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Olappamanna Mana, Palakkad

Olappamanna Mana , one of the centuries old feudal Namboothiri (Kerala Brahamin) Illam (house) , have a glittering cultural heritage in the field of Kathakali (classical dance form) , Carnatic Music, Melam and Thayampaka (classical percussions) , Literature and Rig Veda.

The Mana (house) is located at Vellinezhi, a small village 40 kms (25 miles) away from Palakkad town, less than 100 kms(60 miles) away from Cochin / Coimbatore / Calicut airports. Vellinezhi surrounded by the unpolluted river Kunthi on northern and western side is literarily known as Thourathrika Gramam (village with perfect blend of Music, Rhythm and Dance.)

The twist of events in the course of history will make certain happenings inevitable. The latter half of Twentieth century witnessed unbridled sweeping changes in the socio-cultural and economic life in Kerala. Kerala's splendor in varied forms of fine arts is an internationally acclaimed one. No adjective is enough to describe the contributions made by the then Feudal Namboothiris. Olappamanna is the family name of feudal lords. They belong to priestly Brahmin Caste of Kerala, namely Namboothiris. Mana means Home of Kerala Brahmins in Malayalam. They were immensely rich till the land reforms act was implemented in Kerala during 1965-70. They were patrons of art forms like Kathakali, Percussions, Classical Music, Literature, Vedic and Sanskrit education.

The present most popular form of Kathakali, namely Kalluvazhi Chitta originated in Olappamanna Mana, nearly 150-200 years back. The Olappamanna Kaliyogam (School of Kathakali) was just transplanted in Kerala Kalamandalam by Vallathol for perfection of teaching the Art form. Similarly a magazine exclusively for Poetry was published from this Mana during early 20th century. O.M.C. Narayanan Namboothiri Pad has translated the whole Rig Veda (consisting of ten thousand and odd four line stanzas) into Malayalam from Sanskrit. Olappamanna Mana has given birth to famous Malayalam poet Olappamanna Subramanian Namboothiri Pad, Malayalam poet Dr. O.M.Anujan, Children's book writer Mrs. Sumalgala and others. World famous Carnatic Musician Chembai Vaidya Natha Bhagavathar was a teacher in this Mana. The unique Rig Vedic institution at Thrissur namely Brahmaswam Madham is very closely connected with the members of this family for the last 200 years and also now.

Since the land ceiling act came, they had to leave all spledidness, as their thousands of acres of land were taken over by Government, without any compensation. Such a stringent land ceiling law was implemented only in Kerala State in India. It has become impossible for the owners to stay in such a big house with out sufficient servants and inmates. Now the main building is kept under lock and key, except for opening it every day morning and evening for conducting rituals to their family deity. Now the maintenance of the building itself is very costly and the present owners are struggling for want of funds.

Tourists can plan their holiday stay in this heritage complex and enjoy the very different and unique atmosphere here in this remote village. Tourists can also extend their peaceful and relaxed stay here, if they desire so, at attractive discount rates.

Now the tourists can see the architectural marvel of the old construction mainly using rosewood, teak wood and Jackfruit tree wood. They can understand the specialties of construction used to safe guard from summer heat/ from thieves etc. They can see the large Bathing tank, the Snake temple, the old utensils used, the old large Chinese porcelain pots, the old wet grinders, the elephant costumes, the bronze large lamps, swards, old balances, old fire proof iron Safe etc. Every thing will be explained well so that the tourist can really imagine the life style we had.In the early morning, they can see a lot of different kinds of birds here, depending up on the season. If any tourist is specifically interested, video C.D showing functions / festivals we had, can be shown, to see the Mana in lively form.

Olappamanna Mana, in a 20-acre eco-friendly atmosphere, would be an interesting place for tourists who want something out of the ordinary, for those who want to explore the Kerala countryside and the way of life there, for those who want to know more about the cultural heritage of the State, and for those who want to learn the nuances of Kathakali as performing art form. Olappamanna Mana is for those on the look out for a real heritage home-stay as different from star hotel accommodation. Olappamanna Mana is also for those who want to savor the nuances of wholesome, delectable vegetarian cuisine, as only the traditional Namboothiri household can deliver.

Even though the members of family may be around six to seven people, there were more than fifty to sixty people taking food from Mana every day belonging to servants, staff, poor people and guests. Every day more than 50 Kg of rice was served and on special days it may go beyond 100 Kgs.

Here comes the importance of architecture of the building. The main building is known as Ettu Kettu (Eight structures with two open quadrangle), having two each Halls on Eastern side, Western side, Southern side, one at Central portion and one at Northern side. The names of the halls are also based on the position- for example Eastern Hall is called Kizhakkini, Kizhakku means East. Similarly Thekku means South and Southern hall is named Thekkini.


Three sub buildings known as Pathayapuras surround the building. Even the sub buildings are too large and can accommodate a large number of people. Very spacious ground, similar to playgrounds of schools are provided around the Main Building to accommodate a very big crowd during marriage like functions.

Kitchen always will have a position at the North- East corner of all Namboodiri Houses according to Vasthu Rules. There are three kitchens. The smallest is for ladies only. The second one is for daily cooking and the third one; a large one is used during special days. Only the Western side of the building is having three stories and the first floor is being used as bedrooms and rest rooms.

Pure Vegetarian Home made Kerala Style food. No non –vegetarian stuff, alcohol or any intoxicating drinks. Fresh fruits and vegetables . Water supplied will be filtered, boiled and cooled or mineral water. Usually stainless steel utensils washed and dipped in boiled water and fresh banana leaves are used for serving food.

There are two options

Option One: A team of 25 to 40 can come to Olappamanna, say by 11 Am, see the whole Mana and surroundings and have a lunch at Olappamann Mana in typical old style. Return back to their lodging place.

Option Two: A team of 25 to 40 can come to Olappamanna Mana, say by 5PM in the evening (before Sun Set), see the whole Mana and surroundings. Then watch the entertainment at extra cost, which should be booked earlier, just after sun set and have a typical old style dinner at Mana. Return back to their lodging place. Details on charges, on request.

Price: Rs 6,500/- per two Persons with all meals.




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