Kannamkulam Illam: My father's ancestral house, Part I

Kannamkulam Illam: 
My father's ancestral house
 Part I
I have seen only my maternal grandfather. My father was still a child when he lost his father.
My maternal grandfather passed away when I was in primary school. He was my paternal grandfather's younger brother. Later in life, I figured it out that they were half-brothers. Sankaran Namboodiri (my father's father) and Narayanan Namboothiri (my maternal grandfather) were children of Govindan Namboothiri of Kannamkulam Illam (Payyanur (in old Malabar District of Madras state) in Kerala. Govindan Namboothiri married Narayanan Namboothiri's mother after Sankaran Namboothiri's mother died.
The present Kannamkulam Illam was constructed circa 1880's. One of the present occupants of the Illam made this estimate of the period of construction from the year of manufacture embossed by Basel Mission Tiles Company on the roofing tiles.
A strong two-storey traditional "Nalukettu" building, the Illam has retained its health, thanks to the quality materials used in construction and the architectural perfection, needing not many alterations to accommodate modern amenities.
When we enter into the 'Nalukettu' building through the well-protected main door, there are big halls on the left and to the right with side-rooms. From the passage, you cross another door to reach 'Nalukettu' proper where there is a square un-roofed area (nadumuttam) surrounded by Pooja Room, a big verandah and a big Kitchen and dining area on the north. 
A not very wide wooden staircase takes you to the first floor. The big room at the entrance accommodates a large big teakwood cot hanging from the ceiling supported by steel chains at four corners. We return groundfloor to get out of the building through a door in the east which takes you to a big open portico with a beautiful view of the compound and paddy fields beyond.
(To be continued...)

M G Warrier

Comments

RAVINDRA said…
Many of us would like to spend one night in such magnificent edifice to live in past glory.
Thanks for sharing
Ravindra Sangwai

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