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Gramam - Monkombu

Location : Kuttanad, Alleppy District. 

Monkombu, a naturally formed island, is a small village in the Kuttanad taluk in Alleppey district. It could be considered as the headquarters of the granary of Kerala.

The village is blessed by the Goddess MONKOMBILAMMA (Mankombill Bhagavathi). The legend goes like this ...... a timber merchant was transporting logs of wood through the river Pamba towards Alleppey. It so happened that a log of mango tree got stuck into the shore and did not move. The merchant consulted the astrologers and found that the wood had the presence of Goddess Bhagvathi and decided to construct a temple, the place was then called as Monkombu ( derived from the Mavin - kombu ). Monkombu Garudan Thookam is quite famous. The temple traditionally belongs to the Kulangara Namboothiri Illam and is now under Travancore Devaswom.

Monkombu was under the rule of the Maharaja of Ambalapuzha. Once the King visited Tanjore and was impressed by the court of the King of Tanjore and requested to send a Brahmin pandit to adorn the court in Ambalappuzha. Sri Enji Venkitachalam Iyer was deputed for the same. On his retirement, the Maharaja presented to him his palace (Kottaram) in Monkombu. The family was later called Kottaram.

Monkombu has given birth to possibly the greatest agricultural scientist of the millennium in India - Dr.M.S.Swaminathan.

There are two groups of Brahmins in Monkombu - one is the Vadama group and the other Ashta Sahasram. The Ashta Sahasram group is termed as belonging to the Kottaram Madam and Dr.M.S.Swaminathan belongs to this group. They have many other eminent people like Sri M K Neelakanda Iyer (Former Chief Secy, TVC state), Sri K V Ananthasiva Iyer (popularly known as Alappuzha anna a.k.a Aappa anna, he was an educationist for 60-70 years and has a large following of students in Travancore area) and Sri Amrithanatha Iyer (a.k.a Kasi anna, was an eminent agriculturist). The famous Monkombu Andi Iyer, during his days was perhaps the richest iyer in the whole of Travancore. Dr.K.V.Krishna Das the famous physician of Trivandrum medical College belonged to this village.

Now there hardly few pattars left in Monkombu as all others are placed in job in various places. But, most of them would be present in Monkombu during the 10 days of Utsavam in the Bhagavathi temple during vishu in April.

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