Wednesday, February 2, 2011

History of the Oorayil family – a branch of the Thulassery Manapurathu Tharavadu : - A 9th century Judeo-Christian West Asian migrant family

History of the Oorayil family – a branch of the Thulassery Manapurathu Tharavadu : -
A 9th century  Judeo-Christian West Asian migrant family

“How wonderful it is , how pleasant for God’s people to live together in harmony!” Psalm 133:1
Descendants of the 9th century Syrian traders who settled down in Quilon before moving out to  nearby Kallada   established the ThulasseryManapurathu Tharavad. In course of time members of the tharavad migrated to different parts of Kerala and  came to be known under different family names.
Priesthood ran in the family from generation to generation and the 24th in line  Rev.Mathai Kathanar inspired by divine love  wanted to strengthen and revive family roots . He along with K.C. Abraham ,Koodathinalil got in touch with members of various family branches in 1987 Subsequently with the support of the members who responded on October 14 ,  1987  the ThulasseryManapurathu Tharavad  Smaraka Charitable Society registered with the Kollam district registrar came into existence under the registration number Q 735. Fr.T.O Mathai Kathanar ( ThulasseryManapurathu - Kallada ) and K.C. Abraham Koodathinalil (Valiyanethu - Aarattupuzha, Chengannur )were the first President and Secretary respectively.

 Sources for the history of 9th century A.D.Syrian Christian
 migration to Kollam
 History is a grand discipline which can be transformed from the history of entire humanity to the history of individual lives. Family history is a part of micro history and it has a wider depth and scope in the study of regional history . Micro history based on family history needs more research since world history is extending its grip over micro history with an intention of  decreasing its  significance.1 
      All ancient , history including history of Kerala and Syrian Christian history have been constructed with the help of oral history, traditions and  legends which have been passed on among many generations .These oral history , traditions and legends are later transformed into pictorial or  written form which in course of time  form the primary sources for the study of history . “Ancient inscriptions and crosses, liturgies, annals and songs, manuscripts and oral traditions have established that Christianity dates from at least the second century in India….The ancient traditions and libraries of scores of individual churches and families enrich the evidence with hundreds of ancient manuscripts and later versions of Syriac writings…”2
The sources for the study of 9th century Syrian migration can be broadly divided into Primary sources and Literary sources.
Primary Sources
1)      Tharissapalli Copper Plate
2)      Inscriptions
3)      Kolla varsham/ Kollam Thonri/ Malayalam Era

1)Tharissapally Copper plates
The copper plate grant made by Ayyan Atikal Thiruvadikal ,the king of venad , to the Tharissa Church was signed and delivered by him from the palace at Quilon.
V.N.Nagom Aiya in Travancore State Manual  states about it as , “In the same year(A.D.824)King Sthanu Ravi anxious to secure the pecuniary assistance from Christian merchants in efforts to repel the invasion of Malabar by Rahakas granted the Copper Plate” In this the king gave permission to mar Sapor to transfer to the …church and community at Quilon a piece of the land with near the city with the several families of low caste attached to it…”This is considered to be the first  dated document in Kerala history.
             As its engraved on the Persian cross set up by Mar Sapor in Kadammatom Church that the place from which he migrated was Ninevah . On both sides of the cross in the alter of Kadamattom Church which is 76cm long  and 51cm wide is written in Pahlavi script 2 big sentences and on the centre a small sentence Pahlavi linguist ,Jamshed modi translated it as follows, “I have come to this nation from Ninevah as a bird.Mar Sapur writes ,the forgiving Miseha( God Jesus) who saved me from persecution”.

4)      Theory of Kolla varsham/kollam thonri( Malayalam era):
There are various theories behind the origin of the Kollam era but the most accepted is associated with the arrival of Persian migration of 9th century A.D.
Kollam thonri:
This theory states that kollam era started with the arrival or Persian Christian merchants under the leadership of SaborIso and the establishment of kollam town. When GovardanMarthandan became king of Venad  the Saptarshi calender was implemented I Venad .But the calender system got greater acceptance when the king accepted the months in the Greek calender which was used by the Persian merchants who migrated in  825A.D .For example first month of Malayalam calender year – Chingam is derived from Simham which is the Malayalam equivalent for Leo which is the first month in the Greek calendar .Second month Kanni is derived from Virgin or Virgo in Greek calender…….etc.

