OMALLOOR – A BRIEF HISTORY
At the end of the first millennium AD, a king of Cherayi dynasty fled and migrated in a place called Alamthuruthy in Kadapra near Niranam beside the river Pampa, along with his family and aids as the dependants of King Chera, forsaking his kingdome and the palace on account of the unbearable attack of the King Raja Cholan. This king of Cherai’s descendants stayed there in four places called Vakayil , Elanjimanthra, Madipparambu, and Thulisala. They were referred as “Sraikuru” as they showed attachments to Srai (Cherai) dynasty.
Around 1000 AD, these four Lords arrived in Omalloor and settled in four zones retaining their ancestral palace names. They were:
Manjinikkara – Vakayil
Parayanali – Elanjimanthra
Mullanikkadu – Madipparambu
Imaly – Thulisala.
These Lords ruled Omalloor until Omalloor was conquered by King Marthandavarma of Travancore. Though these Lords lost the governance, the King Marthandavarma retained their rights to collect land tax and allowed to entertain some other privileges. Some of these palaces still exist, but they are now in a dilapidated condition.
A BEAUTIFUL NAME
During the reign of these Lords, it is believed, Omalloor got it’s name. It was by the effort of these Lords, it is said, the Raktha Kanta Swamy temple was founded in Omalloor. While reciting the Veda Manthram (rituals) in the temple during the pujas, the Devine voice Aum reverberated incessantly in the air in Omalloor, and one would call the place “Aum-Nalla-Ooru : Omalloor” (nalla=good, ooru=land)
contention about the name is that, when compared to other places, Omalloor is a
beautiful place to live in and hence called “Omal- Ooru : Omalloor” (Omal = beautiful,
land) These two versions are recorded in
the historical details written by Sri. Sakhyananda Swami, kept in
TRADE AND AGRICULTURE
Omalloor has a past, denoting excellence in agriculture and trade. Till recent days Omalloor was known as a storehouse of paddy and was known as the “Palakkad of South.” From here lorries loaded and packed with bags of a variety of processed rice sped to the distant places of Kerala from rice mills in Omalloor, which worked day and night. Long stretches of paddy fields loaded with ripe grains of paddy, ready to be harvested and fully grown banana plantain trees etc. were once attractive scenes in Omalloor. Most of the fields now paved the way for buildings and trade centres and the remaining stands uncultivated. (In the attempt to cultivate paddy in uncultivated field by the special project of the government, there started cultivation in Omalloor also, which resulted in a new awakening in the village.)
olden days farmers’ products and agricultural goods were brought to Omalloor
for sale from the neighbouring places like
Pathanamthitta, Konni and from places on the valleys
of Western Ghats, and also from Tamil Nadu through
There existed a shopping festival in Omalloor from the ancient days onwards for one month during Meenam (March 15th - April 15th). The cattle Trade Fair lasted for one week starting from 1st of Meenam. The dry paddy field and the land property on its sides were all filled with cattle brought from all parts of Kerala and also from Tamil Nadu. During the month of Meenam, goods like farmers’ products, farmers’ goods and tools, seeds and saplings of plants, products made out of bamboo and cane, wooden and steel furniture, variety of vessels made of steel, copper and brass, earthen pots, kitchen wares, cutlery, grocery, stationary, cosmetics etc were available for sale in large scale in Omalloor. People from far and near arrived then to buy goods they required for one year. To attract people to Omalloor, there conducted shows like circus, magic, dance programmes, martial art display, exhibition and a variety of entertainment programmes in temporary auditoriums built in the dry paddy field, to give the colour of a large festival in Omalloor. Though the new trend in business management of the modern age casts a shadow over the Omalloor Trade Fair, the effort of the Panchayat and the local people to regain the old prestige resulted to arise a spark of hope among the people of Omalloor.
had convenient passages even in the olden days. There were two important routes
that passed through Omalloor. One was Pandalam -
The name ‘Omalloor Thara’ got its name from the table land (plateau) situated in the middle of Omalloor paddy field. The ‘Pala Maram’ (Alstonia scholaris - a kind of tree) that stood at the west of this table land had a legend. A bull fled from the famous southern cattle fair at Velinelloor, reached in Omalloor vayal (field). A brave youth of Omalloor subdued and tied it in a pala maram. Hearing the news the Lord came to the site and sold the bull in public auction. To commemorate this event a cattle trade was conducted on the first of Meenam of every year. That was the beginning of Cattle Trade Fair Festival in Omalloor, it is believed.
A PICNIC SPOT
A panoramic view of the surrounding places in Omalloor is visible from a picnic spot in Omalloor. School children used to go to this spot trekking all the way on holidays to see the sunset and the beautiful scenery around. The location is called the ‘Vannathy para’, a huge rock on a hill which has a flattened surface on the top where meetings could be held. The tall rock was a crown for Omalloor, but the constant quarrying for the last 30 years destroyed and uprooted the rock.
There were many water sheds and ponds in Omalloor. But, now, they are also missing in its place. We lost all signs that showed our old pomp. There were inns, roadside wells and rocky platforms for head-load passengers to rest in, on the old passage sides. It is a sad fact to notice that the two wells in the Omalloor market had been demolished by filling the garbage of the market.
OMALLOOR : AT A GLANCE
Name of Panchayat : Omalloor
Panchayat HQ : Omalloor
Block Panchayat : Elanthur
Block Panchayat Division : Omalloor, Prakkanam
Taluk : Kozhencherry
District : Pathanamthitta
Assembly Constituency : Aranmula
Parliament Constituency : Pathanamthitta.
Total Area : 14.54 Sq. Km.
West : Chenneerkkara Panchayat
North : Chenneerkkara Panchayat
Population (As per last census) : 17,540.
Males : 8272
Females : 9268
Male Female Proportion : 1000-1084
Literacy : 96%
WARDS : 14
Higher secondary school : Govt. HSS, Omalloor.
High School : ABHS, Omalloor
Upper Primary Schools : Govt. UPS, Omalloor.
Govt. UPS, Vazhamuttam.
Lower Primary Schools : Govt. LPS, Cheekkanal.
Govt. LPS, Attarikam.
Govt. GLPS, Manjinikkara.
People in Omalloor are generally literate, and some are in the fore-front in the cultural arena of Kerala. Film stars like Captain Raju, Late Prathapachandran, Late Omalloor Chellamma, Cartoonist Madhu Omalloor are a few names to mention.
are five major temples, and fifteen churches of different denominations in Omalloor. Omalloor Sree Rakthakanta Swamy temple is a
venue for temporary stay for Sabarimala
Church in Manjinikkara is a famous pilgrim centre in
Kerala which is only two kilometers away from
Description has already been made about the Trade Fair (Vayal Vanibham) which is celebrated as a grand shopping festival in Omalloor during March-April every year.
important festival is the ten day’s festival procession in
The rich show of the celebration of Christmas in the night of Christmas day is another festival in Omalloor. The illumination and the colourful rally with pageantry by the faithful of the nearby churches in the village add a rich cultural event in Omalloor.
are many arts and sports clubs which celebrate important days like Onam, Independence Day etc. to enhance communal
harmony. Let us be proud of our rich
heritage and be worthy to live as a responsible citizen of
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