”THE DARK AGES” OF
AD 72 – 600
something strange about the History of South
India, especially of Kerala. Whereas we have
unbroken history of the reigns of Kings
elsewhere in India, the history of South India
is blank from the coming of St. Thomas until
around fifth century for most South Indian
states (Chera, Chola and Pandya States) until
around eighth century in Kerala.
mean old country.
people who controlled South India during this
period is referred to as Kalabhras.
According to most
historians Kalabhras were the South Indian
dynasty who between the third and the 6th
century A.D. ruled over the entire Tamil
country, displacing the ancient Chola,
dynasties. But nothing of their origin,
character, religion or social structure is
After the tail end of the Sangam period (AD 200
0r 300), it is believed that Kalabrar over ran
the kingdoms of Chera .Chola and Pandyas.
repeatedly asserted that they
did not leave any artifacts or monuments. How
come that we cannot trace any artifacts or
monuments? The only source of information on
them is the scattered mentions in
Jain literature and a
few scattered insciptions
One copper inscription says that a Kalabrar king
defeated 3 Kings and their kingdoms. (Velvikudi
Paddayam). But the names of the 3 kings who were
defeated by the Kalabrar are not known.
The author of Yaaparankalam (a Tamil grammar
book) talks about a Kalabrar King by the name
Moorthy Nayanar Puranam describes that in
Pandiya Nadu when a Kalabrar King died without a
successor, they used an elephant as was the
practice of those periods to choose the next
king. The elephant chose the saffron-clad
Periya Puranam says that Kootruva Naayanar - One
of the 63 Naayanmars belonged to the Kalabrar
Idankali Nayanar who ruled Kodumpaloor belonged
to the Kalabhra clan.
Some say the Muththarayar (who ruled all 3
areas) are Kalabrar and they were Tamils.
Several inscriptions tells us who defeated the
One Inscriptions says that King Kadungone
defeated the Kalabrao and restored the Kingdom
in the 6th century.
Pallava King Simha Vishnu of Thondamandalam
defeated the Kalabrar king who was ruling Chola
But we have no record of the defeat of Kalabhrar
The chieftains of this tribe mentioned in Sangam
literature are Tiraiyan of Pavattiri and Pulli
of Vengadam or Tirupati.
have the Wikipedia statement: ”Historians
speculate that these people followed Buddhist or
Jain faiths and were antagonistic towards the
Hindu and Brahminical religions adhered by the
majority of inhabitants of the Tamil region
during the early centuries C.E. As a result
Hindu scholars and authors who followed their
decline in the 7th and 8th century C.E. may have
expunged any mention of them in their texts and
generally tended to paint their rule in a
negative light. It is perhaps due to this
reason, the period of their rule is known as a
‘Dark Age’ – an “interregnum”. Wikipedia
as it appeared on Sep 9, 2010 14:47:10GMT)
These were intentionally destroyed. Blotting
out names and history was an age-old method
practiced in ancient cultures. Historians
affirm that this is exactly what happened in
the case of South India as a whole until the
sixth century. In Kerala this period extended
probably until the eighth century.
This period is referred to as Kalabhra
interregnum is often called the Dark Ages. It
is called a dark age, not because it was
anything evil or dark, but because of the lack
of information about the people of the period.
It is as though somebody took a marker and
covered these pages with black ink. It is an age
that has been blacked out by some body because
they did not like the Kalabhras and their ways.
the identification of who this Kalabhra remain a
There had been a number of attempts to identify
the Kalabhras based on the etymology of the
attempts in Identification Kalabhras
Rao identifies Kalabhras with Muttaraiyars of
Kondubalur (of eighth to eleventh century C.E.).
taking their Tamil common name Kalvan to
have been translated as Kalabhra is Sanskrit
Iyengar identifies Kalabrahs with Vellala
Kalappalar which are referred to in Tamil
literature and inscriptions
historians think that there was a group of
Buddhist or Jain marauders who were anti-Brahminic
anti-ritualistic who forcefully occupied the
land during this period and whose identity is
them as Karnatas on the strength of a
reference in Tamil literature to the rule of a
Karnata king over Madurai.
identifies the Kalabhras with the Kalavar, and
the chieftains of this tribe mentioned in
Sangam literature as from Tiraiyan of
Pavattiri and Pulli of Vengadam or Tirupati.
