Cheraman Perumal – Two European Versions

Well, whatever he is, and whatever his birth, he defeated an invasion and after that, his kingdom was split into fragments. He is either from Anegondi, from Chera Empire or a local ruler who was elected. Of his birth, he is a Hindu, Muslim or Buddhist, of his conversion, either he retired to a temple, went on a pilgrimage, converted to Islam and went to Mecca or converted to Christianity and went to Mylapore. Either he split the kingdom and abdicated, he was exiled by governors, it is clear that he is no more a king when he died.

de Conto writes,
According to De Conto who completed the work of Barros, the people of Kerala, quarreling amongst themselves, selected a person of humble and non-Nair Brahmin caste with neither land nor jurisdiction (as their ruler) and gave him the name of Karam Perumal, who could at any moment be deposed if found unfit for the place he occupied, and gave him for his residence the city of Calicut.
Later on, when the city of Calicut was visited by the Europeans via Cairo and Persia, improving immensely its commercial condition, these Perumals became very rich and powerful, according to the Bragmanes of Calicut, up to the year 847, while according to the Bragmanes of Cochin, last of the Keram Perumals, who was the most famous of the lot, reigned till the year A. D. 688. Being a very good and affectionate friend of the St. Thomas Christians of Cranganore, he became a Christian and then went on a pilgrimage to the tomb of St Thomaa in Mylapore, where, as he wished, he lived for some more years, died, and was buried by the side of the tomb of St. Thomas. Before leaving Calicut, he took leave of the other kings, and left in his place (for the time being, as he said, he would be back very soon) one of his pages called Manuchen Herari, native of a village called Baluri, three miles off the town of Calicut.
Some years later, on hearing that the Perumal was dead in Melaiapore, these lords of Malabar adopted to themselves on their own account the title of kings, and, not willing to be subject to anybody any further, assumed their independence once again. Manuchen Herari continued to be in Calicut under the
same title of Zamorin, and, being very rich, succeeded in bringing under his influence some of his neighbours, such as the lords of Tanor and Chale. His nephews, as is the case in all the other kingdoms of Malabar, succeed him with the same title.

And the Dutch commander Moens writes,
In olden times Malabar was an empire and the emperors always bore the name of Cheram Perumal. The last emperor was the famous Cheram Perumal about whom many traditional stories are current among the inhabitants of Malabar, especially in regard to his good qualities and wise system of government ; and tbe Malabars are still guided and ruled by the laws and customs introduced by him.
The kingdoms of Travancore, of the Zamorin and of Colastry he gave to his three illegitimate cbildreo, but the kingdom of Cochin to his sister’s son, the
natural or nearest heir to the throne according to the Malabar rule of succession.
The emperor, already stricken in years, seeking the peace and practice of religion, spent the last years of his life, that is, the years after the division of the empire, in religious solitude in the famous pagoda of Tiruvanchcallam, in the little state of Cranganore, in which pagoda be also died. The Moors of Malabar, however, will have it that Cherum Perumal turned Moor and went by sea to Mocha on a pilgrimage.”

The Kerala Perumals and the Foundation of Calicut

According to the Keralolpatti, Parasurama reclaimed from the sea the land between Gokarnam and Cape Comorin, and gave it to the Brahmins whom he brought from Abicchatra. He settled them io sixty-four villages. For their convenience and cumfort ho brought Sudras, whom he compelled to adopt the form of marriage known as Sambandham and the system of inheritance known as Maramakkattayam or “descent through sister’s children”. Lest the Brahmins should go back to Ahicchatra he asked them also lo adopt the law of matrilineal succession, which was not however obeyed by any village except Payyanur.
The new settlers could not live in peace amongst themselves. So they approached Parasurama for advice. He directed them to bring a Perumal or king every twelve years from the neighbouring countries to rule over them. Accordingly they brought Keya Perumal from Keyapuram in A. D. 216. In tbiB way twenty one Perumals ruled over the land, most of them for twelve years, some for shorter periods, none exceeding the stipulated term except Kulasekharan.

