Changeable Hawk Eagle of Thrikanapuram
// May 4th, 2012 // Culture and Ecology
Thrikanapuram is an ancient cultural site on the southern bank of Perar or Bharathapuzha. Kuttippuram bridge connects it with Kuttippuram on the northern bank. Thrikanapuram is distinguished for its sacred groves and shrines. It houses some of the ancient grove-shrines like Papini Kavu. The similarity in place names to Papini Vattam and Thrikanamathilakam (or Mathilakam) near Kodungallur that are situated at the mouth of Periyar towards the south is remarkable.
Thrikanamathilakam is also called Thirukunavayil Kottam and was an ancient Jain cultural centre and university till the 8th century. Papini Vattam was an ancient Jain nunnery later condemned as the ‘temple of sinners’ (Papini means accursed witches and Vattam denotes a Sramana shrine) by Brahmanism. It is evident that Thrikanapuram in Malappuram district on the southern banks of the Perar was an ancient Jain cultural centre like Thrikanamathilakam near the mouth of the Periyar in Thrissur district.
In the evening of May Day 2012 I visited this ancient laterite plateau rising up to 100 meters from the river bed. Near the Papini Kavu I could see a huge hawk being chased by crows. I got a few shots of this big raptor and it escaped into the dying light of the evening salvaging itself from the crows. The long pronounced crest and tail bands of the bird were clear. The out-thrown wings and swooping flight of the raptor was amazing and awesome. On returning I found it to be a Changeable Hawk Engle with the field books.