Tag Archives: Calicut

Sandpipers Wintering in Kerala: Kutipuram, Kadalundy and Chaliyam

Tereck Sandpiper at Chaliyam beach, Calicut. 6 Jan 2013.

Tereck Sandpiper at Chaliyam beach, Calicut. 6 Jan 2013.

A Common Jezebel gliding away from the blossom at Kutipuram.  5 Jan 2013

A Common Jezebel gliding away from the blossom at Kutipuram. 5 Jan 2013

 

A solitary Marsh Sandpiper in Nila at dusk.  Kutipuram, 5 Jan 2013.

A solitary Marsh Sandpiper in Nila at dusk. Kutipuram, 5 Jan 2013.  Also saw around 1000 Small Pratincoles on the sand beds downstream further late in the evening.

An ancient sacred grove-shrine Kurumba Kavu, Sobha Parambu, Tanur.  Rare wild trees are still left in the grove though vanishing.

An ancient sacred grove-shrine Kurumba Kavu, Sobha Parambu, Tanur. Rare wild trees and medicinal plants are still left in the grove though vanishing.

 

Terek Sandpiper and Sand Plover at Chaliyam, 6 Jan 2013.

Terek Sandpiper and Sand Plover at Chaliyam, 6 Jan 2013.

Itty Achuthan Vaidyar Memorial Sasya Sarvaswam, Chaliyam

Itty Achuthan Vaidyar Memorial Sasya Sarvaswam, Chaliyam, Calicut.  Bass relief of Itty Achuthan and Van Reid on the gateway.  An asylum for endangered flora built on the old Chaliyam railway yard. Now with Forest Dept. of Kerala.

 

A Green Shank at Puthiyam beach, between Vallikunnu and Kadalundy.  6 Jan 2013.

A Green Shank at Puthiyam beach, between Vallikunnu and Kadalundy. 6 Jan 2013.  The migratory shore birds have decreased considerably this winter on these coasts says Vijesh a nature photographer from Kadalundy.

River mouth of Kadalundy where it empties into the Arabian Sea.

River mouth of Kadalundy where it empties into the Arabian Sea.

 

Gulls in Kadalundy community reserve. 6 Jan 2013.  Mostly small gulls including black and brown headed ones.  Vijesh says that their numbers have drastically declined.  A view from the road bridge.

Gulls in Kadalundy community reserve. 6 Jan 2013. Mostly small gulls including black and brown headed ones. Vijesh says that their numbers have drastically declined. A view from the road bridge.  Increasing pollution and encroachment could be the reason for the decline in number of birds and species.  Vijesh reports Curlews and whimbrels from the sea shore.

At the river mouth of Kadalundy, 6 Jan 2013.

Self portrait at the river mouth of Kadalundy, 6 Jan 2013.

 

Terek Sandpiper feeding crustaceans with its long slightly  upward curved  bill at Chaliyam beach.

Terek Sandpiper feeding crustaceans with its long slightly upward curved bill at Chaliyam beach.

Old British bungalow now turned in an interpretation centre at Chaliyam Itty Achuthan Sasya Sarvaswam.

Old British bungalow now turned into an interpretation centre at Chaliyam Itty Achuthan Sasya Sarvaswam.  This was part of the old Chaliyam railway station and yard abandoned with the extension of the rail line to Calicut in late 19th century.  Chaliyam to Tirur was the oldest railway line in Malabar in the 19th century.

 

A group of Terek Sandpipers at Chaliyam beach, 6 Jan 2013.

A group of Terek Sandpipers at Chaliyam beach, 6 Jan 2013.  I remember seeing a couple of them some two years ago in Chandragiri and Manjeswaram estuaries in Kasaragod during 2010-11 winter season.

 

Riding into the sea.  Wave breaker or Pulimuttu at the mouth of Chaliyar that allows the Bepur port and fishing docks in Chaliyar estuary.

Riding into the sea. Wave breaker or Pulimuttu at the mouth of Chaliyar that allows the Bepur port and fishing docks in Chaliyar estuary.

A Western Reef Egret by the wave breaker at the mouth of the Chaliyar.  Pacific Reef Egrets were also seen but could not shoot as I was riding.