List of Perumals
Keya 216-225
Chola 226-236
Pandi 236-246
Bhutarayar 243-257
Keralan 267-269
Chennar 269-281
Choyiyan 281-293
Bana 293-297
Tulubhan 297-303
Indran 303-316
Aryan 315-327
Kannan 327-339
Kotti 339-340
Mata 340-352
Eli 352-364
Kompan 361-368
Vijayan 368-380
Valabhan 380-391
Harischandran 391-403
Malian 403-412
Kulasekharan 412-430

Then the Brahmins approached Krishna Rayar of Anagundi. He sent Cheraman Perumal in A. D. 428. The Brahmins were so pleased with him that they made him king for life. When Cheraman Perumal had reigned for thirty-six years, his master, Krishna Rayar, sent an expedition to subdue the country and bring the Perumal back. Thereupon the Perumal summoned the Brahmins to Trikkariyur. They advised him to call out the militia of the seventeen Nads(Tulunad, Kolattunad, Polanad, Kurumbranad, Puravalinad, Eranad, Parappanad, Valluvanad, Ravananad, Vettattunad, Tirumanasserinad, Perumpatappunad, Nedunganad, Venganad, Muringanad, Onanad & Venanad) to order special prayers and worships in the temples, and send spies to scour the country for a leader whose stars indicated victory and conquest. These reported that if the two Eradi brothers, named Manicchan and Vikkiran, of Puntura were invested with the command of the army their efforts would be crowned with success. So the Perumal sent Arya- Brahmins with his royal sign to bring the Eradis to his presence. The Brahmins found them reading their lessons at the house of their tutor, Toduvakkalattu Unnikkumara Nampiyar. They explained to them the object of their mission, and gave them the royal sign whereupon they at once started for the capital.
On the way they met Alvancheri Tamprakkal, who was also going to Trikkariyur. When they prostrated before him, he blessed them and promised to help them to gain their object.
They had not gone far when they came upon a strange scene Seven cows were lying dead with fourteen vultures by their side. The birds were tearing and swallowing the flesh of one cow to the entire exclusion of the other six. When the Tamprakkal asked them to explain their strange conduct, one of them, a lame bird, shod a quill, and placed it in the hands of the holy man. When he looked at the carcasses with the quill in his hand he discovered that the cow which the birds were intent upon eating was the only one which had bred true to type. When he looked at the Eradis (and the Nampiyar) he found them possessing all the qualities of human beings. The Tamprakkal gave this quill to Nampiyar and explained to him how it should be used. Then the Eradis fell at his feet and received his blessings. (On account of this, even now, when the Kunnalakkonatiri meets Alvanehori Tamprakkal, he must salute him by joining palm to palm).
Proceeding onwards, they arrived at Trikkariyur, paid their respects to the Perumal and the Brahmins, and asked them why they were sent for. They were told that Anagundi Krishna Rayar had come to subdue Malabar with a large army; that to resist him the soldiers of the seventeen Nads had been assembled; and that they should go with them and expel the enemy. Accordingly, after bowing to the council, they marched out of the capital with the army against Krishna Rayar.
(While Cheraman Perutnal was engaged in his devotions, two Samanta heroes of Puntura, belonging to the Solar race, arrived at Tirunavayi on their way from Rameswaram to Benares. In the course of a conversation, Tolan, the Brahmin
favourite of the Perumal, told them how Krishna Rayar had established a fort to subjugate Malabar, and how the Perumal had to return defeated in battle. He was also very much impressed with the honesty and behaviour of Manavikraman. When the Perumal and the Brahmins were about to leave for the fighting front, having already embarked in boats, the Eradis said to the Brahmins “If you send us we shall defeat the Rayar and pull down his fort.” When the Perumal was informed of this offer, he invited them to his palace, and after assuring himself of their ability and skill in battle, he sent them at the head of 120 captains and 900,000 soldiers with Kilur Unnikumara Menon and Para Uravinkal Chankara Nampi as accountants.)
