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grand mother of Ankarath Tharavad , Kunju Lakshmiamma, of Narikkode
Bhavanam was the wife of Kunjunni Thampuran of Mankada Kovilakam.
She was born in Kuruva Amsa desam, close to Angadippuram. After
Kunjunni Thampuran passed away, she shifted to Kinavallur with her sons,
Krishnan Menon and Raman Menon. There, they bought some properties of
Kulathunkal Moose and built “Narikkode Bhavanam” on the northern side of
After they came of age, Krishnan and
Raman joinedCalicut kutchery.
When the then collector, Mr. Monroe became the Diwan of Cochin,
Krishnan and Raman were given employment and brought over to Cochin.
During that time, properties belonging to Ankarath Mannadi in Nallepilly
were taken over by the government as there were no heirs in the family.
And so, the government could not collect any revenue from those
properties. These properties were also collateral for some loans.
In these circumstances, Narikkode Bhavanam
Kunju Lakshmi Amma applied to the government to hand over these properties
to her and in return, she shall pay off the liabilities and revenue income
to the government. This was sanctioned by the government of
and it ordered that all properties belonging to Ankarath Mannadi be
transferred to Kunjulakshmi amma and her sons (985 ME – 1810
AD). Chondath Mannadiar and some others protested against this
government order, but in vain.
Krishnan Menon, who was then
working in Chittur Taluk as a village officer started staying in
Nallepilly with his mother, Kunjulakshmi Amma. Raman Menon was
working then as Sarvadhi karya kar (assistant to the Raja).
Once, Sarvadhi karya kar Nadavarambu Kunju Krishna Menon had a difference
of opinion and fell out of favour with the King. The King suspected
Raman Menon and Krishnan Menon to be helping Kunju Krishna Menon and
hence, relieved them of all responsibilities. Moreover, all
properties belonging to Ankarath were repossessed by the government.
Krishnan Menon and his mother, Kunju Lakshmi Amma had to leave
Nallepilly and shift to Narikkode Bhavanam in Kinavallur.
Since they were not guilty, Raman Menon and
Krishnan Menon appealed against the King’s order to the Resident and the
Diwan. In the investigations which followed, Raman Menon’s and
Krishnan Menon’s innocence was proved. But, the King was still not
Later, upon advice from the
Resident, Raman Menon went to Travancore to work. He worked as an
advocate in the kutchery in Quilon. And later, he was appointed
judge in Alleppey court.
When he learnt about
the demise of his mother due to illness caused by old age, he traveled to
Kinavallur. With his elder brother, Krishnan Menon, he performed
the last rites of his mother. The 16th day rites were performed not
at Pudumana Madom, but at Tekkinedath temple. Brahmana sadya,
danams etc. were performed. Kunjulakshmi amma’s first yearly rites
were also performed at Tekkinedath temple.
Raman Menon was widely acclaimed as a honest and sincere officer and he
was promoted up the order. Before becoming the acting Diwan of
Travancore (1816-17), he worked as Diwan Peshkar and Dalawa.
When he was working as Dalawa, he had to deal with
the Travancore – Cochin boundary dispute. As he handled
the case for Travancore very well in the Resident’s court, the Cochin Raja
felt very concerned. He decided to pacify Raman
He conveyed to Raman Menon that the present
Cochin Raja had no ill feelings against Raman Menon or Krishnan Menon.
He ordered to return all Ankarath properties which were repossessed
by the government (997-1822). The Raja of Cochin also presented a
“Veera Shringhala” to Krishnan Menon. He restored the diginity
and respect towards Ankarath family. Krishnan Menon was posted as
Tahasildar in Chittur with all powers. And once again, Krishnan
Menon started staying in Nallepilly (1003/1828).
built a nalukettu and pattayapura, but the family faced extinction because
there were no lady members. It was decided to adopt some one and
after extensive consultations, and upon suggestion from Ramam Menon,
Krishnan Menon’s children with Pariyaram Chimmu Amma were
Krishnan Menon’s and Raman Menon’s mother, Kunjulakshmi Amma passed away,
her idol made in panchaloham was kept in the “machu” in the nalukettu at
Narikkode Bhavanam. Daily poojas were done there and once in a
year, “Shakteya Pooja” was also being done. When this building was
broken down about 30 years back, the idol was moved to a newly constructed
building. This building was later rehabilitated with help from
family members and neighbours.
