Mootha Panickers

We do not have any information about the Mootha Panicker-s during the period of Kunji Amma (1) or prior to it, except the fact that all the earlier Karanavars of Ullanat family asisted the Zamorines of Calicut (Samuthiri kings) in the Dutch wars in the region. In the year 1752 Samuthiri with the help of then Ullanat Panicker and his men attacked the strong stockades of the Dutch at Enamakkal and again in 1757 managed to lay siege on Chettuva Manappuram, forcing the Dutch to leave the port. This further elevated the status of Ullanat Panicker.

Ikkanta Panicker (8) is the first known name of a Mootha Panicker (Karanavar) in Ullanat family. His period of Karanavarship was approximately between AD 1820 and 1855 (Malayalam Era 995-1030).  Since he did not have a direct uncle, probably he should have inherited the Karanavarship at a young age from his grand uncle – a brother of Kunji Amma (1). Ikkanta Panicker was staying at the huge house at Choonamana in an 18-acre plot, while the remaining family members lived at the Athit Bhavanam, the original house at Venkitangu.  He was the son of Ittimayamma (2) and the grandson of Kunji Amma (1).  (It is a matter of great pride that we are able to preserve today the complete genealogy of Ullanat family from Kunji Amma onwards till the present time – thanks to the efforts of Late Janardana Panicker (121) – Refer the Genealogy section.)

The family might have contained 8 or 10 men and an equal number of women and there was only one Thavazhi at that time.  Like his predecessors, Ikkanta Panicker was also known as the “Chavakkaattu Karyakkar” (the Administrator at Chavakkad) of Samuthiri king. He was a powerful protector of land who collected tax and khist from the people for the king.  He helped the Samuthiri (Sri. P.K.Ettanettan Raja – 1828 to 1845 – 123rd Zamorin) in retaining the kingdom in this region. (The support and help that Samuthiri received from Ikkanta Panicker Karyakkar in controlling the land he had seized from Kochi is mentioned in his book ‘Sakthan Thamburan’ by Puthezhath Raman Menon.)

In 1855 after the death of the illustrious Ikkanta Panicker Karyakkar, his brother Ukkoma Panicker (7) became the Mootha Panicker. He had close association with the Samuthiri at Calicut, Sri. P.C. Ettanettan Raja. He lived till a ripe old age and at the time of his death his sole nephew Ittinikkanta Panicker and most of the senior grand nephews were all already dead. So his great grandnephew Kunhikkoma Panicker (27) (who was senior in age than some of his surviving uncles) became the next Mootha Panicker of the family.

Kunhikkoma Panicker was the son of Ittimayamma (19). He had married from Vadakke Mudavakkat family. The direct administration of Guruvayur temple ended during his period in the year 1900.

Kunhittinaan Panicker (46), also known as Kutta Panicker, was the Mootha Panicker who succeded Kunhikkoma Panicker. He was known to be a compassionate and self-righteous person.  He was staying in the residential building at Naduvath Kalam near Athit Bhavanam, since probably he wanted to be close to the Tharavad House.  He constructed the Pathayapura at Athit Bhavanam.  He had a lot of novel ideas for the upkeep of family assets and improving the welfare of family members.

He was very strict and was always impartial. He never allowed anyone to misuse the family property, which had somehow brought about antipathy and hatred amongst some of the younger men of the family. They treacherously plotted to murder him and engaged some Muslim henchmen for the purpose.  He had married Kunhikkavamma from Puthiyedath family and had three sons. The Mootha Panicker, when he went for the evening bath in the pond near the house at Naduvath Kalam, was mercilessly killed by tightening his neck with a cloth under the water.  It was an unfortunate and unholy incident in the history of Ullanat Tharavad.

Kunhan Panicker (52) succeeded him as the next Mootha Panicker, but for a brief period only. His wife was Ittimayamma from Kongattil house. He constructed a residential house – Valath Akayil – for his wife at Vadanappalli.

Kochukrishna Panicker (53) was the next Mootha Panicker. He was the brother of Kunhan Panicker, the previous Mootha Panicker. He was born in the year AD 1859 (ME 1034).

He was the one who shifted the residence of the Mootha Panicker to the huge house at Kadavallur, probably because of the unfortunate end that happened to Kunhittinan Mootha Panicker at the Naduvath Kalam residence.His first wife was Pattathil Ammalu Amma and he had a son by name Balakrishna Menon. Much later after the death of his wife and son, he again married Ikkavamma of Mannathazhath House of Thrissur.  He renovated the temple of Sri Rama close to the house at Kadavallur and started the Utsava of the temple, which was fixed on the day of Punartham star in the Malayalam month of Makaram (January-February), which incidentally was his own star and month of birth.  He was a man of short stature and is known to be a simple, pious and religious man. It was his practice to have the Darshan every morning of the family elephant, which he was very fond of. He was also a great fan of Kathakali. He was a close friend of Manakkulam Mukunda Raja, one of the founders of Kerala Kalamandalam and used to regularly organise Kathakali programmes at the Sri Rama temple at Kadavallur. He was managing the Tharavad efficiently and he was loved and respected by the members of the family.  He was the one who constructed the Puthenpura of Athit Bhavanam.  He also constructed a building for his wife at Thrissur, which later came to be known as the Kesarikuteeram building.  He died in the year AD 1939 (ME 1114).

Raman Panicker (49) became the next Mootha Panicker. He was born in the year AD1865.  He also lived in the Kalam House at Kadavallur. The Kalari building what we see today is the one which was repaired and renovated by him. During the period of his Karanavarship he also renovated the Sri Rama temple and the Kalam House at Kadavallur.  His wife was Puthiyedathu Ammutti Amma, who was the daughter of the elder sister of Kunhikkavamma, wife of Kunhittinan Mootha Panicker.

Raman Mootha Panicker was a tall and well-built person. He was involved in a lot of social activities.   He became the member of Ponnani Taluk Board and later became the member of Malabar District Board also.  He was fond of encouraging education and started two schools, one at Annakara and another at Guruvayur.  He was a staunch congressman and was always wearing khadi.  He was the chairman of the reception committee when the then congress president Dr. Rajendra Prasad visited Guruvayur temple.  He was also a member of the Reception committee when Mahatma Gandhiji visited Guruvayur temple.  During the period of Second World War he was entrusted by the Government with the distribution of rice to the poor in Ponnani Taluk.  He was also the Managing Director of a local bank known as Thoyakkavu Bank.  He was the last Mootha Panicker of Ullanat Tharavad, since the family was partitioned during his time.  He died in the year AD 1950 at the age of 85 years.

The present Karanavar (eldest male member) of the family is Krishnanunni Panicker (206


and the Moothamma (eldest female member) is Rukmini Amma (134).