Muniyara: A story untold
- Muniyara is part of Marayoor which is 40 km from Munnar, in Idukki district, central Kerala-
Official story on Muniyara- Marayoor:- Muniyara is part of Marayoor. Marayoor occupies a vast area on the slopes of the Western Ghats in Idukki district and is an important pre-historic site in Kerala. Apart from the Dolmenoid cists in Muniyara, Marayoor is famous for its natural sandalwood forests and pre-historic rock paintings.
A fascinating destination for anthropologists and archaeologists from all over the world, Muniyara has remnants of Dolmenoid cists belonging to the Megalithic age. Dolmenoids were burial chambers made of four stones placed on edges and covered by a fifth one called the cap stone. Some of these Dolmenoids contain several burial chambers, others have a quadrangle scooped out in laterite and lined on the sides with granite slabs. These are also covered with cap stones.
Driving through the Smooth roads towards Kanthalloor, a long awaitedtrip ,I wanted to visit the apple and orange plantation and the famous"mazha nizhal pradesham"( rain shadow regions) in Western Ghats...
Joby was saying a lot about the muniyara which is on the way to kanthalloor. As per the available information, it is a great part of our history where saints and ancient monks lived and buried.
Me, Vinnya and Zayan are anxious to see the fertile soil in Kanthalloor, apple plantations and to collect some fresh apples from there. But Joby said Muniyara is a must watch, and aesthetic view is a sure bet. Abi and family was also in support to Joby and we got down at muniyara with a pre-determined notion as it will be a boring trip.
The vast rocky region of Muniyara was protected with barricade and anentry fee of Rs.20/- per head was charged at the check point. .The noon
Sun restricted us to pose for a snap in front of the giant rock, but we managed to have some clicks with beautiful bluish sky back ground.
As we entered into the rocky region, a fragile stranger started following us.Though I was little cautious initially,we progressed our exploration with him and started enjoying his presence because of his narrations in malayalam with tamil accent. But I was more interested in the high range view and to have some selfies.
While we wondering about the huge rocks paneled in Muniyara and wondering the spiritual powers of ancient saints, he slowly intruded and murmured…do not believe those falls stories. Then he started narrating the story of an ancient tribe that lived in this region thousands of years before
He seems in full flow and enthusiasum and we can sense that he belongs to that tribe and he explained everything about Muniyara-the living space of ancient tribes, the intense harassments they faced, their neglected voice ,the culture they followed and so on..
we were still curious about the huge rock panels paved on the roofs of Muniyara as it seems above human capabilities . He smiled and said, it is very easy. Tribe people first digs pit and slowly place big rock panels into it as walls of the house and finally the roof. Then they remove the soil in between...yes its possible, we all shook our head.
He again talked a lot about ancient tribal medicines and shown some hidden Muniyara- ohh sorry, not Muniyara ancient tribal houses.
He was keen to show us the ancient tribal medicines like Danthapala-which is good for growing thick hair..
We started our journey to kanthallur, saw Marayoor sandal woods, manufacturing of famous marayoor sharkara...but the tribal man friend we met….sorry Iforgot to ask his name, his narration , a forgotten culture, fake stories…. everything still haunts me....