History

The District can claim to have played a significant part in fostering the trade relations between Kerala and the outside world in the ancient and medieval period. It can also claim to have played an important part in fostering cultural relations and in laying the foundation of a cosmopolitan and compose culture in this part of the country. Kodungalloor which had the unique distinction of being the “Primum Emporium India”, also belongs to the signal honour of having first given shelter to all the three communities which have contributed to the prosperity of Malabar’. These three communities are the Christians, the Jews and the Muslims.

From 9 th Centuries

The history of Thrissur District from the 9th to the 12th centuries is the history of Kulasekharas of Mahodayapuram and the history since 12th century is the history of the rise and growth of Perumpadappu Swarupam. In the course of its long and chequered history, the Perumpadappu Swarupam had its capital at different places. We learn from the literary works of the period that the Perumpadappu Swarupam had its headquarters at Mahodayapuram and that a number of Naduvazhies in Southern and Central Kerala recognized the supremacy of the Perumpadappu Moopil. The Perumpadappu Moopil is even referred to as the “Kerala Chakravarthi” in the “Sivavilasam” and some other works.One of the landmarks in the history of the Perumpadapu Swarupam is the foundation of a new era called Pudu Vaipu Era. The Pudu Vaipu Era is traditionally believed to have commenced from the date of which the island of Vypeen was thrown from the sea.The 14th and 15 centuries constituted a period of aggressive wars in the course of which the Samorins of Calicut acquired a large part of the present Thrissur District. In the subsequent centuries the Portugese dominated the scene. By the beginning of the 17th century the Portugese power in Kerala was on the verge of collapse.About this time other European powers like the Dutch and the English appeared on the scene and challenged the Portugese. Internal dissension in the Perumpadappu Swarupam helped the Dutch in getting a footing on the Kerala Coast. As the Kerala Chiefs were conscious of the impending doom of the Portugese, they looked upon the Dutch as the rising power and extended a hearty welcome to them,.The decadence and consequential want of solidarity opened the flood gates of aggression. Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan figured very prominently during the period.

The Architect of Thrissur Town

shakthan thamburan-

In 1790 Raja Rama Varma (1790-1805) popularly known as Saktan Tampuran ascended the throne of Cochin. With the accession of this ruler the English or modern period in the history of Cochin and of the District began. It may be noted in this connection that Saktan Tampuram had been at the helm of affairs since 1769 when all administrative authority in the state was delegated to him by the then reigning sovereign on the initiative of the Travancore Raja and the Dutch Governor. As his very name suggests, this prince was a strong ruler and his reign was characterized by firm and vigorous administration. We have seen that by the end of the 18th century the power of the feudal chieftains had been crushed and royal authority had become supreme.Saktan Tampuran was mainly responsible for the destruction of the power of the feudal chieftains and increase of royal power. Another potent force in the public life of Trichur and its suburbs was the Namboodithiri community. A large part of the Trichur Taluk was for long under the domination of the Yogiatiripppads, the ecclesiastical h4eads of the Vadakkunnathan and Perumanam Devaswoms. The Yogiatirippads were elected and consecrated by the Namboodithiri Yogams of the respective places. Under their leadership the Namboodithiri families of Trichur and Perumanam were playing in active part against the ruler of Cochin in his wars against the Zamorin of Calicut. Hence after the expulsion of the Zamorin from Trichur in 1761 drastic action was taken against these families by the Raja of Cochin. The institution of Yogiatirippads was discontinued and the management of Trichur and Perumanam Devaswoms was taken over by the Government. The Namboothiri Yogams were reduced to impotence. Thus the antifeudal measures of Saktan Tampuran coupled with the several administrative reforms introduced by him marked the end of the medieval period in the history of Cochin and ushered in the modern epoch of progress.It may be interesting in this connection to know something about the institution of the Yogatirippad. The Yogiatirippad of the Vadakkunnathan Devaswom was elected by the Namboothiri illams of Trichur and its suburbs The Yogiatirippad was elected for life in the august presence of the ruler of Cochin, local chieftains and prominent Namboothiris from places outside Trichur. An interesting account of the Yogiatiri Avarodham (ceremony connected with the consecration of the Yogiatirippad) as gathered from the Grandhavari or chronicles of the Trichur temple is given by K.P. Padmanabha Menon in his History of Kerala Vol IV (p.82086). The Yogiatirippad was a very powerful and influential dignitary. The last Yogiatirippad was banished from Trichur 1763 for having joined the side of the Zamorin against Cochin. Saktan Tampuran put an end to the institution of the Yogiatirippad. Since then the numerous Namboodiri illams situated in Trichur gradually became extinct. But even today there are a few Namboothiri illams in Trichur town and its suburbs reminding one of those old days when the Namboothiri Yogam of Trichur along with the Perumanam Yogam exercised jurisdiction over a large portion of the present Trichur Taluk.

