Kothayur Rockcut Chamber Or Muniyara

muniyara or rock cut chamber

muniyara or rock cut chamber

KOTHAYUR MUNIYARA OR ROCK CUT CHAMBER.

The Megalithic monuments in  Palakkad district are fading into oblivion with the authorities responsible for maintaining them, showing grave negligence in preserving them.  The Anakkara  Ponnathannira excavation ASI site which yielded significant proofs are facing neglect of the authorities. It is reported that the monument itself has been completely removed. Latarite quarries have gulped the  vital parts of the Kothayur monument. Kothayur village becomes significant in the sense it houses a megalithic monument.

a stepped rectangular pit  in the laterite rock-bed

a stepped rectangular pit in the latarite rock-bed

Kothayur a serene hamlet at the foot of Anangan hills, falls in Vaniyamkulam panchayath is a priceless monument that should be properly protected. As we know Eyyal rock cut chamber or muniyara which was in a partly dilapidated condition was well persevered by Archaeological survey of India. Rock cut chambers or muniyaras are distributed in the laterite zones of Trichur, Palakkad, Malappuram Kozhikode and Kannur districts.

 

rectangular opening to the rock cut chamber

rectangular opening to the rock cut chamber

It is interesting to note that Robert  Sivel had located twenty two dolemens of megalithic period with sepulchral ssociations at Kothakkurissy a village, very close to Anangan mala. Important Laterite RockCutcaves in Kerala can be located at Eyyal, Porkkulam, Kattakampal, Kakkad, Kandanasseri, Anakkara and Sukapuram.

the structres inside the rock cut chambers

the structres inside the rock cut chambers

There are mainly two types  of rockcut chambers single chambered and multi chambered. The megalithic burials are the predominant archeological remains of the Iron-age. Megalithic monuments consists of ritualistic pre-historic burials of huge dressed stones. The word megalithic is made up of two word, mega means big litho means stone .The rock cut chambers  of megalithic period contains the burial parts of the dead human skeletal remains, iron- implements, stone beads, potteries, etc. The monuments have a wide distribution of falling into the time scale of, 1000BC to 3rd century AD in south India. Kerala is rich in megalithic remains of Dolemens cyst burials, urn burials, umbrella stones, hood stones, have the diagnostic  features kerala megalithic culture.

 

square-shaped opening in the center of the ceiling of the cave

square-shaped opening in the center of the ceiling of the cave

The kothayur muniyara or rock cut cave is fashioned by scooping  out a stepped rectangular pit  in the latarite rock-bed and then by hollowing out necessary solid mass through the narrow opening. The rectangular pit is more than two meters long and it has a width of more than one meter. A jack fruit tree has grown in the pit, besides luxuriant growth of
herbs and shrubs. The floor of the Kothayur rock-cut chambers pit is covered with dust and heap of dry leaves. From the pit there is an opening to the cave or chamber. The opening is square-shaped here. The floor of the rock-cut chamber is, somewhat circular in plan. It is a single chambered rock-cut cave, as we see in Ariyannur and kakkad.

rectangular opening to the rock cut chamber

rectangular opening to the rock cut chamber

The vault is doom shaped. It has a square-shaped opening in the center of the ceiling of the cave. It is usually circular in shape as we noticed in arThere are broken stone benches, inside the cage. The cave is more than two meter long and it has a height of nearly 2.4 meter. It has 3 wide pilaster like projections by the side of the interior of its entrance.

When  we neglect our monuments we neglect ourselves.

muniyara or rock cut chamber

muniyara or rock cut chamber