Attractions of ASI Thrissur Circle


Monuments


The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 defines an ‘ Ancient Monument ’ as follows:-

Ancient Monument means any structure, erection or monument, or any tumulus or place of interment, or any cave, rock-sculpture, inscription or monolith which is of historical, archaeological or artistic interest and which has been in existence for not less than 100 years, and includes—

  • 1) Remains of an ancient monument,
  • 2) Site of an ancient monument,
    3) Such portion of land adjoining the site of an ancient monument as may be required for fencing or covering in or otherwise preserving such monument, and,
    4) The means of access to, and convenient inspection of, an ancient monument;

The section 2(d) defines archaeological site and remains as follows:

Archaeological site and remains means any area which contains or is reasonably believed to contain ruins or relics of historical or archaeological importance which have been in existence for not less than one hundred years, and includes—

  • 1) Such portion of land adjoining the area as may be required for fencing or covering in or otherwise preserving it, and,
  • 2) The means of access to, and convenient inspection of the area;

Protection of monuments

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) under the provisions of the AMASR Act, 1958 protects monuments, sites and remains of national importance by giving a two-month’s notice for inviting objections, if any in this regard.

After the specified two-month’s period, and after scrutinizing the objections, if any, received in this regard, the ASI makes decision to bring a monument under its protection.

There are at present more than 3650 ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance. These monuments belong to different periods, ranging from the prehistoric period to the colonial period and are located in different geographical settings. They include temples, mosques, tombs, churches, cemeteries, forts, palaces, step-wells, rock-cut caves, and secular architecture as well as ancient mounds and sites which represent the remains of ancient habitation.

These monuments and sites are maintained and preserved through various Circles of the ASI spread all over the country. The Circles look after the research on these monuments and conservation activities, while the Science Branch with its headquarters at Dehradun carries out chemical preservation and the Horticulture Branch with its headquarters at Agra is entrusted with the laying out gardens and environmental development.

The below listed Monuments are under ASI Thrissur Circle.

ST. FRANCIS CHURCH (KOCHI) :

BRIEF HISTORY: This is one of the earliest European church in India. In 1503 A.D,the Portuguese erected a wooden church dedicated to St. Bartholomew within the temporary fort made with mud and bamboo at Kochi. Later on the church was rebuilt in stone and tile roofed. The Franciscans raised the present edifice, in the name of St. Anthony in 1516 A.D. The first Portuguese navigator, Vasco da Gama's mortal remains was buried in the Church. Later on his son Pedro da Silva da Gama took his mortal remains back to Portugal in 1538 A.D.

The east facing Church has an impressive frontage that reflects the typical Portuguese style. The façade with an arched opening and the first tier has windows between the pilasters. There is a belfry over the gabled front and stepped pinnacles on the sides. From 1510 AD to 1663 AD the Portuguese officially called this church as the order of the St. Francis of Assisi. The Dutch made some changes in name and structure of this Church and carried out restoration work in 1779 A.D. After the advent of the British it was the Government Protestant Church from 1819-46 A.D. However, this church was known by the name St. Francis only after the substantial restoration and renovation carried out by the British in 1886-87A.D. This monument is under the protection of Archaeological Survey of India since 1923.

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ST. ANGELO FORT (KANNUR) :

BRIEF HISTORY : In 1505 A.D. Dom Francisco d' Almeida, the first Portuguese Viceroy to India construct a fort and it was completed in 1507 A.D. The fort was named as St. Angelo. Later on it became an important military station for the purpose of defence in the west coast. In 1663, the Dutch captured St. Angelo fort from the Portuguese and made modifications in the fort. Then, it was sold to the Ali rajas of Kannur (Cannanore) in 1772 A.D. Later the British seized the fort in 1790 A.D and enlarged to become the most important military station in the Malabar Coast. The fort St. Angelo is a composite feature of the Portuguese, Dutch and the English architecture (colonial architecture) right from the early 16t h century A.D. It is massive built of laterite roughly triangular on plan with high ramparts on a rocky promontory, surrounded by sea all other sides ,while a dry moat runs from the land side of the fortress on one side. The epitaph of Susanna Weyerman, first wife of Dutch Governor Godfried Weyerman died on 28 th march 1745 AD at the age of 17 years 7 months 16 days recalls the possession and position of the Dutch on the fort.

