Chronological history of Malabar
Ancient political history of Malappuram, Valluvanad.
· Prehistory: Arabian Sea once
extended to the foot of the Western Ghats, and 'Cheram' or Cheranadu or Keralam
is believed to have emerged out of the sea bit by bit over a period of many
centuries. Areas like Malappuram can claim its antiquity much more than the
coastal districts of Kerala.
· 1st to 5th century A.D. - Three powers ruled over today’s Kerala. They were Aay Rajas in the southern side, Ezhimala Kings in the northern side, and the first Chera kingdom comprising most of the present central Kerala.
· 500 to 814 A.D. - Kerala passed through a dark period in history which saw a multitude of invasions from outside. Invasion of Kalabhrars took place initially. The Kalabhrars were defeated by the Chalukyas, Pallavas and Pandyars. Later on there were invasions by the Rashtrakudas. Some of these kings claim to have ruled over Kerala. Many of these claims may have been exaggerations, but it can be safely concluded that this was a period of extreme political instability in Kerala.
These ages also witnessed the biggest Brahmin settlements into Kerala, especially in the 8th century A.D. The Rashtrakudars were supported by gramams like the Chovvaram gramam, who were Saivites. The Aryan Brahmins of these gramams may have come with these rulers.
· 800 to approx.1112 A.D. - Second Chera kingdom. During this period Kerala returned to the political stability that it once enjoyed. The Chera kings were powerful emperors who ruled over most of Kerala.
· 825 A.D. - Beginning of Malayalam Era (calendar)
· 896 A.D. : Konganpada - War between Kongu king and Nedumpurayoor (Palakkad Raja). Kongu army was defeated by combined armies of Nedumpurayoor, Valluvanad, Ernad and Perumpadappu. In honor the Valluvanad Raja received Kurissi Vilayan Chathanur and Kaithala villages from Nedumpurayoor. This event is even now celebrated as a historical event in Chittur taluk where the fight took place.
· 949 A.D. : Vallabhankumaran, son of Raja Sekharan ( the first Valluvanad Raja about whom there are inscriptions ) who was Governor of Vallabha Rashtra under Kerala king, and Rajaditya Chola, the Chola prince, fought Pallava Ruler Krishna Deva III. The inscriptions of Tiruvattiyur gives the story of Vallabhankumaran renouncing his worldly life and assuming the ascetic order because he could not help his friend Rajaditya Chola who died in the battle of Takkolam in this war.
· 1000 A.D. - Mention is made of 'Rayiran Chathan, the owner of Walluva province, the Arangottu Swaroopam', as a witness in the Jew's Copper Plate given to Joseph Rabban by Bhaskara Ravi Varma I, the Chera ruler of Kerala.
· Approx. 990 A.D. to 1105 A.D. - A war which lasted for over a 100 years. Started with invasion by the Chola kings. The Cholas continuously attacked Kerala, wave after wave, and again and again South Kerala was left in ruins. By 1095 A.D., Kulothunga Cholan had destroyed Kollam. Towards the end of these wars the Cholas conquered as far as central Kerala, and the capital of Chera kingdom, Mahodayapuram, was looted and burned completely by the Chola armies. But the last Chera king Ramavarma Kulasekharan won battles against the Chola army, with the help of tact, and efficient suicide squads (Chavers) provided by various subordinate kings, a technique to which the Chola armies were not familiar. By 1102 A.D., the Chola armies had been thrown back. Soon the armies led by Ramavarma Kulasekharan put an end to the Chola rule in Kerala. The king had done his job well. The Cholas never again rose to their former power in South India.
