Nair dynasty

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A number of Nair dynasties'existed in present day Kerala state, South India in the Late Middle Ages. These Hindu dynasties ruled tiny city states called "nadus" and were in frequent warfare with each other.[1][2] Though served as a powerful militia and hereditary governors under the Tamil Villavar Later Chera rule in Kerala, the independent Nair kingdoms emerged only in the 12th century, after the fall of Mahodayapuram in the hands of Later Cholas. Kulasekharaperumal the founder of the Chera dynasty called himself Villavar Kon. Villavar, Malayar and Vanavar are the three Villavar Clans supported the Chera Kings[3] not Nairs. Nairs are Bunts from Ahichatra who were inhabitants of Tulunadu the enemy country of Kerala.Tulunadus Bunt Nairs are not ethnically related to Villavar Tamils. It is quite likely Nairs/Bunts didn't serve Cheras but the Tulunadu Kings to fight the Chera Kingdom. Keralolpathy mentions the invasion of a Tulu prince brother of Alupas ruler Kavirajasinghan (Kavi Alupendra)invaded Kerala with 3.5 lakh strong Nair army led by Padamala Nair ending the Later Chera Dynasty in 1102. Nairs are Bunts who were brought from Ahichatra in Uttarkhand Nepal to defend Kadamba Kingdom against Chera invasion. The Nagas brought from Ahichatra as slave warrior were called Bunataru (Bonded). Nayara Menava Kuruba and Samantha are Bunts who appear in Kerala as rulers only after the invasion of Malik Kafur of Delhi Sulthanate in 1310 ad. Pandyan Dynasty which was ruling Kerala in the fourteenth century was defeated and various subcastes of Tulunadus Bunt community such as Nayara Menava Kuruba and Samantha appeared as rulers of Kerala by allying with Delhis armies. None of the Later Chera documents or inscriptions written in Tamil ever mention Nairs as powerful lords of Later Chera Kingdom.Nairs descend from the Nagas from Ahichatra who were brought as slave warriors by Kadamba King Mayuravarma in 345 AD. Kadambas were the arch enemies of the Villavar Chera dynasty. Only Chera inscription which mentions Nairs is the Thrikodithanam inscription which mentions a Chennan Nair who was the temple drummer.[4] The Tulu-Nepalese rule of Samantha a subcaste of Bunt community starts only after the fall of Villavar Tamil Pandyan Dynasty in 1310. Matriarchy in the earlier period was not practised by Villavar kings. They are one of the archaic[disambiguation needed] dynasty in civilization and the only archaic community which is still hailing and existing with its most ancient inheritance, customs, usages, practices, and serpent worship.[5] Nair clan is well known as supreme at endurance, rage, jurisprudence, special status to women, and expertise of weaponry.[6][7][8] Nairs form a Kshatriya community in the present state of Kerala. Their kingdoms were well known for their development and inclusiveness. Most famous Nair dynasty was the one which existed in Travancore (Thiruvithamkur). In the Nair community women enjoyed equal stutus with the men.

Nairs as the Defenders of Brahminism[edit]

