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Ponnani is located in Kerala
Location in Kerala, India
Country  India
State Kerala
District Malappuram
 • Type kerala sarkar
 • Body Ponnani municipality
Elevation 5 m (16 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 90,491
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 679 577
Telephone code 0494
Vehicle registration KL-54
Nearest city Thrissur, Malappuram
Sex ratio 1000:1067 /
Literacy 71.3%
Lok Sabha constituency Ponnani
Vidhan Sabha constituency Ponnani
Civic agency Ponnani municipality

Ponnani (formerly Ponani and Paniyani) is municipality in Ponnani Taluk, Malappuram District, in the state of Kerala. It serves the administrative center of the Taluk and Block Panchayath of the same name. It is situated at the mouth of Bharathappuzha (Nila River) and is bounded by the Arabian Sea on the west. The tidal port is an important fishing center in the region

Ponnani is often regarded one of the oldest ports in southern India and is sometimes roughly identified with the port Tyndis of the Roman accounts.

Ponnani taluk is the smallest taluk in Malappuram district.

Located in Malappuram District of Kerala state in India, Ponnani is a small town at the mouth of the Bharathapuzha. It is a port used primarily as a fishing harbour. Ponnani is a "town of mosques". Though described as the "place of 231/2 masjids", there are nearly 50 mosques. Ponnani has a population which is a blend of almost equal percentage of Hindus and Muslims and has set an example for tolerant and peaceful religious co-existence its history. Malik Ibnu Dinar, the legendary first Islamic missionary who came to Kerala, is believed to have visited Ponnani.

William Logan, the famous historian-turned-civil administrator, records in his Malabar Manual about the Ponnani Juma’ Masjid built in 925 Hijra. Ponnani is considered as the second capital of Kingdom of Calicut during the reign of Zamorins and was the headquarters of Kunhali Marakkars, the famous naval army chiefs of Calicut.

Ponnani enjoyed a status as an important centre for education in the philosophy of Islam. In the early period, Ponnani was considered "the Al-Azhar University of Kerala", for its great Muslim religious schools and teachers. Ponnani was called "the small Mecca" in southern India, Malaya, Indonesia etc. Ponnani has also contributed a great deal to the cultural and literary heritage of Kerala.


  • Demographics 1
  • Geography 2
  • Trade and economy 3
    • Industry 3.1
  • Agriculture 4
  • Tourism 5
    • Biyyam Kayal 5.1
    • Other landmarks 5.2
  • Transportation 6
  • Education 7
  • Culture, art and people 8
    • People and social civilization 8.1
    • From the books of history 8.2
    • Ponnani and nationalist movements 8.3
    • Religious and heritage monuments 8.4
    • Peoples and their contribution to Kerala 8.5
  • Politics and governance 9
    • Local administration 9.1
    • Ponnani Assembly constituency 9.2
    • Ponnani Parliament constituency 9.3
  • Needed developments 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


As of 2001 India census,[2] Ponnani had a population of 87,356. Males constitute 48% of the population and females 52%. Ponnani has an average literacy rate of 85.20%, higher than the Indian national average of 65.38%: male literacy is 90.08%, and female literacy is 80.87%. In Ponnani, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age.


Ponnani provides a natural ground for establishing a port. Ponnani is a sea shore town along the south banks of Barathappuzha. It is located at [3] at the earth global. It has an average elevation of 5 metres (16 feet).

Ponnani-Tirur Jankar (Ferry) service
Ponnani lighthouse
Arabian Sea in Ponnani
Ponnani Fishing Harbour
Local fishermen getting ready

Trade and economy

Ponnani is one of the oldest port on Malabar Coast and has contributed to the trade and economy of Malabar from very early times. This port was used as a hub for trading with Arabs and Europeans in the early ages of British Colonial rule in Malabar.

Trikkavu in Ponnani was one among the seats of the Zamorin of Calicut, from where he controlled the trade and commerce. The economy of the town is predominantly based on agriculture and marine products. A central (Indian) government port customs office is also functions at Ponnani.