· Approx. 1112 A.D. - A few years after establishing long-sought-after peace in Kerala and re-instating a strong empire, the Second Chera kingdom abruptly ended. Only legends indicate what might have happened. The last Chera king, Ramavarma Kulasekharan, secretly left for Mecca and embraced Islam religion after dividing the kingdom among his relatives and chieftains, according to the most popular legend. The independent kingdoms that came into being were 18 in number. One of the King's princes was given Venad. The Perumpadappu Rajas are also believed to be relatives of the Chera king. The king appointed the Valluvanad Raja or Valluvakkonathiri (Vellattiri) to preside over the Thirunavaya assembly as Rakshapurusha. Till then this status of the Rakshapurusha was held by the Perumal (Chera) kings, and the Mamanka at Thirunavaya had been conducted under them. When dissention or dispute arose between the different naduvazhis or others, it was the duty of the Rakshapurusha to make the contestants resolve their disputes. [Logan is of the opinion that Vellattiri was also not directly under the Chera kings but enjoyed more freedom and rights than other chieftains under them. (Logan, Vol. 1, pp. 256-57)]
· Rule of the naduvazhis in Malabar: The territorial divisions consisted of nadus ruled by naduvazhis, which were divided into desams ruled by desavazhis who were directly under naduvazhis and subject to their dictation. The desam was further divided into gramams, tharas or cherees. These were like independent republics under the naduvazhi. [Valluvakkonathiri was also known by the names like Vellattiri, Vallabhan, Rayiran Chathan and Arangotte Udayavar. Titles according to seniority were - Valluvakkonathiri, Vellalpad, Thacharalpad, Edathralpad, Kolathur and Padinjarekkara.]
· Panniyoor and Chovvaram gramam: These were two of the gramams which was formed at this time. In the beginning the two villages were the centre of higher Vedic learning and vyed with each other. The competition turned to bitter rivalry between the Vaishnavites and Saivites in course of time.
· 1341 A.D. - The flood of Periyar which did great damage to the harbour of Kodungallur. Kochi later came to occupy its place.
· The power balance changed as Samoothiri killed Porlathiri of Polanad by treachery, occupied and developed the area which came to be called Kozhikkode as port, prospered by a flourishing trade, and used most of the resources to developing a huge army. Samoothiri had ambitions to be the absolute emperor of Kerala. The wealth from Kozhikkode port provided the crucial advantage in his wars. Parappanad and Vettathunad soon had to submit to the power of the Samoothiri and became his feudatories one by one.
· Panniyur - Chovvaram row : The Brahmins of Panniyur made an idol of Lord Siva in an awful disposition, presiding over death and disease. This was intended to be an insult on Chovvaram. The Namboodiris of Chovvaram stole the controversial idol from the shrine built by Panniyur group. The leader of Panniyur group, Tirumanasseri Namboodiri, who ruled Gowardhanapuram just south of Thirunavaya, with the help of his three thousand Nair soldiers, attacked and burned Chovvaram. The Chovvaram group appealed to the Valluvanad Rajas for help. But Thirumanasseri Namboothiri did not accept the mediation of the Rakshapurusha in this matter. This resulted in Valluvakkonathiri and Perumpadappu Raja declaring war simultaneously against Thirumanassery Namboothiri, who appealed to Samoothiri, a rising power then. He promised Samoothiri full support in capturing Ponnani from Vellattiri. Samoothiri, looking for such an opportunity, gladly accepted the offer.
· Approx. 1351 to 1363 - Thirunavaya war : The Samoothiri's army and the combined armies of his subordinate kings, together attacked the allied army of Valluvanad and Perumpadappu from the north. The war was fought between Thirunavaya and Vakayur. Meanwhile another huge force under Eralpad (Samoothiri prince) commanded the Navy across the sea and landed at Ponnani, with intention to attack Thirunavaya from the south with the army of Thirumanassery Namboothiri, and also to prevent the army of Perumpadappu joining Vellattiri's armies. The Muslim commanders in Ponnani, won over the side of Samoothiri earlier, supported this army with food, transport and provisions. In spite of the fact that the soldiers of Valluvanad did not get the timely help of Perumpadappu they fought vigorously and the war dragged on. It was only through machinations and tact that Samoothiri gained in the war. News became afloat that Samoothiri was able to win over the tutelary deity of Vellattiri, the Goddess of Thirumanthamkunnu, by propitiating her at Kozhikkode. Nair soldiers of Vellattiri were gradually unnerved by a growing feeling that their Goddess was deserting them. Samoothiri's minister Mangattachan was also successful in turning Kadannamanna Elavakayil Vellodi (Junior branch of Kadannamanna) to Samoothiri's side. In the ensuing war, two of the Vellattiri princes fell dead in the battlefield. Thus deserted by his tutelary deity and disowned by his own men, Vellattiri at last withdrew from Thirunavaya.
