History


Starting from the Stone Age, Thrissur must have been the site of human settlement. This is evidenced by the presence of a megalithic monuments at Ramavarmapuram, Kuttoor Cherur and Villadam. The Ramavarmapuram monument is in granite and is of Menhir type. The monument in Ramavarmapuram is 15 feet height and 12 feet 4 inches broad. From 1944, it is under the protection of Department of Archaeology. The monument is locally known as 'Padakkallu' or 'Pulachikkallu'. These menhirs are memorials put up at burial sites for the departed souls. They belong to the Megalithic Age of Kerala, which is roughly estimated between 1000 BCE and 500 CE. All such monuments have not been dated exactly. Some experts are of the view that these are the remnants of the Neolithic Age in the development of human technology. The Ramavarmapuram Menhir is also believed to be a monument belonging to the Sangam period in the South Indian history.

Ramavarmapuram menhir

Another monolithic monuments like Dolmens and rock-cut caves are at Porkulam, Chiramanengad, Eyyal, Kattakambal and Kakkad. According to historians, the Dolmens are burial sites. Though most of the monuments were well protected, the dolmen at Porkulam was in a neglected condition. The monument excavated under eminent Archaeologist BK Thapar, between 1949 and 1950, was under the Department of Archaeology. Another megalithic monument is situated at Ariyannur in Thrissur. This place has unravelled monuments such as the 'Kudakkallu' or 'Thoppikkallu' (Mushroom stones or Umbrella stones) and 'Munimada' (Saint's abode). The laterite hillocks of Ariyannur rise to about 50 metres. Another reference in Ariyannur dates back to early 15th century in the poem 'Chandrotsavam'

Next was the turn of Portuguese who ruled Thrissur in 16th century. In the beginning of 17th century the Portuguese power was reduced and Dutch became the main power. With the help of Dutch, Cochin Royal Family recaptured Thrissur from Samoothiri in 1710.The moderncity of Thrissur rose in to importance after Sakthan Thampuran ascended the throne of Kingdom of Cochin (1769-1805). He changed the capital of Cochin Royal Family to Thrissur from Mattancherry and abolished the power of Namboothiri community, which controlled most of the temples of Thrissur district. The maharaja destroyed the forest around the Thekkinkadu Maidan which seats the Vadakkumnathan temple, and started the most spectacular cultural festival called Thrissur Pooram. Sakthan Thampuran laid the modern foundation stone of Thrissur and made the city in to a major financial and commercial hub of South India, by inviting Syrian Christian families and Brahmins from adjoining areas.


However, during 1750-60 Hyder Ali, the Sultan of Mysore, attacked Thrissur and became tributary of the Kingdom of Mysore. Tipu Sultan, his son led another invasion in 1786 to Thrissur, where he destroyed the churches of Syrian Malabar Nasrani community and Hindu temples. Tipu Sultan’s Army set fire to the church at Palayoor and attacked the Ollur church. He plundered Thrissur’s economy and even converted Christians and Hindu’s into Muslims. The economy of Thrissur totally collapsed because of this invasion.Later he made a retreat from Thrissur, which served as the headquarters of Kerala region, after the Srirangapattanam war. In the meantime, Rama Varma X, the successor of Sakthan Thampuran signed a treaty with East Indian Company, and made Cochin a subsidiary of the British.




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