Monday, May 1, 2017

Kodungallur was below Sea till 800 CE - Dr.M.G.S.Naryanan Renowned Historian

NAIR Community
Perumals of Kerala the historical research book by Dr MGS Narayanan was released by legendry writer MT Vasudevan Nair. The first copy was handed over to Indian Historical Research Council chairman Prof Basudev Chatterjee. . MGS wrote the book after long research. The book was published by COSMO BOOKS ,Calciut
Focus on a PhD thesis that threw new light on Perumals
comment by
R. Madhavan Nair

Kozhikode: These are times, when more often than not, doctoral theses are forgotten as soon as PhD is awarded to the author. But there are a few exceptions to this rule. There are PhD works that continue to figure in academic debates.

The PhD thesis of historian M.G.S. Narayanan, former chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), which is hailed by many scholars as one such work, was the focus of a talk by Kesavan Veluthat, Professor, University of Delhi, at the monthly meeting of the Calicut Heritage Forum.

Epigraphic evidence

C.K. Ramachandran, convener of the Calicut Heritage Forum, says the thesis deserves special mention since it is one of the early attempts by a historian to write and interpret history of Kerala on the basis of epigraphic evidence.

It marks a major departure from times when even respected historians depended on fanciful accounts of foreign travellers and traders for information.

Such an approach can be seen also in the attempt to understand how and when Kerala became a separate entity from Tamizhagam on the basis of the evidence thrown up by the recent excavations at Pattanam.

The new evidence that surfaced during the excavations gave new information about the glorious past of Kerala as a vibrant trading centre, able to negotiate on equal terms with the Romans and the Chinese.


The history of the Perumals is another period in Kerala history which underwent re-interpretation as a result of epigraphic evidence. Traditionally, it was believed that the Perumals who ruled Kerala were invited from outside the territory by the community to rule over the country for a limited period of 12 years after which the Perumal was to abdicate and retire from public life.

The story is related to the founding of Kerala by Parasurama and the settlement of 64 Brahmin gramams. Keralolpathi gave credence to this story which was repeated by orthodox historians.

Even historians like K.A. Nilakanta Sastri accepted the story of the imported Perumals and suggested that Kulasekhara Alwar was one such foreign ruler invited to rule over Kerala.

Prof. Elamkulam Kunjan Pillai took the path of Kerala history away from unsubstantiated foreign sources to scientific analysis of epigraphic and other documentary evidence and succeeded in establishing that a Chera dynasty, different from the Sangham era Chera kingdom, existed in the ninth century with their capital at Mahodayapuram (Makothai) near the present day Kodungalloor.

He named this dynasty the Kulashekharas of Mahodayapuram.

Extensive research

The findings were further refined and enriched by the path breaking research conducted by Prof. Narayanan during the 1960s and 70s. Elamkulam had access to more than 150 copper and stone inscriptions, but he had utilised only less than half of these in his studies. The chronology of many of these was also not correctly interpreted.

Prof. Ramachandran said Prof. Narayanan took pains to interpret all these epigraphic evidence from copper and stone inscriptions, indexed and translated them and fixed a new chronology on the basis of detailed interpretation of the Mahodayapuram era.

New inscriptions

During the course of his research, he was able to unearth 11 new inscriptions and all this new evidence led to new interpretation of the political and social conditions of the Mahodayapuram era.

One of the important findings was that there was no substance to support the theory of a hundred years of war between the Cheras and the Cholas.

The Cholas had conquered the Chera kingdom but the latter continued to rule as feudatories of the mighty Chola kingdom for well over a hundred years.

It was only in the last decades of the 11 {+t} {+h} century, when the power of the Chola kingdom had weakened, that the Perumal of Mahodayapuram asserted his sovereignty. But this did not last long. The reign of the last Perumal, Ramakula Sekhara Perumal, was disturbed by internecine quarrels

Prof. Basham, who was the external examiner for the PhD thesis of Prof. Narayanan remarked: “This thesis is one of the ablest and most thorough Indian theses I have examined and I have no hesitation in recommending it for the award of the degree of PhD….As the thesis is obviously such a good one, a detailed report seems hardly necessary.”

