October 2, 2015

My Journey Into Traditional Architecture 1984-85, Poomulli Mana.


I am attaching the photographs of the Poomulli Mana which were taken 30 years ago. But unfortunately, the major parts of the old Mana was demolished in the early 1990s. Although the decision to demolish the main building was taken early in 1988, the then cultural minister Sri T K Ramakrishnan had issued a stay on the demolition. I have visited this mana many times and used to meet Mr. Raman Namboothiripad who was the head of the household. He used to sit in the front verandah and talk about various things about the history of the family and the house etc. He was one of the disciples of Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatha Iyer too. He used to tell that within a mile radius of the mana, the crafts and arts have thrived. After his death, his son Sri Vasudevan Namboothiripad became the head of the household. . Along with PT Kunju Mohammed, film director and former MLA and Rubin D'Cruz, I visited the house just before the demolition. There were only five members living in the house. This was one of the large houses in Kerala at that time. The entrance hall (poomukhom) and the large open hall in front was big enough to hold at least 200 people. There were four dining halls which could feed upto 500 people at a time.The door to the store in the west wing of the Ettukettu is attached. The pathayappura or the granary could store upto 300,000 kg of paddy. Sri Ramaswamy Temple at the entrance to the old Mana still survives in its original condition. An ayurvedic centre is functioning in some of the outhouses of the Mana now.







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