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Home » History of Kerala » British Rule In Kerala

British Rule In Kerala

It was after Marthanda Varma, the Britisher's conquest reached Kerala. With the defeat of Tipu Sultan of Mysore in 1799, the British became the de facto rulers of North Kerala. The rise of the British was bitterly opposed by the local warlords or naduvazhis.

In 1802 Pazhassi Raja, a local chieftain revolted and fought a determined campaign against the British. In a similar fashion, Velu Thampi Dalawa also rose up against what was seen as British attempts at total control of local power centres.

Velu Thampi Dalawa had allied himself with the Dewan of Kochi Paliyath Achan in the armed campaign against the British. But these were isolated and did not have the necessary military might to fight a sustained campaign against an emerging World Super Power.

After almost a year of sporadic battles, Velu Thampi Dalawa fled the kingdom. With that the power the British residents grew immensely. The Maharaja had to be content with an honorary role in the affairs of State.

Once the British military effectively crushed these revolts, no more was heard from these naduvazhis or warlords again.

During the same time there was a different story as far as the peasantry were concerned. There were serious outbreaks of unrest especially in North Kerala against the landlords and the British.

These are now called the moppilla lahala or Muslim Revolt. It was ruthlessly suppressed. Today it is a part of the local folklore.