Thiruvananthapuram: Minister for Archaeology and Archives Kadannappally Ramachandran had declared two months ago that Valiasala is a heritage village. But history enthusiasts and Valiasala residents are clueless about what that means.
There are no signs of any conservation project in the area. State archaeology director J. Reji Kumar said that the minister had mentioned about restoring the area, but a project was yet to start formally.
Mr Kadannappally had talked about taking efforts towards conserving the village at the inauguration of an event, 'Valisala grama conservation project' held by Thampanoor Janamaithri police in June.
The police will put conduct a seminar on the archaeological and historic significance of Kanthalloor-Valiasala after Onam with the help of the officials of the archaeology department and the faculty at NSS College for Women, Niramankara, according to Mr S.S. Jayakumar, ASI. "The place has several heritage items, including manuscripts with Vattezhuthu and Kolezhuthu scripts. These need to be conserved. The Janamaithri police took such an initiative as we owe this to our future generations," said Mr Jayakumar.
The original core of Mahadeva temple at Valiasala must have been built in the 9th or 10th century, according to archaeologist Bina Thomas Tharakan. "Archaeologists have had doubts about the exact location of the Kanthalloor Sala, a university believed to be bigger than Nalanda and Takshasila, Some believe the actual site could have been at modern-day Vizhinjam, where excavations have revealed proof of fortification. But traditional historians believe that it is at modern-day Valiasala," she said.
'Valiasala gramam' is a strange mix of traditional and modern houses, a study in the urbanisation of a village, according to Bina. For, many of the agraharam structures in 'Valiasala gramam' have already been renovated, even as Vyasa Residents' Association president R Krishna Iyer says that 40 percent of the houses have retained their old structures.
There are 251 members in the association, but some are two-storey buildings. These started cropping up over the last five years, according to Jaya Nalinakshan, a resident....