Literary  sources:
1)Ramban Paatu
2)Writings of foreigners - Friar Jordanus and John D.Maringole
3)Diaries/ Letters

1)Ramban Paatu
Details about Churches established by Sabariso’s  and the miracles  he perfomed are found in Thomma parvam which is also called Rambanpaattu .It is said ramban paatu was written after the arrival of Portuguese and the Synod of Diamper as evident from lines 23 and 24 of Thomaparvam or ramban paattu.
2)Mirabilia Descriptia written by Friar Jordanus of Severic gives a vivid account on the prestigious position enjoyed by Syrian Chrsitians in kollam and neighbouring placesin 1324A.D.Writingsof  John D.Marignole (who visited Quilon in 1348AD) tells us that the Church was given the custodianship of weights and measures  and permitted to enjoy weighing fee .These rights were granted earlier and renewed in the second set of copper plates.
3)Diaries/ Letters
The handwritten diaries of   by Pulikottil Mar Dionyius ( former supreme head  of malankara orthodox church)and Chitramezhuthu KM Varghese explains the  history of the kallada Thulaserry Manapurathu marthamariyam  church as follows - this church was destroyed by internecine feud between the Karthas of east Kallada and west Kallada  and how a matriarch of Thulassery Manapurathu family recovered the cross of the destroyed church from the river and prevailed on Avani Rajni (queen of west Kallada) to allot  some land for the church.  She was won over  by hadsome gifts of precious stones.
Diaries and writings of  Mathai kathanar (the 24th generation priest of Thulaserry Manapurathu family) give insights and information on the Church,Tharavadu and its architecture, trade, priesthood, Pallimeda, Kuthirakulam, kettukazhacha,Anthrayos bawa, Pathemari, Pandakasala etc. Diaries and writings of  Alummoottil ommommen Kathanar’s Diary shed light on the history of Mar Anthrayos bawa


1. Gurukkal, Rajan , Foreward/ Review on Thulassery Manapurathu tharavadu directory, 2nd edition  2005,published  by Thulassery Manapurathu tharavadu Charitable society. P.24)
2. England .C. John, The Hidden History of Christianity in Asia,P.59.

 Concise history of Kerala Christianity from 1st century A.D. to 9th century A.D.
The origin of Christianity in Indian subcontinent has been a subject of controversy among historians owing to the near absence of reliable documentary evidence3
The bulk of the Christians  of the first four centuries of Christian era consists of :
(a)An influential and noble  group of people and families ( there is a school of thought that believe that St. Thomas converted  Brahmins to Christanity) in the  Kerala society converted by  St.Thomas apostle in the first century A.D. who call themselves St Thomas Christians
(b)Jewish merchants who settled in Kerala who converted to Christianity .
(c) Cananite Christians who migrated from Cana( West Asia) to Kerala in the  the 4th century A.D.
(d) Syrian /Persian Christians who migrated from Syria/Persia to Kollam in the 9th century A.D.

It has to be stated in this context that that the second  category mentioned above {(b)  Jewish merchants who settled in Kerala who converted to Christianity } at some point in history started to identified  as part of the  the first category { (a) An influential and noble  group of people and families ...}  as a result of which the history , identity and heritage of the second category have been  lost.
 Advocate T.K.Velu Pillai who authored the Travancore State Manual writes about the the arrival and apostasy of St. Thomas and the St.  Thomas Christians  in the following way:
“ The Apostle himself is said to have founded the seven Churches  on this coast namely those at :
1.Palayoor near Chavakad
2.Maliankara near Cranganore
3.Kottakal near North Paravur
4.Kokkamangalam near Pallipuram
5.Quilon or Kollam
6.Niranom near Thiruvalla
7.Nilakal near Chayal 4
Rao Bahadur L.K.Ananthakrishna Iyer in his book Anthropology of Syrian Christians says that, “After the death of the Apostle the Church fell  into evil ways and some of the clergy either afraid of persecution or influenced by persuasion and advice returned to Hinduism .Sivite sage Manikkavachkar laboured among the Syrians of Kurakenikollam and led away many of the faithful.These were henceforth called Manigramakar.They are scarcely distinguished from the Nayars. Their descendents are found in Kollam ,Kayamkulam and other places.5

