History of Kerala Hindus
Hinduism or Sanathana Dharma the world's oldest religion is the main religion in Kerala. Kerala Hindus are in fact, an integral part of Kerala culture. Hinduism in Kerala is a combination of Dravidian and Aryan cultures and religious practices. The ancient history of Kerala Hindus and Kerala were largely interwoven with legends and myths.
Parasurama, Mahabali, Agasthya and Vasishta Myths
The ancient history of Kerala is shrouded in the mists of tradition. The legends about Mahabali , Parasurama, Agasthya and Vasishta are very good examples for this fact.
The myth of Vamana coming and disrupting the sacrifice of Mahabali is as follows:- Vamana (meaning a dwarf-bodied man), who was a small Brahmin boy, came and asked the king Mahabali, three foot of land for his daily use, for practicing his daily ceremonial customs. Mahabali agreed to it, in spite of the warning by the Bhargava Sukra, his priest. Vamana, getting the consent of the king started to measure the three foot of land he wanted. But he grew his size in large proportions and the land he measured by two steps itself, in effect, covered the whole of Mahabali's kingdom. Vamana placed the third step onto the head of king Mahabali and sent him to the nether worlds. Vamana gave a boon that Mahabali's subjects will remember him as a great king for ever, and every year they will celebrate his arrival to see them, as a festival (Onam).
Modern historians tends to consider Asuras and Devas (or Dravidas and Aryas) as two divisions of ancient people, who shared same motherland, culture and civilization, for some period of time in the past. Later they split into two groups, harbouring enimity to each other. One group used the name Asura as a respectful surname to their chiefs and kings. On the other hand, the other group used the name Asura to denote a demon and Deva to denote a divine being or god. Asuras/Dravidas lived in Pathala the present South India.
This myth can be interpreted as follows. Vamana represents the arrival of a new foreign tribe, into Kerala-the kingdom of Mahabali. Since Vamana was describes as the son of sage Kasyapa, this new tribe could be the Kasyapa tribe or Arya Brahmins. They asked the king for a small land for their settlement in his new kingdom. The king consented it, in spite of the warning of his priest, the Bargava Sukra. Bhargavas were already aware of Kasyapas, as another priest-class, but as having adherence to the Deva group of ancient people. The consequence of this consent by Mahabali was that the Kasyapas, starting from their small settlement, permitted for occupation by the king, spread through out the kingdom of Mahabali and overthrew him from his kingship. Mahabali was latter forgotten and existed only in the minds of his loyal subjects, as a great king. Thus the myth of Vamana signifies the transfer of power from the Asura kings and their Bhargava priests to the Deva worshiping rulers and their Kasyapa priests or Nampoothiries.
Traditional Keralite legend proclaims that Parasurama, an avatar of Mahavishnu created Kerala. Parasurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, had waged an epic series of vengeful wars on the Kshatriyas. Came a moment when Parasurama was struck by remorse at the wanton annihilation he had wrought. He offered severe penance atop the mountain heights. In a mood of profound atonement, the sage heaved his mighty axes into the midst of the distant ocean. The waves foamed and frothed as a prawn-shaped land extending from Gokarnam to Kanyakumari surfaced from the depths of the sea to form Kerala. Mythology says that Kerala was given to the Brahmins (Namboothiris) as a "donation" by Parasurama to save himself from the sins of killing numerous kshathriya kings. The land was full of forests and poisonous snakes were found in plenty. So the Brahmins refused to stay there. Parasurama requested Lord Shiva to provide a solution. Shiva told Parasurama to start worshipping Anantha the king of snakes. Parasurama did so and Anantha advised him to start snake worship in Kerala and provide some forest especially for snakes in the form of Sarppakkavu (Snake forests). Parasurama later installed the idols of Anantha and Vasuki at Vettikkottu (near Kayamkulam in Alappuzha district) and Mannarassala(near Harippadu in Alappuzha district) and started worshipping them. The Brahmins also worshipped Anantha and Vasuki and the pleased snake gods made Kerala suitable for living.
