BRAHMA-KSHATRA MIGARTION AND IMPACT ON THIYYA COMMUNITY
Great sacrifices and ever burning holy fires set up by yielded of axe in Kolathunadu in Northern kerala (Agni: The vedic ritual of fire altar vol 2, page 256)
The above incident happened in Cellur which is also called as perumchellur, one of the two northernmost Nambuthiri settlements in kerala and other being Payyanur, about 20 kilometers west of Taliparambha. These two settlements constitute northern group Geologically separated from the others by more than 150 kilometer, and the only major Brahmin settlements in Northern Malabar. Though chellur is included in the list of thirty two traditional Brahmin settlements of kerala found in keralolpatti chronicle, the prolific reference to Kerala in the sangam works do not contain any mention of the other great Brahmin settlements known to Kerala tradition. Kerelopatti refers to two Brahmin purvashikha immigrants in kerala earliest one is called as Palatuluvar and were supposedly brought by parashuraman (they had their origin in kuru-panchala region , left the land with their ever burning holy fire ,owing to spread of Jainism and Buddhist philosophy and most importantly because of persecution by Ugra nanda dynasty of Magadha. Dananad Nanda is believed to have murdered rulers of kuru and panchala dynasty and persecuted followers of vedic priesthood, the date of emigration is between 700-400BCE since Namboothiris didn't follow Apasthambha tradition dated around 300BCE by keeping lower limit emigration must go back to 500-400BCE since Namboothiris were recorded in Sangam literature around 300BCE) .
After occupying tulunadu and subjugating villavar(Billava) they spread south towards Kongunadu suffered from hostility by local people they fled and second attempt by parashurama was more successful. Palatuluvars adversaries in Kongunadu were nannas belonging to people called Vechchekkooven synonymous to chekoon or chekavar a sub caste of Thiyyars specialized in kalari payattu or martial arts who is mentioned in Sangam literature as patron of Tamil poets and great warrior of Eli Malai(Ezhemala) of Muva or Mushikavamsa. Thiyyas had fought gallantly against Brahma-kshatra invasion but were finally subdued, recently discovered archeological finding in tamilnadu revealed presence of hero stone for a hero who died in battle named Thiyya-Andavan dating around 300BCE who fought against cattle raiders in horseback which most probably could be brahma-kshatras infiltrating deeper into sangam lands.
It was after defeat of Thiyya community namboothiri’s consolidated hold on Kongunadu(Old name of Kannur) and later over entire Kerala , later Parashurama set up ever burning fire and performed vajapeyam for conquest of all of kerala and by 500AD 32 gramams were set up there by bringing all of Kerala under Brahmin control.
Some tribes who resisted this brahmakshtra migration left kongunadu and settled to Near by Islands now called as Maliku located in Lakshwadeep( their existence is came to be known based on Maldivian ballards called Thaavaru which speaks about Mysterious people called Theevaru living in that land prior to their arrival this Theeveru later played very important role in contemplary Thiyya culture ) however vast majority of Thiyyas continued to live in their land . Brahma-kshatras also brought with them sudras and vashyas or Nairs and Yadavas with them and gave the administration of newly conquered land to them. In kongunadu new dynasty calling itself Kolathiri was established around 1100AD this dynasty is believed to be connected to The old Mushikha kingdom whose original rulers as well as soldiers were of Thiyya tribe ….the later kolathiri rulers were of mixed origin(Nair-Yadava). Over time a strict Chaturvarnashrama system was established in the lands and Nambyars (a mixed Nair-yadava caste) became the defacto rulers and majority Thiyya became laborers, this led to revolt by some Thiyya families against Brahmakshatra Namboothiris in the ensuing battle the karanavars of Poothatta taravad clashed with braham-kshatras and killed eight of them they even didn’t allow the body to be cremated and instead buried them near their family taravad valappil…Kolathiri shocked by this defeat gave key military posts to members of some well-known Thiyya families after this incident brahmashatra tradition came to an abrupt end among namboothiris. They came to rely more on Nairs and trained them in martial arts so as to contain Thiyya power in Kongunadu.
By 1500AD brahma-kshatra tradition ceased among Brahmins all together in south India.
Photo:A Purvashikha namboothiri Brahmin