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
also records the changes that happened to the Periyar and its banks in 1341.Deluge forced the river to flow into two tributaries at
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.