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Changanassery

Changanassery is an important and influential municipal town and headquarters of a division in the Kottayam revenue district of the southernmost Indian State of Kerala. Sandwiched between the eastern High Ranges, famous for spices like cardamom and pepper and the lake-fringed coastal belt of Kerala, Changanassery has acquired a prominent place in the history and life of this enlightened State. With the lush tea and rubber plantations on the eastern side, the long unending stretches of paddy fields of Kuttanad in Alleppey District to the west and the world-renowned tourist spot of Kumarakam and the city of Kochi, "The Queen of the Arabian Sea" within easy reach, Changanassery can be said to be the focal point of tourists and tradesmen from all over India. Changanassery is around 100 km from Kochi and 140 km from Thiruvananthapuram, the nearest international airports.

It is the birthplace of great litterateurs like A.R. Rajaraja Varma and Ulloor Parameswara Iyer. Besides, it provides an inspiring model of communal and religious harmony. The headquarters of the Nair Service Society (NSS), the renowned social and educational organization, founded by Mr. Mannathu Padmanabhan, the Roman Catholic Arch Bishop’s House and Aanandashramam associated with the great saint and social reformer Sree Narayana Guru and the ancient Muslim mosque are important landmarks of this town.

Changanassery is also a prominent centre of trade and commerce. The public market of Changanassery, inaugurated in 1850 by the legendary Velu Thampi Dalava (Diwan of erstwhile Kingdom of Travancore) with the auction sale of an elephant is a symbol of its commercial importance. The five-pronged ornamental lamp erected at the site on the occasion still stands as an object of historical interest, raising the curiosity of beholders. Spices, vegetables, coffee, tea, rubber, paddy, coir, fish etc. from the rural areas flowed and still continues to flow to the Changanassery market making it a lively business hub.