THE ACHIEVERS AND GREATS OF THE ANKARATH
He was known by the
name Dalawa Raman Menon. Him and his elder brother Krishnan Menon were the
sons of Kunju Lakshmi Amma who was from Kuruva Amsa Desam near
Angadippuram. Their father who was from the Royal family of Mankada had
passed away at a young age.
their education, both Krishnan and Raman joined the Hajur
Kozhikkode. Collector Monroe became pleased with the smartness
of Raman and Krishnan. Later when Monroe
became the Diwan in Cochin
State, he invited them to
with responsible positions in the Diwan’s accounts and revenue
departments. Krishnan Menon was offered the post as Tahasildar in Nemmara
and Chittur, which fell under the Taluk of Chittur. Raman Menon worked in
the office of Kunji Krishna Menon, who was the Finance Controller of the
Though the Finance Controller Nadavarambu
Kunji Krishna Menon was smart and up to his job, he rubbed some wrong
shoulders with powers that be.
Kunji Krishna Menon’s enemies leveled
serious allegations against him with the Maharaja of Cochin.
The Maharaja called for his Diwan and
instructed him to investigate the allegations leveled against the Finance
Controller Nadavarambu Kunji Krishna Menon. The Diwan asked Kunji Krishna
Menon to put up the accounts and details about specific allegations which
were leveled against him .
It was Raman Menon who
helped his superior, Nadavarambu Kunji Krishna Menon to put up all details
and reports accurately. The Diwan who scrutinised all this could not
establish any instance of wrong doing on the part of his Finance
Controller personally or by his office. (1812 A.D./ 987
Even though the Diwan reported about his
findings to the Maharaja, he was not impressed with what the Diwan had to
report. Kunji Krishna Menon’s detractors had very strongly impressed upon
the Maharaja that he was not capable to run the office of the Finance
Controller. The Maharaja’s opinion about Nadavarambu Kunji Krishna Menon
was based on the wrong advices given to him by Kunji Krishna Menon’s
In due course the Maharaja learned that the
papers and accounts put up for the Diwan’s enquiry was actually made by
Raman Menon. This enraged the Maharaja even more. The Maharaja ordered the
removal of Nadavarambu Kunji Krishna Menon from the position of Financial
Controller in the Diwan’s office along with his subordinate, Raman Menon.
Such was the rage of the Maharaja that he also retired Raman Menon’s elder
brother Krishnan Menon from his duties as the Tahasildar of Nemmara and
Chittur. He ordered that the property and assets which belonged to Raman
and Krishnan Menon at Nallepilly Ankarath be transferred to the possession
of the Government.
Raman Menon fought against his
unlawful removal from duties. He appealed to the Resident against the
action of the Maharaja. His argument was that he only put the accounts and
files as required by the Diwan for his inspection and that he never
indulged himself in irresponsible activities which brought about any
negative consequence to the state. The Resident who looked into the case
also opined that Raman Menon willfully committed no offence and that his
appeal had substance in it. But inspite of all this, the Maharaja’s order
that Raman Menon be removed from his position was not repealed.
Seeing that the Maharaja would not change his mind,
Resident Monroe, who believed that Raman Menon was a responsible and
upright officer offered him a position in Travancore
State. He worked for
sometime in Alleppey as an Advocate and later on as a Judge. He cultivated
an image for himself as being lawful and someone who cannot be prejudiced.
Many high positions in the state of Travancore came his way in due course.
Later on he served as the Financial Controller in the Diwan’s office and
also became the Dalawa.
During the time he served
Travancore as Diwan, he had to take a strong stance favouring Travancore
in a boundary dispute. He presented his case very well in the Resident’s
Court. The then Maharaja of Cochin, who learnt that the case was going
Travancore’s way got very concerned. He enquired what reason could be
behind the sudden urgency about the boundary dispute which was dormant for
a long time. Eventually he learnt that the man behind this was the Diwan
of Travancore and that he actually hailed from the state of Cochin. The
Maharaja of Cochin decided to pacify Raman Menon.
Maharaja sent for Raman Menon, but he refused to appear before him. Raman
Menon told the messenger to inform the Maharaja that he was an employee of
“Padmanabha Dasan” (Maharaja of Travancore) and that if he had the consent
of his Regent Queen, he would go anywhere and meet anyone.
Upon hearing this reply Maharaja of Cochin enquired
about what Raman Menon’s displeasure with the state of Cochin could be. It
was then that he learnt about the unlawful treatment meted out by his
uncle, who was the ruler at that time to Raman Menon and his family. He
learnt that Raman Menon actually hailed from the state of Cochin and that he had served the state of
diligently in the past. He also learnt that Raman Menon and his family had
to flee to Kinavallur owing to the unethical and unlawful treatment handed
out to him by his uncle, the then Maharaja of Cochin.
Upon understanding the full background and reasons to Raman Menon’s ill
feelings towards the state of Cochin, the current Maharaja decided to
correct the situation. He reinstated Raman Menon’s elder brother Krishnan
Menon in his previous position with better conditions of service. He also
ordered that all properties taken away the Government be returned to the
rightful owners – the family of Krishnan Menon. This news was
conveyed to Raman Menon.
