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.”

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