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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.