Kingdom of Cochin

Kingdom of Cochin

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Kingdom of Cochin was a late medieval
Medieval India
Medieval India refers to the Middle Ages i.e. 5th to 15th century AD in the Indian subcontinent, it includes:*Early Middle Ages: Middle kingdoms of India*Hoysala Empire*Kakatiya Kingdom*Delhi Sultanate*Ahom Kingdom*Reddy Kingdom...

 Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 kingdom and later Princely State
Princely state
A Princely State was a nominally sovereign entitity of British rule in India that was not directly governed by the British, but rather by an Indian ruler under a form of indirect rule such as suzerainty or paramountcy.-British relationship with the Princely States:India under the British Raj ...

 on the Malabar Coast
Malabar Coast
The Malabar Coast is a long and narrow coastline on the south-western shore line of the mainland Indian subcontinent. Geographically, it comprises the wettest regions of southern India, as the Western Ghats intercept the moisture-laden monsoon rains, especially on their westward-facing mountain...

, South India
South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...

. Once controlling much of the territory between Ponnani
Ponnani
Ponnani/Ponani is an ancient port, a coastal town and a municipality in Malappuram district in the Indian state of Kerala, spread over an area of 9.32 km2. Ponnani taluk is the smallest Taluk in Malappuram district. This tiny, picturesque town is bounded by the Arabian Sea on the west...

 and Kochi
Kochi
-Places:* Kochi, a city in the state of Kerala, India, formerly known as Cochin* Kingdom of Cochin, a former feudal city-state on Malabar Coast, India** Fort Kochi, one of the three main urban components which constitute the present day city of Kochi, Kerala, India...

 in Malabar, the Cochin kingdom shrank to its minimal extent as a result of invasions by the Zamorin of Calicut. When Portuguese armadas arrived in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Cochin was in vassalage to Zamorin and was looking for an opportunity to break away. King Unni Goda Varma Tirumulpadu (Trimumpara Raja ) warmly welcomed Pedro Alvares Cabral and negotiated a treaty of alliance between Portugal and the Cochin kingdom, directed against the Zamorin of Calicut. Cochin became a long-time Portuguese
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

 ally providing assistance against native overlords. After the Portuguese, the Dutch East India Company followed soon after by the English East India Company, controlled Cochin state.

The Kingdom of Cochin, originally known as Perumpadappu Swarupam, was under the rule of the Later Chera
Kulasekhara dynasty (Second Cheras)
Kulasekhara or Later Chera dynasty was a classical Hindu dynasty founded by the saint King Kulashekhara Varman. The dynasty ruled the whole of modern Kerala state , Guddalore and some parts of Nilgiri district and Salem - Coimbatore region in southern India between 9th and 12th centuries AD...

s in the Middle Age
Middle age
Middle age is the period of age beyond young adulthood but before the onset of old age. Various attempts have been made to define this age, which is around the third quarter of the average life span of human beings....

s. After the fall of the Mahodayapuram Cheras
Kulasekhara dynasty (Second Cheras)
Kulasekhara or Later Chera dynasty was a classical Hindu dynasty founded by the saint King Kulashekhara Varman. The dynasty ruled the whole of modern Kerala state , Guddalore and some parts of Nilgiri district and Salem - Coimbatore region in southern India between 9th and 12th centuries AD...

 in the 12th century, along with numerous other provinces Perumpadappu Swarupam became a free political entity. However, it was only after the arrival of Portuguese colonizers on the Malabar Coast did the Perumpadappu Swarupam acquire any political importance. The Brahmin
Brahmin
Brahmin Brahman, Brahma and Brahmin.Brahman, Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self...

 chief of Perumpadappu
Perumpadappu
For the kingdom of Cochin or Perumpadapu Swaroopam, see Perumpadapu SwaroopamPerumpadappu is a small area of Palluruthy region of Cochin city of Ernakulam district, Kerala. It is stretch around 4 km2. It holds 3 temples and 2 main churches and a mosque to its credit...

 (Chitrakuda, Vanneri, Ponnani taluk) had married the sister of the last Later Chera king, Rama Varma Kulashekhara, and as a consequence obtained Mahodayapuram, and Thiruvanchikkulam Temple along with numerous other rights, such as that of the Mamankam festival
Mamankam festival
Mamankam festival or Mamangam festival was an ancient festival celebrated in Thirunavaya, Malabar coast, south India, in the present day state of Kerala from the time of Kulasekharas in every 12 years until 18th century, mostly remembered for the bloody battles occurred during the festivals...

. Perumpadappu rulers had family relationships with the Nambudiri rulers of Idappally. After the transfer of Kochi
Kochi
-Places:* Kochi, a city in the state of Kerala, India, formerly known as Cochin* Kingdom of Cochin, a former feudal city-state on Malabar Coast, India** Fort Kochi, one of the three main urban components which constitute the present day city of Kochi, Kerala, India...

 and Vypin
Vypin
Vypin or Vypeen is one among a group of islands, that form part of the city of Kochi, in the state of Kerala, India. The island is about 27 km long...

 from Idappally rulers to the Perumpadappu rulers, the latter came to be known as kings of Kochi. Ma Huan, the Muslim voyager and translator who accompanied Admiral Zheng He
Zheng He
Zheng He , also known as Ma Sanbao and Hajji Mahmud Shamsuddin was a Hui-Chinese mariner, explorer, diplomat and fleet admiral, who commanded voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and East Africa, collectively referred to as the Voyages of Zheng He or Voyages of Cheng Ho from...

 on three of his seven expeditions to the Western Oceans, describes the king of Cochin as being a Buddhist.

