Ramavarmapuram is the northern suburb of Thrissur City in Kerala. This suburban area is home to several governmental and other institutions of national importance. The largest menhir type megalithic monument in granite in Kerala is found here. A local catholic church (St. Francis Xavier's Church, Pallimoola, Ramavarmapuram) has recently been adorned with mural paintings in the traditional Kerala style. This is the first instance of such a church decoration in Kerala in modern times.
At the time of the founding of a broadcasting station of All India Radio in Thrissur, the place where the station was established was renamed as Ramavarmapuram. Prior to that the place was known as Anappara. The original place name still lingers in native usage. Over the years the place specified as Ramavarmapuram expanded to include the entire region in the northern suburbs of Thrissur City. After of the formation of Thrissur Municipal Corporation in September 2000, one of the fifty-two divisions of the city has been named Ramavarmapuram. There is also a Post Office named Ramavarmapuram (PIN : 680631) serving parts of these suburbs. The area can be reached by bus from Swaraj Round and North Bus Stand in Thrissur.
Origin of the name
A part of the real estate holdings of the Cochin royal family was acquired by the government for setting up a broadcasting station of All India Radio in Thrissur. The place where the station was established was named as Ramavarmapuram in honour and to perpetuate the memory of Rama Varma the donor of the land. The word 'Ramavarmapuram' can be loosely translated into English as 'Rama Varma's land'. The donor was the last king of the princely state of Cochin, Rama Varma Kunjunni Thampuran known popularly as Pareekshith Thampuran. He was born on 15 August 1876 and crowned as king in July 1948. On 1 July 1949, the princely states of Travancore and Cochin were integrated to form the Travancore-Cochin state. With that merger Thampuran ceased to be the Maharaja of Cochin. He died in November 1964 at Thripunithura.In Cochin royal family all the male members were named according to the following convention:
eldest son to a mother - Rama Varma, second son - Kerala Varma and third son - Ravi Varma.
Because of this convention the official names of most of the rulers of Cochin were Rama Varma.
Counting since 1500 CE Pareekshith Thampuran was the eighteenth king named Rama Varma in the history of Cochin.
Pre-history of the locality
Ramavarmapuram has a little known pre-history. The area must have been the site of human settlement in very ancient times. This is evidenced by the presence of a megalithic monument there. The monument is in granite and is of menhir type. Such monuments are very rare in Kerala. In fact, including Ramavarmapuram, there are only two places in Kerala where such monuments exist. The other place is Kuttoor also in Thrissur district. The monument in Ramavarmapuram is the larger of the two and measures 15 feet (4.6 m) in height and 12 feet 4 inches (3.76 m) in breadth. It is under the protection of Department of Archaeology since 1944. The monument is locally known as 'Padakkallu' or 'Pulachikkallu'.These menhirs are memorials for the departed souls put up at burial
sites. They belong to the Megalithic Age of Kerala, which is roughly estimated between 1000 BCE and 500 CE. All such monuments have not been dated exactly. Some experts are of the view that these are the remnants of the Neolithic Age in the development of human technology.
The Ramavarmapuram menhir is also believed to be a monument belonging to the Sangam period in the South Indian history.
The nature of the terrain of region is reflected in the original name of the area. 'Anappara' is the place of the 'elephant rock', a place with a rock resembling the back of an elephant. (There are many places in Kerala named Anappara.) Ramavarmapuram area has extensive granite quarries supplying large quantities of construction aggregates in the form boulders, crushed stone and gravel to the building industry in Thrissur district.
A factory has been established in 2003 to produce dimension stones in granite. The tiles and slabs produced by the factory have a unique color christened 'Malabar green'.
The local Catholic St Francis Xavier's Church, established in 1911, upon its renovation in 2005 has been adorned with murals depicting Biblical themes, painted in the traditional Kerala style.