The latter is described as the cattle lifting
robber chief of the frontier.
of these will however explain the fact that the
Kalabhras covered the whole of South India and
ruled for practically six centuries and yet left
no trace of them in terms of art, artifacts,
culture, documents and religion. This is
obviously not a possibility. The only
explanation is that we are missing something
significant and obvious. We are looking for the
Kalabhras in the wrong places. We may be
actually having the answer right in front of us.
While there is no doubt that Buddhism and
Jainism (coexisting with Vedism and local
religions) existed in Kerala since second
century BC (at the least); why should there be a
sudden change in their attitude in the first
century AD that they are considered heretical
during that period? “heretica” to what? Were
they not heretical before? The very basis of
Buddhism and Jainism are extreme non-violence
and respect for life. (This is the principle of
Ahimsa – they are not allowed even to kill an
insect) and no where in India they have ever
attacked another religion or kingdom. To think
of them as marauders and terrorists is simply
absurd and only the audacious fraud alone can
represent them in that mode. In fact Asoka
became a Buddhist on seeing the bloodshed he has
caused in war. So Jain or Buddhist groups could
not really be the Kalabhras.
Ahimsa in Jainism
Ahimsa is a fundamental principle forming the
cornerstone of its ethics and doctrine. The term
"ahimsa" means “non-violence”, “non-injury” or
absence of desire to harm any life forms.
Vegetarianism and other non-violent practices
and rituals of Jains flow from the principle of
Ahimsa. According to Adian Rankin, the concept
of Ahimsa is so much intertwined with Jainism
that it conjures up images of ascetics who cover
their mouths and sweep the ground before them
with small brushes to avoid injuring the most
minuscule forms of life and Jain-owned animal
sanctuaries where even the sickest, most
deformed birds and beasts are protected and
All beings fear violence; all fear death. If you
take yourself as the measure, do not kill and do
not let others kill. All beings fear violence;
all love life. If you take yourself as the
measure, do not kill and do not let others kill.
Do not kill living beings. Do not let others
kill. Do not allow others to kill. One needs to
control violence toward all living beings
whether they are strong and powerful in society
or they are fearful and weak. (Sutta-Nipata8,
Chapter 2, #14)
Ahimsa in Hinduism
The principle of Ahimsa was unknown to Vedic
Hinduism. It was the extreme acts of killings at
every turn as sacrifice that led to the
development of Jainism and Buddhism as reaction.
In the latter Hinduism killing became the duty
of one class of people “Kshatriyas”. This is the
teaching of Gita.
However we know that Buddhism - which was a
powerful religion of the intelligent
rationalistic Keralites practically came to a
close during the Kalabhra period. Jainism was
never a strong religion of South India.
So we have to look elsewhere for the real “Kalabhras”.
may be legitimately assumed that it came out of
the epithets "Cerobothras' of the
Periplus. Pliny the Roman historian of the first
century calls them as
These may be the foreigner’s effort to pronounce
what Asoka named as "Keralaputra"
referring to the Sons of Kerala. All other given
explanations are clearly forced.
India as known from Asoka
A history of India
By Hermann Kulke, Dietmar Rothermund
early Tamil literature the great Chera rulers
are referred to as Cheral, Kuttuvan, Irumporai,
Kollipurai and Athan. Chera rulers were also
called Kothai or Makothai. The nobility among
the Cheras were called Cheraman in general. The
word Kerala, of possible Prakrit origins, does
not appear in Sangam Literature. Ashoka's edicts
mention an independent dynasty known by the name
"Kedalaputho", who were outside Ashoka's empire.
The unknown author of "Periplus of the
Erythraean Sea" mentions Chera as "Cerobothra"
("Keralaputhra") whose capital is Karur, while
Pliny, the Roman historian of the first century,
calls it "Caelobothras". [ P. 104 "Indian
Anthropologist: Journal of the Indian
Anthropological Association" By Indian
Anthropological Association ] Some kings of
the dynasty referred to themselves as
Vanavaramban, Imayavaramban etc. [ P. 15 "The
of Kāladī: A Story" By Savita R. Bhave, M. G.
Amīn, 1933- Madugula, I S Madugula
Tyndis is of the Kingdom of Cerobothra;
it is a village in plain sight by the sea.
Muziris, of the same kingdom, abounds in
ships sent there with cargoes from Arabia, and
by the Greeks; it is located on a river, distant
from Tyndis by river and sea five hundred stadia,
and up the river from the shore twenty stadia.
Nelcynda is distant from Muziris by river and
sea about five hundred stadia, and is of another
Kingdom, the Pandian. This place also is
situated on a river, about one hundred and
twenty stadia from the sea.
