(Credit: Adv. Cherian Andrews)
There is an ancient family called Polackal in the southern ward of Kozhimukku in Ambalappuzha taluk. The family ancestor, Chacko and his three brothers from Champakulam came to Kozhimukku around 830 CE and settled there. Their ancestors were from Kuravilangad and settled in Champakkulam.However,there is another saying that they came as along with ChembakasseriKing, Deva Deva Narayana and place them near Bhattathiri Illam, who were very close with the royal family. The families came along with the king were to support and help him for they were very powerfulat Kudamallor and awarded with special Powers and designations by the royal family. May be they reached Kudamallor from Kuravilangad also.
One of the three brothers of Chacko settled near the church at Thenath, another brother near Kolath and last one settled at Vellimangalam. Allthose brothers attended Roman Catholic Church at Kallurkattu (Champakkulam) and the ancestor Chacko at Polackal attended St. Thomas Malankara Syrian Church at Niranam.
Chacko,the ancestorsettled in Polackal had two children.Cherianthe elder one who stayed at Palakkalam and the younger one Chackosettledat Polackal. Cherian, who was settled in Palakkalam, had two children but he died young. Mathen, one of the two children, marriedfrom Kanjirapally and settled downthere. Later they were known in Kanjirapally area as Kochu Kanjirapally family.Thus a relationship between the Polackal and Kanjirapally, originated.
Mathan’s brother lived in Palakkalam, had two daughters and no sons. The elder daughter was married to Vattaseril family at Mallappally. The younger daughter was married toa member of the Mali family at Valanjavattom.He was lateradapted intoto Palakkalam family. He was also the younger brother-in-law of Kochu Chacko Tharakan of Polackal. His brother settled down near Ooramvelil family and his descendants were known as Pulikkatra family.
Polackal Chacko son of ancestor Chacko had three sons and three daughters. Of the three sons, the eldest was Kochu Chacko, and he was later known as “Tarakaran”. His brothers were Ittimathu and Appachan. Kochu Chacko Tharakan stayed at Polackal.Ittimathusettled at Methikkalam, Kaattumbhagam.He had farming interests as he was very keen in agriculture.His youngerbrother, Appachan settled down at Illampallil, in the northern part of Polackal. He was also known as Omanakuttanand always had a special attention from Tharakan.
Kochu Chacko Tharakan, who settled down in Polackal, was the typicallandlord of that area. Very fewChristian families around were allowed to socialize with him. Members of two decent families from Edathua were his frequent visitors andkept a cordial relationship with him.
Volume II of, St. Thomas Christian Encyclopedia, published in 1973 states that St Thomas visited Kerala during AD 52 and converted may Brahmins and tribal to Christians.
Since this above said conversion, our family history begins.It is an undisputed truth and real historical fact thata Kshatriya of the Kodungallur town,Kunjon Rajan, the youngest king of Chirayaikkal Kovilakam, converted and was baptized as a Christian in AD 52.
The history of Kunjon Rajan’s conversion andthe situation there for arestated as follows:
In the first century, the town of Cranganore was the habitat to several Brahmin and Kshatriya families. Shankupuri, the renownedancestral home, was related to Chirayaikkal Kovilakam. All these important families were worshipers of the Kodungallurtemple, dedicated to Goddess Kali.
The Kovilakam of King Kunjon was near to this place.Since ancient times human sacrifice was routine to please, the temple Goddess.An infant under the age of five was sacrificed annually. The boy was chosen from the main families of the place by drawing lots. During AD 52, one of the nephews of King Kunjon of Chirayaikkal Kovilakam was to be sacrificed by lot. He was the only child of this family.His grandmother’s griefwas unbearable after knowing this.She wanted to save the child somehow.Even she was willing to be sacrificed. However, the only option wasto sacrifice the child.
It was decided to sacrifice the child on 31 December 52 AD. Relatives and residents nearbymade necessary arrangements. A few days before the ceremony,Saint Thomas had come to Kodungallur. He lived in the nearby area where this sacrifice was decided and he came to know about it.Heexpressed his willingness to attend this ritual.
On the day, before the sacrificial event, he came with His Jewish friend to the temple premises.The temple authorities invited the saffron cladded Slihaand seated him in a decent position.The grandma of the child,immediately reached and bowed down before him.She requested him to accept her as the sacrifice and save the baby.Somehow, he made her and her close relatives understand that he believes in a living God, Almighty and if they believe in Him, not only the baby, everyone can be saved.She replied back that, she and her familywill believe in that Almighty God, if a miracle is happened. He asked them to bring the baby to him. He then baptized the child in the name of Jesus Christ. Later he left the child for sacrifice. Many conservativesaround challenged the act of Sliha. But he was calm and composed. When it was the ceremonial time the priest with his machete and the boy entered into the sacrificial room and closed the entrance door.
