Where Lord Ram, Sita stayed during vanvas
He was the only Malayali to sing in front of Thyagaraja, one of the trinities of Carnatic music.
KOCHI: Ramamangalam also called Shatkala Govinda Gramam is a scenic hamlet located between Muvattupuzha, Piravom and Kolenchery towns, about 30 km to the east of Kochi city. Known as a hub of ‘Sopana Sangeetham’, Ramamangalam is the birthplace of the legendary musician Shadkala Govinda Marar, the musical maestro who was close to Maharaja Swathi Thirunal of Travancore.
He was the only Malayali to sing in front of Thyagaraja, one of the trinities of Carnatic music. The Shadkala Govinda Marar Smarakam was built here in the ace musician’s memory. How Ramamangalam got its name is still a mystery to even many who call the village home. “It used to be said that this is where Lord Ram married Sita, but not many people take it seriously these days,” notes Dr Thanuja Devi P K, a history professor and resident of the panchayat.
Journalist and native of Ramamangalam K K Vishwanathan says the village got its name from the belief that Lord Ram and Sita spent a few days here during their exile or vanvas. “And the place came to be known as Sriramamangalam,” he adds.
Thanuja agrees. “It is said that shortly after their marriage, Ram and Sita had to go into exile. And after months of struggle, they finally settled down in a place and built a small home for themselves,” she says. “The place was a deep forest then. And that’s how the place came to be known as Sriramamangalam, which later got shortened to Ramamangalam.”
Thanuja adds that Ramangalam was under the rule of Cheraman Perumal long ago. The village is dotted with temples, the most notable of which is Ramamangalam Perumthrikkovil (Narasimhamoorthy temple) built by Cheraman Perumal between the 8th and 12th centuries AD.
Another prominent place of worship here is St Jacob’s Knanaya Valia Pally. “Ramamangalam still retains the inherent virtues of a typical village as it did decades ago,” says Panchayat President E P George.
“The panchayat has also been chosen as India’s first sports tourism village. Its economy is based on agriculture, with paddy fields covering 150 hectares of land and other major crops such as rubber, pepper, nutmeg, areca nut, coconut, and so on.”
What’s in a name
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