INTACH to document Palakkad’s traditional masonry gate arches Kamanams

Kamanams feature in old architectural style typically in the eastern part of Palakkad district

The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) is on a mission to document the traditional masonry gate arch named Kamanam found in old houses in the eastern part of Palakkad district.

Starkly different from the traditional gate arches named Padippura that serves the purpose of a mini outhouse in Kerala houses, Kamanam has been found to be exclusive to Chittur, Palakkad and Alathur taluks of the district.

“With a distinct Tamil influence, Kamanams are seldom found in other parts of the State. Although many of them have been demolished, there still are a few Kamanams scattered in different parts of eastern Palakkad. We are planning to document those surviving ones,” said Arun Narayanan, INTACH convener in Palakkad.

INTACH is planning to bring out a book that can serve as a heritage souvenir of Palakkad with photographs, illustrations and text by architecture experts. Mr. Narayanan said the Kamanams would be featured in the work.

“Unlike a coffee-table book, ours will be one meant for treasuring. It will feature illustrations, sketches and photographs that can make a Palakkad native proud of their heritage,” said Mr. Narayanan.

INTACH has sought the people’s help to identify Kamanams. “If you know of a house that has a Kamanam that you would like featured in the book, let INTACH know about it either through WhatsApp (9873440216) or email ([email protected]) with a photograph and location details,” he said.

Heritage walks

The Palakkad chapter of INTACH has resumed its periodic heritage walks and gatherings after a long gap brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. INTACH officials said that several programmes were on the cards with the objective of cultivating an interest among people for the preservation of heritage.

INTACH had organised several sketch walks in historical sites such as the Fort of Tipu Sultan at Palakkad and Killikurissimangalam near Ottapalam. Killikkurissimangalam was home to the 18th century Malayalam poet Kunjan Nambiar. INTACH was instrumental in popularising the sketch walk culture across the country.

INTACH had launched its Palakkad edition of sketch walk titled Varayo Vara at the Fort of Tipu Sultan a couple of years ago under the guidance of cartoonist E.P. Unny.

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