About Mavelikkara

History

Mavelikara’s historical backdrop extends around 400 years.   The first reference of Mavelikara is made in the Kandiyoor mattom padappattu.   The known history of Mavelikara starts from the reign of the Maveli kings who ruled the Madathinkoor kingdom.   The capital of Madathinkoor was Kambam and Koodallur.   Their area extended up to central Kerala.

Before this there existed a kingdom called Oodanad. This was also called Oonattukara. The region north to Desinganadu ( Kollam) consisted of places including Mavelikara, Karunagappally and Karthikappally thalucks. Kayamkulam king was the ruler. Kandiyoor mattom was its first capital. Later it was shifted to Eruva and then to Krishnapuram. In 1746 Marthandavarma conquered the land and it was annexed to Travancore.

Thiruvalla cheppedu (A.D.11th Century ) and the famous poetries such as Unniyadi charitham and Unnuneeli sandhesam clearly and widely narrate Oodanadu and Kandiyoor.  During the famous ‘Sangam’ age the place including Mavelikara was ruled by Aayi kingdom. It was an agricultural society.  Traces of this culture is evident in many festivals of this land.   After this period the Hindu culture gained dominance. Then came Buddhism.   We can also trace so many aspects of Buddha culture from here.   And after the colonization Christianity also prevailed here.   From all these cultural strong currents Maveikara developed its character.

It is mentioned in Kottarathil Sankunni’s Aitheehyamala that during the assault of Tippu Sultan, Lord Gurvayurappan was taken out in a solemn procession to Mavelikara and settled there for a short period.

During his Kerala visit,  Mahatma Gandhi came to Mavelikara and attended a meeting on 19th January 1934.   Gandhiji’s reception was in Thattarambalam Sree Chitrolsava Mandiram.  Personalities namely Artist Rama Varma Thampuran, Thattarambalam Raman Pillai, Sree Subhananda Guru Devan etc were participated in the meeting.   The conversations between Subhananda Guru Devan and Gandhiji were translated by Mannar Gopalan Nair.

Either by paternal or maternal relation, many eminent personalities were born and brought up in Mavelikara.  They have been proud of their connection with Mavelikara.

The love and affection of Hindu and Christian communities of Mavelikara are evident from the ‘Purathezhunnallippu’ and ‘Ethirelppu’ processions of Puthiyakavu Devi Temple starts in front of the Puthiyakavu St.Mary’s Cathredal Church.   Mutual faith and harmony between these religions remain unaffected since decades.

Dynasty

Oonattukara consisted of four kovilakams-Perakathu, Cherayi, Puthiyidathu, Pazhedathu.  The eldest one of these Kovilakams was made the king of Oonattukara.  Later Oonattukara splitted into two. Of these one was conjoined to Venad.  The other remained as Kayamkulam.

In 1737  Ramayyan became the dhalava of Venad.During his period Mavelikara came into prominance as a major business centre of Venad.  In the meantime Achutha warrier, the army cheif of Kayamkulam was killed by dhalava.  This forced Kayamkulam to surrender.After this Ramayyan constucted ‘Pandakasala’ at Mavelikara.

An agrrement was signed by the Dutch and Travancore in 1753.  In this accord Dutch conceded not to attack Travancore.   This agreement was signed at Mavelikara.  As a memorial to this agreement Dutch donated a pillar light ( sthamba vilakku ) to Sree Krishna temple at Mavelikara.  In this vilakku we can see a Dutch soldier with his head bowed holding a gun upside down.  Ramayyan also constructed a ‘kotta’ ( fort) at Mavlikara.   After the rule of Velu thampi dhalava, Lord Mekkala destroyed it in 1809.This place at the heart of the town today also known as Kottakkakam.   Near Sree Krishna Temple there is a building called Dhalava madom.

In order to keep the continuity of the dynasty Sree Moolam Thirunal adopted two princess from Mavelikara.  The elder one Sethu Lakshmi Bhai ruled Travancore as the Regent.  The younger one was Sethu Parvathi Bhai whose son Sree Chithira Thirunal was the famous and the last ruler of Travancore.  Recently the Travancore royal family adopted princess Lekha from Mavelikara.

As a result of the close association with the Tavancore royal family, Mavelikara gained modern facilities well ahead of other places in the state.  This includes a fullfledged transport station and its development into a municipality. Even before India attain independence, Mavelikara had to its credit a super express transport service to Trivandrum.