Keralolopathi mentions the migration of bands of Nagas and Aryans to Southern India from Ahichatra. Karnatakas Gramapaddati mention Nayara who were strongly defenders of Brahmins. Ahichatram Brahmins and Nagas stationed in the Tulunadu colluded with the Delhi Sultanate invader thereby ending all the Dravidian Hindu Kingdoms in South India Pandyas,Cholas,Cheras Hoysalas and Alupas etc. were destoyed. In the fourteenth century Kerala came under the suzernity of Tulu-Nepalese Samantha Bunts and Nayara Menava and Kurubas became the feudal lords in Kerala. Though it is not clear what religion the Nairs professed originally, they are strong adherents of Brahminism since at least a millennium. Nair kings of Travancore, Kochi and Malabar areas always promoted Hindu practices. Nair kings were known as Hindu Rajas in Kerala. Nairs are strong defenders of Brahmin superiority and Hinduism even today. Though the Nairs are Kshatriyas, from them came many of the well known saints of modern India. Most of the invaders of Kerala were Kshatriyas too. Nairs are Kshatriyas of kerala, all the royal houses and 90% of militias were from them,they are the first native warriors who defeated a European naval force (kulachal war against Dutch East India Company). They fought against all the invaders like the Portuguese who failed to get a hold in kerala and later they moved to Goa, English also got stiff opposition from nairs under the leadership of Pazhasi Raja, Veluthampi Dalava, Paliyathu Achan etc.However the first ever Portuguese army contained Portuguese Mestizos and Nairs then called Nairos. Dutch when they attempted attacking the Portuguese fortess Nairos in the Portuguese army about 7-8000 started attacking the VOC according to Baldeus.[9] The Parangi Pattalam the first ever European army actually had minimum Europeans but Nairos and Portuguese mixed Mestizos.[10] Their main Kingdom of Travancore was never surrendered to any colonial power. Nairs themselves are not indigenous but descend from the Tulu-Nepalese invaders from Ahichatra who accompanied Delhis armies in the 14th century. Sangham Literature or any Tamil documents from the Later Chera and Pandyan dynasty never mentioned Nairs as Tamils. The British through deceit tried to dispocess their powers by influencing the kings but was never able to annex Travancore to British India. Travancore was actually ruled by British Diwans who ruled it with Tamil Brahmin admimnistrators from 1796. Travancore was a British protectorate.Without British protection Marthandavarma an adoptee from the Kolathiri Kingdom of Kannur strongly opposed by locals as well as the Ettuveetu Pillaimar the Vellala-Nair aristocracy who had more of Tamil blood. With British help Marthandavarma could defeat Dutch, kill the Ettuveetupillaimar also exile the families of Ettuveetupillaimar to Maldives and sell them as slaves. British supplied them with Tamil Brahmins whom were appointed as judges tax collectors and higher officials. Matriarchal Nair Dynasties appeared after the invasion of Delhi Sultanate in 1310. When the Mabar was formed after the defeat of Dravidian Pandyan Dynasty the first Matriarchal Kings appeared in Kerala.In the fifteenth century as the Portuguese allies the Non-Native Nair dynasties were benefitted by European weaponry and Spice Money. For five hundred years the colonial powers protected the Nagas and Aryans from Ahichatra. The Indigenous Dravidian Tamil Villavar people whose ancestors once built numerous temples in Kerala were the worst affected following their defeat in 1310 ad. Prior to that period the Nair dynasties were in Tulunadu as Samanta chieftains of Bunt community. Most of the indigenous Dravidian Pillais and Panickers and Meenavars were forced to accept other religions after the occupation of Kerala by the hostile Nepalese tribes in the fourteenth century. While the indigenous Dravidian culture was destroyed Nagas and Arians under the Delhis and European support. Finally British banned the indigenous Dravidian languages Malayanma and Lingua Malabar Tamul the native languages infavour of the Nambuthiris Grantha-Malayalam written with Tulu Tigalari script.

Travancore Nair Dynasty[edit]

The Venadu Kingdom which was successors of the Ayi Kingdom. The Venadu Kings were known by the title Venadu Mooppil Nayar. Venadu later became Travancore by annexing kingdoms such as Desinganadu, kayakulam, Elayidathu Swaroopam (Kottarakkara) and Chempakasseri. The Travancore Nair Dynasty was an Indian kingdom from 1729 to 1949. It was ruled from Padmanabhapuram, and later Thiruvananthapuram by the Nair Royal Family who were the descendents of Chera rulers. Chera dynasty was a Tamil Villavar dynasty supported not by Nairs but Villavar Vanavar and Malayar three Villavar subclans.Chera King Kulasekhara Alwar described himself as Villavar Kon in his book Periar Thirumozhi written in Tamil. The Travancore Nair dynasty were not Tamils but belonged to the Nepalese tribes men brought from Ahichatram in Uttarkhand to Tulunadu.[11] They were more related to Newars of Nepal and Bunts of Karntaka. The Travancore Royal family descends from the Samantha ruler of Kannur who practiced Matriarchy like the other Bunts. Travancore Kings belong to the Chirakkal Raja Vamsam subgroup of Kolathiris who was inturn installed by a Tulu invader brother of Kavisingarachan (Kavi Allupendra) of the Alupas Pandyan kingdom of Tulunad.[12] These are Samanthas a Tulunadus Bunt subgroup hence ethnically not related to Villavars.

The following was the national anthem of Travancore, called Vancheeshamangalam (written in Malayalam):
   Vanchi bhumi padhey chiram,
   Sanjidhaapam jeyikkenam,
   Deva Devan Bhavan ennum,
   Deha soukhyam valarthenam,
   Vanchi bhumi padhey chiram,
   Thwacharithamennum Bhoomau,
   Vishruthamai vilangenam,
   Vanchi bhumi padhey chiram,
   Marthiamanamethum bhaval,
   Pathanamai bhavikkenam,
   Vanchi bhumi padhey chiram,
   Thavakamam kulam menmel,
   Vanchi bhumi padhey chiram,
   Malakatti Chiram prajah,
   Palanam chaitharulenam,
   Vanchi bhumi padhey chiram,
   Sanjidhaapam jeyikkenam. 

This anthem is in praise of the Nair Ruler who used to be called 'Tiruvitamkur Maharajavu' in Malayalam.

