HistoryThe Koothattukulam Grama Panchayat is situated in the Muvattupuzha Taluk, towards the South East corner of Ernakulam District in Kerala.This Grama Panchayat, which today covers an area of 2318.71 hectares lies 17 kms to the south of Muvattupuzha town and 38 kms to the north of Kottayam town via the MC Road which passes through this village. Ernakulam is about 50 kms away and the towns of Palai and Thodupuzha are approximately 18 kms from here.
Koothattukulam Panchayat, which had once been a part of Kottayam District, has Palakuzha,Thirumaradi, Veliyannur and Elanji as the neighbouring Panchayats. The annual income of this 'special grade panchayat' is about Rs. 20,00,000/- Most people here are engaged in agriculture,with small to medium landholdings, the main cash crops being rubber, coconut, areca nut, ginger, turmeric, 'kacholam' and pepper.
It is believed that originally this area had been ruled by the four Brahmin families of Athimannu, Kottanadu, Kattimuttam and Pariyaram. Today the Koothattukulam Grama Panchayat consists of the four distinct territories (locally known as 'karas') of Koothattukulam, Vadakara, Paittakulam and Kizhakombu and has a population of about 17,700.
There are interesting folklores connected with the current names of each of the territories.One of them relates to a lady who, while digging in an isolated hillock inadvertently hit the head of a sunken idol with her implement. Immediately, blood began to ooze out of the idol's head and on seeing this the terrified lady took to her heels. This shock and terror upset her balance of mind, driving her ultimately to madness and she spent the rest of her days wandering aimlessly ('koothady') from place to place. The place thus came to be called as 'Koothattakalam' which over a period of time became known as Koothattukulam. The spot where the idol's blood is believed to have spilt was called Chorakuzhy ('pool of blood').
Prior to the annexation of this area to his kingdom by the Marthandavarma Maharaja of Travancore, the land had been ruled by the kings of Vadakkumkoor. They had a weapons training centre at Oonakkur, and so, this place came to be known as 'payattukalam', which is the present-day Paittakkulam.It is believed that some members of the Keezhekkombil family who were experts in domesticating wild elephants came over from Elanji and settled over here, which is why the place came to be known as Kizhakombu.
In the beginning of the tenth century, a group of devotees from Vadakara in Malabar set out for the church at Kuravilangad, carrying with them a picture of Yohannan Mamdana. On their way to Kuravilangad, these people rested at a place near aittakulam and on account of this, the area was subsequently known as Vadakara.
In his famous book 'Keralathile Sthalacharithrangal', the prominent historian and researcher V. V. K. Valath has pointed out that the cultural history of Koothattukulam dates back to the era of Buddhism and Jainism. Koothattukulam, thus, has an illustrious cultural history and the same is reflected in its very name, which suggests that this must have been a land of 'kooth' and 'aattam'. Looking at the forays made by current generation of this place into the arena of art and culture,such a guess is not too far off.
Even about 100 years back, establishments like a quasi-judicial court, hospital, sub-registrar's office, police station, post office, rest house (circuit house), tourist bungalow, Devaswam Board office and an excise inspectorate, all of which normally form part of a District HQs set up, had been established here.
From time immemorial, Koothattukulam has been a shining example of religious tolerance and comity.Hindus and Christians live here in complete harmony. Christian churches steeped in the cultural traditions of theBuddhist-Jainist era is a characteristic feature of this place. Though Christians form the majority of the population, there are a number of places of worship belonging to both the religions. The Mahadeva temple at Koothattukulam, the Onamkunnu Kavu, the Shiva temple at Arjunanmala, the Devi temple at Kizhakombu and the St. John's Syrian Jacobite Church at Vadakara are just a few of the places of worship dating back to several centuries. In addition, there is the Shirdisai temple, which is open to all communities, irrespective of any religious affiliations.