In lines with Raman Menon’s
instructions to his messenger, the Queen of Travancore was officially
handed an invitation for Raman Menon. A request seeking the consent of the
Queen was also forwarded to the Resident. Raman Menon’s visit to
was duly authorised to by the Queen of Travancore. Later when Raman Menon
traveled, he was received at the Travancore – Cochin border with
full state honours. The Maharaja of Cochin bestowed all honours upon Raman
Menon and adorned him with a “Veera Shringhala”. (A picture of the same
Veera Shringhala has already been posted on this website).
Raman Menon was also honoured with the title of
“Mannadi Nair”. His family was bestowed with many honours and his
brother Krishnan Menon was awarded with a plush job at Chittur.
Raman Menon, who was appointed Judge in the
Court in 995 ME/ AD 1820 was elevated to the
position of Diwan in place of Krishna Rao, who later passed away. But some
immoral elements within the palace forced the Queen to keep on extending
his probationary period. Rani Parvatibai had reservations about confirming
a courageous and efficient Raman Menon as the full time Diwan. If duty
demanded, the Queen knew that Raman Menon would not entertain the whims of
even the Britishers in matters of governance. Because of this the Queen
feared that the Britishers would be unhappy with the state of Travancore
and hence appointed Madhava Rao in place of Raman Menon.
While he was Diwan, he fell out of favour with the
then Resident Monroe. Monroe was very happy with Raman Menon
about his governance and being the Diwan. Captain Gordon, who had the
charge of the Forestry Department as well as Development issues had scant
regard for the laws of the state of Travancore and refused to follow
established policies and procedures. Raman Menon as Diwan had to take
Captain Gordon to task and to strictly warn him.
Resident Monroe did not like the fact that Raman Menon took Captain Gordon
(a European and more importantly a Britisher) to task. Because of this
incident Monroe expressed unhappiness in
confirming Raman Menon as the Diwan.
After he was not
confirmed as Diwan, though he was offered the position of Dalawa, Raman
Menon did not accept it.
He said that he was happy
drawing a pension of Rs.175 on account of his position as “Sirastadar” in
the Hajur court of Kozhikode and was not interested to work as Dalawa
under Madhava Rao for a salary of Rs.1,000.
After retirement he settled at Harippad in his own house. He was a
diabetic and had to travel to Kollam for treatment. He passed away at
Ashramam in Kollam on the 9th of Edavam in 1004. Raman Menon's decendants
still reside in Kottayam and Haripad, many of them highly accomplished and
ANKARATH RAMANUNNY MANNADINAIR ( FONDLY CALLED DSP
One of the great ancestors of the
Ankarath Tharavad, Ankarath Ramanunny Mannadinair, Kuttamma as he was
called by the members of the tharavad and DSP Mannadinair by the public,
he entered police services as Sub Inspector to the earstwhile kingdom of
Cochin. He would hold many senior positions including the chief of the
Viyuur Central Jail before retiring as the Chief of Police of the Cochin
state. He was married to Ambat Gauri Amma. He has only one daughter, Ambat
Sulochana who was married to Professor Bhagyanath. His grand children,
Madhu Ambat and Vidhubala Ambat would go on to become celebrities in their
own right with Madhu becoming a Cameraman and Director of International
Repute and Vidhubala one of the most celebrated actress of the malayalam
ANKARATH RAMANUNNY MANNADINAIR ( FONDLY CALLED APPU
member of the Ankarath Tharavad, Ankarath Ramanunni Mannadinair is a
highly accomplished musician and a man of varied talents. He was the first
President of Nallepilly Panchayath. He was married to late Parvathi
Amma ( Ammukutty Amma). He is survived by his tree children, Rugmani
Devi ( Ammini) who is married to noted Cardio- Thoracic Surgeon, Dr
Achuthan Nair. His second son is Advocate Madan Mohan, one of the
senior counsels of the Palakkad Bar.He is married to Sharadha. His third
child is Maya. She is married to Hari Krishnan, son of Kavalam Narayana
ANKARATH SHANKUNNI MANNADINAIR
Another member of the Ankarath Tharavad,
Ankarath Shankunni Mannadinair retired as the commissioner of HRNC
A member of the Ankarath
Tharavad, Malathi is a highly accomplished and noted
gynecologists widely believed to be
one of the best doctors presently in Kerala.
ANKARATH CHANDRU CHUDAN
A member of the tharavad, A.C.C Unny
retired as the Secretary of Law, Ministry of Law and Justice, Government
of India. He is world famous for his deep understanding and expertise in
(This Page is a
dedication to the Ankarath Family. The information contained in this page
is taken from the extracts of the notes of Late Ankarath Vasudevan Unni
Mannadinair with referance to the diaries of Ravunni Menon, eldest
son of Ankarath Krishnan Menon and other avialable
records. We also owe our special
courtesy to Ankarath Pradeep for providing special information and
compiling much of the work of Ankarath Vasudevan Unny