The Rajahs of Vadakkumkur

Within the shelter afforded by the Arabian sea on the west and the Western Ghats on the East, Kerala was insulated from the happenings in the rest of India to a great extent. The most conspicuous cultural difference is the matriarchal system that survived untouched into the last century in complete contrast with the remainder of the subcontinent. Similarly, although it was such a small landmass, Kerala was ruled up to the 18th century by many princes and Rajahs. The geographical isolation of the region permitted them to engage in their petty quarrels and maintain little “kingdoms” till Marthanda Varma conquered and annexed these principalities. Even so, Kerala’s rulers remained in their own little cocooned world until Hyder Ali of Mysore attacked, revealing their weakness and, for the first time in centuries, shaking them to reality. Only Marthanda Varma and his successors thought beyond the confines of Kerala and this foresight later came to Travancore’s advantage during the Mysorean invasion of Kerala.

To return to the narrative on the Rajahs and Thampurans who ruled over little territories in Kerala; there were about thirty three such princely families, excluding the prominent royal houses of Travancore, Cochin, Calicut and Kolathunad. One of these princes was the Rajah of Vadakkumkur whose domain was located in what is now called South Kerala.

Maharajah Marthanda Varma of Travancore

The geographical extent of Vadakkumkur in the 18th century included the regions surrounding Ettumanoor, Vaikom and some portions of Meenachil. At its height, according to Prof. Sreedhara Menon, the Rajah owned all the land between the Vembanad lake in the west and the Pandya (Tamil) territories in the east. To the south it shared borders with Thekkumkur (which was ruled by a collateral branch of the same family) and in the north it extended up to Kothamangalam. The ancestors of the Thekkumkur and Vadakkumkur families ruled over Vempolinad, which is referred to in Sanskrit texts as Bimbalidesa. The rulers were called Bimbalisas and it was sometime in the 12th century AD that Vempolinad broke into the two aforementioned principalities. Vadakkumkur had its capital at Kadathuruthi from where it later moved to Vaikom.

The legends of the Vadakkumkur family state that the division took place at a juncture when the family consisted only of two sisters. They divided Vempolinad between themselves and thus established the two royal families of Vadakkumkur (the Piementa kingdom of the Dutch) and Thekkumkur. Subsequently while Thekkumkoor remained independent, Vadakkumkur became a “subsidiary ally” of the Cochin Rajah. The Cochin Rajah also had enangar relations with both Thekkumkur and Vadakkumkur whereby males from the Cochin family performed the Talikettu Kalyanam for princesses of those families and KM Panikker calls Vadakkumkur Cochin’s ally “by marriage”. There was however a distinct point of difference between the two families in that while Vadakkumkur, as earlier stated, supported Cochin, Thekkumkur leaned towards the Zamorin of Calicut, the traditional rival of Cochin. Thekkumkur however had to play safe for often they would need to adopt princesses from Vadakkumkur to perpetuate their lineage. 

In the 18th century during the time of Marthanda Varma, Vadakkumkur faced a crisis. Its ruler had been murdered by his own brother who usurped power (KM Panikker gives 1733 as the year of this event). The other claimants to the throne pressed the Cochin Rajah for support who in turn was preoccupied with his own dynastic troubles. While this is the state of affairs as provided by TK Velu Pillai in the Travancore State Manual (1940), the Vadakkumkur family’s traditionally passed down stories say that there were, at the time, only two male members in the family: one very old reigning Rajah and a little child. In any case both accounts are consistent in agreeing that the state was in disarray when Marthanda Varma attacked. Vadakkumkur had earlier supported the Rajah of Kayamkulam against Travancore. Kayamkulam was defeated in 1746 by Marthanda Varma, with the connivance of the local nobles known as the Aaruveetil Madampimar, and the Rajah and his family had fled to the Zamorin’s country. For the next three years however the leaderless forces of Kayamkulam kept Marthanda Varma’s armies engaged. By 1749 when Kayamkulam fully surrendered to Travancore, Marthanda Varma discovered proof of the support provided by the Rajahs of Ambalapuzha and Vadakkumkur to Kayamkulam and turned his attention towards them. Ambalapuzha was annexed after its minister, Thekkedathu Bhattathiri, and commander, Mathur Panicker, defected to Travancore. Thekkumkur came next. The brother of the ruling Rajah sought Travancore’s support to depose the ruler. He was thereafter treacherously killed by the Rajah. This provided a pretext to Marthanda Varma and Thekkumkur was annexed. Then came Vadakkumkur’s turn. The battle was inconsequential. Within no time the Travancore forces conquered the country and the hapless old Rajah fled with his family to Calicut. Marthanda Varma destroyed the Vadakkumkur forts and by 1754 the Vadakkumkur subsidiary, the Meenachil Karthavu aka Mevada Thampan (a Rajput family) was also defeated. They too sought asylum in Calicut.

The customary sources that deal with Travancore history proceed to other matters at this juncture. The Travancore State Manual, in passing, mentions  that the Vadakkumkur Rajah was invited to return on a “reasonable pension” and settled down at Vaikom. Thereafter there is no information as to what happened to these dispossessed Rajahs and their families. Thekkumkur and Vadakkumkur returned, as did the Meenachil Karthavu’s family (in 1766 when the Zamorin’s family fled to Travancore unable to stand up to Hyder Ali). The Ambalapuzha Rajah’s family accepted a pension as well and returned to Kodumaloor (or Thrissur). What happened to the family of the Kayamkulam Rajah is unknown to me.

The Vadakkumkur Rajahs returned to Vaikom after accepting the “reasonable pension” offered by Travancore. They, however, lost political identity as “Rajahs” and were hereafter addressed with that title suffixed to the name (as in “Vadakkumkur Rajaraja Varma Raja”) as a caste title and not as a prefix of sovereignty. The pension was fixed initially at about 12,000 paras of paddy which was later revised in monetary terms. Another condition set upon them was that nobody from their extended joint family would ever work, although this clause was introduced at that time to prevent any efforts to regain their lost territories. The maintenance of the family was taken up by the Travancore government and up to 1949 the government would make payments during births, deaths and similar events in that family. In the early 20th century, however, the family filed a suit in court and secured the right to employment and work. To this day all the members of the Vadakkumkur family who were born before 1949 receive their promised allowance and maintenance from the Government of Kerala. 

In matters of caste and traditional practices, like the Cochin, Parappanad, Poonjar and the Koil Thampuran families, the Vadakkumkur family had Namboothiri Brahmins to marry their womenfolk while the men had Nair wives. Indeed, according to an interview given by RP Raja of the Mavelikkara family to Mrs. Rupika Chawla, only the members of the Kola Swaroopam (Kolathunad, Travancore, Ennakkad etc) had Kshatriyas to marry their women. The remaining Kshatriya families accepted Brahmin husbands. The Vadakkumkur family also followed the naming convention of “Amba, Ambika, Ambalika” for their women. What is surprising is that although the Kshatriya title of ‘Varma’ is suffixed to the names of the men and the customs followed by the family were those of Kshatriyas, the Vadakkumkur (and therefore presumably also Thekkumkur) family were Samantha Kshatriyas who did not wear the poonool. Indeed there are ancient documents which speak of the “Vadakkumkur Nair”, the “Nair chief who controlled the market of pepper produced in the hills in the interior”. 

The Vadakkumkur family today in Vaikom is divided into several branches, most of whom broke away in the early 20th century after the passing of the connected legislation providing for the same by the Travancore government. The eldest thavazhi (branch) resided at Vazhutanakkattu Koikkal while the other  thavazhis had Kochanattu Koikkal and Thekke Koikkal. Another branch is the Pattattu Koikkal. There is also a family known as Kadanattu Vadakkumkur which originated from the marriage of a princess of the Vadakkumkur family with a man of the Elayathu caste, which was Brahmin but of diminished social standing. 

The fate of the dispossessed Rajahs of the Travancore region had always interested me and I could, at best, only find scattered sources that mentioned them in passing. I am still highly intrigued as to what happened to the Kayamkulam Rajah who was perhaps the fiercest and most difficult enemy of Travancore so much so that Marthanda Varma on his death bed instructed his successor that the enmity of the Kayamkulam Rajah was “never to be forgotten”. For the details regarding the Vadakkumkur family at present I am grateful to a member of that family who does not wish to be named. The rest of the information is sourced from Prof. Sreedhara Menon’s “A Survey of Kerala History”, “The Rajas of Cochin” by Dr. Hugo s’Jacob, “Raja Ravi Varma: Painter of Colonial India” by Rupika Chawla, “Malabar and the Portuguese” by KM Panikker and the Travancore State Manuals of 1906 (Nagam Aiya) and 1940 (TK Velu Pillai).

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57 Responses to “The Rajahs of Vadakkumkur”

  1. Thankyou,for publishing the picture of Marthanda Varma Maharajah. And a nice article. And about the secret passage from the palace,Princess has given me brief information.If you want I will email it to you.She has invited me to the palace in my vacations and she will show the passage.If you want I will send you its pictures

    • manupillai Says:

      Thanks for the comment Soheb and for the picture you sent me. It will be great if you could email me information regarding this passage.

  2. Nice Article… But as my knowledge the war lead by Marthanda Varmma against Vadakkumkoor was a failure which made Marthanda Varmma to think again for a second war..But this time it was Irayimman Thambi Dalava who found a solution that he stayed in Koothattukulam and offered the throne to Vadakkumkoor Rajah’s brother..This made a split in both brothers and as a result in the soldiers…Due to this split vadakkumkoor rajah left his country with his familly and the army had to surrender before the thiruvithamkoors army … Also you forgotten to mension a very famous person who was well known for his courage and martial arts…It is Vallikada Panicker, the chieftain of Vadakkumkoor’s army who lead the vadakkumkoor’s army in the wars against marthanda varmma… May be you say its a wrong statement that i am making…Then I will ask one thing ” Why vallikada panicker is famous in Kerala Hystory and in Thiruvithamkoors Hystory…?” The statement that he made in Thiruvithamkoor Royal Darbar ” Nayaru mootha Panicker” when the king asked him for his cast is very famous…

    • manupillai Says:

      Thank you for your comment. The sources I had while writing this piece stated that it was in Thekkumkur that the Rajah’s brother contested the throne and not in Vadakkumkoor. Nevertheless, thanks for the information. I will keep an eye open for more when i research further on related topics. Regards, Manu.

  3. JAC ARASAR Says:

    After the IInd war where panicker was betrayed and defeated, marthanda varma banned the Kalaries. Panicker society migrated to some uninhabited shore of alappuzha and into a life of obscurity, may be to escape further wrath of the king or due to the disappointment and humiliation arising from the betrayal by his own masters, which was unknown among courageous warrior tribes.

  4. Johncy Panicker Says:

    Thank You JAC Arasar…
    If your comment is about Vallikkada Panicker then it is correct upto one extent that he decided to migrate to mavelikkara because one of panickers syster and her familly was there…but due to some reasons he could not able to make that travel.. I cannot explain where he stayed.. But one of his four sons stayed in kozhippilli a place near koothattukulam and got married..in this purticular bloodline there are four families known as vadake manthanam, thekke manthanam, karackal, vadakku,koottu…none of these family members are staying there now since they left kozhippilli after independence except my grand father… I am a member of vadakke manthanathu familly…My grand father’s father Late Mr. Joseph manthanath and his seven out of his eight sons along with the thekke manthanathu familly and karackal familly migrated to vellikulangara in thrissur district.

  5. Johncy Panicker Says:

    My familly is still leaving in karimpana a place near kozhippilli and our house name is still manthanathu.

