Changannur Church
Coordinates: 9°19′6.54″N 76°36′50.46″E / 9.3184833°N 76.6140167°E / 9.3184833; 76.6140167
Country  India
State Kerala
District Alappuzha
  Type Municipality
  Total 5.6 sq mi (14.6 km2)
Elevation 23 ft (7 m)
Population (2011)
  Total 23,456
  Density 3,594.9/sq mi (1,387.99/km2)
Time zone IST (UTC+5.30)
Post code 689121
Area code(s) 0479
Vehicle Code KL-30, KL-30
Nearest city Kollam (58.5 km)
Thrichittatt Temple
Gadha stick
Puliyoor Gopuram
Suriyani Church

Chengannur (Malayalam: ചെങ്ങന്നൂർ) is a municipal town in the Alappuzha district of the state of Kerala in South India. Chengannur (also spelled Chenganoor, Chenganur, and Chengannoor) is located in the extreme eastern part of Alappuzha district, on the banks of Pamba River.[1] It is 117 kilometres (73 mi) north of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram on the MC Road. Chengannur, Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam. Chengannur is connected to Kollam and Kottayam by NH 220. Chengannur is noted for Chengannur Mahadeva Temple[2] and its Old Syrian Church. Chengannur is also a major destination of Sabarimala pilgrims known as the Gateway of Sabarimala.

The nearby municipal towns are Pandalam and Adoor to the south, Mavelikkara to the west, Aranmula, Kozhencherry and Pathanamthitta to the east and Tiruvalla to the north. The taluk comprises villages such as Kurattissery, Mannar, Ennakkad, Pandanad, Thiruvanvandoor, Chengannur, Mulakuzha, Ala, Puliyoor, Cheriyanad, Budhanoor and Venmony.[1][3]

As of the 2001 Indian census,[4] Chengannur Taluk had a population of 125,391. Males constitute 48% of the population and females 52%. 9% of the population is under 6 years of age.


Chengannur means land (ur) of the red (Chenga) soil. This soil is different from the soil of surrounding Kuttanad, hence the name "Chengannur".

In early modern period, Chengannur was a part of Kayamkulam dynasty and which is later came under Travancore kings when Kayamkulam was ceded by Marthandavarma in 18th Century.

Pepper, popularly known as "black gold", was a major export item of Chengannur. Angadical (Angadi means market in Malayalam) was the main market in Chengannur. Current Chengannur market is developed by Velu Thampi Dalawa. During 19th century and 20th century, this market played a major role in selling and buying goods produced in eastern region of the state with the coastal part of Kerala.

Chengannur's Munsif court, which recently completed its centenary, was long the most important judicial center of the region.

Chengannur Municipality was formed in the year 1980 with Shri. P.K John Plammoottil (Retd. Deputy Superintendent of Police - DySP) as its First Municipal Chairman.


The cultural background of Chengannur originates from the era of Royal rule. Chengannur was a part of Vanjippuzha Principality which was under the rule of Travancore. Chengannur town is in the banks of Holy river Pamba which influenced the culture of this town. There are many "Chundan Vallam" (Snake boats) participating in Aranmula Boat Race hails from Chengannur and nearby areas. Padayani is a traditional temple art-form which is performed as part of the festival in Vadasserikkavu Devi Temple, located 2 km north of Chengannur town. Chengannur has produced several great artists. The most famous one is the famous Kathakali artist Chenganoor Raman Pillai, popularly known as "Guru Chengannur". Chengannur is famous for the craftsman who were brought by Kings of Travancore to build the temple in Sabarimala. Later generations of these craftsmen also famous for their skills and idols of many temples in Kerala are crafted by them. Mannar is a place in Chengannur Taluk which is famous for the Bronze industry. Chengannur is a major 'Shaiva' pilgrim destination in India. Chengannur temple is one of the 108 temples believed to be created by Parasurama. Chengannur Suriyani Church is another example for the architecture excellence of this town. It is famous for the unique architecture. There is a 33.5 feet tall Cross made from single stone is a major attraction of its Architectural beauty. 4 out of 5 major Vishu temples believed to be created by Pandavas, Thrichittattu, Puliyoor, Aranmula and Thiruvanvandoor are in and around Chengannur. These temples are major Vaishnava pilgrim destination in South India.


According to the 2011 census, Chengannur has a literacy rate of 96.26% (males: 97.90%, females: 94.80%). Chengannur has a sex ratio of 1100. The total increase in the population from 2001 has been estimated as 0.61%. Its population is predominantly Hindu and Christian, with a very small number of Muslims. The most widely spoken language is Malayalam. The standard dialect of Malayalam spoken is the Central Travancore dialect. Most people are able to talk in English as well.


Climate data for Chengannur, Kerala
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 31.2
Average low °C (°F) 22.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 21


Chengannur is well-connected by road and rail. State Highway 1 (SH1), popularly known as the MC Road, passes through the heart of the town and connects Chengannur to Thiruvananthapuram and Angamaly. The Chengannur - Kottayam stretch of the MC Road is also part of the NH 220 which stretches between Kollam and Theni. Another major road is the State Highway 10 which connects Chengannur to Mavelikkara and Kozhencherry. Besides these two roads, there are also many arterial roads running across the length and breadth of the town.