The cannons that are used by the Portuguese and the British were kept inside the fort. Presently, the cannons are fixed in the merlons and bastions of the fort wall which pointing towards the sea.

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FORT TELLICHERRY (TELLICHERRY) :

BRIEF HISTORY : Tellicherry fort was constructed by the English in A.D 1708; the fort was a place of attraction for the French. Its arched entrance is partly screened by a wall and surmounted by an ornate arch flanked by two soldier guards. Tellicherry fort overlooking the sea, raises to a height of 10 metres and is oblong on plan. It was built of laterite blocks with high round holed walls and strong flanking bastions. The small redoubts on most of the out laying hills have long since disappeared, but Tellicherry fort is in fair state of preservation. A lighthouse marks the site of an old redoubt. Dr. Gundert, the complier of the first Malayalam-English dictionary, established a litho-printing press here to bring out copies of the Bible. The site is a centrally protected monument under the control of Archaeological Survey of India since 1921.

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REMAINS OF FORT (THANGASSERY) :

BRIEF HISTORY: Thangassery was associated with the Chinese trade the first millennium A.D, and later, it was a bone of contention between the Portuguese, Dutch and the British. In 1517 AD Portuguese caption Rodriguez came to Quilon and he was appointed as the caption of the Factory at Quilon. He got permission from the queen to construct a house for the safe shelter of Portuguese. Later he secured the permission for the construction of fort. The fort was completed in 1519 AD and named as Fort St.Thomas. In 1658 AD the Dutch took the possession of Thangassery after defeating the Portuguese. The Dutch occupied the fort for several years. In 1795 British East India Company took possession of the Thangassey fort. . In 1823 Thangassery fort took on lease by Travancore from British Government for a period of twenty years. Scattered remains of the Portuguese and the Dutch fort and cemeteries still exist here. Earlier the city was fortified on land side with two half and one whole bastion but today a portion of the wall is restored here.

The site is a centrally protected monument under the control of Archaeological Survey of India since 1920.

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FORT PALAKKAD, PALAKKAD :

BRIEF HISTORY : The date of the fort goes back to the medieval period. The fort was refurnished by Hyder Ali in 1766. Hyder Ali vastly improved the fortification considering the strategic position of the fort. Till 1790 the fort was continually in the hands of the Mysore Sultans or the British. In 1768 Colonel Wood captured the fort but it was retaken by Haider Ali a few months later. The fort was recaptured by Colonel Fullarton in 1783 .The Zamorin of Calicut made some successive expedition attempts and temporarily occupied it. Later the place was under the control of Palghatcherry Sekharavarman, who ruled many of the feudatories of the Zamorin. In 1790 it was finally captured by the British East India Company under Colonel Stuart.

The fort built of granite, rhomboidal on plan with walls of enormous thickness. The fort has seven bastions and a moat all around. Fort was entered through a single draw bridge. Inside the fort, there are few tiled buildings, granaries a stepped well and a place of arms. This is an inland fortress suited to withstand artillery bombardment. inally captured by the British East India Company under Colonel Stuart. The site is a centrally protected monument under the control of Archaeological Survey of India since 1921.

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SIVA TEMPLE AT NETRIMANGALAM (PATTAMBI) :

BRIEF HISTORY : It is an unfinished temple of granite upto cornice with later two-storeyed superstructure of laterite having a tiled pyramidal sikhara. In front has recently been added a namaskara-mandapa and to the north a modest circular Krishna temple. The stone vimana upto cornice level of this temple is a good specimen of the early mainland architecture in Kerala datable to circa ninth-tenth century A.D.