Page Number: 50-59. Author: Periplus. . Ancient
History Sourcebook Travel and Trade in the
Indian Ocean by a Merchant of the First Century
The king of Muziris, at the date of publication
of Pliny’s work was Caelobothras. In one of the
manuscript it is given as “Celobotras who
belonged to the Keralaputra dynasty”. In
Ptolemy’s Geog (vii, I, 86) the name appears as
Kerobothros and in the Periplus as Kiprobotras
(Ancient India as Described in Classical
John Watson M'Crindle)
Perhaps there is something in the Mudiraja
Muthuraja of Tamilnadu, the Mudiraja of
Karnataka and Mudiraj of Andhra Pradesh are one
and the same people having the same blood and
Mudiraj people are believed to be the
descendants of kalabhra kings of South India
who invaded South Indian Peninsula and uprooted
the kingdoms ruled by Adhirajas (Great Kings) of
Chola, Chera and Pandya dynasties. The kalabhra
kings who played a great havoc in South Indian
Penensula by snacthing away the kingdoms of the
then ADHIRAJAS declared them as the real GREAT
KINGS (MUDIRAJAS). We have strong records to
indicate the presence of powerful Christian
groups in Pandya areas and there was constant
communication with Kerala Christians during the
Kalabhra era. Christians in Kerala themselves
are still known as MAHAPILLAI (Sons of the
Thomas songs mentions the conversion of large
number of Vellalas to Chrisitianity.
Evidently speculation of the Indian historians
always left out the impact of St.Thomas and his
ministry intentionally to the extent modern
historians take their existence as feeble. A
similar willful neglect on basic historical
realities is also seen in every modern Hindu
All Hindu historians agree that for some reason
Vedic gods got extinct and new gods of Hinduism
came in during the first century. But there is
no reason given!. A sudden change for no
reason? A Personal God, Brahman, the idea of Om,
the idea of incarnation etc were never even
heard of in India before the coming of St.Thomas.
They also agree that St.Thomas and other
Thomases came to India and had established
churches from North India to South India from
Taxila to Cape Comorin, just before this
change. But they refuse to see the connection.
There is an intentional blocking out or ignoring
of the Christian presence and influence anywhere
in India. This is really the basic
Kalabhra Interregnum. What I am suggesting is
that the period referred here as “Black Age” is
the epithet given to the Christendom in South
India by the later Brahminic historians probably
with some help from the Aryan Persian Gnostics
who followed the Christian world. It was simply
a period which they did not want to remember.
There is no dearth of evidences, art or
artifacts for this period– only all these are
ignored willfully in an ongoing attempt to
rewrite history. A search in the literature and
internet will simply show the same willful
attempt to black out any mention of St.Thomas’
ministry to the extent of trying to establish
that Jesus is a myth and Christianity came to
India only with the Portugese colonization. You
can actually identify who caused this twisting
by identifying the modern twisters of Indian
Christianity was indeed the religion that
supplanted Vedism. Vedism and Vedic Priests who
were weakened under the rationalistic movements
of Buddhism and Jainism disappeared from Kerala
till the seventh century. What happenned to the
Vedic Priests who remained rare? The
Archealogical Survey of India and the Official
Nambodiri Website assures that none of the
Brahminic families of today could trace their
presence beyond the seventh or eighth century.
Were there no Vedism of Brahmins in Kerala
before this period? Kerala was raised out of
the sea by Parasu Rama and was given to Brahmins
according to the incarnation story. What
happenned to these Brahmins of Kerala from the
first century to eighth century? The only
explanation is that they must have simply
adopted the new religion and became
“Nazareneees” or “Isanuvadikal” exactly as the
tradition says. The absence of Brahmins in
Kerala from the first century to the eighth
century itself is the evidence of the accuracy
of the Thomas traditions.
symbol of the Nasranis is the Syrian cross, also
Mar Thoma sleeba in
It is based on the
the ancient symbol of the Hebrews, which
consists of a branched
stand for seven candlesticks. (Exodus 25).
In the Nasrani Menorah the six branches,
(three on either side of the cross) represents
God as the
while the central branch holds the cross, the
dove at the tip of the cross represents the
(Exodus 25:31). In Jewish tradition
the central branch is the main branch, from
which the other branches or other six candles
are lit. Netzer is the Hebrew word for
"branch" and is the root word of
and Nazarene. (Isaiah 11:1).
