Cochin Royal Family

Cochin Royal Family were rulers of Cochin or Kochi. They were also known as "Perumpadapu Swaroopam" ,"Kuru Swaroopam"

History

There is no historically written evidence about the emergence of Kingdom of Cochin or of the Cochin Royal Family (Perumpadapu Swaroopam). All that is recorded are through folk tales and stories. So what we have today is only a blurred picture.
Even though there are many manuscripts like "Keralolpathi", "Keralamahatmyam", "Prumpadapu Grandavari", etc. we cannot fully rely on them as they are folk tales and stories but they have got their own prominence.
According to "Keralamahatmyam" (44th adhyaya) King Vishravanas daughter Bala told Parusurama that she needs a land with her name for her to settle. Parashurama for fulfilling her wish created a land from sea and called it Kerala. Lord Parashurama promoted this land and invited people of all religion caste and creed to settle here. This story can only be considered as a continuation of the old folk tale in which Parashurama created Kerala out of the sea and also that building of temples.
There is a well known story that the last "Perumal" who ruled Kerala divided his kingdom between his nephews and his sons and got himself converted to Islam and went to Mecca for pilgrimage. "Keralolpathi" states the above story as " The last and the famous Perumal king Cheraman Perumal ruled Kerala for 36 years. He left for Mecca by ship with some Muslims who arrived at Kodungallur (Crangannore) port and converted to Islam. Before leaving to Mecca he divided his kingdom between his nephews and sons."

Perumpadapu Grandavari states " The last "Thavazhi" of "Perumpadapu Swaroopam" came into existence on the" Kaliyuga" day "-shodashangamsurajyam". Cheraman Perumal divided the land into half, 17 amsha north of Neelaeswaram and 17 amsha south totaling to 34 amsha, and gave his powers to nephews and sons. Thirty four rajyas in between Kanyakumari (now in Tamil Nadu) and Gokarna (now in Karnataka) were give to the Thampuran who was the daughter of the last niece of Cheraman Perumal."

There is no evidence that Cheraman Perumal converted himself to Islam. There is also a controversy that Perumal got himself converted to Buddhism, Christianity or Jainism. Keralolpathi recorded the division of his kingdom in 345 AD, Perumpadapu Grandavari in 385 AD, Logan (a historian) in 825 AD. There is no historical clue on the split of Kerala, but according to Elamkulam Kunjan Pilla (a historian) a split might have occurred during the second Cheran Dynasty (Beginning of 12th century).There is also a view which can also be considered that the last Perumal, Ramavarma Kulashekara Perumal, of the second Cheran Dynasty (Kulashekara Samrajyam 800 AD - 1102 AD) with its capital at Mahodayapuram divided his Kingdom. There is also a baseless statement in Mangalamala (written by Appan Thampuran) that Bhaskara Ravi Varma had done the division. But there is evidence on the statement that the division was done by Ramavarma Kulashekara Perumal.

Ramavarma Kulashekara Perumal" s sister who was married to a Namboothiri of Perumpadapu Illom near Ponnani had five daughters out of which only the last daughter had a son. During the last days of his reign Ramavarma Kulashekara Perumal divided his kingdom between his sons, relatives, and nobles. The kingdom which was later ruled by his sons were called VENAD Swaroopam and that of his nephew was called PERUMPADAPU Swaroopam. Even though matriarchal system was prevalent, the majority of his kingdom was given in between his sons and rest only to his nephew with all the religious rights. VENAD Swaroopam was bestowed the honor Kulashekaraperumal and PERUMPADAPU Swaroopam as Koviladhikari which is a proof of their political and religious practice.Thus, in the beginning of 12th century the Kingdom of Cochin and the Cochin Royal Family (PERUMPADAPU Swaroopam) came into existence. Until 16th century PERUMPADAPU Swaroopam didn't have any political supremacy, all the political supremacy started only in the 16th century.

Family

Perumpadapu Swaroopam currently has more than 1000 Members. The family Follows a Matrilineality system.

The eldest female member 'Veliyamma Thampuran' heads the family. She holds the most significant post in the family.

The Eldest male member of the family is called as Veliya Thampuran (Perumpadappu Moopil) is the king.

Based on the current projections even with this numbers it is predicted that the family would be in a position for adoption in the next century. In 1976, there were 719 members in the family.

