GEORGE THENGUMMOOTTIL
FILM MAKER / EDITOR

THE STORY OF PEERMADE



A photo book on the history and story of Peermade, a plantation hill station in the Idukki district of Kerala State in India.


Year : 2006
Pages : 76
ISBN 97881928886-0-6

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Peermade, a part of the Western Ghats or Sahyadris and is situated at an altitude of about 914 meters above mean sea level.

The location of Peermade is 85 km east of Kottayam, (Nearest Railway Station) on the way to Kumily and Thekkady. Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary at Thekkady, one of the largest wildlife reserves in India, is just 43 km from Peermade.

The landscape of Peermade is hilly with spectacular waterfalls, open grass lands and forests. Peermade was once the summer retreat of the Maharajas of Travancore. Peermade receives a lot of rain during the monsoons as it is situated on the western windward side of the Western Ghats, facing Arabian sea.

The meaning of Peermade is “hill of the Peer”, is also written as Perumade and Pearmadu, though the accepted spelling is Peermade. The name Peermade is sometimes related to the Sufi saint, Peer Mohammed who is said to have visited Peermade.

     
 
MAKING

Data Collection:  As there was not much written records available about the history and early people at Peermade. We could gather only a little information from books. The only source of written information were the heap of records and letters scattered inside old estate bungalows : made home by termites.


Photography: My old Yashica film camera was the only equipment for photography. I had to minimize the number of shots as the cost of films was far beyond my affordability. Later I could manage to get a Canon Powershot A520 Camera from one of my aunts which was used for photography during my
final years.

Interviews: Long talks with the early settlers of Kuttikkanam was a good source of Information. Childhood experiences and stories shared by Michael Kalluvilayil,a pioneer in Plantation industry helped me to learn about the Tea plantations of
Peermade. A talk with Ashan who is living near Peermade temple was also helpful to learn about the life of people at Peermade


 

Data Compilation : My college notebooks were used to fill up information collected from the field which was then typed into my favourate program EDIT on my IBM 486 Machine. Floppy disks were used to store the information and later compiled
together on to a hard-disk later. At times Jibil and I used to play his favorite game ‘Dangerous Dave’ in that computer.


References: Historical records hidden underneath the store rooms of Panchayath offices at Elapara and Peermade was very much useful in knowing about the place after India’s Independence. The old register of birth and death a  the CSI church, Pallikunnu started by Henry Baker: one of the first Europeans who visited Peermade was very much useful in finding the names of the pioneers of the hills.

AUTHOR & PHOTOGRAPHY

George Thengummoottil

LOGISTICS AND SUPPORT

Jibil John

ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Melvin K Sebastian
Jees John Adukuzhiyil
Marc Tormo
M.Arun Prasad
Sandeep Sandeep Mathew
Joe Thomas Varickamakkal

THANKS TO

Wilfred Chacho, Anikkadu
Nijo Varghese, Erumely
Anish Abraham, Elapara
Subeesh Varghese, Elepara
Melvin K Sebastian, Trishur
Lijo Devesia, Thovala, Kattapana
D Vijay, Munnar.
Libni V Thomas, Kattapana
Kiren Philip, Peermade
Titus J Sam,Vagamon
Kiren, Thovala, Kattapana
Shoban Kumar, Munnar
Dawn V Ninan, Mavelikkara
Joby Xavier from Kattappana
Anoop Jose, Ponkunnam
Jose K Sebin, Kattapana
Jerry Mathew Vadakkattom
Ajomon Sebastian, Mattukatta
Ponny G George

SPECIAL THANKS TO

Michael Kalluvayalil,
Planter for sharing his story and experience at Kuttikkanam.
Ashan Peermade (He owns a Shop opposite to Peermade
Temple.)
for sharing his story and experience at Kuttikkanam.
Rajan Sir (Teacher at Elapara High School)
for sharing the data he collected for his publication.
Panchayath office of Peermade, Vandiperiyar and Elapara
for providing me all information they could provide.
BACSA British Association of the cemeteries of South Asia

     

George Thengummoottil
Thengummoottil
Kappad PO
Kottayam Dist
Kerala
India


p: +91 94462 93302
e: george@theindia.info



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