Territories


The Cochin kingdom included much of modern day Thrissur district
Thrissur district
Thrissur is a revenue district of Kerala situated in the central part of that state. Spanning an area of about 3,032 km2, Thrissur district is home to over 10% of Kerala’s population. Thrissur district was formed on July 1, 1949, with the headquarters at Thrissur City. Thrissur is known as...

, Chittoor Taluk of the Palakkad district
Palakkad district
Palakkad District is one of the 14 districts of the Indian state of Kerala. The city of Palakkad is the district headquarters. Palakkad is bordered on the northwest by the Malappuram District, on the southwest by the Thrissur District and on the east by Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu. The...

 and Kochi Taluk, most of Kanayannur Taluk (excluding Edappally
Edappally
Edappally is one of Kochi's well known neighbourhoods. Its name in English literally translates as 'The City with a Church in the Centre' . The famous church in the centre is St. George's Church which is quite old and is a pilgrimage centre. It is said to be one of the fastest growing areas in...

), parts of Aluva Taluk (Chovvara, Kanjoor
Kanjoor
Kanjoor is a small town near to Aluva. It is in Ernakulam district in the state of Kerala, India.[Kanjoor] is a panchayat in the Ernakulam District. It has as many as 14 wards. The estimated population is 25,000...

, Srimoolanagaram) and parts of Paravur Taluk (Chendamangalam) of the Ernakulam district
Ernakulam district
-Economy:Agriculture constitutes the most important segment of the district’s economy and it is the biggest source of employment. Of the geographical 235319 hectares, crops are grown in 0 hectares. Coconut is the principal crop followed by rubber, paddy, and tapioca...

 which are now the part of the India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n state of Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

.

Origin



There is no extant written evidence about the emergence of the Kingdom of Cochin or of the Cochin Royal Family
Cochin Royal Family
The Cochin royal family were rulers of Cochin, or Kochi, India. They were also known as Perumpadapu Swaroopam or Kuru Swaroopam.-Tradition of Perumpadapu Swaroopam:...

, also known as Perumpadapu Swaroopam. All that is recorded are folk tales and stories, and a somewhat blurred historical picture about the origins of the ruling dynasty.

The surviving manuscripts, such as Keralolpathi, Keralamahatmyam, and Perumpadapu Grandavari, are collections of myths and legends that are less than reliable as conventional historical sources. There is an oft-recited legend that the last Perumal (king from the Chera dynasty) who ruled the Chera dynasty
Chera dynasty
Chera Dynasty in South India is one of the most ancient ruling dynasties in India. Together with the Cholas and the Pandyas, they formed the three principle warring Iron Age Tamil kingdoms in southern India...

 divided his kingdom between his nephews and his sons, converted to Islam and traveled to Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 on a hajj
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

. The Keralolpathi recounts the above narrative in the following fashion:
The last and the famous "Perumal" ruled Kerala for 36 years. He left for Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 by ship with some Muslims who arrived at Kodungallur
Kodungallur
Kodungallur is a municipality in Thrissur District, in the state of Kerala, India on the Malabar Coast. Kodungallur is located about 29 km northwest of Kochi city and 38 km Southwest of Thrissur, on National Highway 17 . Muziris the ancient seaport at the mouth of the Periyar River was...

 (Cranganore) port and converted to Islam. Before leaving for Mecca, he divided his kingdom between his nephews and sons.
The Perumpadapu Grandavari contains an additional account of the dynastic origins:
The last Thavazhi of Perumpadapu Swaroopam came into existence on the Kaliyuga day shodashangamsurajyam. Cheraman Perumal divided the land in half, 17 "amsa" north of Neelaeswaram and 17 amsa south, totaling 34 amsa, and gave his powers to his nephews and sons. Thirty-four kingdoms between Kanyakumari and Gokarna
Gokarna, India
Gokarna is a village in the Uttara Kannada district of the Karnataka state, India. It is a Hindu pilgrimage centre as well as a tourist destination in India. Gokarna is a temple town and is referred to in a number of Hindu historical literature pieces. The main deity is Lord Mahabhaleshwara, a...

 (now in Karnataka
Karnataka
Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

) were given to the "thampuran" who was the daughter of the last niece of Cheraman Perumal.
Keralolpathi
Keralolpathi
The Keralolpathi is a Malayalam work that deals with the origin of the land of Kerala. Shungunny Menon ascribes the authorship of this work to Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan, a 17th century scholar of the Malabar region of India. The Keralolpathi is mostly an expansion from an earlier Sanskrit...

 recorded the division of his kingdom in 345 AD, Perumpadapu Grandavari in 385 AD, William Logan
William Logan
William Logan may refer to:*William Edmond Logan, Canadian geologist*William Logan , U.S. Senator from Kentucky*William Logan , U.S. poet and critic*William Logan , Scottish author of Malabar Manual*William F...

 in 825 AD. There are no written records on these earlier divisions of Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

, but according to some historians the division might have occurred during the Second Chera
Chera dynasty
Chera Dynasty in South India is one of the most ancient ruling dynasties in India. Together with the Cholas and the Pandyas, they formed the three principle warring Iron Age Tamil kingdoms in southern India...

 Kingdom at the beginning of 12th century.

Portuguese period (1503–1663)



Kochi was the scene of the first European settlement in India. In the year 1500, the Portuguese Admiral Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral was a Portuguese noble, military commander, navigator and explorer regarded as the discoverer of Brazil. Cabral conducted the first substantial exploration of the northeast coast of South America and claimed it for Portugal. While details of Cabral's early life are sketchy, it...

 landed at Cochin after being repelled from Calicut
History of Kozhikode
Kozhikode , also known as Calicut, is a city in the southern Indian state of Kerala. It is the third largest city in Kerala and the headquarters of Kozhikode district....

