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Religious History

In ancient periods, King or local chieftains are owned and administered temples. Some of the temples were owned by madams, tharawads or individuals. However, majority of them were under the administrative control of King or local chieftains. When the foreigners established their power in the area and powers of local rulers faded away, administration of temples was also taken over by them. In 1790, the British Government came forward with certain regulations to control the administration of temples in Malabar region. The first enactment on these lines was the Madras Regulation VII of 1817. Subsequently, the Religious Endowment XX of 1863 was enacted. Since this Act was found to be a failure, the Government brought out another one repealing the Act of 1863. Later in 1927, the Government passed the Madras Hindu Religious Endowment Act (Act II of 1927) and brought temple administration under their control. After independence, the Congress Government of erstwhile Madras State introduced the Madras Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act of 1951 to govern the temples. When the Kerala State was formed and Malabar region formed its part, this Act was made applicable to the temples of that region which includes the district. A Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Board also came into existence. Later the Board was converted into a Department. Till 2008, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department held control over the temples. In 2008, the Government of Kerala, amended the Act and constituted the Malabar Devaswom Board.

A good number of temples in the district are owned by the Malabar Devaswom Board.  A few temples in the Ottappalam, Palakkad, Chittur and Alathur Taluks of the district, are governed by Cochin Devaswom Board. Majority of the temples in the district are administered by Ooralars, Temple Committees, and Trusts etc.

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