Gundert Bungalow - steeped in Malayalam history and growth

Gundert-Bungalow, Thalassery, Kerala 

 The south western state of kerala has unique colonial buildings, palaces and bungalows that have historical significance. Notable among the vintage bungalows is Dr. Gundert's bungalow. His unique and historical building is a silent spectator to the development of the native language spoken here - Malayalam. The dedicated  Malayalam scholar was a German, one Dr. Herrmann  Gundert, a humble Christian missionary. The Almighty intended him to make history right here in his bungalow. 

Gundert Bungalow,  Illikunnu,  near Thalassery (Canananore district), Kerala is a well-known tourist attraction. This bungalow, more than 200 years old, is quite interwoven with the culture, language  and tradition of Kerala.  This historical  building was the residence of Dr. Herman Gundert, the German Missionary, who became a member of the Basal Mission in 1934. Born in Stuttgart, Germany, Dr. Herman Gundert arrived in India as a Christian missionary with a view to preaching Christianity to the natives during the colonial days. On 27th February 1839, he shifted  his residence  to the present location and lived here for more than two decades.

Gundert-Bungalow, Thalassery, Kerala YouTube

Being a polyglot, he took keen interest in the Malayalam language because he liked the way the the natives spoke the language. He was actively involved in research activities, literary works, etc.,  besides social and cultural activities. He  spent much of his productive years right here in this bungalow set in a serene, quiet place.

Having mastered the spoken and also the written language, local dialects, etc., Dr.
Gundert embarked on a monumental work - preparation of Malayalam dictionary.  He completed the first Malayalam dictionary during  his active  period extending between 1839 and 1859, while  residing here. His stay in this residence saw the publication of the Paschimodayam, the oldest Malayalam newspaper. The other publication included Rajyasamacharam, the first Malayalam newspaper in 1847 and also started a school in 1939. 

Gundert State, Dr.Gundet Bungalow, nearThalassery Stadium-
Dr.Herman Gundert's valuable and important contribution  to Malayalam. No doubt, he played a key role in the development of Malayalam. He compiled Malayalam grammar book, Malayalabhaasha Vyakaranam and published  first Malayalam grammar book. In 1872 he translated Bible into Malayalam. 

Dr. Herrmann Gundert. en.wikipedia. org

The Gundert Bungalow  had been previously used 
as a residence by Mr. Thomas Stench, judicial magistrate of Thalassery. He donated the  bungalow to the Basal Mission for its humanitarian services. The bungalow, designed in a typical colonial mansion style architecture, has a wide veranda and several carved doorways.  The site also published

 Built in watch tower style, this bungalow, more than 200 years old, is large and attractive and is made of brick, sand, granite stones and quality wood, following the local architecture typical of Kerala in by-gone days. With a traditional look, the entrance has two pillared arches that make the gateway look impressive. The roof has pyramidal shape so that the rain water would not stay on the roof and the wooden ceilings in the interior place are in good shape. 

Dr. Gundert  died on 1893 April 25 and left a niche for himself in the annals of the history of the  Malayalam language. 

Now, bungalow is a part of the Nettur Technical Training Foundation, a unique institution started by the Swiss Foundation, imparting skills and knowledge to the residents of the region.