  6. Johncy Panicker Says:

    Thank you JAC ARASAR,
    If you are speeking about Vallikkada Panicker, then it is correct to some extent.. actually the Vallikkada Panicker’s familly was trying to leave to mavelikkara where his syster got married and also his familly members who were known as Mavelikkara nassrani panickers or thekkumkodu panickers ( note: Mar Ivaniose who started the Malankara Catholics community is a member of this familly. His actual name was Geevargees Panicker). He engaged a nair familly to look after his house and the temple of godess valli until he comes back.. But due to some reason the journey ended in mid-way and they stayed in a region known as kozhippilli which is near to koothattukulam.. They left the title Panicker.. They never used it with there name there after…one of his four sons got married and stayed here.. His grand son has four sons and later there houses started to known in four names.. they are thekke manthanam, vadakke manthanam, vadakke koottu and karackal.. in these thekke manthanam was the tharavadu..Also they never .. today none of the familly members of these four families except my familly, that is vadakke manthanam, is living there.. that also it was my grand father Mr. M. J. John or Manthanathu John is the only person who lived in karimpana a place nearer to kozhippilli.. All seven brothers of his along with their parents and the members of thekke manthanam and karackal familly got migrated to vellikulangara near kodakara in thrissur district.. some of them later migrated to wayanadu and kozhikkode districts…

  7. Nadalvan Says:

    The Panickar title was a Pandyan title given to exponents of martial arts. Panickars practised Adimurai the Southern Kalari Payyattu. These Panickers were called Nadappanickan .
    Panickar title was also given to exponents in Medicine and Astronomy. The Warlike Panickers were called Nadappanikkan. Valli was the favorite goddess of Nadars as she was the consort of Tamil god Murugan.
    Valia Thambi Kunju Thambi Kathai Padal written during the life time of Marthanda Varma in 1750s mentions that the Tambimar the sons of the King called Pappu and Raman Thambi who were opponents of Marthandavarma.. Pappu and Raman Thambi were protected by many hundred families of Nadanmar and Panikkanmar given to them by the late king. The King Marthandavarma himself was protected and saved by Ananda Padmanabhan Nadar alias Branthan Chanan. The Ammachi Pilavu where Marthanda Varma hid while the Branthan was fighting the Nair and Kurup army while killing about 30 warriors.
    Maranadu Panicker and Vallikada Panickar were the two families of Nadar warriors from the Nadalvar- Villavar aristocracy who joined the Portuguese in the 15th century in the hope that the Portuguese will help them regain their lost country. The Portuguese promptly converted them. But never helped them against their Tulu enemies.
    After the fall of the Chera and Pandya kingdoms the Pandyan titles were banned in Tamil Nadu by the Madurai Sultanate or Mabar kingdom followed by the Vijayanagara Naickers following the invasion of Malik kafur in 1310 AD. Before 1310 AD Kerala had only Tamil rule. Tamil kings followed Patriarchy (Father to son descendency) Matriarchy, Polyandry or Naga Worship was not known to ancient and medival Tamils of Kerala. After the fall of Chera Kingdom at 1102 AD Northernmost area of Kerala was occupied Tulu people of Bunt community origin from Mangalore. Bunts were the natives of Ahichatra in the Indo Nepalese border who had migrated to Tulunadu during the reign of Kadamba king Mayuravarma in 345 AD according to the Gramapaddathi written by Tulu Brahmins in the ancient times. So after 1314 when all Kerala was ruled by Matriarchal dynasties from Tulunadu the Panickars from old Tamil aristocracy were struggling to preserve their culture.
    Portuguese thought that Tulu Samanthas were Kshatriyas of Kerala and promoted them. But Samanthas Nayaras Menavas and Kurubas were not indigenous to Kerala but natives of Tulunadu . The Samanthas were related to Bunt community of Tulunadu. The ancient Kshatriyas of Kerala were Nadalvar and Villavar aristocracy who were not visible to European eyes because they had been already defeated after the Malik Kafurs invasion in 1310 AD. The European colonialism preserved the primitive Tulu rulers for about 450 years preserving Matriarchy and Polyandry and other customs hated by Dravidian Tamils. http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00routesdata/1700_1799/malabar/cochin/cochin.html
    The Portuguese supported the Tulu invaders while suppressing the Tamils of Kerala who were the original inahbitants of Kerala. The language of Christians in Portuguese era was Tamil.
    http://www.tidsskrift.dk/visning.jsp?markup=&print=no&id=101382
    Only after the British came the Kerala Christians were coerced to abandon the Dravidian Malayalam-Tamil otherwise called Lingua Malabar Tamul and to adopt the Namboothiri language which had a heavy mixture of Sanskrit and written with Tulu writing system.
    http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=863
    Christians of Kerala have suddenly became numerous in the 15th century because of the mass conversion of Tamils of Kerala. The Portuguese soldiers who married among the locals produced a Mulatto or Tupai Christian community of inland Roman catholics. Christians became a major force in Kerala after Portuguese arrival. The Christians never practiced Matriarchy or used Sanskrit prior to the British arrival. However the Portuguese made the Christians of Kerala to support the Cochin King installed by them at Mattanchery.
    The Panickar who fought Marthanda Varma identified himself as Nayaru Mootha Panickar meaning he was a Panickar who preceded Nairs.

  8. Nadalvan Says:

    The Vallikada Panickar family and Pallikamyalil family still survive at parts of Cochin and Moovattupuzha area

    http://expert-eyes.org/palli/panicker.html

  9. Johncy Panicker Says:

    Thank you for your comment Mr. Nadalvan,
    Your comment shows that you have some idea about the valikkada panickers. But much of your claims surrounded with the Panicker Title.. Its true that in Pandya dinasty the kalari teachers of nadar cast have the title panicker. But other thamil dynasties also provided the Panickerships to honour the person for his service to the country and we are given this title by the chola kings. Its true that we are honoured this title for the military service we provided for the king.
    To undrstand the concept correctly i am requesting you to set your mind back to some 11 centuries back.Think about the social status of any person at that time.

    Nadars are very much skilled in southern system of Adi Thada. The first think I would like to explain you is that the kalaripayattu system which the Vallikkada panickers got experted is Thulunadu style not adithada. The proof is that in thulunadu style you can find that the major weapon is spear not sword..I am not saying in thulunadu style swords are no using or in southern system spears are not using ..But the use of spear in thulunadu style is most and the student has to expertise very much in this for for completion. If you analyze the kalari stsems proprlly u can find this difference. The thulunadu style consider spear as the prominent or major weapon, northern systems consider Urumi or chuttuval and for the southern system its the sword.
    If we are of nadar cast then we would always like to serve pandya kings. But we first served cholas and then we came to the vadakkumkoor whome you can say some connections with pandyas. The way we travelled to kerala is from the northside and not through the southern part. In kerala we first stayed at kodungalloor. Its the chola kings who brought us to kerala when they captured the chera kingdome and started to rule from kodungalloor. From the hystory of kerala you can see tha kodungalloor has a very much importance in encient kerala as it was an important port area. Here we were mainly served as the tax collectors for the cholas.
    When the cheras recapured kerala from cholas in around 12-13th century there arise a situation that we have to leave kodungalloor since we served for cholas. so we moved southwise to vadakkumkoor through boat way. its evident that if you travelled through the moovattupuzha river u can reach kodungalloor.. We went to vadakkumkoor because the vadakkumkoor and thekkumkoor rajas have some thamil connections as they have some connections with pandyas. In vadakkumkoor we reached a place which is now known as vallikada since we leaved there. This area is comes near the Avoli village and the shore of moovattupuzha river. While coming from kodungalloor this is the last spot where the boat can reach, you can no move further because of the dangerous rocks standing in the river. In vadakkumkoor we are honoured by the king by making him as the captain of the vadakkumkoors army and also we are allowed to teach kalari. Apart from kalari we are skilled in Thouchusastram, Manthravadam,ect. Also we are allowed to teach language and we were given a Narayam (The metalic pen used to write on palm leaves) on which is wounded by a silver strap. It is not given to everybody. The person who have a very higher social status can have this.
    Now about christianity.. In kerala we were the first and only christian familly who have the panickership upto the starting of 17 century. We got converted to christianity when were staying at kodungalloor. The proofs showcasing this claim are…
    1. The panickerveetil Panickers of mavelikkara were of the same familly of the vallikkada panickers. They are claiming that they were moved from arakkuzha ( the place which hold avoli village and vallikada) in 12-1 century. They are also claiming that before moving to arakuzha all the familly members got converted to christianity. Its posiible because its not necessary that even if one person of the famill got converted then all other members also gets convered.
    2. You must be knowing about the hystorical event of udayamperoor sunnahadose or the synod of dyamper. It happened in the last of 16th century with the portugees and the arkadeakon of pakalomattom familly. In that the arkadeakon went to the synode in udayamperoor church with an army of 100 soldiers which was led by the panicker brothers of vallikada familly.
    3. If we were got converted to christianity by the portugees then we should join the catholic christianity. But we stood with the malankara orthodox christians. only one brother of the famous vallikada panicker of the war with thiruvithamkoor (this is because all the familly men of vallikada familly are known as vallikada panickers from the time when we got possition in vadakkumkoor) accepted catholic christianity that also syrian session. He is known as the karakunnathu panicker. They were for brothers one settled in karakkunnam near kothamangalam, one in kadamattom and known as kadamattathu panicker, the panicker who stayed in vallikkada is the yougest of the four and he is the hero of the war against thiruvithamkoor..so except the karakkunnathu panicker all other stood behind the arkadeakon..the karakunnathu panicker also got converted in the middle of the 18th century..
    3. We left the church in which we have a mojor involvement and position (the holy mass starts only after the Vallikada Panicker comes) since it got to the catholic side and later also we used to attend holly mass in vadakara church which is under orthodox christians( jacobite and malankara orthodox included).

    • The ancient Tamils carried Vel to war which was also the weapon of Murugan. Vetti Vel Veera Vel was the Tamil war cry.
      Tulunadu was also ruled by an ancient Pandyan kingdom called Alupas or Alupa Arasu. Tulu Pandyan kingdom was ruled by Nadalvar or Nadava (who have become a sub caste of their former slaves the Bunts). Tulu nadu relied on Nepalese army of Bunts who might not have learned Kalari after their arrival to Tululnadu.
      All the different styles of Kalari come from ancient Tamil Panickars.
      The Syrian Christians never practised Matriarchy.Neither they wrote with Tulu script as Nambudiris did nor they talked any Sanskrit word prior to the establishment of Kottayam seminary in the 1815s. The British taught the Mestizo-Syrian-Tamil community who were using Malayalam-Tamil or Lingua Malabar Tamil till then the Nambudiris language ie Sankrit-Tulu language written with Tulu Script.

      The Bunts (Samantha Nayara Menava Kuruba Mararu) who establised their rule in Kerala after 1310 were not strong poeple but luckly they had the support of Arabs, Delhi Sulthanate and colonial European rulers.

      Panickars belonged to the greater Villavar community of the Chera and Pandyan kingdoms to which Nadars belong. Tamil Villavar-Nadalv ar community is now almost extinct. But once the Villavar people dominated the whole of India. Nadappanickans are mentioned ibooks from Travancore the Vaila Thambpi Kunjuthambi Kadaippadal. Panickkan is an old Tamil title for the Martial arts trainers. Most of the Tamil titles were banned in Tamil Nadu after the Malik Kafur (1310) invasion and Naicker invasion (1376). Similarly the Old Tamil festivals such as Onam or Thiruvonam mentioned in Madurai Kanchi were banned in Tamil Nadu but survived in Kerala.

