KOCHI: ‘Maradu’ is now known to every Keralite owing to the demolition of four apartment complexes in 2020 for violation of environmental norms.
The fast-growing cityscape near the Vembanad lake, however, was a forest centuries ago, says P Prakash, toponymist and president of Changampuzha Samskarika Kendram. “A vast forest filled with tall trees.”
According to him, the Paravur king, a vassal of the Kochi Kingdom, used to travel to Tripunithura to visit the famous Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple.
“As he used to visit the temple quite frequently, it was decided to build a palace for him to rest on the way. For the construction, several trees from the forest were cut down and only small pits of the trunks remained. These trunks are called ‘muradu’ in Malayalam,” says Prakash.
“And a place filled with so many ‘muradu’ became known so, which later came to be known as Maradu.”
Prakash says along with the construction of the palace, a temple was also built near it. “The palace was called Marattil Palace. The temple constructed by the king is called Kottaram Bhagavathy Temple, which is a prominent one in Maradu. However, one cannot even find any remains of the palace now,” he adds. According to him, various historic documents point to such a palace.
However, Maradu municipal chairman Antony Ashanparambil has another story to say. “There is no documented reason for the place getting the name Maradu. However, many say, it is a play on the term ‘marunadu’, which means ‘the other place’. As the place is near Tripunithura, the prominent region here, people used to refer to it as the ‘other place’. And it later got shortened to Maradu,” says Antony.
What’s in a name
Weekly column on the history of place names. Got any suggestions? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org