Kingdom of Valluvanad

  (Redirected from Valluvanad (southern Malabar))

Valluvanad was a minor independent chiefdom in present-day central Kerala that held power from the early 12th century to the end of the 18th century. Prior to that, and since the late 10th century, Valluvanad existed as an autonomous chiefdom within the kingdom of the Chera Perumals.[1][2] The disintegration of the Chera Perumal kingdom in early 12th century led to the independence of the various autonomous chiefdoms of the kingdom, Valluvanad being one of them.

Kingdom of Valluvanad

1124 CE–1793 CE
Thirumandhamkunnu Temple
Thirumandhamkunnu Temple
CapitalAngadipuram, Malappuram district, Kerala
Common languagesMalayalam.
• Established
1124 CE
• Disestablished
1793 CE

The earliest mention of the term "Valluvanad" as a geographical region, from the 9th and early 10th century, are references to a region within the Ay kingdom in the south Kerala, then a vassal to the Pandya kingdom.[3] It is possible that the new chiefdom in central Kerala (within the kingdom of the Chera Perumals) derives its origin from the eponymous subdivision in south Kerala.[1]

The geographical bounds of Valluvanad are hard to assess from available sources, and did vary significantly in time. It has been generally described as the region between the knolls of Pandalur Hills and the seashore of Ponnani.[4] The country covered the Bharathapuzha river basin in the south to the Pandalur Hills in the north. On the west, it was bounded by the Arabian Sea at the port Ponnani and on the east by Attappadi Hills. In the 12th centuy, Valluvanad probably had parts of Tirur and Ponnani Taluks within it, with Ponnani port providing the main access to the sea.

The chiefdom was disestablished in 1793 CE with the British East India Company taking over its management directly, and the hereditary ruling family settling for a pension arrangement.

Variations of the nameEdit

  • Valluvanad - Valluvanadu - Valluvanatu - Valluvanat - Walluvanad - Walluvanatu.
  • Swaroopam (Svarupam) - Arangottu (Aarangottu)
  • Vellattiri - Vellatiri - Velatra - Velnatera

Official namesEdit

  • Official name of the kingdom - the Kingdom of Vellattiri[5]
  • Official title of the Raja - Vallabha Raja (in the treaty with English)[5]

Hereditary titleEdit

  • Rajasekhara (or Rayaran/Irayira Chekaran or Irayiravar[2])
    • Rajasekhara and his son Vellan Kumaran (inscription)
    • Irayaran Chattan, the utaiyavar of Valluvanatu, in Jewish Copper Plates (1000 CE)


The headquarters of Valluvanad was the present day town of Angadipuram, which is now famous for its Thirumandhamkunnu Temple. The guardian deity of the Valluvanad royal family was Thirumandhamkunnu Bhagavati at Thirumandhamkunnu Temple [6]:93.


Family originEdit

The house/dynasty that had heriditary control over the region (in the north) was known as the Arangottu Swaroopam, possibly because the original home of the family was at Arangode (Arangottukara) along Bharathappuzha river near present-day Shoranur [1]:186. Another possible location for the original home of the family is in the present Kuruva-Makkaraparamba area[citation needed]. There is an Arangottu Siva temple as well there.

Region in south KeralaEdit

The Huzur Office Copper Plates (865 CE) (also known as the Parthivapuram plates) mention Valluvanad as a region within the Ay kingdom.[7] Eraniel in Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu is stated as being within this region. The plates refer to Karunandadakan (having the title of "Sree Vallabhan") and the establishment of the temple at Parthivasekharapuram (Shri Parthasarathy Temple at Parthivapuram in the Kanyakumari district).

Inscriptions at the Shiva temple at Thiruvotriyur (late 10th century CE) describing the life of Vellan Kumaran states that he is from a place called "Nandikkarai Puttur" (present-day Thirunandikkara), and is the son of the Valluvanad chieftain ('valabha rashtra natha') Rajasekhara.[8] Vellan Kumaran is described as a commander in the Chola army in the famous Battle of Takkolam (948-49 CE) and considered a close confidante of Chola prince Rajaditya.

Autonomous chiefdom in Chera Perumal kingdomEdit

Valluvanad was one of the chiefdoms within the kingdom of the Chera Perumals (until 12th century).[1][2] The chieftain of Valluvanad, the nadu-udayavar, claimed authority through kinship and descent.[2] The Hundred, the military organisation of the chiefdom, was the "aru-nurruvar" (the Six Hundred).[2] The Vellattiri chieftain (the udayavar) initially exercised suzerain rights over a large portion of central Kerala.[2] A 10th century Chera inscription from Irinjalakuda temple, declaring its protection by the Six Hundred of Valluvanad, shows either the southern extent of the border (or influence) of the chiefdom.[9]

Some scholars state that the Valluvanad in northern Kerala, ruled by hereditary chieftains, was possibly organised in the beginning of the 10th century with a chieftian or general from Valluvanad in the south Kerala nominated as hereditary chieftain so that the name of Valluvanad was also transplanted there.[1][2]

Rayiran Chathan, the chieftain (the udayavar) of Valluvanad, is mentioned as a witness in the Jewish copper plates of Cochin (c. 1000 CE) issued by the Chera Perumal.

