Thrissur is believed to be inhabited right from the Stone Age and this is evidenced by the monuments excavated by the Archeological department. The monuments belong to the Megalithic Age of Kerala, which goes back to about 1000 BCE and 500 CE.
Thrissur was ruled by Chera Dynasty of the Sangam age up to 7th century AD. In the 7th century, the last Chera ruler gave up his throne and divided his kingdom among the local chieftains and left for Mecca to follow Islam. Post this period this region was ruled by the Kingdom of Cochin. The Kulasekhara Dynasty, Medieval Cholas and the Royalty of Cochin known as Perumpadapu Swaroopam ruled over this part of Kerala till 14th century.
The Samoothiri dynasty from Kozhikode captured most of the Thrissur in 14th and 15th century. It was then the Portuguese who ruled Thrissur in 16th century. In the beginning of 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.
Thrissur rose to glory after Rama Varma Kunhjipilla Thampuran or Rama Varma IX or popularly known as Sakthan Thampuran ascended the throne of Kingdom of Cochin (1769 to 1805). He changed the capital of Cochin Royal Family to Thrissur from Mattancherry. The power of the controlling community of the Thrissur temples, the Namboodiri was reduced. The king developed the forest around the Thekkinkadu Maidan of the Vadakkunathan temple, and started the most spectacular cultural festival called Thrissur Pooram. He laid the modern foundation stone of Thrissur and made the city in to a major financial and commercial hub of South India, by inviting Syrian Christian families and Brahmins from adjoining areas.
In 1750-60 Mughal invaders, Hyder Ali from Mysore attacked Thrissur and made it a territory of Mysore kingdom. In 1786, his son, Tipu Sultan destroyed the churches of Syrian Malabar Nasrani community and temples. Tipu's Army set fire to the church at Palayur and attacked the Ollur church. He caused a lot of damage to the economy of Thrissur and converted Christians and Hindu's in to Muslims. This attack totally devastated the economy of Thrissur.
After the Srirangapattanam war, Thrissur served as the headquarters of Kerala region. During the same time, Rama Varma X, the successor of Sakthan Thampuran signed a treaty with East Indian Company, and made Cochin a subsidiary of the British.
Hence Thrissur along with the rest of the Cochin kingdom came under the British rule. Indian Independence struggle influenced many in Thrissur to take an active part of the movement. Post-independence in 1947 Thrissur was declared as the district headquarters of the separate declared Thrissur district on July 1, 1949.
- Chera Dynasty of the Sangam age - up to 7th century AD
- The Kulasekhara Dynasty - During 8th – 13th century
- Medieval Cholas - During 8th – 13th century
- Royalty of Cohin - during 14th Century
- Samoothiri Dynasty - 14-15th century
- The French - During 16-17th century
- The Dutch - Upto 1765
- Tipu Sultan - 1769-1805
- The British - 18th Century
Thrissur became famous as the Cultural Capital of Kerala due to its cultural, spiritual and religious contributions throughout history.
R. K. Shanmukham Chetty - Politician
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