The Keralolpathi (literally creation of
Kerala) is a Malayalamwork that deals with the origin of the land of Kerala. Shungunny Menon ascribes the authorship of this work to Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan, a 17th century scholar of the Malabarregion of India[History of Travancore by Shungunny Menon, page 28] . The Keralolpathi is mostly an expansion from an earlier Sanskritwork known as the "Kerala Mahatmayam". That work which is classed among the Hindu Puranas as an "Upa Purana" (or sub Purana) of the "Bhoogola Purana". This is widely believed to be inaccurate account and an ill conceived attempt by Namboodiri's to downplay the importance of Nairs in Kerala history.
The Keralolpathi covers the ancestry of the
NamboodiriBrahmins and other castes of Keralaand is sometimes called the "Kerala Ulpathy". While the "Kerala Mahatmayam" deals with the origin of Keralaand its people alone, the Keralolpathi gives a history of Keraladown to the modern age, including reference to the British in Kerala[History of Travancore by Shungunny Menon, page 37] .
Historians doubt the reliability of this collection of legends as it contains many discrepancies. For instance it states that a certain
Viceroyof Keralawent to Meccaand met the Islamic prophet Mohammedthere. However the corresponding date mentioned is such that the prophet was not even born till more than a century later [History of Travancore by Shungunny Menon, page 63] . It also mentions that the King Krishnadevarayaof the Vijayanagara empireappointed a Viceroy over Keralain 428 AD. However the said king reigned between 1509 and 1529 AD [Travancore State Manual by V.Nagam Aiya, Volume I, page 223] . Besides, the mention of the English, Dutch and Portuguese factors also prove that the work is certainly not dated before the 17th century AD.
Likewise even the origins of most of the
castes and clans of Keralavaries from the ancient Sanskrit Kerala Mahatmayam. Besides, by the 18th century modified versions of the work started appearing, varying from kingdom to kingdom and region to region in Kerala. Therefore, according to Shungunny Menon (a native historian of Travancore, Kerala) one cannot place, in the Keralolpathi, the value of a historical source. Shungunny Menon, stated that:
William Logan, who was the author of the
MalabarManual also refutes the validity of the Keralolpathi and describes it as:
K.P. Padmanabha Menon, another native historian calls the Keralolpathi:
Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan
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