      Tamil Villavar people along with Ayar (Ay) ruled the Chera kingdom. Vellala (PIllai) another prominent Tamil group had been the feudal rulers called Vels. The internecine rivalry between Vellala and and Villavar brought and end to Chera kingdom itself. Tulu invaders of Bunt people (Nayara Menava Samantha are sub castes) who had the support of Arabs established a Tulu kingdom at Kannoor (Kolathiri kingdom) in the 12th century. Some Vellala Pillai and some Villava Panickars joined the Tulu Nayara Menava and Samantha and beceame antagonistic to Tamils.
      Panickars Pillais and Nadar (Nadalvar-Villavar) are old Tamil Titles now often integrated with ethnically different people.
      Panikckar is an ancient title.
      Portuguese priests mostly resided in Kodungalloor, Melur, Angalmaly Paravur Arthunkal and Cochin. Portuguese organised their army using the Panickars who had there own private armies and martial schools. Tthe military houses were called Padayatil. The training places were callled Painedathu (Pailunna Idathau). Portuguese who established their miltary supremacy in Kerala using panickars promoted Lingua Malabar Tamul or Malayalam -Tamil, and Chavittu Natakam a Tamil art form. The Jesuits who had printed lakhs of copies of Portuguese and Tamil Christian literature for the Christians of Kerala. In the 16th century except a handful of Paravas of Tuticorin Christiantiy did not exist among Tamils. Since the Portuguese aristocracy lived inland cultivating and trading Pepper the Mestizo blood is more seen among the inland Christian community. But the Portuguese policy of supporting the aliern Tulu-Nepalese (Ahichatra) culture of Matriarchal kings of Kerala led to the decline of Tamil culture in Kerala. Graduallly Pillais (Velllalas) Panickars and Nadars lost their Tamil identity and joined either Chrisitians or Tulu invaders. Colonial rule exterminated most of the Tamils in the later period.
      During the Marthandavarmas period the Ettuveetil Pillamar, the Tamils who had joined the Tulu aristocracy resented the dominance of Kolathiri of Kannur and tried to abolish Matriarchy but failed. The Villavar people of Travancore strangely supported the Marthanda Varma who had been adopted from Koalthunadus (Kannur) Tulu kingdom. Villavars under the Branthan Chanan were supporting Marthandavarma at the same time as Vallikada Panickar was opposing Marthandavarma. When Marthanda Varma won the war with the help of Chanars he exiled the Ettuveetu Pillamar to Maldives and sold their women to fishermen. Instead of being grateful to Nadars Marthanda Varma made them outcastes. Thus all the Tamil resistance to the Tulu Rule had been neutralised. British were behind the Marthandavarmas effort to oust Dutch from Kulachal in 1747 who supplied him with 500 Marava soldiers . Because of British patronage to Christians Vallikada Panickar escaped Marthanda Varmas wrath. Syrian Christians were behind the British official machinary and were appointed as judges. When British tried to control Kerala using a Syrian Christian from Alangadu called Mathu Tharakan in 1806 civil war under Velu Thampi Thalava broke out. However British made peace with the Matriarchal Tulu aristocracy and ruled Kerala using Syrian christians and Tamil and Telugu Brahmins from Madras.

    • Kodungaloor was the last Chera Capital. The Chera kingdom was ruled by Villavar-Nadlavar people. Similarly Kottayam was the second capital of Pandyan kingdom which was situated equidistant from Madurai Tenkasi (ancient Royal house of Pandyans) and Kodungaloor, the Chera Capitall. Chera and Pandyan kingdoms were ruled by Tamils who followed Patriarchal descendency like other Dravidians. Panickars might have belonged to Moovattupuzha or Kodungalooor. But Panickars were found in all the Tamil territories. However no evidence for the existence of Christian Panickars prior to Portuguese arrival exist. During the Later Chera kingdom (800-1102 AD) Christianity was not known religeon to Villlavar people in that era. Dravdians never converted to Christiantiy prior to Friar Jordanus who converted many in Quilon to Latin Catholicism in the 14th century.
      Christianity suddenly emerged as a major force when the Portuguese organised a Tamil army in the 16th century.

      The Tamil Chera Villavar kingdoms had came to an end at 1102 AD.Keralolpathy mentions the invasion of Kerala by a Tulu prince called Kulasekhara a brother of Tulu King Kaviraja Singham (Kavi Alupendra) with a large Nair army under Pada Mala Nair. However the Kingdom was not ruled by Tulu Pandyan kings but the Bunt/Nairs who practised Matriarchy. The Tamil Chera kingdom was shifted to Venad and where they mixed with Ay kingdom and survived till the invasion of Malik Kafur till 1310. After the invasion of Malik Kafur in 1310 all the Keralas kingdoms were occupied by Matriarchal Tulu dynasties.
      Tamils were stilll remained powerful when Portuguese came.
      The Panickars, among Tamils were recruited to train the Portuguese army in warfare.

  10. Now come to the social status of vallikkada panickers.
    1. They were allowed to wear the poonool and munkudumi. encient times christians of keral used to wear poonool like brahmins. But not by evryone.Its used to wear only by those peaple who has a very high social status and a greater familly background has to claim.
    2. Important point is that he used to give moonoonu means used to give sadya for three times for any function of his house. The first one is for the Brahmins and Kshatriyas, second for christines and third for religiosly lowercast. Its evident that around 7-8th century the brahmanism and cast system arrived in kerala. when the cast system started to grow so rudelly the nadar cast considered as the lowercast. Only the Brahmins, kshatriya, nair, syrian christines, kurups,etc. are considered as the upperclass. That also if the christian person if he is got converted from any lower cast then the other upperclass has some itching in their mind. They will not ready to sit with him or to enter his house. Sometimes not even talk to him. Just think about the situation existed in those tiimes..If you analyse it with the present situation you cannt see the difference.
    3. In the arakuzha church he was known as vallikkada panicker achan. If he is just converted from a lower cast then no need to call him using the achan phrase. In those days the achan is using with a persos name only if he has an ariyan back ground. Otherwise Vallikkada Panicker is enough to represent him. Note that in churches also the fathers are known as kathanar in those days..

    • Kerala was ruled by Villavar-Nadalvar king of the Chera Dynasty. The Chera king himself was called Villavarkon ie King of Villavars. Various subcastes of Villavars are Villavar Vanavar Malayar Pazuvettaraiyar and Eyinar. Chera and Pandyan kings were often addressed with these titles too. Nadars as well as Chera and Pandyan dynasties were Dravidians and did not wear Poonool. Kulasekhara Varman the founder of the Second Chera Dynasty itself belonged to the Pandyan kingdom and was married to Pandyan princess. Cheras, Paandyas and Alupas Pandyan kings had the common title Kulasekhara.
      The Portuguese misunderstood Dravidian culture. Many Syrian Christians repeat what the Portuguese priests told them. Dravidians did have caste system . But only thing nothing is there to suggest that in the Later Chera Dynasty or the Pandyan kingdom Non-Dravidians had any role.
      Tharisappalli Sasanam was issued to Syrian Mar Sapir Eso by the Tamil Ay King Ayyanadikal Thiruvadikal. Tamil Ay ruler beknighted few foreigne Syrian Christians from Syria-Iraq (Assyrian Kingdom) by granting privileges and allowed them to build a Church at Tharisalppalli. But it does not mean that all the Iraqis or Syrian Christians were accepted as a high caste by Dravidian Tamils of Chera-Ai kingdoms. In the Tharisappalli Sasanam promised that Channa Thalai (Tax collectors -Nadars) wont bother him, Theeamolavar the police inspectors wont disturb the foreign merchants . Tharaisappalli Sasanam also mentions Ezhava and Vellalas but not Nairs or Nambudiris. The Alupas Pandyan kingdom was the enemy country of Cheras .
      http://www.thrikodithanam.org/mural.htm
      Thrikoditahanam inscription was the first inscription to mention Nair presence as Temple drummers in Kerala. Nairs were not Tamils but Nagas from Nepal while the Chera Dynasty which ruled Kerala until 1102 was ethnic Tamils. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Aryan Nambudiris and foreign Syrian Christians or Nairs held any position abouve ethnic Tamil Villavars who were the rulers of Chera kingdom. Even Maveli could be a ancient Pandyan king.
      http://kanjnjirappallikkaran.blogspot.com/2010/12/blog-post.html
      Nadalvar-Villavar ruled the Chera and Pandyan countries.
      The Tulu invasion by one Tulu prince called Kulasekhara with Arab support occured perhaps at 1102 as mentioned in the Keralolpathy.. After this period a Matriarchal kingdom was established at Kannur. However the dominance of Bunt/Nairs will start only after the invasion of Malik Kafur in 1310 which displaced all the Tamil Kingdoms of Kerala.
      The high position of Syrian Christians above the Dravidians come only after the Portuguese colonial period. The Syrian Mapillas organised a Tamil army for the Portuguese under the Vallikada Panickers. Many of the Syrian Christian family names are actually in medival Tamil indicating their military postion in the Portuguese army, for eg Padayattil and Painedathu etc.
      Panickar title was not used by Tulu Pandyan Alupas dynasty. Panickar Villavar Nadalvan Pillai (Vellala) are the titles used by Chera and Pandyan Tamil dynasties. (Tulus had the title Samantha Ajila Vittala Nayara Menava and Kuruba etc) . Tulunadu was never had equal status with Chera or Pandyan kingdoms. The Tulu people became prominent kerala because of their powerful patrons, the Arabs, Delhi Sulthanate and the European Colonial rulers.
      At the Udayamperoor sunnahadose or the synod of dyamper Vallikada Panickar must be present as the chief of the Portuguese army. Druing tthe Portuguese period ie between 1498 to 1660 all were Catholics. Nestorian Christianiry practised by the original Syrian Mapillas was abandoned during this period. As the Portuguese soldiers had numeruous Slaves, mistressses and wives strong Portuguese Mestizo community who practised catholicism had evolved. These inland Christian community called themselves to differentiate from the coastal Latin Cathoilics.

      • The three subgroups of this Portuguese Mestizo community were Mestizo (mixed Eurasian) Castizo (white blood) and Toepass (mostly native blood). The Panickar families as well as the Syrian Mapillas were integrated into this system and were Catholics in that period. The Mestizos were not allowed to travel beyond Cape of Good hope to Europe. Christians were established as a community in the Portutguese period.

        http://books.google.co.in/books?id=LFy4pWUlnfwC&pg=PA161&lpg=PA161&dq=mestizo+castizo+cochin&source=bl&ots=e17Q8D38OD&sig=qFZjLX8bpvjosi_T6Ox3xXZtyH0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=iJP3TreJNZHMrQevvM2yBQ&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=mestizo%20castizo%20cochin&f=false

        Mesttizos were owning vast estates during the Portuguese period. They owned Slaves and were considered higher than Nairs. The Portuguese supported the weak Cochin king witth this ragtag Christian army. With this Christian army Portuguese succeeded in subjugating the Villavars and other Tamils. In the war with the Dutch in 1660 this Mestizo army took part.
        Chavittu Natakam written in Tamil by a Chinnathambi Annavi was the chief entertainment during this period. The Portuguese printed books in Tamil for the Christians of Kerala in the same period.

        http://img.kb.dk/tidsskriftdk/pdf/ffo/ffo_1993_32-PDF/ffo_1993_32_101382.pdf

        Vallikada Panickar was part of this Tamil community. as he could not have understood the Syriac Litulurgy. The Mestizo + Syrian Mappillas + Panickars with their Tamil army make the inland Chrisitian community who practised Catholicism. The Mestizo-Syrians enjoyed a higher status because they were rulers during the Portuguese period. Thus Nadappanikkans who joined the Portuguese soon brought an end to the Villavar Tamil people in Kerala.

        After Portuguese left in 1660 some Catholics of Kerala joined the Syro – Malabar Catholic sect under the invitation of the Pope in 1662. Similarly other Roman Catholics adopted the Western rights by joining the Jacobite Syrian Sect of Antioch – Turkey when a preist called Abraham of Jerusalem was sent by the Patriarch of Antioch at 1665 AD and were known as Syro-Malankara. The reason why Syrians+Mestizo+ Tamil Panickar Christian community opted for Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara sects befause the Dutch practised Protestantism which was not acceptable to the Roman Catholinc Syrian community.

        The Vallikada Panickars might have served the Vadakkumkoor kingdom which was a protectorate of the Dutch. Vallikada Panickar was fighting the Marthanda Varma with the help of Dutch. But the British who supported Marthandavarma with Marava Tamil soldiers easily ousted Dutch from Kulachal in 1742. Vallikada Panickar without the Dutch Patronage had no option other than to surrender.

        Many Syrian Panickar familes exhibit Europaean traits as well as Semitic features and may not be considered as Draviidian Nadappanikkans at present.