. The king of rival Kochi welcomed his guests and a treaty of friendship was signed. Promising his support in the conquest of Calicut, the admiral coaxed the king into allowing them to build a factory
Factory (trading post)
Factory was the English term for the trading posts system originally established by Europeans in foreign territories, first within different states of medieval Europe, and later in their colonial possessions...

 at Cochin. Assured by the offer of support, the king declared war on the Zamorins of Calicut. However, the admiral retreated in panic on seeing the power of the Zamorin. The Zamorin, on the other hand, eager to win the favor of the Portuguese, left without waging war. Another captain, João da Nova
João da Nova
João da Nova , Xoán de Novoa or Joam de Nôvoa galician spellings, Juan de Nova, Spanish spelling, was a Galician explorer of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans at the service of Portugal...

, was sent in place of Cabral. However, he too faltered at the sight of the Zamorin. These consecutive retreats made the king of Portugal indignant. He sent Vasco Da Gama
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India...

, who bombed Calicut and destroyed the Arab trading posts. This inraged the Zamorin, who declared war on the Kochi Raja.
The war between Calicut and Cochin began on 1 March 1503. However, the oncoming monsoons and the arrival of a small Portuguese fleet under Francisco and Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque[p][n] was a Portuguese fidalgo, or nobleman, an admiral whose military and administrative activities as second governor of Portuguese India conquered and established the Portuguese colonial empire in the Indian Ocean...

 alarmed the Zamorin, and he recalled his army. The Zamorin also retreated because of the revered festival of Onam
Onam
Onam is a Hindu festival celebrated by the people of Kerala, India. The festival commemorates the Vamana avatar of Vishnu and the subsequent homecoming of the legendary Emperor Mahabali. It falls during the month of Chingam and lasts for ten days...

 which the Zamorin intended to keep the auspicious day holy. This led to a triumph for the king of Kochi, who was later re-established in possession of his kingdom. However, much of his kingdom had been burnt and destroyed by the Zamorin.

After securing the throne for the king, the Portuguese got permission to build a fort – Fort Manuel
Fort Kochi
Fort Kochi is a region in the city of Kochi in the state of Kerala, India. This is part of a handful of water-bound regions toward the south-west of the mainland Kochi, and collectively known as Old Kochi or West Kochi. Adjacent to this is Mattancherry...

 (named after the reigning king of Portugal) – surrounding the Portuguese factory, in order to protect it from any further attacks. The entire work of construction was commissioned by the Cochin Raja, who supplied workers and material. The Raja continued to rule with the help of the Portuguese. Meanwhile, the Portuguese secretly tried to enter into an alliance with the Zamorin. A few later attempts by the Zamorin to conquer the Kochi port were thwarted by the Cochin Raja with the help of the Portuguese. Slowly, the Portuguese armory at Kochi was increased, presumably to help the Raja protect Kochi. However, the measured led to a reduction of the power of the Cochin Raja and an increase in Portuguese influence. From 1503 to 1663, Kochi was ruled by Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 through the namesake Cochin Raja. Kochi remained the capital of Portuguese India until 1510. In 1530, Saint Francis Xavier arrived and founded a Christian mission. This Portuguese period was difficult for the Jews in the region, since the Inquisition
Portuguese Inquisition
The Portuguese Inquisition was formally established in Portugal in 1536 at the request of the King of Portugal, João III. Manuel I had asked for the installation of the Inquisition in 1515 to fulfill the commitment of marriage with Maria of Aragon, but it was only after his death that the Pope...

 was active in Portuguese India
Portuguese India
The Portuguese Viceroyalty of India , later the Portuguese State of India , was the aggregate of Portugal's colonial holdings in India.The government started in 1505, six years after the discovery of a sea route to India by Vasco da Gama, with the nomination of the first Viceroy Francisco de...

. Kochi hosted the grave of Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India...

, the Portuguese viceroy, who was buried at St. Francis Church until his remains were returned to Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 in 1539.
Soon after the time of Albuquerque, Portuguese rule in Kerala declined. The failure is attributed to several factors like intermarriages, forcible conversions, religious persecution, etc.

Dutch period (1663–1773)



Portuguese rule was followed by that of the Dutch
Dutch Malabar
Malabar, also known by the name of its main settlement Cochin, was a commandment of the Dutch East India Company on the Malabar Coast between 1661 and 1795, and is part of what is today collectively referred to as Dutch India...

, who had by then conquered Quilon
Quilon
Quilon may refer to,* Venad, a former state on Malabar Coast, India* Kollam , Kerala state, India* Kollam district, Kerala state...

 after various encounters with the Portuguese and their allies. Discontented members of the Cochin Royal family called on the assistance of the Dutch for help in overthrowing the Cochin Raja. The Dutch successfully landed at Njarakal and went on to capture the fort at Pallippuram, which they handed over to the Zamorin.

Mysorean invasion


The 1773 conquest of the Mysore
Kingdom of Mysore
The Kingdom of Mysore was a kingdom of southern India, traditionally believed to have been founded in 1399 in the vicinity of the modern city of Mysore. The kingdom, which was ruled by the Wodeyar family, initially served as a vassal state of the Vijayanagara Empire...