V.N.Nagam Aiya in Travacore State Manual  states, “ From the middle of 4th century to about thousand years the Chrisitians of Malabar were in a state of spiritual distress and indiscriminately applied to the Eastern patriarchs who were either Nestorian or Jacobite to send a spiritual leaders….So  at the request of the Syrian Christians of Malabar both Nestorians and Jacobite  seem to have come to Malabar…”6

(b) Jewish merchants  in Kerala who converted to Christianity .
It is believed that one of the earliest converts to Christianity were the Jews who settled in kerala for trade . The Jews from west Asia who settled in Kerala for trade  are considered to be the earliest converts to Christianity as they were greatly impressed by  the proximity in language and culture with the  disciple of Christ and other  the west Asian Church fathers or leaders who came in later stages in history.

 ( c )Later migrations from West Asia can be seen in this context.
TK.Vellupillai in Travancore State Manual (p.665)  states about the migration of Christians from Cana under the leadership of Thomas of Cana as follows, “ kanaya Thoma or Thomas kana ,a merchant is said to have visited Malabar in 345A.D. bringing  with him several priests, students , a Bishop , women and children from bagdad, Ninevah, and Jerusalem.According to traditional account he built  a church at mahadevar pattanam .”7
(d)“In 822AD another set of migrants under Mar Sapor and Mar Peroz , the Nestoran Persians settled in the neighbourhood of Quilon ,they made a deep impression on the rulers of the land .These two immigrants says Dr. Milnae Rae from the historical grounds… are probably the  last  from the mother church in high Asia to South India”.


3.Gurukkal,Dr.RajanandVarrier,Raghava,CulturalHistoryof Kerala,Vol.1,Trivandrum.2000,P246
 4. Pillai,Adv. T.K.Velu , Travancore State Manual .Vol.1.P.664)
5.  Iyer ,Rao Bahadur L.K.Ananthakrishna, Anthropology of Syrian Christians, P.3
6. Aiyya,V.N.Nagam , Travacore State Manual p.35
7. Pillai,Adv. T.K.Velu ,  Travancore State Manual p.665