The pepole of ancient Kerala or Nagas fought against the Arya Brahmins. Nagas were snake worshippers. The presence of snakes in Kerala in the above myth points to these Nagas. Serpent-worshipping Nagas in Kerala fought with the Arya Brahmins till they reached a consensus. Brahmins started serpent-worshipping means that they admitted the rulership of Nagas in Kerala. Later the Brahmins had succeeded in introducing the caste system and ultimately became the rulers of entire Kerala. The transfer of power from the Bhargavas to Kasyapas or Dravidian Nagas to Arya Brahmins was, also evident in the history of Bhargava Rama or Parasurama, where it is described that, Bhargava Rama, after overthrowing the Kshatriya rulers of central India, took the rulership of their land and latter transferred the ownership of this land to the hands of Kasyapas, and retired to woods.
Role of sage Agasthya and Vasishta is also related with the migration of Brahmins from North India to Kerala. The sage Agasthya was very popular in South India especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Agastya was described as a brother of sage Vasishta. Sage Vasishta is also linked with the story of the birth of the Kerala tribe, as per the epic Mahabharata. Agasthya and Vasishta were the sons of ancient gods Mitra and Varuna. Both were gods common to the Deva and Asura group of ancient people. Asura group maintained their reverence to Varuna and Mitra. The designation of Varuna as a sea-god or the god of the sea, was probably because, the Asuras who gave this god, a very high position, was good at seas, as fishermen, navigators and as sea-traders.
Most historians believe that Agasthya arrived at south India including Kerala, by migration through land. Legend says that the Vindhya mountains that separate north and south India from each other once showed a tendency to grow so high as to obstruct the usual trajectory of the sun. The need arose to subdue, by guile, the Vindhyas, and Agasthya was chosen to do that. Agasthya journeyed from north to south, and on the way encountered the now impassable Vindhya mountains. He asked the mountain range to facilitate his passage across to the south. In reverence for so eminent a sage as Agastya, the Vindhya mountains bent low enough to enable the sage and his family to cross over and enter south India. The Vindhya range also promised not to increase in height until Agasthya and his family returned to the north. Agasthya settled permanently in the south, and the Vindhya range, true to its word, never grew further. Thus, Agasthya accomplished by guile something that would have been impossible to accomplish by force. This legend points to the historical truth that Sage Agasthya had opened a path across the Vindhya ranges in central India to the southern India.
There is now, numerous places in Kerala and Tamil Nadu related to Agasthya like, Agasthyavata, Agastheswara etc. One story about Agasthya goes that once the demons Kalakeya had taken refuge in the ocean and it was difficult for the gods to vanquish them, so they went to Sage Agasthya for help. Then, after hearing the gods, the sage drank the entire ocean water and held it within him until the demons were destroyed. The attribution of sage Agasthya, as a son of the sea-god (Varuna), could be due to him being good at sea navigation and probably sea warfare. That's why the Devas sought the help of Agasthya in defeating Kalakeyas who were ferocious sea-warriors. Thus Agastya's arrival at Kerala and Southern India could be from a sea route as well.
At a Saivite temple named Kuttalam, formerly a Vishnu temple, in Tamil Nadu, Agasthya, in one legend, was refused entry. He then appeared as a Vaishnavite devotee and is said to have miraculously converted the image to a Shiva linga. A symbolic meaning of this conversion, in one interpretation, is to show that Vishnu and Shiva are different aspects of the one and same God. This means that sage Agasthya suuccessfully integerated the beliefs of Dravidas and Aryas in South India. Agasthya was mentioned in Tamil literature also, as Akattiyar. He is said to develop a grammar for the Tamil language and probably introduced writing in Tamil using Tamil Brahmi script. Malayalam, the language spoken in Kerala is derived from this Tamil.
