The history of the Madhom can be traced to 9th century AD. The Hindu spiritual leader Adi Shankara (788 - 820 AD) is said to have died at the famous Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur. So the four disciples of Sankara founded four madhoms nearby. Suresvara (Maṇḍana Miśra) founded the Naduvil Madhom, Padmapada the Thekke Madhom, Hastamalaka the Idayil Madhom, and Thotaka the Vadakke Madhom. Vilvamangalathu Swamiyar is the first Mooppil Swamiyar (head) of Naduvil Madhom. Maravanchery Thekkedathu Nilakanta Bharatikal is the current Mooppil Swamiyar of Naduvil Madhom.
Ettara Yogam and Naduvil Madhom
Traditionally, only the Swamiyars of Naduvil Madhom and Munchira Madhom had the right to perform Pushpanjali to Sri Padmanabha. Even today the Ettara Yogam, the once powerful governing body of the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, holds its sessions only in the presence of the Pushpanjali Swamiyar. He is the permanent president of the Yogam. The kings of Travancore needed the permission of the Yogam even to adopt a new member to the royal family. In the past, if subjects of Travancore had any grievance they could raise Uthirakkura or Rudhirakkura (red flag) at the Western entrance of the Padmanabhaswamy Temple. The Swamiyar who enters through the Western entrance would take note of this and pass orders for the redressal of the grievance. People irrespective of their religion have benefitted from this system. In 1592 AD, the Christian fishermen of Rajakkamangalam were driven to Kanyakumari by Hindus. A Portuguese priest was the leader of the fishermen. He raised a red flag at the Western entrance of the Temple. The members of Ettara Yogam took action and brought back the Christian fishermen to Rajakkamangalam.