Kodungallur (anglicised name: Cranganore), is a municipality in the South Western border of Thrissur district of Kerala, India. Kodungallur is northwest of Kochi and southwest of Thrissur, by National Highway 66 (formerly known as NH 17). Kochi is the nearest city. Eventhough Kodungallur is in Thrissur district it is often identified as a suburb of Kochi city and speak a dialect different from other parts of Thrissur district.
Kodungallur was the ancient capital of Malayalam speaking areas.(second Cheras). Kodungallur was an important city in ancient India. Periyar (river) joins with River chalakudi to form the Kodungallur backwaters which finally flows into the Arabian sea. Kodungallur Sree Kurumba Bhagavathi Temple is one of the ancient temples in Kerala.
Aryabhata , one of the greatest scientists in the ancient world is believed to be from Asmaka desa (stone in sanskrit) or Kotilingapuram (city of one million Lingas or sacred stones). Mahakavi Kerala Vyasan Kodungallur Kunjikkuttan Thampuran eminent malayalam Poet and Sanskrit scholar who translated The largest poem in world, the Mahabharatha word by word, rhyme by rhyme into Malayalam, was born in Kodungallur.
Currently, Kodungallur is the Taluk Headquarters of Kodungallur Taluk of Thrissur Revenue District.The villages of Ala, Azhikode, Chendrappini, Edathiruthy, Edavilangu, Eriyad, Kaipamangalam, Lokamaleswaram, Pullut, Koolimuttam Madathumpady, Methala, Padinjare Vemballur,Pallippuram ,Panangad ,Pappinivattom ,Perinjanam and Poyya constitute the Kodungallur Taluk.
Kodungallur Taluk is shared into two legislative constituencies Kodungallur and Kaippamangalam. Kottapuram market of Kodungallur is one of the biggest vegetable markets in kerala. It is located on the shores of Kodungallur backwaters . During AD 52's, Thomas the Apostle (The apostle of Christ) came here through Muziri port, near to Kottapuram Fort.
Cheraman Juma Masjid is prime Mosque of Kodungallur . The Cheraman Masjid is said to be the very first mosque in India, built in 629 AD by Malik, son of Dinar. Cheraman Juma Masjid is the second oldest Mosque in the world.
Silappathikaram one of the ancient poetries in Tamil is believed to be composed by Ilango Adigal the brother of Vel Kelu Kuttuvan the ancient Ruler of Chera nadu of Sangam era at Thirukkanamatilakam near Kodungallur.
Until recently, the location of one of the greatest seaports of the ancient eastern world, Muziris (ca. 100 BC – 1341 AD), was usually identified as being at Kodungallur. The settlement was an integral part of Mahodayapuram, the capital city of the kingdom of the Second Cheras. In the post-Chera period, the area was a feudal principality ruled by a royal family resident in the Kodungallur Kovilakam, subordinated during the early stages by the kingdom of Calicut under the zamorins, and at later stages by the Kingdom of Kochi, until 1 July, 1949 when Kingdom of Kochi joined the Indian Union.
It is postulated that the city was devastated by natural calamities—a flood or an earth quake—in 1341, and consequently lost its commercial importance thereafter. Further, it came under military attacks on various occasions: in 1504 by the Portuguese-Kochi allied forces during their movement against Calicut in 1524, by the Mappilas during their attack against the Portuguese, and in 1565 again by the Portuguese.
== Etymology ==
The name Kodungallur is derived from ''Kodi-linga-puram'' ("the land of 10 million Siva lingas") according to common belief. Kodungallur was perhaps the revenue collection center of Kuda-kons (the Chera rulers) for the goods coming to the nearby port, hence the name Kudakonallur, which later shortened to Kodungallur.
Historically, Kodungallur has been identified as ''Mahodaya Puram, Mahavanchimana Pattanam, Thrikulasekarapuram, Jangli, Gingaleh, Cyngilin, Shinkali, Chinkli, Jinkali, Shenkala, and Cynkali'', which are all derived from the name of the ''River Changala'' (or the Chain river, i.e., Shrinkhala in Sanskrit), a tributary of Periyar.〔For a large number of such names for Kodungallir down the centuries arranged more or less chronologically cf. K. P. Padbhanabha Menon, History of Kerala Vol. I, quoted by George Menachery in 'Kodungallur",1987, reprinted 2000.〕 ''Columguria, Kotilingapuram, Kudalingapuram, Kodunkaliyur, Thiruvallur, Ravivisvapuram and Balakreetapuram'' are a few other names, identified as Kodungallur in various related records or literary works.
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