Varying degree of Indian Symbolism can be find
in St. Thomas Cross. The cross rises from a
lotus blossom which forms its base. Lotus is the
national flower of India and it represents the
ancient civilization symbolizing purity and
spontaneous generation. It also symbolize divine
birth. At the bottom of the cross there are
three steps representing God the Father. The
cross itself represents God the Son, and a dove,
representing the Holy Spirit, is at the top of
the cross. The lotus represents a natural
inculturation with Indian civilization
symbolizing divine birth. Some critiques has
pointed out a Buddhist influence, as lotus is a
widely used symbol of divinity in Buddhism. Some
of the St.Thomas crosses in Kerala, has leaves
which are downward pointing. This is indigenous.
This symbolism and tradition are not find in
Persian or Middle East or even in Byzantine art.
Marthoma crosses are still found the following
Taxila cross is dated ( ca 2-6 century)
This Cross is dated of 6th Century.
St. Thomas Mount, Tamil Nadu- This
Cross is considered as the oldest cross in
In Kerala it us found in several
places showing the presence Christians
all over the Kerala
Kadamattam The Cross is dated
between 6-8th Century.
Muttuchira. The Cross is dated between
Kottayam, Kerala.. One cross is
considered of late origin ( C10th century) and
the other dated between 6-8th century.
Kothanalloor, This Cross is dated between
Anuradhapura Anuradhapura, was one-time capital
of Sri Lanka. There is also a baptismal fonts
dating 5th century discovered from Anuradhapura.
This Cross is considered as another oldest
By the 6th
century at least we are certain that
Christianity was a popular religion of India in
these regions which also are the areas where
St.Thomas is said to have evangelized. Cross as
a symbol of Christian faith developed only after
the second century because of political
reasons. Until that time fish was the most
Cross Kottakkavu (
Parur) Cross Niranam Cross”
Unbroken presence of Christianity in South India
written between second and third century C.E.,
mentions the Nasrani people by the name
churches which were erected during this period
based on tradition are as follows:
Church locations & Events
c. 40 AD
Saint Thomas the Apostle
at King Gondaphares in North India
c. 52 AD
Saint Thomas the Apostle
lands at Cranganore
AD Saint Thomas the Apostle
builds churches or communities
Kodungaloor, Parur, Kokamangalam, Niranam,
These must have
started as house churches,
72 AD Martyrdom of Saint
Thomas the Apostle at Mylapore, India
AD Kuravilangadu Church
c. 290 AD
Pallipuram Church founded
AD Ambazhakad Church founded
AD Aruvithara Church founded
c. 400 AD
North Pudukad Church founded
AD Puthenchira Church
AD Chambakulam Church
AD Akaparambu Church
Angamali Church founded
AD Mattam Church founded
AD Muttuchira Church founded
c. 510 AD
Kaduthuruthy Church founded
AD Enammavu Church founded
AD Udayamperoor Church
AD Edapally Church founded
AD Chalakudy Church founded
AD Mylakombu Church founded
AD Kolenchery Church founded
AD Moozhikulam Church
AD Kayamkulam Church founded
AD Kothanalloor Church
AD Athirampuzha Church
AD Kottayam Church
AD Nagapuzha Church
AD Manjapra Church
AD Mavelikara Church
AD Kadamattom Church
AD Pazhuvil Church
AD Arakuzha Church
AD Nediasala Church
AD Kottekad Church
999 AD Kunnamkulam
Churches with traditional dates of foundation &
Stone Crosses of Kerala- Saint Thomas Cross,
Nazraney Sthambams and other Persian Crosses
on Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Century Open Air Rock Cross called Nazraney
at Kuravilangadu, Kerala
Cross are made
out of one granite stone.
plinth of these crosses represents lotus petals
and lotus flowers and has a square base. It also
has a variety of iconographic motifs, including
elephants, peacocks and various other animals,
depictions of the Holy Family and of the
crosses are found in Kottekkad, Enammavu
Mapranam, Puthenchira, Parappukkara, Veliyanad,
Kalpparambu, Angamaly, Kanjoor, Malayattoor,
Udayamperur, Kuravilangad, Uzhavoor, Chungam,
Kaduthuruthy [2 Nos.], Muthalakodam, Muttuchira,
Kudamaloor, Niranam, Kothamangalam, Chengannur,
Thumpamon, Chathannur and many other places
We can see an unbroken growth and presence of
churches throughout Kerala for the first
millennium through the Kalabhra Period.
Kalabhra Political Structure
When Thomas enetered India, it was essentially a
village based culture with local rulers who
ruled more like family patriarchs rather than
Kings. Some times the villages formed together
for self protection to form a confederacy. So
when we are talking about Kings and rulers the
extent of their power weakened with distance.