A Western Reef Egret by the wave breaker at the mouth of the Chaliyar. Pacific Reef Egrets were also seen but could not shoot as I was riding.

 

The laterite projection guarding the southern shoulder of Kadalundy river mouth.  It formed an ancient way in for the ships and became renowned all over the world as Kadalundy Nagaram.

The laterite projection guarding the southern shoulder of Kadalundy river mouth. It formed an ancient way in for the ships and became renowned all over the world as Kadalundy Nagaram, the port city of Kadalundy. It was famous as Tyndis or Thondi during the early common era. Road bridge also in the right backdrop.  I remember visiting the place way back in 1995 some eighteen years ago as I was teaching in a school in Kottakal for an academic year soon after my TTC, just before my BA. The road bridge was not there then.  Vijesh Vallikunnu the native says that the bridge is also scarring away the migrant birds  from distant shores.

Common Sandpiper and Terek Sandpiper (upper right) at Chaliyam.  Common Sandpipers have become extremely uncommon this winter on the Malabar coast.

Common Sandpiper and Terek Sandpiper (upper right) at Chaliyam. Common Sandpipers have become extremely uncommon this winter on the Malabar coast.

 

Ruins of the old British structure at the mouth of river Kadalundy.  Kadalundy Nagaram was known as Tyndis or Thondi during the Sangam age.

Ruins of the old British structure at the mouth of river Kadalundy. Kadalundy Nagaram was known as Tyndis or Thondi during the Sangam age.  Roman, chinese and Arab ships used enter Malabar coast through this river mouth.

Bepur port from Chaliyam.  Bepur was made his second home by Bepur Sultan Basheer in the 20th century and Chaliyam was made into a strategic vantage by Tipu Sultan in 18th century.

Bepur port from Chaliyam. Bepur was made his second home by Bepur Sultan Basheer in the 20th century and Chaliyam was made into a strategic vantage by Tipu Sultan in 18th century.  The Zamorin raised down the fort at Chaliyam built by the Portuguese in 1503.  The relics are still seen in Chaliyam beach.

 

Puzhakara Pally founded by MaliK Dinar in AD 7th century (Hijra 22).  This ancient Islamic monument was rebuilt several times later and was originally part of the ten seminal mosques established by Hazrat Malik-ibnu-Dinar in various regions of Kerala including Thalangara/Kasaragod, Cheraman Pally/Kodungallur and Thazhathangady Jumath Pally/Kottayam.

Puzhakara Pally founded by MaliK Dinar in AD 7th century (Hijra 22). This ancient Islamic monument was rebuilt several times later and was originally part of the ten seminal mosques established by Hazrat Malik-ibnu-Dinar in various regions of Kerala including Thalangara/Kasaragod, Cheraman Pally/Kodungallur and Thazhathangady Jumath Pally/Kottayam.

A view of Chaliyam beach from the wave breaker projecting into the sea.  Tipu Sultan's fort was located towards the right.

A view of Chaliyam beach from the wave breaker projecting into the sea. Chaliyam fort was located towards the right.

 

Certificate given by Itty Achuthan Vaidyar for Hortus Malabaricus in Kolezhuthu script in his own hand in the 17th century to the Dutch.  Displayed in Chaliyam Sasya Sarvaswam, Calicut.

Certificate given by Itty Achuthan Vaidyar for Hortus Malabaricus in Kolezhuthu script in his own hand in the 17th century to the Dutch. Displayed in Chaliyam Sasya Sarvaswam, Calicut.

The gate of Puzhakara Pally, Chaliyam.  AD 7th century.

The gate of Puzhakara Pally, Chaliyam. AD 7th century.

Chaliyam fish landing.  6 Jan 2013

Chaliyam fish landing. 6 Jan 2013

 

Marine crabs at Kadalundy river mouth.

Marine crabs at Kadalundy river mouth.

Old oval pond in Chaliyam.  Could be an ancient pond and water source.  The British made it part of their railway yard, now protected by the Forest Dept.

Old oval pond in Chaliyam. Could be an ancient pond and water source. The British made it part of their railway yard, now protected by the Forest Dept.