Tradition of Perumpadapu Swaroopam

Traditionally Perumpadappu Moopil is considered as the political head of all the brahmins in Kerala (spiritual head being Azhvanchery Thamprakkal). Their rituals and tradition is almost similar to that of brahmins with some exceptions like 12 days of Pollution on death or Birth, Veli not performed for marriages of male members, cannot do pooja yagam etc. Normally for Sandhya vandanam members recite 10 Gayatri mantrams. Among the ruling families in kerala only members of Perumpadappu swaroopam traditionally had the right to Serve feast to Brahmins or can have food together with brahmin(thachudya kaimal of kudalmanikya kshetram also have that right). This can be verifed by reading Shaktan Thampuran story in Ayithihyamala of kottarathil Shankunni.We can see there is a strong relation of Cochin dynasty with the Christian community.The elephant lamp presented by Shaktan Thampuran to the Saint Mary's Church, Kanjoor proving the above fact. Every member has to do Shodasakriyakal. The term "Shodasakriyakal" refers to sixteen rites to be performed by all members, as structured through "Smruthi".
# Sekom (Garbhaadhaanam) : A rite to be performed just before the first sexual intercourse after marriage.
# Pumsavanom : To be performed just after conception.
# Seemantham : Performed after Pumsavanom.
# Jathakarmam : Performed just after birth.
# Naamakaranam : Christening.
# (Upa)nishkramanam (Vaathilpurappadu) : Involves taking the child out of the house for the first time.
# Choroonu : The first ceremonial intake of rice by the child.
# Choulam : The first hair-cut ceremony of the boy/ girl.
# Upanayanam : (Only for boys).
# Mahaanamneevrutham (Aanduvrutham) :
# Mahaavrutham :
# Upanishadvrutham :
# Godaanam : Rites as part of thanks-giving to the Aacharyan (priest or teacher).
# Samaavarthanam : A long ritual for the completion of the above said Vedic education.
# Marriage
# Agniadhaanam : A rite performed as an extension of Oupaasanam and introduction to Sroutha rites.

Deities

*Paradevatha (goddess): Vannery Chitrakoodam, Pazhayannur Bhagavathy
*Paradevan (god): Vishnu (Sree Poornathrayeesa),Tiruvanchikulathappan
*Other Deities: Chottanikkara Bagavathy, Chazhur Pazhayannur Bhagavathy, Pulpalli Thevar and many

Marriage

Traditionally the female members of the family are married (Sambandham) only to Namboodiri Brahmins while Male members marry ladies of the Nair/Samanthan Class. These wives of the male members are not Ranis' as per the matriarchal system but instead get the title of Nethyar Amma. But today with Namboothiris marry within their class Perumpadappu Swaroopam members marry from other Malayala Kshatriya class in Kerala.Traditionally the rule for marriage is Females Marry from same Class (like thirupad) or Class above (Namboothiri) and Males Marry from same class (like thirupad) or Nairs.

Naming practice of Male Thampuran

In Cochin Royal Family all the male Thampurans were named according to the following methodology.

*Eldest Son To A Mother Rama Varma
*Second Son Kerala Varma
*Third Son Ravi Varma
*Fourth Son Goda Varma (Discontinued).

From then on to till date the first three naming convention is followed. But still the name Goda varma is followed in the other root family (thavazhi) of cochin royal family namely chazur kovilakam as the elders belong to it.

Naming practice of Female Thampuran

In Cochin Royal Family the female Thampurans were named according to the following methodology.

*Eldest daughter To A Mother Amba
*Second daughter Subhadra

This naming convention is followed again to third daughter and fourth etc.

Both the female and male members are called by the name "Thampuran" and have same last name(Thampuran). (in all other royal families in Kerala, males are called Thampuran and females - Thampuratti. For more details, please visit [http://www.crfhs.org] )Fact|date=February 2008

External links

* [http://www.gosree.org Emergence Of Kingdom Of Cochin And Cochin Royal Family]
* [http://www.crfhs.org Cochin Royal Family Historical Society]
* [http://www.namboothiri.com Namboothiri Websites Trust Calicut]

References

* "Genealogy of Cochin Royal Family" - By Rameshan Thampuran


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