Prof. Ramachandran and many others believe despite such encomiums, many even among the academia are not aware of the significance of the evolution of the history of the Perumals from Nilakanta Sastri through Elamkulam to Prof. Narayanan and beyond.

Courtesy: THE HINDU
11 August 2013Publicin Timeline Photos
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Perumals of Mahodayapuram (800-1102 AD)

1-Kulasekharas of Mahodaya puram is also known
as the Second Chera Empire.
2-Kulasekhara Varman / Ramarajasekharan /
Kulasekhara Alwar was the founder of Second Chera Empire.
3-The age of Kulasekharas is known as the ‘Golden
Age of Kerala.
4-The first king of this dynasty was Rajasekhara
5-Vazhappalli plate (AD-832) is the oldest plate of

6-Kulasekhara Alwar wrote Perumal Thirumozhi
in Tamil and Mukundamala in Sanskrit.
7-The Terisapalli Copper Plate of 849 AD was issued
by Ayyan Adikal Thiruvadikal of Venad for
the Kulasekhara ruler Sthanu Ravi Varman.
8-It was also known as Kottayam plates.
9-Sthanu Ravi established a planetarium at
10-The Arab traveller Sulaiman (851AD) visited
Kerala during the reign of Sthanu Ravi Varman.
11-The Jewish Copper plate of 1000AD (175 Kollam
Era) was issued by Bhaskara Ravi Varman I.
12-This plate granted the right to collect taxes and
the position of ‘Anchuvannam’ to the Jewish noble, Joseph Rabban.
13-Raja Raja Cholan attacked Vizhinjam and Kantalur
Sala during the period of Bhaskara Ravivarman
(AD 962-1021)
14-Kulasekhara empire began to disintegrate during
this period.
15-The famous ‘‘Hundred Years War’’ between the
Cholas and Cheras began during the reign of Bhaskara Ravi Varman I..
16-Shift from Makkathayam to Marumakkathayam
took place during this period of Hundred Years
17-VeeraRaghava Pattayam (Iravikorthan Cheped)
was given to a Christian noble by Veera Ravi Varma.
This plate was discovered by Lord Macauley from Cochi.
18-Devadasi system came to be popular during the
period of Second Chera Empire.
19-Chokkur plate (Kozhikode) has the earliest historical mention of the devadasis in Kerala.
20-Koothu and Koodiyattom were two artforms developed during the period in Kerala
21-Ramavarma Kulasekhara (1090-1102) was the last
of Kulasekharas of Mahodayapuram.
22-Ramavarma Kulasekhara shifted his capital from
Mahodayapuram to Quilon and Quilon came to be
called ‘Ten Vanchi’ (Vanchi of the South)
23-The Cheraman Legend says that the last Chera Emperor (Cheraman Perumal) received Islam and went
to Arabia and met Prophet Muhammed at Jeddah.
24-The ‘‘Tuhafat-ul-Mujahidin’ of Sheik Zainuddin
refers about the Cheraman legend.
25-‘Munnuttuvar’ and ‘Arunnuttuvar’ were local assemblies to look after the administration.
26-Manigramam, Anchuvannam and ‘Valanchiur’
were famous merchant’s guilds of the period.
27-Sankaracharya founded four mutts in four corners
of India; Badrinath in the North (Jyotir Mutt) Puri
in the east (Govardhan) Dwaraka in the West
(Sarada Mutt) and Sringeri in the south.
28-Malayalam became an independent language,
freed from Tamil during the period of the
Kulasekharas (9th Century AD).


1-Aattaprakarm & Kramadeepika ....Tholan.
2-Yudhishtira vijayam, Thripuradahanam .....Vasudeva Bhattathiri
3-Subhadra Dhananjayam, Vichinnabhishekam ...... Kulsekhara Varma
4-Sankara narayaneeyam, Gauri Kathodayam........Sankaranarayanan
5-Sivananda lahari, Saundarya lahari ....Sankaracharyar.

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