If there’s anything Malayalis consider a bigger status symbol than gold, it would be owning or living in a house that’s got architectural marvels and grandeurs. A Malayali’s love for such houses, bungalows and mansions are well described in the backdrop of our movies. Our odyssey of watching, observing and analysing Malayalam movies has unravelled to us that it is not only the actors and their performances that remain close to our hearts but the locations and houses where the movies are shot too. Houses in Malayalam cinema have a charm of its own.
Here’s our list of 7 such houses in Malayalam Cinema that caught our fancy:
Who can forget this charming mansion where Aadu Thoma and his math-lover father, Chacko Maashu locked horns? It is here that Chacko Maashu plants a coconut sapling (remember the pathinettam vattam thengu?) implicitly stating that it would do him more good than his son, Thoma. Thekkedath Mana, with the Meenachil river behind it, is situated in Kudamaloor, which is pretty close to Kottayam town. This house, with ancient woodwork, is an unforgettable aspect of the movie Spadikam.Oh, and did you know that this mana is our first Chief Minister, E.M.S Namboodiripad’s maternal tharavadu?
Spotted in over a dozen Malayalam movies, Olappamanna Mana in Vellinezhi, Palakkad is where the historic Malayalam poet, Olappamanna Namboothirippadu breathed his first. This 300-year-old tharavadu has one nalukettu and an ettukettu and is thus considered as a panthrandu kettu. Frankly, this mana gives me all the jitters as I associate this with the movie Akashaganga where Ganga struts along the eerie corridors of the mana breaking into an occasional attahasam at the plight of her victims who are running for their lives. That apart, a whole lot of movies like Aaraam Thampuran, Thanmathra, Ennu Ninte Moideen, Madambi, Aami, and Elavamkodu Desam were also shot here.
This is yet another favourite location of filmmakers in Palakkad. Located on Palat road, Ottapalam, this tharavadu was first featured in the Suresh Gopi starrer Saadaram that was released in 1995. This tharavadu belongs to Ila Balachandran and has also appeared in a host of movies such as Natturajavu, Diamond Necklace, Arjunan Pillayum Anchu Makkalum, 1971: Beyond Borders, Paradesi, Kilichundan Mambazham, and Chandrolsavam. The courtyard of this house is also seen in the song Varmazhaville from Mizhi Randilum where Kavya Madhavan imagines seeing Indrajith.
Kochi is indeed the go-to city for Malayalam movie makers these days. One of the most sought-after houses by the Malayalam movie industry, Paramada House in Vazhakkala, Kochi is a magnificent and exotic looking house that sits atop a quarry. Before it made it to the silver screen through movies like Pokkiri Raja, Happy Husbands, Lollipop, Theevram, Ivar Vivahitharayal, and Vismayathumbathu, it was spotted in several Malayalam ads. The sequel to the popular malayalam soap Sthree was also shot in this house. Currently, the comedy sitcom Uppum Mulakum that airs on Flowers is being shot at Paramada House.
Jagannathan, Mangalasseri Neelakantan, Chirakkal Sreehari…have all graced the ancient Varikkassery mana. This architectural wonder is built on a sprawling 4 acres of land and exudes a great deal of aristocracy. This nalukettu is said to have origins that go back a thousand years and is located in Manissery in Palakkad. The mana made its debut as early as the 80s through Nedumudi Venu’s movie Theertham. However, popularity struck the location only after the audience witnessed its architectural glory through the legendary movie, Devasuram which hit the theatres in 1993. Later, it became one of the favourite shooting locations for Malayalam movie makers. If you are an avid movie watcher you would surely not have missed this mana in Rappakal, Thooval Kottaram, Valliettan, Pretham 2, and Drona. The beauty of the nadumuttam of this mana is most prominently absorbed in the song Kalyana Kacheri from Madampi.
Mind-blowing architecture and exquisite woodwork would be an understatement to describe the glory of Padmanabhapuram Palace. This palace is touted to be one of the largest wooden palaces in the whole of Asia. A major part of the iconic horror movie Manichitrathazhu, including the song Oru Murai Vanthu was filmed in this palace. It was also seen in the Mohanlal starrer His Highness Abdullah. Spreading over 200 acres and located 50 km from Thiruvananthapuram, it was constructed by Iravi Varma Kulasekhara Perumal long before the advent of the 18th century.
The House in Texas
If you’ve seen the Dulquer starrer movie CIA, you would know that the former part of the movie was shot in Kottayam while the latter part was in the United States. This house spotted in CIA is located in Texas and is a no-frills, utilitarian one. We’re certain that you’d remember the penultimate scene where Jinu Joseph sits by the pool, with a beer in his hand, dipping his feet in the water, when Dulquer hastens to him and tells him that he wants to find Sarah.
Mammootty’s Mrugaya, if you remember, won two Kerala State Film Awards. It’s a story of an alcoholic hunter who comes to a village to kill a leopard that’s causing nuisance to the villagers. Towards the beginning of the movie, we see Jagannatha Varma enter his house, a classic age-old Kerala house of the rich. We see the portrayal of class in the way the people are treated, as well as, the difference in homes portrayed. The Nochully house, located in Palakkad district, is one where we see characters like Jagannatha, Shari, Raghu, and Lalu Alex spend their time.
These are a few houses in Malayalam cinema that made us wonder where these were located in Kerala. Have we missed out on your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.