The person who has been documenting the constructed heritage of Kerala’s northern districts

The person who has been documenting the constructed heritage of Kerala’s northern districts


Sainath Menon says he was motivated to set out on such a journey after he noticed a number of posts on social media that lamented the vanishing of Kerala’s vernacular structure, panorama, sacred groves, ponds, rituals and customs

 

Rambling, conventional properties with mossy tiled roofs, laterite bricks, gabled home windows and fats wood pillars within the midst of crimson earth, pouring rain and inexperienced vistas are Sainath Menon’s muse.

“That’s the reason each Sunday and each vacation, with out fail, I journey to see these locations, collect details about the buildings and expertise residing in a few of these homes in Kerala’s northern districts,” says Menon.

Documenting the treasure trove of Malabar’s pure and constructed heritage has been his ardour for the final 5 years. Thirty-two-year-old Sainath, a gross sales government in a personal firm, says he was motivated to set out on such a journey after he noticed a number of posts on social media that lamented the vanishing of Kerala’s vernacular structure, panorama, sacred groves, ponds, rituals and customs.

A resident of Kongad, a village in Palakkad district, Sainath was shocked by the plethora of nostalgic posts, many written by non-resident Indians, craving for the greenery and villages of their youth and childhood.

“Once I seemed round, I may nonetheless see the bush-lined dusty paths, inexperienced fences, slender nation roads and muddy ridges snaking by means of paddy fields. Giant ponds ringed by intricate geometric embankments, homes with massive inside courtyards and festivals nonetheless existed throughout my neighbourhood. I made a decision to {photograph} these and submit the snaps, to remind homesick NRIs how the villages of their recollections are alive and thriving in lots of locations in northern Kerala,” he says.

Mundanchery tharavad at Kongad in Palakkad

Mundanchery tharavad at Kongad in Palakkad  
| Picture Credit score:
Sainath Menon

Progressively, along with Palakkad, he enlarged the areas of his curiosity to incorporate Kozhikode, Malappuram and Kasaragod districts.

Over time, Sainath has lined many well-known ancestral properties, temples and sacred grooves in these locations. He additionally unearthed many fascinating locations that weren’t so well-known.

“For me, it has been a journey of discovery. In truth, members of among the illustrious households which have roots in these districts themselves had no clue about their nice ancestors or the form of work that they had completed. They contacted me to thank me for having gathered the data for them in order that they may move it on to the following era,” he says.

Kavu or Sacred groove at Modappilappalli mana in Malappuram district

Kavu or Sacred groove at Modappilappalli mana in Malappuram district  
| Picture Credit score: Sainath Menon

Many are the tales he has to relate in regards to the homes, its residents and the encircling areas. As an illustration, whereas writing a few mana (because the residence of Namboothiris are referred to as in Malayalam), he talks in regards to the meals, the customs, the way of life and so forth.

Supported by excellent pictures and evocative writing, Sainath’s Fb web page has followers from world wide. Not all of the properties he visited have been in the most effective of circumstances. Fairly a couple of have been crumbling whereas some had been shuttered and locked up for a few years with all of the heirs settled overseas or in numerous states in India.

 

Impressed by his posts, there have been homeowners and descendants who got here ahead to take the initiative and fund the maintenance of their ancestral properties.

“I really feel {that a} tharavad turns into well-known not due to its wealth however on account of its patronage of nice arts or scholarship. These households turned well-known due to the nice deeds their ancestors did to assist a selected area or the folks round them,” insists Sainath.

Pond at embellished embankments at Thekke Kanapram mana, at Kaithapram in Kannur

Pond at embellished embankments at Thekke Kanapram mana, at Kaithapram in Kannur  
| Picture Credit score: Sainath Menon

He says it will be a pity if descendants of these households forgot their roots within the midst of pursuing their goals.

Sprawling mansions like Olappamana at Vellinezhi and Varikkasseri mana at Ottapalam have been the situation for Malayalam blockbusters like Devasuram, Aaramthamburan, Narasimham, Madambi, Elavamkodu Desam, Naran, Drona, Rappakal, Aakashaganga, Thoovalkottaram and so forth.

Of the numerous properties he visits, Mundanchery Tharavad at Kongad, dwelling to a big joint household, is one among his favourites. One other was Modappilappalli mana and its kavu (sacred grove) at Manjeri in Malappuram district.

Padipura (a traditional entrance on a path leading to the main building) at Modappilappalli mana in Malappuram district

Padipura (a standard entrance on a path resulting in the principle constructing) at Modappilappalli mana in Malappuram district  
| Picture Credit score: Sainath Menon

Sainath falls in need of phrases to explain the kavu that has been allowed to develop wild (as kavus are speculated to be) for years.

“I’ve stayed in stately mansions, within the properties of Vedic students, highly effective feudal households of yore and in palaces of erstwhile ruling households. Most have been welcoming and gave me a peek into their properties. However I be sure that I respect their privateness and by no means plan to monetise these visits,” he asserts.

Though he has had requests from vloggers to take them alongside on his travels, he feels it will be an intrusion into the privateness of the residents. He cites cases when visits by college students from engineering schools created issues for the aged residents.

On the transfer

Nevertheless, frequent requests by followers of his posts motivated him to type a journey firm, Mamangam, two years in the past.

Modappilappalli mana in Malappuram

Modappilappalli mana in Malappuram  
| Picture Credit score: Sainath Menon

“Our first journey after the lockdown is on February 7. The route and schedule are a shock for contributors of our one- or two-day journeys. We keep in among the homes, have meals there, get pleasure from impromptu recitals within the inside courtyards of those homes… It’s positive to be a novel expertise for all our contributors. However we insist that they respect the customs within the homes we go to. A few of these residences have hallowed locations inside, and we’re respectful of their beliefs,” he elaborates. The journeys have contributors from all throughout Kerala.

A e-book, Parambariyamey Pranamam, can be within the offing. It was litterateur Akkitham who inspired him to show his pictures and writings right into a e-book.

A choose compilation of his writing and images have been included, and it’s more likely to launched within the first half of 2021.

“Now folks from locations in Tamil Nadu are inviting me to doc their constructed heritage. That has actually been a motivation and confirms that I’m on the correct path,” believes Sainath.

“I’ve not completed seeing the wonders of Malabar. Seven days should not sufficient. I hope I’ve the well being to chronicle all these locations,” he concludes.



Supply hyperlink

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *