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Ponnani is a beautiful town located on the banks of River Bharathappuzha. This river is also known as Nila River and Romans referred it as Tyndis. The southern part of river Bharathappuzha and Arabian Seas merge at this point. It is well known for fishing, trading, port, tourism, and pilgrimage. Ships, ferry, and boats are quite common in this part as major part of city is encompassed with water bodies. The town of Ponnani is popular fishing area and well known as place of masjids because more than 50 mosques are found in the city. It is an ideal example of peace and harmony among people as equal numbers of Hindus and Muslims live in Ponnani.
Administration in Ponnani
Ponnani is a Municipality town under the district of Mallapuram. It is also the taluka head quarter, block, and panchayat of this region. Strategically, it is quite an important city from the administration point of view. It is one among 20 constituencies of Lok Sabha representing the state of Kerala in Parliament.
The administration of Ponnani can be bifurcated into two parts, revenue and local self-government. Block panchayat and municipality comes under the self-governing system. 50 wards of Ponnani constitute the government body of municipality council. Members are elected through fair elections. These representatives are selected for 5 years’ terms and look for the development in their respective wards.
The taluka head quarter of Ponnani looks into the public welfare schemes run by central and state government. This is part of revenue administration which constitutes 13 villages in Ponnani taluka. All public welfare schemes allotted by government are routed to Ponnani through district head quarter of Malappuram. Talukdar is the chief officer and responsible for public welfare in the taluka of Ponnani.
History of Ponnani
Ponnani is one of the historical places used for trading since ancient times. It was famous for spice trading for foreigners since 2000 years. The name of this place is also found in the records of Willian Logan’s Malabar Manual. William Logan was a popular historian cum civil administrator who had written about Juma Masjid built here in 925 hijra at Ponnani. It is presumed that Malik Ibn Dinar, the first missionary of Islam visited this place as well.
Ponnani was also recognized as 2nd capital of Malabar for Zamorins of Calicut. Trikkavu in the region of Ponnani was summer capital for Malabar at that time. It was considered as pilgrim for Muslim during past time and also referred as mini Mecca of southern India. Ponnani came under the rule of Mysore Kingdom when Hyder Ali defeated Malabar in 1766 AD. After the defeat of Tipu Sultan in 1799, British ruled over this place.
The name of Ponnani is also found in the saga of freedom struggle as well. The authentic first book of Kerala, Tuhafat Ul Mujahideen inspiring the people to fight against Portuguese written by Zainuddin Makhdoom II was written from here. The great leader and freedom fighter, Shri KV Raman was from here. He had taken active part in Malabar movement. He was also referred as Ponnani Gandhi for its struggle for independence. Another leader and the soul of Ponnani, EK Imbichibava played significant role in the development of this region.
Geography and Climate of Ponnani
Ponnani is located at the distance of 70 km from Mallapuram and approximately 300 km from the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram. Ponnani is situated on the mouth of River Bharathappuzha where it merges with Arabian Sea. It is south-west coast of Indian Territory. The town of Ponnani is encircled by Arabian Sea from west, River Nila (Bharatappuzha) from north, and Beeyam Kayal rivulet from south. It is a natural ground area at the elevation of 5 meters which is ideal for ship port. Since ancient times, Ponnani is recognized as a trading center for foreign traders. Geographically, its location is 10.77 degree north 75.9 degrees east.
Ponnani falls under the tropical monsoon climate which receives three types of seasonal showers, pre-monsoon, normal monsoon, and post-monsoon. Humidity remains high during the period of pre-monsoon. This season lasts from March to May. Surprise showers are frequent during this phase of time. Normal monsoon starts with June month and prevails in Ponnani till September. Heavy showers are regular in this part during this period. Soon after, the north-east monsoon starts in Ponnani. This time, the region receives thundering showers and nasty winds. October and November are the period of post monsoon in Ponnani.
Winters are lot cooler and comfortable for people. Clean atmosphere and pious air is the identity of winter. December and January are winter time for Ponnani while March and April are recognized as summer time. The minimum temperature during winter is 22.2 degrees and maximum temperature during summer is 33.6 degrees.
