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: CalicutNet Newsletter

 Fast Forward Calicut:  While these pages are fundamentally about ancient Calicut (Kozhikode) and Kerala history, we will talk at the same time about the present Calicut here in fast forward page after page. What's included is a brief description about the important locations in the city and the significance of those places.  Mananchira has added to its charm through a thorough renovation that was done in and around Mananchira few years back | Next in Fast Forward : Mananchira:


Prehistory: Arabian Sea once extended to the foot of the Western Ghats, and 'Cheram' or Cheranadu or Keralam is believed to have emerged out of the sea bit by bit over a period of many centuries. Areas like Malappuram can claim its antiquity much more than the coastal districts of Kerala.


1st to 5th century A.D. - Three powers ruled over today’s Kerala. They were Aay Rajas in the southern side, Ezhimala Kings in the northern side, and the first Chera kingdom comprising most of the present central Kerala.


500 to 814 A.D. - Kerala passed through a dark period in history which saw a multitude of invasions from outside. Invasion of Kalabhrars took place initially. The Kalabhrars were defeated by the Chalukyas, Pallavas and Pandyars. Later on there were invasions by the Rashtrakudas. Some of these kings claim to have ruled over Kerala. Many of these claims may have been exaggerations, but it can be safely concluded that this was a period of extreme political instability in Kerala. These ages also witnessed the biggest Brahmin settlements into Kerala, especially in the 8th century A.D. The Rashtrakudars were supported by gramams like the Chovvaram gramam, who were Saivites. The Aryan Brahmins of these gramams may have come with these rulers.


800 to approx.1122 A.D. - Second Chera kingdom. During this period the southern parts of Kerala returned to the political stability that it once enjoyed. However the later years witnessed bloody wars with the strong Chola empire. The Chera kings were powerful emperors who ruled over most of southern Kerala. The northern parts of Kerala were relatively under smaller chieftains.


896 A.D. : Konganpada - War between Kongu king and Nedumpurayoor (Palakkad Raja). Kongu army was defeated by combined armies of Nedumpurayoor, Walluvanad, Ernad and Perumpadappu. In honour the Walluvanad Raja received Kurissi Vilayan Chathanur and Kaithala villages from Nedumpurayoor. This event is even now celebrated as a historical event in Chittur taluk where the fight took place.


949 A.D. : Vallabhankumaran, son of Raja Sekharan ( the first Walluwanad Raja about whom there are inscriptions ) who was Governor of Vallabha Rashtra under Kerala king, and Rajaditya Chola, the Chola prince, fought Pallava Ruler Krishna Deva III. The inscriptions of Tiruvattiyur gives the story of Vallabhankumaran renouncing his worldly life and assuming the ascetic order because he could not help his friend Rajaditya Chola who died in the battle of Takkolam in this war.


1000 A.D. - Mention is made of 'Rayiran Chathan, the owner of Walluva province, the Arangottu Swaroopam', as a witness in the Jew's Copper Plate given to Joseph Rabban by Bhaskara Ravi Varma I, the Chera ruler of Kerala. Walluvanad, and most of Malabar also, was now under the sway of the Chera empire.


Approx. 1122 A.D. - The Second Chera empire abruptly ended. Only legends indicate what might have happened. The last Chera king, Ramavarma Kulasekharan, secretly left for Mecca and embraced Islam religion after dividing the kingdom among his relatives and chieftains, according to the most popular legend. The independent kingdoms that came into being were 18 in number. One of the King's princes was given Venad. The king appointed the Walluvanad Raja or Valluvakkonathiri (Vellaattiri) to preside over the Thirunavaya assembly as Rakshapurusha. When dissention or dispute arose between the different naduvazhis or others, it was the duty of the Rakshapurusha to make the contestants resolve their disputes. [Logan is of the opinion that Vellaattiri was also not directly under the Chera kings but enjoyed more freedom and rights than other chieftains under them. (Logan, Vol. 1, pp. 256-57)]


Next: Rules of Naduvazhis

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