Vysyas - a legendary story

As told by Vadakkepat Bhaskara Gupta and compiled by Vadakkepat Krishnankutty.

The Gupthans, Moothans and Tharakans belonging to Vysya Group have in olden days migrated from Tamil Nadu to Various parts of Kerala. They are mainly seen in various parts of Palakkad District. The History of migration of this community is as follows.

One Sankara Nayanar was a minister in the Chola Kingdom with Capital Poompuhar (Kaveri Poompattanam). In Olden days there used to have exchange of intelligent exercises and puzzles between the kings of various kingdoms to establish their intellectual supremacy. Once, one Pandian king presented a bowl of pearls to the Chola king. The Pearls were of a special type with curved inside holes. The Chola king ordered the Minister Sankara Nayanar to have a necklace with these within 41 days or face extinction. Thread would not straight away pass through the hole as it was curved inside.

The Minister made several serious attempts on this but failed. He spent sleepless nights on this issue. The grace period granted was being coming to an end. Seeing the predicament of the father, the minister’s daughter, Kannaki, a young girl of around 10 years enquired about the problem haunting him. Highly intelligent she was, she got the pearls formed into a necklace. The ruse used was to apply ghee at the both ends of the hole in each pearl and utilizing an ant tied with silk string to one of its legs. She allowed the ant to pass through the hole in each pearl, and thus the necklace was formed. On the 41st day the minister Sankar Nayanar presented the necklace to the King in an open SADAS. The king was very much pleased and enquired how it was done. The minister narrated the incident. The minister’s daughter, Kannaki was ordered to be brought to the Raja Sadas and was given costly presents by the king.

On seeing the girl, and knowing about her high level of intelligence, King nursed a dream of marrying this beautiful girl. He was in a hurry to inform this to her father, the minister. The minister, who belonged to the community of Vysyas, where marriages with other communities are forbidden, was not at all happy to give her daughter in marriage to the King. Besides the girl was an ardent devotee of lord Siva and she had predicted that her incarnation would be fulfilled at her age of 11 years by joining Lord Siva. Instead of straightaway refusing the king’s desire she advised her father to inform the King that she was willing to marry the King but wanted a time of 41 days for undergoing a ‘Vratham’. On the 41st day of Vratham, she would circumambulate a Homakunda and with this her Vratham would come to an end.

She further informed her father that ‘Vanaja’, is a girl very similar to Kannaki, would jump into the Homakunda so that the King would not go in search of Kannaki. By this time Kannaki, the minister and his followers would leave the Chola Kingdom and would reach Karur (Tamil Nadu) overnight. The minister realized that his daughter is an incarnation of Goddess Parvathi.

The King was very much happy to know that he could marry the intelligent girl after 41 days. Poompuhar, the Kaveri Poompattanam and the entire Kingdom began dressing up for the forthcoming royal wedding.

During these days the minister was secretly planning to leave Poompuhar with his family members and those having identical rituals like Ayinkudi kammalers.

The secret plans were executed intelligently and 7250 families of vyasyas bid farewell to Chola Kingdom by crossing the boarders of Cholamandalam by moving towards west. This includes the minister’s families also. Some other families left towards Kanyakumari and some others towards north.

The minister’s team crossed the Western Ghats at several points and reached Kerala. The leaders held discussion with the local kingdoms for permission to establish business centers. The group which moved towards Malabar had discussion with the Zamorins of Calicut. Mangaattachchan, the minister of Zamorins, realizing the entrepreneurship of these people, permitted for their settlement in various parts of Malabar and asked them to develop agriculture, business and trade. The Zamorins ordered special privileges and considerations to this business community.

During these days Valluvanad region came under the rule of Zamorins due to failure of king of Valluvanaattukara in the Mammankam The Zamorins permitted the vysyas to migrate to Valluvanadu region for business, trade and agriculture. Thus the nagarams of Thiruvazhiyode, Mangode, Puthanangadi and Vayilliamkunnu came up. Along with this Several Devi, Siva and Ganesha Temple were also built up in these nagarams.

Those who built up nagaram centering Thiruvazhiyode were called “Eralapuram Nagaraakkar” and those who built up nagaram in Kadampazhipuram were called “Manukulaadithyapuram nagarakkar”. They built Adithyapuram Siva Temple. “Paschimapuram and Ramapura Nagaram centered around Mangode, and Puththanangaadi nagaram around Cheththalloor.

On seeing the prosperity of these communities the other communities in the area began influencing the kings to capture the Siva Temples. Thus the Siva Temples in these nagarams were alienated to the Vysya community.

Kannaki the incarnation of Goddess Parvathi, on reaching Thiruvazhiyode nagaram disappeared and there came up the Thiruvaraikkal temple where the Thiruvaraikkal Amma is the deity.