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Aluva is one of the important towns in India. It’s in the state of Kerala and rich in History, Culture and Heritage. Aluva is now in the International aviation map due to the close proximity to Cochin International Airport Limited.


Aluva has a history and stature of its own. The place used to be a continuous area of land spread across Kakkanad and Alangad. Historians have recorded that it was so up to AD 1341. The Periyar river was then known as Churniyar and had its course as a single stream, flowing through Thottummukham, caressing Mangalap- puzha and flowing into the Arabian Sea. The town used to be a holiday resort and a centre of commerce right from ancient times. The place was also thickly populated, historians have recorded.

History also records the changes that happened to the Periyar and its banks in 1341.Deluge forced the river to flow into two tributaries at Thottummukham. One continued to flow through Desam and Mangalappuzha to fall into the Kodungallor backwaters. The other made a new track to flow downward dividing the Aluva mainland into two, the north and south. It again got divided at Kunjunnikkara island, one to flow into the Varapuzha backwaters and the other into the Cochin backwaters.

The Mangalappuzha is one of those many landmarks that history had left behind in Aluva. Once Mangalap- puzha was known to be the nerve centre of trade and commerce in this part of South India. Spices, ivory , rose wood et al from this part of the land were the major items that attracted merchants from all parts of the world to Kerala.Taking a walk down history’s dark lanes we come to know that there were gallows, which were used to hang, convicts here. These were under the Alangad District Court . In 1800 the court headquarters were shifted to where the present UC college stands. The gallows were dismantled once the college buildings started coming up. The bung- alows of the Dutch and the Portug- uese were also there overlooking the Periyar.  H istory also says that Tipu Sultan had made his march in his quest to conquer Trav- ancore and had camped on the sandbanks of the Periyar. This was way back in 1790. 1939 saw the Marthandavarma Bridge being opened to traffic and since then it has been part of every Aluvaiites’ lifeline. The bridge connects the southern part of Aluva with that of the north.



Periyar,a beautiful river and second largest in the state is the life line of Aluva. A trip down the river and its silken-smooth sand-banks will be one of the most memorable experiences in any ones life.The history of Aluva brings to the picture the history of Periyar. The pres- ence of the river has given Aluva one of the most exquisite culture as could be com- pared to that of any part in Kerala. As it is known, the rivers of Kerala have brought with them the behavior and trad- itional aspects of the population living on their banks. The case is no different here either.

Take a walk down Periyar river and you will find some kind of a gracefulness envelope you. The cool river, it’s silken-smooth sandbanks and the people around gets into your mind to stay there emanating a sacred feeling that you would want to come back to its banks over and over again.The Periyar is indeed Aluva’s lifeline. The activities along the long stretch of its banks are always hectic as if life proceeds alongwith the quiet flow of water downstream. Small-scale as well as cottage industries thrive along the riverbed bringing in revenue and smiles into every home.

The riverbank has its ornamental look with huge tall coconut palms lending its own charm. The green canopy along the shores fills the mind with happiness. The temples, churches and mosques along the banks of the Periyar give a touch of Aluva’s diverse culture and beliefs.The town is also known for its communal harmony and the goodness that comes with it.Periyar is the most important river in the Ernakulam district. The Periyar with a length of 229 km. is the longest river in the district. Among the rivers in the State, Periyar is second only to Bharathapuzha in length. During its course five important tributaries join the river. They are Muthirapuzha, Mullayar, Cheruthoni, Perinjankutti and Edamala. 

The Chalakkudy river also joins the Periyar at Elanthikara, 10 km. east of Kodungalloor. Periyar is very high in hydro-eletric potential. There are a series of dams and power stations viz. Pallivasal, Kundala, Madapetty, Senkulam, Neriaman- galam and Panniyar on this river basin. Idukki Hydro-electric Project is the most important scheme of its kind in Kerala. Kalady, the birth palace of Sankaracharya, the greatest Advaitha Philosopher is on the bank of Periyar. Other important places on its bank are Malayattoor and Aluva which are places of pilgrimage for Christians and Hindus respectively. The Periyar traverses through all the Taluks in the district. The river is highly beneficial to the district for irrigation, drainage and navigation. The river plays a very important role in the agricult- ural, industrial and commercial develop- ment of the district. The Periyar Valley Irrigation Project is capable of irrigating a net area of 30414 ha. as at the end of 1990-91.



ALuva is rich with many important landmarks in the state.  Uliyannore Temple, built by the master carpenter Perumthachan and St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary are just couple of those.

The history of Aluva dates back to the days of the master carpenter Perum- thachan. The son of renowned scholar Vararuchi, who was patronised by King Vikramaditya, Perumthachan is associated with Uliyannore, one of the places of prominence in Aluva. History, rather belief has it that the famous Shiva temple at Uliyannore was built by Perumthachan. Going deep into the historical aspects, it becomes clear that the history of Aluva blends well with the days of this master carpenter and his hamlet of Uliyannore.