The myth about the origin of the Kerala Tribe is described in Mahabharata. When the sage Vasishta was attacked by king Viswamitra's army, Vasishta's cow, Kamadehnu, brought forth from her tail, an army of Palhavas, and from her udders, an army of Dravidas and Sakas; and from her womb, an army of Yavanas, and from her dung, an army of Savaras; and from her urine, an army of Kanchis; and from her sides, an army of Savaras. And from the froth of her mouth came out hosts of Paundras and Kiratas, Yavanas and Sinhalas, and the barbarous tribes of Khasas and Chivukas and Pulindas and Chinas and Hunas with Keralas, and numerous other Mlechchhas. In the ancient Indian literature, cow is a symbol of earth or land. Thus the myth mentioned above simply means that, these tribes gathered for the protection of sage Vasishta's land against the army of king Viswamitra.
Kerala in Ancient Scripts
Kerala is mentioned in many ancient Indian scripts. Kerala is mentioned in epics Ramayana and Mahabharatha. Mahabharata describes that the King of Kerala took part in the Kurukshetra war on the side of the Pandavas. Chapter (6:9) of Mahabharata mentions about the kingdoms and provinces of ancient India (Bharata Varsha). In this list we found mention about Kerala. Sahadeva(the fourth Pandava) conquered Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu during Yudhishtira's Rajasooya Yajna. In the 3rd-century-BC rock inscription left by the Mauryan emperor Asoka, Kerala is mentioned as Keralaputra. Another earliest written record mentioning Kerala is contained in the Aitareya Aranyaka. Figures such as Katyayana (circa 4th century BC) and Patanjali (circa 2nd century BC) exhibited in their writings a casual familiarity with Kerala's geography. Megasthanes, the Greek Ambassador to the court of Emperor Chandra Gupta Maurya (4th Century BC) mentions in his work Indica on many South Indian States, including Automela (Muziris or Kodungalloor). Ancient Roman Natural philosopher Pliny the Elder mentions in his Naturalis Historia (N.H. 6.26) a Muziris as India's first port of importance. The unknown author of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea notes that both Muziris and Nelkunda (modern Niranam) are busy places. Kerala is also mentioned in Tamil Sangham literature.
Hyder Ali's and Tipu Sultan's attacks on Malabar
The military occupation period of the rulers of Mysore won't be forgotten by the Malayalis for generations. The period of Hyder Ali Khan(1722 - 1782) and his son Tipu Sultan(1750 - 1799) between Malayalam era 941 to 967 (1766 to 1792) is the darkest period in Kerala history for all types of Islamic atrocities including forcible conversions. It was this invasion that turned Kerala Hinduism upside down. None of the Hindu Rajas in Malabar at that time was under the tutelage of the British or any other European power. The English Company, with its headquarters in Madras and Bombay, had only some pockets of influence in Mangalore and Tellicherry. The Kerala coast was under the influence of the Dutch and the French who were established in Cochin and Mahe respectively. Thus Hyder Ali's and Tipu Sultan's invasion of Kerala was not to fight and defeat the British, but to subjugate the independent Hindu kingdoms and for conversions to Islam. Neither Hyder Ali Khan nor Tipu Sultan is known to have attacked any of the British establishments in Kerala at any time.
Krishna Raya the last king of the Wodeyar Dynasty was overthrown by Hyder Ali Khan, his army chief stationed in Dindigal. Later Hyder Ali declared himself the Sultan of Mysore with Srirangapatanam as capital in 1761. Wars of territorial conquest waged in Malabar by Hyder Ali Khan were intended more for spreading the Islamic faith by killing and forcible conversion of Hindus coupled with widespread destruction of Hindu temples, than for expanding his kingdom. In 1766 he attacked the Malabar coast with his huge army. During that period, there were a number of small kingdoms in Malabar. Among them, the important ones were those of Kottayam (Pazhassi) Raja, Kolathiri (Chirackal) Raja, Kadathanad Raja in North Malabar, and Zamorin in South Malabar. There was also a Muslim kingdom under Kolathiri Raja called Arackal. The seniormost male member of the Arackal Muslim family was known as Ali Raja while the seniormost female member was referred to as Arackal Bibi. The family originated from the Hindu royal family of Chirackal or Kolathiri. Though converted to Islam years back, the Arackal family followed their original matriarchal system as prevalent in Kerala. And though Ali Raja was a subordinate chieftain under Kolathiri Raja, he used to disobey the authority of Kolathiri quite often.