On their way, one night, the Eradis went to the place where the soldiers were all stretched in sleep, and, going round them three times with the magic quill in hand, they put a white mark on all those whom they found to be of human birth. They found that they numbered ten thousand. (They found 3000 to be incarnations of gods, the rest of demons.) to these they gave each a ring. (While the soliders were all asleep, the Eradis selected by certain signs the most valorous amongst them, and, after marking their arms with yellow ochre and sandal paste, they returned to their quarters without anyone knowing it. These ten thousand Nayars with the Nampiyar fought in the right wing. Of the twelve ministers of the Perumal, eleven fought in the left wing, Patamala Nayar, the chief minister and commander-in-chief, remaining in the palace with his master. The left wing fell back; the right wing, on the other hand, defeated the enemies, pursued them into their territory, and after building a fort returned to headquarters.
(With thirty thousand Nayars, armed with bows and arrows (matchlocks and matches), going in front, supported by ten thousand Nayars, well-trained in fighting with all the eighteen weapons, the Samantas at the head of 32 captains,
entered the outworks of the Rayar’s fortress. They fought all that day, killed many elephants, horses and soldiers, and drove the enemy into the fort. At night Manicchan and Vikraman held a consultation and formed their plan of attack. They stationed ten thousand Nayars in two divisions at the northern gate, and placed the rest all round the fortress. The battle raged for three days and nights. At last the Rayar was driven out and the fortress occupied. The same day the Perumal rewarded his soldiers, each according to his deserts, and disbanded the army. (The Perumal caused the older of the two Samantas to sit on his lap and wear the anklet of the heroes on the right leg. He ordered his ministers to settle the Ten Thousand in the most fertile part of the empire. The ministers decided that they should be established in Polanad, and so sent away its
former inhabitants from their lands and homesteads, villages and towns, to make room for the new-comers. One division was settled at Etakkalinad, another at Iringatikkod, and the bravest of the chosen Nayars at Calicut. After this the Peruunal summoned the Manavikramans to his presence and said “We have decided to make both of you our heirs.” Thereupon, they replied that, if they returned after bathing in the holy Ganges and taking the Kavati to Rameswaram, they would do as commanded, and left for Benares.
Sometime after these events the Perumal resolved, according to one version, to become a monk and go on pilgrimage, according to another, to embrace Islam and go to Mecca; according to a third, to receive baptism and proceed to Mylapore. Before his departure, be divided his kingdom amongst his kinsmen and companions.
Hearing that the Perumal had already partitioned his empire and was about to set sail for Mecca, Punturakkon (the two Eradis) (Manicchan, it is said, fell fighting against the Rayar) and Mangat Unnikkumara Menon went to the Perumal (at Trikkariyur Chitrakutara), who told them that he had already given away hi8<^kiagdom to bis followers, that there were left only the Desam where the cock crows and the thorny jungle, and that he was sorry they had not come sooner. When the Eradi agreed to be content with these insignificant gifts, Cheraman Perumal (with Valluvakkonatiri by his side) gave to him, as a poured-out gift, pouring water from the golden conch, the remaining Kolikkotu, thorny jungle, the pathway measuring three poles by the great pole (the Kazi and the Muhammadans, the right of navigation to Mecca and the privilege of protecting the Mamakam festival) and his sword with the injunction to “die, kill and seize” and rule as emperor like him over the whole of Malanad. Then he conferred (on the Nampiyar) the title of Mangit Rariccha Menon, and on Kunnalakkonatiri the title of Elamkur Nampiyatiri Tirumulpad. Seeing this, Valluvakkonatiri said to the Perumal that as the sword had been given to his neighbour with the command to kill and conquer, he must be given some means of protecting himself. Thereupon, the Perumal gave him his shield with the words “Protect thyself”. As the sword had been given to kill and the shield to defend, Valluvakkonatiri could never be subjugated by (Kunnalakkonatiri). The Perumal also forbade the Eradi to go to war with Venad Atikal and Kolattiri, but allowed him to fight with the rest and called him Nedivirippu Svarupam. After making these arrangements the Perumal went to his palace at Cranganore on his way to Mecca. (This took place on the Kaliday denoted by the chronogram, Cheramatidesaprapya.)

