Varikkassery Mana – Hub of Movie Shoots

Varikkassery ManaThe Ottapalam – Shoranur belt on the banks of the Bharathapuzha is a favorite movie location spot for film makers. The presence of tharavads, sacred groves and lush green paddy fields makes it an ideal choice for film shoots. The prime shooting spot in Ottapalam is the Varikkassery Mana,a heritage home and an abode of one of the most aristocratic Namboodiri families of  Valluvanad.

The three story Mana, located in 4.2 acres of land, is built by Varikkassery Ravi Namboodiripad in the traditional nalukettu style of Kerala architecture using laterite.There were 25 successors to this Mana and 15 successors sold their share to outsides. The purchasers and the remaining members formed a trust and rents out the Mana for film shootings and the revenue is used to maintain it. A poomugham, large pond with a splendid bath house, well from the kitchen, ootupura and a temple dedicated to Lord Sree Krishana add tranquility to this royal residence.

Poomugham in the front is the highest of Varikkassery Mana, which has huge pillars and wooden ceilings. From the top of poomugham, a complete view of the surroundings is possible. One can see elaborate wood works and carvings in this royal mansion. A central courtyard with a thulasithara is another attraction. Natural cooling can be felt inside the rooms in the Mana and the ventilation facilities are excellent. Small and large windows and staircase add more beauty to the Mana.A pathayapura situated adjacent to the mana is built in Victorian style of architecture with lengthy verandas and balconies.

Except the caretakers, no one lives here, which is exclusively let out for film shoots and is considered as a lucky mascot by superstars like Mammootty and Mohanlal.The Mana came to limelight through the 1993 mega hit movie Devasuram,in which Mohanlal plays the haughty feudal landlord Neelakantan.Since Devasuram,movie makers began to queue up for this heritage home and any story which has a feudal background is shot here.

When traditional houses are being dismantled due to huge maintenance espenses, this ancient Mana is still earning an income. More than 100 movies have already been shot here, the notable ones being Thoovalkottaram, Aaram Thampuran, Valyettan, Rappakal, Dhrona and Madambi.The advantage of shooting here is that there is no crowd disturbance and the atmosphere is peaceful always. Being the most sought after location for film shoots in South India, visitors are coming from far places to see it. Prior permission is needed for visiting the Mana.

Getting There

By Air: The nearest international airport is at Kochi which is about 95 kms away. International and domestic flights of major companies operate to cities and countries from here. Phone: 0484 2610115, 3053000, 3053300..

By Rail: The nearest railhead is Shoranur is 11km from Varikkassery Mana. Railway station.  Phone: 0466-2222913.

By Road: Varikkassery Mana is located about 11 kms away from Shoranur. Shoranur has two bus stands - one at Shoranur and other at Kulappully. There are regular bus services from these stands to Thrissur, Palakkad, Ottapalam, Guruvayur, Pattambi, Cherpulachery and Chelakkara and to all main destinations.

Where to stay

Hotel Aramana is a best choice to stay near Varikkassri.. 4 Km from the famous “Varikkassery Mana Nalukettu”. This hotel is located on the Northern shore of Bharathapuzha facing the Railway Station, Ottapalam

Good resorts and hotels are available at Palakkad and Thrissur. For details of hotels and resorts in Palakkad and Thrissur, see accommodation listing on http://halokerala.com/hotels/palakkad   &  http://halokerala.com/hotels/thrissur/ .

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