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Efforts on to preserve historical documents of Kavalappara Palace

Staff Reporter

PALAKKAD: Nearly 10,000-odd records of Kavalappara Swaroopam, one of the erstwhile landlords of Malabar, are in a state of neglect at the Kavalapara Palace in Shoranur.

The Kavalappara Estate in Shoranur and some other properties of the palace in the district are under receiver administration following court cases among the successors of the family since 1967.

Kavalappara was one of the most prominent Nair families who were given the right to rule the areas of Valluvanad and parts of the erstwhile Cochin State by Cheraman Perumal, the erstwhile ruler of Malabar. The Cheraman Perumal gave 31.079 sq.km. area to the Kavalpara Mooppil Nair family. The Mooppil Nair administered the area with his managers (Karyasthans).

The biggest pooram festival in Malabar used to take place at the Aryankavu temple of Shoranur. The temple was owned by the Kavalappara Mooppil Nair family.

Though the Poornam is still held in the Malayalam month of Meenam 1 to 21, due to the decline of the erstwhile ruling families and the loss of property due to the land reforms, the Pooram has lost its charm. The Pooram was the held with the participation of 96 villages under the Kavalapara Swaroopam. After the death of the head of the family, Karakkat Kumaran Raman Kochunni Mooppil Nair in 1964, the family estates were caught in dispute among the family members.

The temple and the palace properties are now managed by the receiver administrator.

There were demands to protect the palace and its valuable records. Recently organisations such as Janajagratha sent a memorandum to Minister for Cultural Affairs M.A. Baby about the need to protect the heritage and the historical documents that throw light on the administration of the erstwhile Swaroopams.

On a directive from the Minister, an official from the Kozhikode office of the Archive Department visited Kavalappara and examined the palm leaves and other old documents. Most of them are in the old Malayalam script.

Abdul Majeed of the Archives Department who inspected the documents said they were an utter state of neglect. Mr. Majeed would submit a report to the Archive Department this week. Once the Archives Department is given the permission, the documents could be taken to the department office in Kozhikode for preservation, Mr. Majeed said.

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