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|• Official||Malayalam, English|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
686581 (Poonjar), 686582 (Poonjar Thekkekara)
|ISO 3166 code||IN-KL|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Pathanamthitta|
|Climate||typical Kerala climate (Köppen)|
Poonjar is a small Indian town located on the eastern side of Kottayam district in Kerala state, India. Before the independence of India, Poonjar had been the part of Travancore princely state.Erattupetta, Teekoy, bharananganam, and vagamon are the nearest towns and villages of Poonjar.Taluk headquarters,pala is 18 kilometres away from poonjar and kanjirapally is 22.6 kilometres away from poonjar
Poonjar is a place of historic importance, situated on the north-eastern part of Kottayam district. Poonjar, a town at the foothills of Western Ghats, was the capital of Poonjar Kingdom.
The Poonjar dynasty originated from the Pandyan Kings of the Sangam Age. The founder of the dynasty, Manavikrama Kulashekhara Perumal, was a Pandyan king whose mother was a Chera princess. In 1152 AD, he shifted from Madurai due to the incessant civil wars in Tamil Country. The Raja carried one of the three idols of Meenakshi, their "Kula Devatha", which was used in the annual car festival at the famed Madurai Meenakshi Temple. It was established as a "pratishta" in the Meenakshi temple where it currently sits, on the banks of the Meenachil River.
History documents that Manavikraman Raja procured the land from the Thekkancoor Rajas, which is now part of Kottayam, Pathanamthitta and Idukki districts of Kerala and added it to his domain in Tamil country. He established political connections in present day Kerala by giving his daughter in marriage to the then Edapally Raja. Kochi was not yet an established kingdom. During the height of its glory in the 17th and 18th century AD, the Poonjar dynasty had suzerainty over the present day Idukki and Kottayam districts, parts of Ernakulam and Pathanamthitta districts in Kerala. They also held sway over the districts of Ramnad and parts of Madurai in Tamil Nadu.
The Palani hills were also part of the Poonjar kingdom. In July 1877, among other leases, Kerala Varma Raja, then chief of the royal house leased 128,000 acres (520 km2) for 99 years, to a British planter named Thomas Munro. This is the famous Kannan Devan Hill Produce Company (KDHP) lease. The area under the current Mullaperiyar Dam was part of their jurisdiction. Their neighbour to the south, Travancore, whose territorial boundary was Kottarakara, did not dispute the actual control until 1889. Travancore finally established their suzerainty by royal proclamation on 24 September 1899, backed by the British.
The Kannan Devan lease, not ownership, was passed on to Finlays in the 1930s, and subsequently taken over by TATA Tea Ltd in the 1950s. The lease has since expired and the land ownership is in dispute.The main revenue for the Poonjar Kingdom was hill and forest produce, and Erattupetta was the commercial center.
The ancient palace and temples dedicated to Sree Dharma Shastha and Meenakshi are located on the banks of the Meenachil River. Raghubir Singh, the famed National Geographic photographer, has published photographs of this temple, nestled in the foothills of the high ranges of Kerala, in National Geographic.
The S.M.V. High School, dedicated to the memory of the then Maharaja Sri Moolam Tirunal of Travancore dynasty, was founded in 1913 and was the only school in the region for decades and luminaries of all political, bureaucratic, academic, literary and religious hues who have played formative roles in modern Kerala have passed through its gates. Some of the notable names among its alumni are Col. GV Raja, Sri PR Rama Varma Raja (Alacode Raja), Sri PK Vasudevan Nair (former Chief Minister of Kerala), Sri TA Thomman (former Minister of Kerala), Sri CP Ramakrishna Pillai IAS (former Secretary, Govt of Kerala), Sri R Ramachandran Nair IAS (former Chief Secretary, Govt of Kerala), Sri KJ Mathew IAS (former Chief Secretary, Govt of Kerala, etc. The school, as well as five temples, are currently managed by a family trust of the Palace. Colonel Goda Varma Raja (G.V. Raja), the consort of the Maharani of erstwhile Travancore, Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi, and brother-in-law of Maharaja Sri Chitra Tirunal, was a member of this family. His elder brother was P. R. Rama Varma Raja, who, after a difference of opinion with C. P. Ramaswami Iyer, left Travancore in the late 1930s, and purchased 36,000 acres (150 km2) of land in Alakode, Taliparamba taluk of Kannur district. He was often referred to as the Alakode Raja.
Another landmark institution in Poonjar is the ATM library. This library, named after Avittam Thirunal, the deceased crown Prince of Travancore and eldest son of Col GV Raja, was established in the year 2003. This "A" class library has played an important role in shaping many generations of Poonjar.
Poonjar is also home to some of the oldest churches like the St. Mary's church adivaram, St Joseph's church Maniamkunnu, etc. Today there are tens of churches in Poonjar.
