Pandithar is a Hindu community from Madurai region of Tamil Nadu. 

Pandithar is a Hindu community that has roots in Madurai region of Tamil Nadu. According to the oral accounts of the community members, they were traditionally practitioners of indigenous medicine, who were invited by the King to settle in Kochi. 

It was initially 28 families that had migrated to Kochi. They have now become a highly indigenized community. But they still cling on to their Tamil origins especially in their rituals and religious practices. 

Tamil continues to be their language at home. There are approximately 78 Pandithar families in Mattancherry. 

PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION BY BIJU IBRAHIM: COMMUNITIES OF KOCHI

Places have souls and Mattancherry in the city of Kochi has a mystic one. Biju Ibrahim discovered this while documenting the lives of Kochi’s 38 communities through black and white pictures. Distinct in layers of identities – caste, faith, language, ethnicity and region – these communities have been welcomed over centuries and have, in turn, infused Mattancherry and Kochi with a rare and rich heritage. Historically, it has been home to Muslims, Christians, Jews and Hindus. The sea and port attracted sailors, traders from Arabia and Gujarat, preachers of Semitic faiths, colonisers such as the Dutch and Portuguese, political refugees and migrant labourers. A cross-section of India lives here in a radius of 5 kilometers. 

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AUTHOR & PHOTOGRAPHER

BIJU IBRAHIM

He captures the essence of rustic geographies, the people who are now becoming archive of the earth, the mythic & mystery of spaces & places, alleys of now filled with the density of then or before.

ART ORGANISATION

URU ART HARBOUR

URU art harbour is a cultural hub situated at Kochi. URU seeks to be a space for collaboration and a continual hub for artistic, cultural, and intellectual exploration. Founded by Riyas Komu and Zoya Riyas.

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