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Vembanad Lake


Chirag Shah © panoramio

Aymanam is a village in Kottayam District, Kerala, India, the setting of Arundhati Roy's 1997 novel The God of Small Things.


Ay in the Tamil language means 'five' and Vanam in Sanskrit means 'forests': Ayvanam, or Aymanam, is the land of five forests (these are Vattakkadu, Thuruthikkadu, Vallyakadu, Moolakkadu, and Mekkadu). No forest exists now except few snake grooves. Kummanam was the horrible among forests.

The village borders Lake Vembanad on the west, near Kumarakom. Two-thirds of Aymanam consists of ricefields, two meters below sea level; the river Meenachil provides water for the village. Low-lying areas flood from June to August. Aymanam shares the border with Arpookara, KumaraNallooru, Kottayam Municipality, Thiruvarpu and Kumarakom. Most of the borders are marked by river or canal. This place is blessed with LIVE rivers and canals. Aymanam, Kummanam, Kudamaloor, Olessa, Parippu, valliadu, viruppukala,Kariemadam,Pilikkuttissery, Maniaparampu,Kollathukari are the prominent place names in this Panchayat. Extensive areas of Puncha Padams (Paddy fields)stretches up to Vempanattu Lake.Eraweesvarm Padam,Palliar Padam,Kallumkathra Padam,Puthenkary Padam,Koduvathara Padam,Thollayiram Padam, Ollokkary Padam,Thattarkandam Padam, Menonkary Padam,Pullanapally Padam,Vattakayal, are the names of Paddy fields in Aymanam.These Padams were cultivated only oncce in a year before 1970.All these padams were submerged in water because it is below the see level.Before 1970, after the monsoon, all padams build an outer bund with mud,most of them are not permanent and pump out the water to prepare the soil for cultivation.This process will take one month.The season starts in August-September and finish in January-February by harvesting.March,April,May months are dry season and all these padams are open for cattles and ducks.In June-July Monsoon starts and the outer bunds of all padams are destroyed by flood. Then again starts the season after the monsoon. This was a life cycle in Aymanam for years until 1970. Everything changed after farmers found Thollayram padam was successful building permanent bunds to farm double crop.When massive effort took place to make double crop all over the region, there was no room for flood water to go. Small canals were not enough to hold the flood water. The result was massive destruction of outer bunds so the crops too. Farmers built constructive outer bunds to face the floods. Some were successful and some not.Now almost all padams are protected by permanat outer bunds.But the ecology (nature alignment) is much changed.Thanneer Mukham Bund (Salt Water Barrier)across vembanttu Lake made a big change for the region. Water currents were a big factor for the region.The monsoon season bring a lot of muddy water and waste from the rivers.All these muds and wastes were carried away by the currents in the ocean.After the Bund was built all these waste and muds stay in Vembanattu Lake start forming shallow regions, causing damage to fish habitat.Salt water is natures purifying agent.In the dry season salt water came up to almost every where and stayed there for at least two months. Salt water is an agent,kills all the soil worms and prepared the soil for cultivation.During the monsoon all these salt water and impurities were pushed out in the ocean and contribute a fresh environment for a new season.Now this natural process is blocked by the Thanneer Mukham Bund.No water currents means contamination of water for a vast area,especially the pesticides and menures used for cultivation pumped out end up in Vembanattu Lake and stay, no way to flow out,because the bund is closed.This is a big regional calamity.Lot of fish die during the farming season because of the pesticides.Destruction of the horn fish(koory, kary, chillan, cat fish))is a bad blow to the envirnment. They are the cleaning agents in the water. In olden times a dead chicken thrown in the water stay there only for one day.this is the way they clean the water. When the double crop established a region with more labor and production, the same way a vast area in Aymanam is suffering from flood damages. The monsoon bring more flood water, no place to flow, rises up, upper regions goes under the water and the land crops are destroyed. More over the commute sysatem is destroyed. We could avoid this calamity by widening the canals to flow more flood water to Vembanaatu Lake.

Aymanam is about 4 km on Kottayam- Parippu road. The nearest railway station, 4 km, is Kottayam Railway Station. Aymanam is 85 km from Cochin International Airport.

Houses of worship

Sree Narasimha Swamy temple is located in the heart of Aymanam. Pandavam Sree Darmashasta temple is famed for its murals. The St George Jacobite Syrian Christian Church, Kallumkathara, is situated nearby. St.Mark's C.S.I CHURCH,OLESSA has a good old history.The Hermon Marthoma Church,Aymanam has been an old place of worship for the marthomites which has an old history.St.George Catholic Church Aikarachira

and Parippu Sri Maha Deva Shethram are centuries old worship places in Aymanam.


Located very near to Kottayam town and Kumarakom, Kudamaloor is on the banks of Meenachil River. The village is a fine example of typical Kerala rural ambience.Kudamaloor is in Aymanam Panchayat, the home town of the booker prize winner Arundhathi Roy. The novelist has woven her famed novel ‘The God of Small Things’around this theme village.there is one of the old house parampattu is located near PJM UP school.

Kudamaloor is more popular as the head quarters of erstwhile Chembakassery kings. The place where the palace of kings once stood is now stands Valiyamadom Nalukettu, the present residence of the royal family. The village is dotted with many old Nalukettu structures and mansions. Near Eraveeswaram temple the remains of the fort of the kings are still visible. Raised platforms and canon holes in the wall have survived the onslaught of th…

Text taken from Wikipedia - Aymanam under the CC-BY-SA-3.0 on August 7, 2013

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