When Hyder Ali Khan overran Mangalore and reached the northern borders of Malabar, Ali Raja invited and persuaded him to subjugate the Hindu Rajas of North Malabar and offered his assistance. After reaching Cannanore, Hyder Ali Khan appointed Ali Raja as his Naval Chief (High Admiral) and the Raja's brother Sheik Ali as Chief of Port Authority (Intendant of Marine). After that, Ali Raja and his brother served Hyder Ali Khan on land and sea and aided all his military operations with a body of over 8,000 Mappilas (Muslim converts - name derived from Macca Pillai, Ma-Pillai). During his southward march of conquest and plunder, Hyder Ali allowed Ali Raja and his barbarous Mappilas to act as army scouts and also to commit all sorts of atrocities on the Hindu population of Malabar. The Kolathiri Raja could not offer much resistance against the huge army of Hyder Ali which was equipped with heavy field guns. On the other hand, Ali Raja who had been made a tributary chieftain in Cannanore, seized and set fire to the palace of the old Kolathiri Raja. The latter escaped with his followers and sought protection of the British in Tellicherry. Hyder Ali now entered Kottayam (Pazhassi) Raja's territory where he encountered resistance. There were casualties on both sides. But the Kottayam Mappilas betrayed and deserted their Hindu king and assisted Hyder Ali Khan.
The first serious resistance encountered by the invading army of Hyder Ali Khan was in Kadathanad. The devastation caused by him during his wars in Kerala was typical of fanatic Muslim invaders anywhere in India. The entire Malabar was thrown into a general consternation which was much increased by the cruelty of the Mappilas who followed the invading cavalry of Hyder Ali Khan and massacred all those who escaped without sparing even women and children; so that the army advancing under the conduct of this enraged multitude [Mappilas] instead of meeting with continued resistance, found villages, fortresses, temples and every habitable place forsaken and deserted.
By means of Brahmin messengers despatched to woods and mountains, Hyder Ali Khan promised pardon and mercy to the Hindus who had fled. However, as soon as the unfortunate Hindus returned on his promise of mercy and pardon, Hyder Ali Khan, like all the other Muslim tyrants of North India, saw to it that they were all hanged to death, their wives and children reduced to slavery. Before quitting the country (Kerala) Hyder Ali Khan by a solemn edict declared the Nairs deprived of all (social and political) privileges and (ordered) not to carry arms. This ordinance was found to make the submission of the proud Nairs absolutely impossible because they would have thought death preferable to such humiliations and degradation. Therefore, Hyder Ali Khan by another ordinance, consented to restore all social and political privileges including carrying of arms, to the Nairs who embraced the Mohammadan religion. Many nobles had to embrace Islam; but a significantly large section (Nairs, Chieftains and Brahmins) chose rather to take refuge in the kingdom of Travancore in the South than to submit to the last ordinance.
When Hyder Ali Khan reached Calicut with his huge army, destroying everything on the way and forcibly converting to Islam every Hindu warrior defeated or captured, the ruling Zamorin, after sending away all his family members to Travancore State, committed self-immolation by setting fire to his palace and ammunition depot nearby, in order to escape personal humiliation and possible forcible conversion to Islam.
Hyder Ali Khan had thus attempted and to some extent succeeded in converting a sizeable section of Hindus, especially Nairs and Thiyyas, to Islam by force and treachery. However, as soon as he left Malabar, all Hindu Rajas, Chieftains and Nairs revolted and asserted their independence. He died in December, 1782, and his son, Tipu Sultan, succeeded him in Srirangapatanam. Tipu was also a fanatic Muslim king, but more cruel and inhuman than his father in his Islamic wars and conversions in Kerala.
