If you traverse down history, you will come across old parchments where there is mention of ‘Chattukulangara Thekkekara’. In due course, Chattukulangara was omitted and we came to be known as ‘Thekkekara’.
Chattukulangara is situated at the southern tip of Arthat which is an idyllic spot between Kunnamkulam and Guruvayoor. At Chattukulangara there is a huge pond known as Chattukulam on the eastern side of which is situated a Siva temple. To the southern and northern side of the temple resided the ‘Thekkekara’ and ‘Vadakkekara’ illams to whom the temple belonged to. In the initial years of Christendom there was a disagreement between the two illams on how to conduct the temple festival which led to the division of the temple property. The ‘Vadakkekara’ family expressed their willingness to give the Thekkekara family its share in gold coins at the temple threshold. Accepting his share the head of the Thekkekara family moved to Palayoor along with the entire family where they were known as ‘Chattukulangara Thekkekara’.
When the St.Thomas the appostle came to Palayoor the head of the Thekkekara illam and his family decided to become the followers of Christ. A substantial amount of the gold coins that he received from Chattukulangara temple was utilised in the construction of the Palayoor church. Even to this day, the first born child in the Thekkekara family is taken to Palayoor where he/she makes an offering. According to some, the suffix ‘Unni’ that is added to the names of the Thekkekara family indicates their Namboodiri ancestary. During Tipu Sultan’s invasion many families fled from Palayoor fearing religious conversion among whom the Thekkekara family was one.