Church at Edat. There are several mosques but the important one is the Jamayeth Mosque. A Hindu Nair family was involved in building up this mosque and a Muslim family was involved in the “utsav” of “Muchilottu Bhagavathi” which clearly shows the Communal harmony and cultural heritage of this village. Angadi and Koyappara are the most Muslim populated areas.

We can see the remains of many old temples, which were dented due to ageing. Also we can see the remains of a temple near the highway at Edanad, which had aesthetically carved doors and domes made of stones. Most of the temples do have yearly celebrations but Kannangattu Bhagavathi temple has its celebrations once in two years only. There are numerous temples of Sree Muthappan, the deity of the common man.


The main occupation of the inhabitants is agriculture. Widely spread paddy fields, coconut trees, cashew nut trees and areca nuts are seen all over the place. The natural water resources available at all the three sides and the fertile soil of this village intensified the agriculture and thereby improving the business and industry. Most of the villagers are farmers and doing agriculture related jobs. Apart from cultivation, Beedi-cigar works and weaving are the other areas of employment. Until a few years ago, Kunhimangalam was one of the few self-reliant villages of Kerala. The vast paddy fields and vegetables farms, the earthen pots manufactured at Koyappara, the clothes made at Saliya theru, the bronze vessels and sculpture industry at Moosarikkovval, fishing from the Pullankode river, all made this village self-sufficient. However, today like many other places of Kerala Kunhimangalam is also mostly depending upon the foreign currency from the Gulf Countries.


In the field of education, Kunhimangalam has got its own inheritance. It has helped a lot to strengthen the National Movement against the British rule as well as for the social revolution. The history of education in North Malabar has got strong influence in the agricultural movement of this region. The great leaders of freedom struggle of this area who started their work through agricultural movement had a broad and sincere vision towards the advantage of education among common masses.

The national and agricultural movements have made immense changes in the social, cultural and educational sectors. In the earlier years, after the primary education, the people of Kunhimangalam were dependent either on Government High School at Payyanur or the Government High School at Madayi for higher education. However, higher fees and lack of transportation facilities hindered most of the people to get higher education. There was a night school in “Panachira” from where several people got educated who are still alive.
The first school in Kunhimangalam was the Govt. L.P. School and its first headmaster was Mr. P.M. Ramunni Master.

The first headmaster of Edanad West L.P. School was Mr. Raghavan Master.

The founder and the first headmaster of Edanad U.P. School was Sri V.V. Chindankutty Nayanar.

Sri C.V. Gopalan Nambiar was the founder and the first headmaster of Gopal U.P. School and he was the teacher for many of the erstwhile generation.

There are several kindergartens and educational institutions such as Four L.P. Schools, Three U.P. Schools, One unaided U.P. School, One High School, One Central School (Kendriya Vidyalaya), One College, English Medium Schools, etc. in this village.


As of 2001 India census, Kunhimangalam had a population of 18014 with 8253 males and 9761 females.[1]


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