The immediate object of Tipu's early military operation was to subjugate and retake the principalities which had revolted against the Mysore suzerainty immediately after the departure of Hyder Ali Khan from Malabar. As he proceeded with his Islamic wars against the Hindu population in Kerala, Tipu Sultan committed many more brutalities. The Rajas were unable to resist. But they did not like to be mute witnesses to brutalities perpetrated by the Muslim army of Tipu. As a consequence, the Kadathanad and Kottayam Rajas sent requests to the English Company at Tellicherry for protection, stating that "they could no longer trust Tipu Sultan and beseeching the Company to take the Brahmins, the poor and the whole kingdom under their protections". But the British did not render any help to the Hindu Rajas. Tipu's brutalities were against all sections - Brahmins, Nairs and Thiyyas of Hindu community, not excluding even women and children.
It was not only against the Brahmins who were thus put in a state of terror of forcible circumcision and conversion; but against all sections of Hindus. In August, 1788, a Raja of the Kshatriya family of Parappanad and also Trichera Thiruppad, a chieftain of Nilamboor, and many other Hindu nobles who had been carried away earlier to Coimbatore by Tipu Sultan, were forcibly circumcised and forced to cat beef. Nairs in desperation, under the circumstances, rose up against their Muslim oppressors under Tipu's command in South Malabar and the Hindus of Coorg in the North also joined them. The revolt in the South Malabar was led by Ravi Varma of the Zamorin family. Though Tipu conferred on him a jaghire (vast are of tax-free land) mainly to appease him, the Zamorin prince, after promptly taking charge of the jaghire, continued his revolt against the Mysore power, more vigorously and with wider support. He soon moved to Calicut, his traditional area of influence and authority, for better co-ordination. Tipu sent a large Mysore army under the command of M. Lally and Mir Asrali Khan to chase and drive out the Zamorin prince from Calicut. However, during the above operations, Ravi Varma assisted not less than 30,000 Brahmins to flee the country and take refuge in Travancore.
It may be pointed out here that almost all female members and many male members of different royal families such as Chirackal, Parappanad, and Calicut, and chieftains' families like Punnathoor, Nilamboor, Kavalapara, Azhvancherry Thamprakkal etc., fled to Travancore to escape the brutalities of Tipu's army and temporarily settled down in different parts of Travancore. Even after the fall of Tipu Sultan's regime in Srirangapatanam, many of these families, wholly or partly, preferred to stay back in Travancore because of the Mappilas' atrocities in the past.
After solemnising the marriage between the daughter of Arackal Bibi and his son, Abdul Khalic, and conferring a portion of the Chirackal principality on her, Tipu Sultan proceeded to the South to subjugate Travancore and convert more Hindus to Islam. The persuasions and threats he delivered to the Zamorin and the Cochin Raja to wage wars against Travancore, either directly or on his behalf, did not succeed because Tipu was regarded by all Hindu Rajas and nobles as a fanatic Muslim. The Cochin Raja, though a tributary to Mysore, avoided meeting Tipu, fearing forcible conversion when invited for a special meeting. At the same time, he continued to send his tribute to Tipu as usual while secretly assisting Travancore to build and strengthen the long defence line (Nedunkotta Fort) through Cochin territory against the Mysore army.
