Even though infrastructure and other facilities are available, Kunhimangalam is much backward in industrial development. There are not many industries in this village, however, some of the prominent small scale industries that were in service earlier vanishing from the scenario as the days pass due to no encouragement and insufficient financial support from the authorities. However, there are several unified work segments here such as hundreds of toddy workers, fishermen, sand load workers, etc…..

Chenoli Mill

“Chenoli Mill”, the first industry in the village is a company manufacturing raw materials for the match industries of various places in south India. This factory was established in the year 1930 and until recent years, it accommodated several workers. Even though the earlier years’ robustness is not there, but the factory still continue working with its skeleton workers. The first trade union was formed in this mill and the union gave a call for strike in this factory which was the first of its kind in this area. In association with this strike, the people of Kunhimangalam witnessed the first ladies participated procession. Mr. M. Balan was the Secretary and Mr. C.V. Damodaran was the Joint Secretary of the union at that time.



Brass & Bronze

The most famous bronze craft in India is the ancient statue of Nataraja (Lord Siva in dancing posture). But in Kerala bronze (bell metal or gun metal) popularly known as “Odu” is used for making small and big vessels, lamps etc. Huge wick lamps in different sizes and shapes like the Nilavilakku, Thookkuvilakku - hanging lamp, etc are widely used in each and every house.


Kunhimangalam is one of the biggest gunmetal works centers in Kerela. Sculptures from this place in gun metal, Odu and “Panchaloham” are very famous. The craftsmen of this village are famous in the world market for their handicrafts made of brass metal. The ‘Panchaloha’ idols, traditional lamps and other handiworks are exported to various destinations all over India and the world. “Lakshmi Vilakku”, famous traditional beautiful piece of art, with goddess Lakshmi is portrayed as sitting in the full bloomed lotus and being bordered by two female elephants. It is believed that these lamps bring harmony and prosperity to the houses. Many renowned artisans were working in this field. These craftsmen are known as “Moosaris” in olden days. This art is switched from generation to generation who considered this job as consecrated rather than as a mere profession or business. Since the plastic and ceramic models pierced in the market, the demand for these crafts reduced which steered these communities to unwaged state. Even a society was formed to uplift this community but the same has already been closed down now.


The renowned sculptors, Padinhattayil Chandu Gurukkal and his son Kannan Gurukkal who were associated with this expertise work are the two unforgettable luminaries. Still there are few sculptors living here who make their crafts according to the ancient perception as well as current imagination and customers requirements.

The Valkannadi (literally tailed mirror) is representative of Lakshmi - the Goddess of prosperity. Other pooja articles like “Kindi” (water container of a particular shape with a sprouting nozzle), “Uruli” (wide shallow cooking vessel), “Thattu” (plates), etc are exquisitely crafted in bronze. Huge wick lamps in different sizes and shapes like the Nilavilakku, Thookkuvilakku (hanging lamp), etc are widely used in each and every house. Most of these are now only available in curio shops as collectors’ items. The originals are pretty expensive. But even today for rituals and religious occasions 'Odu' wares are still used. A variety of bronze (Vellodu) is often used for making the “Uruli” and it has more alloy content of lead.

If the new generation do not realize and preserve this unique art of Kunhimangalam, it will be cultural erosion to this pristine art of the village.

Shrimp Farming

Due to the craze for blind money making, aquaculture-for-export arrived in Kunhimangalam. The shrimp in the water was abundant for the personal consumption of people but the new entrepreneur wanted to feed the overseas market. It was not a commercial aquaculture but in fact a well planned cheating by the swindlers who arrived from other places with money and mysterious plans. They bought up huge tracts of agricultural land, hacked the mangroves down, built ponds and cut channels. And when they seemed to have collected unspoken subsidies, showed no further interest in the project. It is an unfold truth that more than 100 acres stretching from the backwaters to the Ezhimala railway station was laid bare.

Until recently Roshni Sea Products, a large scale big budgeted shrimp industry with all modern amenities and infrastructure were operative in the western coastal area of Kunhimangalam. Huge amount of shrimps were reproduced from here and the same were being exported to several countries all over the world. As per M/s. Roshni Sea Products management, this was amongst one of the biggest shrimp reproduction centers in Kerala which gave a prominent place for Kunhimangalam in the industrial map. But to the disappointment the producers, owners and the consumers are not the inhabitants of Kunhimangalam.



