About our village Kalakadu!

Kalakad is a small, beautiful, agriculturally fertile village, situated at the foothills of western Ghats, away from all hustle and bustle of highways or cities. Not much of its old history is known. It has been under the rule of Pandyas, Nayakas, Nawabs, Trvancore kings and lastly the British. It was an attractive possession for all these rulers because of it fertile lands. Even now agriculture is the main and only industry. Certain areas of the village are known as “Kottai” a Tamil name for fort, though no fort is seen now, except for very minimum traces of a fort wall along the river edge near the new bus stand.

Kalakad forest, almost an extension of the silent valley of Kerala, is an evergreen forest, home for the lion tailed monkeys: It is a declared Tiger reserve. Many of the rivers in Tirunelveli district originate here. A small dam on Pachaiyar river constructed recently has water almost throughout the year even when other places run dry! On top of the mountain at a height of about 3000 feet an old bungalow is there, constructed and frequented by the British during hot summer months, as plenty of water was always there with a very nice climate. Even now one can go there, but with permission from forest authorities in Tirunelveli. Though a very very narrow motorable road had been laid some time back, it is in a very bad shape and only a very skilled driver on a good vehicle can navigate through it. While driving, the vehicle will almost never see sunlight as tall trees on both the sides cover the road. Many falls, such as “Thaengai Uruli, Thalaianai, Karungal kasam, Netteringal, Sengaltheri” are situated in these forests.

Ancient Temple of Kalakadu

There is a big and ancient temple with Lord Satyawageeswarar and Gomathi Ambal as presiding deities. One can see and listen to music from the stone pillars in this temple at the main mandapam at the entrance to sannidhi of Sri Sathyawageeswarar. The Rajagopuram of this temple has 9 tiers. After a lot of gap between the last known Kumbabishekam performed in 1935, recently in 2000 Kumbabishekam was carried out for all the sannidhis: However the Rajagopuram was left out due to paucity of funds at that time.

Many people within Kalakad and outside, joined together and formed an association in 2008, named Bakthar Peravai to take up this work. After toiling for 3 long years, they saw the fruit of their work, and the Kumbabishekam was performed on 14th july 2011 in a grand scale, not scene before in the history of Kalakad.

Schools in Kalakadu

One of the schools was established in the year 1911 in memory of the coronation of king Edward Seventh, known shortly as ECM higher elementary school, though it is being run now as a high school for girls, by KunDrakkudi Adheenam. There is a Govt high school, K.A.M.P Meerania High school, and another private English medium high school: Two more high schools are situated in surrounding villages. However there is no higher education facility in Kalakad.

Records indicate that U.Ve. Saminatha Iyer visited this place and he was lucky enough to get a full copy of ‘ Pathu Pattu’ that he was searching. A great carnatic musician, Kalakad Rammanarayana Bhagawathar was born here. As early as in the sixties, an outsider, a veterinary doctor from of SankaranKoil remarked, “I find almost in every house of the main streets, minimum one graduate, either a male or a female!”. And Sankarankoil is a much bigger place than Kalakad!

A carnatic musical genius was born in Kalakad who was also honoured as a KALAIMAMANI. He is Late Sri. Ramanarayana iyer who was a well known singer and asthana vidwan of Sringeri Sarada peedam.

As is the case with almost all the villages in India, the natives of Kalakad are slowly leaving Kalakad and settling throughout the world, looking for greener pastures. The river that was existing till a few years back is not at all visible now as it is fully covered by bushes now and it serves only a sewage water drainage stream. The challenge that Kalakad faces now is to come out of all such issues and regain its past glory, and offer a happy, contended living for its residents and a place worth visiting many times for all others.