Heights of Nepotism?



As an actor, I am not sure, but as a human, I liked Saif. Not the word liked. But, well, as time progresses, I feel the hang of royalty is creeping in. Just have a look at this article. The arrogance, the sense of superiority…Is this what we encourage in the society? Sorry guys, these sort of people should be shown their place. First goes the letter which he wrote and then the counter given by Kangana Ranaut.

To whomsoever it may concern,
Over the last few days, a lot has been said and written about the skit on the IIFA stage by Karan Johar, Varun Dhawan and yours truly. Let’s first see what happened here. “Nepotism Rocks” was a joke on stage. It’s not something that I wrote or something I believe in. It was a joke on ourselves, between Varun (Dhawan), Karan (Johar) and me. It was not supposed to be a big deal, but I realised at some point, that it might have offended Kangana (Ranaut). I called her and apologised personally. That should be the end of it. Everybody needs to take a chill pill and back off.
However, in today’s world, apologies are made through Twitter or though some other social media platform. That, is basically apologising to your fans and the world in general, instead of apologising to the person concerned, because you don’t want to lose support. These are the times we live in. We wish each other happy birthday or offer condolences on social media. This is another reason I don’t want to be on any social media platform — it feels fake. As far as the issue of saying something stupid on stage goes, I’m sure it’s not the first or the last time I’m going to say something stupid in an attempt to be funny. And I apologised to Kangana, so I don’t owe anybody else an explanation. The issue is over.
What I can’t seem to understand are some of the media reactions to this. While most people have been sensible, three reporters from the websites BollywoodLife, The Quint and Elle India, made a point of saying that all I did was use big words like eugenics and genetics. I think it’s extremely relevant in a conversation on nepotism, which means family favouritism, to talk about genetics and eugenics. Eugenics means well born and in a movie context, the genes (the DNA we’re born with, not the blue trousers we wear) of, let’s say Dharmendra’s son or Amitabh Bachchan’s son or for that matter, Sharmila Tagore’s son come into play.
Because people are interested in what their children will be like and whether they will have the genes of their parents, in terms of their talent. If you need another example, then take race horses. We take a derby winner, mate him with the right mate and see if we can create another grand national winner. So, in that sense, this is the relationship between genetics and star kids. Hope that’s clear? As for the girl from Elle: I’m sorry you found words like eugenics in a conversation about nepotism misplaced. Perhaps if you got your head out of the hemline of the actress of the month and read a book, your vocabulary might improve.
The real flag bearer of nepotism, I’d say is the media. Look at how they treat Taimur, Shahid’s daughter Misha or even Shah Rukh’s son AbRam. They photograph them and hype them up to be the next big thing and the child has no choice. From a young age they have to deal with being celebrities, which they don’t really deserve, before they can even speak or talk, leave alone understand what is happening.
So, what is nepotism? I think nepotism means when you give somebody from your family a job that somebody else is better suited for. But, is that what happens in movies? Is that what people mean when they say that there is lot of nepotism in film industry? I think perhaps what Kangana means (and again I’m only assuming here) by nepotism is that people from Dharma or Yashraj are against people like her, who have come up the hard way without their support and that they only support their own people. Whether that is true or not I have no idea and it’s none of my business.
Nepotism is probably least prevalent in the movie industry and rampant in politics and business. Nepotism in dynastic politics is a well-known and unspoken truth. It’s the same in business. But nobody talks about that.Nepotism is Donald Trump putting his daughter in the White House rather than someone who is better qualified. Actors are the soft targets. So if you say star kids have an advantage, of course, they do. It’s an advantage created by the press because people are interested in them. There is a curiosity to see Taimur, Sara or Ibrahim. It’s supply and demand. People want it, media serves it. So we’re all part of the same vicious circle in that sense.
What’s at play here are three systems. Aristocracy, the rule of the best, which is what this industry is. Ruled by the best. Also, meritocracy. It is ruled by the people with the most talent and it’s also ultimately tempered by democracy, which is people power. Nepotism cannot work in the film industry because it is a democracy. The film industry is the most fair line of work. So yes, maybe I got a chance because of my mother, but that is more genetics than nepotism. It’s a genetic investment that the producer was making.
Compared to an outsider, maybe I had a better chance of meeting people, but Akshay is also an outsider. When people saw him, they gave him a chance rather than give me one because they are businessmen who can spot talent. And when a hero walks in, they know. They want to imagine me as a privileged prince and so, it’s nice to pull me down once in a while, I imagine. For every star kid, there are many guys and girls from total non-filmi backgrounds. Take Shah Rukh Khan, Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Jackie Shroff… it’s an endless list. Everyone knows this is the only industry where a spotboy can become a superstar. And to the idiot who gave the example of Arjun Kapoor for nepotism, I would just like to say that every film he has done, has worked. He should be an inspiration as an unlikely hero, not pulled down for nepotism. And that is the reason he is here. Not because of his father or uncle. It’s the audience that makes a film a hit, not the family members, otherwise all kinds of people would be ruling the roost.
Lastly, Johnny Depp once told Kate Moss — and I have forgotten his advice and I’m never going to forget it again — Never complain and never explain. That’s good advice, I think.
Saif Ali Khan

