LETTER FROM INDIA-KUMBANAD

Kerala, the ‘Gods own country’ and which is bestowed with colossal greenery, may not have too many villages that can boast about history and tradition. But Kumbanad is an exception. Kumbanad occupies the heart of Pathnamthitta District,which is considered to be a backward district of Kerala.

Though Kumbanad has been wildly approved of as the name of the palce,it is a matter of surprise that this name does not find a place in the records of the Travancore Government or the Government of Kerala.But there is evidence enough to presume that from the early years of the Malayalam era this place was a prosperous village though not known by the name Kumbanad, situated in the middle of Eraviperoor,Pullad and kadapra.This village stood far ahead of them financially and culturally.

Forty-one high –caste Hindu families and their servants were the early inhabitants of this place. Beautiful buildings on rubble foundations of rare build, pond and wells with flights of steps running up to the banks proclaim the glory of these families. Locally thase ponds are known as Manakulam and Kollarkulam(In Malayalam kulam means pond)Burial urns ,which were once used in the accient hindu cemeteries were discovered underground at various places later. All these go to prove that before the ancestors of the place settle down here, Kumbanad certainly had some inhabitants. Some kind of calamity fell on this prosperous Hindu village, it is now widely believed. Hordes of Parayas ,a low caste brigand tribesmen from what is now known as Tamil nadu,came down on the village and ransacked it .Thus Kumbanad which was a beautiful prosperous place of Hindu culture became desolate and turned into forest infested with wild animals. Wild elephants and tigers were here even a hundred years ago. Because elephants roamed about in large numbers the place was known as “Kumbhinadu”the elephant country, which when corrupted become “Kumbanad”

The situation changed drastically over the years. Now Kumbanad is a totally different village. Most of the people here work abroad or are returnees from abroad amassing enormous wealth and hence it is nick named as “dollar village.” This small village has sixteen banks and three ATM centers !!!!! But it is interesting to see that this dollar village has no jewellery shop and a bar.

The fish market at Kumbanad is very famous. Noted cartoonist Abu Abraham was so impressed by this market and he used to come often to Sketch it.

The lush greenery of this place makes it the cynosure. Kumbanad is a place of difference. Probably the wealthiest village of the country.