When Kings went out to war to conquer, they left
the land with local ruler or a regent. The
regents or local ruler often rebelled and made
themselves free. Most of our history is read in
from the literature.
source available for us regarding the early
Chera Kings is the anthologies of the Sangam
literature. Scholars now generally agree that
this literature belongs to the first few
centuries CE. [The age of Sangam is
established through the correlation between the
evidence on foreign trade found in the poems and
the writings by ancient Greek and Romans such as
Periplus of the Erythrian Sea. See Nilakanta
Sastri, K.A., History of
South India, pp
The internal chronology of this literature is
still far from settled.
The Sangam literature is full of names of the
kings and the princes, and of the poets who
extolled them. Despite a rich literature that
depicts the life and work of these people, these
are not worked into connected history so far.
Their capital is stated to be modern Karur in
THE CHERA GENEALOGY.
(According to “The Chronology of the early
Tamils – K.N.Sivaraja Pillai, University of
Madras 1934 based on Sangam Literature and other
25 B.C. -1 A. D.
(1) Karuvur-Eriya-Ol-Val-Kopperumcheral-Irumporai, the Conqueror of Karuvur.
1 A.D. -25 A.D.
(2) Udiyan Cheral probably son of (1).
It is said that he fed the rival armies during
the war of Mahabharata which would make the
Mahabharata war in the first century AD.
3) Antuvan Cheral probably son of (1).
25 A.D. -50 A.D.
(4) Kudakko Neduncheralatan, son of "Imayavaramban"
another Sangam age king claimed to have
conquered up to the Himalayas and to have
inscribed his emblem in the face of the
(5) Palyanai- vel-Kezhu Kuttuvan, son of (2)
(6) Celva-Kadum-Ko alias Chikkarpalli-tunciya Celva Kadumko son of (3)
50 A.D. -75 A.D.
(7) Chenkuttuvan Cheran (Kadal Pirakottiya Vel Kezhu Kuttuvan) son of (4).
(8) Kalaihkay- kanni-Narmudi- Chheral son of (4)
(9) Kuttavan Trumporai, the conqueror of Takadur, son of (6)
75 A.D. -100 A.D.
(10) Adukotpattu- Cherlatan son of (4) .
(11) Kudakko-Ilam Cheral Irumporai son of (9).
100 A.D. -125 A.D.
125 A.D. -150 A.D.
150 A.D. -175 A.D.
(14) Cheraman Mari-Vanko.
175 A.D..200 A.D.
In early Tamil literature the great Chera rulers
are referred to as Cheral, Kuttuvan, Irumporai,
Kollipurai and Athan. Chera rulers were also
called Kothai or Makothai.
has also found epigraphic evidence regarding
these early Cheras. [See report in
"Frontline", June/July 2003 ] The most
important of these is the Pugalur (Aranattarmalai)
inscription. This inscription refers to three
generations of Chera rulers: Athan Cheral
Irrumporai, his son Perumkadungo, and his
son Ilamkadungo. Athan refers only to a
crowned King of Chera dynasty who accepted this
title at the time of coronation. Athan Cheral
Irumporai was probably the last crowned king of
the first dynasty.
At the time of
Thomas part of Chera was ruled by Athan 1
(AD 40-55) who became a Christian. His son
Athan II Vana-Varman / Chelvak-dadduvan
(father of Chenkkuddavan/Imaya varanan) AD
55-90 was also a Christian. Ilango the Tamil
epic writer was asked by Thomas to succeed King
Athan II as his first son Chenkuddavan was war
In the Chola
Kingdom Karikal AD 50-95 and the Pandya King
Pandya Nedun Cheliyan AD 50-75 were
Christians. Christianity was at its peak under
Pandya Nan-Maran (Good Pandya) son of Ugra peru
valuthi in whose court Tiru Kural was published.
Nan maran organized Holy Communion every day for
his subjects for which he imported wine from
Greece and Rome. According to Purananuru he used
a gold grail.
As is evident,
the whole of Dravida was Christian by the
second century. The other religions of the
period in this region were the rationalistic
religions of Buddhism and Jainism along side of
the local tribal and native cults. If there
were Vedics they merged with the local cults or
were totally converted to Christianity. Thus we
see no Vedic presence at all till the sixth
dynasty came to an end by the end of second
Started soon after from the third till the
eighth century when Christianity had powerful
presence in South India.