Economy and Industry in Ponnani
Since the time of history, Ponnani is one of the major trading centers on south-western coast. It was narrow coastline and recognized as a part of Malabar Coast. Europeans and Arabs used to visit Ponnani for trading of spices and other useful things. Ruler of this region used to keep close eye on this region and direct all commercial proceedings.
Apart from trading, people in Ponnani are strengthened with the occupation of fishing and agriculture. It is major source of income for local residents. Arecanut, coconut and rice are major production of agriculture cultivation. The Fishery Board of Malapuram district is established in Ponnani city which looks in to the development of fishing trade.
In the context of industries, the city is well known for ship building businesses. Here, big ships of large wooden blocks are manufactured for fishing and other transportation purposes. This region is witnessing high growth in ship building sector. Timber industries are established to great extend around the city. Few numbers of textile manufacturing industries are also found in the region of Ponnani.
People in Ponnani
Ponnani has given many well-known personalities who have played significant role in freedom fight and development of this region. These individuals have worked uninterruptedly for the welfare of Ponnani and its people.
Among all, Thundhaththu Ezhuthachan name comes above all as he was considered Father of Modern Malayalam Language. Novelist Kuttikrishna Marar, Uroob, MT Vasudevan Nair, Kamala Surayya as well as C Radhakrishnan had Ponnani connection.
Popular painters Artish Namboothiri and KCS Paniker including poet Kadavanad Kuttikrishnan, Dedasseri Gavindan Nair, Vallathol Narayana Menon, etc are from Ponnani who has done incredible job in their field. Vakil KV Raman and EK Imbichibava were the famous personalities of this city contributed for peace, harmony, and development.
Other well-known personalities of Ponnani are:
V P Cherukoya Thangal
A M Abu
K K Bava
T K Noorudheen
K V Seeman
V V Kunjahamed
C Hamza Sahib
Culture in Ponnani
Ponnani is found with the mixed culture. Each ruler has given significant focus on Ponnani and developed useful utilities for people. The impression of every religion and identical beliefs such as Portuguese, British etc. is reflected in the culture of Ponnani. Major population here speaks Malayalam while second language is English. Equal numbers of Hindu and Muslim including Christians are found in this region.
Fairs and Festivals of Ponnani
People in Ponnani celebrate every event and functions with significant enthusiasm. Kondotty Nercha, a celebration of Pazhayangadi mosque, is a prominent celebration here. It is week-long festival held in the period of March. Nilambur Pattu is also important week-long festival celebrated during the month of January. Malaparamba Perunnal, a church festival is another beautiful festivals organized in this city.
Food in Ponnani
Ponnani is well known for Malabar cuisines. Here, people love to taste sea food, especially fish dishes. There is strong influence on the food habits of Ponnani. Usually local cuisines are prepared with lots of spices and herbs. Impression of British, Dravidian and Portuguese are seen in the food served in the restaurants at Ponnani. Due to mix culture, the food found in this region is the blend of south Indian, north Indian, Chinese, and local food.
Restaurants present here are serving best of Malabar food and international cuisines. Apart from these, bakery products are quite popular among the people of Ponnani. This reflects the culture of Portuguese and British. Bakeries, coffee shops and tea counters are easy to find around the city of Ponnani.
List of Restaurant Bakery and Café in Ponnani
Majlis Food Court
Address: Ponnani Kuttippuram Road, Keezhillam, Ponnani, Kerala 679 586
Phone No: 099465 56819
Address: NH17, Nibras, Ponnani, Kerala 679 577
Komala Sasyabhavan Vegetarian Restaurant
Address: Komala Tower, Chandhappadi, Keezhillam, Ponnani, Kerala
Tourism of Ponnani is comprised of many attractions including natural, flora, avifauna, water bodies, historical monuments, and religious places. Its impressive situation and wonderful sightseeing are the highlights of tourism. Once in a year, migrant birds come around the green belt of Bharathapuza and Tirur river merger. Interestingly, both these rivers drain into Arabian Sea after the few meters of merged flow. Tourists in large numbers visit Ponnani for its natural beauty and bounty ambiance.
Entertainment in Ponnani
Ponnani is well organized with entertainment facilities for people coming around. Movie theatres, bars, multiplexes are commonly found here. These places are visited by the people of this city to entertain and rejuvenate from their daily lifestyle. The movie halls in Ponnani show the latest movies in Hindi, Malayalam, and other regional languages.