      • Johncy Panicker Says:

        Nadalvan,
        To find the social status given to syrian christianes before portugees i recomend you to just go through the 72 privilages given to us through copper cheppeds. Even in the copper chepped given by the ay king to Mar Sapor Eso is also mentioning about the privillages which are allowed to us previouselly. These privillages include to wear poonool and munkudumi also dress like a brahmin, our ladies are allowed to cover their breasts, the christine soldiers were allowed to carry the weapon always( this is a unique privillage given to christines only since even hindu forward cast does not allowed to carry weapon always ), lighten stone lambs before our churches, celebrate the festivals like that in a temple,etcc. like this there are 72 privillages are there which clearilly shows that our status was simillar to forward cast and almost simillar to brahmins. All these copper plates are pre 10th century. anyhow the hystorians has various views on the presence of brahmins in kerala. the widelly accepeted view is that they were came to a dominent posission during the 6-8 century AD. and the brahminical cat system started in kerala during this period.

        While speeking about Vallikkada Panickers again and again you are making me to ask the same questions for which you don’t have any answer. If vallikkada panicker was converted to christianity by the portugees then why didn’t he supported latine rite like other converts. Even the syro-malabar section were not converts , they were the syrian christines or nasranis of that time whome the portugees made under there control.

        In the udayam peroor sunnahadose (which you need to make a close view) there is no mentioning about any panicker on the behalf of the portugees bishop john de menezes. But you can see that there was two young men who were given the panickership and made as the chief of the vadakkumkoor army, who lead the army of 100 nasrani soldiers to support the arkadeakon (not that it is arkadeakon not arch deacon). They entered the sunnahadose with the sords in hands (ie, ” ooripidicha valumayi”). These two panickers were from Vallikkada familly. So if we supported portugees then it is sure that we will try to make the entire nasrani( syrian christines) under the portugees. But here we supported arkadeakon. Also
        it is true that there was a 60 years of rule over the syrian christines by the portugees, but it doesnot means that they were catholics. It was by power they took the control but our liturgy and worship remains the same. The control means they took only the physical administration not any other administration. The koonen kurisu sathyam was an outcome of this. By this physical administration it means that only there bishops can control the church property and church. They didnot allowed any persian bishops to enter into the land of malankara during that time.

        I dont know whether you are a christine or not and if you are a christine then which sect you are belonging to (sect means latine -rite, Syro-malabar, Syro-malankara, Jacobyte and orthodox, csi, etc). Anyhow you need to go through such things in detail while making statements regarding such hystorical matters. Also you need to give me answer on why did us (means vallikkada panickrs ) supported arkadeakon if they were converted to christine by portugees ? and also why did we accepted the syrian christianity rather than latine -rite?

    • Johncy Panicker Says:

      also you mentioned about the mestizo comminty. But it does not show that all the christines of kerala were under this group. If it was so then there will be a wide practice of the western chritine methods in kerala churches. Also one more thing, the syro-malabar and syrian orthodox split occured during the portugees period only. It was not after the portugees. Only the bishops from middle east restarted to come to malankara after the portugees.
      Also it is a false notation that mentioning all the syrian christines as catholics since the syrian orthodox( both todays jacobytes and orthodox) sects never accepted the suppremacy of pope or catholicsm. Even the koone cross oath itself was against the suppremecy of western chritines.

    • The Syrian Merchants from Persia were indeed given privileges by the Tamil Kings belonging to Villavar Ay aristocracy of Kerala. The privileges were given by Dravidian Tamil kings who were ruling Chera kingdom and Venad at 825 AD. Nadars are Tamil Villavars. European missionaries did not understand Dravidian culture so are the Syrian Christians. Till 1310 only Villavar-Nadalvar kingdoms existed in Kerala. All the Kerala Temples were built by these Villavar rulers except few. You will see only Tamil inscriptions written in Tamil Vatteluthu in all these temples. The Chera king himself was called Villavar Kon. Kottayam was a city founded by the Pandyan kings. Pandy and Pandanad are still places near Changanacherry. Nelkinda or Necynda was the ancient Pandyan capital at Niranam or Kottayam. Purakkad was the Pandyan port.
      In the Tamil Dravidian kingdoms Aryan Brahmins such as Nambudiris who originally migrated from Ahichatra in the Indo-Nepalese border to Tulunadu, worked as priests in Tamil temples. Tulu Brahmins such as Nambudiris were not ethnically related to Tamils and the Tulunadu itself was enemy territory. Nambudiris appeared in Kerala after the repeated attacks and occupation by Challukyas in the 8th century. The Brahmins were indeed working in Dravidian Temples of Chera kingdom as priests. They were indeed respected but they did not have dominance during the Tamil period till 1310 AD. Christianity itself was not a known religeon to the Dravidian Tamils of Kerala in the ancient times. Ancient Tamil Sangam Literature never mentioned Christianity or Syrian Chrisitians.
      Tharisappalli Sasanam given by the Venads Tamil ruler of Ay Kingdom Ayyandikal Thiruvadikal at 825 AD is the only authentic Syrian Christian document. But the second was fake or a latterday copy as opined by Elamkulam Kunjan Pilla. Tharisappalli Sasanam mentions privileges given to Syrian immigrant including Mor Sapir Esho. Mar Sapir Esho and others had signed the Tharisappalli sasansm in three languages Hebrew Kufic (Palestinian) and Pahlavi (Persian) indicating their diverse origins.
      Immigrant Pepper merchants given status of Tulu Brahmins is European created nonsense. What the foreign immigrant Syrians were given was the common privileges then enjoyed by the Tamil Aristocrats of the Chera and Venad Kingdoms. What the Syrian Christians enjoyed between 825 AD to 1310 were Dravidian privileges. When the seaways were dominated by the Arabs from Iraq some of the Iraqi Syrian Christians migrated from Bhagdad to Kerala. These Christian merchants were welcomed by Tamil kings because they were pepper brokers to whom the Tamil kings sold pepper. The Syrians were also allowed to hold the title Chetty (trader) and also the title Tharakan(Broker). Since the Syrians married among the local girls they were commonly called Mapillas (Son in laws) or Nasrani(Christian) Mapillas similar to the other middle eastern immigrants. Syrians have forgotten that they were given once refuge by the Tamil Villavar-Nadalvar kings.In 1310 all the Tamil Villavar-Ay and Pandyan kingdoms came to an end when Malik Kafur invaded. However Tamil remained the language of Kerala when Portuguese came to Kerala. The Portuguese Syrian-Mestizo-Tamil Christian army actually fought against the Tamils in Kerala. The Portuguese supported the minority Tulu Samantha/Nair rulers belonging to the Bunt community of tulunadu(Bunts migrated from Ahichatra in the Indo-Nepalese border at 345 AD during the life time of Kadamba ruler Mayuravarma) . When Portuguese came Malayalam-Tamil or Lingual Malabar Tamul or Malayanma was the language of Kerala. After successive colonial rules of Portuguese and Dutch the Villavar Tamils became an absolute minority in Kerala. During the British period the Villavar Tamil people were nothing but slaves among whom many were converted to Christianity by the European missionaries. The Colonial rulers were explicitly anti Dravidian. British banned Malayalam-Tamil, Malayanma and forced the Keralaites to adopt the Tulu-Sankrit language of Nambudiris written with Tulu Script. British succeeded in destroying all the books written in Malayanma the traditional language of Kerala prior to their arrival.
      Brahmanical caste system did not exist in Dravidian kingdoms as claimed by Brahmins and Europeans. Brahmins were respected Aryans. They were called Aryars or Ayyars.
      When Portuguese came in 1498 with 150 sailors to Kerala. Kerala had been already under the Tulu Samantha/Nair rulers. Since the Bunts (Bunta or Bonded) had been brought to Karnataka from Nepal as slaves they were not allowed to marry hence Matriarchy a Himalayan custom existed among themselves. Villavar-Nadalvar people never practised Matriarchy like other Tamils. The Portuguese initally tried to organise the indigenous Tamil Villavar people and to establish a Christian kingdom called Villavar Vattom. Vilar Vattom or Belarte is still found in the Portuguese records. The Portuguese recruited Tamil Villavars including the Vallikada Panickars to fight for themselves. Panickar title itself a title of ancient Pandyan martial art trainer. However Panickars are very low in hierarchy. Maran or Mara Nadar, Adityan (Lord Sivanthi (suicidal army Chaver) Nadalvar Kotha Vallabhan Maveli Nelveli Enathi Villavar and Pazhuvettaraiyar are various titles of Villavar people. Panickar means only a Kalari trainer, quite low in Chera hierarchy.
      Till Portuguese arrival only few thousand immigrant Syrian christians whose population had been augmented by the latin converts by Jordanus catalini in the 14th century. The recruitment of Tamil army by the Portuguese and establishment of a Mestizo community by the Portutguese made Chrisitnity a major religeon in Kerala. Each Portuguese solder had numerous mistressess, Slaves and Wives. This lead to the establishment of a Christian colony within 30 years of their arrival. All the Syrian Christians under Portuguese were Catholics including those under the Arch Deacon or Arka Deacon. Not even a single Syrian Christian or Mestizo had to undergo inquisition in Kerala because all were loyal Catholics. Syrian-Mestizo-Tamil formed the latterday Syrian Christian community.
      Prior to Portuguese arrival only Nestorian Christians under Eastern Orthodoxy existed in Kerala. Syro-Malabar (Catholic) sect was founded only after the Portuguese left in 1662 when Pope send an emissary. Similarly Syro-Malankara (Jacobite) was founded only in 1665 when some of the Mestizo-Syrian-Tamil inland Catholics joined the Antiochean Patriarchate of Turkey. Syro-Malankara gave birth to Orthodox Jacobite and Marthoma sects latter. The Oriental Orthodoxy or Jacobite
      The Portuguese Mestizos practised Slavery and encouraged the Christians to practice slavery too. The Portuguese priests pretended to be Brahmins and wore brahmin attire. Roberto Nobili, an Italian priest who pretended to be Brahmin was however beheaded by the Marava king of Ramnad.
      http://ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-voices/16th-and-17th-century-ignatian-voices/robert-de-nobili-sj/
      http://arunshourie.voiceofdharma.com/articles/roman.htm

      Wherever they went the Portuguese adopted the local customs and pretended they were local royalty or Shamans. Brazil, Macao etc. Keralas Syrian Christians who display mixed European Middle Eastern and Dravidian physical features were encouraged to pretend to be Brahmins.

      Kochi Quilon and Nagapattinam (Velankanni) were the strongholds of the Mestizo army. Velankanny and Poondy churhces were built by the Portuguese in similar style as Keralas Churches. The Portuguese community at Velankanny was evicted by the Naicker rulers who were irritated by the Portuguese habit of plundering the Hindu temples in 1600s. The yearly pilgrimage to Velankanni started after this.
      The Tamils who joined the Mestizo-Syrian destroyed the Dravidian culture itself in Kerala. Vallikada Panickar who with Dutch support tried to oppose the British which was the last feeble attempt by the Tamils against the British. The British supported the Syrian Christians while destroying the remnants of old Tamil culture. Nadar community in Kerala shrank from 8.4 percent in 1836 in the Travancore Cochin census to 3.1 percent in the1940 census. Marthoma a new Protestant sect might have absorbed many Villava Nadars.

    • During the Portuguese period the Christians were encouraged to adopt Hindu customs as the Portuguese and Italian missionaries such as Robert Nobili were pretending to be Brahmin. The European colonial rulers never understood Dravidian culture.
      The Tulu tribes such as Nambudiris Bunts/Nairs are migreants from Nepal / Ahichatra in the Uttarpradesh and might have had Aryan Caste system. The Bunt/Nairs might be related to Newa people of Nepal and ethnically not related to Dravidians. The Tulu kings fearing attacks by the Tamil kings of Chera kingdom brought slaves from Nepal to be trained as warriors. The Bunta or Buntaru of Karnataka are Nagas brought from Ahichatra as mentioned in the Gramapaddathi a book written by Tulu Brahmins. These Buntu/Nairs were Sudras who were not allowed to marry and the children were forced to live with mothers so a system of Matriarchy. Bands of Bunts/Nairs were led to south india by the Aryan Brahmins of Uttarkhand (Nambudiris and Shivally Brahmins). Brahmins acted as leaders of the Naga Nair/Bunt people. Because of this the Nambudiris refused to accept the Bunt/Nair rulers as Kshatriyas and preferred to call them as Sudras. The Bunt/Nair ascendencey in Kerala occured only after the invasiion of the Malik Kafurs army in the 1310 and not earlier. Prior to the period the Nambudiris did serve as priests but the country was ruled by Villavar Tamil Kings. The Dravidian Villavar/Ay aristocracy had much higher status than any immigrant Brahmins or Nagas from Ahichatra. Tharisappalli Sasanam and Grant was given by Tamil king Ayyanandikal Thiruvadikal which mentions Vellala, Ezhava, Channathalai (Tax Collectors) and Theeamyalvar (Police officers) but not Nairs or Namboodiris.