Poonjar is well connected to the other parts of the state by frequent state transport and private bus services. Poonjar is very near to the well-known tourist spots like Poonjar Palace, Vagamon, Kolahalamedu, Ilaveezha Poonchira etc. The popular Christian pilgrim centre Bharananganam and Aruvithura is also very near to Poonjar. The nearest railway station is Ettumanoor (35 km) and airport is Cochin (80 km). Nearest places are Parathanam 16km, Kunnonni, Peringulam, Adivaram, Pathampuzha, Panachikappara, Erattupetta
Geographically Poonjar is divided into Poonjar Thekkekara, Poonjar Vadakkekkara and Poonjar Nadubhagam villages. Two main tributaries of Meenachil river originate in Poonjar hills and join at Erattupetta. There are numerous waterfalls and rivulets in the hills. Kunnonny, Adivaram, Pathambuzha, Kaippally are some of the nearest villages. Muthukora hills which is situated in poonjar called the meeshappulimala of kottayam lies 2400 feet above sea-level. Kottathavalam waterfalls also in poonjar.
Sree Moola vilasam (SMV) Higher Secondary School and St. Antony's Higher Secondary School are the main higher secondary schools in Poonjar.
In the year 2000, an Engineering College managed by the Institute of Human Resource Development (IHRD) was constructed near the Poonjar bus stand. The college was given the name College of Engineering, Poonjar. Now, the place near bus stand is occupied for Model Polytechnic College Poonjar. In the year 2003, a separate building was constructed for the college at Payyanithotam (4 km from Poonjar) in order to avoid the disturbances caused during peak hours at the bus stand.
College of Engineering, Poonjar is established by the Institute of Human Resources Development (IHRD), A Government of Kerala Undertaking. IHRD is a pioneer educational organisation supported by Kerala Government, in the fields of Electronics and Computer Science.College of Engineering, Poonjar started its functioning in the academic year 2000-2001. The College is affiliated to the prestigious Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT).
Poonjar is one of the 140 legislative assembly constituencies of Kerala state. Poonjar's assembly constituency is part of Pathanamthitta (Lok Sabha constituency). Previously it was part of Muvattupuzha (Lok Sabha constituency). The major political parties of Poonjar are Kerala Congress (M), Indian National Congress, CPI (M) and CPI.
Eminent political leaders of the past include A. J. John, Anaparambil (former Chief Minister of Travancore-Cochin) and K. M. George (former Minister and the founder of Kerala Congress).
The present political leaders of Kerala who are from Poonjar are N. M. Joseph (former minister and State President of Janathadal (S)) and P. C. George.
Kottayam, is one of 14 districts in the Indian state of Kerala. Kottayam district comprises six municipal towns: Kottayam, Changanassery, Pala, Erattupetta, Ettumanoor, and Vaikom. It is the only district in Kerala that neither border the Arabian Sea nor any other states.
Meenachil is the north-eastern region of Kottayam district in Kerala, south India. The name originates from Meenakshi, the Hindu Goddess. Pala is the main city in Meenachil. The arterial river of the district is also named Meenachil.
Idukki (ഇടുക്കി), IPA: [iɖukːi], is one of the 14 districts in the Indian state of Kerala. Idukki district lies amid the Cardamom Hills of Western Ghats in Kerala. Idukki district contains two municipal towns - Kattappana and Thodupuzha. The district currently includes five taluks in it.
Mundakayam, is a town in Kanjirappally Taluk in the Kottayam District of Kerala. It is the doorway to the high ranges of southern Kerala, and is at the border of Kottayam and Idukki districts. The next nearest town, Kanjirappally, is 14 km (8.7 mi) & Erumely is 12 km from Mundakayam. Mundakayam has rubber plantations, and greenery. The Manimala River runs through Mundakayam. It is located 48 km east of the district headquarters at Kottayam and 148 km from the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram. The name Mundakayam is said to be derived from the Mundi cranes that used to be seen along the Manimala River banks.
Bharananganam, an important pilgrimage centre in South India, is located on the banks of the Meenachil River, 5 km away from Pala and 4 km from Plassanal, in Kottayam district in the state of Kerala. Bharananganam and surrounding places are hilly areas with a lot of vegetation. Agriculture is the main occupation of the people, who cultivate plantation crops such as rubber.
Perunilam is a small Village/hamlet in Meenachil Taluk in Kottayam district of Kerala State, India. It comes under Poonjar Panchayath. It belongs to South Kerala Division. It is located 44 km East from District headquarters Kottayam. 2.5 km from Erattupetta. 149 km from State capital Thiruvananthapuram. Main agricultural crop is rubber. The popular Christian Pilgrim Centre Bharananganam and St. George's Syro-Malabar Catholic Forane Church, Aruvithura is near to Perunilam. Perunilam Kurishupally is located in Perunilam. Malayalam is the Local Language here. Kottayam Rail Way Station is major railway station 40 km near to Perunilam.
The MeenachilRiver or Meenachilaar, also known as Kavanar, Valanjar, is a river in Kerala. It is one of the most treacherous rivers in Kerala due to its flash floods, heavy undercurrents and woods and debris it carries from the mountains. It flows through the heart of Kottayam district, Kerala state in southern India. 78km long, originates in the Western Ghats main tributaries are Theekoy aaru from Vagamon hills, Poonjar Aaru and Chittar, flowing westward through the city of Kottayam and other towns like Poonjar, Teekoy, Erattupetta, Bharananganam, Pala, Mutholy, Cherpunkal, Kidangoor and Kumarakom before emptying into the Vembanad Lake on the shore of the Indian Ocean.