MarGeevarghese Sahda Church, Cheroor
The Assyrian Church of the East in India is known as the Chaldean Syrian Church. Outside India the name Chaldean Church refers to that branch of the Church of the East which has a separate existence from 1553 AD when Pope consecrated a monk named John Sulaqa as the Patriarch of the Chaldeans of Babel. The head of Chaldean Church is Patriarch Cardinal Immanuel Delli who resides in Baghdad. The Catholicos Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East is Khanania Dinkha IV who resides in Chicago where a lot of Assyrians from Iran and Iraq have migrated during the 20th century.
The Chaldean Syrian Church in India is based in Trichur. The history of this church in the early centuries is the same as the history of the other Syrian churches in Kerala. From the arrival of St. Thomas till the coonen cross in 1653 the history of the Indian church is common. Therefore, referring to this period the account written by Fr. Dr. Geevarghese Panicker (a priest of the Syro-Malankara Church who accepted the Pope on 20 September 1930) published in the Journal of St. Thomas Christians, Vol. II, and No.2. Oct-Dec 2000 is reproduced below.
According to official records there are only around ten churches in Kerala having murals. All of them are at least two centuries old. The renovated St. Francis Xavier's Church has 16 murals that depict important incidents in the life of Jesus Christ. Blue has been extensively used in these murals in contrast to the use of red as the dominant colour in murals in Kerala.
These murals have attracted a lot of media attention. They have been described as an attempt at fusion of Indian and Western traditions. The paintings are the creations of P K Sadanandan, a product of the Institute of Mural Painting, Guruvayur.
The church authorities had christened the place where the church is located as Vijayapuram. But the place name was not accorded any official recognition and quickly faded from local usage. However, in diocese records the location of the church is still mentioned as Vijayapuram. The adjacent road junction is the Church Corner, and it is the main road cross of Ramavarmapuram.
Institutions in Ramavarmapuram
Ramavarmapuram has an unusual concentration of well-known establishments all connected to Kerala Police. These include one of the largest police training centres in India, south India's only police dog training centre and the headquarters of the Kerala Armed Police I Battalion. This has its origins in the separation of the then Cochin State Police into two divisions in the early 1930s and the stationing of the headquarters of one of the divisions in the present-day Ramavarmapuram. There are also several unique educational institutions in the area. The second oldest engineering college in Kerala, a unique dairy training centre and a separate training centre for Hindi teachers are all located here.
Social support to depraved and destitute persons - women, poor old aged people, orphans - is provided through several governmental and privately run welfare homes. Ramavarmapuram has a host of such institutions. The most notable among them is Christ Villa Poor Home for the Elderly which is Kerala's first residential counseling and rehabilitation centre.
An award-winning blood bank complex, a Doordarshan studio and a historic central prison are some of the other notable institutions in Ramavarmapuram.
Institutions connected to Kerala Police
Headquarters of Kerala Armed Police I Battalion
The battalion was established by a Government order in 1972. A striking feature of this campus of Kerala Armed Police is the particular shape of its barracks: Three-storied Z- and L-shaped barracks all constructed by Rao Bahadur T S Narayana Iyyer, Dewan of Cochin in 1930s. The camp site is located in a 26-acre (110,000 m2) campus. Retrieved 8 January 2009 This was the first such battalion to be formed in Kerala. Presently there are five such battalions.
The armed police battalions serve as reserve force to be deployed whenever and wherever the district police fall short of manpower in the maintenance of law and order. When so deployed, they function under the control of the district police officers and are returned to their camps as soon as the requirement is over. Unlike district police, they are not permitted to undertake crime investigation work. The battalions are maintained on the pattern of infantry battalions.
Kerala Police Academy
The Academy, spread over an area of 348 acres (1.4 km²), started functioning in May 2004. It is the main training centre of Kerala Police and is designed to have a capacity of training 1950 trainees at a time, which is one of the highest in India.
Police Dog Training Center
This is the only one such centre in South India. The first batch of dogs was passed out in October 2008. The centre is attached to Kerala Police Academy.
There are two types of dogs employed by Police: 'Tracker dogs' which track criminals and 'Sniffer dogs' which detects explosives, narcotics etc. The dog training centre
can accommodate 30 dogs at a time and they can be trained in both tracking and sniffing operations.
Thrissur District Armed Reserve Police
The administrative blocks, residential quarters, parade grounds and other establishments connected with Thrissur District Armed Reserve Police are all located in Ramavarmapuram adjacent to the campus of Kerala Armed Police I Battalion.
After several mergers of the various wings of the law-enforcement agencies existing in the different parts of Kerala before independence, a force called State General Armed Reserve was formed in 1941. This was bifurcated in 1958 to form the Special Armed Police Battalion and the
District Armed Reserve Police.
Kerala Fire and Rescue Services Academy
The academy started functioning in June 2007. There is a growing demand for trained fire fighting men in foreign countries. The Academy is designed to run rescue and fire fighting courses for able bodied youth. The Government has requested the Central Government to upgrade the Academy as a national centre for disaster management training.
Administrative Office of Thrissur City Police Commissioner
The Administrative Office of Thrissur City Police Commissioner is located in Ramavarmapuram.
The Thrissur City Police Commissionerate was formed in March 2011 by bifurcating the then existing Thrissur police district into rural and urban. The administrative jurisdiction of the City Police Commissioner covers 12 police stations including a women police station and a traffic station. These stations fall in three subdivisions, namely, Thrissur (comprising Thrissur East, Thrissur West and Ollur circles) and Guruvayur (comprising Peramangalam and Guruvayur circles). P. Vijayan is the first City Police Commissioner of Thrissur.
Civil Defence Training Institute
Kerala's first Civil Defence Training Institute is being set up in a campus spread over eight acres of land in Ramavarmapuram near Viyyur Central Jail. Oommen Chandy, Kerala Chief Minister, laid the foundation for the Institute on 30 June 2012. The Institute is intended to train ex-service men, home guards, NCC cadets and the general public to deal with disasters, including natural calamities.
State Institute of English, Kerala
The State Institute of English-Kerala is a state-level centre established by Government of Kerala and functioning in Ramavarmapuram to promote English language studies in Kerala. Though the Institute started functioning in May 2011, it was formally inaugurated by Kerala Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb only on 1 October 2011. It is an English Language Training Institute (ELTI) affiliated to English and Foreign Languages University (EFL University), Hyderabad. The Institute coordinates research and training activities in English language teaching by working in tandem with the District Centres for English at Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Thrissur and Kozhikode. The Institute's stress is on developing and delivering methodologies for improving communication skills of students by continued training of teachers. The training sessions in the Institute utilises technology-aided English language teaching methods.
Government Engineering College, Thrissur
Government Engineering College, Thrissur, is the second oldest engineering college in Kerala. It is also the first engineering college to be established after the formation of the State of Kerala.
The college started functioning in the Chembukkavu (Thrissur) campus of Maharaja's Technological Institute in 1957. The classes were shifted to the present campus in October 1960 and the college was formally inaugurated in February 1962. The present college campus is spread over an area of 75 acres (300,000 m2). The foundation stone of the college was laid by late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, on 26 April 1958.
The land which is now under the control of Government Engineering College, Thrissur, was originally in the hands of Parukkutty Nethyar Amma (Malayalam : പാറുക്കുട്ടി നേത്യാര് അമ്മ). She was the consort of Maharaja Rama Varma, who reigned as king of the princely state of Cochin from 1914 to 1932. After his demise in 1932 while staying in Madras (Chennai), Maharaja Rama Varma was popularly referred to as 'Madrassil Theepetta Thampuran'.
Vimala College, Thrissur
Prior to the de-linking of Pre-Degree Courses from the academic control of the universities,
Vimala College was the only women's college in Kerala which offered exclusively graduate and post-graduate programmes. The college was presented the R Shankar Award in 2002 by the Government of Kerala for the best college in Kerala. It has been accredited with five star rating by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, Bangalore.
District Institute for Education and Training (DIET)
As part of the National Education Policy (1986), DIETs were established in selected districts all over India in 1986. The institute in Ramavarmapuram was also established at that time. The institute is managed by the Government of Kerala with financial assistance from the Government of India. The aim of this institute is to provide academic and resource support at district level for the success of various programs being undertaken in the field of primary and adult education. The physical infrastructure now being used by the DIET in Ramavarmapuram was in the hands of the Institute of Primary Education an institution which became defunct consequent on the establishment of DIET. The Institute of Primary Education had been functioning in Ramavarmapuram since 1970.
