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KODUNGALLUR

Kodungallur is a municipality in the Thrissur district in Kerala. Kodungallur is 29 km northwest of Kochi and 38 km southwest of Thrissur, by National Highway 66.

Until recently the location of one of the greatest seaports of ancient eastern world, Muziris (ca. 100 BCE - 1341 CE), was usually identified in Kodungallur. However, some recent archaeological studies and evidences from excavations suggest that the location of the disappeared port could have been at Pattanam, a small town 9 km south of Kodungallur. Kodungallur was an integral part of Mahodayapuram, the capital city of the kingdom of Second Cheras. In the post-Chera period, the area was a feudal principality ruled by a royal family, Kodungallur Kovilakam, subordinated at early stages by the kingdom of Zamorin, and at later stages by the kingdom of Kochi, till the independence of India.

It is postulated that the city was devastated by natural calamities-a flood or an earth quake-in 1341, and consequently lost its commercial importance thereafter. Further, it came under military attacks on various occasions: in 1504 by the Portuguese-Kochi allied forces during their movement against Zamorin, in 1524 by the Mappilas during their attack against the Portuguese, and in 1565 again by the Portuguese.

Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple
It is believed to have been constructed during the reign of Chera King, Cheran Senkuttuvan. It is famous for its Bharani and Thalappoli festival. The temple requires the pilgrim to carry pepper and turmeric powder as one of the offerings to the deity. The Bharani festival at the Kodungallur Bhagawati temple is a month of festivities of the Bharani asterism in the month of Aquarius to seven days after the Bharani asterism in the month of Pisces. Traditionally, the temple (especially during the Bharani festival) has been associated with animal sacrifices. The blood of the sacrificed used to be spilled over two stones in the prakaram(closed precincts of a temple), but these customs have been abolished in the 20th century. William Logan, a social historian of Kerala, noted in 1887 that Kodungallur Bharani could have been the most important celebration in Kerala if Onam, the national festival of Kerala, was excused.

Cheraman Juma Masjid
The masjid was built around 629 A.D. by Malik Ibn Dinar[citation needed] in the typical local style of architecture and the bodies of some of the original followers are said to have been buried here. This is said to be the first mosque constructed in India.

Mar Thoma Syro-Malabar Catholic Church
The apostle St Thomas is believed to have landed in Kodungallur in 52 A.D. He established the church, which is believed to be the first Christian church in India. It still houses ancient relics which are displayed to visitors at certain times.

Thiruvanchikulam Mahadeva Temple
It is one of the oldest Shiva temples in South India where Lord Shiva is said to have lived along with his whole family. This temple has got a relation with Tamil Nadu's famous Chidambaram temple. This temple has another rare event called "Anayottam" (elephant race) which is part of the annual festival. Lord Shiva of the Thiruvanchikulam temple is the family god of Cochin Royal Family (Perumpadapu Swaroopam). Thiruvanchikulam temple has the oldest reference in history in old Tamil Sangam literature, well before Malayalam was formed.

Edavilangu sivakrishnapuram Temple
It is one of the oldest temples in Kodungallur. It is currently under the Cochin Devaswom Board, but is now looked after by the devotees of Edavilangu. Here, Lord Siva and Krishna are the main idols.

Cranganore Fort
Also known as Kodungallur Fort, was built by the Portuguese in 1523. The Dutch took possession of it in 1661 and later it came under the control of Tipu Sultan. The ruin is also known as Tipu Sultan's fort. The fort is about 2 km from the town of Kodungallur.

Chirakkal Kovilakam
This is the palace of Royal Family of Kodungallur. Kodungallur was an autonomous principality subordinate to the Raja of Cochin until India's Independence in 1947.