HISTORY

Not much written historical evidence remains about Thumpamon Sree Vadkkumnathan Temple. At present the temple is managed by Thumpamon Vadakkumnathan Seva Sangam (an organisation of devotees) and before that the temple was managed (urayinma) by Velenickal Illam. In olden days the geographical area of Thumpaon was divided into 8 subdivisions (karas) ie. Mutton, Manpilayi,Naduvilemuri and Nariyapuram in the southern bank of river Achenkovil and Thupamonthazham, Muttathukonam,Chenneerkara,Erathu thumpamon on the northern part of the River Achenkovil. Thumpamon Vadakkumnathantemple represents and protect these karsas,In return the Karakkar (the residents of these places) bring Kettukazhcha in every year on the day of Utradamaholsavam (yearly celebration).The old generation says so many stories about this temple and most of them relate this temple to Chenneerkara Sworoopam, a small independent principality (Ruling class) and Sakthibhadra (a ruler of Chenneerkara Sworoopam and a literary genius).

But the evolution of Thumpamon Sreevadkkumnathan Temple is closely related to the evolution of other great temples in Kerala and the Kerala’s social and cultural history. Historians divide the history of Kerala Temples into four Stages

1. EARLIEST SHRINES (Before 300 BC)
2. Age of JAIN TEMPLES (c.300 BC to 500 AD)
3. Age of BUDDHIST TEMPLES (c.200 BC to 800 AD)
4. REVIVAL OF HINDUISM & THE 'NEW' BRAHMINICAL TEMPLES (c.800 AD onwards)

According to this classification, Thumpamon Sree VadakkumNathan Temple belongs to the Third and Fourth stages. This Temple consists two Sreekovils (Sanctum Sanctorum). Not too much evidence is remaining about the deity in first Sreekovil,ie, Vadakkumnatha. In between 300 BC and 800 AD the Hinduism was dominated by Jainism and Buddhism. Both these religions are originated from the revival movements in Hinduism. Buddhism was introduced in Kerala by the missions sent out by Emperor Ashoka. For more than 700 years, Buddhism flourished in Kerala. The Paliyam Copper plate of the Ay King, Varaguna (885-925AD) shows that at least in South Kerala, Buddhists continued to enjoy royal patronage even until 1000 AD.According to some of the historians in kerala, many Hindu temples were once Buddhist shrines, including Vadakkunathan temple of Thrissur. Moreover some of the historians have the opinion that the Kettukazcha is a ceremony of Budhists.So Thumpamon sree Vadakkum Nathan temple might also have a close relation to the Buddhist Tradition.

Shankaracharya and the Revival of Hinduism by Brahmin scholars in 800-1000 AD gradually wiped out Buddhism from Kerala. Royal patronage by the Vaisnavite Kulashekara dynasty hastened this process. The Vedic Brahmins arrived in Kerala only in 700-800 AD, along the west coast Tulu-nadu and from Andhra Predhesh (Thazhamom madom, the Thanthris of Thumpamon Sree Vadkkum Nathan Temple belongs to Anthra Predesh). But unlike in North India, the Brahmins in Kerala adopted the Tantric form of Temple ritual-worship.

During the time of Maurya Sharman, a Kadamba King, large colonies of Brahmins from North India were invited to settle in Tulu and Kerala. In 792 AD, King Udaya Varman of Mooshika dynasty settled 237 Brahmin families in Kerala. One tradition has it that six outstanding Brahmins came with these immigrants, defeated Buddhist leaders in public debates and established the intellectual supremacy of Hinduism. The Brahmin scholars like Guru Prabhakara and Shankaracharya (788-820 AD) reinforced the supremacy of Hunduism. Nearby Thumpamon Sree Vadakkum Nathan Temple there are House name like Onpalli Madom, Kizhakkum Madom,Thazhamon madam etc and the old generation from thumpamon area says before 60 years the Shanti (the Priest who perform the day to day ceremonies of the temple) was thulu Brahmins.This shows the importance of Thumpamonvadakkumnathan temple in the history of Kerala.

It is believed that the deity (Balamuruga) in the second Sreekovil of Thumpamon sree Vadakkum Natahan Temple (known as Thekkumnathan) was worshiped by Sakthibhadra the author of AscharyaChudamani . Sakthi bhadra was a contemporary of Shankaracharya and after completing the writing of his text Aschryachoodanani he had given it to Sankaracharya for his opinion. That time Shankaracharya was at Chenganoor mahadeva temple and was in maunavritha. So he did not give the opinion and Sakthibhadra thought that Shankarachrya does not like his text. So he burned it. But after some times Shankara visited Shakthibhadra and said that the text was remarkable. But Shakthibhadra informed Shankara that he had burned the text. Then Shankara recaptured the full text from his memory and given to Shakthibhadra. There is a believe that during this time Shankara visited Thumpamon and install the Idol in Thumpamaon Vadakkumnatha Temple.

During the reign of the Chera King Rama Varma Kulashekara (1090-1102 AD), Kerala (Cheralam) was overrun by the mighty Cholas led by KOLUTHUNGA-I. The Cholas burnt down Mahodayapuram (1012 AD), the capital of the Cheras and destroyed Kollam (Quilon), the capital of Venad. Defeated in conventional warfare, the famous warrior class of Cheralam (Kerala), the Nairs, formed Suicide Squads - Chavar - against the invaders. Numerous Kalaris (gymnasia giving training in attack and self-defense) were established, turning Kerala into one large insurgent military camp.The word Thumpam in the place name of Thumpamon means sad and the place name Chenneeraka means the land of blood in Malayalam. Dr.Alexander Jacob IPS pointed out in his essay Charitram Urangunna Thattayil that nearby place Kurampala gets its name from Koorampu ala which means a place to produce Arrows. He also pointed out that in Thumpamon there are house name likes Koppara which means place to store Milatary Arms. Also still exists a Kalri nearby Thumpamon Vadakkumnathan Temple. All these may have a relation with the Chera - Chola wars.Though the Cholas could not make enduring conquests, they did manage to smash the Chera empire and turn it into numerous, small independent principalities like Chenneerkara Sworoopam.The Nairs have lost huge numbers of men in battles. The Nair households, the Tharavaads totaly losts its glory. The Rulers also lost their Economic Power. Without royal patronage, the glory of the temples too declined. The King handed over the temple to the Local Namboothiri Brahmins. The temples then began to be owned and managed (Urayinma) by the Namboothiri Brahmins. So we can assume that from this time onwards the Thumpamon Sree Vadakum Nathan Temple was owned and managed by Velinikal Illom.

Break-up of joint families led to the weakening of Brahmin communities and the Nair Tharavaads. This age could be called the Dark Ages for Kerala (From late 1300 AD to early 1700 AD) - the Hindu society had created for itself the most difficult citation in the history. At this stage the Thumpamon Sree Vadakkum Nathan temple is also lost it glory. Without the royal patronage the maintenance of the temple become difficult and during this time the temple might lost its Vilakkumaadam, Sheevelippura, Dwaja-sthamba (Kodimaram) etc.The Vilakkumaadam is recently reinstalled

 

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