Mal: അഞ്ചൽ añcal

‘Stopover’   Town,  Kerala

From Mal/Tam: añcal, ‘relay’, ‘stop-over’, ‘staging post’.

It is possible that Anchal was an important junction or stopover from ancient times in an area which was mostly forest paths.

Anchal was also the name of the Travancore postal service started in the early 18thC which later became part of India Posts & Telegraph in 1951.

The anchal pillai or postman, in the days before motor transport in the villages, used to run 5km a day with a bag and a stick with bells to warn he was coming. The last ‘runner’, who last did the job in the 1950s, died in 2019.

For related place names see Indian Place names and Kerala place names.