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Welcome to web site of Kodungallur Kovilakam

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The Beginning:
Kerala was ruled by Brahmins (Namboothiris), in the early days. They used to meet every 12 years  at Thirunavaya to discuss and co-ordinate affairs of state. Conflict of interests made administration extremely difficult , over a period of time, and they decided to take external help, bringing a Kshatriya from outside to rule. They also decided to restrict the tenure last only 12 years so that appointee does not get too ambitious and usurp the power

Kulasekhara Perumal:

Valunambis were given the responsibility of identifying a suitable person, and designated team met the king of Vijayanagaram which was a powerful empire at that time. The emperor gave permission to pick from anyone from Chera, Chola, or Pandya race. A person from Chola race by name Narayana bhattan was identified by this team and brought to Kerala. He was appointed as Kulasekharan (translating to mean the best person of the race) and came to be known as Kulasekhara perumal, as time passed . Kulasekhara perumal 's.settlement came to be known as Kulasekharapuram and, later, as Trikulasekharapuram. 

 As a devotee of Vishnu, he constructured a temple for Vishnu which became famous as Trikulasekharapuram temple, or Trikledath in short.

Present Kodungallur Kovilakam:

Much of Kerala history, for a long time after the rule of Kulasekhara perumal, is not popularly known. Kodungallur Kovilakam,sandwitched between two major powers of Kochi and Samoothiri, is believed to be of fairly recent origin. 

Padinjaredathu namboothiri is believed to have been in power in the areas surrounding Kodungallur, before establishment of present Kodungallur Kovilakam. Padinjaredathu namboothiri handed over power to the present Kodungallur Kovilakam..

Kodungallur Kovilakam was initially located at Trikulasekharapuram. Sthanaarohanam (Coronation) and related ceremonies for Raja (Valiathampuran) of Kodungallur are done at Trikulasekharapuram temple premises.
Vishnu, deity of Trikulasekharapuram temple, is considered to be the family deity of Kodungallur Kovilakam.

Padinjattedathu swaroopam

Rulers of Kodungallur came to be popularly known as Padinjattedathu swaroopam, in memory of Padinjaredathu namboothiri.

Becoming subordinate to the Raja of Cochin

Attack of Tippu Sultan on Malabar disrupted the delicate political equilibrium within Kerala, by the very ferocity and scale of attack was unparalleled in the relatively peaceful settlement of Kerala. Both Kings of Travancore and Cochin made a treaty offer to King of Kodungallur, in return to paying in money for the military support,.
King accepted the offer from King of Cochin, as it was felt wiser to get support  from immediate neighborhood  in case of emergencies like war. Cost of war was so high that Kodungallur Kovilakam could not pay up completely. This resulted in King of Cochin annexing Kodungallur. Thus, Kodungallur remained an autonomous principality subordinate to the Raja of Cochin until Indian Independence in 1947

At the present location:

A few years after Tippu's defeat in the hands of British, the royal family relocated themselves to the present location at Chirakkal Kovilakam and later a branch moved to Puthen Kovilakam. Kodungallur Kovilakam came to be known as a Gurukulam (centre of learning like Nalanda and Takshasila) during this period. Scholars from all over Kerala came to live in the palaces and study Sanskrit and Vedic science.
Area around the original settlement at Trikulasekharapuram was subsequently donated by Kodungallur Kovilakam for various noble causes 

History presented here, upto Kodungallur becoming subordinate to Raja of Cochin, is largely an adaptation from articles published by Kodungallur Kunjunni Raja in July-September 2008 and October-December 2008 issues of Kshathrasandesam. A curious reader  may pick up the original article written in Malayalam from the reference magazine. The magazine is available online and you get the same by clicking the link for the respective issues


Just as with other royal families in Kerala, there is not much written information about Kodungallur Kovilakam, except for very recent past. However, much of its history is part of folklore. This web site is a humble attempt to consolidate information scattered around and preserve for the benefit of posterity, with the hope that a rich culture based on social and human values is not lost in the onslaught of fast pace of modern life and new social order. Any kind of guidance and support in improving an authenticity would be very helpful. We request support, especially in terms of information and specific write up , from all members and well wishers of Kodungallur Kovilakam.