· Closely following the fall of Thirunavaya, Samoothiri captured Vanneri from Perumpadappu. The Perumpadappu Rajas was forced to shift their capital to Thiruvanchikkulam under Samoothiri's attack.
· As Thirunavaya was captured, Samoothiri proclaimed himself as the Rakshapurusha and took over sole right of conducting the Mamankam festival. The next Mamankam at Thirunavaya was conducted under the auspices of Samoothiri.
· 'Chaver' - Now began the custom of sending Chaver soldiers or suicide squads to the festival to dispose off the Samoothiri. These Chavers were sworn soldiers who preferred death to defeat, and who sacrificed their lives to avenge the death of their princes in the Thirunavaya war. The death of the Vellattiri princes also started a period of intense hatred and war between the two kingdoms which was to last for more than four centuries. Kudippaka or blood feud was prevalent in the society. If a person was killed, it was the duty of the relatives or even the subsequent generations of the deceased to avenge the death. During the Mamankam festival all other Rajas used to send flags as a symbol of regard to the Samoothiri at Thirunavaya. But Valluvakkonathiri who did not recognize the Samoothiri as the legitimate Rakshapurusha but considered him only a usurper used to send Chavers instead. If these men could kill the Samoothiri, who was protected by thousands of soldiers, the right of Rakshapurusha would have devolved on the Valluvanad Raja.
· There were four Nair families under Vellattiri who used to send their heroes to fight and die in the Mamankam festival. These were 1. Chandratt Panicker 2. Putumanna Panicker 3. Kakot Panicker 4. Verkot Panicker. Along with them went a number of soldiers drawn from arms-bearing castes including Muslims who opted themselves to die. Most of these Chaver soldiers had lost their relatives or elders in previous wars with the Samoothiri, and were fuelled by 'kudippaka' against the Samoothiri. They came from various parts of Malabar, assembled at Thirumanthamkunnu under Vellattiri, and were led by commanders from one of the four houses. Further details were provided by Logan and Hamilton about the Mamankam of 1683 and 1695 respectively.
· Vellattiri after losing Thirunavaya and the right of the Rakshapurusha, began to conduct the pooram festival in the place of Mamankam, at Angadippuram (Walluvappally), his capital. Here in the temple of his tutelary deity Thirumanthamkunnu Bhagavathi, he stood on a raised granite platform from where in the olden days his predecessors started the procession to Thirunavaya for the Mamankam festival. It was from here that the Chavers were sent to the Mamankam festival afterwards when Samoothiri usurped it.
· The war of Thirunavaya was not the end of Samoothiri's aggression on Valluvanad. He continued his attacks on Vellattiri. But he encountered stiff resistance and the fights went on in a protracted and sporadic fashion for a long time. [Kunnathattil Madambil Nair (Mannarghat Nair) was the desavazhi who looked after the affairs of the eastern boundary and hilly areas of Vellattiri. Chondathil Mannadiar (Puthumana Panicker) and Kavada Nair were other chiefs under him. Other dignitaries consisted of 14 swaroopies, two Nairs, two Namboothiris, two persons of the royal house, four Panickers, Elampulakkad Achan, Kulathur warrier, Uppamkalathil Pisharody, Pathiramana Vellodi, Parakkatt Kakkoott, Mannarmala Nair and Cherukara Pisharody. This council of great men was a huge challenge to Samoothiri even during times when mutual rivalries weakened the Vellattiri Swaroopam.]
· Samoothiri followed a policy of appeasing the feudatories of Vellattiri and conferring upon them the areas they originally held under Vellattiri. He was able to win over Dharmoth Panicker, Pulappatta Nair and Kavalappara Nair to his side one by one. Thus Samoothiri gradually became the master of Malappuram, Nilambur, Vallappanattukara and Manjeri, which were under these feudal lords. Eralpad (Samoothiri prince) now began to rule these areas as supreme commander over them, with Karimpuzha as his base.
