Reinventing Past: A Photo Document Leading to Historic Alleys of Agraharams of Palakkad

Published: 02nd February 2015 06:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd February 2015 06:23 AM   |  A+A-


PALAKKAD: There may be disagreement on whether there are 96 or 101 agraharams in Palakkad district, but not on facts like the rows of houses set on clean and quiet lanes, ‘kolam’-filled door steps, grey haired elders peeping from many of those houses and the inhabitants speaking a mix of Tamil and Malayalam are unique to the district.

The row houses sported traditional architecture and culture of both Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The Brahmins settled here are said to have come from Tamil Nadu centuries ago, and they have thrown up quite a few reputed names in  the field of art, professions including civil services and legal luminaries.

P R Rajagopalan alias Krishnamani Sharma, who hails from Perinkulam south village near Alathur, and has photo-documented almost 101 villages, said a few people from the underdeveloped villages of Palakkad district, although reluctantly, had left their homes and native places at tender ages in pursuit of employment and settled at distant places.

Occasionally, they visit their native places and recharge themselves with fresh memories of events, places and people and return to their monotonous life, he said.

Rajagopalan said that he had travelled to all these villages and photo-documented them to make a colourful booklet, which he wanted to distribute free of cost.

Nochur Ganesha Sharma of Kunissery, who has written an article on the ‘orgin of Tamil Brahmin community’ in the booklet said that vedic prowess, cooking skill, intellectual power and adaptability were the inherent qualities of the Tamil Iyers lived here. The fast-paced life has, however, taken a toll on the traditional structures. They are being replaced by concrete buildings. Many of the houses have been deserted with elders leaving them to seek employment outside and children leaving for educational purposes. 

The rituals, however, continue to be followed as they still like community living, said Rajagopalan.

It’s almost a decade since he photographed those villages and agraharamas. What are the changes taken place there is a matter to be checked, said Rajagopalan, adding that those who have received his booklet are reminded of their childhood memories. Photographs of Kalpathy car festival and doorsteps with kolam have buffed up their nostalgic memories, he said.

Stay up to date on all the latest Kerala news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp