|Kottakkal is about 11 kilometres from Malappuram town on the Tirur route. The village remains rural, though the bustling activities of a town are not alien to it. Once the cultural centres of the district, it is now known mainly for the Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala, a pioneering institution in Ayurveda research and treatment. The medical centre was built by Dr P. S. Warrier in 1902. The Government of India has issued a postage stamp bearing his image.
A lot of people visit Kottakkal for the sole purpose of availing the treatment in this highly acclaimed Ayurveda hospital and nursing home. Apart from the hospital and nursing home, the Vaidya Sala also maintains an herb garden to source the raw material for their medicines.
The historical significance of Kottakkal is not only cultural. It was once the military base of the kingdom of Valluvanad when it was known as Venkatakotta. The fortified palace of the Zamorin, the Kizhakke Kovilakam, used to be at Kottakkal.
It was in the 18th century that Kottakkal emerged as a cultural and political centre. In the following decades, it was able to sustain its prominence thanks to the efforts by many prominent personalities including Vaidyaratnam P. S. Warrier.
Warrier, an Ayurvedic physician founded the hugely successful Kottakal Arya Vaidya Sala, in 1902. It is an organization for the manufacture and sale of Ayurvedic medicines.
Even during the Moplah rebellion of 1921, the religious harmony of Kottakkal, that exudes serenity, could not be shaken. During those violent times, it was the Muslims who guarded the Arya Vaidya Sala.
P. S. Warrier, a great patron of arts, was instrumental in setting up a Natya Sangham here for the uplift of traditional arts. The institution, now known as the P. S. V. Natya Sangham, has given birth to many a Kathakali artiste.
The Venkatathevar temple next to the Natya Sangham is a major pilgrim centre. The temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is also known for its murals. The festival here - the Kottakkal Pooram - is celebrated in March/April for seven days.