 

Self portrait from the end of the wave breaker at Chaliyam, one mile off shore. 6 Jan 2012

Self portrait from the end of the wave breaker at Chaliyam, one mile off shore. 6 Jan 2012.  Not much pelagic life, just a few terns and gulls…

Kutichira: Ancient Pally by the Pond

Mishkal Pally, Kutichira, Calicut. View from the west. Originally five-tiered. Reduced to four stories after the 1510 attack by the Portuguese resisted by the naval force of Kunjali Marakar.

The place is named after the Chira or big pond.  Kuti Chira literally means the pond of a Kuti.  The words Kuti, Kottam and Vattam refer to a Pally or a non-Hindu holy place.  In Kerala places related to Jain, Buddhist and other Pallys are tagged with the term Kuti.  Kutipuram, Kanjirakuti, Karukuti, Kutikal etc. prove the Pally connection.  Kutichira is a south western suburb of Calicut city or Kozhikode close to the Arabian sea.

Chira or the great pond of Kutichira. Mishkal Pally in the backdrop. 15 August 2012

The place houses ancient mosques or Pallys that attract admirers from all over the world.  There are at least three monumental mosques around the big pond or Chira of Kutichira.   Some of them like the Koonan Pally have lost the old charm in restructuring.  The four-tiered Mishkal Pally is the biggest and tallest.  Juma Pally to the south of the tank is exquisite with its wood carvings and arches.  Muchundi Pally south of Juma Pally is an architectural marvel in itself with a tall facade, raised verandah and big pillars.

Juma Pally, Kutichira, Calicut

The Pallys are built in 14th century according to legend and inscriptions.  The architectural style of the middle ages with elaborate wooden work and carvings is distinct on all these monuments.  The proximity of these heritage buildings to the Jain temples are also remarkable.  The Jain temple complex is slightly north to Kutichira and that region is known as  Trikovil lane.

Juma Pally, Kutichira, Calicut.

It is interesting to note that the places south west of the Valiyangadi is associated with the Pallys of various non-Hindu religions.  It can also be assumed that Jewish and Buddhist Pallys also adorned this coastal region up to the middle ages.  Place names like Trikovil and Kutichira articulate the non-Hindu antiquity of the place, and Calicut itself.

Carved wooden panels in Juma Pally, Kutichira

It is also important to remember here that Muslims are also called “Baudhar” in certain texts and literary discourses in Kerala.  This convention significantly connect them to the Chamana tradition before the coming of Islam to the west coast of India, chiefly through the pioneering efforts of West Asian traders and early missionaries like Malik Dinar.  Mishkal Pally itself is named after the Arab trader who constructed it. In this perspective it could be assumed that before the 8th century Kutichira and its Pallys could be of Chamana origin.  The place name undoubtedly record this Chamana antiquity forever.  After the ruin of Buddhism by infiltrated Brahmanism in the 6th to 8th centuries the Chamana people embraced Islam that provided security and equality to them from the parasitic and casteist hierarchy of the twice-born obscurantism.

Muchundi Pally, Kutichira, Calicut

It is also apt to remember here that Kozhikode itself  is a colloquial form of Kovilkode. People still say Koyikode in common speech.   It means the corner land of the Kovil as Kasarakod is the corner of Kasaram or Kanjiram trees.  The word Kovil was also used to refer to the Chamana Pallys in ancient Tamil.  The Pallys of Kutichira face east like The Kodungallur Cheraman Pally, Kasarakod Malik Dinar Pally and Thazhathangady Jumath Pally in Kottayam.

Mishkal Pally, Kutichira, Calicut. View from the south. Built in the 14th century by an Arab trader Mishkal according to legend.

The ancient mosques of Kutichira that are more than 700 years old must be preserved for posterity and the futuristic legacies of Kerala.  It is indeed a great enlightening experience and pilgrimage in the holy month of Ramadan to visit Kutichira as I was fortunate enough on 15th August 2012.  Devotees gather here from all over Malabar to break their fast and find peace and solace in the soothing evening breeze from the Arabian sea.

Doorway of an old Muslim house in Kutichira