And Kangana Ranaut’s response
All the debate and exchange of thoughts on nepotism is exasperating, but healthy. While I enjoyed some of the perspectives on this subject, I did find a few disturbing ones. This morning, I woke up to one such open letter (circulating online), written by Saif Ali Khan.
The last time I was deeply pained and upset about this issue was when Mr Karan Johar wrote a blog on it, and even once declared in an interview that there are many criteria for excelling in film business. Talent is not one of them.
I don’t know if he was being misinformed, or simply naïve, but to discredit the likes of Mr Dilip Kumar, Mr K Asif, Mr Bimal Roy, Mr Satyajit Ray, Mr Guru Dutt, and many more, whose talent and exceptional abilities have formed the spine of our contemporary film business, is absolutely bizarre.
Even in today’s times, there are plenty of examples where it has repeatedly been proven that beyond the superficiality of branded clothes, polished accents, and a sanitised upbringing, exists grit, genuine hard-work, diligence, eagerness to learn, and the gigantic power of the human spirit. Many examples, all over the world, in every field, are a testimony to that. My dear friend Saif has written a letter on this topic and I would like to share my perspective. My request is that people must not misconstrue this and pit us against each other.
This is just a healthy exchange of ideas, and not a clash between individuals.
Saif, in your letter you mentioned that, “I apologized to Kangana, and I don’t owe anyone any explanation, and this issue is over.” But this is not my issue alone.
Nepotism is a practice where people tend to act upon temperamental human emotions, rather than intellectual tendencies.
Businesses that are run by human emotions and not by great value-systems, might gain superficial profits.
However, they cannot be truly productive and tap into the true potential of a nation of more than 1.3 billion people.
Nepotism, on many levels, fails the test of objectivity and rationale. I have acquired these values from the ones who have found great success and discovered a higher truth, much before me. These values are in the public domain, and no one has a copyright on them.
Greats like Vivekananda, Einstein and Shakespeare didn’t belong to a select few. They belonged to collective humanity. Their work has shaped our future, and our work will shape the future of the coming generations.
Today, I can afford to have the willpower to stand for these values, but tomorrow, I might fail, and help my own children realise their dreams of stardom. In that case, I believe that I would have failed as an individual. But the values will never fail. They will continue to stand tall and strong, long after we are gone.
So, we owe an explanation to everyone who either owns, or wants to own these values. Like I said, we are the ones who will shape the future of the coming generations.
In another part of your letter, you talked about the relationship between genetics and star kids, where you emphasised on nepotism being an investment on tried and tested genes. I have spent a significant part of my life studying genetics. But, I fail to understand how you can compare genetically hybrid racehorses to artists!
Are you implying that artistic skills, hard-work, experience, concentration spans, enthusiasm, eagerness, discipline and love, can be inherited through family genes? If your point was true, I would be a farmer back home. I wonder which gene from my gene-pool gave me the keenness to observe my environment, and the dedication to interpret and pursue my interests.
You also spoke of eugenics — which means controlled breeding of the human race. So far, I believe that the human race hasn’t found the DNA that can pass on greatness and excellence. If it had, we would’ve loved to repeat the greatness of Einstein, Da Vinci, Shakespeare, Vivekananda, Stephen Hawking, Terence Tao, Daniel Day-Lewis, or Gerhard Richter.
You also said that the media is to be blamed since it is the real flag-bearer of nepotism. That makes it sound like a crime, which is far from the truth. Nepotism is merely a weakness of the human nature; it takes great deal of will-power and strength to rise above our intrinsic nature — sometimes we excel, sometimes we don’t. No one is putting a gun to anyone’s head to hire talent they don’t believe in. So, there is no need to get defensive about one’s choices.
In fact, the subtext of all my talk on this subject has been to encourage outsiders to take the path less traveled. Bullying, jealousy, nepotism and territorial human tendencies are all part of the entertainment industry, much like any other. If you don’t find acceptance in the mainstream, go off beat — there are so many ways of doing the same thing.
I think the privileged are the least to be blamed in this debate, since they are part of the system, which is set around chain reactions. Change can only be caused by those who want it. It is the prerogative of the dreamer who learns to take his or her due, and not ask for it.
You are absolutely right — there is a lot of excitement and admiration for the lives of the rich and famous. But at the same time, our creative industry gets this love from our countrymen, because we are like a mirror to them — whether it’s Langda Tyagi from Omkara or Rani from Queen, we are loved for the extraordinary portrayal of the ordinary.
So, should we make peace with nepotism? The ones who think it works for them can make peace with it. In my opinion, that is an extremely pessimistic attitude for a Third World country, where many people don’t have access to food, shelter, clothing, and education. The world is not an ideal place, and it might never be. That is why we have the industry of arts. In a way, we are the flag-bearers of hope.

via Blogger

On the Origin of Nayars

There is absolutely no evidence to show that there was any hostility between the Tamils and the Nayars who succeeded them as the rulers of the laud. This latter community had originally no name. In the grants of the kings and chiefs they are referred to simply as the Three Hundred, the Six Hundred, the Ten Thousand, which must have been administrative divisions, deriving their names from the number of soldiers furnished by them. In the granthavaris of the Zamorin they are called Lokar, literally people of the land. However wide the connotation of this word might have been at the beginning, in historic times it did not denote even all those who were governed by the Marumakkattayam law of inheritance. It was applied only to those who were required by custom to follow the profession of arms, who had undergone the customary military training and received their arms from the chief or the elders of the community. The Lokar were in ancient Kerala what the Spartiate were in ancient Greece.