Travancore had an alliance (Treaty of Mangalore) with the English Company according to which "an aggression against Travancore would be viewed as equivalent to declaration of war against the English". The Dutch who were afraid of Tipu also agreed to transfer the Kodungallur Fort to Travancore, mainly as a strategy to involve the more powerful British in case of war with Travancore on that account. Since Cochin was considered a tributary to Mysore, Tipu objected to the transfer of Kodungallur Fort which was part of Cochin territory before its occupation by the Dutch. Therefore, Tipu Sultan demanded of Travancore to (i) allow free access to Kodungallur because the Travancore defence line had stretched and passed through Cochin territory, and (ii) surrender all Hindu Rajas and nobles from Malabar who had taken refuge in Travancore. But the demand was rejected. That was his pretext for waging a war against the Travancore State. In the meantime, the Cochin Raja, who was under the guidance and protection of the weak Dutch, openly shook off his tributary links with Tipu and aligned with Travancore after the firm offer of support and protection by the British. It may be noted here that Tipu never fought against the British in Kerala. He fought only against the Hindu Rajas. His hostilities against the British were stepped up only when his ally, the French, waged wars against the British in Europe or his own kingdom was threatened.
The Travancore Raja replied to Tipu explaining that he did what he did as per the advice of the British. That provoked Tipu. He launched an attack against Travancore but was defeated in January, 1790. Tipu and his army were camping on the banks of the Alwaye river before launching the attack on the Travancore defence lines (Nedunkotta Fort). The Travancore army was no match for the huge Mysore army and the monsoon season was four or five months away. Therefore, under the guidance of Raja Kesavadas, the Prime Minister of Travancore, a temporary bund was constructed way up on the stream by a team headed by Kalikutty Nair. When the Mysore army launched its assault and Nedunkotta was penetrated, the temporary bund was breached in the midst of heavy fighting, causing an unexpected flood which drowned many Mysore soldiers and rendered the gunpowder wet and useless. The result was panic and confusion in the Mysore army. The triumphant Nair forces of Travancore inflicted heavy casualties on the- invading army. But the valiant Kalikutty Nair was also drowned in the sudden surge of water and became a martyr.
The Nair forces of Travancore attacked the Mysore army which was crossing the defence fortification, and inflicted heavy casualties on it. The sudden and unexpected attack made the Mysore Army panicky, and in the confusion Tipu Sultan fell down from the ramparts of the fort into the ditch below along with his palanquin. The fall made him permanently lame. Later on, the Travancore forces recovered from the ditch the sword, the pallanquin, the dagger, the ring and many other personal effects of Tipu and presented them to the Dharma Raja. Some of Tipu's personal weapons and ornaments were sent to the Nawab of Arcot on his request.
Meanwhile, following firm assurance of support and protection by the English Company who had by this time extended their military power and political influence to the entire West Coast and South India, some of the important Malabar Rajas such as Pazhassi Raja, Kolathiri Raja and Kadathanad Raja, returned to their respective kingdoms and asserted their independence from Mysore suzerainty. The Cochin Raja shook off his tributary link with Mysore. The Zamorin and the Palghat Raja were promised help by the British in their opposition to the Mysore Sultan, with the promise of restoring their lost territories to them after the defeat of Tipu. All the Hindu Rajas and nobles had thus joined hands with the British against the war efforts of Tipu mainly because of his Islamic atrocities against the Hindus in Kerala. Revolt against the Mysore occupation forces broke out all over Malabar and spread to Coorg with the return of the chieftains to their respective areas. Before the end of 1790, the British captured Palghat Fort and secured the communication channel from Coimbatore to the West Coast for assisting the Travancore forces against the Mysore army. All along, Tipu's forces assisted by the Mappilas were devastating and plundering the entire country as per the recorded version of Martab Khan, Commander of the Mysore army.
By the time Tipu Sultan launched his second attack and demolished parts of Nedungotta in May 1790, heavy monsoon rains caused the Alwaye river to flood the countryside. Since the Mysore army was not accustomed to fighting during rainy season, it was easy for the Travancore army to defeat Tipu's army. That was the second defeat Tipu suffered near Alwaye in 1790.
In the meantime, Lord Cornwallis, the Governor General, himself assumed the command of the British forces and pushed forward towards Srirangapatanam, headquarters of Tipu Sultan. Simultaneously, the Maratha and the Nizam's forces also advanced from different directions. The final assault was mounted and Srirangapatanam surrounded in January-February 1791 by a combined army consisting of the British, Maratha and the Nizam's forces. Tipu Sultan, who-rushed to Srirangapatanam, abandoning his military operations against Travancore, was forced to sign a treaty in 1792 ceding the entire West Coast and half of his other possessions to the Allies, thus relieving the Hindus of Kerala from further Islamic brutalities.
