Unraveling the Cheraman Perumal Myth

(All photographs by author)

This is the board outside the Cheraman Perumal Juma Masjid near present day Kodungallur, Kerala which proclaims that the mosque was established when Prophet Muhammad was alive. It also means that this particular mosque was established before the first mosques in Iraq (639 CE),  Syria (715 CE),  Egypt (642 CE), and Tunisia (670 CE) thus making it oldest mosque after the first mosques in Saudi Arabia and China. The interesting question is why would a mosque be established so far away from the deserts where Islam was spreading? Who was behind it and more importantly, is the mosque as old as it claims?

There is a popular story behind this mosque which is well known in Kerala even today. Once a king — a Cheraman Perumal — was walking on the balcony of his palace when he spotted the moon splitting into two and joining back again. Bewildered, he consulted a few astrologers, who confirmed that such an event had indeed occurred and was not a mystical experience. Few months later, he got a few Arab visitors on their way to Ceylon and  from them, the king learned that Prophet Muhammad was behind this miracle and he was the founder of a new religion. The king did something drastic. He abdicated the throne, divvied up the kingdom and set sail to Mecca to meet this man. He met the Prophet and converted to Islam and lived in Arabia for a while. Then to spread the religion in his homeland, the converted Perumal returned to Kerala, but he died somewhere along the way.

Later, few of his followers reach Cranganore and it is they who set up the first mosques, including the one at Kodungallur. According to the legend, Saraf Ibn Malik, Malik Ibn Dinar, Malik Ibn Habib, Ibn Malik and their wives and friends were responsible for establishing the first mosques at Kodungallur, Kollam (in North, not Quilon), Maravi (Matayi), Fakanur, Manjarur (Mangalore), Kanjirakuttu (Kasergode), Jarfattan (Karippat), Dahfattan (Dharmatam), Fandarina (Pantalayani Kollam) and Caliyath (Chaliyam near Beypore)

A photo of the old mosque. Taken inside the museum

 

There is one thing to be noted about Cheraman Perumal. That was not the name of a particular king, but a title. Cheraman was the name of the dynasty of Chera rulers and Perumal meant, ‘the great one’. According to Keralolpathi (Origins of Kerala), written in the 17th or 18th century, following various conflicts in the 9th century, the representatives of 64 settlements in Kerala brought the Perumals from outside Kerala and each one was to rule for 12 years. There have been exceptions, though and once such exception would play an important role in this story.

First, is this story really true?

This story is found in a Muslim account recorded by Sheikh Zeinuddin as well as in the Brahminical narrative, Keralolpathi. The story has been retold countless times by the Portuguese, Dutch; the court chronicles of Calicut and Cochin begin with this narrative. There is epigraphic evidence as well: a Chola inscription mentions that the Cheras took to the sea after they were attacked which historians interpret to mean the Cherman Perumal voyage. There is evidence even from Arabia about the tomb of a king from Malabar who converted to Islam. Thus there seems to be sufficient evidence to suggest that a king from Malabar converted to Islam. That brings us to the second question: When?

This fascinating tale of a Kerala king meeting the Prophet was first recorded in 1510 CE by the Portuguese writer Duarte Barbosa.  Barbosa, who would later become Ferdinand Magellan’s brother-in-law and would join him on his trip around the world, reached Kerala in 1500 with his uncle and stayed there for five decades.  Quite conversant in the local language and based on his familiarity with the traditions and customs, he wrote the story of this Cheraman Perumal based on what he had heard.

His version goes as follows: Around 600 years before Barbosa’s time, there was a mighty lord named Chirimay Perumal, whose capital was a popular port for pepper trade. The Moors who came for trade had numerous discussions with the king and they converted him to Islam. He went to Mecca in their company and died either there or on the way back; the Malabar people never saw their king again. Barbosa also wrote that the single kingdom which Cheraman Perumal ruled was partitioned into three — Cannanore, Calicut and Quilon — with Calicut having the right of coinage. But pay attention to one little detail: Barbosa mentions that this incident happened 600 years back and not 875 years.