Kalabhras seem to have put an end to the old
Tamil Chera and Pandyan dynasties of the Sangam
Age. The great ruler Acuta Vikranta Kalabhra
ruled from Kaverypumpattinam in Tanjore district
at the mouth of Kaveri river probably in the
fourth century AD. The second capital of
Kalbhras was at Madura. Kasakundi plates refers
to Simhavisnu' conquest of the Kalabhra late in
the 6th century AD. The Velvikudi
plates plates of Nedunjadayan show the defeat of
the Kalabhras at the hands of Kadungon (c. A.D.
600).” Geography from ancient Indian coins &
seals By Parmanand Gupta
“ The Kalabhras,
who ruled in the far South including Kerala and
the South Mysore minted and circulated a large
quantity of copper coins from about 250 AD to
the Middle of sixth century AD” (Ramayya, S.
Anote in Kalabhra kootan's coins, JNSI, XLII pp
18, JNSI XXXV, 142)
At the same time, efforts were made to remove
the evils from the society. The Tamil Siddhars
like Thirumoolar had preached their
philosophical ideas. Morals and ethics had been
preached through education and literature. We
will have more to say about this society under
Kalabhra rule in the Tamil country had witnessed
the growth of education and literature. Sanskrit
and Prakrit languages had been introduced in the
Tamil region. This had resulted in the
development of a new script called Vattezhththu.
The Tamil literature had also taken new forms,
and the Tamil grammar had also undergone a few
changes during this period. Many works under
Pathineen Keezhkanakku were composed during this
period. Epics like Seevaka Chinthamani and
Kundalakesi were written. Nigandus were also
composed during the Kalabhra period.The Buddhist
and Jain monks had contributed much to the
growth of education. The Buddhist educational
institutions were called Ghatikas. Scholars like
Buddhadatta, Buddhaghosha and Bodhidharma lived
during this period. The Jain Palli had remained
important educational centers during the
Kalabhra rule. The Jain Palli (School) at
Thirupathirippuliyur remained an important
educational centre during this period. Sarva
Nandhi and Vajra Nandhi were the two great Jain
scholars, who lived in this period.
The disciple of Thomas
per Tamil tradition, Tiruvalluvar is believed
to have lived some time during the 1st
millennium AD. While most scholars place him
between 100 and 300 AD, there are a few who
consider him to have lived around 600 A.D. and
therefore certainly within the Kalabhra era.
Maraimalai AdigaL did extensive research on the
date of thiruvaLLuvar. While presiding over the
Thiruvalluvar Day conference of Thiruvalluvar
Kazhagam held on 18 Jan 1935, he declared that
thiruvalluvar was born 30 years before the birth
of Jesus. His suggestion was that the Tamil
Thiruvalluvar year can be obtained by adding 31
years to the Christian Calender. (http://tamilelibrary.org/teli/tvazthu.html)
So when Thomas landed in Kerala he was probably
in his 80s, a respected old man, full of
wisdom. Even if the dates are little off the
mark, it is almost certain that he was a in the
right place and time to be a disciple of
St.Thomas and within the margin or errors of the
relevant datings of the periods.
In 1975 Dr. M. Deivanayakam and Dr. R. Arulappa.
co-authored the book Perinba Villakku in
which Tiruvalluvar is represented as one of the
first disciples of St.Thomas in the Mylapore
Like all other Indian scriptures, the trend of
the orthodox hindu is to predate everyone and
every document way back into antiquity. New
tactics is to post date Valluvar to avoid his
presence during the time of Apostle Thomas.
Thus the Hindutvas consider Tirukkural as
composed during Sangam period (500-200 BC).
However C. Rajagopalachari,(
Indian independence activist with Gandhi,
leader of the Indian National Congress who was
the last Governor-General of India who after
independence served as the Premier of the Madras
Presidency, Governor of West Bengal, Minister
for Home Affairs of the Indian Union and Chief
Minister of Madras state, the founder of the
Swatantra Party and the first recipient of
says that Kural belongs to a period anterior to
2nd century CE. Some scholars put it in the 1st
Some put the
date between 200 BC to 800 CE. Some even to
the year 1969, Dr. M. Deivanayagam the founder
of the Dravidian Spiritual Movement published a
book titled 'Is Thiruvalluvar a Christian?'
establishing in it Thirukkural as a book of
Christian ethics and Thiruvalluvar was a
Christian. Later on, in an assembly of 36
Thirukkural Scholars, convened by the Christian
Arts and Communication Centre, Chennai. Dr.