 History of Christianity in West Asia
     Studies show that in the first few centuries of the Christian era in West  Asia /Mediterranean region , as Christians were small in number Persians , Jews , Greeks ,Romans and Armenians who  were the first to adopt Christianity  intermarried each other . This view is supported  by John C. England  in his book ‘Hidden history of Christianity in  Asia’ .
    “The foundation of Eastern Churches ,beginning in the last decades of first century was formed amongst Aramaic and Syriac speaking communities of Syria and Mesopotamia…Christian communities were already  well established by 4th and 5th centuries  in Armenia( first proclaimed Christian state) ,Arabia and Khurasan (Northeast Persia)….Chritianity thus became a significant minority within Pesian empire ,comprising largely of  West Syrians, Sogdians(Turks) and Greeks .deported from Roman provinces…”8
    We have another instance of intermarriage in the ancient West Asian Christians in the case of Timothy whose father  was a Greek Christian and mother a Jewish Christian. 9
    So it may be surmised that the ancestors of theThulasseryManapurathu family belonged to a mixed stock .The changing power equations between the Romans and the Persians / Arabs and their respective religions during various periods  in West Asia / Mediterranean  region  must have hastened the migratory tendency of the people of that region.
             As its engraved on the Persian cross set up by Mar Sapor in Kadammatom Church that the place from which he migrated was Ninevah we can have a glance at the origin of Christianity in Ninevah. Ninevah has been part of the rules of Greater Syria, Persia, Babylonia ,  Greeks and the Romans in different periods of history . Hence the people of this region were a mixture of people from Syria, Persia, Babylonia ,Greece and Rome. In Ezra Chapters 9 and  10-15 we find that during the time of 'exodus' as some Jewish men from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin  had children and wifes from non Jewish tribes ,especially Assyrian tribes,  while they were in Ninevah( modern Mosul in Iraq) they did not return to Jerusalem even while given the freedom by Emperor Cyrus 10 .The Assyrian Christians evolved from them.They used Aramiac language. The Apostles Thomas, Bartholomew , and Thaddeus in 33 A.D established the Assyrian Church of the East in Eddessa. From the seventh century the Assyrian Church became active and by the end of the 12th century the Assyrian Church had spread from Syria to  Mongolia, India, China , Japan , and  Korea .
    The ten of  the original twelve  Hebrew tribes, which, under the leadership of Joshua, took possession of Canaan, the Promised Land, after the death of Moses  were  Asher, Dan, Ephraim, Gad, Issachar, Manasseh, Naphtali, Reuben, Simeon, and Zebulun. In 930 BC while the 10 tribes formed the independent Kingdom of Israel in the north , the two other tribes, Judah and Benjamin,set up the Kingdom of Judah in the south. Following the conquest of the northern kingdom by the Assyrians in 721 BC, the 10 tribes were gradually assimilated by other peoples and thus disappeared from history.But the tribes of Judah and Benjamin   survived as Jews   because they were allowed to return to their homeland after the Babylonian Exile of 586 BC.11
     Peoples who at various times were said to be descendants of the lost tribes include the Nestorians, the Mormons, the Afghans, the Falashas of Ethiopia, some tribes of the American Indians and  some groups of people in Japan etc. The Celts of Scotland  also are considered to be part of the lost Jewish tribe. 
     All these shows  that since early history the  Jews /  Semitic people were a group of people / race who with or without the consent of the  community married people from other geographical areas or ethnicities. No wonder the   large number of Jewish   diaspora around the world .
Why and how  roots are  lost ?