Maharajas of Travancore

   1.Anizham Thirunal Veerabaala Marthanda Varma 1729–1758
   2.Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma (Dharma Raja) 1758–1798
   3.Avittom Thirunal Balarama Varma 1798–1810
   4.Gowri Lakshmi Bayi 1810–1815 (Ruling Queen from 1810–1813 and Regent Queen from 1813–1815)
   5.Gowri Parvati Bayi (Regent) 1815–1829
   6.Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma 1829–1846 (coronation in 1815, Ruling Maharajah from 1829-1846)
   7.Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma 1846–1860
   8.Ayilyam Thirunal Rama Varma 1860–1880
   9.Visakham Thirunal Rama Varma 1880–1885
   10.Sree Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma 1885–1924
   11.Sethu Lakshmi Bayi (Regent) 1924–1931
   12.Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma 1931–1991 (coron. 1924), (Ruling Maharajah 1931-1971) and (Titular Maharajah from 1971-1991)

Kochi Nair Dynasty[edit]

Kingdom of Cochin (also known as Perumpadappu Swaroopam, Mada-rajyam, Gosree Rajyam, or Kuru Swaroopam; Malayalam: കൊച്ചി Kocci or പെരുമ്പടപ്പ്‌ Perumpaṭappu) was a late medieval Hindu kingdom and later Princely State on the Malabar Coast, South India. Once controlling much of the territory between Ponnani and Kochi in Malabar, the Cochin kingdom shrank to its minimal extent as a result of invasions by the Zamorin of Calicut. When Portuguese armadas arrived in India, Cochin was in vassalage to Zamorin and was looking for an opportunity to break away. King Unni Goda Varma Tirumulpadu (Trimumpara Raja) warmly welcomed Pedro Álvares Cabral on 24 December 1500 and negotiated a treaty of alliance between Portugal and the Cochin kingdom, directed against the Zamorin of Calicut. Cochin became a long-time Portuguese protectorate (1503–1663) providing assistance against native overlords. After the Portuguese, the Dutch East India Company (1663–1795) followed by the English East India Company (1795–1858, confirmed on 6 May 1809), protected the Cochin state.

The Kingdom of Cochin, originally known as Perumpadappu Swarupam, was under the rule of the Later Cheras in the Middle Ages. The Brahmin chief of Perumpadappu (Chitrakuda, Vannerinadu, Ponnani taluk) had married the sister of the last Later Chera king, Rama Varma Kulashekhara, and as a consequence obtained Mahodayapuram, and Thiruvanchikkulam Temple along with numerous other rights, such as that of the Mamankam festival. After the fall of the Mahodayapuram Cheras in the 12th century, along with numerous other provinces Perumpadappu Swarupam became a free political entity.Keralolpathi which mentions this story never mentioned any Tamil Chera Villavar rulers.Tamil Royal clans never had marriages with any Brahmins. Keralolpathi mentions a Tulu invader who was the brother of Kavisinghrachan (Kavi Alupendra) of Alupas dynasty of Tulunadu who invaded Kerala with 3.5 lakh strong Nair army with Padamala Nair as its commander. Keralolpathi calls him as the Last Cheraman Perumal and also mentions Cochin Kings are descendents of this Tulu Cheraman Perumals sister and a Namputhiri. But this Tulu pretender was not a historical figure. Kerlolpathi says that he surrendered and boarded an Arab ship. Namputhiri written Keralolpathi never mentioned the name of any Tamil Villavar Kings of the Later Chera Dynasty. But it hails the Tulu invader as the Cheraman Perumal. Ramavarma Kulasekhara the last Tamil Villavar ruler shifted to Kollam where he ruled as Ramar Thiruvadi. However, it was only after the arrival of Portuguese colonizers on the Malabar Coast did the Perumpadappu Swarupam acquire any political importance. Perumpadappu rulers had family relationships with the Nambudiri rulers of Idappally. After the transfer of Kochi and Vypin from Idappally rulers to the Perumpadappu rulers, the latter came to be known as kings of Kochi. Ma Huan, the Muslim voyager and translator who accompanied Admiral Zheng He on three of his seven expeditions to the Western Oceans, describes the king of Cochin as being a Buddhist.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ State Editor (1986). Kerala State Gazetteer, Volume 2, Part 1. Kerala Gazetteer. p. 22. 
  2. ^ Edith Jemima Simcox. Premitive Civilizations or - Outlines of the History of Ownership In Archaic Communities, Volume 1. p. 548. 
  3. ^ Perumal Thirumozhi by Chera King Kulasekharavarman
  5. ^ Edith Jemima Simcox. Premitive Civilizations or - Outlines of the History of Ownership In Archaic Communities, Volume 1. p. 485. The Nairs of north Kerala share a common ancestry with the Tulu Bunts of South Karnataka.Both the communities follow the matrilineal system.
  6. ^ Edith Jemima Simcox. Premitive Civilizations or - Outlines of the History of Ownership In Archaic Communities, Volume 1. p. 211. 
  7. ^ Edith Jemima Simcox. Premitive Civilizations or - Outlines of the History of Ownership In Archaic Communities, Volume 1. p. 457. 
  8. ^ Edith Jemima Simcox. Premitive Civilizations or - Outlines of the History of Ownership In Archaic Communities, Volume 1. p. 563. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Fort Cochin in Kerala, 1750-1830: The Social Condition of a Dutch Community ... By Anjana Singh P.114
  11. ^ Keralolpathi
  12. ^ Keralolpathi