Deivanayagam convinced the assembly about his
research findings. Subsequently a scholar named
T.S. Sathyam, was propped up by non-Christians
to undertake a Ph.D. dissertation to disprove
the findings of Dr. Deivanayagam. But, after 3
years of research, the Ph.D. thesis of Dr.
Sathyam approved by the university of Madras
also concluded and affirmed the findings of Dr.
Deivanayagam. Also the University of Madras
conferred a Ph.D. degree on Dr. Deivanayagam for
a thesis which established that Saivism and
Vaishnavism are the offshoots of St. Thomas
Dravidian Christianity. This new finding was
debated in a Saiva mutt in the assembly of
spiritual leaders and scholars like the Head of
the Saiva Siddhanta Dept. of Madurai Kamaraj
University, heads of Saiva Mutts like
Kunrakkudi Adigalar etc., where they all
conceded to the research findings, but pleaded
for time to accept the same as they are
altogether new to them.
In 1975 Dr. M.
Deivanayakam and Dr. R. Arulappa co-authored the
book Perinba Villakku in which Tiruvalluvar is
represented as being Christian.
The book of
Dr.Deivanayagam - based on his Ph, D. thesis –
“Bible, Tirukural and Saiva Siddantha, a
Thirukkural, Saiva Siddantham – Oppu Ayvu)
was published in
Tamil Nadu Government, International Institute
of Tamil Studies,
(His Ph. D moderator was highly regarded
Dr.Deivanayagam conclude his book with a finding
that Thiruvalluvar was a Christian and a
disciple of St.Thomas and most of the Shaiva
Sidhantha and the vivid knowledge found in
Thirukkural were essentialy expressions of
Christian experience and principles. This study
was followed by a series of Ph. D. level studies
by Dr. Devakala (The Origin and Development of
Tamil Bhakthi Movement – in the Light of the
Bible ), Dr. J.D. Baskara Das (Six Darsanas and
Religions of the Tamils), Dr. Moses Michael
Farradey (The Songs of Tamil Sidhars and the
Bible), Dr. Johnson Thankiah (Trinity in Tamil
Scholar who studied could not but express how
parallel the Tirukural teachings are to the
teachings of Christianity.
G.U.Pope who translated the Tirukural into
English observes that much of its teaching is an
echo of the Sermon on the Mount.”
It is therefore
certain that Kalabhras were the Christians who
practically took over the entire Dravida. The
Christians were not known as Christians. That
was the name given to the followers of Jesus
cult in Antioch. The religion was known as “The
way”. In India they were known as “Margam
koodyor”, which means “one who follow the Way”
and Isanuvadi (followers of Isa) and Nasranis
(followers of the Nazarene)
seventh century AD, Pallavas under
Mahendravarman I and his son Mamalla
Narasimhavarman I drove out Kalabhra Kingdom.
The Pallavas were originally executive officers
under the Satavahana Empire After the fall of
the Satavahanas, around 550 AD under King
Simhavishnu they emerged into prominence. They
subjugated the Cholas and reigned as far south
as the Kaveri River. Pallavas ruled a large
portion of South India with Kanchipuram as their
capital. The Pallavas were replaced by the
Pandyas in the 8th century C.E..
good look at the time line of South Indian
history will give lots of insight. The Time line
goes like this:
In Chola and Pandya regions of South India
When it came out of the Kalabhra Interregnum
period it was the Pallavas who were ruling the
Pandya and the Chola Kingdoms. We should be
able to assume legitimately that the decimers of
Kalabhras were indeed Pallavas.
Who were the Pallavas?
The word Pallava means branch in
Early Pallavas claimed to be Brahmins of
Bharadwaja gotra. They styled themselves as
Brahma Kshatriyas (Brahmins in Pursuit of arms).
Later by the fifth century CE, the Pallavas were
regarded as Kshatriyas. They were followers of
the Brahmanical religion in the sense that the
Aryan dominance was trying a come back. They
pushed themselves down from the North.
The Early Pallavas
claimed to be
They styled themselves as
They were Brahmins who took arms.
Pallava coin 500 – 675 AD
The earliest known
coinage in lead issued by the Pallavs dated
between 3rd and 4th century AD.
c.645 CE during Narasimhavarman I
Persian Origins of Pallava Kingdom
Recent historical, anthropological, and
linguistic evidence indicates that the Pallavas
who ruled Dravidian Chera area were of Parthian
origin and the name Pallava is just a
variant of a well known Sanskrit Pahlava. The
Pahluvas were the peoples who spoke Pehlvi, a
language of Persia.