In the early days, Ponnani was a notable place for the manufacture of big wooden boats (called "Uru" or "Pattemari"). Though this place is industrially backward now, some traditional industries based on coir and coir products, marine products, etc. are dominating from the very early times. Kerala State Detergents and chemicals Limited in Kuttippuram is a main Government undertaking industrial establishment in this region.


The major source of income for the people are agriculture and fishing. Rice, coconut, arecanut are the main cultivation. Ponnani is famous for its fishing harbour and houses the office of the Malappuram district fisheries board. There is a light house in Ponnani under the control of Government of India, which highlights the importance of fishing in this area.


The tidal mouth of Bharathappuzha in Ponnani, where Bharathapuza and Tirur river join together to traverse into the Arabian Sea, is a seasonal home to hundreds of migratory birds and attracts a large number of bird watchers and ornithologists. When one crosses Bharathapuza by ferry from Ponnani to Chamravattom in the summer months of March to May, one cannot miss the sights of lovely flocks of birds. Nearly 25 varieties of birds have been identified in this area.

Biyyam Kayal

Another tourist attraction is Lake Biyyam. This placed, green fringed waterway has water sports facilities. A boat race is conducted here annually, during Onam celebrations. A permanent pavilion is built for the spectators and nearly two dozen country boats, including some rowed by women, participate in the race. A beautiful hanging bridge is completed across Biyyam kayal.

Other landmarks

  • Ponnani Juma Masjid
  • Ponnani Lighthouse: Ponnani Lighthouse is situated close to the southern bank of Bharathapuza joining the Arabian sea on the outskirts of Ponnani town.
  • Fishing Harbour
  • Saraswati Hindu Temple, Thrikkavu


  • Kozhikode International Airport (78 km)
  • Railway station at Tirur (19 km)
  • Railway station at Guruvayoor (22 km)
  • Railway Station at kuttipuram 22km
  • Road - The National Highway- 17 (Panvel - Kochi) passes through Ponnani

Ponnani is also linked by an inland water navigation system of canals to southern Kerala.


Established in 1968, MES college has played a significant role in providing quality higher education to the youth especially from Ponnani, Tirur and Chavakkad taluks. This college is affiliated with Calicut University. The college offers Masters and Bachelors degree courses in arts, science and commerce.

  • MTM College of arts science and commerce veliyancode
  • Umeri English school
  • M E S engineering College in Kuttippuram
  • Kelapplaji College of agricultural engineering and technology, Thavannur are in ponnani taluk and caters to a large number of students to pursue engineering studies in various disciplines.
  • Scholar college
  • Govt ITC
  • Regional Arts and Science College
  • IHRD College of Applied Science, Vattamkulam
  • Modern Higher Secondary School Pottur
  • A.V Higher Secondary School Ponnani

- This century old school started in 1885 by Achutha Varier is one among the oldest in Malabar and has brought up a number of notable personalities like C Radhakrishnan, artist Padmini etc.

  • M.I. High School Ponnani

- Established in 1947, has very important role in educating the backward people whom mostly came from coastal area. This school was recently upgraded to Higher Secondary and now boasts of two full-fledged higher secondary schools for boys and girls.

  • Thrikkavu Government High school,
  • Ponnani Girls High school,
  • I S S School,
  • Vijaya Matha High School.
  • N S S High school, Nariparambu.
  • Bharathiya Vidhya Bhavan, Ponnani.
  • Al Basheer Educational Trust.
  • Al-Falah English School, Veliancode
  • Makhdoomiyya English School, Ponnani
  • Ideal international institute of education, Kadakassery

—–* Kelappan Memorial Govt VHSS,Tavanur - in the name of famous freedom fighter Sri.K Kelappan known as Kerala Gandhi.Vocational course in Agriculture is being conducted in the VHS section of this school based on the ideology of Mahathma Gandhi.The vocational wing started in this school in 1983.

Culture, art and people

People and social civilization

Ponnani has a population which is a blend of almost equal percentage of Hindus and Muslims and has set an example for tolerant and peaceful co-existence. Ponnani is constituted as rural region, with agriculture and fishing being the main means of livelihood. The area boasts a few NRI pockets, wherein foreign remittances have created an aura of prosperity.

