Thirunavaya


 

 

This is a place of great historical importance and it situated on the banks of the Bharatapuzha. The Mamangam, a grand Assembly of the rulers of kerala was held here once in every 12 years. Valluvakonathiri had the right of presiding over the "Mamankam Festival". During those days samoothiri (zamorine) of Calicut was captured several lands of Valluvanad including Thirunavaya. After conquering this area he became the leader of the Mamankam Festival. The people of Valluvanad wanted to take back this Right and it was the purpose of "Chaver Pada", the suicide squad they formed. The last festival held in 1755. Today Thirunavaya Navamukunda temple is a famous pilgrim center and there every January the Sarvodaya Mela takes place.

 There were four Nair families under Vellaattiri who used to send their heroes to fight and die in the mamankam festival. These were

1. Chandratt Panicker

 2. Putumanna Panicker

3. Kokat Panicker

4. Verkot Panicker.

Along with them went a number of soldiers drawn from arm-bearing castes including Muslims who opted themselves to die. Most of these Chaver soldiers had lost their relatives or elders in previous wars with the Samoothiri, and were fuelled by 'kudippaka' against the Samoothiri. They came from various parts of Malabar, assembled at Thirumanthamkunnu under Vellaattiri, and were led by commanders from one of the four houses. Further details were provided by Logan and Hamilton about the Mamankam of 1683 and 1695 respectively.

Vellaattiri after losing Thirunavaya and the right of the Rakshapurusha, began to conduct the pooram festival in the place of Mamankam, at Angadippuram (Walluvappally), his capital. Here in the temple of his tutelary deity Thirumanthamkunnu Bhagavathi, he stood on a raised granite platform from where in the olden days his predecessors started the procession to Thirunavaya for the Mamankam festival. It was from here that the Chavers were sent to the Mamankam festival afterwards when Samoothiri usurped it.

The war of Thirunavaya was not the end of Samoothiri's aggression on Walluvanad. He continued his attacks on Vellaattiri. But he encountered stiff resistance even though Walluvanad had a much smaller army. The fights went on in a protracted and sporadic fashion for a long time, with both sides gaining in some and losing in the other.
 

[Kunnathattil Madambil Nair (Mannarghat Nair) was the desavazhi who looked after the affairs of the eastern boundary and hilly areas of Vellattiri. Chondathil Mannadiar (Puthumana Panicker) and Kavada Nair were other chiefs under him. Other dignitaries consisted of 14 swaroopies, two Nairs, two Namboothiris, two persons of the royal house, four Panickers, Elampulakkad Achan, Kulathur warrier, Uppamkalathil Pisharody, Pathiramana Vellodi, Parakkatt Kakkoott, Mannarmala Nair and Cherukara Pisharody. This council of great men was a great challenge to Samoothiri even in the most difficult periods of the Walluvanad Rajas.]

Samoothiri followed a policy of appeasing the feudatories of Vellaattiri and conferring upon them the areas they originally held under Vellaattiri. He was able to win over Dharmoth Panicker, Pulappatta Nair and Kavalappara Nair to his side one by one. Thus Samoothiri gradually became the master of Malappuram, Nilambur, Vallappanattukara and Manjeri, which were under these feudal lords. Eralpad (Samoothiri prince) now began to rule these areas as supreme commander over them, with Karimpuzha as his base.

The land of ancient Mamankom, Thirunavaya is 7 kms south of Tirur. Situated on the banks of Bharathapuzha, it is a place of historical importance. In olden days, Mamankam was a grand assembly of the rulers. Held once in 12 years, in which one among them was selected as the emperor of Kerala. it was an enormous trade fair also. The Mamankam festival was celebrated for 28 days with great pomp and pageantry where traders from outside came in ships and barges to Thirunavaya through Ponnani port. Thus the economical importance of Mamankam was high and hence the right to conduct and control it was important.

At the end of the rule of Perumals, the right of Mamankam was with Vellattiri, the ruler of Valluvanad. Later the Zamorin of Kozhikode, took this right by force and this resulted in dispute and bloodshed between these two Rajas. Valluvanad Raja used to send Chaver warriors to flight until death, to recapture the right from the Zamorin, who would stand poised at Nilapadu thara in Thriunavaya, surrounded by a large contingent of soldiers, in every 12th year. The last of such Mamankam believed that was held in 1755, when Zamorin had a hair-breath escape from a chaver aged 16.

The Nilapaduthara now in the premises of Kodakkal Tile Factory being protected by the Archeological department. There is a deep well called Manikkinar, said to be dumped with dead bodies. The place hashree temples, dedicated to the Trimurtis, the gods of creation, sustenance and annihilation of life, according to the Hindu belief strewn on the banks of the Bharathapuzha. The famous vedic Vidyalaya Othanmar Madom of ancient times is on the bank of Bharathapuzha, near the Siva Temple. This madom was a centre of Aryanisation through Sanskrit and Vedic education, as Thirunavaya was believed to be the main centre, where Parasurama brought and settled Brahmins.

 

The Palace (Mana) of Puranic fame Azhvanchery Thamprakkal is 2 km North of Thirunnavaya. Navamunkuda Temple, believed that to be constructed by Nava yogis on the right bank of Bharathapuzha, is an important Vishnu temple of Kerala. Pitru Tharpanam is a ritual, held here on the day of Amavasi of Karkidaka(July). People after the dip in the river with their wet clothes, offer Balikarma for the salvation of sins and to appease the manes.

A marital art festival of Kalripayattu, is conducted during summer on the sands of dry Bharathapuzha. The famous Changampalli Kalari, is near Thirunavaya. During the second week of February a Sarvodaya Mela is conducted in Thirunavaya where the Gandhians of Kerala, use to assemble. The Santikudeeram established by the national leader K. Kelappan, is the centre place of this mela.

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