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Gramam - Ayalore

Location : Chittoor, Ernakulam District. 

This village was part of Kochi State. It had in the earlier days 120 Brahmin houses. Most of them belonged to the Vadamas and Brihatcharanam sub sect. Most of them had either Pallaseni Kavu or Chittalancheri Kavu as Adimai Kavus. The village also has considerable population of Tamil speaking Chettiars. The Siva temple was in the middle of the agraharam. About 100 years back one Mr. A.K.Samban built the drinking water system to the Gramam. He did this by providing Public taps. He also is supposed to have built the Cremation ground and Kula Purai for the village. The Krishnan temple, which was built by the Iyers about 100 years back, was built in the same compound as the Siva Temple. There is an interesting story of exchange of idols that is told even today. It seems the idols for the Nemmara Krishnan temple (Parthasarathy) and Ayalore Krishnan temple were made by the same Sculpture. But there was a mix up while delivering and the Parthasarathy reached Ayalore instead of Venna Krishnan and they decided to install it in their temple. The Pooja for the Krishnan temple is by Kerala Iyers. Navarathri is celebrated in this temple. The Lamp around the temple was lit by iyers from a particular street every day of the Navarathri and the streets also got the name from this practice. Onnam Vilakku Theru (First lamp street) and so on till Eighth Lamp Street. Though the Siva temple is under the management of the Devaswom, the major festival of the temple viz. Thiruvadirai is celebrated by the Kerala Iyers by running a huge chariot around the temple. It is interesting to note that this is a typical tamilian custom. In Kerala Sribali using elephants is more common. There was a custom of consecrating bulls to the Siva Temple earlier. These bulls used to majestically roam round the village. But this has now been discontinued. Chella Vadyar a famous pandit used to conduct Veda classes in his house earlier. The Village has a great planter who was perhaps the first of the Kerala Iyers of Chittoor district who established a rubber estate. His name was Hariharan. His estate is even now in tact. Some of the prominent persons of the village are/were Mr. A.K.Seshadrinathan who was the mayor of Ernakulam, Ayalore Krishnan the well known musician, Mr. P.V.Krishna Iyer who retired as Principal agricultural College, Dr. A.H.S.Sarma, who worked as Deputy Director of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural department, Mr. A.S.Narayanan who retired as the Chief Engineer of Electricity Board of Kerala etc.

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Traditionally, Iyers are vegetarians. Rice is the staple food. The dishes commonly eaten with rice are Sambhar, RasamSambhar, Rasam, Pitla, Moru koottan, Vattal Kozhambu, Poricha Kootu, Kootu Kari and on special occasions, different Payasams. Their style of cooking depended on the use of til oil or Groundnut oil and mainly consisted of the liberal use of Tur Dal. Rice powder was also used as thickening agent by them in most of their preparations. For pungency they added green chilies or dry red chilies.  The Kerala vegetarian Cuisine was that of the Namboodiris and their famous dishes were Kalan, Rasakalan, Olan, Eriseri, Pulungary Mulagoosiam, MolaguVellam, several Upperis and a host of prathamans. Their major stress has been on the liberal use of coconut, coconut oil and pepper. The Kerala Iyers modified their traditional dishes based on the knowledge gained in the Namboothiri houses. The result was a really divine cuisine, which was the mixture of both styles of cooking and balanced …


The term 'Iyer' is derived from 'Iyya' which means 'Sir' in Tamil and which might have beemight have been derived from 'Arya' of Sanskrit, which means a 'gentleman'. In the earliest known work dealing with grammar in Tamil - tholkappiyam (meaning old epic), the meaning of 'iyya' is given as 'a learned individual'. Iyers were initially confined to Tamil Nadu. Though the majority of them chose to stay in Tamil Nadu itself, some of them migrated to neighboring states of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Over the years these migrants built up their own individual culture and established an identity of their own. In Kerala, they are commonly referred to as Pattars where as Iyers of Tamil Nadu call them Pal…

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