The Kandanat family is one of the oldest and well known Nair families of Kerala. The roots of the family are in Kurumassery, a village near Aluva. It has given birth to and has had associations with very eminent people like Dewan Peshkar K Narayana Menon, Sahithya Panchanan P K Narayana Pillai et al. Now its family members are scattered all over India and the world. Arakulangara Bhagavathi is the family deity and the temple is termed Arakulangara as it has a pond which is half the regular size.

Over the years, the family grew and with that the contact among members diminished. As land reforms were implemented in Kerala, the family and the temple lost most of its property and also income. But as has happened with many in the community, members of the Kandanat family also distinguished themselves in various fields and after an initial downturn, they have continued to flourish. The members of the family and associated families can be found in all parts of Kerala and most other states as well as abroad.  Worthy of special mention among the new generation is Actor Director Padmashree Balachandra Menon who is the great grandson of Kunjulekshmi Amma of Lekshmi Mandir, Kurumassery.

About this Photograph: A rare family photo of Diwan Peshkar Narayana Menon, sitting in the center. Photo : Courtesy Krishnakumar, son of  Kandanat Ramakrishnan, Federal Bank, Chennai. The following information  is supplied by  KN Menon ( ex Caltex – Mumbai ) :

  • Standing Row, second from left: Sahithya Panjananan PK Narayanan PIllai, Third from left Dr. Narayana Menon , 9th from left, Padmanabha Pillai ICS.
  • Middle Row Sitting: 5th from Left, Meenakshy Amma ( wife of Diwan Peshkar ) , 6th from left, Kunjilakhsmy Amma.
  • Sitting on the ground, second from left: TN Gopinathan Nair.

Please help us to identify more of  those in the photograph. Please help us to identify those in the photograph.

About this Photograph: Another rare group photo, taken in April 1923 during the visit of Diwan Peshkar to Kuttipuzha School ( in the background ) . Photo: Courtesy  Vijaya Nair, Sunny Palance, Edappally. Most of those appearing  in the photograph are not walking this earth today. Only  a few of them are identified by the  present day generation. Sitting in the center is Diwan Peshkar Kandanat Narayana Menon Peshkar.  Standing to his left close behind him is Chandrathil Narayana Pillai – a close associate and an able ”Parvathyakaar” of those period – who married one of Peshkar’s nieces Kandanat Lakhmykutty Amma. Sitting third from left on the ground is Chandrathil Govindan Nair, who married Narayana Pillai’s youngest daughter Kandanat Saradakutty Amma . Govindan Nair was a journalist and has authored many best selling books on Yogavidya. He passed away at the age of 93 in 2001. Padmasree Dr.Krishna Das Nair ( Ex Chairman – HAL ) is one of his nephews.

About this Photograph: Kandanat Laxmi Mandiram, Kuruamssery.  One of the rare relics from the past;  generatations lived here and thrived here. and it still does.


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