Velu Thambi Dalawa's house in Thalakulam, TN - needs proper restoration and conservation!

House of Velu Thambi, Thalakkulam, TN

House of Velu Thambi, Thalakkulam, TN

House of Velu Thambi, Thalakkulam, TN

House of Velu Thambi, Thalakkulam, TN

House of Velu Thambi, Thalakkulam, TN

Velayudhan Chempakaraman Thampi of Thalakulam (commonly known as (Velu Thambi), the Dalawa or Prime Minister of the  kingdom of Travancore between 1802 and 1809 during the reign of Bala Rama Varma Kulasekhara Perumal, was  born on 6 May 1765 in the village of Thalakkulam  in present day district of Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu; formerly it was part of  southern district of Travancore State. Thalakkulam village is just three kilometers from Thingalchanda..

Postal cover. Velu Thambi, Kerala.

Starting  his humble life at the bottom of the rung as Thasildar in the kingdom, he rose to the covetous  position of prime minister in the kingdom by dint of hard work with  administrative skill and  wisdom. A man of many talents, a  reformist and  great warrior,  he never failed to exhibit  his valor and prowess if occasion demanded. Under his administration the kingdom flourished and the people were happy because he took  firm steps and gave severe punishment to corrupt officials  and  removed rampant corruption in the corridors of power. He introduced special taxes based  on revenue  (kandezhuthu) and made primary education compulsory for all. 

Throughout his eventful life he faced several ups and down and, betrayals by his own trusted people. Not withstanding all these  his revolt against the British supremacy continued with much vigor. In the wake of   Kundara Proclamation and the ensuing revolt in Travancore, he fell a victim to a web of conspiracy that resulted in the tragic death of Velu Thampi  in 1809. To instill fear among the natives, the British had his body tied  on a gibbet in Kannammoola hill before being interred in an unmarked grave.  Velu  Thampi's ancestral home was pulled down and his relatives were flogged as if they were cattle and finally driven out. Mentally very much affected by over intimidation many of them committed suicide

That the house in kayakumari district where he was born is in a poor state is a sad note.  I wonder why no steps have been taken to get the historical house repaired and restored so far.  What kind of respect and gratitude do we have for a courageous man who had first revolted against the unjust British in this part of Kerala?  He was one of the earliest patriots who vehemently rebelled against the mighty  British East India Company‘s hegemony in the part of Kerala.  

When it comes to heritage sites,  monuments or houses of great patriots, freedom fighters, etc.,  right from Kashmir to Kanyakumari we observe that invariably most of them are in a neglected state -  either in a dilapidated condition or in ruins beyond redemption. Reason: official, apathy, poor maintenance and lack of interest among the local people.

 Above image: At Thalakulam village, Kanyakumari district there is a statue of patriot Velu Thambi and I understand, it is not yet opened officially............ 

It is quite unfortunate and pathetic that the house in which Velu Thambi was born is not well-maintained  and facing slow death.  It appears to be  case of negligence and carelessness. Sad to note that  there is no semblance of any repairs done in the recent past. Neither the Tamil Nadu state Archaeology department nor their counter part in  Kerala  has taken any step whatsoever to repair and conserve this historical house and bring it back to former glory. In 2009, Kanyakumari Tourism Officer  took the initiative and renovated this place with proper lighting, parking lot, etc.  This place can be given a fresh lease of life and can be converted in to a fine tourism spot and the posterity will get to know the past history of this place. 

Velu Thambi house inThalakulam,

Velu Thambi house inThalakulam, TN

The house constructed  in Kerala style architecture  about two centuries ago with extended tiled sloping  roof  appears to have been well  built as it has withstood the vagaries of climatic changes and  vigorous monsoons of this place - both SW and NE all these decades. Considering the time factor, it is not seriously damaged.  Surrounded by over growth of vegetation and plants the wooden parts of the house appear to be not in good shape due to old age. Wooden  doors, windows,  rafters, wooden pillars in the fa├žade of the structure  appear as if they have not been seen any coat of varnish or wood primer for years. The low extended slanting roof ingenious designed has prevented the rain waters affecting the walls. Entirely made of  quality teak the house has 12 rooms with holes in the roof and it means it may be leaky. The house is being managed by  the Chitrakala Trust.

Close to the house and around it, the ground is not clean, strewn with broken debris, broken fragments and fallen leaves. I don't know weather it is a declared monument or not. There  is ample scope to  develop this place into  a nice tourism destination.