· But Samoothiri faced defeat in the next attack on Perumpadappu. The Perumpadappu Rajas appealed to their ally Vellattiri for assistance. Their combined army resisted Samoothiri's forces and a bloody war ensued for three days, at the end of which Samoothiri's army was on the retreat.
· After a period of uneasy calm Samoothiri's armies invaded Nedunganad, a small princely state between Valluvanad and Palakkad. It was annexed by Samoothiri soon afterwards - Nedungattiri, the Raja of this place, was given certain rights of supervision over the temple of Cherplassery, and a subsistence allowance.
· 1405 A.D. - Samoothiri continued his aggression on Perumpadappu Rajas. The Perumpadappu Rajas, or Rajas of Kochi as they came to be known later, were forced to shift their capital from Thiruvanchikkulam to Kochi.
· Pantalur and Kottakkal came under Samoothiri only after a protracted struggle. These areas were under Karuvayoor Moosad, the chief minister of Vellattiri. Neither machinations of Mangattachan nor threat of war made his submission possible. Instead he even indulged in provocative treachery by inviting Thinayencheri Ilayathu, a minister of Samoothiri, to his home to negotiate a marriage proposal, and killing him. A furious Samoothiri decided to avenge the death of his minister and sent a huge army under Munalpad (third prince). After a bloody war which lasted for about 12 years, in which all types of treachery imaginable were performed by both sides, Samoothiri's army killed the Moosad at Padapparamba. The loss of this brave and fiercely loyal chief minister was the greatest blow to Vellattiri after the Thirunavaya war. These captured areas were given to Varakkal Paranambi, a minister of Samoothiri.
· Unable to withstand Samoothiri's attacks, Kochi Raja finally accepted Samoothiri's rule and became his feudatory. Family feud between the elder and younger branches of the royal family of Kochi was well exploited by the Samoothiri to make Kochi Raja's submission possible.
· The severe and frequent wars on Valluvanad by the Samoothiri continued. But even after the loss of his ally Kochi Raja, Vellattiri did not submit to Samoothiri.
· Most of the Nayar houses and 'kalaries' in the captured areas had lost their members in the wars against Samoothiri, and they were fuelled by kudippaka against the ruler. More deaths meant more kudippaka, and more Chavers. These houses would accept only Vellattiri as their legitimate king. They were also helped by Vellattiri's forces. To counter the local unrests, Samoothiri followed a custom of 'implanting' Muslim families and the families of other commanders who had allegiance to him, in the captured areas of Malappuram.
· By now all that was left to Vellattiri were Attappadi valley, parts of Mannarkkad, Ottappalam and Perinthalmanna. Samoothiri invaded these territories but could not make much progress, because these regions were sparsely populated and most parts were dense forests and hills. The skirmishes with Vellattiri's men became more and more difficult for Samoothiri. Vellattiri's smaller army in turn made the most of the landscape and successfully kept the armies of Samoothiri at bay.
· Samoothiri built a fort at Ponnani.
· 1498, May 18 - Vasco Da Gama arrived. He asked Samoothiri to let the Portuguese keep a small legion in Kozhikkode to protect their goods. Samoothiri rejected this and also told Gama that he had to pay levy at the same rates as that of others. Vasco Da Gama visited Kolathiri and made a trade agreement with the king. Then he returned to Portugal.
· 1500 - Kabral's visit.
· 1502 Feb - Gama returned. Samoothiri rejected the request of Gama for expulsion of Arabs and to give Portuguese the trade monopoly.
· The Portuguese attacked and killed a number of traders at Kozhikkode, and cut off the ears, nose and hands of many. Then Gama came triumphantly to Kochi. There he was given a warm welcome. He concluded a treaty with Kochi Raja.
· On hearing of this agreement with the Portuguese and his feudatory Kochi Raja, the Samoothiri demanded expulsion of Portuguese from Kochi. Kochi Raja rejected this demand.
· 1503 March 1 - Gama, anticipating attack from Samoothiri, hurriedly left Kochi and returned to Portugal, despite entreats for help from Kochi Raja. Samoothiri's forces effected a crushing defeat to Kochi Raja's armies, killing three of the royal family and occupying Kochi.
