Thrissur Knowledge Guide
The Ramavarmapuram monument is in granite and is of the menhir type. The monument in Ramavarmapuram is 15 feet (4.6 m) in height and 12 feet 4 inches (3.76 m) wide. Since 1944, it has been protected by the Department of Archaeology. The monument is locally known as Padakkallu or Pulachikkallu. These menhirs are memorials put up at burial sites for the departed souls. They belong to the Megalithic Age of Kerala, which is roughly estimated between 1000 BCE and 500 CE. All such monuments have not been dated exactly. Some experts are of the view that these are the remnants of the Neolithic Age in the development of human technology. The Ramavarmapuram menhir is also believed to be a monument belonging to the Sangam period in the South Indian history.Another monolithic monuments like Dolmens and rock-cut caves are at Porkulam, Chiramanengad, Eyyal, Kattakambal and Kakkad. According to historians, the dolmens are burial sites. Though most of the monuments were well protected, the dolmen at Porkulam was in a neglected condition. The monument excavated under eminent Archaeologist B. K. Thapar, between 1949 and 1950, was under the Department of Archaeology. Another megalithic monument is situated at Ariyannur in Thrissur. This place has unravelled monuments such as the Kudakkallu or Thoppikkallu (Mushroom stones or Umbrella stones) and 'Munimada' (Saint's abode). The laterite hillocks of Ariyannur rise to about 50 metres. Another reference in Ariyannur dates back to the early 15th century in the poem Chandrotsavam.
The region can claim to have played a significant part in fostering the trade relations between Kerala and the outside world in the ancient and medieval period. The early political history of Thrissur is interlinked with that of the Chera Dynasty of the Sangam age, who ruled over vast portions of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. After the Cheras, the place was later ruled by the Kingdom of Cochin (Perumpadapu Swaroopam). Later, a powerful dynasty known as Zamorins of Calicut captured most of the Thrissur in 14th and 15th century.
Next was the turn of Portuguese who ruled Thrissur in the 16th century. In the beginning of the 17th century the Portuguese power was reduced and Dutch became the main power. With the help of Dutch, Cochin Royal Family recaptured Thrissur from Samoothiri in 1710. The modern City of Thrissur rose to importance after Sakthan Thampuran ascended the throne of Kingdom of Cochin (1769–1805). He changed the capital of Cochin Royal Family to Thrissur from Mattancherry and abolished the power of Namboothiri community, which controlled most of the temples of Thrissur district. The maharaja destroyed the forest around the Thekkinkadu Maidan which seats the Vadakkumnathan temple, and started the most spectacular cultural festival called Thrissur Pooram. Sakthan Thampuran laid the modern foundation stone of Thrissur and made the city into a major financial and commercial hub of South India, by inviting Syrian Christian families and Brahmins from adjoining areas.However, during 1750–60 Hyder Ali, the Sultan of Mysore, attacked Thrissur and became tributary of the Kingdom of Mysore. Tipu Sultan, his son led another invasion in 1786 to Thrissur, where he destroyed the churches of Syrian Malabar Nasrani community and Hindu temples. Tipu Sultan's Army set fire to the church at Palayoor and attacked the Ollur church. The economy of Thrissur totally collapsed because of this invasion. Later he made a retreat from Thrissur, which served as the headquarters of Kerala region, after the Srirangapattanam war. In the meantime, Rama Varma X, the successor of Sakthan Thampuran signed a treaty with East Indian Company, and made Cochin a subsidiary of the British.
In 1947, when India gained independence from the British rule, Thrissur was under Kingdom of Cochin. Thrissur district was formed on 1 July 1949, with the headquarters at Thrissur City. The city is usually referred to as the Cultural Capital of Kerala. The city had been home to politicians and bureaucrats like R. K. Shanmukham Chetty, P.C. Rao, C. Achutha Menon, K. Karunakaran, Joseph Mundassery, Vinod Rai etc. after the independence. These individuals have changed the trajectory of Thrissur City afterwards. . P.S. Rao, advisor to the Rajapramukh and acting Governor of Kerala, is another person who Thrissukkar is indebted to. He expanded Thrissur City by shifting all the administrative and government offices like Thrissur Collectorate to Ayyanthole from Chembukavu. Government Engineering College, Thrissur, is another gift from Joseph Mundassery, the controversial former education minister who introduced Kerala Education Act. C. Achutha Menon, the former Chief Minister of Kerala gifted Kerala Agricultural University in 1971, a university for all agricultural related activities.K. Karunakaran, the Bhishma of Kerala politics started his career in Thrissur as a painter. Later on he became the "Leader" of city. During his regime Thrissur-Guruvayur Section and Poonkunnam Over Bridge was built. Vinod Rai, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, is another person who turned fortunes of the city by building Sakthan Thampuran Nagar (S.T.Nagar) when he was collector of Thrissur district. He is also known as the second Sakthan Thampuran of Thrissur by shifting the Municipal Stand near the M.O. Road to Shaktan Thampuran Nagar, now known as Shaktan Thampuran Private Bus Stand, Thrissur. Another IAS officer who made remarkable contributions to the development of Trichur is Raju Narayana Swamy. He single-handedly widened five roads of the city- Pattalom Road, Inner Ring Road, Ragam Theatre Road, Padinjare Kotta and Chemputti Lane – thereby changing the face of the town.