Kerala State Road Transport Corporation has a depot at Chengannur (station code: CGNR); it is among the 29 major depots in the state. The KSRTC depot at Chengannur has an inter-state bus service, which is operated to Kanyakumari. KSRTC runs buses to different cities and towns inside and outside the state. Some of the Major destinations are Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Mangalore, Mukambika, Kanyakumari, Coimbatore, Palani, Kannur and Wayanad. The Municipal Private bus stand is located in front of the railway station. Private buses leave this stand heading to various places in the Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta and Kollam districts.


Chengannur Railway Station (station code: CNGR), along with Tiruvalla Railway station is the busiest railway station between Kollam and Kottayam. It is a major railway station in the Thiruvananthapuram railway division of the Southern Railway Zone (India). People from eastern part of the state are using this railway station for travelling to various parts of the country. All the trains traveling through this route stop at Chengannur station. It caters to the needs 3 districts, viz. Alappuzha, Kollam and Pathanamthitta. By rail, Chengannur is well connected to major cities in India like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Agra, Ahmedabad, Bikaner, Mangalore, Bhopal, Guwahati, Nagpur, Jammu and other major cities of the country. Recently, the station has been declared as "The Gateway to Sabarimala". The rail line between Chengannur and Thiruvananthapuram has been doubled and electrified. Two new lines are proposed from Chengannur: one to Thiruvananthapuram via Kottarakkara and the other to Sabarimala via Pathanamthitta. Furthermore, an MRTS is proposed to be established between Thiruvananthapuram and Chengannur. Once the approval is obtained, it could start running by mid-2017. There is one more small railway station at Cheriyanadu which is 6 km from the town center.


The nearest Airport is Trivandrum International airport which is about 116km from Chengannur. Other nearby airport is Cochin International Airport (CIAL) which is about and 127km from Chengannur. A new greenfield airport has also been proposed in Aranmula, just 10 km away from Chengannur. The proposed rural Aranmula International Airport would be the closest airport upon completion, at 4 km away.

Administration and Politics

Chengannur Town officials
Municipal Chairman Smt. Shoba Varughese[6]
Sub Collector
Deputy Superintendent of Police [7]

The two administrative systems prevailing in the Chengannur are revenue and local self-government. As per the revenue system, Chengannur is one of the two revenue divisions of Alappuzha district. The Chengannur revenue division comprises Karthikapally, Chengannur and Mavelikkara taluks consisting of a total of 44 villages.

Under the local self-government system, Chengannur is divided into 1 statutory town and development blocks consisting of 11 panchayats.

Lok Sabha

Chengannur is a part of the Mavelikara constituency which after demarcation extends from Changanassery in Kottayam district to Kottarakkara in Kollam district. Kodikunnil Suresh of the INC has been representing the Mavelikkara constituency since 2009.

State Assembly

Chengannur's assembly constituency (Number 110) is a part of the Mavelikkara (Lok Sabha constituency). The first speaker of the Kerala legislative assembly, Mr. Sankaranarayanan Thampi, was an MLA from Chengannur.
The current MLA is Adv K. K. Ramachandran Nair of the CPI-M.

Demand for Central Travancore District

The formation of a long awaited central travancore district is not yet came true.The proposal has been in the air since the late eighties. It involves the inclusion of Thiruvalla taluk and parts of adjoining Pandalam municipality, panchayats of Thumpamon and Pandalam-Thekkekkara of the present Pathanamthitta district and Mavelikara and Chengannur taluks wholly and parts of the adjoining Karthikappally taluk of Alappuzha district. The new district will have five taluks, namely, Thiruvalla, Chengannur, Pandalam Mavelikara and Kayamkulam. It may be noted that a major chunk of the culturally renowned Onattukara will be part of the new district along with the Thiruvalla-Kumbanad NRI belt, which accounts for a substantial inflow of foreign currency. The Central Travancore region has a cultural identity of its own, its geographical topography is unique, neither part of the "hilly" Pathanamthitta district nor the "watery" Alappuzha

Places of Worship

The population of Chengannur mainly practices Hinduism and Christianity. Muslims are also found in the M.C. Road Mulakuzha region of the town. Most of Muslims living at Kollakadavu and Mannar areas.

Educational Organizations


There are many state Government offices, Banks and educational institutions located in Chengannur. A good number of people work in these institutions. Other major source of income is from the Non Residential Indians, which is a common economical factor in the central Travancore region, and rest of Kerala as well. Agriculture is also there in the outskirts, but mostly confined to Rubber Plantations. There are no major industries in Chengannur, but a number of small scale industries are present. Major private employers are limited to banks, hospitals and shops.

In Sabarimala season, which starts from Mid November to Mid January there is a huge boost in economical activities in this town. Since Chengannur is the nearest Railway station to Sabarimala,[8] most number of devotees use this railway station to visit temple. During this season a boost in Restaurant, hotel and transportation business is visible.


  1. 1 2 Alapuzha Taluk Census, Census 2001.
  2. Chengannur Mahadeva Kshetram
  3. Presidents of Panchayat - Chengannur Taluk Archived June 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., 2001
  4. "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  6. "official "
  7. "sp "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2012-04-22."
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