Varikkumancheri Mana, popularly known as Varikkasseri (Varikkassery) Mana is one of the centuries old aristocratic Namboothiri (Kerala Brahamin) Illam (house) in Kerala.
It is located at Manissery, a village about 4 km to the west of Ottapalam, in Palakkad district. Today, The Mana is known to many as a film shooting location.
Varikkasseri Mana Nalukettu.Varikkasseri-family has a history of over 1000 years. It is assumed that Varikkasseri has the sovereign position among Namboodiri ‘Ashta griha’ families
ArchaeologyIn 4 Acres, Varikkasseri Mana consists of one Nalukettu, two Pathayappuras (Outhouse): one to the south ( Thekke Pathayappura) and other to the west ( Padinjare pathayappura), A Sreekrishna temple, Oottupura(Do not exist today) and a marvelous large pond with kulappura ( a building at the pond-entrance ( Do not exist today)). Mana was built by Varikkasseri Ravi Namboodiripad, paternal grand-uncle of current head ( Karanavar) Krishnan Namboodiripad. Truly speaking the Mana Complex cannot be called a home, it is rather a grand residence with many people staying there, in addition to the owners, with specific duties for each one. There were arrangements for food and accommodation for students to learn Vedas and Sanskrit in the Mana. Including servants, staff, poor people and guests, there were more than a hundred people taking food from the Mana every day. The Mana was so constructed, that it facilitated everyone's duty
NalukettuNalukettu-Architecture is the traditional architecure of a typical Kerala-house. Nalukettu-structure is typically a rectangular structure where four halls are joined together with four verandas (called Nalirayam) to form an open quadrangle (called Nadumuttam). The four halls on the sides are named Vadakkini (Northern block), Kizhakkini (Eastern block), Thekkini (Southern block) and Padinjatti (Western block). Each of these halls has its own well-defined functional importance. Nalukettu is the main building (Tharavadu) of Varikkasseri Mana. Most parts of this building were built during the first decade of 20th century. The foundation of the building was constructed as per the measurements done by Perumthachan. It was Velanezhi Jathavedan Namboodiri who designed the Nalukettu building, as per the Vastu Shastra. The elegant poomukham (portico) of Varikkasseri Mana was designed by Krishnan Namboodiripad. It is 63 years old. Nalukettu building is in three floors. Ground floor has Vadakkini, Kizhakkini, Thekkini, Padinjatti, three kitchens ( Adukkala in Malayalam) and a Poomukham ( portico). There are lots of other comparatively small rooms, which were used as Storage-rooms or Pooja-rooms (Sreelakam).
Krishnan NamboodiripadVadakkini had been being used for religious and spiritual purposes like Srardham, Upanayanam (Sacred thread ceremony) etc. Marriages and similar functions were held at Kizhakkini. Moreover Kizhakkini was the family-dining-hall. Padinjatti had been being used for guest-dining. The space of Thekkini is divided into three storage rooms; the left one for storing salty sour& unripe mangoes, the right one for storing pickles and the middle one ( Machu) for storing metal lamps& utensils like Nilavilakku, Uruli, Kindi etc. Two of the three kitchens, which are located to the north and east were being used for day-to-day cooking purposes, while the third-one called Meladukkala, which joins the two kitchens with Vadukkini, Kizhakkini and Nalirayam was being used on some special occasions like srardham, to eat in. There were separate pooja-rooms for women and men. Purathalam, Kalavara and a womens-room are other rooms in the ground floor.
Bedrooms are located in the first and second floors. There are four bath-attached bedrooms and two halls in the first-floor. Several storage rooms are there for storing clothes and accessories. There are four staircases to the first-floor from the ground level. Three of them are from the three corners of Nalirayam and one from Poomukham. Second-floor is an exact replica of the first-floor. The storage rooms in the second-floor were used for storing religious ceremonial stuffs. Also There are rooms for storing bedding accessories in the second-floor.
Current affairsFamous artist and sculptor Varikkasseri Krishnan Namboodiripad and his brother Ravi Namboodiripad are current owners of Varikkasseri Mana, along with a partnership with Hari Kapoor (Owner of Hotel Aramana, Ottapalam) and Animon,a hospitality businessman from Thodupuzha.