Excavation to be started in September
The State Archaeological Department has started a field survey of historic monuments at Mathilakam, near Kodungallur.
It is considered that Mathilakam was one of famous Jain centres during the Chera dynasty’s rule. There was a huge Jain temple here. The objective of the survey is to collect evidence for the existence of the Jain temple at Mathilakam, according to Mohanachandran of the Archaeological Department, Thiruvananthapuram.
The survey started with a special request by the Mathilakam Heritage Conservation Committee and V.S. Sunil Kumar, MLA. “The permission for excavation has already been received. The work can be started in September,” said Mr. Mohanachandran.
Historians such as MGS Narayanan have noted that Elango Adikal had written Chilappathikaram at the Jain temple in Mathilakam.
Though the Archaeological Department had started excavation in 1967, there was no follow-up on the activities, Mr. Mohanachandran said.
The geography of the area has changed totally since then. The team visited places around Elavanjikulam near the Jain temple site, square wells in Mathilakam, St. Joseph Latin Church, which is considered to be an old Jewish synagogue, Puthiya Kavu, Thrippekkulam, Manikulam at Kaipamangalam and British Travellers Bungalow and Kulimuttam. Though Mathilakam is included in the Muziris Heritage Project, conservation activities of the heritage monuments have not stated here yet, say local people. Filed surveys and excavations were also not included in the Muziris Project.
There is an effort to include preservation of heritage monuments in Muziris Project, said Mr. Sunil Kumar.