Kunjan Nambiar Memorial at Killikkurissimangalam, near Lekkidi in Palakkad district, has, so far, remained the site of the ancestral house of the great poet Kunjan Nambiar. The over-300-year-old Nalukettu, with earthen walls, has been a great attraction for discerning visitors. The Nalukettu has five small rooms, in addition to the Thekkini and Vadakkini portions, kitchen and dining hall. In 1976, the then State Government, headed by C. Achutha Menon, took over the house and turned it into a memorial. Since then, a 11-member committee has been taking care of the house.
Many leading lights of Malayalam literature such as V.K.N., Mundur Krishnankutty, Vaisakhan and Satrughnan had headed the committee. When Satrughnan was chairman, models of three forms of Thullal performers – Ottan, Parayan and Seethangan – were displayed in three rooms on the first floor. A Kalittattu was also built in front of the house. Every year, May 5 is observed as Kunjan Day. kaviyarangu,symposium, Aksharaslokam,ottanthullal and more programms conducts on this day.
A Kedavilakku before the deities of Kunjan Nambiar’s family – Bhagavathy and Ayyappan – is kept in a room on the first floor. The poet was born in this house in 1700. A four-line poem in praise of the goddess of poetry, which was scribbled by poet P. Kunjiraman Nair when he visited the place in 1977, is still legible.
“Over the next three years, we plan to raise the Memorial to the status of an independent institution for training in Thullal and allied art forms and also to promote research on Thullal literature,” says K.G. Paulose, Vice-Chancellor of Kerala Kalamandalam Deemed University.
Starting June, Plus Two courses in three forms of Thullal, Mohiniyattam, mridangam and Carnatic music would be conducted by teachers recruited and appointed by the Kalamandalam.
The proposed Kunjan Nambiar Smaraka Kalapeetham would function initially in a rented building at Mitranandapuram, nearby. The Tourism Department, on its part, has come forward with a grant of Rs. 45 lakhs to the Kalapeetham for adding facilities such as an administrative block, Koothambalam, performance pavilion and canteen by the close of next year.