A model of the old mosque

 

The next version of this story was written eight decades later by Sheikh Zeinuddin, a Malayali Muslim with Arab ancestry. In his account, a set of Arab Muslims reached Cranganore on their way to Adam’s foot in Ceylon (See: How did Adam reach Sri Lanka). The king invited them to his palace and in what must be one of the easiest conversion attempts in the world, converted after listening to their conversation. He divided the kingdom and secretly went to Arabia with the pilgrims which agrees with what  Barbosa wrote. Zeinuddin  also mentioned  that this king was ruler of the land from Kasargod to Kanya Kumari and gives an important detail regarding the date. According to him, this incident did not happen during the lifetime of the prophet, but two centuries later.

In 1610 CE, another version of this story came out from another Portuguese writer named Joas de Barros. Barros was an administrator in the House of India and Mina in Lisbon and was responsible for dispatching various fleets to India and his work was completed by Diogo de Coutos. According to his account, Cherman Peruman was a great king and his kingdom was frequented by many Moors for commerce. According to Barros, these Moors were religious fanatics and converted the king to Mohammedanism. He moved to Calicut and the Moors there made him believe that he had to go to Mecca to save his soul, which he promptly did after diving up his kingdom. This was the time when the Portuguese  had to resort to sea voyages to avoid Muslim controlled land route and were in competition with the Muslim traders to gain favours with the kings of Kerala for trade rights. Some of that antagonism is visible in the language.

Coutos then adds a twist to the tale which makes this very interesting. According to him, the Perumal was close to the St. Thomas Christians based in Kodungallur and would not do anything without consulting them. Coutos drops a bombshell by adding that he was converted to their holy faith, implying that the Perumal was converted to Christianity and not Islam. Coutos also mentions that the Perumal died in the house of Apostle St. Thomas in Mylapore and thus disagreeing with the Mecca trip.

Thus within a century, you see the story being retold to based on the convenience of the Portuguese who were doing excellent trade in Malabar. But there is one data point that stands out in the narrative of Barros. He writes that the king, Sarama Perumal  reigned 612 years before “we” landed in India. It is not clear if that refers to the period when Barros’ ships landed in Malabar or if it refers to Vasco da Gama’s first voyage of 1498. Even if you take 1498 CE, the king would have reigned in 886 CE which is two centuries after the date mentioned on the board at the Cheraman Perumal Juma Masjid. This also agrees with what historian A Sreedhara Menon mentioned in his Survey of Kerala History

This is how the mosque looks now

In 1723, the Dutch chaplain Canter Visscher wrote about this story, with another twist. He agrees that Cheraman Perumal was a great king who distributed his kingdom and undertook a voyage. The journey was, “either to the Ganges in fulfillment of a vow or as the Moors say to visit Mahomet in Arabia for the purpose of embracing his religion” implying that there were multiple theories existing at that time. The Cheraman Perumal story continued in the accounts of Dutch Commander Van Adriaan Moens (1781 CE), Francis Buchanan (1801 CE), Keralolpathi (17th or 18th century) and Granthavari (19th century).

Though there are minor variations and the influence of local politics, the Portuguese and Muslim accounts agree on one thing: a king from Kerala set off to Mecca, but this Cheraman Perumal did not travel in the time period mentioned in the board outside the mosque. But, this should be a relatively simple problem to solve. If this incident did happen, then all you need is  figure out who was the last Cheraman Perumal and that is where temple inscriptions are helpful.

There is a inscription of Vikrama Chola dating to 1122 CE which mentions that while the Pandyas took to the Ghats, the Cheras took to the sea. There are other statements in that inscription which have been proven historically and hence there is some truth to the Cheras taking to the sea as well. Historians read this to mean that the last Chera Perumal, who was Rama Kulasekhara, left by sea.  There is a record from another temple which mentions that a garland was offered to the deity for the benefit of Cheramar Rama which meant that the Rama Kulasekhara lived till 1122 CE.

This points to a date much later than the ones mentioned by the Portuguese and Muslim sources. There is more evidence on this front. According to the tradition the Perumal who reached Arabia sent some messengers to preach Islam in Kerala who established ten mosques, of which one is at Matayi. According to an inscription found at that mosque, it was built in 1124 CE, two years after the disappearance of Cheraman Rama Kulasekhara. Since we know the name of the king, it is easy to find references to other kings who were contemporaries and that can help solve the mystery. Two kings mentioned in connection with the last Perumal are  Udaya Varman of Koluttunad and Kavivamsha of the Tulu kingdom. Based on a inscription, Udaya Varman has been dated to the early 12th century and the Alupa King Kavivamsha ruled in the first half of the 12th century.