From the books of history

Malik Ibn Dinar, the first Islamic missionary to come to Kerala, is believed to have visited Ponnani. William Logan, the British historian, records in his Malabar Manual that the Ponnani Juma Masjid was built in 925 Hijrah Era. Ponnani was considered as the second capital of Malabar during the reign of Zamorins of Calicut and was the headquarters of Kunjali Marakkar, the naval chief of Zamorin.

It attained a status as an important centre for education in the philosophy of Islam. In the early period, Ponnani was considered the Al Azhar University of Kerala, for its great religious schools and teachers. Ponnani was called the 'small Mecca' of South India.

Hyder Ali of Mysore conquered Malabar in 1766 and established an outpost in Ponnani. During his son Tipu Sultan’s regime Ponnani became an important centre for Islamic studies. Tipu developed the port at Ponnani for trade and security reasons. Ponnani was the southern most town of Tipu's regime. After Tipu’s defeat in 1799, the British took the territory of Malabar under their control.[4]

Trikkavu in Ponnani was the summer capital of Zamorins of Calicut, the rulers of Malabar.

Ponnani and nationalist movements

Ponnani is a name very much associated with the nationalist movements in the freedom struggle. A number of prominent leaders from this taluk had contributed in soul and spirit towards realizing the dream of Independent India. Role of great freedom struggle leaders like Zainuddin Makhdoom II, who wrote a book Tuhafat Ul Mujahideen, which is the first authentic book on Kerala history, to inspire people to fight Portuguese invasion is remembered for ever. Ponnani has also contributed a great deal to the cultural and literary heritage of Kerala.

Shri. KV Raman Menon (1900–1974), known as Ponnani Gandhi, was a great Congress leader of the time who had actively participated in the freedom movement of Malabar.[5] He was a social reformer and was a leading lawyer of the Court of Ponani.[6]

EK Imbichibava has played a tremendous role in its development. He is known as The Soul of Ponnani. He was a great Communist Leader and former Member of Indian Parliament and Member of Kerala Legislative Assembly.

Ponnani Juma Masjid

Religious and heritage monuments

Ponnani is well known among Keralites for its numerous mosques build across Ponnani municipality. To name one is the oldest mosque Ponani Juma Masjid which is five hundred years old. As equal it is also known for Hindu temples such as Thrikkavu Temple and the Navamukunda Temple in Thirunavaya, located on the northern banks of river Barathapuzha. Another famous temple in Ponnani is Mookkuthala Bhagavathy Temple.[7] Mookkuthala Kannemkavu temple is situated nearby the Mookuthala temple. This temple is owned and managed by Azhvancheri Thamprakal. Centuries ago, saints from the famous Chettikulangara Temple, Mavelikkara, visited and stayed here for bhajanam, at the time of their journey to Azhvancherry Mana. out of this all, we can see an eminent scholar so called Shaikh Zainudheen Maqdoom. his history says about Islamic conditions of Muslim Kerala with social, religious, political and Economical conditions.

Peoples and their contribution to Kerala

People from Ponnani had contributed much for Kerala's rich cultural treasure and plays a significant role in the cultural history of Kerala. Few people on the list:

  • Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan, who is considered as the Father of the Modern Malayalam language
  • Illustrious writers and novelists like Kuttikrishna Marar, Uroob (pseudonym of P. C. Kuttikrishnan), M. T. Vasudevan Nair, Madhavikutty (pseudonym of Kamala Surayya) and C. Radhakrishnan, poets like Vallathol Narayana Menon (1878–1958), Edasseri Govindan Nair, Kadavanad Kuttikrishnan etc.
  • The well-known painters like K. C. S. Paniker, Artist Namboothiri
  • Vakil K. V. Raman Menon was the lynch pin of Ponani for its religious harmony especially during the Khilafat Movement.
  • The role of EK Imbichibava is remembered for his contribution to the town and people.
  • VP Cherukoya Thangal was a Muslim League MLA in early days, C.Hamza Sahib also one of the Muslim league leader early days later he become leader of Muslim Educational Socity
  • A.M. ABU( Master brain of political study class for young Socilist)), K.K. BAVA(Influential leadership) T.K. NOORUDHEEN(Former socialist party Palakkad district joint secretary and Socialist party's candidate of ponani farkha for District Board Election,later Malappuram district Chairman of Praja Socialist party also served as a Member of Nilambur Area Tribel Development committee), K.V. SEEMAN(Seeman,was one of the influential political correspondent in Ponani) and V.V. KUNJAHAMED are Socialist party leaders and they lead port cargo workers union and Beedi Thozilali union in Ponani. They are all Freedom Fighters. They also actively lead beedi thozhilali strike.
  • Beeran, Koyakutty Thangal from valiya jaram, Thresiya Teacher, Panjilakath Mohamed Haji.T K. Abdulla kutty and U.imbichahmed, P.P. Mohamed Sahib (PPMS, Served as Plakkad District Congress Commettee Secretary) are leaders of ponani Town Indian National Congress. C.M. Moidunni and A.P.M. Kunhi bava also noted trade unionists in Ponani.
  • Edasseri Govinadan Nair also has contributed to many of the social reformations in Ponani.
  • Advocate Koladi Govindan Kutty,Executive Engineer(PWD Madras state) Kunjhu MOOSA, K. Krishna Warrier, Justice Kunhammad Kutty, Fatima Teacher, K.V. Syed Kutty, Prof. A. V. Moideen Kutty, Prof. M. M. Narayanan, Prof. K. V. Abdurahiman, Prof. Kadavanad Mohammad, K.V.Noorudheen sahib,Prof P.V. Abdul Hameed, Kodambiye Rahman, P. Surendran etc. have contributed a lot for the cultural development of Ponnani..................Prof. K.A. ABDUL KADHER is a well known Economist from Ponani (He Served as a professor in MES Collage, later served in Dubai customs and EMIRI OFFICE, Dubai

Tamil Nadu Chief Engineer (Irrigation) Mr. A.M. Usman Sahib also from Ponani, the list is not ending.

Politics and governance

Local administration

There are two administrative systems prevailing in Ponnani taluk:

  • Revenue
  • Local self-government.

The local self-government system constitutes the Municipality and Block Panchayat. Ponnani Municipality has 50 wards. Each ward is represented by an elected member in the Municipal council. Under the revenue system, the taluk is divided into 13 villages. Ponnani taluk is constituted of the following villages.

Located in Malappuram District of Kerala state in India, Ponnani is the smallest Taluk of the district.

Ponnani Assembly constituency

It is part of Ponnani (Lok Sabha constituency).[8]

Ponnani Parliament constituency

Ponnani is one among the 20 parliament constituencies of Kerala. The Ponnani constituency comprises the assembly segments of

  • Tirurangadi
  • Tanur
  • Tirur
  • Ponnani
  • Kottakkal
  • Thavanoor
  • and Thrithala.

Between 1957 and 1977, when Ponnani was a reserved constituency, it was held by the Marxists. Once it was re-labeled a general constituency in 1977, the balance of power shifted to the IUML. General Statistics (Municipality as per 1991 Census):[9]

Ponnani Lok Sabha constituency is composed of the following assembly segments:[8]

  1. Tirurangadi
  2. Tanur
  3. Tirur
  4. Ponnani
  5. Tavanur
  6. Kottakkal
  7. Thrithala

The Chamravattom project a reality, a landmark growth is expected in the tourism, irrigation and transportation sectors. The foundation for this ambitious project was laid in 1982.

Needed developments

  • Permission to start Ernakulam-Kozhikkode private buses via Chamaravattom
  • Ponnani bypass, needed to complete the Chamaravattom Ponnani Port bypass road

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^

External links

  • YouTube Documentary on Ponnani-Malayalam
  • YouTube Documentary on Ponnani-English
  • Ponnani(PCWF) website click on
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