The word Nayar is of a much later origin than Lokar. There is no connexion between Nayati and Nayar, the former one of the lowest, the latter one of the highest castes of the land. The former is derived from the Tamil Nayattu or hunting with dogs, the latter from the Sanskrit Nayaka or leader. At first Nayar had the same meaning as its Sanskrit parent. It was a personal or hereditary title conferred by a chief on the commandant of a fortress or the commander of an army. The Portuguese writers widened its meaning to include the military followers of the chiefs of Kerala. With the annexation of Malabar by the British in A. D. 1792 and the consequent disbandment of the Nayar militia not only in Malabar but also in the native states of Cochin and Travancore, the Nayars lost their distinctive occupation. They began to take to those peaceful pursuits which they had disdained in the past. Hence, now, all those between the caste of the Ampalavasis or temple servants on the one band and the polluting castes on the other call themselves Nayars, irrespective of their original rank or occupation in society.

Kanakasabhai says that the Nayars are of the same race as the Tamils and both of them came from Mongolia. But the Nayars trace pollution and property through the female, the Tamils through the male; the Nayar family centres round the mother, the Tamil family round the father. Further, the prevalence of Sati in ancient days among the Tamil warriors implies the inferiority of woman, which is totally at variance with a matriarchal form of society. Other writers give the Nayars a Naga origin. But succession to the throne and property among the Nagas was from father to son. In all probability the Nayars were originally hill-tribes living on the slopes of the Western Ghats different from both the Tamils and the Nagas.

When and bow the Nayars established their principalities in the valleys and spread even beyond to the islands off the coast are at present unknown to us. Slow and silent encroachment must have had its share, as in the formation of the Gurkha kingdom in the eighteenth century. The Nayars might have taken advantage of the weakness of the central government to extend their authority, and the imperial rulers of Tiruvanchikkulam might have thought it expedient to recognize them as feudatory governors of the lands from which they were powerless to expel them. The Tamil rulers, again, might have sought the help of these highlanders in their wars and conferred upon their leaders provincial governorships and military commands in much the same way as the Pathan sultans and the Mughal emperors set up Abyssiniana and Persians all over their


Not only the process but the date of their occupation is also a matter of conjecture. There is not even a single reference to them in the vast mass of the Sangam literature. The Samanta or the Nayar chiefs are mentioned for the first time in Bhaakara Ravi Varman’s grant to the Jew, Joseph Rabban, and the Lokar in a grant of Stanu Ravi Gupta’s reign. The dates of these grants are highly controversial The former is assigned to A. D. 192, 377, 700 and 1014; the latter to A. D. 311, 824 and 880. As these kings were later than the Samgam age the Nayars could not have risen to prominence before the fourth century.

The evidences for regarding the Nayars as indigenous hill-tribes, having no racial connexion with tbe Nagas or the Tamila, are;

  • Tirunelli in Wynad is their most sacred place, more sacred than Perur and Benares,
  • The Zamorin’s title, Kunnalakkonatiri, is perhaps reminiscent of their mountain homes,
  • The plantain leaf, very abundant on the hills, still plays a very important part in the life of the Nayars. Offerings to deities and chiefs are presented on it; the moment life departs from the body the corpse is placed on it; food is served even to the most distinguished guests on it, silver and gold being considered less pure than the plantain leaf.
  • In the recesses of the hills are still to be found people resembling the Nayars in every respect calling themselves Lokar and lords, of the hills,
  • Lastly, the military system of the Nayars was more suited to the hills than to the plains. While the Tamil warrior protected himself with ponderous armour, the Nayar trusted himself to agility of limb and suppleness of body, to the sure eye and the deft hand. The Nayars had no cavalry and their knowledge of fortification was rudimentary, artificial defences of moat and rampart being more imperatively required and more easily constructed on wide open plains than on the tops of woody hills.