   But it remains a sad fact that much knowledge  about  history of communities or families have been lost   due to lack of transmission and preservation of knowledge .It can also be inferred that due to known or unknown  cultural reasons and adverse political and social conditions some communities either ignore or do not reveal their  roots .


8. England,C.John.The Hidden History of Christianity ,P.15
9.  Holy Bible,Acts of Apostles 16:1
10. Hoy Bible,Ezra Chapters 9 and  10-15
11. Encyclopaedia Britannica 2003 deluxe edition CD ROM

 Migration from West Asia to  Kerala -  Kollam in 9th century A.D.
V.V Nagom Aiya in his state manual  states  “ In 822A.D. two Nestorian Bishops Mar Sapor and Mar Peroz  settled in Quilon with a following .Two years later  the Malabar Era began (824A.D.) and ws called after Quilon which was undoubtedly  the premier city of malabar including Travancore and Cochin”12
T.K.VeluPillai  in the Travancore State Manual  writes, “ Gopinatha Rao who assigns the latter part of the 9th century as the period of the reign bases his conclusions on he assumption that Kollam era was started in the memory of the coming of Maruvan Sobor Iso  and a colony of foreign traders .”13 T.K.VeluPillai  in the Travancore State Manual  “tradition says that St.Thomas preached there( in Syria) and  in after times a party of Christian immigrants from Syria landed in the neighbourhood of the modern town( Quilon) a place now engulfed in sea just a similar party did at Crangannore ( in 3rd century under Thomas of Cana).Whether they came for purpose of trade or driven to seek shelter from the sword of Mohammed or for other reason cannot now be determined”14
M.G.S.Narayan in his paper on Cera_pandya conflict in the 8th – 9th centuries which led to the birth of Venad  writes, “ It is not surprising that the Chera king who was  contemplating the development of the new harbour town at Kurakeni Kollam  welcomed the foreigner  and permitted him to settle down at the new harbour site .This was the period when th e Cera-Pandya conflict was developing in the south. Subsequently Vilinjam was retained in the Pandyan sphere of influence while the Vel country with  new  headquarters at Kurakkeni Kollam became a division of Cera kingdom..The foundation of Kollam in 825A.D. must have coincided with this victory of Cera in the Vel province.Therefore it is easy to understand the anxiety of the cera king  to please foreign merchants and settle them at Kollam so that the harbour might grow quickly and compete effectively with Vilinjam further south which had passed under the control of the Pandya.This incident reveals the practical wisdom of the rulers and throws light on the economic –political motivations  of men who promoted ideas of religion and culture. The Syrian Christian merchants who took advantage of the  situation were equally clever and resourceful .In the absence of materials for a detailed history ,it is difficult to ascertain whether Mar Sapir Iso was a merchant or a (priest) missionary. Perhaps he was both at the same time ans there was no inherent contradiction between the two roles.15
Narayan M.G.S.,writes in Cultural Symbiosis that “ By the time of the Syrian Christian Copper Plates of the 9th century the foreign Christians and the Christians of Kerala had become part and parcel of the local village community.” This means that the migrant Christians did not remain as a separate group but rather they intermarried the Christians of Kerala  and accepted the local cultural idioms. “The deity of the Tarsa Chruch was refered to the tevar.An important offering to the tevar was    the sacred oil lamp as in the case of contemporary Brahmanical temples ,is an indication to the fact that  their conception of religion was shaped by local culture.”16
  Adept at trade and driven by adventure with priesthood in their blood a few members of a West Asian family who settled around Kollam in 9th century A.D. are the progenitors of the ThulasseryManapurathu family . On arriving they    worked as commanders of Venad kings , engaged in trade activities and served as priests in the Church established by Mar Sabore .