Government Hindi Teachers Training Institute
The institute under the control of Department of General Education, Government of Kerala, is conducting a course leading to the award of Diploma in Language Education (Hindi) (D L Ed (Hindi)) which is equivalent to BEd (Hindi). There are only two other such institutes in Kerala: Government Regional Institute of Language Training, Thiruvananthapuram and Institute of Language Teacher Education run by Bharath Hindi Prachara Kendram, Adoor.
District Centre of English
The Centre was established under a scheme sponsored by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt of India and implemented by the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad with the support of the State Council of Education Research and Training. The scheme provides an opportunity to all teachers of English in a district to familiarise with modern methods and techniques of teaching English. The scheme is also intended to initiate the teachers into a path of self-development, to improve the standard of English among the learners and to develop a collaborative work culture among teachers.
Govt Vocational Higher Secondary School
The oldest educational establishment in the area is the Govt Vocational Higher Secondary School which was started off as an Upper Primary School in 1939. The High School was started in 1960 and was upgraded to its present form in 1984. The School offers vocational courses in plant protection, nursery management and ornamental gardening, maintenance and repairs of TV and radio, and maintenance and repairs of domestic appliances. Distinguished Malayalam poets G Sankara Kurup, Vailoppilly Sreedhara Menon and Mullanezhy Neelakandan had served this school as teachers.
A Kendriya Vidyalaya (Central School) has started functioning in the premises of Kerala Police Academy in Ramavarmapuram from 30 August 2010. This is the second Kendriya Vidyalaya in Thrissur District. The other one is located at Puranattukara and it was established in 1985. There are a total of 39 Kendriya Vidyalayas in Kerala under the Ernakulam Region of the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan.
Christ Villa Poor Home
Christ Villa Poor Home for the Elderly is Kerala's first residential counseling and rehabilitation centre. It was established in 1925.
Christ Villa is under the management of Thrissur Archdiocese. It was expanded in 1947 by adding St Vincent's Orphanage, an orphanage for girls. Now a welfare home named Mamma Margaret's Home specifically ear-marked for women is also functioning in the same campus. The premises of the Home also houses a retreat centre of the Archdiocese, ABBA Renewal Centre, founded in 2008.
The institution is partly funded by Help the Aged, UK and supported by HelpAge India.
Nest : Village of Comfort
This is a charitable institution of Thrissur Archdiocese and is functioning in the campus of Christ Villa Poor Home. It was inaugurated in January 2007.
The clients of Nest are helped to lead a disciplined and healthy life through a combination of yoga, meditation, therapies, group and individual counseling, treatment and recreation. It is organizationally divided into four wings:
Marian Clinical Counseling Institute, Mochana De-addiction Center, Bethsetha Treatment Center, Angels Rehabilitation Center.
Asha Bhavans are institutions run by the Social Welfare Department of Govt of Kerala and they are meant for the care and protection of women who have been cured of their mental illness and who have no one to take protection of. There are three such institutions in Kerala one of which is in Ramavarmapuram. Asha Bhavans at Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode accommodate women above the age of 13 years and Asha Bhavan at Thrissur admits women above the age of 15 years.
This Home provides shelter to widows, deserted women, divorced women and destitute women who have nobody to look after and who are of age above 13 years. Children coming with mothers are allowed to stay with them up to the age of six years. Every district in Kerala, except Idukki and Wayanad, has such a home.
Mahilamandirams are also managed by the Social Welfare Department of Govt of Kerala
Vridha Mandiram (home for the elderly) is also run by the Social Welfare department of Govt of Kerala. The Mandiram was established in 1998. It admits as inmate any person of age above 55 years who have no one to take care of. There are facilities for a maximum of 100 inmates.
Broadcasting Station of All India Radio
The transmitter of the Thrissur station of All India Radio was commissioned on 4 November 1956.
