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Gramam - Chittur, Durga Koshtam, Lankeswaram

Location : Palakkad District. 

Chittur is one of the very important villages near Palakkad. It was here that the Kerala Iyers got their training in Vedas. This village has three sub villages viz. Thekke Gramam, Durga Koshtam and Lankeswaram. No information is available about why one of these villages is called Lankeswaram. In Thekke Gramam there is a Samadhi of the great Malayalam poet Thunjattu Ezhuthachan. Altogether there are about 300 houses in these three villages with 200 in Thekke gramam. There is a temple dedicated to Rama and another to Siva in these villages. There is a chariot procession in March -April observed by iyers of this village. The Veda Patasala in this village was started by iyers and supported by the Maharaja of Cochin. He also had a Thirumugam Karyasthan from among the iyers of this village. Several families had Pattalis, officers of the Cochin Government who collected the dues on behalf of the King. Thottu Pichu Iyer constructed the irrigation canal to this village and is gratefully remembered by the villagers. He also was responsible for the construction of Moolathara Anakettu (small dam) The Ezhuttachan Madam housing the samadhi of Thunjattu Ezhuttachan is a great pilgrimage center for Keralites. Sri.C.V.Anantha Krishna Iyer, who became Chief Justice of Madras High Court, Sri. C.A.Vaidilingam , who became the judge in the Supreme Court of India, Sri C.A.Ramakrishna Iyer who became Chief Secretary of Madras state, Sri. C.L.Ramakrishnan who retired as Vigilance Commissioner of the Tamil Nadu are some of the prominent people from this village.

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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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