The birthplace of Adi Shankara, the great, at Kalady in modern Kerala is a major place of pilgrimage in south India.Even today, there are many shrines in this small township to his sacred memory, maintained for one thousand two hundred years by his descendants. The very name Kalady, means feet in Malayalam and legend links the origin of the name to Adi Shankara. The village was previously called Sasalam. Sri Sankaracharya was born here in 788 A.D, as the only son of Sivaguru and Aryamba, a Keralite Namboodri Brahmin couple. His early life was marked by several miraculous exploits that singled him out for a divine role. Legend holds that one day, the widowed mother of little Sankara, fainted after walking three kilometres to the Periyar River for her daily bath. Feeling helpless, little Sankara prayed to Lord Krishna – his family deity. The tears of the child moved the Lord Krishna, who blessed him thus: From now, the river will flow where your little feet marks the ground.Immediately the Periyar River is believed to have taken course to the place marked by the little boys feet. Thus the place came to be known as Kalady.
Air :Kalady does not have an airport, and the nearest airport is Kochi, at a distance of 34 kms from Kalady. Kochi is connected to 9 other Indian cities. The airlines servicing Kochi are Air India, Air India-IC, Go Air, Go Business, IndiGo, Jet Airways Konnect, Jet Airways, JetLite, Kingfisher Red, Kingfisher and SpiceJet.
Rail : Kalady does not have a train station, and the nearest station is Angamaly, at a distance of 10 kms from Kalady.