· Within a few months, the Portuguese under Francisco Albuquerque joined with the remaining forces of Kochi, reclaimed Kochi and reinstated Kochi Raja again.
· These wars resulted in the independence of Kochi from the Samoothiri's rule, but Kochi remained a stronghold of the Portuguese for a long time.
· 1504 - Samoothiri decided to mount a huge attack on Kochi. An army with more than 60,000 soldiers marched to Kochi. But the war was not successful for the king. As it dragged on, 19,000 of his soldiers died in war and a further 13,000 died due to vishuchika (cholera). Samoothiri was on the retreat. In the same year, the Portuguese captured Kodungallur also, and built a fort around the town. The Raja of Kodungallur became a Portuguese feudatory.
· 1506 - Samoothiri's naval forces joined with the Navy of the Turks and Arabs, and a fierce battle took place at the sea with the forces of Lorenzo, son of Almeida. The Portuguese won again.
· Samoothiri now approached Kolathiri. The Portuguese had behaved contemptuously to the Muslims at Kannur, and so Kolathiri was thinking of teaching them a lesson. The king laid siege the St. Angelos fort at Kannur. But the Portuguese won this battle also, and Kolathiri was forced to plea for peace.
· 1507, November 14 - Portuguese under Almeida attacked Ponnani and indulged in all kinds of atrocities.
· 1508 - Following Samoothiri's requests, the Navy of Egypt managed to inflict defeat on the Portuguese navy.
· 1509 - Portuguese counter attacked Samoothiri's forces and Egypt's Navy. Egypt withdrew from the war. In the same year, Almeida went back to Portugal, and was succeeded by Albuquerque.
· 1513 - An agreement was signed between Samoothiri and the Portuguese. It gave the Portuguese right to build forts in Kozhikkode and to make trade deals as they wished. Samoothiri agreed to provide a portion of the toll from Kozhikkode port to the Portuguese, and in return he was promised all support in his wars against Kochi Raja and Kolathiri. Kochi Raja voiced his protest to the agreement but it went unheeded.
· 1515 - Albuquerque died at Goa.
· Attempt on Samoothiri's life, which again created a rift with the Portuguese, and broke the peace.
· 1524 - Vasco Da Gama was sent by King of Portugal to make war on Samoothiri but he could not accomplish much.
· 1524, December 24 - Gama died at Kochi.
· 1525, February 26 - Menezes, Gama's successor made a devastating raid on Ponnani. But Samoothiri won the war in the end with the help of Tinayancheri and Kurumliyapatri by land, and Kunjali Marakkar by sea. Kunjali Marakkar became famous for his valor and skill in these wars against the Portuguese. Captain Kutti Ali entered Kochi port and burned all Portuguese ships he found there.
· 1525, November 4 - Portuguese abandoned their fort and blew it up by setting fire to a train of gun powder.
· The war dragged on.
· The Portuguese entered into a successful intrigue with Vettath Raja (one of the Samoothiri's unwilling feudatories), to make a fort near Bharathappuzha, in the opposite bank of Ponnani. However the Portuguese were not successful as the ships were destroyed when trying to cross the dangerous river mouth.
· Formation of Chalium fort by Portuguese - Vettath Raja enabled the Portuguese to erect a fort at Chalium at the mouth of the Beypore river. Chalium was a strategic site, for it was only 10 kms south of Kozhikkode. Chalium Raja also helped the Portuguese.
· Samoothiri retaliated by attacking Vettathunad and Chalium. The Raja of Chalium made unconditional peace with Samoothiri. Vettath Raja, after a protracted fight, was compelled to surrender all his lands near Ponnani and his island near Chalium. But Portuguese fort could not be destroyed.
· 1540 - Samoothiri entered into an agreement with the Portuguese and stopped the war. But the skirmishes continued in the seas by Muslim navigators based at Ponnani.
· 1550 - Portuguese attacked, pillaged and plundered Ponnani. They set fire to several houses and four mosques, including the Valia Palli.
