- This article is about the erstwhile vassal feudal city-state in Zamorin Malabar, for the town of the same name, see Kottayam-Malabar, for Kottayam city in central Kerala see Kottayam.
Kottayam (Cotiote) is a former Hindu vassal feudal city-state in the erstwhile province of Malabar in present-day Kerala, in the Indian subcontinent. Kottayam (Cotiote) is famed for Pazhassi Raja (Pyche Rajah), one of principal leaders of Wynaad Insurrection (Kotiote Palassi rebellion or Cotiote War).
The Kingdom of Kottayam covered what is today Talassery Taluk (1000 km2) of Kannur District and Wynad District (2000 km2). Headquarters of this kingdom was located in Kottayam, a small town not far from Tellicherry. The royal dynasty of princely state of Kottayam was called Purannatt Swarupam. The Padinjare Kovilakam or Western Branch of this royal dynasty was located at Pazhassi and is famous for its heroic royal rebel, Pazhassi Raja.
Cradle of Kathakali
The institution of Kathakali gained in progress and richness during the time of the Raja of Kottayam between 1665 AD and 1725 AD. The then Raja of Kottayam who was a brilliant actor-dancer structured several compositions to complete the transition of Kathakali from its earlier form Ramanattam developed by Kottarakkara Thampuran. Many dedicated artists like Chathu Panicker also endeavoured towards laying the foundations for what is known as Kathakali now. Their efforts were concentrated on the rituals, classical details and scriptural perfection. Even now Kathakali has not changed from this format considerabley in basic details. Bakavadham, Kirmeeravadham, Kalyana saugandhikam and Nivathakayacha kalakeyavadham are the four perfect Kottayam works After this the most important changes in Kathakali were brought about through the effors of a single person namely, Kaplingad Narayanan Nambudiri. After basic instructions in various faculties of the art in Vettathu Kalari of North Malabar, he shifted to Travancore and there in its capital and many other centres he found many willing to co-operate with him in bringing about these reformations.
- The Royal 'Rebel'
- Pazhassi Raja: The Royal Rebel by Shreekumar Varma (Macmillan, 1997)
- Peasant Protests in Kerala
- Eye witness account from Lachlan Macquarie who participated in one of the battle against Pazhassi Raja