      European coloniall rulers supported the Tulu people (the Bunt/Nairs and Nambudiris) against the Tamils. During the colonial rule the Nambudiris and Nairs enjoyed higher status. Equal status or higher status was enjoyed by Mestizo-Syrian-Tamil Chrisitan army of the Portuguese . While the Tulu domniance and Matriarchy came to Kerala only after 1310 after the invasion Delhi Sulthanate the Mestizo dominance came only after the establishment of colonial rule in the 16th century.

      Thus Kerala has Aryans/ Nagas who migrated from Uttarpradesh Nepal Border. Kerala also has lot of Christians who descend from Iraqi Syrian Christians and Portuguese Mestizos and Tamils. Both these groups are not ethnically related

  11. Also valli is the favourite godess of nadar cast but its not like that only nadars used to workship her. It was present in the mst of the thamil area,even today u can see the concept with sri lankan thamilians also.
    The main thing is the vallikada panicker got the name valli beacause he came to kerala from a villiage of valli where godess valli was the patron godess. He also known as Vallikombu panicker. The term kombu represnts a village or desam.
    One more thing is that the hystorians has different claimings about the motherland of vallikkada panickers..Some says its from encient bangal, some says its from orrisa are, some says somewhere in andhra near to the bay of bangal. In the familly study made by the karakunnathu paanicker familly claims that we are originally from orissa. we left orissa when the area began to influensed by the budhism in around 345 AD. They claim that we were of brahmin cast who later lost the brahmin social status. Anyhow its a long way we travelled to thamilnadu and from there to kerala since it was a time where there was no motor vehicle or clear roads for travelling..It will Take centuries and generations to reach the south. The generation who started will not reach the destination ..
    Also i can agree in one thing is that we came to keralawith the idol of godess valli as per my knowledge. and in vadakkumkoor the vallikada is actually formed from vallikadavu which has two aspects.one the panicker from valliombu second he came with the idol of valli..he done the prathiksta of the idol near his house and has a kalari near it. As per my knowledge it was valli who served as the paradevatha of our kalari. But normally in kalaries of kerala it is either shiva or kali. Even today the temple made by us is still there in vallikada and it is a kali temple. So i dont have much idea about what happened in between because we left the area some 240 years back soon after the wars with thiruvithamkoor.

    Also one morething i would like to inform you that if you found the information from wickipeadia or any other websites the information is based on a familly site of pallikkamyalil familly who claims that we gave our land to their famiily before we left the place..Any how they also have some knowledge of vallikakada panicker as he is still the hero of that place. The guy name Roy he also wounded the claims around the panickership the vallikada panicker has. Most of them believes that this title used to give by the pandyas to the nadar cast only. They are not aware about others.

    Also the importants of vallikada panicker in hystory is high as he was the captain of the only army who really defeated the marthanda varma’s army. But most of the hystorians who tried to pleasee thiruvithamkoor by swallowing the story of defeat and the effort of ramayyan delava to catch the vadakkumkoor kings brother. They just shoecased that the sodiers surrendered before war.
    In such situation the words of my fore father has importance..He replied to the king of thiruvihamkoor (Most probably BalaramaVarmma) when king asked him about his cast as ” Nayaru Mootha Panicker” which means my cast is more than that of a nair panicker.
    The others (like nadar christines and others) are going through the hystory of vallikkada paicker because the social status he entertained and they have knowledge of the Panicker title given to nadar warriors.

    I think these informations will give you a clear idea of my forefather The Vallikada Panicker.

    • Panickar title was that of Pandyan kingdoms. The Chera Dynasty is ethnically closely related to Pandyas and used the same Panickans to train their soldiers. Paniakkara is a place near Tuticorin where they originally practised.

      Some Panickars might have joined the Nayars but mostly the Panickan title was used by Non-Tamil ethnically different Tulu Dynasties who had occupied the Chera Kingdom in 1310.

      Nadappanickans were Dravidian Tamils from earlier Pandyan dynasty and ethnically were not related to Syrian Mapillas but integrated to it during the Portuguese colonial period after his conversion to Christianity.

      • johncy panicker Says:

        also one thing i forgotten to mention here..the christine families also used to get the panicker title..Only those families who used to teach kalarippayattu were given the title…if you make a close view then you can find that there are many other christine families with the panicker title(I am not metioning about the panicker title given by marthandavarmma..After he stoped the wars the royal treasury became vacant and to make money there is an idea brought by ramayyan delava, to give the panickership,tharakanship,etc to those who were ready to pay money..leave it)..there are several christine families who took participated in wars..In the copper chepped itself is mentioning about christines carrying weapons..even some namboodiri families also have the title…

        one more thing i completelly forgotten to mention that one of my friend who is a brahmin caste who gave his house name as “Valli nilayam”..when i asked him about this then he said me that it was because thir familly diety(“Kudumba paradevatha”) is godess Valli..which shows that not only nadar caste but some brahmin families also there who worships godess Valli..Anyhow I believe that the concept of godess valli is one of the oldest concepts as like god murugan, but when the aryanised hinduism became prominent then may be she lost her importance from most of the parts of india…

  12. Johncy Panicker Says:

    Also the pallikamyalil familly claims that they were the tenents of vallikada panickers.

  13. johncy panicker Says:

    Also lord subramanya or muruga or karthikeya is not only worshiped in thamilnadu. You can find the karthikeya concept in north india also. But yes in south indian tradition subramanyan is married , he have two wives. Generally in north indian concept he is a bachelor. But in some areas like orissa, west bangal, and some other places he is a familly man ,he married to devasena. This you can see in brahmapurana also. Skanda purana also says the same thing.
    But yes the consept of valli is only in south india, that also in the areas like thamilnadu, encient thulu nadu, some part of andhra pradesh and some areas of kerala. Anyhow the our connection with the valli is not clear yet.But the social status and the privilages enjoyed by my familly was really high and very wast. And it is my familly members who were the only christians with panickerships upto the first half of 17th century.

    • Murugan is an ancient Tamil God worshipped by Nadars throughout ages. Valli and Deivanai are the consorts of Dravdiain God Murugan. Murugan Valli and Deivanai are worshipped only in the Tamil world (South India, Malaysia Singapore etc). Even in those days when Madurai Sultans/ Naickers outlawed and exiled Nadars in the 14th century Thiruchendur Murugan temple was the favorite place of Nadars.
      Muruga the Tamil god was identified with Subhramanya in the later days. In the North India however Valli is not known as Goddess. Because Subhramanya was a bachelor in the Aryan mythology.

  14. Johncy Panicker Says:

    It also evident that the concepts of valli and murugan are pre-brahminic in south india. Even in south india there are many places whose name simillar to valli from ancient times itself. Vallipuram people of jafna says that they were migrated to this place from vallipuram of todays thanjavur district in the sangam period of BC. simillerlly in south india there are several places existed or still remained with names starting with or named as valli. this includes andhra pradesh, karnataka, kerala,thamilnadu and also in some parts of sri lanka and malaya penisuala.

    Also it is evident that the godesses in south india have their names ending with valli, like karpoora valli which is parvathi or shakthi as per south indians, nagavalli again shakthi, anadavalli is lakshmi, amodavalli again lakshmi, etc. These concepts are pre-brahminic and adopted by the brahmins as the incarnations or another name of brahminic godesses. If you observed carefully there are a lot of local dieties of sangam erra or before that, got adopted by the brahmins just like these godesses. these godesses are as per south experience mainlly different forms of shakthi as shakthi, subramanya, pillaiyar are the mostly worshiping godes and shiva in the name of rudra also have some importance during that time. He is worshiped as the diety of mahamari that is flooding and thunder.
    These godesses are not only worshiped by nadars but also by savarnas also. Even i have namboothiri friends whose house name itself as vallinilayam because their main diety and kula devatha is valli only. Even today you can see many worshipers of valli in thulu areas like uduppi, kodagu,etc where she is worshiped as their grama devatha or as kula devatha. So we cannot state that valli is mostly worshiped by nadars because she is the wife of subramanyan. One more thing is that even with in nadars also their main dieties were shiva,subramanya and bhadrakali in encient times. The people who worshiping valli was very minimal and mostly its like she dont have much importance apart from she is the wife of subramanya and in most of the pictures or idols of subramanya are with valli also. So they while worshiping subramanya automatically they are worshiping valli also.

    • Murugan himself a Dravidian Tamil god who was laterday identified as Subrahmanya. Murugan was the Kula Deivam of Nadars. Murugan had two consorts according to Dravidian mythology Valli and Deivanai. The Valli was the goddess of Nadars.

      Syrian should come out of this concept of Savarnas from the Colonial eras. South India is still Dravidian country where they reign still. Chera Dynasty and Pandyan Dynasty were Villlavar – Nadalvar kingdoms of Dravidian people. The Tulu Nadu was also ruled by Nadavas. Non Dravidians like Syrians-Mestizo people are having good colour because of their Portuguese and Middle eastern mixture. The Nairs and Nambudiris are not basically Tamils but the people migrated from Nepal/Ahichatra so they often display distinct Mongoloid features and Yellow skin. During the colonial period many foreigners including Jews and Syrians and Mestizo Chrsitians enjoyed high status. Still very few Dravidian links the Syrian christian possess. Since the British outlawed the Malayanma and Tamil in Kerala the Christians have no knowledge of the Dravidian literature and culture. Kerala stilll belongs to Dravidians. Those who come from foreign countries will be slowly assimilated into Dark skinned Dravidian culture.
      Tulu Pandyan Kingdom was an offshoot of Pandyan kingdom so many similarities are found. But Tulu people are mostly Matriarchal because of the Naga/Bunt mixture.
      Vallikada Panickars never practised Matriarchy neither any of the Syrian Christians because they never belonged to Tulunadu. The Syrian Christians did pretend to be Tulus after the Portuguese arrival when they adopted the Tulu-Sanskirit language of Nambudiris and the changed their writitng system to Tulu script.

      Nambudiris or Syrian Christians or Jews were not known to Tamils of ancient Pandyan or Chera Kingdoms. Chrtistianity was not a known religeon to ancient Tamils. Nambudiris appeared only after the invasion of Chalkuyas in the 8th century. Tharisappalli Sasanam is s the first authentic Tamil document to record the Syrian arrival in 825 AD. The Descendents of Tamil Ay kings still live at Aykudy near Chenkottah in Tamil Nadu. Ay kings were Avarna like alll the Dravidians.

      • Johncy Panicker Says:

        I have nothing to do with other cast people or their ethinisity. For your information there is not only this tharisappilly chepped exits but also there is iravikorthan cheppedu, thazhekkadu sasanam and cana thoma cheppedu in which the cana thoma cheppedu is under mystery. But the other three you can find. It is true that the Tharisappalli sasanam is the oldest found chepped. This sasanam is nothing but the royal grants given to the christine migrants and other christines by the ay kings. I already mentioned above that even the brahminical caste system came in to existance in kerala in between 6th-8th century A.D. and the sankara acharya period(8th cetury A.D.) is also needed to consider. So its quiet possible that the social status of syrian christines increased in kerala after 8th century.

        I am not stating that it is not. My only argument is that while speeking about the hystory of vallikada panickers you should think about the social status of then present kerala, the strictness of the caste system, the way the forward cast behaved to the other caste and those who migrated to the forward cast by giving some privilages, etc. If you are standing in today and you are trying to speek about yesterday then you cannot make it properilly. For that you should first go to yesterday and living in yesterday try to analyze it. Then you can understand how difficult was that to get such a higher social status to any nadar caste even though he is migrated to a forward caste.