Other references to Valluvanad

  • Irayira Chekaran of Valluvanad was involved in a temple resolution to take over the village of Taviranur and bring it under the village of Sukapuram (inscription).[2][10]
  • Irayiravar, the Valluvanad chief, is seen in three temple transaction-related inscriptions from Avattiputhur/Avittathur (near Kodungallur) - an example of the chief performing regulatory functions outside his chiefdom.[2]
  • When a market centre was established at Irinjalakkuda (namely "Bhaskarapuram"), the protection of the area was given to the "aru-nurruvar" of Valluvanad (inscription dated to the close of the 10th century).[11][2][9] - an example of the Hundred Organisation performing regulatory functions outside the chiefdom.[2]

Independent chiefdomEdit

With the fall of the Chera Perumal kingdom around 12th century, the various autonomous chiefdoms became independent.[1] A Valluvanad ruler is mentioned as a witness in the Viraraghava Copper Plates from 1225 CE.

The Brahmins of Sukapuram were supporters of Valluvanad.[11]

Zamorin's encroachmentsEdit

After the fall of Chera Perumal kingdom in the 12th century, the right to preside over the Tirunavaya Mamankam festival (as the 'Rakshapurusha') passed on to the Vellattiri (according to local traditions). When the zamorin (the samoothiri) of Calicut became a major force in Kerala, they made inroads into Valluvanad and even usurped the right to preside over the Mamankam [6]:91. The zamorin eventually extended his kingdom as east as Nilambur and as deep as Venkattakota (now called Kottakkal) [6]:121.

Ever since, the Vellattiri used to send groups of suicide warriors (known as the Chavers) to kill the king of Calicut during the Mamankam and the Thaippuyam festivals and recover the long-lost right.[12]

According to historians, "...the caver of Valluvanatu died fighting to avenge the death or defeat of their master and died fighting regularly at Tirunavaya for a long period. It means that the caver died fighting at Tirunavaya even after many generations. Thus it takes the form of blood feud..."[12]

Notes from historian K. V. Krishna Ayyar[6]

  • Brahmin Raja of Tirumanasseri ceded Ponnani to the zamorin as the price for his protection from Valluvanad and Perumpatappu (Cochin) [6]:101-102.
  • Tradition says that the zamorin, despair for success at Tirunavaya, sought divine help by propitiating the Tirumandhamkunnu Bhagavati [6]:101-102.
  • Malappuram, on the road between Calicut and Vellattiri's headquarters, was entrusted by the zamorin a member of Varakkal Paranampi's family (Malappuram Paranampi) [6]:101-102. Nilambur was placed under Taccharakkavu Eralan, and Vallappanattukara under Tarakkal Eroma Menon (the commander of Chunganad) and Manjeri under the Karanappad [6]:101-102.
  • Kariyur Mussad (the Brahmin minister and general of Vellattiri) was captured and put to death at Pataparamba and his lands (the Tens Kalams and Pantalur) were occupied [6]:101-102.

Mysore's InvasionEdit

The country marked as "Valluvanad Proper" in the Company records was the sole remaining territory under the control of the Valluvanad "Raja" (chieftain) at the time of the Mysorean invasion of Kerala .The chieftain and his family fled to Travancore.[5]

  • According to the ancient laws of Kerala, many Nair chiefs and Nairs were liable to follow the Valluvanad chieftain in battles. These chiefs were allowed hold their land without paying revenue or tribute to the chieftain. Mysore rulers destroyed this custom.[5]
  • Grants were made of the lands to the temples, and to the Brahmins, all which lands were by the sultans brought to account in the revenue (the lands were taken from the Brahmins)[5]

At the time of the Mysore conquest the following amsams (of the 1887 Valluvanad and Ernad taluks, the Valluvanad Proper) remained to Vellattiri[5]

The following regions (known as Valluvanad-zamorin) were controlled the zamorin of Calicut ("latest acquisition" by zamorin from Vellattiri)[5]

Takeover by the English East India CompanyEdit

By the treaty of Seringapatam (1792), Tipu Sultan ceded half of his territories, including Malabar, to the English East India Company. The Valluvanad Raja, back from exile in Travancore (where the family was since c. 1788), requested the holding of the territories he laid claim to ("Millattoor, Angarypooram, Vanarcaddo, Kaapil"; and "the three districts of Congaad, Manoor and Edratura formerly belonging to Palgautcherry") as a manager for the company. This was granted as per the agreement, valid for one year, between the Raja (or through his representative Kariat Moosa) and company representatives William G. Farmer Esq. and Major Alexander Dow, concluded at Kozhikode on the 30th of July, 1792.[13][14] The Raja undertook to pay a sum of Rs. 38,410.20 to the company within the year (later increased to Rs. 41,594.20[14]:76). The agreement also mandated revenue collection from all minor landholders who, prior to Tipu's rule, only contributed to war efforts. The agreement, in essence, sought to continue revenue collection as per the reforms Tipu had made. Appointment of ministers or other employees in government, or employees engaged in revenue collection, had to be with the consent of the company. The agreement also stipulated that only the company's merchants had the right to procure pepper grown in Valluvanad. A detachment of sepoys would also be stationed at Angadipuram.[14]