12. Aiyya, V.V Nagom, State Manual  p.244 
13. Pillai,T.K.Velu, Travancore State Manual p.52
14. Ibid,p.14
15. Narayan,M.G.S , Cera- Pandya conflict in the 8th – 9th centuries which led to the birth of Venad :Pandyan History seminar , Madurai University , 1971
16. Narayan M.G.S.,Cultural Symbiosis p33

 Tharissapally Copper plates
V.N.Nagom Aiya in Travancore State Manual  states , “In the same year(A.D.824)King Sthanu Ravi anxious to secure the pecuniary assistance from Christian merchants in efforts to repel the invasion of Malabar by Rahakas granted the Copper Plate” In this the king gave permission to mar Sapor to transfer to the …church and community at Quilon a piece of the land with near the city with the several families of low caste attached to it…” 17
TK Velupillai,in his State Manual  states, “ Taking the copper plate as a genuine document it is seen that at the time Quilon was a place of great commercial importance.The guilds ,the Ancuvannam, and Manigramam possessed considerable privileges.It was in such a city that the grant conveyed a fresh hold to Christians .The authority of the Church were also invested with power of settling disputes among them and taking disciplinary actions in cases of malfeasance and misfeasance .The headmen of the castes and local governmental authorities were prohibited from in interfering in such matters. These concessions attest the spirit of religious toleration and cosmopolitan sympathy which characterised the  acts of the ruling house of Travancore from the earliest times”.18
“The grant was made with the consent of two of his chieftains and the members of the Six hundred” who formed the Parliament of the land.”19
The copper plate grant made by Ayyan Atikal Thiruvadikal ,the king of venad , to the Tharissa Church was signed and delivered by him from the palace at Quilon.20
Rao Bahadur LK Ananthakrishnayyar in his book Anthropology of Syrian Christians writes,“ The second charter was granted in 824AD to Christians of St.Thomas with the sanction of the palace major  or commissioner of king Sthanu Ravi ,who is belived to be Cheramman Perumal .It is a legal instrument which confers a plot of land with several families of heathen castes on Mruvan Sabor Iso who transfers the same with due legal formality to the Tharisa church and community.” 21
“There was a political necessity for giving this remarkable position for the Christian community .At the respective dates of the Christian charter the Perumals had to fortify themselves against external enemies. There were fears of invasions .At such times the Perumals might have been in need of large sums of money either to bribe or fight the invaders  and it would not be an improper inference from these facts that the trading foreigners may have satisfied Perumals wishes, and then have secured for themselves  a higher standing in the land of their adoption”.
Mundadan A.M. History of Christianity in India states, “In South India any grant of privileges ,perquisites or land made  by rulers was usually recorded on copper plates as these were more durable and permanent record than palm leaf strips”22
M.G.S.Narayan, Cutural Symbiosis in Kerala  , “A plot of land and a few families of settlers ,Tachars(carpenters), Vellalars(apriclturists), Ilavars( toddy tappers),Vannars( washermen) and vaniyars( oil mongers) are handed over to the church this time. It is interesting to note that the same method of handing over families to foreign settlers continued in Kerala in the later periods also ….In the case of the Syrian Church of Kollam   also, it was according to the feudal principal ,proprietor of the land and master of settlers on land .The first set of plates clearly states that the governor had relinquished al rights  to collect taxes from these settlers on  church land . 23.
There follows the stipulation that when market commodities are inspected for fixing customs duty , and when other official work like estimating price etc. are undertaken ,the church people are ot be associated with all such activities. This means that the church is treated as an important institution of the headquarters sharing powers of government on par with the Arunuruvar, Ancuvanam and Manigramam. Only the first item of seventy tow privileges .ie. earth and water on elephant back at the time of marriage , finds mention in the copper plates probably because it was taken for granted that everybody knew what the privileges were. Therefore it may be assumed that the rest of the privileges were also belonging to the same category. The chuch fathers were accorded the same status of military political chiefs of the country  and evidently hey were prepared to accept such a position.24
.The final passage of the second set of plates brings out more clearly the relationship between Mar Sapir Iso , the chuch of Tarsa, Ancuvannam , manigrammam against the backdrop of the newly established city of Kollam.Noteworth are the different concessions given to the church and the association of the church in government functions in Kollam along with the two mercantile corporations.These furnish an idea as to the organisation and  activities of the church outside the field of religion. And the status the churchmen commanded .First they were exempted from one sixtieth duty on incoming articles and also engaged in trade.This is not surprising in a country where temples where engaged in banking and agricultural activities. The church is exempted from payment of slave tax for the  slaves they purchased .This goes on to show that slave trade were common in ancient Kerala.25
The Hindu temples are known to have been owning and tranfering Pulaya serfs along with land ,indicating that serfdom must have been very common.26
The Church was given the custodianship of weights and measures  and permitted to enjoy weighing fee These rights were granted earlier and renewed in the second set of copper plates.27
This shows the trust native rulers had in the church because these privileges were enjoyed exclusively by the Hindu temple corporations
Only the first item of the seventy two privileges ie. Earth and water  on elephant back at the time of marriage finds mention in the copper plates  because it is taken for granted that everybody knew what the privileges were.The Church fathers were accorded status of military – political chiefs of the country  and  evidently they were ready to accept such a position.Therefore it may be inferred that in the days of Aiyyan Atikal mar Sapir Iso and Christianity was indianised to a large extent.28Therefore the new  west asian migrant community must have gave up  their foreign practises.
Adv.TK VeluPillai, State manual writes, The kings of venad were excersising authority in such distant places like Chenagannur, Thiruvalla, Udeyamperoor and Punjar”.This  might be a reason why the migrant familes recived special privileges from the local rulers of these regions  when they migrated to these places in later times.29
The three sets of signatures represented Jewish, Arabic and Persian groups respectively and it is possible that they included Jews, Muslims , Christians respectively as indicated by their personal names. This is again proof of the harmonious and peaceful coexistence of different creeds in anceient kerala. 
   The members of Valiyaveetil family, the root family of Thulassery Manapurathu tharavadu, a  migrant Syrian Christian family  worked as commanders of Venad kings ,enjoyed the rights and social positions  and got lands free of tax as guaranteed by the Tharisapally Chepped given by Venad King .  Tharissapalli Chepped promulgated by the ruler entitled them to a fairly large extent of tax free land as well as social position  .This family enjoyed authority over civil and criminal affairs