        Also I will recomend you to first read the studies of some hystorians like ” Vazhakulam oru cherithra padhanam” by prof. george, “Arakuzhayude charithra smaranakal”, the studies of kurukoor achan, etc. If you just googled about the hystory of Vallikkada Panickers you will get details which are based on the Pallikamyalil familly website where a wesite called Roy’s home page where he is mantioning about the Oral Hystory of Vallikkada Panickers which is not correct.

        Also do not starts to make statements only by seeing the Panicker at the end of the name. It is a position or a degree of honour given to various persons by the kings. If you see the hystory of various Panicker famillies then you can clearilly understand this thing even in nadar caste also it is a position given to the teachers of kalaripayattu, it is not a caste. Also you can find in kerala hystory itself the same Panicker title was given to various persons who were belonging to different castes, even brahmins also can get this title. So seeing on the Panicker nobody can say that he is belonging to nadar caste only.

        Also if you found the familly hystory of Panickerveetil and Karakkunnathu famillies you can get some more idea about Vallikada Panicker familly.

        And the relation of Vallikkada Panickers and valli is a subject which needs more precise studies. The valli concept is there in thamilnadu only. But the concept of subrahmanya or karthikeya as a familly man is present in some parts of north india also (especially north eastern regions like bangal, nepal, etc). Also as per the hystoriyans the way the familly travelled is from encient bangal,andhra, thamilnadu and kerala and also it is clear that we never supported the thiruvidamkoor raja where as the nadar caste supported and fought for him.

        also the privillages owned by the vallikkada panickers are of very higher. He is allowed to keep “munkudumi” and like other syrian christines allowed to wear “poonool”. He was the local chief of the area and he was given higher respect by all the caste. He was the chief of the vadakkumkoor’s army and he taught “thulunadan style ” of kalarippayattu, not “Adithada style” of southern kalarippayattu system because the main or prominent weaponary system taught by him was spear which you can see in thulunadan style only. Also the Vallikkada Panickers were with “Arkadeakon section ” or “syrian orthodox section” ,not with lathin or syro -malabar catholic sects, which is still followed by us. Yes it is true that we lost our position and social status after surrendering to the thiruvithamkoor but still in hystory the first war is the only war which made the thiruvidamkoor to ran away from the battle field and forced to think about a second war with another strategy.

        Also from the above mentioned studies if you find some of the studies of kurukoor achan then you will get some more close view about the social status and life style of vallikkada panickers..

        Also the statement of ” Nair Mootha Panicker ” means that he has a status or position more than that of a nair.It showes the courage of the Vallikkada Panicker.

      • Johncy Panicker Says:

        It is true that the murugan/subrahmanya/kartikeya/kumara is a pre-aryan concept or god present even pre-arryan times. The archaolagists found out the pictures of subrahmanya from the indus valley civilization ( mohan jodaro ) area and which is dated back to many thousands of years back in BC. So the murugan/subrahmanya being only a thamil god is not true. It is since the thamilnadu has a lots of subrahmany temples and even in chilapathikara there are mentionings about muruga it is claimed that subrahmanya is a thamilgod. There are subrahmanya concepts in other parts of india too..it is known as karthikeya in many north indian areas. It is evident that the karthikeya was become the patron god for the guptha dynasty. In most of the north west and north cetral parts the karthikeya is brahmachari. but in parts like orrissa, west bangal he is always portrayed with his consort( found the details about the karthikeswar in orrissa and west bangal). Also one should understand that the hinduism is not in the todays form from the starting. There are several believes which is accepted, some are droped, and finally we got the todays form. The time has changed several things like any other religions. If you visited various regions of eaqch state you can find there local or indogenious dieties which you can not find in any of the general hindu stories.
        Also the syriac was the liturgy which in use from the ancient times much before the 9th century AD in the syrian sects christians of kerala. It is not after the portuguees the syrian came in to use. It was the only communication medium with the bishops from the persia and malabar church. The liturgy was east syriac liturgy.Today the catholics and chaldean church are the only sects who uses the east syriac liturgy in kerala. The orthodox secr (todays orthodox ,jaccobyte as well as the syro-malankara sects) uses the west syriac liturgy which they adopted after the Koonen cross oath.
        It is a wrong information you got that the syriac christines were considered as a forward cast during the portugees colonial erra. If so then why the necessary for Koonen Cross oath? It is because one sect of the syrian christuines or the nasranis of klerala was against the control of portugees in their churches. Also what was the necessity for them to seal the ports of kerala so that no persian bishop can come to kerala? those who dared to come they just drowned them or made them to run away from kerala. why it ha[ppened? why did the john de menezes burned all the hystorical as well as other details seazed from the churches of kerala?? This shows that there was always some kind of trouble stood between the portuguees and the kerala syrian christines.

        Also i dont know whether my ancestors (Vallikkada Panickers) knows the syriac liturgy or not. BuIt is evident that they stood with the syriac christines of kerala (more specificaslly with the orthodox sects).It was due to that they left the arakuzha st. marry’s church to which they always have higher attachment (since it was the vallikkada panickers who made the measurements of “Thouch” or the “Thouch sastram” of the church) instead of joining to the catholic sect.

  15. Johncy Panicker Says:

    Also if you checked the hystorical studies made by many hystoriance you can find that he is not from thamilnadu or south india. Most of the hystoriance works shows that he is from some where in west bangal or orissa or east bangal or bangladesh. Also the the study made by the karakkunnathu familly( a branch of vallikkada familly. It was one of the brother of the last vallikada panicker lived in vallikkada, who migrated to karakunnam near kothamangalam and started to known as karakunnathu panicker) claims that we are from orissa and if you found a copy of the “Karakunnathu Kudumbacharithram” you can find the details of it.

    Also many escavations made in west bangal and orissa shows there was a lot of godesses which can not be scene in modern hinduism up to the 8th century ( the headless godess of firtility eacavated from orissa, the idol of mother earth with a plant on head escavated from orissa and west bangal,etc.) It is also says that the eastern part of india gives much importance to maternity in encient time and there existed many godes and godesses which are not there in other parts of India. Since Skanda or subramanya is widelly worshiped as the god through out india in the encient times (See the karthikeya temples of guptha period) it is also possible that there may be some godesses who is considered as his wife and are worshiped as the village godesses in the starting periods of AD and abndoned such beliefs lator due to some reasones. You can also finds that in north india itself some areas believes that him as the husband of Devasena which is described in two ways by the brahmins as she is the daughter of Indra and also as since he is the commander of the army of gods it is mentioning about the position of him as a commander. It is also tells by the hystorians that the idol carried by him is actually of the village godess and his kuladevatha. So it is also possible that while reaching south india the idol is considered as valli since she is the wife of skanda here.

    As i said before that my familly members calls each other as Vallikomban which means that native of the village of valli. In malayalam the term kombu has the meaning of village also. It is said by the hystoriance also. They call this village as Vallidesam.

    Also when i visited the temple of valli ( which was the same idol that brought by vallikada panickers . Actually it stands in the property which was the property of panickers once . The temple was actually a small temple in panickers period which was the kalari paradevatha. Anybody can find the remains of the kalari existed there and the house of panicker existed before the temple.) I found that the idol which I can see is having for hands with wepons in each hands and the expression of her face is love , it is not angry as kali. This temple actually ruined due to age and nobody used it after we left the place. It was later in the property of a muslim upto some 8 yrs back. 8 years before the temple is renovated by the local believers. They says that it is the same paradevatha idol made in hard wood since they didnot change its sricovil and position. The valli I know is having only two hands and does not holds any weapon.

    • Most of the Syrian Christian Plates wont be accepted by traditional Dravidians as proof. Only Europeans promoted them as genuine.
      Thazhekkad Sasanam is written in Pali (Ardah Maghadi Language) and possibly given to a Buddhist Monastry (Palli) and not to Syrian Christians.
      Iravi Korthanan Cheppedu (12th century) mentions Iravi Kordhanan. Kovardanan or Govardanan means Krishna. Unlikely to be a Syrian Christian.
      Vira Raghava Pattayam (13th century) mentions
      Chathan Vadugan and Ravi Chathan two traders whom the European missionaries think they were Syrian Chrisitans !.
      Chathan Vadugan means Chathan from Telugu country.
      European missionaries thought Chathan means Chato or Church.
      But Chathan is a common name among Tamils in ancient and medival period. Saying Iravi Koavardanan, Chathan Vadugan Iravi Chathan were Syrian Christians is nothing but a Colonial joke.

  16. Johncy Panicker Says:

    Also as i mentioned above each area has there own godes and godesses who protects there. If you travelled troughout thamilnadu itself you can here a lot of folklores of valli itself in various parts. You can see the local godess Karani in rajasthan’s bikaneer area who is considered as the incarnation of durga which you cannot see anywhere else not in general hindu belies also. It is only belied in that region only. Even in thamilnadu also kaval devas like karuppu swamy is very much worshiped by village people. There is no karuppuswamy in other parts of india. Even kerala also you can see local godess like parassini kadavu muthappan who is believing as shiva in the form of kiratha. This happens everywhere. The local believes are connecting with some of the general believes to make room for our believe. Even in the case of Lord aiyyappan in sabarimala also you can see the same thing where as the hystorians say it as budhvihar situated in sabarimala long ago. Also for keralites it is Aiyyappa who is known as Kalikala Varadan where as in between thamil people it is subramanyan.
    So i dont think anybody can study about Vallikkada Panickers origine on the basis of the valli concept and the Panickerships. There are many nairs, kurups, eazhavas and nadars having the panickerships. Eventually some namboodries also having panickership. Even there are some thulu people who settled in kerala also having panicker title ( like dharmothu panicker. he is actually from thulunadu who came to samoothiri in the 16th century) . after the collaps of pandya kingdome some of the nadar panickers adopted to nair caste but that also as the lower subcaste of nair caste. But you can see nair panickers in higher subcast also like vettathu panicker. Even christines also got panickership from the kings considering their ability in kalarippayattu and the service they provided during wars by various kings including cheras. If you study the hystory of malankara nassraney or kerala syriyan christines you can find that they where in service of kings from very ancient times. The 72 privillages got in the 17th century from the cheraman perumal allowes them to carry weapons anywhere they goes and this is the onlly community who where enjoyed such privillages. Even in church they took their weapons. These people are called syriyan christines or malankara nassrani and panicker was one of them not a latine or protestent caste of christianity. His familly , except karakunnathu panicker stood with the orthodox believers of encient syriyan christines or present day termed as puthenkoor. But you can see the most of the nadars are latine catholic and the remainings are protestents and ponthocose. This is because syriyan christines where never allowed other caste that also from the avarna section to them since they were considered as the savarna section and called as the “ancham vedakkar” or people with the fifth veda by the savarna hindus. In such a condition it is impossible for panicker to obtain such a high social status is he is converted from nadar caste by the portugees. Suppose it happens so, then also as per the boldness of the racial system existed that time nobody from the savarnas will give him such a high respect. Even christines also. Atleast the savarnas like kshatriyas and namboothiris will not ready to sit with him. But he used to do “Moonu OOnu” or three sadya in which the first is conducted for namboothiris and kshatriyas, second for christines and thir for avarnas of his tenents. If the savarnas also respected him then he should have some origine with the savarna caste system. Thats why the hystoriyans says him as either brhmins or kshatriya clan . Since even thogh the caste system ended by the India government still people keeping this differences . Most of the nadar claimings about the origine of vallikkada panicker is only because of the importance of him in christines as well as in the hystory of thiruvithamkoor and so in kerala hystory. Most of the people believes that panickers are only in nadars of encient pandyas and so they started to say that all panickers are of nadar caste. Even if you searched in web also you can find that sites shows him as from nadar caste just based on the details given by the pallikyamyalil familly websit which shows him as a nadar kshatriya. Actually the pallikyamyalil familly dont have any hystorical importnce as Mr. Nadalvan mensions their name.

    To understand the above mensioned topics one has to first imagined himself centuries back where the rudeness of the caste system was very much high which nobody of today can imagine. It was a time where avarna women not allowed to cover their upper body. They were not allowed to enter into temples of savarnas. they can not come into the way of savarnas. Atleast vallikkada panickers give some exceptions to these by teaching kalaripayattu to the avarnas also . There are several houses known as eazhavakudi, parayakudi, etc in arakuzha area ( Vallikkada comes under the avoli in arakuzha area) which claims that they were students of vallikkada panickers who came to him from various places. It is the vallikkada panicker who allowed them to built kudi (house of avarnas) there and they settled there.