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THE TEMPLES OF PARASURAMA, BRAHMA, SIVA AND MATSYA (THIRUVALLAM) :

BRIEF HISTORY : The Parasurama temple is the earliest among the shrines in the complex. This is an apsidal vimana of the late Chola period, probably only one of its type in Kerala .This temple is a culmination of both the Kerala and Dravida styles of architecture. Within the enclosure stand the shrines dedicated to Parasurama, Brahma and Siva, apart from the one meant for shrine Matsyamurti, Vedavyasa and Subramanian. The Parasurama and Brahma temples are datable to the thirteenth century A.D. while those of Siva and Matsya to the sixteenth century A.D. The earliest inscription in the temple dated to Kollam era 399 (1224 A.D) is on the west base of the Brahma shrine. It refers some gift for offering god Mahadeva, Tirukkannappan and Ganesa. An unfinished inscription engraved on the west of the mandapa in front of the Brahma shrine is dated to Kollam era 411 which corresponds to 1235 A.D. This also mentions some grant to the temple. The site is a centrally protected monument under the control of Archaeological Survey of India since 1983.

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ROCK CUT CAVE (VIZHINJAM) :

BRIEF HISTORY : This rock cut cave excavated in a boulder is located at Vizhinjam, also spelt as Vizhinjam capital of the Ay dynasty. Stylistically the cave, with the image of Veenadhara dakshinamuri and carved sculptures of Siva as Kirata and Siva-Parvati , has some affinity to the Pallava and Pandya models and is datable to circa eighth century A.D. The site is a centrally protected monument under the control of Archaeological Survey of India since 1965.


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ARIYANNUR UMBRELLAS (ARIYANNUR) :

BRIEF HISTORY : Ariyannur is a megalithic site with huge umbrella-like stones ( Topikkal ) covering the burial. Six Umbrella stones stand here in a group. Of them four are intact and two are partly broken. An umbrella stone consists of a curvilinear laterite stone with a wide circular flat base resting on four clinostats. The clinostats bevelled on the outside and each one of them faces cardinal direction. The umbrella stone looks like an oversize mushroom lopping a stem of truncated paraboloid figure. It would seem that the stone structures erected over an urn burial. Locally it is called as Kudaikkallu (Umbrella Stone).

Recent excavations at Ariyannur have revealed two urns, small one and large one. The bigger urn has the ring chain decorations with parallel symmetrical ends.

The site is a centrally protected monument under the control of Archaeological Survey of India since 1951.

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SIVA TEMPLE, PERUVANAM (CHERPU) :

BRIEF HISTORY : Among the two shrines in the temple complex, the Madattilappan shrine is the most outstanding model of tritala vimana of Madakkovil of South India. The other shrine Irattiliyappan is a circular vimana of the Dravida-Kerala type. The wall-paintings of the latter represent the mural tradition of the late medieval period. Both temples are assignable to the 11-12 century A.D. The site is a centrally protected monument under the control of Archaeological Survey of India since 1982.



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KUDAKKALLU PARAMBU (CHERAMANGAD) :

BRIEF HISTORY: Cheramanganadu is a megalithic burial site, there are many as 69 megalithic monuments grouped in a small area. The main type of burials in this area includes Topikkal, Kudakkal , multiple hood stones and stone circles. The largest Kudakkal has 270 cm in height from the apex to the middle of the base, which is 150cm long while the other measures 210cm x 130cm above the ground. Out of nine one Topikkal was excavated, yielded three pots without any bone remains.

Excavation conducted here in 2001-02 unearthed some funerary findings include urns in red ware, bowls of Russet Coated ware, vase and bowls of black and red ware, one copper bowl, iron implements and few bone pieces.

The site is a centrally protected monument under the control of Archaeological Survey of India since 1951.

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BURIAL CAVE (CHOWANNUR) :

BRIEF HISTORY : The megalithic rock cut cave at Chowannur is situated about 3km northeast of the town of Kunnamkulam, district Thrissur. It is entered through a recessed opening on the east. The other sides of its chamber are circular and its vault hemispherical. On its northern and southern sides are two benches and there are five circular blocks along the western side of the chamber, which appear to be intended as stands for vessels.