People outside becameanxious and impatientfor the door remained shut the door was not opened for long. Finally they pushed and opened the door. They found the priest has already disappeared.And the child was safe and was happy and playinginside. Thissight caused commotion and panic among the crowd. In due course,the act of Cannibalism was stopped and approximately two hundred people were baptized, including members of the Chiraickal family.
Chirayaikkal Kunjon Rajan, the head of this family was traveling in the Pandy area when the incident took place.Hearing about the sacrifice in his family, he hurried back to home native. But in the middle of his journey he was informed that the sacrificed was stopped.He got angry on hearing the news andreturned with a commitment to punish everyone, who stopped the sacrifice. But when he learned what has happened there, he too believed and accepted Christ.He got baptized by Sliha himself, in the temple pond.
We believe that, Chirayaikkal Kshatriya family, who became Christians by adopting the Christian traditionsare our original family. The offspring of this family lived inCranganore for about almost four centuries.When the Cranganore town was attacked by the Arabs, the local inhabitants,the Christians fled and gotscattered. Among them were our ancestors, who came to south and settled down at Udayamperoor, the headquarters of the Billar royal family.
From Kuravilangad, when many of the Christian families moved to the southour ancestors also travelled south, and first settled down at Kurichi and later at Changanacherry and Polackal.
Our family name Polackal family was from theplace name Polackal.At Changanacherry, our ancestors lived with majesticallyand wereextremely powerful. The King of South titled our ancestorsas Polackal Tharakan. Eventually one section went westwards to the Champakulam area and another shifted east of Thelli Pullad side. A group of families from Champakkulam moved to Edathua and settled at southward of Koilmuck, in Ambalappuzha taluk, are the ancient family, Polackal.Meantime, a group of families from Pullad came down to Mavelikaraand are the renowned Polachirackal family.
The ancestral person Chackochan of our Polackal family, along with his three brothers, came from Champakkulam around the year 830 and settled down atKoilmuck, Edathua.The Polackal families, stayed at Champakulam were ordained with high rankings positions by the king of Chembakasseri gave many high-ranking positions and lived were upper class.
Chacko was the eldest of the brothers, who had come to Edathua from Champakkulamsettled at Polackal, on the south side of Kozhimukku and the second atThenath near Thenath churchand the third one at the Kolath, and the fourth one settled at Vellimangalam.In wake of separation of Malankara Syrian Church with KoonanKurilsudeclarationelder brother, who settled in Polackal attended Niranom church based on Malankara Syrian church faithand all three younger brothers joined the Roman Catholic faith at the Kallurkattuchurch in Champakkulam. Thus, the Edathua Polackal family tookup new tradition, and Thenath, Kolath and Vellimangalam with the old tradition.With reformation in Malankara sabha in later years,the Polackal familybecame members of the Marthoma church. These four family groups despite the differences in faith,the brothers and sisters are still in a spirit of brotherhood.
The ancestor Chacko who lived in Polackalhad two sons, Cherian and Chacko.Theelder one Cherian settled in Palakkalam.He had two children. The elder son married from Kanjirappallil family and settled at Thalavadi. The young son Chackochan had daughters, and the youngest daughter is married from a Valanjavattomand adopted to Palakkalam house.
Cheriachan’s younger brother Chakochan lived in Polackal. He had three sons.His younger son Kochu Chacko ancestorsettled inPolackalhouse. He was ordained as “Tharakan”, by the royal family. The second son, Ittimathu, settled at Kattumbhagam on the south side of the Edathua church. He was much interested in farming and agriculture.The younger son Omanakuttansettled at Illampallil.Kochu ChackoTharakan’s, youngest son, Polackal Chacko who stayed at Polackal, had a daughter and lived with the right of adoption. They too had only one daughter, and lived there. Their only sonCherian died at the age of thirty-eight. His eldest son, Kunju settled at Mannarukunnel.He had two children, and died early. The elder son Kunjuju lived in the east,the younger son Kunju stayed home. Kunjamma is his wife.Two sons named Kochumon and Bobby and four daughters,Shaylamma, Kochumol,Beena and Shirley.Kochumon is no more. He has one son and one daughter.
Cherian’s younger son Chackochen had two sons.Thampi and Kunjumon. Chackochen’s wife Aliyamma is from Kallada Malayil family.Chackochen’s wife is Aliyamma in Kallada Malayil. The eldest son Thampi (P.C.Cherian) married to Kallopara Vazhapparambil Marykutty. Bijo Cherian is their daughter. The youngest son was in Kunjumon business. Kulathupuzha Bethel Annamma is his wife.Jacob PKoshy, Alexander Koshy Cherian P Koshy and daughter Aliyamma Koshy are their children. Everyone,after finishing their education isabroad with their families.