This complicates the narrative. From the story taking place in the 8th century, we have moved to the 12th century. Now comes another story which throws a spanner into the works. It turns out that this story was known in Arabia as well.  In 1882, William Logan recorded an incident where 15 years back a man came from Arabia soliciting funds for the repair of a mosque and tomb. This tomb, located in Zapahar in the Arabian coast had an inscription which said that it belonged to Abdul Rahman Saimiri, a king of Malabar. The inscription mentions that this man reached in year 212 of the Hijera. The name in the tomb looks like it was a Samuthiri, but there is no such record of a Zamorin traveling abroad and getting converted.

There is one thing though: this was an important event in Kerala’s history with the disintegration of central rule and the formation of many small kingdoms. But was the disappearance of the king the reason for this change or was the change that happened tagged to the departure of the king?

Lake behind the mosque

The Cheras were under attack by the Chola and Pandya forces and the king would have been forced to make deals with Jews, Muslim and Christian traders for financial and military assistance displeasing the Nairs and Brahmins. The revenue would have been affected and with an ungovernable kingdom, an easy way out would have  been the abdication of the throne. With the Cholas and Pandyas attacking the north and south, many areas would have become independent of the central power and the partition of the land may have been just a formal recognition of the ground reality. The Perumal’s Mecca voyage was a symbolic tale which captured all of this.

The Brahminical narrative, Keralolpathi, has another reason for this departure. First, the Perumal was upset having reigned for a long period the land which was the gift of Parasurama and wanted to make amends. The Perumals were supposed to rule for 12 years and make way for the next one; this one ruled for 36 years. Second, he had the supreme commander of the armed forces killed on the basis of a woman’s words which he regretted later and so conversion to Islam was probably a way out.

As we go through written records, temple inscriptions and legends, this story gets murky. At this point we have two possible dates for this event: the 9th century and 12th century. It is not a difference of a few decades, but a few centuries. Some people thought he took a trip to the Ganges and another thought he was converted to Christianity and not Islam. There is even a suggestion that it was not a Perumal, but a Zamorin. Sometimes, from these different versions you learn more about the writer and his politics than the truth, like a kind of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle applied to historiography. Even though the mystery is not solved, it seems that a person some repute reached Mecca from Malabar, and it seems clear that the incident did not happen in the period mentioned in the board.

If you are interested in this topic, please read these blog posts as well.

  1. The Perumal and the Pickle
  2. A tale of two conversions
  3. The myth of Cheraman Perumal’s conversion

References:

  1. Perumals of Kerala by Prof. M.G.S.Narayanan
  2. Survey of Kerala History by Prof. A Sreedhara Menon

27 Comments

  1. The stand taken by Kerala historians affects and distorts the history of Tamilnadu and Karnataka. There is a lull in the history of Kerala from fifth century AD to thirteenth century AD. The corroboration with Tamilnadu and Karnataka will reveal that the tern PERUMAL corroborates with Perumanadikal a term used by Gangs kings. The original line of Chera kings ended with King Senguttuvan and probably due to rise of Kadambas and Uchangi Pandiyas a branch of Chera line would have moved around Karur via Palani Hills since the area of Moonaru basin stretching from Tenkasi to Udumalpet offered contact between Chera kingdom and Tamilnadu. Further the history of Velirs will reveal that all the Velirs occupied the area between Mysore and Tenkasi and the rise of Chutu Nagas and Kadambas would have pushed Cheras towards Tamilnadu. A branch of Chera kings established themselves in and around Karuvur region with Chera coins of Makothai and Kokandan appearing in Pugular/Karuvur etc., Kula also denotes Serpent and Chutu Nagas may be translated as Kulasekhara Chootu in Tamil normally wearing in Head as Sekhara and Naga as Kula. This is further supplemented by the fact that Tulu had extensive contact with Kashmir and Mother Goddess worship originated in Kashmir only with Tantrism known by the term Kullinas. The places Kollur/Kollipavai/Korravai and Lord Parasurama’s Raktha Tharpanam is nothing but Ritual of Bharani referred in Jalingathu parani/Takkayagaparani. Further Kandan Ravi/Paluvettarsiyar princes Kandan Maran/Kandan Amuthan corroborates with it. Though Venad At kings claim as Yadu Kula the kings with title Ravivarman still claim origin of Solar line with general claim of Gang as/the double claim of Chalukyas as Solar/Lunar line etc., However with all these confusion the Kerala kings adopted only Kadambas establishing Gatikas/Shalas the secularization of Brahminism whoever coming out of Ghatika/Shala was given the title of Brahmadhirajar. Historians wantonly mislead the term Brahmadhirajas. A comparison of Cholas and Karnataka inscriptions will reveal that the term Brahmadhiraja was extensively used in Karnataka inscriptions which if accepted as referring to Brahmins will take us to conclusion that 50% of population in Chalukyas would be Brahmins which is impossible. Thus when read with Cholas inscriptions we can come to the conclusion which is relevant even in northern Karnataka/Maharashtra that the term Brahmin refer only to the skills attained and not to Brahmins as understood in Tamilnadu. That is why Sowrashtrians claim that they are GSB.. it is still in doubt whether Purandaradasa was a Vrahmin/or Koli. Similar is the cade of Pergeddes/Heggedes. Gangs king Prithivipathi ally of Parantaka was referred as Perumanadhiyaraiyar i. e., Brahmadhirajar. Similarly Sambuvaraiyars were also known as Brahmadhirajar. However Brahmins in Government services were known as Brahma marayar. The Brahmadhirajars were Brahmakshatriyas and were powerful from Nandas to early Cholas. The Agyapathi and Mahasamantha of Velvikudi grant/Siruthondar/Kumudavalli wife of Tirumangai Alwar were all Brahmakshatriyas. With the rise of Hoysalas they lost relevance and now they have become Kayasthas in north and Karuneegar in Tamilnadu with two revolutionaries in Hindu Spiuritualam Vallalar and Swami Vivekananda’s belonging to this clan. Thus there is no possibility of Cheruman Perumal going to Arabia and it was due to incompetence of Kolathiris/Samuthiris to combat mercantile class they succumbed voluntarily to all cock and bull stories and satisfied with Kerolothpathi and putting all blame on Namboothiris.

  2. Very nice article. BTW could you throw some more light on the “evidence even from Arabia about the tomb of a king from Malabar who converted to Islam.”? Thanks.

  3. It is really amazing to note that why Kerala and Bengal always indulge in Hindu baiting. At least in Tamilnadu it goes by Dravidian supremacy. However Kerala historians project history in such a way that there is no history beyond western ghats and they belong to clan of preachers from Middle East to spread Gospel among the savages. That is why they bent on creating conversion of Chetuman/St.Thoma Cana and Namboothiris. On the one hand they are firm on Adi Sankara hailing from Kalady in 788AD driving Buddhists away( to where?) and on the other hand His contemporary Cheruman fleeing to Arabia to become Muslim. The best way to link both of them is to concote a story where Cheruman unable to bear dominance of Adi Sankara and his followers Namboothiris in enforcing Varna Dharma fled to Arabia convert to Islam and brought a large army to uproot Namboothiris who fled to Tamilnadu along with retreating Cholas. At one master stroke everybody can be humbled– the defeat of Cholas against Arabs and leaving Kerala the liberation of Malapuram from Namboothiris the flight of Namboothiris at the time of Cholas–Chola inscriptions mention large scale settlement of Malayalee Brahmins in Mazhapadi near Trichy.

    1. Yes, people who believe that the people of Harappan Civilization spoke Dravidian, are best qualified to teach rest of the world how history is done

  4. The Cheraman Jama Masjid in Kodungallur is the oldest and perhaps the first Mosque in India built around 612 AD. It is said the last Cheraman Peruman had gone to Mecca to learn about Islam and became a Muslim there. And, this last Cheraman fell sick while returning to India and died in the port town of Salalah(Oman). This has also been confirmed by the present descendant of Cheraman family Raja Valiathampuram of Kodungallur in an interview. Interestingly I was in Salalah (Oman) for 18 months during my eight years’ stay in Sultanate of Oman. The locals and my Malabar friends used to say there was “a kabarastan of Malabari King” in Salalah. Now I feel sorry that I did not care visit the place during that time.

