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.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s