Preserving Tali’s heritage with murals

The mural walls that depict the history of the Zamorin clan near Thali pond in Kozhikode.   | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

The pond near the Tali temple in Kozhikode has much historical significance, but these days it is known for the number of drowning deaths in it. The heritage of the temple and the pond need to be remembered and what better way than a pictorial depiction of it for all to see and admire.

Renovation work on the eastern bank of the Tali pond is an attempt to preserve the heritage and history of the Zamorin clan for future generations. A major part of the ₹2-crore project is a set of eight relief murals that adorn the walls of the pond depicting the important events related to the Zamorins.

The murals are made of cement on eight separate walls by artists Nibin Raj and Shijish Atholi. The first wall depicts the coronation ceremony of the Zamorins known as ‘Ariyittu Vazhcha’ while the second shows the visit of a Zamorin to Tali temple after coronation. The third wall shows the historic ‘Mamangam’, an event that took place every twelve years at Thirunavaya, a martial art competition between the Nair warriors of Malabar with the Zamorin’s troops. ‘Revathi Pattathanam’, a traditional battle of knowledge held at the temple is depicted on the fourth wall while the fifth one is based on a myth connecting poet Poonthanam and Zamorin’s prime minister Mangattachan.

Thyagaraja music festival, held at Tali every year, is depicted on the sixth wall while Krishnanattam, a precursor of Kathakali said to be written by a Zamorin king (Manavedan), is on the seventh wall. The final wall depicts ‘Brahmansadya’, an annual event at Tali. The story of the relief murals, which have been given a laterite stone texture, are depicted behind each wall.

Besides these, granite has been paved on the pathway between the pond and the Zamorin’s School. At the end of it is a small stage with an LED wall. The entry to the pond has been restricted using a metal fence with access only through a bathing ghat on the north side and another on the south side.

The project is designed by architect Kasturba from the National Institute of Technology and overseen by Nirmithi Kendra. Even though the work, funded partially by the District Tourism Promotion Council and the MLA, is yet to be completed, it has already started attracting visitors, especially during evenings when the whole area is well lit up.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 8:11:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/preserving-talis-heritage-with-murals/article34892711.ece

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