Buildings that bespeak a glorious past


The ‘puthiya malika’ that has 14 rooms built like studio apartments,
with a bed room, a second chamber and a toilet. Each
room is accessible from the entrance passage at the front

‘Kochiyil pathi Paliam’ – half of the Cochin State is Paliam – goes the saying in Kochi.

The statement is proof of the power Paliath Achan, the Prime Minister of the Maharaja of Cochin, wielded from the 16th to the 19th century. The Paliam family devised the war strategies of the Cochin Kings. They negotiated alliances with the Dutch and Travancore, fought valiantly against the British and defeated the Portuguese and Hyder Ali. The wars of the Cochin State were planned from the Paliam Kovilakam at Chennamangalam, the military and administrative headquarters of the Paliath Achan. Atop the entrance passage to the Kovilakam is the ‘prasanga peedam,’ a raised platform from which the Paliath Achan addressed the commoners and resolved their issues.

The Kovilakam was the heavily-guarded quarters of the Achan. “I remember sentries dressed in white with red waistbands and swords standing at the entrance of the palace,” says 79-year-old Rajendran Kuttan Paliath of the Paliam family. The Paliath Achan once sheltered the Raja of Cochin, who fled to Chennamangalam to escape Portuguese atrocities in the 16th century, thus earning the home of the Achan the title ‘Kovilakam’.

Full report here Hindu


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