· 1569 and 1570 -War with the Portuguese and Samoothiri's forces. Kutti Poker lost his life in his heroic fight against the Portuguese at Chalium fort.
· 1571, September 15 - Portuguese lost the war, Chalium fort surrendered and Samoothiri destroyed the fort, leaving not one stone upon another.
· 1573 - Pattu Marakkar (Kunjali III) obtained permission from Samoothiri to build a fortress and dockyard at Puthupattanam. This fort later came to be called the Marakkar Kotta. It was from here that Kunjali defended the country against the atrocities of the Portuguese.
· 1584 - Samoothiri needed free navigation without the passes of the Portuguese, to the ports of Gujarat, Persia and Arabia, to continue his trade. So an agreement with the Portuguese was made. The sanction to the Portuguese to build a factory at Ponnani was given. By now Samoothiri had clearly shifted his policy towards the Portuguese. The valiant Muslim commanders like Kunjali Marakkar who fought for generations against the Portuguese were ignored when Ponnani was given to their traditional enemies.
· 1591 - Samoothiri allowed the Portuguese to build a factory at Kozhikkode. He even laid the foundation of their church granting them necessary ground and building materials. His commanders like Kunjali Marakkar who were sworn enemies of the Portuguese were ignored again. Kunjali began to distance himself from Samoothiri.
· 1598 - Samoothiri joined with the Portuguese and fought his own Commander, Kunjali Marakkar. Kunjali surrendered to Samoothiri, and Samoothiri handed him over to the Portuguese, who put him to death. Thus ended a glorious era of unflinching resistance from the Marakkar family to the Portuguese in Kerala.
· 1604 - The Dutch came and concluded a treaty with the Samoothiri, by virtue of which they were permitted to trade at Kozhikkode and Ponnani and to build forts in these places for their protection.
· 1646 - The reigning branch of Kochi Raja became extinct and adoptions were made both from the dispossessed branch and a collateral branch living at Palluruthy. Between these two branches family feud broke out.
· 1658 - The crown at Kochi became vacant again, and five princes from Tanur (Vettathunad) were adopted and were given the right to succeed. The mootha thavazhi (elder branch), ignored, appealed to the Samoothiri for help against the adoptees and the Portuguese. Samoothiri decided to help the mootha thavazhi. Aditya Varma, the Raja of Vadakkumkur, the Raja of Edappally and the chief of Palium rallied around the Samoothiri in support of the mootha thavazhi. The Raja of Poracaud supported the ruling Tanur adoptees. On the advice of the Palium chief, Veera Kerala Varma, the dispossessed prince of mootha thavazhi set sail to Colombo and sought help from the Dutch governor.
· 1661 - The Dutch now found a huge chance of getting a major say in the politics of Kerala and led the allies of the dispossessed prince, with the armies of Samoothiri, against the Portuguese and the ruling Kochi king (Tanur adopties). Samoothiri, finding new powerful allies, also had shifted his support to the Dutch from the Portuguese. The war resulted in the disastrous failure of the Portuguese and Kochi rulers. Their possession in Kerala fell into the hands of the Dutch. Three of the Tanur princes died in the war. But the ruling king escaped to Ernakulam where he was given refuge by the Raja of Poracaud. Over the fortress of Cochin, Pallippuram, Cannanore and Quilon, the flag of the Portuguese had given place to the flag of Holland. The mootha thavazhi prince now became Kochi Raja.
· 1683 - Mamankam festival. Account of Chaver attack at Mamankam of this year given by Logan - "Amid much din and firing of guns the Morituri, the Chaver Nayars, the elect of four Nayar houses in Waluvanad, step forth from the crowd and receive the last blessings and farewells of their friends and relatives. They have just partaken of the last meal they are to eat on earth at the house of the temple representative of their chieftain; they are decked with garlands and smeared with ashes. On this particular occasion it is one of the houses of Putumanna Panikkar who heads the fray. He is joined by seventeen of his friends - Nayar or Mappila or other arms-bearing caste-men - for all who so wish may fall in with sword and target in support of the men who have elected to die.
