Kottakkal is a quaint town situated about 11 kilometres from Malappuram town en route to Tirur. Once regarded as the cultural centre of the district, it is now more popular thanks to Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala, a pioneering institution in Ayurvedic research and treatment. This medical centre was built by Dr P. S. Warrier in 1902. The Government of India has even issued a postage stamp bearing his image. 

A lot of people visit Kottakkal for the sole purpose of availing treatment from this highly acclaimed Ayurvedic hospital and nursing home. In addition to the hospital, the Vaidya Sala maintains a herb garden to source raw materials for medicines. 


The historical significance of Kottakkal is not only cultural. It was once a military base for the kingdom of Valluvanad, back when it was known as Venkatakotta. The fortified palace of the Zamorin [the ruler], Kizhakke Kovilakam, used to be at Kottakkal. It was in the 18th century that Kottakkal emerged as a cultural and political centre. Owing to the efforts of many prominent personalities like Vaidyaratnam P. S. Warrier, Kottakkal sustained its prominence in the following decades.

Cultural Contributions 

Dr P. S. Warrier, a great patron of arts, was instrumental in setting up a Natya Sangham [dance troupe] in Kottakkal for the promotion of traditional arts. The institution, now known as the P. S. V. Natya Sangham, has given birth to many Kathakali artistes. 

The Venkata Thevar 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 or April for seven days.