THE ORGIN AND HISTORY OF MALIAKKAL KALAPPURACKAL PALAL FAMILY

The origin of ancient Syrian Christian families in general and Maliackal Palal family in particular were considered as the first converted families during the 1st century when Saint Thomas one of the close disciples of
our Lord Jesus Christ landed at Kodungallor, a small port town in the present Kerala state.

A group of Brahmins were attracted to the preaching’s of St: Thomas and they were wholeheartedly prepared to convert to Christianity. Historical records reveal that among the converted families, one family was predominant and they were from the Maliackal Namboodiri branch and subsequently they shifted to a place called Gokamangalam near Chertala during the 1st century itself and some of them migrated to Niranam and Palayoor. St:Thomas travelled to different places and followers increased in numbers and many Hindu’s got converted to Christianity. Then the saint thought it is necessary to build churches for worship and accordingly he built Seven and a half churches at different places. He also decided to give priesthood to seven prominent and dedicated people to manage the affairs of the church by imparting training on the basis of Christ’s teachings. Out of the 7 selected persons, 2 were from the Maliakal family.

When he visited Gokhamangalam church which was constructed by his desire, he entrusted the administration of the church to the priest namely Shemavon Pathrose, a member of Maliackal family. By the time the Maliackal family was spread over Gokhamangalam and Vadakkumkoor ,under a small kingdom.During the 1st century to 15th century, history reveals that these groups of people were leading a spiritual and simple life concentrating in agriculture. They were very hardworking and very loyal to the King. Subsequently they gathered momentum and became very powerful and popular which attracted the attention of the King of Vadakkamkoor.

Among the Maliackal families, Respected Thomman Tharakan and his family lived at Vaikkom the capital of Vadakkumkoor Kingdom. They were very loyal to the king and were expert in-handling weapons and kalari fights. The King felt it’s necessary to seek their help in managing the occasional fights among the small kingdoms. As such, few of them were made as the advisors and managers of the kingdom and they were awarded the prestigious title “Tharakan” of Vadakkumkoor.

After a few years during the 17th century, Shri Thomman Tharakan’s 3 sons acquired more respect and strength and proved very powerful and courageous. Among the 3 sons, the eldest Shri Varkey Tharakan helped his father in household affairs and his brother Ittiar Tharakan and Chacko Tharakan were heading the King’s soldiers. They naturally had to stay very close to the king’s palace. Their power and closeness to the king created jealousy and enmity among the local people and started false propaganda against the 2 Tharakans. The noble kinvg belieed these criticisms and was forced to believe that these tharakans are no more to be trusted. Knowing the King’s anger over them and the punishment they could get, all the 3 brothers decided to leave the place immediately. They decided to flee to 3 different locations. Elder brother Varkey Tharakan went to Gokhamangalam where their predecessors lived. The other 2 brother’s Ittiar Tharakan shifted to Piravom and Chacko Tharakan to Kottayam by boats, with all their belongings. Sri Chacko Tharakan later shifted from Kottayam to Puthupally and he was instrumental in building the old Puthupally church. His sucessors are still in and around Kottayam and they are now known as Maliackal Kaithayil Padijarekootu family. The successors of Varkey Tharakan are still in Allepy district accepting different denominations of Christianity and some of them are known as “Tharakans”. One of the family member, a Catholic priest is running a famous nature cure center in Ernakulum district and his name is Dr:Fr Thomas Maliackal from Gokamangalam.

Shri. Ittiar Tharakan who went to Piravom during the year 1635 AD and stayed near Piravom Cheriya Palli. After 3 generations one of his successors named Ittan got married to the only daughter of Cheruvillil family, Aiykaranad and stayed there, since this family had no other children at that time. Later a boy was born in that family and Ittan and his wife shifted to Kalappurackal from Cheruvillil. The Kalappurackal House is said to be the ancestral tharavad of the aristocratic Palal family. This house was demolished about 75 years ago which was located on the south west hill area of Malekurizu Palli at Choondi, near Puthencruz.(At Piravom even though the Maliakkal family members are not to be seen towards south of piravom cheriya palli , still there is an area which is known as Maliackal parambu).

Maliackal Ittan who lived in Kalapurackal house had 3 sons. Eldest son Varkey shifted to Kanneth. 2nd son Abraham turned to spiritual life. Later he became a priest and he was the only priest from the family. Local people considered him as a model godly man and respected him. The 3rd son Paulose lived in Kalappurackal.

At that time Kalappurackal family members were the parishioners of Kolenchery church. In his old age, Kalappurackal achan faced difficulty for offering Kurbana at Kolenchery. Considering the old age and the ardent faith in the Jesus Christ’s teachings he was respected even by the Catholica Bava and Metropolitan Mor Gregarious. The Gracious Bishop even allowed the Kalappurackal achan to offer kurbana and prayers at the Kalappurackal home as a special case.The holly Basalious Bava presented to him the very holy “Thiruseship” of Geevarghese sahada. In 1804 Achan died and he was buried at Kolenchery church. His belongings were handed over to Kurinji pally subsequently.

The younger brother of Kalappuracal Achan, named Paulose lived at Kalappuracal Tharavad. His successors are known as Palal Family. Kalappuracal Poulose had 4 sons. The eldest son Ittan later became very famous and was known as Palal Kochittan. Ittan shifted his residence to Palal Thekkeveedu from Kalappuracal and second one Ithappiri shifted to Thekkekara. Third one Varkey went to Palal Vadakkeveedu. Fourth son, Paulose died very young and his son Kochu Kochittan lived at Kalappuracal Tharavad.

The unmarried Kalappuracal achan wished that after his death his property must be given to church. As kolenchery church was far away from Kalappuracal and since there was no other church nearby, Maliackal family members decided to build a church of their own at Kurinji using the Kalappuracal achan’s property as per his direction and wish.

In the year 1814 AD stone was laid for the foundation of a church at Kurinji hills. Maliackal Kallapuracal family members proposed to build the church at their own cost without the help of the outsiders. The Kalappuracal Paulose and his sons worked hard for the construction of the church. In 1816they completed the construction of the church which is known as “Kurinjipalli”. The church was the first church with five altars in Malankara and this church gives lot of strength and inspiration to around 1500 members of the Palal family. Most of our ancestors were buried in the Kurinjipalli cemetery. Before the family annual meetings (kudumba sangamam), the successors after attending the mass in the church go the graveyard of our ancestors to seek their blessings.

Cheppad Mar Divanniyasose conducted Kudasa of this church. The body of the founder of this church Shri Paulose Uppapan was buried at the northern end, west of Ozhuvaram of this church. Family of the 4 sons of Kalappuracal Poulose had grown very wide with around 400 families having 1500 members and they are socially, financially and educationally well placed. Moreover the Palal family received more blessing from the Saint Chathuruthil Parumala Thirumeni as his beloved sister Mariam was married to Sri Varkey Palal Vadakkeveedu.

During this time, Kochittan the eldest son of Maliackal Kalappuracal Poulouse this family became famous at all levels. Kochittan Mutthapan who was an influential and social figure, along with Pulikotil Rumban went to Kollam and collected the interest of the Vattipanam amount from the resident viceroy. He had good influence with the resident viceroy and the Maharaja of Cochin. He utilized the amount for construction of old seminari at Kottayam. As he was well known as Palal Kochittan Mutthapan his generations came to be known as Palal family.