The Zamorin and a Padre (1587-1620)

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And Umara Charare, the convert

While we studied the stories of Kunhali IV, the conversion of the King of Tanur and so on, we came across the fact that the reigning Zamorin during those years had allowed building of churches in Calicut and other parts of Malabar, that he had a good relation with some of the Padres and even that he was somewhat influenced by them, especially so in the case of the capture of Kunhali IV. It is also mentioned that the Portuguese tried hard to ensure that this Zamorin did not get any ideas of alignment with the new entrants in the Malabar trade, the Dutch. Were their work purely missionary of was it a combination of commerce, politics and administration? A study of a couple of works throws much light on these questions and so let’s head to the Calicut during the last decades of the 16th century. As we go on, we will come across some very interesting ministers of Christ, a Zamorin who became more inclined towards the Portuguese, perhaps seeking peace on earth, his nephew who went on to convert to Christianity and as we already saw, a Raja of Tanur who converted. So let’s hasten to that Malabar which had just witnessed much turmoil what with the likes of Furtado and the naval warlord Kunhali IV.

Travancore lines – a Reality Check

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The Nedumkotta fortifications - A discussion

The Travancore lines were according to some historians, first planned by Marthanda Varma duly assisted by his general De Lannoy and built by the Travancore troops in order to protect Travancore and Cochin from the Zamorin’s attacks. Others mention that it was built by the succeeding Dharmaraja for the same purpose, with De Lannoy’s supervision and that they were further strengthened by Travancore to prevent any potential incursions by Hyder and later, by Tipu Sultan. It became a bone of contention between the Mysore Sultans and Travancore as well as the European powers, the Dutch and the English. I had also written about the battle which took place later, but the question in front of us is, who actually built these walls or lines? Was it built from scratch by De Lannoy, as reported by Travancore historians such as Nagam Aiya, Velu Pillai, Ulloor and many others? Or was history fudged a wee bit?