17.Aiyya, V.N.Nagom , Travancore State Manual p.244
18. Pillai,TK Velu, State Manual ,vol1,p 53.
19.Ibid, p55
21. Rao Bahadur LK Ananthakrishnayyar , Anthropology of Syrian Christians ,p.53
22. Mundadan A.M. History of Christianity in India p167 .
23. M.G.S.Narayan, Cutural Symbiosis in Kerala p34
24. Ibid .p.36.
25. Ibid p.37
26.Sri Trikkakaa temple inscriptions,T.A.S. 35,36 and 40 pp 161-71,178, Ulliyannur Temple Inscription,TAS VII.II No.15.p.98
27.Writings of  John D.Marignole (who visited Quilon in 1348AD)
28.NarayanM.G.S. ,Cultural Symbiosis in Kerala p.36
29. Adv.TK VeluPillai, State manual Vol I p.84

 Mar Sabore and Mar Proth
“In 822AD another set of migrants under Mar Sapor and Mar Peroz , the Nestoran Persians settled in the neighbourhood of Quilon ,they made a deep impression on the rulers of the land .These two immigrants says Dr. Milnae Rae from the historical grounds… are probably the  last of the from the mother church in high Asia to South India”.30
On both sides of the cross in the alter of Kadamattom Church which is 76cm long  and 51cm wide is written in Pahlavi script 2 big sentences and on the centre a small sentence Pahlavi linguist ,Jamshed modi translated it as follows, “I have come to this nation from Ninevah as a bird.Mar Sapur writes ,the forgiving Miseha( God Jesus) who saved me from persecution”. The language is  Persian while the place Nineveh belongs to modern day Iraq which has been under the control of Persian , Mesopotamian and Greek and Roman rulers in different periods of history. This clearly denotes the migrants were from Persian area.
Details about Churches established by Sabariso’s  and the miracles  he perfomed are found in Thomma parvam which is also called Rambanpaattu .It is said ramban paatu was written after the arrival of Portuguese and the Synod of Diamper as evident from lines 23 and 24 of Thomaparvam or ramban paattu.31
The Synod of Diamper proclaimed mar Sabor and Mar Proth as heretics to which Carmelite preist barnard Thoma kathanar protested and proclaimed the act as a great sin.
As in those times in Persia and Babylon the nestorain heresy was in vogue these two saints mar Sabor and mar Proth who build many churches in malankara( Kerala) were considered to be Nestorian heretics .The Synod of Diamper changed the names of the churches named after them as All Saints churches and changes the festivals and prayers and offerings conducted in November 1st  in their names as the All Saints festival and offerings.As these two saints Mar Sabor and Mar Proth came from Persia /babylonia which was under the influence of Nestorian heresy they were considered by the Synod of Diamper as Nestorian Heretics.
Though the invalid Synod of Diamper  proclaimed the holy men Mar Sabor and Mar Proth as heretics the Christians of mlankara(Kerala) respected these saints and continued to receive blessings from them .
 “According to decisions of Synod of Diamper these saints( Mar Sabor and mar Proth) of malankara Nazranis were considered as schismatics and the churches the established were wrongly proclaimed to be established by St.Thomas .32

The Viswavijnanakosam (Malayalam) Vol.3, mentions the follows about the history of the kadamattom church and Mar Sabore also known as mar abo “Kadamattom church was founded by mar Sabor also called Mar Abo  who was a holy man with knowledge of medical sciences and powers to perform miracles  established the church in the forest regions of kadamattom in the 40th year of kollam Era .He stayed there at first in a small home with a mother and a son .Afterwards he gained the rights of the local ruler of Kadamattom to buid a church there .He later made the son of the home the priest  of the kadamattom church .Afterwards he left for Tevalakara and converted to Christianity an influential  and reputed Hindu Vaidyan family  who were traditional opthalmologists of royal families in the adjoining area .This  family  is still known as Thevalakara Vaidyan family and most of their  family members keep the surname Vaidyan.   It is said Mar Abo( Mar Sabor) died in Tevalakara.Mar Sabor is considered as Marvan Saboriso who got the rights from Venad ruler to build the church at tarsa 33
The members   of   ThulasseryManapurathu family  who belonged to the lineage of  Mar Sabore were the heriditary priests of the Church established by Mar Sabore in Kollam  in 9th century A.D untill it was destroyed  couple of centuries later.   


