Myths and History of Kerala


Very little is known about the history of Kerala. Most of the stories related to ancient Kerala revolves around myths and exaggerated historical events. The legends of Parasurama conspires majority portion of Kerala’s history. Parasurama was considered as the reincarnation of Lord Vishnu.

The Myth:
It is believed that Parasurama was asked to surrender his land to the Brahmins. With the blessing of varuna and Bhudevi, he threw his axe towards the ocean and a piece of land appears.

It was called the “Land of Parasurama” today known as Kerala. Hence, it is also known as “God’s own Country”.

Painting by Raja Ravi Varma depicting Parashurama

Painting by Raja Ravi Varma depicting Parashurama | Image Resource: wikimedia.org

We may consider these stories as Myth but certain archaeologist indicated that Kerala was a different land once(Maybe before the famous Continental drift). The land of Kerala is oddly elevated from the sea level which is a peculiar phenomenon when compared to it’s neighboring states.

The History:
The cultural lifestyle of Kerala was greatly influence by Chera dynasty. It Flourish during this era. Various other emperors tried to conquer this land but failed. Even the Mauryan army could enter this land of Cheras. Whereas, the Buddhist, Jains and Brahmins rulers from Karnataka successfully entered into some parts of Kerala. All these events produce numerous social reforms in the ancient society of Kerala.

The Brahmins began to rise with time. With their knowledge and discipline, they become the most powerful section of Kerala. The Buddhist and Jains had no option but to retreat. However, the major problem that arises during this era was the caste system. St. Thomas the apostle of Christ landed in Kodungallur at Coast of Malabar during 52 AD. The new phase of Kerala’s history evaluated with the beginning of Christian era. With the entry of Christian, the people of Kerala were more inclined towards the idea of equality and humanity.

To allure more people towards Christianity, the churches provided free education along with other basic commodities such as food, clothing, and shelter. This entire event has greatly impact people of Kerala, even communism that evolved during the pre-independence spread the idea of creating an unbiased society and importance of education.

With the changing time, Kerala have grown to become the most evolved states in India. It is History and Myths that have played an important role in binding the people of Kerala.

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