  5. JK..
    just back from Kerala – have come across another fascinating study on this topic recently, that of Cheraman perumal, I will get to it soon and attempt to plug in some holes..

  6. It is a wonder that even before Hijira (622AD) Cheruman converted himself as a Muslim and Bult a Mosque!Fantastic history!

  7. As per history Prophet was given revelation in 612 AD by God’s Messenger Gabriel. Thus by building mosque in the year of revelation Chetuman is one step ahead of Prophet! Probably as per Kerala history with KEROLOTHPATHI as basis Gabriel would have given revelation to Cheruman even before Prophet to construct mosque before birth of Islam and hence Cheruman sailed to Arabia to share revelations. All the Semitic Religions have roots only in Kerala. St.Thomas preached Gospel even before it reached throughout Middle East!! Truly Kerala is Eden and thus other parts of India are infidels and Pagans!!

  8. Viswarupa, You wrote “As per history Prophet was given revelation in 612 AD” See the board on when the mosque was established. Guess which number is greater. Please don’t give up your day job and become a historian.

  9. Please see the earlier letter–Dt28/07/2024 8-30pm. It is given–oldest mosque built around 612AD. This is with reference to the information given.The question is — why are Kerala historians are fascinated with the claim– Christianity entered India before it covered fully Middle East and Cheruman’s conversion to Islam from 612 AD to 1122 AD. In an earlier letter someone based on Vikrama Chola’s inscription referring flight of Kerala king to sea conjectured the probability of Cheruman conversion to Islam around 1122 AD. The Kerala history affects Tamil history in the sense that there were two greatest Cheramans– one Saivaite and another Vaishnavaite. Kulasekhara is one of the greatest personalities. He was the only king who was never imperialistic and imperialism of other kings made him vanquisher of all kings and he crowned himself at Karuvur. You please go through Tirumangai Mannan the greatest secularist who praised KOCHENGANAN/KAVARKON and CHERAMAN KULASEKHARA. Similarly any legend connecting St.Thomas with Mylapore reduces Pallavas/St.Thirugnanasambhandar/Tirumangai Mannan irrelevant. It is plain history Chola empire was built only from princes of Cheras– STHANU RAVI/VELLAN KUMARAN THE BRAHMIN GENERAL OF RAJADITYA WHO BECAME CHATURANA PUNDITHA establishing Mutt at Tiruvottriyur and the Parampara of Chaturana Pundithas were spiritual preceptors of all Chola kings up to Kulothunga III. Why can’t Kerala historians turns their attention to large scale migration from Kerala– even Thiruganasambandar refers to Malayalee Brahmins at MAZHANADU of Trichy and the reverse migration from MAZHANADU to Palakkad excellently given by Dr.Nagaswamy in his essay ANBIL AND PALAKKAD. The more Kerala historians thrust the impact of Middle East– the more Tamil gets marginalized. Whether one likes it or not Malainadu is more linked with Chola history than any other history and deviating from this is wanton undermining of Tamil. There are twelve Mangalasasana Vaishnava temples. Has any Kerala historian made any attempt on the history of those temples or why Vaishnavic Agamic are not practiced. On the other hand in Karnataka/Andhra such temples still retain Agamas. Why do Kerala historians completely neglect connection between Tamilnadu and Kerala. The more emphasis is given to Keralothpathi/St.Thomas legend/Cheruman conversion the more umbilical chord between Tamil and Kerala is being cut.

  10. Isn’t there is Church in Mylapore which worships St. Thomas? Why are you not going and protesting there or writing against it? Isn’t that in Tamil Nadu?