The site is a centrally protected monument under the control of Archaeological Survey of India since 1951 .

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FORT ANJENGO (TRIVANDRUM) :

BRIEF HISTORY: Erected by the East Indian Company in A.D 1695 on the land donated by the Queen of Attingal, it was the first signaling station for the English ships during seventeenth- eighteen century A.D. The Anjengo fort is square on plan. It has four bastions. Two of the bastions face the sea and other two the landside. In addition there are eighteen or twenty gun points facing the sea. There are many tombstones at Anjengo. The earliest epitaph dates back to 1704. The epitaph of Deborah Brabourn and Torlepe, narrates that here lies Deborah, the wife of John Brabourn, Esquire, commodore of Anjengo. She was born in 4 th November 1676 and died in September 2 nd 1704.

The site is a centrally protected monument under the control of Archaeological Survey of India since 1921.

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BURIAL CAVE (EYYAL) :

BRIEF HISTORY: The megalithic site at Eyyal is located south of Cheramangad on the Kunnamkulam-Vadakkancheri road in district Thrissur. This is a double-chamber megalithic burial cave excavated in a laterite boulder. The chamber has no central pillar but a bench is provided with an irregular width, which runs along all sides except the entrance is situated. It also has a wide pedestal –like probably for its central pillar.
Near the site were unearthed Roman coins of the Republican period datable to first century A.D.

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Monuments

The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 defines an ‘ Ancient Monument ' . Ancient Monument means any structure, erection or monument, or any tumulus or place of interment, or any cave, rock-sculpture, inscription or monolith which is of historical, archaeological or artistic interest and which has been in existence for not less than 100 years .....

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Monuments under ASI Thrissur Circle


Ticketed Monuments

1 Fort Bekal, Pallikere


Monuments in Tamilnadu.

1 Ancient Site, Kunnathur.
2 Bagawathi Temple, Chitral.
3 Bhaktavalsala Temple, Cheramadevi.
4 Fort Vattakottai, Vattakottai.
5 Group of Sculptures Dolmens, Banagudisholai.

6 Parthasarathi Temple, Parthivapuram.
7 Rock Cut Cave, Thirunandikare.
8 Two Rock Cut Temples, Varunachimalai.
9 Valisvara Temple, Thiruvaliswaram.
10 Vivekananda Rock, Kanyakumari.


List Of Monuments in Kerala.


1 Burial Cave (Ancient site), Chowannur.
2 Burial Cave (Ancient site), Eyyal.
3 Burial Cave (Ancient site), Kakkad.
4 Burial Cave (Ancient site), Kandanaserry.
5 Burial Cave (Ancient site), Kattakambal.
6 Fort Anjengo, Trivandrum.
7 Fort Bekal, Kasargod.
8 Fort Palakkad.
9 Fort Tellicherry, Kannur.
10 Jain Temple, Sultan Battery.
11 Kodakkalluparambu, Cheramangad.
12 Mattanchery Palace, Kochi.
13 Mural Paintings on the walls of the Siva Temple, Chemmantthitta.
14 Mural Paintings of Vadakkunnatha Temple, Thrissur.
15 Mural Paintings on the walls of
Sri Rama Temple, Triprayar.

16 Remains of Fort, Kollam.
17 Rock Cut Cave, Vizhinjam.
18
Siva Temple, Avittathur.
19
Siva Temple, Netrimangalam.
20
Siva Temple, Pallimanah.
21
Siva Temple, Peruvanam.
22 Siva Temple, Thiruvallam.
23 Siva Temple, Thiruvanchikulam.
24 St. Angelo Fort, Kannur.
25 St. Francis Church, Kochi.
26 Umbrella Prehistoric site, Ariyannur.
27 Vishnu Temple, Kadavallur.

 
 

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