Ancient History of Kerala


Historians are of different view regarding ancient history of Kerala. The history regarding its origin is masked in myths and guess. One such myth centres around the legend Parasurama. This warrior-sage is regarded as the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. After destroying the Kshathriya kings, the warrior-sage asked an assembly of learned men a way of penance for his past misdeeds. He was advised to hand over the lands he had conquered to the Brahmins. He agreed and sat in penance at Gokarnam.

Cultural Kerala Parasurama was blessed by Lord Varuna, the God of the Oceans and by Bhumidevi, the Goddess of earth. Thereafter he went to Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin) and threw his battle axe northwards across the waters. The water subsided and whatwas left over was called the land of Parasurama. That is today's Kerala.

That was only a story. Geologists believe that the ocean currents bring in large quantities of sand towards the shore. The coastal portions could well be due to the accumulation of this silt over thousands of years.

Around 3000 BC trade started flourishing in the Malabar cost of Kerala. Cotton, ivory, sandalwood and spices were the favourite trade items. Muziris (kodungalloor or Cranganore) was a great trade centre.

Before the beginning of Christian era the main natives of Kerala were Kuravas,Vetas and Pulayas. Buddhism and Jainism flourished during this period. Brahmins from the nearby areas started flowing in. The occupied most of the fertile lands from Payannur in North Kerala. By 10th century they were the powerful entity upto Cape Comorin. Buddhists and Jains retreated from Kerala. The Brahmins were wealthy and powerful, segregation of classes began and even they determined what distance a lower cast person should keep from the Brahmins.

Cultural Kerala