    1. I am neither saddened nor anguished over your sarcastic comments. In India myths and history are interpreted to suit political agenda. For example even my father did not know who built Thanjavur temple even though belonging to that place. But due to Lord Curzon Dr.Heltzsh/Venayya/K.V.Subramania Sastry the inscriptions were beginning to be deciphered then everybody began to speak about it. There are so many myths in this country within recorded history of two thousand years out of this Cheruman/St.Thomas has direct relationship with history of Tamilnadu. Similarly when questions are raised about Ramanuja and Delhi sultans eyebrows are raised since during Ramanuja’s period only Gahadwalas were ruling with whom Kulothunga I had excellent relationship. If one believes Ramanuja legend he has to forget Kulothunga I and Gahadwalas. There is no harm in it. Similarly is the legend of Adhi Sankara. If one believes the legend don’t bring history since there are no historical evidences in South India linking him either with Kerala/Tamilnadu or Karnataka or taking his period at 788AD. If one believes the legend then he has to forget history. It is the greatest fallacy that it was only because of Adhi Sankara Buddhism disappeared. Allauddin Bhakthiyar Khilji massacred 10000 Buddhist monks and burnt Nalanda and the Palas were the most staunch supporters of Buddhism. Even in Arabic theological books only reference to Indian Religion is Buddhism. Up to thirteenth century AD Buddhist intellectuals were in Tamilnadu. Why should I protest StThomas church in Mylapore. If that be the case I should be going on protesting against Guru Parampara myths/Ananda Sankara Vijayam and so on. It is disgusting for freelance historians through misinterpreted history starting from Vedas to Alberuni political gain is made and historians want to prove at all costs that India did not have native religion and it is a coagulation of assymetric/dissimilar cultures which is impossibility as per science. The purpose of history in India is to declare that there is no soul for India but it thrives on amalgam of innumerable things.They have all succeeded.

    1. Those express opinions in private blogs are all key board warriors only. Indians can never accept ideological defeats but instead indulge in verbal/tongue twisting which is all the hallmark in tax disputes/proceedings in parliamentary forums/social media. Hence I am neither dismayed nor surprised at your disparaging remarks. It only shows Indians’ reluctance to move away from holding on theories where blame can be shifted to system/personalities they dislike. Indians can never march ahead on pure research and they are satisfied with theories already formulated by others and writing volumes and volumes of theories/interpretations on work done by others.. HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!

      1. Ranting is fine. Anyone can do it? We can rant about anything. What do you think should be done? Please list concrete steps which you can do.

        1. Private blogs are created only for exchange of views where by chance some earnest persons will take the lead and make further research on it. If everybody has to take concrete steps which can be done only by approved institutions neither the opinions can be closed down or in some blogs contrary opinions are blocked by moderators. Since views are only expressed and there is no privity among persons giving opinions there is nothing sacrosanct or getting emotional about contrary opinion. It is further easier for private blogs to filter the opinions contrary to personal likes rather than making sarcastic comments on contrary opinion. There is no use in getting agitated since this is not own livelihood nor it is going to make any impact just like Facebook or Letters to Editor etc., Everybody has got other solemn obligations rather than getting unnecessarily excited on some innocuous remarks
          .

  11. Please go back and read all your comments once again. There is only one theme which says that everything in the world regarding history is wrong. You are just whining. So my question is simple, how will you fix this problem. You became evasive and said, “approved institutions” and what not. I am asking, lets say you have total freedom to do something, what would you do?

    If you are just going to provide excuses and ask someone else to solve this, then you should stop writing. List some concrete steps.

    1. If I am education minister of India I will do the following: abolish Indian history from the text books. Two: People entering AIS would be given training on How British managed governance in India leaving aside self eulogy/self deception and parochial sentiments : Three The AIS will be exposed to how British conducted census operations their concern for main issues– recurring drought/floods/famines the literacy rate the sex ratio public health. When Sir Arthur Cotton expressed concern about the problem of irrigation in Cauvery delta improved drainage system constructed lower anaicut and changed Andhra into land of prosperity by constructing Dhawaleswaram barrage and Sir Pennick Quick spent his entire wealth and succeeding in diverting Periyar waters to parched Ramnad district why can’t the present administrative/political spectrum do miracle on vagaries of monsoon. History is not about empires but about how society shaped. How many people rember Jim Corbett who spent his entire life exploring Himalayas. What is the use in reading Cheruman converted to Moslem or not or St. Thomas visited Mylapore or not. INDIA LIVES ONLY IN CONTEMPORARY TIMES.. THROUGHOUT HISTORY IT IS NEITHRR ELATED BY PAST OR CONCERN FUTURE. Hence History is in the hands of partisan political mafia creating self eulogy/deception and imaginary milk and honey. If India needs to improve dump all history in the three seas. What India needs is how British managed India and how different acts were passed whether it requires modification or deletions and not what Asoka/Pulakesin/RAJENDRA did.