 King Hyder Ali
Hyder Ali
Hyder Ali was the de facto ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore in southern India. Born Hyder Naik, he distinguished himself militarily, eventually drawing the attention of Mysore's rulers...

 in the Malabar region descended to Kochi. The Kochi Raja had to pay a subsidy of one lakh
Lakh
A lakh is a unit in the Indian numbering system equal to one hundred thousand . It is widely used both in official and other contexts in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and is often used in Indian English.-Usage:...

 of Ikkeri Pagodas (equalling 4 lakh modern rupees). Later on, in 1776, Haider capture Trichur, which was under the Kingdom of Kochi. Thus, the Raja was forced to become a tributary of Mysore and to pay a nuzzar of 1 lakh of pagodas and 4 elephants and annual tribute of 30,000 pagodas. The hereditary prime ministership of Cochin came to an end during this period.

English Period (1814–1947)


In 1814 according to the Anglo-Dutch Treaty
Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814
The Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 was a treaty signed between Great Britain and the Netherlands in London on August 13, 1814...

, the islands of Kochi, including Fort Kochi
Fort Kochi
Fort Kochi is a region in the city of Kochi in the state of Kerala, India. This is part of a handful of water-bound regions toward the south-west of the mainland Kochi, and collectively known as Old Kochi or West Kochi. Adjacent to this is Mattancherry...

 and its territory, were ceded to the United Kingdom in exchange for the island of Banca
Bangka Island
Bangka is an island lying east of Sumatra, Indonesia. Population 626,955. Area: c.4,600 sq mi .There is an additional small island named Pulau Bangka in northern Sulawesi, Indonesia.-Geography:...

. Even prior to the signing of the treaty, there is evidence of English residents in Kochi.
Towards the early 20th century, trade at the port had increased substantially and the need to develop the port was greatly felt. The harbour engineer Robert Bristow
Robert Bristow
Sir Robert Bristow was a British harbour engineer who is best known for his contributions to the development of the port of Kochi in India. Bristow recounted his experiences in his book Cochin Saga, which is considered an important source of historiography of Kerala...

 was thus brought to Cochin in 1920 under the direction of Lord Willingdon, then Governor of Madras
Madras Presidency
The Madras Presidency , officially the Presidency of Fort St. George and also known as Madras Province, was an administrative subdivision of British India...

. Over a span of 21 years he transformed Cochin into the safest harbour in the peninsula, where ships berthed alongside the newly reclaimed inner harbour, which was equipped with a long array of steam cranes.
Meanwhile, in 1866, Fort Cochin was made a municipality, and its first Municipal Council election with a board of 18 members was conducted in 1883. The Maharajah of Cochin initiated local administration in 1896 by forming town councils in Mattancherry
Mattancherry
Mattancherry is the western part of city of Kochi, India. It is said that the name Mattancherry is drawn from "Ancherry Mattam", a Namboodiri illam which then the foreign traders pronounced it as Matt-Ancherry, gradually became Mattancherry. It is about 9 km from Ernakulam town. There are...

 and Ernakulam
Ernakulam
Ernakulam refers to the downtown area or the western part of the mainland of Kochi city in Kerala, India. The city is the most urban part of Kochi and has lent its name to the Ernakulam district. Ernakulam is called the commercial capital of the state of Kerala and is a main nerve of business in...

. In 1925, a Kochi legislative assembly was constituted due to public pressure on the state. The assembly consisted of 45 members, 10 were officially nominated. Thottakkattu Madhaviamma
Thottakkattu Madhaviamma
Thottakkattu Madhavi Amma was one of the founding members of the first legislative council of the erstwhile state of Kochi , in India. She was the daughter of Diwan Peshkar of Cochin and the famous poet Thottakattu Ikkavamma. Madhavi Amma was the first woman to be a member of any legislature in...

 was the first woman to be a member of any legislature in India.
Kochi was the first princely state to willingly join the Indian Union when India gained independence
Indian independence movement
The term Indian independence movement encompasses a wide area of political organisations, philosophies, and movements which had the common aim of ending first British East India Company rule, and then British imperial authority, in parts of South Asia...

 in 1947. Cochin merged with Travancore
Travancore
Kingdom of Travancore was a former Hindu feudal kingdom and Indian Princely State with its capital at Padmanabhapuram or Trivandrum ruled by the Travancore Royal Family. The Kingdom of Travancore comprised most of modern day southern Kerala, Kanyakumari district, and the southernmost parts of...

 to create Travancore-Cochin
Travancore-Cochin
Travancore-Cochin or Thiru-Kochi is a former state of India . It was created on 1 July 1949 by the merger of two former princely states, the kingdoms of Travancore and Cochin....

, which was in turn merged with the Malabar district
Malabar District
Malabar District was an administrative district of Madras Presidency in British India and independent India's Madras State. The British district included the present-day districts of Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Malappuram, Palakkad , and Chavakad Taluk of Thrissur District in the northern part of...

 of Madras State
Madras Presidency
The Madras Presidency , officially the Presidency of Fort St. George and also known as Madras Province, was an administrative subdivision of British India...

 on 1 November 1956 to form the new Indian state of Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

.

Capitals


The capital of Perumpadapu Swaroopam was located at Chitrakooda in the Perumpadapu village of Vanneri from the beginning of the 12th century to the end of 13th century. Even though the capital of Perumpadapu Swaroopam was in Vanneri, the Perumpadapu king had a palace in Mahodayapuram.

