Unlike the kochi and Travancore royal families the ancestral house of the zamorins are in a shamble
The British and later our politicians effectively reduced them to penury ,a very few of them got educated and into good jobs but many are now average middle class families eking out a living .
Many are in other cities and abroad and some of them in very good positions and highly educated .
I also understood that family gatherings are happening in a big way these days
Apart from the Mankavu kovilakkam in kozhikode , the Zamorin family has two other branches: the Kizzhake Kovilakkam at Kottakal and the Thiruvannur Kovilakam.
The eldest member of these three Kovilakams will be the Zamorin.
The current Zamorin, P.K.S. Raja, belongs to Thiruvannur Kovilakam
I still remember the stories of my mother in her childhood when she used to go to Mankavu in her childhood with her father and thier customs and traditions .
those days they still retained a semblance of royalty
So this june on a rainy day I took an auto from Calicut Station to Mankavu kovilakkam to see my cousin Ammani thamburan who was waiting for me ,I had called him and evinced intrest in seeing the place and he welcomed me .
I alighted near a huge tank full of blue water upto its brim ,the rain was heavy and an umbrella clad thin Ammani chettan rushed to recieve me ,he was joyous at my intrest and attitude .and we entered the walled compound called Mankavu which housed several houses .
many houses are sectioned partitions of a bigger house which was a part of the palace ( when one talks of palace please dont visualise any other palaces say like in Rajasthan ,
the Zamorins were never ostentatious but rather lived like all in tiled Kerala houses some of the residents had built thier own small bungalows with gates and gardens .
I was taken to several relatives houses and introduced ,and was touched by thier love and affection .
We went into narrrow corridors up dingly attics cobweb ridden but full of history
the rain was drumming its music all along and the paths were slushy and green
it was a very cosy and wet forenoon ,we saw the Vaikkina maliga which was the place where gatherings took place to read scriptures ,it had some lovely temple paintings on its walls ,we also saw the small temple inside the complex .
Soon it was time for me to return ,
This trip was to me just a beginning ,i do hope I can make a longer one to delve into the details of my ancestor and his way of life