Pallavas are originaly connected to the Pahlavas
of Iran. The
Pallavas came to India sometime during second
century BC and settled in south-western and
southern India. The Markendeya Purana and Brhat
Samhita mentions Pahlava and Kamboja
The earliest known coinage in lead issued by the
then Pallavs could be dated between 3rd and 4th
The must have come as merchants just as the
later colonisers. They became powerful and
became Kings only by the third century AD.
tribe of Indo-Iranian descent migrated Southward
and first settled in Krishna River valley. This
region is called Pallavanadu even today.
Pallavas later extended their territory and
established their capital in Kancheepuram.
They had their
capital near Kanchipuram.
During the 5th century, the Pallavas expanded
very fast. At the end of 500 AD, the territory
came into the possession of Simha Vishnu,
and he became the founder of the Pallava
This gave impetus to the syncretism of Persian
and Indian religions absorbing Christianity
along with it.
and Vaishnavism were the major religious
denominations of the Pallavas. The Early
Pallavas claimed to be
and were evidently Vaishnavites. Later they
became Saivites. They in fact built large
number of temples during their period – among
them are the Shore Temples and Chariots of
Mahabalipuram shores. These are probably some of
the oldest Hindu temples of India Vaishnavism
was more popular in the North while Saivism
became popular in the South. Kanchipuram became
the center of Persian trade, Gnosticism and of
lasted till the Ninth century AD.
In actual fact
Hinduism as we know today started with the
It is easy to
see that the Kalabhras were actually defeated
and displaced by the Pallavas of Syrian origin.
Though they were Brahmins they became a
terrorist group to take over the Kalabhra
Empire. It was this dynasty who gave refuge
to the Gnostics from Syria and were the
architects of modern Vaishnavism. Pallavas are
famed for their temples which are spread all
over Tamil Nadu.
“Bhakti and temple-building movements went hand
in hand after the Kalabhra interregnum ended.
There was a definite paradigm shift from Vedic
yajnas to archa worship in temples and the
Velvikkudi copperplates are eloquent witness to
the rejuvenation of the Vedic-Brahmanic religion
in South India.” (The Hindu, Sunday, Dec 23,
However Kerala survived the
assault of gnosticism for another three
centuries. At the end of the 'long historical
night' which continued in Cheranad till early
8th century A.D there arose an illustruous line
of Kings known as the Kulashekharas who ruled
Kerala until 1102 A.D. The empire they built is
commonly called the 'Second Chera Empire' to
signify the renewal of the Chera rule in Kerala
after a break of three centuries. The kings of
Second Chera empire united Kerala into a
homogeneous political unit from 800- 1102 A.D.
They are referred to as Cheraman Perumal. “The
kings took the title of "Perumal"
during this period and patronised the
Vaishnavite sect.” (http://en.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/1316247)
is the list of Cheraman Perumals who
ruled Kerala during the Second Chera empire-
Kulashekhara Varman (800- 820 A.D)- also
called Kulashekhara Alwar.
Rajashekhara Varman (820- 844 A.D)- also
called Cheraman Perumal (Nayanar)
Sthanu ravi Varman (844- 885 A.D)-
contemporary of Aditya Chola
Varma Kulashekhara (885- 917 A.D)
Ravi Varma (917- 944 A.D)
Kotha Varma (944- 962 A.D)
Bhaskara Ravi Varman I (962- 1019 A.D)
Bhaskara Ravi Varman II (1019- 1021 A.D)
Kerala (1021- 1028 A.D)
Rajasimha (1028- 1043 A.D)
Bhaskara Ravi Varman III (1043-1082 A.D)
Varma Kulashekhara (1090- 1102 A.D)”
As a result the Kalabhra Interregnum extended
till the eighth century in Kerala. It ended
with the coming of Brahmins from outside India
with Parasurama. At the end of eighth century
we see temples and idols appear all of a sudden
Thus soon after the Kalabhra interregnum we see
an upsurge of Hinduism specifically of
Vaishnavite tradition both in Tamil region and
in Kerala. Thus it is certain that the
rewriting of history was done by these people to
blot out the memory of the vast and powerful
history of the Indian Christendom. Apparently
“At the end of the eighth century A.D, South
Indian kingdoms such as the Pallavas, the
Chalukyas, the Rashtrakutas and the Pandyas
succeeded in overthrowing the Kalabhras.”
Is it surprising that the same people are
pursuing the same decimation of Christian
presence and the mission of Thomas today
relentlessly? You only have to look at the
vaishnava sites and the twisting of facts in the
attempt to remove St.Thomas and Christianity
from South India.