Puliyanippara, a large swathe of granite, in Vengoor panchayat lies on the eastern boundary of Koovappady panchayat and is iconic of the Alaattuchira village, where a group of enterprising young people have set themselves on course to writing a history of the place using both the written text as well as accounts of their elders.
The effort, now a couple of months old and launched under the aegis of the Dhanya Library and Reading Room, began with the declared intention of writing a 100-year history of the village, said M. P. Prakash, who has been co-ordinating the efforts. However, the presence of a few dolmens or ancient burial sites protected by stone roofs on the Puliyanipara prompted the history writers to go back in time to make a more comprehensive story of the village, which is believed to have derived its name ‘Alaattuchira’ from the practice of iron smelting. The recent discovery of what are believed to be stone tools from the Kapprikkadu forest, which lies on the banks of the river Periyar, has strengthened the hunch that Alaattuchira has a history going back much more in time than they initially believed, said T.A. Sunil, who was one of the first to locate the stone tools, which were later handed over to the Department of Forests. Puliyanippara is a 300-acre spread of sheer granite, rising in some places about 30 feet. The spot is a favourite with picnickers and, along with Mundamthuruthu, is a key landmark to which the history of the village is so strongly bound.
The history team is also excited by the presence of a low-roof cave in Mundamthuruthu and the discovery of burial urns from some of the low lying areas in the stretch of land. An examination of these finds and accounts by people are expected to put flesh to the brief outline the young historians have already drawn up. But the variations in accounts of key events in the village are quite unsettling, says Mr. Prakash. However, the group hopes to get help from professional historians and archaeologists in their quest.