During the invasion from 1783 to 1792, Tipu Sultan had committed a variety of atrocities against the Hindus in Kerala. In Malabar, the main target of Tipu Sultan's atrocities were Hindus and Hindu temples. There was no limit as to the loss the Hindu temples suffered due to the military operations of Tipu Sultan. Burning down the temples, destruction of the idols installed therein and also cutting the heads of cattle over the temple deities were the cruel entertainments of Tipu Sultan and his equally cruel army. The Mysore Gazetteer says that the ravaging army of Tipu Sultan had destroyed more than 8000 temples in South India. The temples of Malabar and Cochin principalities had to bear the brunt of plunder and destruction. According to the Malabar Manual of William Logan who was the District Collector for some time, Thrichambaram and Thalipparampu temples in Chirackal, Thiruvangatu Temple in Tellicherry, and Ponmeri Temple near Badakara were all destroyed by Tipu Sultan. The famous and ancient Thirunavaya Temple, known throughout the country as an ancient teaching-centre of the Vedas, revered by the devotees of Vishnu from Tamil Nadu, and existing before the advent of Christ, was also plundered and destroyed by Tipu's army Some of the famous temples looted and desecrated were as follows: Triprangot, Thiruvannoor, Calicut Thali, Hemambika Temple, the Jain Temple in Palghat, Mammiyur, Parambatali, Venkitangu, Pemmayanadu, Tiruvanjikulam, Perumanam, Vadakhumnnathan Temple of Thrissur, Belur, Veliyanattukavu, Varakkal, Puthu, Govindapuram, Keraladhiswara, Trikkandiyur, Thiruvannur, Varackal, Puthur, Govindapuram, Thalikkunnu Sukapuram, Maranehei Temple of Aaalvancheiri Tambrakkal, Vengara Temple of Aranadu, Tikulam, Ramanathakra, Azhinjalam Indiannur, Mannur Narayan Kanniar and Vadukunda Siva Temple of Madai. The Trikkavu Temple of Ponnani was converted into Military Garrison. Damages caused to the temples at Parampathali, Panmayanadu and Vengidangu are visible even today.
In the case of Triprayar Temple, the main deity was shifted temporarily to Gnanappilly Mana situated in a remote village, and in the case of Guruvayoor Temple, the idol was shifted to Ambalapuzha Sri Krishna Temple in Travancore State before the barbarian army of Tipu Sultan reached there. However, both of them were brought back and ceremoniously installed after the withdrawal of Tipu from Malabar towards the end of 1790. The damage that can be seen even today on the installed presiding deity of Thirumoozikkulam temple is believed to have been caused by Tipu Sultan's army.
When the British established their rule in Malabar and the Hindu landlords made efforts to recover their landed properties, illegally occupied by the local Mappilas, Mullahs started preaching to their fanatic followers that "killing of Hindu landlords was a sacred Islamic act," leading to frequent Mappila outrages in Malabar. In Cherunad, Vettathunad, Eranad, Valluvanad, Thamarassery and other interior areas, local Mappilas unleashed a reign of terror on the Hindu population, mainly to retain the illegally occupied land and to establish their domination over Hindus as during Tipu's regime. Fearing the organised robberies and violence, people could not even travel freely in the Malabar hinterland of predominantly Mappila population.
Muhammadans greatly increased in number as result of Tipu's invation. Hindus were forcibly circumcised in thousands. Even today muslims are a majority in Malappuram district and other parts of Malabar. The war that Tipu Sultan waged in Kerala, was a cruel Islamic war against the Hindu population. Yet there are degenerate Hindus in Kerala who admire Tipu Sultan as a hero!