When the Zamorins attacked Vanneri in the later part of the 13th century, Perumpadapu Swaroopam shifted their capital from Vanneri to Mahodayapuram. In 1405 Perumpadapu Swaroopam changed their capital from Mahodayapuram to Cochin. By the end of the 14th century the Zamorin conquered Thrikkanamathilakam and it became a threat for Mahodayapuram (Thiruvanchikulam
Thiruvanchikulam
Thiruvanchikkulam was the capital of the Chera kingdom. Thiruvanchikulam is situated near the modern city of Kochi in the Kerala Province of modern India south to Mahodayapuram and north to former Muziris, the famous sea port on the Malabar coast...

), which may be the reason that Perumpadapu Swaroopam changed their capital to Cochin from Mahodayapuram. Moreover, in the year 1341 a flood created an island, Puthuvippu (Vypin
Vypin
Vypin or Vypeen is one among a group of islands, that form part of the city of Kochi, in the state of Kerala, India. The island is about 27 km long...

), and Cochin became a noted natural harbor for the Indian Ocean trade. The old Kodungallore (Cranganore) port lost its importance, which may also be a cause for the shift of the capital. From there on Perumpadapu Swaroopam used the name Cochin Royal Family
Cochin Royal Family
The Cochin royal family were rulers of Cochin, or Kochi, India. They were also known as Perumpadapu Swaroopam or Kuru Swaroopam.-Tradition of Perumpadapu Swaroopam:...

.

Finally, the arrival of the Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 on the Indian subcontinent in the sixteenth century likely influenced Cochin politics. The Kingdom of Cochin was among the first Indian nations to sign a formal treaty with a European power, negotiating trade terms with Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral was a Portuguese noble, military commander, navigator and explorer regarded as the discoverer of Brazil. Cabral conducted the first substantial exploration of the northeast coast of South America and claimed it for Portugal. While details of Cabral's early life are sketchy, it...

 in 1500.

The palace at Kalvathhi was originally the residence of the kings. In 1555, though, the royal palace moved to Mattancherry
Mattancherry
Mattancherry is the western part of city of Kochi, India. It is said that the name Mattancherry is drawn from "Ancherry Mattam", a Namboodiri illam which then the foreign traders pronounced it as Matt-Ancherry, gradually became Mattancherry. It is about 9 km from Ernakulam town. There are...

, and later relocated to Trichur (Thrissur
Thrissur
This article is about the city in India. For the district, see Thrissur district. For the urban agglomeration area of Thrissur see Thrissur Metropolitan Area...

). At that time Penvazithampuran (Female Thampuran) and the other Kochuthampurans (other Thampurans except the Valliathampuran (King)) stayed at a palace in Vellarapilly.

In the beginning of 18th century Thripunithura started gaining prominence. The kingdom was ruled from Trichur, Cochin and Thripunithura. Around 1755 Penvazithampuran (Female Thampuran) and the other Kochuthampurans (other Thampurans) left Vellarapalli and started to live in Thripunithura. Thus Thripunithura became the capital of the Cochin Royal Family.

Alternate names of the kingdom



Perumpadapu Swaroopam, Madarajyam, Goshree Rajyam, and Kuru Swaroopam are among the different names ascribed to the Cochin Kingdom. Perumpadapu Velliya Thampuran, Madamaheeshan, Goshree Bhoopan, Kuru Bhoomi Bhrith are different names for the kings.

According to the wishes of Vishravanan's daughter, Lord Parashurama purportedly retrieved a small piece of land for her called Balapuri, which translates as "small land" (Kochu Desham) in Malayalam. This region was later called Kochi (Cochin). According to Nichola County (15th century) and Fr. Paulino da San Bartolomeo (17th century), Kochi was given up after a stream flowed through the place. This may be correct, since the capital of the kingdom was Kochi, and the entire kingdom was known by the name Kochi.

The Thruvanjikulam Temple structure is built in keeping with the Chidambaram
Chidambaram
Chidambaram is a fast growing industrial city in Eastern part of Tamil Nadu and the taluk headquarters of the Cuddalore district. It is located in 58 km from Pondicherry, 60 km from Karaikal, and 240 km south of Chennai by rail...

 architectural form. The temple's founder might have been a Chola Perumal from Chidambaram
Chidambaram
Chidambaram is a fast growing industrial city in Eastern part of Tamil Nadu and the taluk headquarters of the Cuddalore district. It is located in 58 km from Pondicherry, 60 km from Karaikal, and 240 km south of Chennai by rail...

; there is a tiger inscribed on the flag, called Puliyan, and his realm became known as Pulyannur. This was detailed in the notes of historian Putheyadath Raman Menon. Since Puliyannur Namboothiri (Tantri Poornathrayeesa Temple and Cochin Royal Family) originated from this place that Illom got this name. Some scholars suggest that the name Perumpadapu came from Perumbathura Periyavar (an elder of Perumbathura, a village near Chidambaram), but this theory lacks evidentiary support.

There was an adoption of Madathinkizu (Madathum Koor) Swoorupam from the Perumpadapu Swaroopam, and there was no predecessor in Madathinkizu; these properties were attached to Perumpadapu Swaroopam. Thus the name Madarajyam came into existence. The Sanskrit version of Madavamsham is Goshree Vamsham (Madu (Malayalam)= Pashu (Malayalam)= Go (Sanskrit)). Kochi is a synonym for Goshree. There was also an adoption from Cochin Royal Family to Kuru Swaroopam and finally Kuru Swaroopam was merged with Kochi, hence the name Kuru Swaroopam.

Kings of Cochin


Veerakerala Varma, nephew of Cheraman Perumal
Cheraman Perumal
Rama Varman Kulashekhara was the last King of the Later Chera Dynasty and the first ruler of the independent Venad state from 1102 A.D to 1122 A.D, according to the Rameswarathukoil Inscription. Kotha Varman Marthandam succeeded him as the ruler of Venad.-The end of the Chera dynasty:Rama Varman...