 

Sakthan Palace-

Shakthan Thampuran Palace is situated in City of Thrissur in Kerala state, India. It is named as Vadakkekara Palace, was reconstructed in Kerala-Dutch style in 1795 by Ramavarma Thampuran of the erstwhile Princely State of Cochin, well as Sakthan Thampuran (Greatest ruler of the Cochin dynasty) is preserved by Archaeological Department. The palace was converted into a museum in 2005 by State.The main structure of the Sakthan Thampuran Palace has a two-storeyed building and a traditional Kerala style Nālukettu. High roofs, extra thick walls, spacious rooms and floors paved with finely smoothened Italian marbles are some of the structural specialities of this palace. The interiors of the palace, because of its unique construction offer comfortable and pleasant staying conditions irrespective of the prevailing weather conditions.

English Period (1805 — 1947)

The wave of nationalism and political consciousness which swept through the country since the early decades of this century has its repercussions in the Thrissur as well. Even as early as 1919 a Committee of the Indian National Congress was functioning in Thrissur.In the Civil Disobedience Movement of 1921, several persons in Thrissur city and other places in the District took active part and courted arrest. Thrissur District can claim the honour of having been in the forefront of the country-wide movement for temple entry and abolition of untouchability. The famous Guruvayur Satyagraha is a memorable episode in the history of the national movement. The Government of Cochin under the guidance of R.K. Shanmughom Chetti followed a policy of conciliation. By degrees the public demand for the introduction of responsible Government in the State grew strong. In August 1938, Cochin announced a scheme for reforming the State legislature and introducing a system as per the Government of India Act of 1919 in the British Indian provinces. The administration of certain departments was entrusted to an elected member of the legislature to be nominated by the Maharaja.The wave of nationalism and political consciousness which swept through the country since the early decades of this century has its repercussions in the Thrissur as well. Even as early as 1919 a Committee of the Indian National Congress was functioning in Thrissur.In the Civil Disobedience Movement of 1921, several persons in Thrissur city and other places in the District took active part and courted arrest. Thrissur District can claim the honour of having been in the forefront of the country-wide movement for temple entry and abolition of untouchability. The famous Guruvayur Satyagraha is a memorable episode in the history of the national movement. The Government of Cochin under the guidance of R.K. Shanmughom Chetti followed a policy of conciliation. By degrees the public demand for the introduction of responsible Government in the State grew strong. In August 1938, Cochin announced a scheme for reforming the State legislature and introducing a system as per the Government of India Act of 1919 in the British Indian provinces. The administration of certain departments was entrusted to an elected member of the legislature to be nominated by the Maharaja.In the elections to the reformed legislature two political parties, viz, the Cochin State Congress and the Cochin Congress won 12 and 13 seats respectively. With the help of a few independents Ambat Sivarama Menon who was the leader of the Cochin Congress Party took up office as Minister under the scheme in June 1938. On his death in August 1938, Dr A.R. Menon was appointed as Minister. When the State Legislature passed a vote of non-confidence against him, Dr Menon resigned office on 25 February 1942 and was succeeded by T.K. Nair, Nair was in office until 11 July 1945. The introduction of diarchy did not satisfy the political aspirations of the people of Cochin. The idea of full responsible Government on the basis of adult franchise had caught their imagination. On 26 January 1941 a new political organization called the Cochin State Praja Mandal took shape on the initiative of a few young politicians under the leadership of V. R. Krishnan Ezhuthachan.The Quit India movement of 1942 has its echoes in the District. After the release of the leaders from jail in 1943, the Cochin State Praja Mandal pursued its organizational activities more vigorously. In the elections to the State Legislature in 1945 it won 12, of the 19 seats contested by its candidates. At the annual conference of the Praja Mandal held at Ernakulam in 1946 it was decided to start a statewide movement for the achievement of a responsible Government. The State Legislature was scheduled to meet on 29 July, and it was decided that the day should be observed all over the State as responsible Government day. In pursuance of this decision, meetings and demonstrations were held all over the State demanding the end of Dewan’s rule and the transfer of full political power to the elected representatives of the people. The Maharaja of Cochin announced in August 1946 decision to transfer all departments of the State Government except Law and Order and Finance to the control of Ministers responsible to the State Legislature. In co-operation with other parties in the State Legislature, the Cochin State Praja Mandal decided to accept the offer. Consequently, the first popular Cabinet of Cochin consisting of Panampilly Govinda Menon, C.R. Iyyunni, K.Ayyappan and T.K. Nair assumed office. The first step towards the achievement of the goal of Aikyakerala was taken with the integration of Travancore Cochin States in July 1949. With the linguistic reorganization of States in India, in November 1956 the Kerala State came into existence.

Post Independence Era

In 1947, India gained independence from the British colonial rule. Cochin was the first princely state to join the Indian Union willingly. Post independence, E. Ikkanda Warrier became the first Prime Minister of Cochin. K.P.Madhavan Nair, P.T Jacob, C. Achutha Menon, Panampilly Govinda Menon were few of the other stalwarts who were in the forefront of the democratic movements. Then in 1949, Travancore-Cochin state came into being by the merger of Cochin and Travancore, with Parur T. K. Narayana Pillai as the first chief minister. Travancore-Cochin, was in turn merged with the Malabar district of the Madras State. Finally, the Government of India’s 1 November 1956 States Reorganisation Act inaugurated a new state — Kerala — incorporating Travancore-Cochin, Malabar District, and the taluk of Kasargod, South Kanara.