Kerala: Over a century old, Kodanat Mana stands tall
Built in 1852, the architectural marvel has been a location for several films like Melvilasam Sheriyanu & many more.
THRISSUR: Nestled amidst paddy fields, the Kodanat Mana, over a century old, stands tall as an architectural marvel that has withstood the test of time. Legend has it that the Mana has its roots in Mezhathol Agnihothri, who played a vital role in reviving Hindu beliefs by conducting 99 yagas.
Bhadra Antharjanam, the wife of K M Namboothirippad, who belongs to the fourth generation of the family and inherited the mana, reveals that the Mana was built in 1852, and it took eight years to complete. She reminisces about the old days when over 16 people were working to manage the backyard and maintain the house. However, times have changed, and now everyone has their own houses, but they still visit the Kodanat Mana.
Earlier, the house had three open courtyards, known as “Nadumittam,” but now it has two, which is why it is called Ettukettu-consisting of two quadrangular courtyards. It is said that the Mana was originally a ‘Panthrandukettu’ (Pathrandu means 12 and Kettu means built-up sides).
Bhadra, who is now 89 years old, lives at the Kodanat Mana with her son Narayanan, his wife Smitha, and their son, and they want to conserve their heritage for the next generations. “We have been using the ground floor of the house since we moved in here about three years back. That itself is a herculean task, but we are managing it. However, the upstairs of the house remains untouched as renovating it is a costly affair,” said Narayanan K M.
The Mana has three floors, including the ground floor, and many small rooms to accommodate numerous people. The top floor has Pazhayaputhanara (Old new room), Puthiya Puthunara (Newest New-room), and a large hall with small verandahs. The windows on the top floor offer breathtaking views of the vast paddy fields outside. The middle floor also has a vast room resembling a hall and three small rooms connected by a verandah. Ample ventilation adds to the unique structure and creates a cooling effect.
The ground floor has major structures like Thekkini(southern block), Vadakkini (northern block), Padinjatti(western block), and Kizhakkini(eastern block) with abundant space. The Sreelakam of the Mana has idols of Bhagavathy and Lord Ayyappa.”Since the middle-aged women are not allowed to visit Sabarimala, the Antharjanams in Mana worship Lord Ayyappa from here itself for which the idol was kept here,” shared Bhadra.
The wide hall of the house takes visitors on an adventurous journey of time travel, as the walls and pillars of the house have numerous stories to share. Bhadra shares that the family had an excellent relationship with the Cochin Royal family, and as generations passed by and the King’s rule came to an end, the family members pursued their careers. Narayanan’s father, K M Namboothirippad, worked as a Chemistry Professor, mostly at Maharaja’s College.
Due to its architectural richness and beauty, Kodanat Mana has been a location for several film shoots. Some of the movies that were shot here include Malayalam movies Melvilasam Sheriyanu, Sooryakireedam, and the Sanskrit movie Taya. Even the world-famous band Thaikkudam Bridge shot their visuals in Kodanat Mana for their musical Kaliyankattu Neeli.
How to reach: Reach Kecheri and take a diversion to Pannithadam, then to Vellarakkad
Thrissur: 24.7 km
Features: Ettukettu Mana, attached pond, vast paddy fields