Armed with swords and targets alone they rush at the spearmen thronging the palisades; they wind and turn their bodies, as if they had no bones, casting them forward and backward, high and low, even to the astonishment of the beholders, as worthy Master Johnson describes them in a passage already quoted. But notwithstanding the suppleness of their limbs, notwithstanding their delight and skill and dexterity in weapons, the result is inevitable, and is prosaically recorded in the chronicle thus: The number of Chavers who came and died in the early morning the next day after the elephant began to be adorned with gold trappings - being Putumanna Kantur Menon and followers - was 18.
At various times during the ten last days of the festival the same thing is repeated. Whenever the Zamorin takes his stand on the terrace, assumes the sword and shakes it, men rush forth from the crowd on the west temple gate only to be impaled on the spears of the guardsmen who relieve each other from day to day."
· 1695 - About the next Mamankam from 'New Accounts of the East Indies' by Captain Alexander Hamilton, Chapter XV :- "In Anno 1695, one of these jubilees happened when the tent was pitched near Ponnany, a seaport of his (Samoothiri's) about 15 leagues to the southward of Calicut. There were but three men that would venture on that desperate action, who fell on with sword and target, among the guards, and after they had killed and wounded many, were themselves killed. One of the desperadoes had a nephew of fifteen or sixteen years of age, that kept close by his uncle in the attack on the guard, and when he saw him fall, the youth got through the guard into the tent and made a stroke at His Majesty's head and had certainly despatched him, if a large brass lamp which was burning over his head, had not marred the blow; but before he could make another he was killed by the guards, and I believe the same Samoothiri reigns yet. I chanced to come that time along the coast and heard the guns for two or three days and nights successively."
The 15 year old boy mentioned was Chandrath Panicker.
· 1729 to 1731 - Epidemic of small pox all over Kerala.
· 1741 - From the Dutch - Stein Van Gollenese wrote: - "Valluvanatty (Valluvanad) alias Arangolla is a kingdom next to Bettette (Vettathunad). The king has the privilege every 12 years of sending notorious murderers to the feast of Mamanka, the right to conduct which, so he says, has been taken away from him by the Zamorin contrary to all right and justice. A few weeks ago, he caused two elephants of the Zamorin to be carried off, which has provoked the Zamorin to such an extend that the latter intends to make war upon him after the feast of Mamanka; but as this matter is no way affecting the Honourable Company, we may look forward to the results with equanimity."
· 1743 - Mamankam festival. After the festival Samoothiri send his armies to attack Vellattiri. The Vellattiri had also prepared for a final assault and was organizing his army for a show of strength. The advancing army of the Samoothiri met with the same problem that they had faced in the previous large scale war with Vellattiri - the hilly and intractable Valluvanad were well used by Vellattiri's men in the war. These forests proved to be perfect death traps for Samoothiri's soldiers. The Vellattiri's striking power was also underestimated. Both armies underwent heavy losses, and Samoothiri was forced to stop the war by the onset of monsoon.
· Meanwhile Marthanda Varma of Travancore affected a crushing defeat of the Dutch forces. The rising power of the British and French elsewhere in India declined the strength of the Dutch. After this defeat they never really regained their former power in Kerala. The Samoothiri also distanced himself from them.
· 1745 - Revolt of the Muslims in Tirurangadi against the Nairs and chieftains, which came as a blow to Samoothiri.
· 1757 - Samoothiri managed to lay siege on Chetvai, forcing the Dutch to leave the port.
· Samoothiri's forces invaded Valluvanad and captured some more areas belonging to the Vellattiri. Then the triumphant army of Samoothiri entered the territory of the Palakkad Raja. The forces were commanded by Chencheeri Namboothiri. Thousands of people were murdered in the attack. The Palakkad Raja lost the war and had to agree to pay one-fifth of his revenue to Samoothiri as war indemnity.