The station started independent broadcasting in 1974.
There are only two studios in Kerala. The other one is located in Thiruvananthapuram. A low power transmitter of Doordardashan is also located near the studio.
Central Prison, Viyyur
The central jail was established in Viyyur in 1914.
Prior to the establishment of the jail, the site was known as Viyyur Park. The Park housed the museum, zoo and botanical gardens which were all started in 1885. These were shifted
to their present location in Chembukavu in 1914.
There is also a Sub-Jail adjacent to Central Prison.
Government Children's Home
An institution established by Government of Kerala to rehabilitate children below 18 years of age who are in need of care and protection under Juvenile Justice Act 2000. Shelter, food, education, medical care, developmental opportunities and exposure for socialization/mainstreaming are the services provided in Juvenile Homes. There are 8 such institutions Kerala.
Child Welfare Committee Thrissur
As per the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000 (amended in 2006) State governments are required to establish a Child Welfare Committee (CWC) or two in ever district. Each CWC should consist of a chairperson and four members. The chairperson should be a person well versed in child welfare issues and at least one member of the board should be a woman. The CWC has the same powers as a metropolitan magistrate or a judicial magistrate of the first class. A child can be brought before the committee (or a member of the committee if necessary) by a police officer, any public servant, CHILDLINE personnel, any social worker or public spirited citizen, or by the child himself/herself.
CWC Thrissur is in Govt.Children's Home, Ramavarmapuram.
Indian Medical Association (IMA) Blood Bank
The IMA Blood Bank Complex and Research Centre at Ramavarmapuram is a joint project of Indian Medical Association (IMA), Thrissur and the District Panchayat, Thrissur under People’s Plan Programme. A registered charitable society called Janakeeya Samithy (Arogyam), Thrissur manages the center. The centre provides subsidised services to the economically disadvantaged sections of the population in the districts of Thrissur, Palakkad and Malappuram in central Kerala. The Complex was inaugurated in October 2004.
The center was adjudged as the Best Blood Bank in Kerala by Kerala State AIDS Control Society in 2008.
One of the eleven dairies of Kerala Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (known by the trade name Milma) is in Ramavarmapuram. There is a well-established training centre with hostel facility attached to this dairy. This is the only such training centre in Kerala.
TRE Foundation is an organisation devoted to provide pain and palliative care to all needy persons. The organisation started functioning in Ramavarmapuram on 11 April 2022 in a beautiful campus adjacent to the campus of Vigyan Sagar.
Bharat Scheduled Caste & Tribe Handicraft Industrial Co-operative Society Ltd
The Bharat Scheduled Caste & Tribe Handicraft Industrial Co-operative Society Ltd functioning in Ramavarmapuram in a plot of land opposite to the campus of Vigyan Sagar was established in 1960 and is working for the economic uplift of members of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities.
Vigyan Sagar : S&T Park
Ramavarmapuram has been chosen as the site of a modern planetarium and a science and technology park to be constructed under the auspices of Thrissur District Panchayath. The project christened Vigyan Sagar is expected to cost Rupees twenty crores. The State Government has allocated 3.6 hectares of land, on the compound of the District Institute for Education and Training for setting up the planetarium and park. Kerala Legislative Assembly Speaker K. Radhakrishnan inaugurated the Administrative Block of Vigyan Sagar on 1 August 2010.An extensive collection of images of Vigya Sagar is available at this link: World Orgs: Vigyan Sagar Science and Technology Park
Other places named Ramavarmapuram
A village in Palakkad District in Kerala is named Ramavarmapuram Pudur (PIN:678555)
A locality in Thiruvananthapuram City is called Ramavarmapuram.
An area of Nagercoil Town in Tamil Nadu is known as Ramavarmapuram.
The original name of the public market of Koothattukulam founded during the time of His Royal Highness Sree Moolam Thirunal Maharaja of Travancore is Sree Ramavarmapuram Market.
A marketplace near Neeravil, Perinad in Kollam district in Kerala is known as Sree Ramavarmapuram Market.