Anand CV Mallaya

Ancient tsunami mystery of The Kerala coast

In travel on November 4, 2010 at 8:23 pm

I always had the wanderlust.And an obsession to dig the past. I have been wandering through old places where the legends walked in flesh and blood. And none of the written or oral history explained what I saw. I had a feeling like being an “Indian”a Jones.
I will tell you how it started.

In my paranoid times of the recession hit life, I was more oriented towards my obsession and passion. I Couldn’t just go to places I wanted to go. So I wandered on the virtual world and had my interests over the Biblical Deluge. And the great Deluge of Hindu Puranas and indications of similar ones from most of the ancient cultures. A great flood from prehistory. So if such a flood had occurred in the past, it would have left out clues on the surface of earth that will still be visible to the careful eyes. And indeed it seemed so(plain paranoia may be). And I searched the world(through Google Earth, Maps, Wikimapia, Wikipedia. duh!) for months and one day it suddenly started showing up. It showed me the sunken land of KumariKandam, the destroyed civilizations of costal Peru, the volcanic crater of Tamil Nadu, the mythical Saraswati river, the sunken Dwaraka, the dried up lakes of Afganisthan and Taklamakan and numerous salt lakes scattered around the world…
To add to these grandeur are the two small but new ones under my nose.

The Vaduvathu Temple

Location : Thiruvanathapuram

Wikimapia: view

Description: Excavated temple from sand. A temple of Dhanvanthari – an avatar of Vishnu, the Hindu god.

Vaduvathu Temple picture

Vaduvathu Temple

About 1 Km away from the Valiyathura beach of Thiruvananthauram lies the Vaduvathu Temple. From local people’s discription it is “Vadivotha”(വടിവൊത്ത in Malayalam) refering to the beauty of Vishnu idol. The temple is around 30 feet below the level of the nearest road. The whole building was excavated from sand. The story goes like this,once when the king Marthanda Varma(r his horsemen) passed through the place on the way to the nearby place where the criminals used to be hanged to death, only found his horse’s feet collided with the tip of the roof, ordered excavation.
We can sea granite walkway unchanged by the sea attack and corroded walls being kept under sands for years.
The original look of the temple changed due to recent renovations. So we have checked a local photo taken before the renovations to find a glimpse of how the temple used to look originally.

The temple Dome

A look at the idol reveals that the Vishnu idol carries a Kumbh(pot). And a temple for Dhanvanthari is rare as well. That means the architecture is not in a popular period.

Some say it is just 300 years old. And no written history about a tsunami that happened anywhere in the near future.

The Kotheswaram Temple

Location: Thuthur, Tamilnadu, near Kerala-Tamilnadu border.

Wikimapia: view

Description: Temple excavated from sand, nearer to the beach. Claimed to be 2000 years old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kotheswaram Temple Photo

Kotheswaram Temple

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is another temple excavated from sand near the Kerala-Tamilnadu cost. This temple as well, like the Vaduvathu temple, is near by the cost by aroud 1 KM. We can still see a sand dunes near by, that must be the result of a sea invasion. As per the temple authorities, the temple is at least 2500 years old and built by a Pandiyan King. This also is made of granite rock with good cravings of mythical creatures on the walls. Local people says the construction workers have found large number of human bones near by suggesting a tsunami.

The History of the Kotheswaram Temple

The mystery is that if such a tsunami or catastrophe happened in the past people will have written or spoken records of that at least in the form of folklore or stories. After being born and brought up in Kerala, I never heard about one related to this. Only one event people talk about is the flood of  ’99. That is different from this one. Because that is attributed to the flooding of Periyar river in central Kerala.

One reason nobody knows about is that it may be a minor event. Or it could be that the people didn’t have a habit of  record keeping. Or it could be that the place were less inhibited by people. But then temples are usually associated with large number of people. Or it could be because the attack wiped out the entire coastal region leaving fewer people.

What ever the reason is, I want to share with fellow Keralites. Hope to possibly giving me an answer or a bigger question.

(@anandcv Twitter)

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  1. May be there is some truth in your tsunami story when we consider the fact that mannar, kottayam, changanacheryy, kadathuruthy , kadakarappally etc where one on the sea cost and the fact alleppey dist is a ribbon of land away far away (20 t0 26 km)the mainlan and what is between is a marshy swamp (kuttanad and then vembanad lake.
    jacob

  2. Very good … am looking for this details. Can we pick out the Tsunami date…. ? Any other tsunami destructed temples along the shore. My house is also marked as venmaranallure some 10 km above this site on the sea shore.

  3. Remember,in puranas,hw kerala is formed?

    • yes. Lord Parasuram has thrown an axe and Varuna left the place. This may be symbolic. The ancient sages may have reasoned out that there is a connection between sea and the land of Kerala. This is probably because we can still find sea shells and sand far from the cost.
      I was looking in to the facts of these.

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