· Beginning of Samoothiri's decline of power - After the war Palakkad Raja did not pay the amount agreed to earlier, but sent Kombi Achan to Mysore with an appeal to render military help. The Dalawa of Mysore ordered the Foujdar of Dindigal, Haider Ali, to render military help to the Palakkad Raja. Haider Ali sent his brother-in-law Maqdum Ali with an army of 2000 horses and 5000 infantry. They made surprise attacks on the frightened Nair soldiers of Samoothiri's army and easily put them to flight. The lack of resistance was a pleasant surprise to Mysore army. Samoothiri sued for peace and promised to pay a war indemnity of 12 lakhs. This was accepted and Maqdum returned to Mysore with his army.
· Hyder Ali became the supreme leader of Mysore.
· Samoothiri once again sent his army to Palakkad demanding one-fifth of the revenue as agreed upon after the successful war led by Chencheeri Namboothiri earlier. Samoothiri's army attacked the forts of Palakkad Raja and killed a number of Achans. Those who escaped from the massacre turned for help to Haider Ali. Itti Kombi Achan entered into an agreement with Haider Ali, who agreed to help the Raja of Palakkad to regain his lost territory from the Samoothiri. Palakkad Raja had refrained from this move till he was forced to do so, because no other king in Malabar, including Vellattiri, supported this move.
· Hearing of the agreement of Palakkad Raja with Hyder, the Samoothiri himself withdrew from the conquered territory of Palakkad. This gave further confidence to Hyder that Samoothiri could be easily defeated in war. Samoothiri had courted defeat even before the 'scent' of war. This also further demoralized his commanders. Meanwhile the Rajas of Palakkad became a tributary to Mysore and agreed to pay a sum of 5000 fanams to Mysore annually. They were considered to be faithful allies of Hyder thereafter.
· Hyder Ali next demanded the sum of 12 lakhs as previously agreed by the Samoothiri to Maqdum. Samoothiri pleaded to Hyder for more time.
· 1766 - The last Mamankam conducted by Samoothiri. And every Mamankam under the Samoothiri, from approx. 1364 to 1766, witnessed the sacrifice of the Chavers who preferred death to defeat.
· Soon, Hyder after occupying Kadathanad, made a triumphant entry into Kozhikkode. The battle by the Mysore army had been won long before the actual battle began. The Samoothiri after sending his relatives to Ponnani, locked himself up in his fort and committed suicide.
· The other rulers of Malabar escaped from the Mysore army to Travancore.
· By 1790 - The British managed to defeat Tippu Sultan and finally established their rule over Malabar. The Mysore kings' efforts to establish their rule over Malabar had only weakened Malabar's defenses and made the job of the British easier.
· The next Samoothiri king and Kochi Raja declared themselves as subordinates to the British.
· 1792 - Vellattiri entered into agreement with the British but retained some of his original territory. Thus the Valluvanad Raja who once occupied a pre-eminent place among the Rajas of Malabar and who did not submit to the power of Samoothiri for more than 400 years, despite being lost countless number of times, and fought to the last for keeping his ancient heritage, was at last degraded into the position of a petty feudal chief by the British.
· 1793 to 1797 - The first war of Pazhassi Raja with the British. Keralavarma Pazhassi Raja was of the Kottayam royal family, who ruled Wayanad. The British tried to arrest the king in his palace, but Pazhassi Raja escaped to Wayanad hills and continued his fight. Many Englishmen died. The British were forced to withdraw their armies from Wayanad. However they were attacked again while retreating, with the result of further casualties. They finally accepted the demands by the king and a truce was obtained.
· 1800 to 1805 - Pazhassi Raja revolted against the policies of the British again. The king opposed all efforts by the British to rule Wayanad. By the tactics of guerilla warfare, the British were made to suffer innumerable hardships. Sir Arthur Wellesley was appointed to capture the Raja. The British won critical battles by a combination of treachery, tact and brute force. Finally the revolt was suppressed and Pazhassi Raja was killed in battle.
· British rule in Malabar continued till 1947.
Compiled by Dr. Gopal K. R., Kochi.
Gazetteer of India Kerala Malappuram 1978
C. Radhakrishnan's Home Page
About Thunjath Ezhuthachan:
Information from Prof. K. P. Narayana Pisharodi's work "Thunjath Acharyan"
Information from Mahakavi Ulloor S. Parameswara Aiyer's work Keralasahityacharithram Vol. 2