Home

history of KERALA

 
History states that Kerala's original inhabitants were animists, followed by the Dravidians. Later, the Indo- Aryans with their military superiority drove the Dravidians down east and south wards.The south was eventually dominated by three powerful  kingdoms - The Cheras, Cholas, Pallavas and pandyas.
The Dravidian-Aryan encounter led to a complex social pattern in Kerala called "Marumakkathayam" or the matrilineal system, which allowed women the right to inherit the family property. The Brahmins or priestly class were called - Nambudiris.The former chieftains displaced by the Aryan influx, were absorbed into the Kshatriya or the princely class.
Regular Warfare among local chieftains led to the evolution of a special community of warriors called Nairs.The Nairs were bred to be fighters. Some of them were trained like the Samurai as suicide squads. Known as  'Chavers', these warriors would fight their way through an enemy attack in an orgy of death, that astonished even the portugese. The pepper vine has played a vital role in shaping Kerala's history. When the queen of Sheba made her celebrated entry into Jerusalem, she carried in her  train "spices,gold, precious stones and the wood of the almug tree" (sandalwood) from  Ophir. Scholars believe Ophir is the town of Puhar that existed close to where the city of Thiruvananthapuram is today. Remnants from the temples and palaces of Nebuchadnezzar included hardwoods, that must have come from the tropical forest of Kerala. Pliny the Elder complained in the first century, that the Roman nobility of his time had depleted the treasury with their greed for pepper.  Almost upto the 16th century, the Arabs monopolized the pepper trade. After Alexander's triumphant sweep over Asia Minor, the greeks provided some competition. Gradually the ports of Kerala became a link between the Middle East, the Mediterranean and China. Remnants of the chinese influence include the giant fishing nets at Kochi, Alapuzha and Kollam, the 'Cheena chutty', the use of flat copper tiles on temple roofs and the shallow sampan-like boats. In 1498, Vasco da Gama made his historic Landing on the Malabar Coast. Throughout the next century, the Danes, the Portugese, the French and the British went on a flag planting spree to establish their rights. It was a Dutch hike in the price of pepper by one shilling that led to the formation of the East India Company in December, 1599. The Portugese passage through Kerala, was a stormy one. They worked very hard at annoying the native Keralites, by stirring up the local christian population and  stopping rice shipments. In contrast,  the Dutch concentrated on trade and remained in the area for more than 130 years. In 1723, the East India Company signed a  strategic treaty with King Marthanda Varma.  For a few decades, Hyder Ali and his son -Tipu sultan proved to be a thorn in the flesh of the British, sweeping down several times into Kerala. Ultimately Tipu's luck ran out and suffered a humiliating defeat. The British took over and  pensioned off the old rulers.

Finally, in 1947, it was the turn of the British to pack their bags and leave

 
 
 
Holiday packages covering Kerala