  12. As per Keralolpathi,Cheraman Perumal was a viceroy of a certain other non-Keralite king named Krishna Raya.Krishna Raya sent Cheraman Perumal to Kerala on the request of Brahmins from Kerala.So I doubt if this Cheraman Perumal of Keralolpathi was a Chera to begin with.

    1. One s wondered at the casual knowledge expressed without caring for corroboration. It is a historical fact Ravivarman Kulasekharan defeated Amir Khusroo at Kanchipuram around 1320 AD after which Dehi never looked back at South. However he did no leave any heir apparent and unfortunately died immediately driving Amir Kusroo. It was during 1370-90 Kumara Kampanna brought the Muslim rule to a clodse in Madurai and Tiruchi. It was after 120 years that Krishna Devaraya ascended the thrown and during that time Portuguese firmly established themselves at Goa and though Krishna Devaraya was an illustrious conqueror yet his relationship with Foreign merchant guilds was ambient and not aggressive as Cholas. He sent Nagama Nayaka to Madurai ending the remnant Pandiya rule and at that time only Venad rulers were identified as Kerala kings and there is no mention about Samuthiris. Even though Krishna Devarsya belong end to Tulu yet he did not evince much interest in the region between Goa to Kollam but consolidated power throughout Tamilnadu and Venadu. Thus Kerothpathi somehow wants to link Krishna Devaraya similar to governor appointed at Madurai. Thus the credibility of Kerolothpathi is still lowered which is never bothered about adjacent territories. I wonder when Ravivarman Kulasekharan’ s battle with Amir Kusroo is well taken in Tamilnadu why he was sidelined in Kerolothpathi which itself suggests to a period later than Krishna Devaraya

      1. I dont think that the Krishna Raya of Keralolpathi is Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagara.Some have suggested that he was a Rashtrakuta king because Rashtrakutas reigned at the time of supposed Namboothiri migration into Kerala.

        1. I think Deccan history has not been properly dealt in Kerala. There were three Krishna’s in Rashtrakuta dynasty and Krishna I and III were the most famous. Krishna was the contemporary of Dantivarman/Nandhivarman III and during Krishna I there were three powerful emperors Varaguna I/Dantivarma and Kulasekhara Perumal. Kulasekhara Perumal who did not like war but forced to retaliate was a powerful king and held in high esteem by not less than Tirumangai Mannan and held Karuvur. Hence there is no chance of Krishna I emigrating Namboothiris. Krishna III was contemporary of Parantaka I and he invaded Chola empire on behalf of his sister’s son Kannaradeva of Aditya Chola. All the Rashtrakuta/Chalukya kings were Jains though they patronized all religions. It is even more puzzling that Keral exhibits complete lack of history of adjacent states where Parasurama legend has been repeatedly referred in Sanghm classics with special references to Sellur where Parasuraman fulfilled oblation with blood of Bharani type. St.Thirugnanasambanda refers to Maayalee Brahmins in Mazhapadi and Paluvur kings were of Chera clan In the enthusiasm of establishing Namboothiris as intruders I wonder Krishna Devaraya/Rashtrakuta king Krishna are all dragged

  13. Regarding Cherman Perumals’ conversion,I think it is plausible.Because ,Kerala had excellent relations with the Middle East back in those days.There is even Middle Eastern genetic traits in some of the Malayali castes,for example,my community(Nairs)have good amount J2 Y-DNA in them,this haplogroup has its origins in the Middle East.

    Anyway,JK Sir,you have an excellent blog.I have been pursuing this blog for a while now 🙂
    I must say,excellent write ups!

  14. I dont think that the Krishna Raya or Keralolpathi is Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagara.Some have suggested that he was a Rashtrakuta king,because Rashtrakutas reigned at the supposed time when Namboothiris gained ascendancy in Kerala.

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