    • Except the Tharaissappalli Sasanam (825 AD) none of the Syrian Christian plates would stand close scrutiny. Syrian Christians were given refuge and positon by Tamil Villavar-Nadalvar Ayar kings. Panickar title could be found in all the old Villavar kingdoms which might have been carved out of the Pandya Kingdom mentioned in the Mahabharata.
      Pandya Kingdom http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandya_Kingdom
      might have been divided to Pandyan Dynasty, Chera Dynasty and Alupas Pandyan kingdom of Tulunadu.

      The Quilon plates does indeed mention 72 privileges given by the Tamil king of Quilon Ayyanadikal Thiruvadikal along with Villavar King of Chera kingdom Sthanu Ravi. Mar Sapir Easho who was allowed by the Venad King to build a Church at Tharisappalli could be a Persian Nestorian Syrian Christian. Mar Sapir Easho and his friends were foreign merchants from Persia, Palestine and Judea as the signatories in Tharisappalli sasanam have signed in Pahlavi Kufic and Hebrew.
      The Tamil rulers who gave refuge to the Nestorian Syrian Christians disappeared when the Syrian-Mestizo-Tamil army of the Portuguese sided with the Tulu Samantha rulers.
      The Savarna concept of Kerala is quite different from North Indian concept.
      In Kerala the Northern immigrants from Ahichatra, the Aryans and Nagas who displayed fair colour with Yellowish tinge and slight Mongoloid features who were originally brought as slaves and Supervisors became the prime Savarnas after 1310 Delhi invaison.
      After the Portuguese arrival the a strong Mestizo Christian community was established in Kerala. The Portuguese Syrian-Mestizo-Tamil Christian army because of their foreign mixture displayed fair colour. The Portuguese supported the Tulu/Ahichatram rulers who practiced Matriarchy. The Mestizo population though not Hindus were considered Savarnas too!. The Tulu Samantha rulers relied on the Europeans for spice trade and protection.

      The colonial rule protected the Matriarchy and other non-Dravidian customs along with the Tulu Samantha rulers for five hundred years in Kerala.

  17. Johncy Panicker Says:

    Also the matriarchal system followed by Vallikkada panickers is makkathayam which you cannot see in keralas savarna hindus. In kerala the avarnas used to follow makkathayam but in northern regions of India also you can see the high caste hindus follows makkathayam. Due to their high social status it was very difficult for them to find brides or groom in the area. They have to look famillies with such high social status. So they used to marry from very distant places of kerala. The sister of the vallikkada panicker ( vallikkada panicker in the war with thiruvithamkoor, I am specifying like this only because all the males members of the vallikkada familly who lived in vallikkada were called vallikkada panickers from centuries and it was not his actual name, Vallikkada is the house name which got after the place got the name vallikkada after their arrival) got married to a tharakan familly in mavelikkara ( As like panickers tharan is also a degree givenby the king. Tharakans are the person who appointed to collect tax, handle accounts for the king,etc. the tharakans have a high social status in regions of alappuzha and mavelikkara). One of his daughter got married in karakkal familly ( not karakunnathu familly). This shows the social status of the people to whome they are ready to make a relationship through marriage.

  18. Johncy Panicker Says:

    Mr. Nadalvan

    Two days back I accidentlly went through this site
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matrikas
    It is speeking about the matrikas (or mothers) who were worshiping through out india (or we can say ancient greater india). These matrikas are normally seven and in eastern regions like napal its nine. Out of this nine or seven the name of the fifth matrika is Kumari who ic considered as the power of Kumara or Skanda and she is having four or twelve hands which carries weapons like spear, sword,mase,etc. It is believed that these matrikas stood behind durga devi during the fight with sumbh and nisumbh. I am not saying that it is as evidence for we are not from thamilnadu or nadars or our godess is not valli. But as I said before the chances for identifying her as Valli in thamilnadu is more because kumari is the consort of skanda and in south or in thamilnadu it is valli.Also remember my statement about the idol of godess i found in our temple is having four hands each carrying weapon. The people at temple says it is kali but its expression is not like that of kali,its love…So it is also possible that its the same kumari only (i said it as a possibility only). In the site it is also says that the concept of matrikas may be pre brahminical but adopted by brahmins and used to worship them in villages and temples. Also gupthas and kushans encouraged the belives of matrikas and allowed their army to worshiping them and they made various sculptures of matrikas in the army camp. Anyway I am say a possibility of being the actual godess be kumari or as north indian tradition shashti( who is also considered as consort of skanda in some regions) or devasena,etc.

    • Nairs and Nambudiris indeed carried the Nepalese culture and Festivals like Vishu (Baishaki) to Kerala.
      Dravidian culture has nothing to do with Maitrika. In many instances Brahmins are talking about events which happened at Central asia and Afghanistan on their migration to India.
      Dravidian culture is simple. Different pure Dravidian people survive not only in south India but also in the North especially Eastern India. It is time the Syrian Christians started reading the ancient Dravidian literature of Kerala especailly Sangham Literature Pathuppattu Madurai Kanchi etc. Silapathikaram written by Chera prince Ilango Adigal who wrote it from Kana Vayil Kottam (Cochin) in the fourth century AD gives vivid description about the Dravidian culture of Kerala in the earlier period. Ilango Adigal himself was a Jain priest. Kodungaloor Bhagavathi temple had been a Kannagi Temple built by Cheran Chenkuttuvan brother of Ilango Adigal. Perumal Thirumozhi written by Chera king Kulasekhara Alwar in the 9th century AD describes himself as Villavar king. You should read Unnu Neeli Sandhesam written in the 14th century when Chera prince Aditya Varma of Kadu thuruthi went to assist Vikarama Pandya of Madurai who was leading a resistance force against Delhi invaders in 1330s.
      While some Gods were common to Dravidians and Aryans some belonged to only Dravidians. Many or the original Dravidian Gods are not worshipped anymore. Kottavai, Isaki , Mayon, Varuna, Murugan, Kali were worshipped by Sangham Tamils. Shiva was the supreme God of ancient Tamils. Tamils could worship a Dravidian God, Jain Thirthankara and Buddha sameday without needing religeous conversion.
      Many of the Dravidian people had been Jains for more than thousand years. Most of the Villavar people of Kerala also had been Jains. Valli is a Goddess to all the people who share the old Tamil heritage.

  19. George P. Mattam Says:

    Most of the time family names are adopted from the name of the piece of land. I can quote two recent instances of these adoptions by others who do not have family names.

    I belong to a Syrian Christian family named Mattam ( a branch of Thekkadath Panickaredom) in Arpookara in Kottayam.My great great great grandfather too was a Panickar (Thekkedath Korah Panicker). My grandfather lived in a piece of land called Mattathil Parambu from which adopted our family name Mattam ( adjacent to branch of River Meenachil flowing through Kudamaloor- hence the land is named Mattam). My grandfather gave a part of this land to another man in exchange of a paddy field and my grandfather built a new house in the remaining land. This transaction must have taken place sometime in early 1900s. The sold piece of land has still been referred to as Mattathil parambu. The children of the man who bought this land sold it as plot since 1970s to Ezhavas etc. Now I see a house of ezhava man with a nameboard Mattam.
    I mentioned this just to point out that family names have been corrupted by such adoptions and so cannot be used as proof of ancestory.

  20. johncy panicker Says:

    You are absolutelly right Mr. George P.Mattom,
    Even my grand mother’s house name also came like that. She was actually from the Maliyekkal Familly. But her purticular house name was Kalathil Puthan purakkal. Its actually due to her grand father was taken to his mother’s home due to the death of both his mother and father. There his uncle gave him a land of paddy field which is a rice collection area known as Kalam. He made a house there and so the name kalathil puthenpura. It was the thiruvithamkoor dalawa irayimman thambi who came with the idea of collecting the tax based on the amount of field a person has. For that purpose to identify a purticular person ( since there were same names for different persons in ancient times. We can see that still there exist ambguity names in kerala) he started to name him with a house name. most of the time the house name came with the tree which is standing before his house. Some times its the name of a special place or land. Before marthandavarma’s invansion in various principal states in kerala, it was the land name or place’s name from where he has come used. But this also used to address the people with highly social status. For example, my ancestor familly name in kerala..its vallikkada and we were known as vallikkada panickers some 2 centuries back. Its due to we came to kerala from a place in the name of godess valli and settled on the shore of river moovattupuzha.. so we got the name as vallikadavu which gradualy shorten to vallikada..

    Also my current house name is Manthanathu which we got due to the Mango tree which stood besides my house in several years ago..

    So based on the house name nobody can prove the ancestry.

  21. For the people only with Dravidian heritage house name did not exist. Dravidians had Pattom or Kovil or caste or clan names. They still have but never mention them.
    The promotion of House name came only after the Portuguese arrival. Some Syrian Christian family names could be Medival Eg Padaveettil (Army House during Portuguese period) Rathepilli (Pepper weighing house) Tharakan (Broker) Thachil ( Carpentry house) etc. But many have simple meanings Matta Mana (Second house). Various tree names (Thengu Mavu Angil) help identify their houses. Kalam (field ) Parambu (land) , Pura (Room ), Il (House) are used to specify their everchanging house names. If somebody buys a Bulldozer the house name will lbecome Bulldozeril. If your house has a stooping Mango tree your house name becomes Koonammavil.

  22. Shivraj Nadar Says:

    Thank u all for ur valuable comments. what ur are going to establish by ur arguements? One can establish the following facts by going thro the ancient history of Tamilagam and Kerala (The cheara country)

    1, The present kerala was part and parcel of ancient Chera and Pandia Kingdom

    2. Later stage the kings and the kingdoms were pollutted or corrumpted by the vested interests of brahminical domination. They created myths and stories to destroy the great ancient Tamil Kingdoms.
    3. The ancient Chera and Pandia kingdoms were mostly devoid of caste discrimination as we saw after 10th century.

    4. To get brahminical domination and to be part of the administration they made sambantham by aboriginal kings and made them to practise veda rituals.
    5. No Pandia or Chera kings wore Poonool during early kingdoms.
    6. There is no point being proud in wearing poonool or being a Bhrahmin as they have practised all vicious tricks to maintain their superiority in the society and to exploit the situations to suit them
    6. The wealth and well being of Brahmins were not thro hard work by by the donation they recieved from Kings (obtained as dhanam)

    7. Most of the christian coverts of kerala are either from Nadar , Ezhava or from middle or lower cast. But they are shy to say this and pretend to be brahmin converts. If they understand real history, they shoud be proud to be of aboriginal sons of soil the villavas/nadars/ezhavas etc.

    • Johncy Panicker Says:

      The points you gave above are correct except the last point..About the christine converts it is true that there is no record of the brahminical convertion as christian is not existed..and most of the famillies used to say the story of brahminconversion because of the importance of brahmins in the community…But do you know that kerala have a good marchantile relationship with other countries and marchants from other countries settled here..The jews and arabs also settled here like that..The “Pattanam” excavations in kodungallore has proven this argument..These jews where the first christine converts in kerala..Also there was several christine settlements happened in kerala in the encient times…
      Also one more important thing..a DNA test was conducted on the christine community recenmtly has proven that most of the syrian christine DNA s has a middle east connection….

      Anyhow leave that part…now what ever you given here does not proven vallikkada panicker as from nadar caste…

      • Johncy Panicker Says:

        Also if the syrian christines of kerala are completelly from villavas/eazhavas/nadar caste then why they were allowed to rule over the lower caste (“jadikku udayon”)..why didnt these castes got any importance as the syrian christians( sorry..the actual term is “syrian nasrani”)…All the cheppedus whatever christians have are given in and after the 8th century..Then how did the then rulers gave this much of social status and importance for them..Why the brahmins allowed them to enter in to the house compounds while the nadar/eazhava or any other communities belonging to the villava like paraya/pulaya/vela/vellalar etc..were not?

