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Kolathunadu Kingdom

Kolathunadu Kingdom

Kolathunadu or Kolathiri is regarded as one of the old political dynasties in India and was ruled by the Kolathiris. The Mushaka vamsam and the kings were regarded as the ancestors of the Kolathiris. The erstwhile princely state of Kadathanadu was ruled by Rajas of Kadathanadu belonging to the Nair caste who were feudatories to the Kolathiri. Around 1750, the ruler of Kadathanadu had adopted the title of Raja, with the explicit consent of the Kolathiri.

The Kolathunadu  kingdom at its zenith extended from the Netravathi river in the north to the Korapuzha river near Calicut in the south, from Kudakumala in the east, to the Arabian sea in the west. This would roughly stretch from present-day Mangalore to Calicut and from the Western Ghats to the sea.

Rulers of Kolathunadu  Kingdom

According to the account given by late Raja Ravi Varma, MA, BL, the structure of the Kolathiri family is as follows

Rulers of Kolathund Kingdom, Kolathiri kingdom

According to C.K.Kerala Varma of Chirakkal Kovilakam, the Kolathiri royal family has later on divisioned into different royal houses. These are the following:

Mavelikkara Rajavamsam or Kottaram (Mavelikkara)
02.Prayikkara Kottaram (Mavelikkara)
03.Ennakkat (Chengannur)
04.Cherukunnu Kavinisseri Kovilakam (Kannur)
05.Cherukunnu Padinjare Kovilakam (Kannur)
06.Aduthila Kovilakam (Kannur)
07.Nedumbrath Kottaram (Thiruvalla)
08.Aaranmula Kottaram (Mavelikkara)
09.Karthikapalli Kovilakam (Travancore)
10.Mariapalli Kottaram (Kottayam)

During the invasion of Tippu, all the Kovilakams found shelter in Travancore. When peace was restored, all the Palli Kovilakam families except Chenga Kovilakam returned to their original homes.

Temples in Kolathund Kingdom

The ancient seat of the Kolathiri Prince was at the port of Mount Deli (Ezhimala) and one of their residences at the time of Marco Polo’s visit is still marked by a small but ancient temple, with a stone inscription in Vattezhuthu characters. This is not very far from the big Ramantalli temple on the banks of the river near Kavvayi, lying close to the mount on its western sea face. The ruling prince had residence at Madayi and Valarpattanam. Even today “madayi Kavu” is considered the chief temple of the Kolathiri household dedicated to Bhagavathi. The next important temple is at the Kalari Vatukal temple at Valarpattanam.

Disintegration of dynasty

In North Kerala, especially in the Kolathiri dynasty, the invasion and rise of foreign powers was mainly for commercial and trade activities. The native powers also played their own role to acquire the dominance over the country. In addition to this, the dissensions among the members of the matrilineal family also played a role in the disintegration of the dynasty.


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