In May 1793 the Joint Commissioners dismissed the Raja and assumed direct management of the country. Inability to preserve the peace of the district (primarily owing to Mappila uprisings prevalent in the region) and shortfall in revenue collections were cited as the main reasons[14]:206. Dispute over the management of the three districts formerly belonging to Palgautcherry (Palakkad) had led to the withdrawal of Raja's authority of those districts even earlier[14]:76. A pension agreement was then settled on between the Raja and the company.

State DetailsEdit

Some details and characteristics of Valluvanad kingdom/principality (northern).

Branches (Tavalis)[15]Edit

  • Tavalis in the senior lineage of Valluvanad - the House of Arangottu
    • Aripra tavali
    • Mankata tavali
    • Katannamanna tavali
    • Ayiranali tavali
  • Junior lineage of Valluvanad - the Vallotis (Vellodis)

Royal titles (Sthanis)Edit

The eldest five male sthanis (the designates), in order of seniority (eldest male member in the matrilineal system), were titled as:

  • Valluvakkonathiri – eldest sthani and supreme leader
  • Vellalpad
  • Thacharalpad
  • Edathralpad
  • Kolathur Thampuran
  • Padinjarekkara Thampuran – nominated by Vellattiri (the thampuram had rights over some landed property and privileges).

all five were eligible for malikhana


The eldest two female members were titled as (both were eligible for malikhana)

  • Kulathur Thampuratti – the eldest thampuratti of the family
  • Kadanna Mootha Thampuratti – the next eldest thampuratti

Apart from this, the eldest female members of each kovilakam have their own rights and privileges.


  • Karuvayoor Moosad – the Brahmin chief minister of Vellattiri.
  • Kunnathattil Madambil Nair (Mannarghat Nair) – the chieftain (desavazhi) who looked after the affairs of the eastern boundary and hilly areas of Vellattiri.
  • Chondathil Mannadiar (Puthumana Panicker)
  • Nair of Kavada
  • Other dignitaries consisted of 14 swaroopis, which included
    • Two Nairs from central regions
    • Two Namboothiris
    • Two persons of the royal house
    • Four Panickers
    • Elampulakkad Achan
    • Kulathur Warrier
    • Uppamkalathil Pisharody
    • Pathiramanna Vellodi
    • Parakkatt Nair
    • Kakkoott Nair
    • Mannarmala Nair
    • Cherukara Pisharody

External linksEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f Narayanan, M.G.S. (2013). Perumāḷs of Kerala : Brahmin oligarchy and ritual monarchy : political and social conditions of Kerala under the Cēra Perumāḷs of Makōtai (c. AD 800-AD 1124). Thrissur: CosmoBooks. ISBN 9788188765072.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Ganesh, K. N. (2009). Historical Geography of Natu in South India with Special Reference to Kerala. Indian Historical Review, 36(1), 3–21.
  3. ^ Rao, Gopinatha (1910). Travancore Archaeological Series (PDF). Madras Methodist Publishing House. p. 5.
  4. ^ S. Rajendu - History of Valluvanad - from pre-historic times to A.D. 1792, Malayalam, Perintalmanna, 2012
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Logan, William (1887). Malabar Manual. Madras: PRINTED BY R. HILL, AT THE GOVERNMENT PRESS.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Ayyar, K.V. Krishna (1999). The Zamorins of Calicut (1999 ed.). University of Calicut. ISBN 978-8177480009.
  7. ^ Rao, Gopinatha (1910). Travancore Archaeological Series (PDF). Madras Methodist Publishing House. p. 5.
  8. ^ Epigraphia Indica 27 (1947–48), no. 47: 292–304.
  9. ^ a b "Volume IX". Rama Varma Research Institute Bulletin. IX (I): 44.
  10. ^ SII, Vol. V, No. 775.
  11. ^ a b Gurukkal, Rajan. “A NEW EPIGRAPH REFERRING TO ERNADU.” Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, vol. 37, 1976, pp. 526–531.
  12. ^ a b Haridas V.V. “DYING FOR A CAUSE: ‘CAVER’ OF MEDIEVAL KERALA.” Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, vol. 61, 2000, pp. 492–500.
  13. ^ "A Collection of Treaties, Engagements and Other Papers of Importance Relating to British Affairs in Malabar". XIII. ii (Second Edition): 155. 1891.
  14. ^ a b c d e Reports of a Joint Commission from Bengal and Bombay appointed to inspect into the state and condition of the province of Malabar. Madras: H. Smith, at the Fort Saint George Gazette Press. 1862. p. 75.
  15. ^ V.V., Haridas (2003). King court and culture in medieval Kerala - The Zamorins of Calicut A AD 1200 to AD 1767 (PhD). Mangalore University. hdl:10603/131929.