  23. Shivraj Nadar Says:

    The titles Panikker, Asan etc were exclusively used by Nadars and Ezhavas. The Illathu pillaiyamar (as ezhavas known in Tamil Nadu) are still called as Panikkers in Tamil Nadu. Panikken Kudiyiruppu (Kudiyiruppu-Colony) and Panikkanada Kudiyirippu are still places in Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari Districts. Later these titles were used by even Nairs as in the case of Illam (means veedu) which is pure tamil and used by Ezhavas later this title is excusively used to denote Namboothiri Mana

    • Johncy Panicker Says:

      so you mean in the martial arts erra of kerala, all the teachers of kalarippayattu are of nadar or eazhava caste..??? There was no nair or brahmin families who had a kalari or who taught kalarippayattu since all the titles like panikker,asan or gurukal all are related to nadar or eazhava caste ..??? wow..!!!!

      Do you know the brahminical erra in kerala( chera nadu as hystory says) started in earlly 6th century..It is mentioned 6th because the brahminical prominance started by the sankaracharya..But it doesnot means that there was no brahmins in kerala before that..Only thing is that they dont have the importance in caste system as the caste systemstarted after the 6th century…Anyhow thats not the topic…

      Ok ..Then could you please tell me, why you people are behind my familly, even though there are several other families who conducted kalaries…

      I agree with you that in pandya dynasty the nadars hold the title of panicker…But it doesnot means that those who were holding a panicker title are from nadars…Yeah its true that the southern part of kerala exspecially in the southern tipof kerala the nadar community had a very importance regarding kalaries..But thats not the situation in northern parts…

      You spoke about the hystory of thamilakom and cheranadu…Now can you please reffer the kalarippayattu erra of kerala..It was in the 8-16 centuries..Now please reffer about the second chera dynasty and the changes happened during this erra… Now please reffer to the differeces between varoius kalkarippayattu styles and the major weaponary in those styles which existed in kerala (dont go behind the styles existed today)..

      Ok one more thing … Do you ever heard about a village existed in the name of godess valli in the cholamandalam..??

      Anyhow it is true that not only the nadar caste but also there are a lots of other caste trying to establish the theory that our familly is belonging to their caste… anyhow it is true that in a time where the caste discremination was too stronger that what we can imagine, it is impossible to get permission to conduct a kalari that also “Kuzhikalari” by a person who was belonging to a “avarna” sect…

      • I am also a member of Jhoncy Panicker’s family. I strongly beleive that there is no need to argue whether , my ancestors were Nadars or Brahmin or any other caste. What matters most is the fact that I come from a good lineage and I am proud of my forefathers. Whether they were Brahmins , Nadars or Avarna or Savarna doesn’t bother me. I am proud of my lineage. Probably I derive the strength from my forefathers. Those who know me know about , the way I have fought back from my lows will vouch for this. One thing for sure , nobody can take away the fierce and positive attitude that we inherited from our forefathers.

        Sajan

  24. Ravivarman Thampi Says:

    some syrians wants to proclaim that they are savarnas…they are the followers of Jesus the carpenter!..syrians never wore “poonul” as cliamed by Mr.John..only Brahmins (including Pattar,Konkini ,Tulu and other paradeshi brahmin and some Vishawkarmas and few Royal wore that….and in Kerala history there were no Syrian Christian janmis .they were kanakudiyans and petty traders and Thravu valarthal (Duck Farming) etc was their profession.few families practiced Kalari payattu and got Panickkar title like some Ezhava families (eg.Cheerappan Chira Panickar, Varanappali Panicker etc) some Vishwakarmas also used panikkaar title. Tharakan title is given for brokers (they were middle man between Colonial Traders and Native Feudals). Nair- Namputhiri combination ruled Kerala almost 1000 years,before that cast system was entirely different. (Pannan,Prayan,Uzhavar,Villavar etc were the main castes) interestingly so much of syrian Christian tradition related to “Paraya” culture ref. Rev. Samuel Mateer F L 19th century Missioner y.

  25. I loved reading the post and comments. I would be glad to get the details about ettuveettu pillamars. My native is panicka nadar kudiyiruppu near trichendur in Thamizh Nadu. My father used to tell me that our ancestors escaped from travancore during marthanda varman’s period and settled here by solving some disputes among the locals. He says that some of other ettuveettu pillamars ran away to kuttam, Shencottah, Keezha Eeral, and Siruthondanallur.

  26. Vallickada Panickar led the armies of the Villavar/Malayar and other Tamil people in the 16th century for the Portuguese. Portuguese also converted people in the Kaveridelta . When the Portuguese started plundering the temples in the sixteenth century especially Thevalakkara in Kerala and some temples in the Kaveri Delta Naickar kings at the 1600s chased the Tamil Christians of Kaveri Delta to Kerala. After this period Kerala Christians started visiting the Velankanny Church each year. The Mestizos and their influence is still seen among Christians. When the last Vallikada Panickar was defeated in 1740s the Dravidian dominance among the Christians came to an end.
    There is no indication to suggest Ezhavas were converted to Christianity in the Portuguese period or Dutch period . Some Ezhavas were indeed converted during the British period.
    The Panickar title actually meant Government servants of Pandiyan / Chera Kingdoms. But this title was used by the Goverment servants of the Tulu Bunt/Nair kingdoms which were established after the invasion of Malik Kafur in 1310 AD. Many Nair Panickars are not Chera or Pandyan Panickars but of Tulunadu origin. Some Panicakars and Villavars might have joined the Ezhavas after the falll of Tamil Villavars. But Ezhavas are ethnicallly different from Dravidian Villavar Tamils.
    Ezhavas never used Tamil either.
    The mixture of Villavars with the Persian/Iraqi/Turkish Nasrani Mappillas and Portuguese has produced a Christian community in Kerala which have Churches designed with Gothic or European Architecture. They sing songs in medival Tamil especially Jacobites. They have Novena like the Portuguese. Have Qurbanas of Persians. Their priests wear the dress of Turkish Priests s of Antioch.
    European Colonialism has enslaved the indigenous Dravidian Villavar people under a foreign culture.
    Europeans taught them that they were converted by St.Thomas while none of the Dravidian documents till the fall of Pandyan kingdom ever mentioned St Thomas or Jesus.
    It is quite true that some of the Nasrani Mappilas came to India from Persia even the the 9th century. Christianity was not a known religeon to indigenous Dravidian Tamil people who ruled Kerala until the 14th century when the Pandyan Kingdom fell.
    The European falsification of Dravidian History was supported by the other non Dravidian people of Southern India.
    None of the ancient Tamil literature which are the only source of Kerala history ever mentioned Christianity or St Thomas. Neither Nambudiris were part of ancient Tamil community. St Thomas did visit Takshashila then under the rule of Indoparthian king Gonaphares and he was martyred at the kingdom of Mazdai – Persia. Ahura Mazda was the prophet of the Zorastrianism. Mazdai country means the Persian country. St Thomas was killed by a Greek ruler of that country called Misdeus. Kerala or Tamil Nadu had no role in that.
    The terms Savarna or Avarna means nothing in the Dravidian Kingdom.
    The Nagas and Nambudiris do have a good colour because of their Uttranchal origin. Nagas were ethnically and culturally different from Dravidian people. Nagpur is supposed to be the centre of the Nagas. Nagas were not considered very high in their home conutry but in Kerala they rose to prominence because of the Turkish invasion and defeat of Villavar people.
    The ridiculous part is the Mestizos started claiming to be Savarnas too. After all they had the good colour of the Portuguese and Middle Eastern ancestors.
    If the Delhis invasion made the Nambudiris and Nagas the masters of Kerala in 1310 the European colonialism sustained and protected it for five hundred years. British were the worst enemies of the Villavar people of Kerala. British ruled Kerala with mostly Non-Dravidians ie Aryans Madras Brahmins of Tamil and Telugu roots and Uttranchalwallas. Malaynma was banned by them while the German missionaries taught Tulu script to Christians at Kottayam seminary. The German missionaries taught Sanskrit to Syrian christians. Keralas Christians never used Sanskrit prior to British arrival. For each Sanskrit word British promoted a Malayanma word disappeared.
    The Western colonialism is far from over. Unless each and every indigenous Indian resists colonialism they cant prevent their culture from disappearing .

  27. At Thrissur museum Felipe Perestrelo de Mesquita’s gravestone mention a Dona Beatriz Natover a native Indian woman who married a Portuguese aristocrat called Felipe Perstrelo de Mesquita . The inscription also depicts the ploy of the Portuguese by pretending to be the protectors of the Temple of Dona Beatriz Natover. Felipe Perstrelo also taught in the school ( Palli ) of Natover girl of Kodungaloor. Eventually Portuguese succeeded in converting the Natover girl to Christianity and she assumed the Portuguese name Dona Beatriz Natover. She was still powerful when her husband Felipe Perstrely de Mesquita died.
    This Malayali Natover woman had a school and temple under her protection that too at Kodungaloor the last Chera Capital.

    http://www.himalmag.com/component/content/article/5131-lost-rulers-of-the-malabar-coast.html

    Nadappanickar Nadavar Nadalvar or Nadar titles were used by the aristocrats of the Pandyan kindgom.

    Dona Beatriz Natover was she the last Nadavar princess of Kodungaloor ?

  28. robin joseph Says:

    A ver nice article , thoroughly researched. Just wanted to ask whether any of the family members of the Vadakkumkoor family stayed behind in kaduthuruthy in a place that used to be known as mampally ?

  29. I tried to read the two Nadars,but couldn’t do,because of the spelling mistakes.

  30. I was trying to find out if any material on the exact borders of the Vadakkumkoor kingdom (especially on the Kottayam-Moovattupuzha Road) is available, when I stumbled upon this helpful blog. Quite healthy as far as readership is concerned. There are of course, disagreements. 90 per cent of Kerala’s history has been distorted by writers who take a stand and glorify the community they belong to…shades of which are apparent in the comments above too.

    I wrote a brief history of Changanasseri based on my researches for Wikipedia but it has since been withdrawn. This write up, which has references to Thekkumkoor and details of his last battle, is now doing rounds in the blogs of many as if they have written it. It has now appeared in Facebook too! Gosh! I will be publishing a revised version in my blog (www.ramukaviyoor.blogspot.in). The roots of the Thekkumkoor kings have been debatable – they actually belonged to Idathil (ഇടത്തില്‍ ) Nair family of Nattaassery, a few kms north of Kottayam (near Mathrubhumi). This has now been confirmed by historians. Many local historians are convinced that Vadakkumkoor was a Brahmin, like the rulers of Idappalli and Purakkad. The theory of these two ruling families being consanguineous cannot then be accepted. One should not also accept claims by ‘descendants’; they will even link themselves with the Sun/Moon god.

    I could not trace Irayimman Thampi Dalava mentioned by one of the readers. Hope he (the writer) will throw some light on it. Many families in or around Kottayam believed that the Karthas mentioned in your article were not Rajputs; they were Marwari traders who used to finance even the local king – which finally led to their Karthaship. They were no different from the Tamil Vellala traders (e.g., Veerashaivas in the Palai-Ponkunnam-Kanjirappally belt who embraced Catholicism) and Pathan traders who stayed here and flourished. KSN Moosath’s writings also confirm this, though they are mixed with anecdotes.

    Many seem to rely on the Portuguese version of Kerala history. Which is NOT history.

    (Note:The black background makes reading difficult)

  31. Maya Vasundhara Vazhveliidathil Says:

    The death of Appan Thampuran who was the brother of AdithyaVarma Manikandar , the last of Thekkumkoor kings is still under discussion of several historians.Being a decendent of the Ilaya Thampuran I request each one of you to give more information about these kings.Rajive Pallikkonam is a historian who assures me that our Thampuran was a victim of a foul play.On the fateful day in September 1749,Appan Thampuran travelled home with his close aids in a”Thoni” from Thiruvithamkode,a after meeting Marthanda Varma who was his friend and had completed studies together.On his way back home he had received an official welcome at Anju thengu which has been recorded too.He reached Karappuzha kadav and while alighting he was struck with sword and he died at the spot.TheKadavthu temple has a place where this soul is offered guruthy as repentance by the generations of the man who killed AppanThampuran on 2nd August even now..

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