, is the person traditionally believed to be the first king of Cochin. The written records of the dynasty, however, date from 1503 CE
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

. The king of Cochin was also called Gangadhara Kovil Adhikaarikal, meaning Head of all Temples.
  1. Unniraman Koyikal I (c. 1500 to 1503)
  2. Unniraman Koyikal II (1503 to 1537)
  3. Veera Kerala Varma I (1537–1565)
  4. Keshava Rama Varma (1565–1601)
  5. Veera Kerala Varma II (1601–1615)
  6. Ravi Varma I (1615–1624)
  7. Veera Kerala Varma III (1624–1637)
  8. Goda Varma I (1637–1645)
  9. Veerarayira Varma (1645–1646)
  10. Veera Kerala Varma IV (1646–1650)
  11. Rama Varma I (1650–1656).
  12. Rani Gangadharalakshmi (1656–1658).
  13. Rama Varma II (1658–1662).
  14. Goda Varma II (1662–1663)
  15. Veera Kerala Varma V (1663–1687)
  16. Rama Varma III (1687–1693)
  17. Ravi Varma II (1693–1697)
  18. Rama Varma IV (1697–1701)
  19. Rama Varma V (1701–1721)
  20. Ravi Varma III (1721–1731)
  21. Rama Varma VI (1731–1746)
  22. Kerala Varma I (1746–1749)
  23. Rama Varma VII (1749–1760)
  24. Kerala Varma II (1760–1775)
  25. Rama Varma VIII
    Rama Varma VIII
    Rama Varma VIII was an Indian monarch who ruled the Kingdom of Cochin from 1775 until his death in 1790.- Reign :Rama Varma VIII was the younger brother of Kerala Varma II and succeeded the latter to the throne on his death in 1775...

     (1775–1790)
  26. Rama Varma IX (Shaktan Thampuran) (1790-1805)
  27. Rama Varma X
    Rama Varma X
    Rama Varma X was an Indian monarch who ruled the Kingdom of Cochin from 1805 to 1809.- Family :Rama Varma was the son of Sakthan Thampuran's mother's younger sister and therefore his cousin...

     (1805–1809) – Vellarapalli-yil Theepetta Thampuran (King who died in "Vellarapali")
  28. Kerala Varma III
    Kerala Varma III
    Karkidaka Masathil Theepeta Thampuran , popularly known as Virulam Thampuran, was an Indian monarch who ruled the Kingdom of Cochin from 1809 to 1828...

     (Veera Kerala Varma) (1809–1828) – Karkidaka Maasathil Theepetta Thampuran (King who died in "karkidaka" month(ME))
  29. Rama Varma XI
    Rama Varma XI
    Rama Varma XI was an Indian monarch who ruled the Kingdom of Cochin from 1828 to 1837.- Reign :Rama Varma was the nephew of Kerala Varma III and ascended the throne on his death in August 1828. Soon after his accession, Rama Varma had differences of opinion with the Diwan Seshagiri Raya who...

     (1828–1837) – Thulam-Maasathil Theepett1a Thampuran (King who died in "Thulam" month (ME))
  30. Rama Varma XII
    Rama Varma XII
    Rama Varma XII was an Indian monarch who ruled the Kingdom of Cochin from 1837 to 1844.- Reign :Rama Varma was a cousin of Rama Varma XI and ascended the throne on his death in November 1837. In 1840, the Diwan Venkata Subbaraya resigned and replaced with Shankara Warrier.- References :...

     (1837–1844) – Edava-Maasathil Theepett1a Thampuran (King who died in "Edavam" month (ME))
  31. Rama Varma XIII
    Rama Varma XIII
    Rama Varma XIII was an Indian monarch who ruled the Kingdom of Cochin from 1844 to 1851.- Reign :Rama Varma was a nephew of Rama Varma XII and ascended the throne on his death in June 1844. He was the son of Ekkavu Thampuran, the ancestor of the present head of the household.- References :...

     (1844–1851) – Thrishur-il Theepetta Thampuran (King who died in "Thrishivaperoor" or Thrishur)
  32. Kerala Varma IV
    Kerala Varma IV
    Kerala Varma IV was an Indian monarch who ruled the Kingdom of Cochin from 1851 to 1853. He is posthumously known as Kaashiyil Theepetta Maharaja.- Reign :...

     (Veera Kerala Varma) (1851–1853) – Kashi-yil Theepetta Thampuran (King who died in "Kashi" or Varanasi)
  33. Ravi Varma IV
    Ravi Varma IV
    Ravi Varma IV was an Indian monarch who ruled the Kingdom of Cochin from 1853 to 1864.- Reign :Ravi Varma was the younger brother of Kerala Varma IV and succeeded the latter on his death at Benares in February 1853. Ravi Varma was not a capable monarch and had disagreements with his Diwan Venkata...

     (1853–1864) – Makara Maasathil Theepetta Thampuran (King who died in "Makaram" month (ME))
  34. Rama Varma XIV
    Rama Varma XIV
    Sir Rama Varma XIV KCSI was the ruler of the Kingdom of Cochin from 1864 to 1888. He was the first Maharajah of Cochin to be knighted.- Reign :...

