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Kanippayyur Shankaran Namboodiripad

Kanippayyur Shankaran Nambudiripad


Panditaraja Kanipayur Sankaran Namboodiripad (1891-1981) is considered as one of the the legendary practitioners of the Architectural Science. Born on 20th of April, 1891 in Kanippayyur Mana at Kunnamkulam as the ninth offspring of Kanippayyur Subramanian Namboothiripad and Kali Antharjanam, he had his traditional primary education and Rig Vedic studies at home. He took higher studies in Rigveda at the famous Vedic School at Thrissur and became well versed in Sthapathya Veda and Astrology under the tutelage of his elders. He also studied Ayurveda (Ashtangahridaya), which helped him to systematize his life on a scientific basis.

He rejuvenated Vaastu Shastra and popularized it further. Shankaran Namboodiripad was recognized as the consultant for all temple renovation works in Cochin and Malabar. He was also the Royal Architect for the three Royal Families of Travancore, Cochin and Kozhikode (Calicut). His opinions were also sought for temple works in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. He also started work centers for making icons and other ancillaries connected with temples.

Though he was a social reformer and has authored a large number of books on this aspect, his main concern was centered on the traditional knowledge in Vastuvidya and Jyotisha and their propogation. In 1929 he commissioned a printing press, with the provision for printing Sanskrit, English and Malayalam, whose main aim was to propagate the knowledge of Vastuvidya and Jyotisa to public. Many renowned publications like various Almanacs (Pancangams) and the commentaries (with text) on Manusyalayacandrika and Tantrasamuccayam were made at this press.

He authored more than a hundred books dealing with various subjects in the traditional knowledge of Sthapathya Veda, Astronomy etc., which had an epoch making effect on this part of the world and made him a well-known figure even during his youth. His richest contributions are The Sanskrit - Malayalam Dictionary and an elaborate Dictionary of Indigenous Medicines. He was able to bring together the different scholars like Mannampatta Sankaran Namboodiripad, Konath Sankara Warrier to make Kanippayyur a unique center of learning. This status is being preserved even now.