Nila and its Cultural influence

River Bharatapuzha, also known as Nila, is a strong, cultural influence of the South Malabar region. It originates from the Anaimalai Hills in the Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu, and flows through three districts of Kerala - Palakkad, Thrissur and Malappuram - covering 11 taluks before reaching the Arabian Sea at Ponnani, in Malappuram district.

There are many folklores and myths related to the river, and the deities and temples along its banks. The banks of the river have been witness to many a historical event including the Mamankam, which was celebrated once in 12 years during the reign of the Zamorins. The Hindu rituals to propitiate of departed souls by their near and dear have been carried out on the banks of Bharatapuzha for centuries. The temple of Thirunavaya, which has great significance in history as well as in the Hindu tradition, is situated on the banks of this river.

Bharatapuzha has captured the imagination of countless artists who grew up in the regions near it. The river has been the creative muse for many writers right from Thunchath Ezhuthachan, the father of Malayalam language, to the illustrious Malayalam writers of the present generation.

Many acclaimed writers like M. T. Vasudevan Nair, V.K.N. (Vadakke Koottala Narayanan Kutty Nair), and P. Kunhiraman Nair, were inspired by the river. Poet Vallathol, who had a bond akin to a spiritual one with the river, established the reputed centre for performing arts, the Kerala Kalamandalam, at Cheruthuruthy, on its banks



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