Many high rise apartments and buildings have taken up the space in Jawahar Nagar but it still retains an old world charm of the sixties.
Jawahar Nagar at Trivandrum is entering into its Golden Jubilee Year. The colony is considered as the best residential area in the whole of Trivandrum. Here are 10 things that you probably don’t know about Jawahar Nagar.
1. Kerala’s 1st planned residential colony
Established in November 14 1964 Jawahar Nagar is the first planned residential colony in Kerala. Government decided to build a housing colony on an uninhabited landscape under the leadership of then Chief Town Planner Thomas Poulose. A State City Development trust was also formed in this regard.
2. Swami Vivekananda visited here
Vivekananda toured various parts of Kerala in 1892 and reached Thiruvananthapuram, which was then the capital of princely state of Travancore. It is said that Swami Vivekananda was given a rousing, unprecedented welcome by the people of Travancore at this very place where Jawahar Nagar is located.
3. ‘Maracheenivila’ was its first name
Before we know it as Jawahar Nagar, the place used to be called as Maracheenivila because of the large scale tapioca cultivation in the region. In whole of India, Tapioca was first cultivated here in Jawahar Nagar. King of Travancore Sri Visakham Thirunal Rama Varma imported tapioca to Kerala from Brazil. A tapioca research centre was also established and its building is still standing which is now the Jawahar Nagar Lower Primary School.
4. How it got the name Jawahar Nagar
The first house in Jawahar Nagar belonging to K P K Menon was built in 1963. Within a year, more than 36 houses sprung up on the neighbourhood. The name Jawahar Nagar was given by Sethu Bayi, wife of K P K Menon. Following this, a Jawahar Nagar Welfare Association was formed.
5. Advanced infrastructure of that time
Jawahar Nagar was not only the first planned residential colony but also the most advanced one in that time. The colony was modelled on the British Housing Scheme with 6 metre wide roads, open spaces and playgrounds. It also boasted of underground drainage and pipe line connection which were a novelty in those days.
6. Land price then and now
Back then a cent at Jawahar Nagar costs only Rs 625 per cent, but even then there were not many takers. Now the situation has changed. Jawahar Nagar is the most prestigious residential area in Trivandrum and a cent here costs Rs30 lakh now.
7. Many famous personalities had their homes here
Jawahar Nagar is home to many famous personalities in the field of art, politics, literature and movies. Many politicians including former chief minister V.K Krisha Menon, former speaker Damodaran Potty, EMS Namboodiripad, K. Karunakaran lived here. Jawahar Nagar was also home to Vayalar Ramavarma, P Bhaskaran, Joseph Mundassery and one of Malayalam film’s great actor Thikkurisi Sukumaran Nair.
8. Also known as IAS Colony
Many of the first residents in the colony were prominent citizens such as bureaucrats, IAS and other high ranking government officers. Hence Jawahar Nagar was also called as “IAS Colony”. Now residents of the colony include high profile businessmen and other celebrities. Jawahar Nagar has also transformed from pure residential colony to commercial centre. Currently, about 40 commercial institutions function here.
9. Favourite shooting Location
Thanks to the beautifully landscaped open spaces and streets, Jawahar Nagar is a favourite shooting location to many film directors. You can see Jawahar Nagar in many of T. K. Rajeev Kumar’s films. Even today, the colony and the nearby areas are a favourite shooting location for many TV serials.
10. Cleanest Colony in Trivandrum
Over the years Jawahar Nagar has bagged many awards from both the government and other organizations. In 2005, Jawahar Nagar has bagged the award for the best housing colony in Trivandrum. Later that year, Kerala Government declared Jawahar Nagar as a “Zero Garbage Zone“. The colony is still efficient in its waste management system.
Fifty years has passed since Kerala’s first residential colony was formed. Now according to the data, it is estimated that around 2000 families reside here in Jawahar Nagar. Many high rise apartments and buildings have taken up the space in Jawahar Nagar but it still retains an old world charm of the sixties.