Karinthandan was a native tribe of Wayanad district in Kerala State .He was tragically killed by a British Engineer. Karinthandan served as a guide to British Engineers who tried to construct a road from Calicut to Wayanad. The guide who knows every nook and corner of his place,helped foreigners to find a way through the dense forest of Wayanad .The Viceroy announced a reward earlier to those who build a road across the churam .In order to gain the reward and fame the Engineer planned to kill Karinthandan .He cunningly led his guide to a peak area and shot him dead. Wayanad was unreachable atop Western Ghats. But Karinthandan opened the first outlet to external infiltration and became the victim to his crime.
The soul of Karinthandan started troubling passengers .A number of accidents happened.. As a result, the natives called a panditji(manthravadhi) and he chained the soul of Karinthandan to a huge banyan tree(aal maram).This tree is known as Changala maram in Malayalam. People now considering Karinthandan as the Guard of this churam and Wayanad district. A small temple is constructed here. Images of Chooralmala River located in Wayanad District near to
The tree-in-chains is the first sight that awaits the visitors who reach Lakkidi. The legend has it that the spirit of Karinthandan, the native tribal who showed the way to the English, was chained to this tree. The White man who wanted the credit of finding a way to Wayanad from the main land all for himself killed his guide when his mission was accomplished. But the spirit of Karinthandan refused to die and the locals say that the ghost began to trouble the passers by. And there was no way out but to ‘chain the spirit’ to the tree. Another version has it that the spirit in shackles was of a great sorcerer and a tribal chieftain named Lakkidi who was killed by the British explorers.
The stories assume strange dimensions even as the unassuming veteran stand tall and green by the highway before the inquisitive travellers who take a break to unlearn a bit of colonial backlog. The iron chain has sunken deep into the trunk and the myth that surrounds it has rooted deeper in the minds of the natives. The tree has become a place of worship of sorts. A man cleaning the small temple close to the tree said the truck drivers use to stop by and pray for a safe journey up and down the hilly terrain. We resumed our journey, paying respects to one of the first known martyrs of colonization.