On the panoramic lower plains embracing the Western Ghats, on its western side, extending towards the seas, about 11 km from Colachel, on its south-north, almost at 8’.11 x 77’. 20 degrees there situates an ancient premier princely palace called Eraniyel. The origin of the name Eraniyel is shrouded in mystery. It is buried under the sands of time. It may be a corruption of Ranasimha-nallur. Rana Simhan was one of the earlier kings of Venadu. The place was known in different names at different times including Rena Simha Nallur. The present palace is of later period with modern tiled roofs, now in dilapidated, rugged, mutilated, stoned, betrayed and beaten conditions. This palace was called the Thai Kottaram or Mother Palace for the Kings of Venadu / Travancore.
Eraniyel was the centre of power for the great Mitakshara Patriarchal emperors of the famous Perumals of 8th century, or even of the 1st century AD Perumals. With several higher centres of learning around, it remained an important cultural centre for the great Chera emperors of Karuur and Kodungallur. Parthipasekara puram Uzhakudivilai (Munchirai), Chitharal, etc., were the centres of learning, or Universities, known even to the Chinese.
Like the Pandya dynasty, Chera dynasty is one of the earliest dynasties of India. The Chera King had fed food to the entire armies of the Mahabharata war, (BC 3102 ). There is a museum near Sri Padmanabaswamy temple, Trivandrum. In that museum is preserved a list of Kings. The list is divided into: Part-I, Puranic, and Part-II, Historical. In the Puranic, it starts with King, Manuvaivaswata, a Dravidian King. There are many branches in them. In the part II, it starts with Ayyanatikal Tiruvati (c 870-910 AD), and it gives 56 lines of kings ending with, Rama Varma XIV (Chitirai Tirunal -1931-1991AD).
Ref. The Forgotten Dynasty Behind the Biggest Hoards of India
|Caste||Sub Division||Sub Division Name||Strength|
|2. Illam (Poojari)||4,405|
|3. Kana (Gana) 1,771||1,771|
|4. Karukumattai (Talwar) 4,813||4,813|
|5. Kavara (Kavithi)||20,786|
|7. (Mootha / Perumal)*||5,686|
|8. Nattan (Naden)*||2,791|
|9. Trippapur*(Ruling Clan)||6,251|
It is to be noted here that the word “Channan” is a corruption of original Tamil word “Santan” meaning ‘Elite’ or ‘Sane Judge’.The word “Ittanat” is allied to Eetha-Panai (Date-Palm), the Symbol of Ediga Nadans of Vijayanagara Empire.The word “Karukkumattai” is corruption of 'Karukku Pattayar' (sharp-sworded) equivalent to northern, 'Talwar'
The greater ‘Thamizhagam’ (Tamil country) had twelve divisions with a single language of Tamil for the entire country. In ancient times, these were of the early Jain-patterns. ‘Eraniya Mutrathu Perum Kausikanar’, the great Jain Saint of Sangam age reminds the same. Founded by the Pandyas, it is equally claimed and even ruled by the Cheras and, at times, by the Cholas also, who were from the same stocks of ‘kindred’ groups of brothers. Sometimes they quarreled and made great wars too.
The invasions from the Aryans, Moguls, British, French, Portuguese, etc., have scattered and buried the history of Eraniyel. Of late, we know about the Peasants movement against the ruling King, led by Dalawa Velu Thampi (1799), the disappearance of Perumals (repeatedly), disappearance of the Thiruvati of Thesinga Nadu, lastly the criminal conspiracy of ‘oozing out’ of the Nadalwar King Udaya Martanda Kulasekara Perumal (Bala Rama Varma IX) from the palace, through the underground tunnel to his death bed in 1810AD, etc, are known to us (Ref. Forgotten Dynasty…/ Eranuel Thai Kottaram).
The later system of ‘Adoption’ to the royal family has clouded and buried several historical truths resulting in many dynastical gimmicks. In the end, the descendants of the ‘Perumal Family’ had formed a “Trust” namely: “Cheraman Perumal Memorial Family Trust: (Reg.127/2008)” by its dynastical heir apparent, Sri Jagadish Ayya, in 2008 , and the Court Case are pending at Nagercoil (Ref. Sons of the Soil…). At present the Trust is headed by Sri John Rose and is represented by Mr. C.G.Godwin Jose.
A. Chithambaranar, counting on the period of Eraniyen, son of Thakkan, attributes 3000 BC, as the age of Eraniyen and thereby to Eraniyel. Making reference to the ancestors of the Nadalwars, the great Phoenicians of yonder years, it can go much beyond 10000 years or more. The reference to “Eraniya Mutrathu Perum Kausikanar” referred to in the Tamil Sangam literature , mentioning the great Jain Saint, it can be attributed at least to the 1st century AD, or little more than that. It was a Jain saint who became a victim of the scuffle between the Jains and the new Hindu activists in the 8th century AD when 8000 Jains had been sent to the gallows on a single day. This incident indicates to the level of burial of history.
These kings are from the root of Chera, Chola, Pandya as brothers. In this context, the exposure of the “Narasimha Maddom” in the secret chambers of Sri Padmanabaswamy Temple, Trivandrum also is worth re-calling, for its connection with Eraniyel. Hence the period of Eraniyel can be assessed as in between 1st century AD and 3000 BC, or still more. To pin point its exact antiquity, more research is required.
Elamkulam Kunjan Pillai, one of the sensible historians of Kerala writes that the Perumals were mostly emperors who were patriarchal. The Kulasekharas and Perumals were from the same root of political pedigree. But, lots of confusions are created by historians through the Sanskritic volumes of stories and ‘so called agama grandhas’ in mixed languages created between 7th and 12th century AD.
Referring to Ptolemy, V.S.V Raghavan says that ‘Thiru-Aten-Code’ was an early capital of Thamilagam where, in the 1st century BC, or much earlier, the great Tolkappiyam was formulated. “There is a place called ‘Thackalai’and the three important places around it are : 1. Eraniyel, 2. Kotha-Mangalam, 3. Thiruvithamcode. Among these, the first, Eraniyel is the most important one” (Ptolemy, p.319).
The connection of “Nadalwars” with the Eraniyel Palace and the Ruling dynasties of Venadu/ Travancore or Kerala are well established from the following Evidences: