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Chengannoor* Graamam
(Graamam No. 29)

This is the southernmost of the 32 original Namboothiri Graamams. The earliest reference to this Graamam is traced to the documents of "Nammaazhvaar". The Chengannur** Mahaadeva Temple is situated on the bank of river "Suvarnamukhari", commonly known as Pamba. There were said to be 6,000 Illams (!) in Chengannur, 3,000 in the Graamam and 3,000 outside. The latter had long ago gone back to where they came from. Though there were 1,500 Illams in the area, only 360 actually belonged to Chengannoor Graamam ("Sabha"). They have been classified as "Uthamam", "Madhhyamam", "Adhamam", "Vedaantham", "Vyaakaranam", "Prabhaakaram" and "Bhaattu".

Their Vaidikans (priest, ritualistic authority) are : Kalloor Namboodiri for Rig-Vedis, Pulimbelly for Yajur-Vedis, and Paarekkaattu for Saama-Vedis. The Saamanthan for the Graamam used to be Perisseri Amruthoor Bhattathiri. Smaartha Vichaaram (click here for Bhrashtu) used to be conducted in the "tank house" ("Kulappura Maalika") of Thrichittaattu temple. Other duties were assigned to :

Thanthram in temples : Thaazhamann (mostly)
Muhoortham : Perisseri Vaazhamaaveli Illam
Manthra-vaadam, Naandeemukham : Adimuttathu Mathham
Pasudaanam : Thaazhamann
Praayaschitham : Amruthoor Griham

Governance of the temple ("Ooraanma") and community was vested with the families listed below :

1. Vanjippuzha Pandaarathil - Chief - Does not exist (merged with Maampally)
2. Idamana Pandaarathil - Graama Sreshthhan - Exists
3. Ilayidathu Pandaarathil - Exists
4. Moothedathu Pandaarathil - Exists
5. Punnaritta Pandarathil - Exists
6. Mithra Potti - Exists
7. Muringoor Potti - In name only
8. Aalappurathu Potti - In name only
9. Perumaaveli Potti - Does not exist

The first five families have "Pandaarathil" status, while the others have the title "Potti". The chief priest status ("Melsaanthi") in Chengannur temple is given to four families belonging to Saagara Dwijans (click here). They are :

1. Thrichittaattu Paalappelly Velliyod
2. Pallippaattu Kadasra Neelamana
3. Paandanaad Velliyod, and
4. Puliyoor Neelamana

NOTE - Spelling :
* as pronounced in Malayalam
** as spelt usually

| Article No: | Last update of this article:10th April 2007 |
Article prepared by P Unnikrishnan Nair, Niranasseril, PO: Kavumbhagam, Thiruvalla - 689 102, Phone: 0469-2604022

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