Khadi & Weaving Industries

There were several weaving centers concentrated in south of this village. Weaving is just like a small scale industry here but due to lack of cooperation and support of the authorities concerned, this industry became very weak in this area. There are about 44 Weaving centres, 2 Khadi centers and several workers, mostly women workers working in this field now.






Mat Weaving

We can see that most of the occupation is correlated with the casts and Mat weaving is one of the cast based profession, especially considered to be a right of the scheduled casts (Pulaya). Once upon a time, there was a great demand for these hand woven mats made from the leaves of a plant known as “Kytha” which were abundantly grown in the banks of the rivers. Now there is a scarcity of these leaves and the new comers are not willing to take up this kind of job, which adversely affected to this profession.


Hand made Umbrellas

When we hear about umbrellas, immediately it flashes in our mind the presently available fashioned, multicoloured and sophisticated umbrellas. There was a time that various sizes of umbrellas made of palm tree leaves were widely used by the farmers as well as the common man. Also these types of umbrellas were used in special occasions in the temples by distinctive personalities. Since the highly sophisticated colorful nylon umbrellas which can be kept in a vanity bag are available in the market, the old type umbrellas made of palm tree leaves are no more in use except for some auspicious occasions associated with special episodes of the temples functions.


Coir Industry

Having a long coastal area, all possibilities were there for a prosperous coir industry. Once, kunhimangalam was one of the suppliers of raw coir to other big coir industries and bundles of raw coir were transported through railway from Elimala railway station. There were several small scale units functioning earlier but unfortunately the hand made coir products are unable to compete with the machine made coir products in price-wise. However, the quality of hand made coir products is much better than any other kind of machine made coir products. Since the income is comparatively less for this profession nobody is willing to take-up this venture now.


Beedi Manufacturing

Ganesh Beedi was the pioneer in Beedi Manfucatuing. When the Government of Kerala implemented minimum wages rules in Kerala, the employers could not run the industry profitably and closed down the business. This caused job loss to lacks of Beedi workers. In order to rehabilitate these Beedi workers, the Kerala Dinesh Beedi, a co-operative organization, is established in 1969. This society has a branch in Kunhimangalam working under the Payyanur Primary Co-operative Society. This society had approximately 55 workers at the initial stage. Eventually due to the Government policies in prohibiting the public smoking the market and business of Beedi manufacturing is fallen down considerably. Workers in this industry are dropping down everyday.
     





God has conferred with the reinforcing inherent water resources, fertiled land and suitable weather necessary for cultivation. This village has a wealthy agriculture sector until recent years, coconuts were dispatched to the near by business centers through small boats and other means of water transport through the river. We had very big paddy fields but nowadays these fields are giving way to fast developing coconut plantations since paddy cultivation is leading the farmers to impoverishment. Once the paddy fields were widely spread at both sides of the main road from Edat to Kandangulangara but due to scarcity of land for dwellings, people started building houses/bungalows by filling the paddy fields and now the paddy fields are rarely seen in these areas.

A special tasty mango known in the name of this village is famous to the north of Payangadi. Seventy five percentage of the people are farmers and the fertile land is good for any type of crops such as black pepper, bananas, aracanuts, etc… Due to the landscape and natural water resources, Kunhimangalam became a land of farmers.




The main occupation of the inhabitants is agriculture. Widely spread paddy fields, coconut trees, cashew nut trees and areca nuts are seen all over the place. The natural water resources available at all the three sides and the fertile soil of this village intensified the agriculture and thereby improving the business and industry. Most of the villagers are farmers and doing agriculture related jobs. Apart from cultivation, Beedi-cigar works and weaving are the other areas of employment. Until a few years ago, Kunhimangalam was one of the few self-reliant villages of Kerala. The vast paddy fields and vegetables farms, the earthen pots manufactured at Koyappara, the clothes made at Saliya theru, the bronze vessels and sculpture industry at Moosarikkovval, fishing from the Pullankode river, all made this village self-sufficient. However, today like many other places of Kerala Kunhimangalam is also mostly depending upon the foreign currency from the Gulf Countries.

There is no doubt that abundance of natural resources are the main factor for the progress of a country. Almost three sides covered with water, Kunhimangalam village has the best fertile land for agriculture. Whatever restrictions or limitations and shortage of basic development elements are there, like any other panchayat, this conservative village is in the path of fast development and the inhabitants of Kunhimangalam can be proud of that.