     (1864–1888) – Mithuna Maasathil Theepetta Thampuran (King who died in "Mithunam" month (ME))
  35. Kerala Varma V
    Kerala Varma V
    Sir Kerala Varma V KCIE was the ruler of the Kingdom of Cochin from 1888 to 1895.- Reign :When Rama Varma XIV died in August 1888, his brother Kerala Varma succeeded him. Kerala Varma was acclaimed for his proficiency over the English language. Kerala Varma was knighted even before his accession...

     (1888–1895) – Chingam Maasathil Theepetta Thampuran (King who died in "Chingam" month (ME))
  36. Rama Varma XV (Sir Sri Rama Varma) (1895–1914) – aka Rajarshi, Abdicated Highness (died in 1932)
  37. Rama Varma XVI
    Rama Varma XVI
    Sir Sri Rama Varma XVI was the ruler of the Kingdom of Cochin from 1915 to 1932.- Reign :Rama Varma XVI succeeded Rama Varma XV on his abdication in 1914. Rama Varma ruled from January 25, 1915 till his death on March 21, 1932...

     (1914–1932) – Madrasil Theepetta Thampuran (King who died in Madras or Chennai)
  38. Rama Varma XVII
    Rama Varma XVII
    Rama Varma XVII was the ruler of the Kingdom of Cochin from March 25, 1932 to May 23, 1941.-Reign:Rama Varma ascended the throne on the death of Rama Varma XVI. The Cochin harbour was expanded and the Ernakulam High Court was established during his reign. Rama Varma also showed keen interest in...

     (1932–1941) – Dhaarmika Chakravarthi (King of Dharma), Chowara-yil Theepetta Thampuran (King who died in "Chowara")
  39. Kerala Varma VI
    Kerala Varma VI
    Kerala Varma VI was the ruler of the Kingdom of Cochin from May 23, 1941 to October 23, 1943.- Reign :Rama Varma ascended the throne on the death of Rama Varma XVII.He was a younger brother of Rama Varma XVI...

     (1941–1943) – Midukkan Thampuran
  40. Ravi Varma V (Ravi Varma Kunjappan Thampuran) (1943–1946) – Kunjappan Thampuran (Brother of Midukkan Thampuran)
  41. Kerala Varma VII (1946–1947) – Aikya Keralam Thampuran (The King who unified Kerala)

ME – Malayalam Era

Paliath Achan


The Paliath Achan
Paliath Achan
Paliath Achan or Paliyath Achan : is the name given to the oldest male member of the Paliam family , a Nair family from the Indian state of Kerala that figured prominently in the history of the region.-Overview:...

, or head of the Paliam Nair family of Chendamangalam, played an important part in the politics of Cochin state since the early seventeenth century, and held hereditary rights to the ministership of Cochin. The Paliath Achan was the most powerful person after the king, and he sometimes exerted more power than the king.

In addition, there were many Desaavzhis around the Cochin area, among them Paliyam swaroopam, who was second to the Perumpadappu swaroopam. Other powerful lords around these areas were "Cheraneloore Karthavu", "Mappranam Prabhu", "Vellose Nair", "Edappali Nampiyathiri," and "Anchi Kaimal." "Shakthan Thampuran" destroyed their powers and confisicated the properties of most of these lords. However, following the rebellion of the Paliath Achan
Paliath Achan
Paliath Achan or Paliyath Achan : is the name given to the oldest male member of the Paliam family , a Nair family from the Indian state of Kerala that figured prominently in the history of the region.-Overview:...

 along with Velu Thampi Dalawa
Velu Thampi Dalawa
Velayudhan Chempakaraman Thampi was the Dalawa or Prime Minister of the Indian kingdom of Travancore between 1802 and 1809 during the reign of His Highness Maharajah Bala Rama Varma Kulasekhara Perumal...

 in 1810, the powers of this chief were curbed.

Parukutty Nethyar Amma



Maharaja
Maharaja
Mahārāja is a Sanskrit title for a "great king" or "high king". The female equivalent title Maharani denotes either the wife of a Maharaja or, in states where that was customary, a woman ruling in her own right. The widow of a Maharaja is known as a Rajamata...

 Rama Varma (popularly known as Madrassil Theepetta Thampuran), who reigned from 1914 to 1932, was assisted by a particularly able consort
Queen consort
A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king. A queen consort usually shares her husband's rank and holds the feminine equivalent of the king's monarchical titles. Historically, queens consort do not share the king regnant's political and military powers. Most queens in history were queens consort...

 named Parukutty Nethyar Amma
Panapillai Amma
Panapillai Amma was the title held by the consort of the ruling Maharajah of Travancore. Its literal translation is 'the royal consort' since as per the formerly existent matriarchal system in Travancore, the Maharajah's sister, and not his wife, was the Maharani. Thus the wife took the title of...

 (b.1874). The Nethyar was the daughter of Kurur Namboodiripad, who was a member of the family that had the traditional honour of anointing the kings of Palakkad
Palakkad
Palakkad , formerly known as Palghat, is a municipality and a town in the state of Kerala in southern India, spread over an area of 26.60 km2.The city is situated about north of state capital Thiruvananthapuram. It is the administrative headquarters of Palakkad District...

. Her mother belonged to the Padinjare Shrambhi house of the aristocratic Vadakke Kuruppath house of Trichur. She married the Maharaja
Maharaja
Mahārāja is a Sanskrit title for a "great king" or "high king". The female equivalent title Maharani denotes either the wife of a Maharaja or, in states where that was customary, a woman ruling in her own right. The widow of a Maharaja is known as a Rajamata...

