- Cheraman Perumal
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Cheraman Perumal (Malayalam:ചേരമാന് പെരുമാള്)(Tamil:சேரமான் பெருமாள்) is a title given to the kings of the second Chera dynasty who ruled present day Kerala and surrounding regions from 800 to 1102 AD. The title has sometimes mistakenly been taken to refer exclusively to particular kings of the dynasty, particularly Rama Varma Kulashekhara (1090- 1102 CE) and Rajashekhara Varman (820- 844 CE), but Hermann Gundert has observed that the title "Cheraman" is simply the name of the dynasty of Chera (or Kerala) and that there has never been a person with the name Cheraman Perumal.
During the Sangam age (until 5th century AD), the region presently within the political boundaries of Kerala, along with parts of the Nilgiri and Salem-Coimbatore region, was ruled by the Chera kings. The following period was one of great upheavals in Kerala and historians have not been able shed much light on the history of the 5th, 6th and 7th century CE. This "long historical night" continues until the early 8th century CE, at which time there arose the Kulashekharas who ruled Kerala until 1102 AD. The empire they built is commonly called the Second Chera Empire. Its kings united Kerala into a homogeneous political unit from 800-1102 CE.
The Keralolpathi, which was long considered a reliable historical source and is still promoted by orthodox writers, asserts that the Perumals were alien kings brought by the Brahmins of Kerala every 12 years to rule over the empire. It gives a list of 24 such foreign Perumals, so that at least 25 would have had to have been crowned in the course of the second Chera era.
List of Cheraman Perumals
The Cheraman Perumals are, in chronological order;
- Kulashekhara Varman (800-820 CE)- also called Kulashekhara Alwar.
- Rajashekhara Varman (820-844 CE)
- Sthanu Ravi Varman (844-885 CE)- contemporary of Aditya Chola
- Rama Varma Kulashekhara (885-917 CE)
- Goda Ravi Varma (917-944 CE)
- Indu Kotha Varma (944-962 CE)
- Bhaskara Ravi Varman I (962-1019 CE)
- Bhaskara Ravi Varman II (1019-1021 CE)
- Vira Kerala (1021-1028 CE)
- Rajasimha (1028-1043 CE)
- Bhaskara Ravi Varman III (1043-1082 CE)
- Rama Varma Kulashekhara (1090-1102 CE)
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