Home | Contact Us | Sitemap
Best Kerala Deals, Kerala Hotels, Kerala Resorts, Best Itenary in Kerala, House Boats in Kerala, Best rates in Kerala

Best Kerala Deals

is Kerala's Premier Portal offering services related to :

  • Resorts in Kerala,
  • Hotels in Kerala,
  • Car Hire in Kerala,
  • Honeymoon Packages in Kerala,
  • Conferences and Groups in Kerala,
  • Weddings in Kerala,
  • Medical Tourism in Kerala, and
  • Other Tourism aspects related to Kerala.

Besides the above this website will also give you information on sightseeing, excursions and other aspects related to Goa.
Home » History of Kerala » European Conquest In Kerala

European Conquest In Kerala

European Conquest In Kerala

Ancient Kerala occupied a unique place in the commercial world. There are traces of teak found in the ruins of Ur, which must certainly have come from the Malabar Coast.

This means trade flourished around 3000 BC. Cotton from this region was a favourite in Egypt; the Phoenicians visited the coast of Malabar around the same time to trade in ivory, sandalwood and spices.

King Solomon is said to have sent his commercial fleet to Ophir which is said to be somewhere in Southern Kerala.

Muziris (Kodungalloor or Cannonade) was reputed to be the ancient world's greatest trading center in the East for such highly prized possessions as pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and other spices.

Pliny, the younger is said to have lamented the fact that trade with the East was draining the treasury of Rome. The trade flourished by ships riding on the monsoon winds from Africa and back to Arabia, from where the overland caravan took the prized items to the markets along the Mediterranean ports.

India was known as fabled land of spices and gold. It was during this time Europe was busy in exploration and Voyages to unknown land. Route to India was a dream of most of the voyager.

Many attempts were made, but most could reach only up to "Cape of Good hope" in Africa. In 1498, Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese naval Captain found the easiest way to India by bribing the Arab pilot when his ship anchored off Kenya at Port Malindi.

Following the centuries old route taken by the Arab traders and riding on a monsoon wind, he sailed the Sao' Gabriel to land at Kappad near the town of Calicut or Kozhikode. The entire history of the East was to change from that day.

The Zamorin or Samuthiri received the Portuguese, (known locally as parungees) warmly. Trade concessions were granted to the Portuguese. But sensing the rivalries from the Arabs and the local kings, the Portuguese immediately set about engaging themselves in consolidating their positions at sea.

There was resistance from the local Kings.  Notable among the Samuthiri's Admirals is Kunjali Marakkar, still a revered hero in Kerala. He succeeded in checking the Portuguese expansionism to certain extent. But could not hold for long against the supremacy of Portuguese weapons and sea prowess. An interesting sidelight is the Portuguese behavior towards the thriving community of Christians in Kerala.

Tradition has it that these Christians were converted by St. Thomas the Apostle in the 1st Century AD. The Portuguese were annoyed that the local Christians were more Hindus in their outlook, culture and traditions and never heard of the Pope in Rome.

In 1599,the Synod of Diamper (present day Udayamperoor near 14 Kms from Kochi) decreed that all Christians should revert to the Pope in Rome as the Supreme Spiritual head and not the Pontiff at Antioch.

This led to a revolt by a section of Syrian Christians. History depicts that the revolters took oath by tying themselves to a Cross-at Kochi on 15 January 1653. This is known as the "Koonan Cross Oath" and is still revered as a turning point among the Syrian Christians.

But the Portuguese had some success in proselytizing and did manage to convert some communities into Latin Catholics. Today this community is one of the influential sections in Kerala.