, then fourth in line to the succession, when she was fourteen years old in 1888. It is said that she was especially blessed by the Devi
Devi
Devī is the Sanskrit word for Goddess, used mostly in Hinduism, its related masculine term is deva. Devi is synonymous with Shakti, the female aspect of the divine, as conceptualized by the Shakta tradition of Hinduism. She is the female counterpart without whom the male aspect, which represents...

 at the Chottanikkara Temple. By a quirk of fate her husband ascended the throne as a result of the abdication of his predecessor. Since the Maharaja was a scholar and had other interests (including knowledge of how to cure snake bites and comprehend the language of lizards known as Gawli Shashtra), she took over the finances of the state. Under her guidance salaries were quadrupled and the increased revenue earned her a 17-gun salute. Parukutty Nethyar Amma was awarded the Kaiser-i-Hind
Kaiser-i-Hind
The Kaisar-i-Hind was a medal awarded by the British monarch between 1900 and 1947, to civilians of any nationality who rendered distinguished service in the advancement of the interests of the British Raj....

 medal by King George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

 in 1919 for public work and came to be known as Lady Rama Varma of Cochin.


The Nethyar Amma was not only an able administrator but also a Nationalist, moving from being seen as an exemplary public figure in the eyes of the British to earning the ire of the colonial state for her relationships with Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi , pronounced . 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement...

 and India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n nationalists. As one British intelligence report stated, "The hill palace is the centre of nationalist activity and charkhas have been introduced to assist the weaving of khadi." (see Fortnightly Intelligence Reports available at the National Archives of India
National Archives of India
The National Archives of India is a repository of the non-current records of the Government of India and is holding them in trust for the use of administrators and scholars. Originally established as the 'Imperial Record Department' in 1891, in Calcutta, the then capital of British India...

) In addition, a little known fact about the Cochin state is the attempt made by the British government and the Viceroy
Viceroy
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

 to force the Maharajah to abdicate under the ploy of trying to prove him insane. A doctor was brought from London to bolster the case, and the physician opined that the "Maharaja was merely an old man who tired easily". This attempt was directly linked to the fear that the Nethyar Amma
Panapillai Amma
Panapillai Amma was the title held by the consort of the ruling Maharajah of Travancore. Its literal translation is 'the royal consort' since as per the formerly existent matriarchal system in Travancore, the Maharajah's sister, and not his wife, was the Maharani. Thus the wife took the title of...

, or the "Consort" as she was referred to by the British, was becoming increasingly powerful in nationalist circles.

The head of the Congress party
Indian National Congress
The Indian National Congress is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is the largest and one of the oldest democratic political parties in the world. The party's modern liberal platform is largely considered center-left in the Indian...

 in Cochin was Kurur Nilakantan Namboodiripad who was a cousin of the Nethyar Amma. The Collected Works containing Gandhi's letters include correspondence between the Maharajah's daughter V. K. Vilasini Amma and himself, and a second daughter V.K Ratnamma was married to R. M. Palat, himself a politician and the son of Sir C. Sankaran Nair
C. Sankaran Nair
Sir Chettur Sankaran Nair KCIE was the President of the Indian National Congress in 1897 held at Amraoti. Until present he is the only Keralite to hold the post.-Early life and education:...

, the former president of the Congress Party and well known nationalist. The Maharaja's son V.K Aravindaksha Menon was married to Malathy, the daughter of V. K Narayana Menon a prominent contractor in Trichur in whose house "Pandyala", Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru , often referred to with the epithet of Panditji, was an Indian statesman who became the first Prime Minister of independent India and became noted for his “neutralist” policies in foreign affairs. He was also one of the principal leaders of India’s independence movement in the...

, Kamala and Indira Nehru
Indira Gandhi
Indira Priyadarshini Gandhara was an Indian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms and a fourth term . She was assassinated by Sikh extremists...

 rested on their way to Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

. When Gandhi visited Cochin, he was treated as a state guest, and Aravindaksha Menon, the Nethyar Amma's son personally was deputed to accompany him. Soon Parukutty Nethyar Amma appeared opposed, which proved to be a significant hurdle for British interests in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

.

On the death of the Maharaja, the Nethyar Amma initially retired to the palace she had constructed for herself in her home town Trichur, near her ancestral house, Padinjare Shrambhi. The house, Ratna Vilas, was named after her elder daughter Ratnam. The Nethyar Amma then went on an extended tour abroad, taking along her grandson Sankaran Palat, who was admitted to Le Rosey in Switzerland and later to Charterhouse, England. She returned to India and divided her time between Trissur and Coonoor
Coonoor
Coonoor is a town and a municipality in the Nilgiris district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is known for its production of Nilgiri tea....

, where she purchased two tea estates and a tea factory.

The dynasty today


Members of the dynasty are spread all over the world (In five continents). The family is one of the world's largest royal families, numbering more than 1000 people, and many members of the family still live in and around Trissur (Chazhur), Tripunithura and other parts of Kochi.

See also

  • Cochin Royal Family
    Cochin Royal Family
    The Cochin royal family were rulers of Cochin, or Kochi, India. They were also known as Perumpadapu Swaroopam or Kuru Swaroopam.-Tradition of Perumpadapu Swaroopam:...

  • History of Kochi
    History of Kochi
    Kochi is a city in the Indian state of Kerala. Kochi is located in the district of Ernakulam. Old Kochi loosely refers to a group of islands including Willingdon Island, Fort Kochi and Mattancherry...

  • Thrippunithura Royal Heritage
    Thrippunithura
    Thrippunithura or Tripunithura is a suburb of the city of Kochi in the state of Kerala, India and an integral part of the Kochi metropolitan area. In local administration it is a municipality...


External links