|Ammakovil Thampuran :Thampuran
= king :
During the third century B.C. Emperor Asoka of the Mauryadynasty
sent monks to spread Buddhism to different parts of India,Sri Lanka,
Burma, even to Greece and Persia. Rock inscriptions madeby Asoka record
Kerala as Keralaputra which literally means Kerala'sson. Keralaputra
is a misnomer for Cheraputra. This corroborates themythical story
that Parasurama advised the Brahmin families hebrought from Aryapuram
in Bijapur district to hire Chera kings whoruled the adjoining country
for he believed that they would ruleimpartially.
Twenty-five Cheraman Perumals or kings ruled Kerala from 216to
428 A.D. Cranganore was their capital and their palace was at
Cheraman parambu (Cheraman's compound), site of the present AllalPerum-kovil-akam
pagoda within the great temple compound at
Thiruvanchikulam near Cranganore.
During the 11th century, a hundred-year war with the Cholas reduced
the Chera kingdom to petty principalities. Kerala split
into many chieftaincies, the prominent among them being that of
the Zamorin of Calicut in the north, Travancore in the south, and
in the middle.
At different times, the Pandyas of Madurai, the Cholas of Tanjore
and the King of Vijayanagar (in Mysore) conquered and held
sway over Kerala from time to time.
Foreign influence has also had a long history. When St. Thomas
arrived in Kerala in 52 A.D., there was a colony of Jews in
Muziris (Cranganore). In 345 A.D., four hundred Persian Christians
emigrated from Mesopotamia to escape the persecution of Sapor II.
They arrived in Cranganore under the leadership of one Kanaye Thomman
(Thomas of Cana) along with Bishop Joseph. In 823 A.D. more
Persian immigrants arrived in Quilon with Marwan Sabrisho, a merchant.
Two bishops, Mar Sapro and Mar Prodh came with him. They
were hospitably received by king Cheraman Perumal. Sabrisho built
a church in Quilon with grants from the Cheraman Perumal. These
special grants were recorded on five copper plates, three of which
are in the old seminary in Kottayam and two with the Metropolitan
King Udaya Marthanda Varma of Venad established a township in Kollam
(Quilon) in honour of the Persian immigrants and their endeavors.
He convened a grand assembly of learned men of his kingdom in Kollam
and established the Malayalam Era.
Another story about the origin of the Malayalam Era is that the
Marthanda Varma of Kulasekhara Dynasty, acquired such prominence
as Chera ruler that he promulgated the Malayalam Era in 825 A.D..
Until the eighth century, when the Kulasekhara Dynasty established
its control over Kerala, Tamil was the language of the
area. When Ravi Varma Kulasekhara of Travancore established his
rule over all of south India, Malayalam emerged as the language.
eighth and the ninth centuries A.D. were the sublime periods in
the history of Kerala, marking the advance of philosophy, fine arts,
dance, music, literature and education