Kottayam is a municipal town in the Indian state of Kerala. Flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the Vembanad Lake and paddy fields of Kuttanad on the west. It is the district headquarters of Kottayam district, located in south-west Kerala. Kottayam is located in the basin of the Meenachil River at an average elevation of 3 metres (9.8 ft) above sea level, and has a moderate climate. It is located approximately 155 kilometres (96 mi) north of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.
Erattupetta is a municipal town located in Kottayam district, close to the place Aruvithura, state of Kerala, India,. It is located 38 km east of Kottayam, the district capital. Erattupetta Grama Panchayath was founded in 1964 and upgraded to a municipality in 2015.
The Kingdom of Thekkumkur was an independent kingdom in the southern part of Kerala in India from 1103 CE until 1750 CE. It was ruled by the Thekkumkur Royal Family. Thekkumkur lies between the Meenachil River and the Pamba River, from the Western Ghats to the Vembanad Kayal. Thekkumkur emerges as a result of administrative changes in the princely states at the end of the Chera Kulasekhara dynasty of Mahodayapuram. The literal meaning of the title is the southern regent and the attribute southern distinguished them from another kingdom known as Vadakkumkur which bordered it in the northern side. The royal household, Thekkumkur Kovilakam, were at Vennimala and Manikandapuram near Puthuppally, later it shifted to Neerazhi Palace at Puzhavathu of Changanassery and Thalilkotta at Thaliyanthanapuram (Kottayam).
Yendayar is a village in Kottayam district, Kerala, India that is totally surrounded by hills. According to local tradition, Mr. J.J. Murphy named the place, which was to be his home until death in 1957, after his mother and the local river. Yendayar is a combination of 'yen' (my) 'thai' (mother) and 'ar' (river). Murphy had come in 1904 to the place which was a thick forest and had no name or people then. He had traveled a long way to reach there. There he established India's first successful rubber plantation. He brought workers from near and far – Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka.
Pinnakkanadu is a small town located about 40 km East of Kottayam on Kanjirappally-Erattupetta Road, in Kottayam district of Kerala, India. It is 8 km North of Kanjirappally towards Erattupetta, 7 km East of Paika and 15 km West of Mundakkayam.
Amparanirappel is a place near Palai in Kottayam district of Kerala, India.
Lt. Col. P. R. Godavarma Raja, often referred to as G. V. Raja, was an Indian sports and tourism promoter and administrator, pilot, sportsman and Sanskrit scholar. He took special care in inspiring the youth into sports and was instrumental in founding the Kerala Sports Council in 1953. G. V. Raja occupied the post of Council President till he was killed in a flight mishap in 1971. G. V. Raja also played a key role in establishing the Thiruvananthapuram Tennis Club, Flying Club, and the development of the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport. As the spouse of Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi, he became the prince consort of Travancore.
Meenachil Karthas were members of an aristocratic clan, which ruled the small kingdom of Meenachil from 15th century AD until 1754. Unlike the other aristocratic Nair factions of North and Central Travancore who are descended from the Nāgas and the rulers of Travancore and Calicut with brahminical origin, the Meenachil Karthas were of Rajput origin.
Chemmalamattam, is a village in the Kottayam district of Kerala, India. It is located about 40 km east of Kottayam and 19 km west of Mundakkayam and is 9.5 km north of Kanjirappally towards Erattupetta.
Neeloor is an agriculture-oriented rural village in the Taluk of Meenachil, Kottayam district, Kerala. The village is situated on the hill sides of Noorumala, Ellumpuram and Perumkunnu which are hills on the borders of Kottayam district and the neighboring Idukki district. Earlier the place was known as "Kallidapootha".
Poonjar dynasty was one of the royal dynasties in medieval Kerala descended from the Pandya kings of Madurai. History has it that Manavikrama Kulasekara Perumal, a Pandya king as the sole founder of the dynasty. It was a minor principality in the central Travancore region which covered the parts of present-day Dindigul, Cumbum, Kudallor, Bodinayakkanur, Vandiperiyar, Peerumedu and Kannan Devan hills.
Pandalam dynasty a royal dynasty emerged from a branch of Pandya kingdom. which existed in Kerala during the Kollam era. They came to Kerala fearing the assault of the Nayaks of Madurai. In Kerala they were given land and status by Kaipuzha Thampan of Nilambur Kovilakam a landlord who lived in Amanthur Palace at Kaipuzha from Kottayam Kerala. Today Pandalam is part of Pathanamthitta, Kerala, India.
Parathanam is a Town at the base of Western Ghats mountain ranges in the Kottayam district, Kerala. It is 2,000 feet above sea level and is situated on the eastern border of Kottayam District, 60 km from Kottayam, 12 km away from Poonjar and around 8 km away from Mundakayam on the NH 220.