Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Reunion at our ancestral House in Kallidaikurichi - 22nd & 23rd March 2014.

Our ancestral House - 100 years old as on 2014

22nd and 23rd March 2014 are days i shall always remember. These were the days when we had a get-together of our relatives in our ancestral house in Kallidaikurichi (KIC)  in Thirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu. The majestic house shown above is our ancestral house . Built in 1914 it is now a 100 years old and it was fitting that we met here during the centenary year. This house belonged to my grandparents (from the maternal side) Mrs.Lakshmi Sankar Iyer and Dr.T.C.Sankar Iyer. Both were freedom fighters from Kallidaikurichi (see picture below) and my grandmother was also the first woman MLA in the then Madras Presidency. In a predominantly male dominated bastion during those days it was almost thought impossible for a woman to make a political mark or as a public figure. It was my grandfather Dr.T.C.Sankar Iyer who motivated and guided his wife Lakshmi Sankar Iyer to get into public life.
Mrs.Lakshmi Sankar & Dr.T.C.Sankar Iyer sitting second from right and extreme right .

This house was called the "Station View" as it stood bang opposite the Kallidaikurichi Railway Station and stands right adjacent to the main road connecting Ambasamudram and Thirunelveli. A huge house with 40-50 rooms and at any point of time then in the 1920's - 1960's  had 30-40 of our relatives living there in a joint family concept. Standing in the first floor of the house, one gets a beautiful view of the mountain ranges forming the southern tip of the Western Ghats (see picture below). This house was sold off in the mid 1990's to Mr.T.P.Ganesan who owns a Petrol bunk and was since been used by the new owner as a kalyanamandapam and also rented out for movie shootings.

View from the house. The Railway station lies beyond those Auto stand.

When we informed the present owner Mr.Ganesan about our intentions of having a reunion celebrating the centenary year of the house, he was so nice to agree without any reservation. He even went to the extent of doing repairs to set right the amenities and was kind enough to give it to us for free. Extremely nice person and we record our appreciation and thanks through this blog..

Twenty of us relatives (see picture below) then gathered for a couple of days and had one whale of a time. The continuous chit-chat, gup-shup and reminiscing of the good old times we spent in that house was the focal point of our conversations. We met, chatted, dined and slept in the house and those two days will ever be etched in our memory. In between all this , we managed to find time to visit Papanasam and had bath in the Thamirabharani river (see pictures below). We also visited the "Agraharams" and managed to buy the famous Kallidaikrichi "Appalams and Vadaams".

Group photo of the gathering

Papanasam- Thamirabharani river

The last time i visited Kallidaikurichi prior to this visit was 25 years earlier in 1990. There have been changes to this village in the form of cyber cafes, fast food joints and a lot more cars instead of Bullock carts. However, it still has those old charm of the row houses in the Agraharams (see picture below) and of course the Thamirabharani river.

Agrahaaram- Veerappara Street
A wonderful experience of the reunion and  time went off fast . It mostly does when one enjoys the event and that's exactly what happened.


Lakshmi said...

Yes. It was a great gettogether.I also feel proud to be part of this great heritage.

juju said...

Sruthi was more exited & keeps on asking why you sold this house ? I had a very peaceful sleep for an hour in the same room where i used to be my "echimaa"

R S Murthy said...

I personally know Gomathi Sankara Dhikshidar. He was a simple person. I never saw him wearing a shirt. He used to go around with Dhoti and Towel on his person. Today also we can find, may be some MLA with simplicity of Gomathi Sankara Dhilkshidar's standing and standard, he personified what is simplicity. You have referred to T R Mahadeva Iyer. Was he the same person affectionately called "Dhadi Mahadeva Iyer" In fact some of the members of "Kattu Kuthagai" family are living in Kolkata.

Bhuvana Kumar said...


I accidently stepped into this page when browsing for something else !! Happy to see the family reunion.... I am reminded of my Grandma after seeing this post... she is also from Kallidai Kurichi.. I have been to this place a couple of times..

subbiah vishwanath said...

I Nostalgically recall this
Mansion Facing The railway station. I was a resident in the village/semi Urban place for couple of years in the late 40's and if remember correct I had a class mate by name MAYA residing over there. I left the place and it is good more than half Century I touched base there. Wonderful to see your Memoirs and I have just ONE WORD--ENVY.

the kasl said...

Yes Mr.R.S.Murthy- T R Mahadeva Iyer was called as Dhadi Mahadeva Iyer.

Mr.Subbiah Viswanath- I don't know which Maya you are referring to. But we have a Maya in our family who is my cousin. She is granddaughter of Lakshmi Sankar . Infact you can see her elder sister Sivakami in the picture given above in the blog. She is sitting in the extreme right in the picture.

Krishnamurthi Ramalingam said...

Iam krishnamurthi, alias vengacham son of kattukuthagai ramalingam iyer. we were living in ekambarapuram street in the next house to shri yangeswara sharma and opposite to the house of thiyagi subramaniam iyer who was my periappa.

I distinctly remember sivrama mama and nataraja mama sons of yangeswara sharma the freedom fighter. Sivarama mama worked for rbi,

We still retain our house and visit kallidaikurich on three four occasions in every year.

Kanakasabapathy Subramaniam said...

I am 75. my father TK Subramanyan was SubRegistrar,Kallidaikurichi during 1949-'51.3 of us brothers were students of Tilak Vidyalaya.My younger brother Gomathinathan Nathan studied was in class 6 & 7.I remember Maya was his class mate.Maya's maternal uncle (?) owned a photo studio at the frontage to the house.My father whose office was close by used to spend time,after office hours at the studio.Maya used to have bobbed hair.We remember Sivagami as well.Can you furnish more information & contact details,of course with their concurrence.We are residents of Chennai & 4 of us- brothers live together as joint family.Thanks for taking us on an exciting & emotional journey of 65 years & 700 KMs and for enriching our livers.Kanakasabapathy

the kasl said...

@ Kanakasabapathy Subramaniam - can you please give me your contact address and mobile so i can pass it on to Maya/Sivakami.

My name is also subramaniam

Kanakasabapathy Subramaniam said...

Thanks,Subramaniam.Your alacrity & unfailing courtesy amaze me.My address- W302,19th Street,Anna nagar Western Extension,Chennai-600101.Phone No 9444450090.

the kasl said...

Dear Mr.Kanakasabapathy - have given your number to Maya. she will call you after Diwali.

Meanwhile, can you let me know your mail i.d to me.
Mine is:



Kanakasabapathy Subramaniam said...

Dear Sri Subramaniam,Thanks for your mail.My Email I d is

Anonymous said...

Sen K Mathew

I accidentally came accross this blog. Wonderfull. But I am so so sad to know that you sold out this beautifull house. What to say?. Nostalgic feeling.
My grandparents had owned a big part in the heart of Kanyakumari(1875-1925). When they left to Kerala, they lost it. Nobody claimed. My father was an Engineer IN Kerala State Electricity Board(CET). I now realize how much we had lost when they left Kanyakumari. We are Christians. Still My family and I used to go to Kanyakumari Via Courtalam, Ambasamudhram, Kaval Kinaru Kanyakumari.
Every time We reach there we had this nostalgic feeling. My Mother passed away 4 years back. I had seen her crying standing before our old place.

Thank you sir for this Good Blog.
I do not know whether you are going to read this or not.
Here is my email ( I am planning to go to Kanyakumari in April. Sure I am going to Visit your House to. At least I can see it from out side. What we forgot really is By selling this valuable asset we are selling our History too. Just Ask your house to tell you a story. Your house will tell a 1000 stories.

May God Bless You

Thanks once again
Sen K Mathew