Brief History of Survey& Land records Department
Re-Survey Completed Villages
Organizational set up
Services Rendered by the Department
Transfer of Registry
Supply of copy of Records
Survey Training


           The state of Travancore –Cochin was found in 1949 by merging the Travancore State and Cochin State.  The state of Kerala was found in 1956 by adding the Malabar district and Kasargod area and former Madras State and Travancore-Cochin State.  Each of this area had its own Survey & Settlement methods. 

A brief history of Survey & Settlement is given below:

  (1) Year 1738 to 1748:-  This  settlement was  confined to the lands belonging to Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple.  No measurement of land was     conducted.

(2) Year 1712:-  A complete survey and settlement was conducted.  The   survey  was a   ‘Kettezhuthu’ Record of “what is heard” and was based  on discussions  with land-holders.   The holders were issued pattas after settlement.

(3) Year 1775:-   Ramayyan Dalava conducted a complete Survey and   settlement.   Holders were issued pattas.  The nature  of  survey is not known.

(4) Year 1801:-  A complete survey was conducted.  This was a     ‘Kandezhuthu’. (Record of what is seen).  The tenures were similar to the previous settlement. Pattas were also issued after the  settlement.

(5) Year 1817:- This was only a settlement  of garden lands.  Pattas were issued   subsequent to the settlement.

(6) Year 1836:-   A complete resurvey of garden lands was conducted.  Side  measurements were made with a ‘10’ Feet Rod. Rough Pattas    were  issued after the settlements.

(7) Year 1882 to 1909:-  This is the latest settlement record.

                   A scientific Survey was conducted and pattas were issued for all the land owners.The last settlement was conducted in Cochin during 1905-1909 following the settlement Proclamation of 1905 and in Malabar during 1926-1934 according to the resettlement Manual of 1930.  In all the three regions settlement was conducted after conducting a land survey.  The survey records in all the regions were maintained according to the Land Records maintenance Rules in the respective regions.

                   Subsequently, a survey of Edavakas namely Kilimanoor, Vanjipuzha, Poonjar, Nediyiruppu and a re-survey of Nedumangad taluk was also conducted. The re-survey records of Nedumangad Taluk were not finalised due to large number of complaints. By and large these records prepared prior to independence was in use in the state till the re-survey records which was prepared from the year of 1966 was put in use in many of the villages of the state.  The methods used for the survey records existed prior to the re-survey, which was conducted in 1966, is enumerated below.

The methods which were in force in various areas of the state is given below

(i) Tak System or System of simple triangles                               

                  Each Revenue field is split into a number of triangles and the sides of the field forming the arms of the triangle. 

This system is simple for practical.  But it has some defectives.

                  This system was adopted in Karthikapally, Karunagapally, Kollam, Chirayinkeezhu and Thiruvananthapuram taluks.

(ii)  Plane table system

                  Under this system of survey, field observation and plotting are done simultaneously.  After entering the plane table, radiating lines are drawn from the fixing to the various points with the help of sight Rule, measurements to these points are taken and plotted to scale along the radiating lines.This system was adopted in north Wayanad and South Wayanad.

 (iii)  Base line and offset system:-  

                  Theodolite stations were fixed at Village and Khandom boundaries to form blocks of about 50 hectares.  The blocks are divided into large triangles and the boundaries of survey fields and subdivisions fixed by offset taken from the sides of triangles. Revenue fields are clubbed to form Survey fields of approximately 2 hectares in wet lands and 4 hectares in dry lands.  All the measurements taken are entered on the block sheets.

 This system was adopted in the following taluks:-

                  Mannarkad, Perinthalmanna, Ottapalam, Palakkad, Alathur, Aluva, Devicolam, Paravur, Kunnathunad, Kothamangalam, Muvattupuzha, Cherthala, Vaikom,  Kottayam, Changanasseri, Ambalapuzha, Kuttanad, Kanjirappally, Thiruvalla, Chengannur,  Pathanamthitta, Mavelikkara, Kunnathur, Pathanapuram, Kottarakkara.

(iv)  Diagonal and offset system or triangle and offset system

                  This system is being adopted for survey since 1902.  Each field trijunction is connected with the next field by a line called G line and selecting convenient diagonals completes the triangles.  Independent framework is provided for each survey field.  Field and subdivision  bends are offseted on the G lines and diagonals.  The diagonal and offset system affords an independent check of a substantial amount of field work done by the surveyor.  The uptodate diagonal and offset system is more accurate, less costly and quite easy for maintenance of framework of survey and land records.

This system was adopted in the following taluks

                   Kasaragod, Hosdurg, Taliparamba, Kannur, Talasseri Vadakara, Koyilandi, Kozhikode Eranad, Tirur, Ponnani, Talappally, Chavakkad, Trissur, Chittur, Mukundapuram, Kodungallur, Kanayannur, Thodupuzha, Meenachil and Nedumangad.

The chart showing the system is appended.

After the formation of Kerala state, elaborate survey of Government lands and occupation in Government lands, was conducted under plan schemes, but most of these records were not finalized and given effect in the revenue administration

                    In 1966, a general re-survey of the state was commenced and the re-survey of 652 villages has been completed and given effect in the revenue administration.





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for Public Relations Department, Govt. of Kerala.