The Aitihyas of yore draw a clear picture of Aluva and Uliyannore through the narration of Perumthachan’s tale. Uliyan- nore is a piece of land on the banks of the Periyar river which flows through Aluva. Perumthachan belonged to this place. Even today there are a few families who claim to be the descendants of this genius.

St. Joseph's Pontifical Seminary Mangalapuzha is an institution for the formation of candidates for Priesthood. It belongs to the Syro-Malabar Church and has students from all over Kerala. The training programme extends over seven years - 3 years of philosophy and 4 years or theology. At present there are 350 students from 15 dioceses undergoing training here. Them are 120 students attending classes here as day scholars. There are 23 resident professors and most of them have a doctorate.St  Joseph's pontifical Seminary has a history of nearly three hundred years The begi- nning was at verapoly in 1682. In 1866 the seminary was shifted to Puthenpally. In 1932 the seminary moved to the present location at Mangalapuzha.

In 1976 the Carmalete Fathers (O.C.D.) handed over the direction and administration of the seminary to the Kerala Catholic Bishops Conference. In 1997 as a result of the re-Organization of St.Joseph's pontificial seminary, Mangala- puzha became the Major Seminary of the Syro-Malabar church.


India’s first international airport built as a corporate venture, the “Cochin International Airport Limited” is in close proximity with Aluva. It is one of the best international airports in India in terms of size and infrastructure.It’s been a dream come true for Aluva when this tiny town woke up to the drone of an aircraft on a sleepy evening in May 1999. A long cherished dream had borne wings that day. India’s first airport taking shape, as part of a corporate venture was something unheard of till that day.  The Cochin International Airport Limited thus came into existence with many a unique feature to its credit. Around 30Km from the city of Kochi, Aluva has found a place in the aviation map of the world with the establishment of the airport at Nedumbassery. The credit for the creating an airport of International standards goes to Mr. V. J. Kurian, the Managing Director of CIAL. Innovative spirit, commitment towards his job and the incredible confidence exhibited by this IAS officer gave shape to the Terminal that this part of the state badly needed.  The ideas of the terminal descended long time back at a meeting organised by the then Union Minister for aviation Mr. Madhav Rao Scindia. A discussion on the development of the Cochin Airport was the turning point, because Navy held the old Airport. When talks focussed on its developmental aspects, the Navy as well as the Airport Authority of India put up a reluctant stand on the issue. But a confident Mr. Kurian put forward a suggestion: Why not build a new airport with all facilities equal to International standards if finance was not a major constraint? The meeting left further decision on the matter to Mr. Kurian’s direction. From that day on, this officer was doing his homework around the clock to make his dream a reality.


Accumulation of funds was of course a problem. The NRI’s are to be targeted, Kurian thought. The then Chief Minister sanctioned Rs. 10 Million (1 Crore) for the project. The Nayanar Ministry, which assumed office later, sanction Rs. 270 Million (27 Crore. But this wasn’t enough. Managing Director scouted for funds at every other bank and financial institutions in the mean time. The first encouraging gesture came up from the Federal Bank. The bank sanctioned loan up to the tune of Rs. One Crore. Soon it was Housing and Urban Development Corporation's (HUDCO) turn. The HUDCO came up with a Rs. 250 Million (25 Crore) amount. Soon the project began welding considerable confidence among the non-resident Indians. The Malayalee NRI population, who number several thousands where chipping in with their contribution for the speedy completion of the CIAL project. 

On May 13th 1999, by 3.51pm a four-seated WTENK Donier 228 came landing the newly constructed runway at Nedumbassery. This was a dream movement. Mr. Kurian found himself experiencing the fruits of his committed labor. The Aircraft conducted the Calibration of the instruments, Landing system and other Technical formalities.  Soon dawned the 25th of May. The fully completed CIAL was to be commissioned that day. The President of India Mr. K.R. Narayanan gives the nation a brand new airport with all facilities matching International standards and its calibration galore. Bigger aircraft came flying in. The Boeing 737 undertook its test landing and the people in this part of Kerala is confident that they now have a good International airport for their own. Soon many operators began their services between the gulf countries and Cochin much to the delight of NRI’s.With the commissioning of the new airport the old Cochin airport was given back to Navy. With a strong team of 710 at the airport, the Airport authorities 60, and 650 odd other staff, CIAL has started a flight to glory. The CIAL structure stands on 1,300 acres of land at Nedumbassery. 

The runway design is such that any type of aircraft can make its landing or take off from here. All infrastructure like baggage conveyor system, x-ray baggage machines, computerised check-in counters and flight information system are now part of CIAL. BPCL’s newest refueling system is another advantage.  A whole range of sophisticated accessories of an International terminal is available here. Executive and Tourist lounges, Parking space for 1,100 cars, Shopping area and the like are the added facilities. The Cargo complex stands on 5,000 sq. mtr. land. Another unique feature is a prayer hall for passengers. CIAL has come up as a boon to the NRI population. The venture headed by the enterprising V.J. Kurian is all said to bring Kerala and of course Aluva where the Airport stands, more Fame and Glory.




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