30. LK Anantha krishanayyar,State Manual,p50,52
31. Thoma kathanar, Bernard,Marthoma Christyanikal, lines 23,24
32. Z.M.Paret , Malankara Nazranikal,vol.1
33. The Viswavijnanakosam (Malayalam) Vol.3,p.523,534

 Destruction of Kollam , Migration from Kollam to Kallada and establishment of ThulasseryManapurathuTharavad
In the Chera Chola war between 1000A.D and 1100 AD whole of kerala especially the towns of  mahodayapuram,Kollam,Vizhinjam and Kanthallur were destroyed.
 Kulothunga Cholan who ruled from A.D.1070 and 1120 A.D. in his Cholapuram shasana(edict) states that in his 30th year or rule the suicide squad of kerala attained heaven and the boundaries of the Chola, Chera pandya  kingdoms were decided.34
Translation from Malayalam “The intelligent KulothungaCholan with a mighty army attacked Chera’s and pandya’sInspred by his successes Kulothunga led his army north and attacked kollam.” “In  999A.D RajarajaCholan defeated the Chera army. ……Again in 1005 AD rajarajachola attacked and captured Kollam, Kodungallur….In1028 A.D again a large Chola army under rajathirajachola captured and killed a large portion of Kerala and its people.The Chola edict states that the venad king was also killed in this war. To escape from the cruel Chola army the people of of kerala ( Chera ) sought refuge in the mountains and nearby areas.35

By the beginning of 12th century ,the Cholas overran Venad  and destroyed Kollam town. With the fall of the town and the church the Persian Christians who held prominent position in the Venad  army and dominated   trade and commerce fled to Kallada . Valiyaveettil family in Kollam, the root of ThulasseryManapurathu family, has the tradition of having one of its sons as a general of Venad  army.   The members of ThulasseryManapurathu family who were the beneficiaries of the Tarissapalli Chepped  were honourably received by the chiefs of Kallada-the Kartha’s -and given prime land belonging to Koickal palace to establish the ThulasseryManapurathu Tharavad.  The 24 room  building with ‘ettukettu’, ’padipura’, and ‘pandakasala’ in traditional ‘vaastu’ features was indeed a lordly mansion .The Thulassery Manapurathu family had a records of its Persian Christian heritage written  on documents written in Persian script.

   While the Chepped entitled them to oversee law and order , revenue ,weights and measures, they were also  expected to chip in with men and materials in times of war .They maintained a unit of cavalry and infantry for this purpose .The ‘Kuthirakkulam’- the pond for horses-is still seen within the ThulasseryManapurathu family property beside the church. 36


34. Travancore Archaeological Series (T.A.S.) Vol.6 p.15
35. Elamkulam Kunjan Pillai, Keralathinde Eruladanja Edukal,p.64,112,117
36.Diaries and writings of  Mathai kathanar the 24th generation priest of Thulaserry Manapurathu family based on the ancestral documents and Thaliyolagrandha handed down through generations.

  Kallada ValiyaPalli - established by ThulasseryManapurathu family - the descendants of Mar Sabore

Priesthood ran in the family uninterrupted for 24 generations- right from 9th century when they took charge of the parish founded by Mar SaboreIso in Kollam. They continued the tradition even after the Chola invasion, setting up the Kallada church as the ‘kurisupally’ of the destroyed Kollam Tarissa church.Evidently ecclesiastical tradition was no less important for them than trade interests.
   The history of this church , mentioned in the church records    held by Pulikottil Mar Dionyius ( former supreme head  of malankara orthodox church)and Chitramezhuthu KM Varghese show how this church was destroyed by internecine feud between the Karthas of east Kallada and west Kallada  and how a matriarch of Thulassery Manapurathu family recovered the cross of the destroyed church from the river and prevailed on Avani Rajni (queen of west Kallada) to allot  some land for the church.  She was won over  by hadsome gifts of precious stones.37The Kallada ValiyaPalli which which was originally  known as Thulassery Manapurathu Marthamariyam Church but now known as St. Mary's Orthodox Church, Kallada was established by the Thulassery Manapurathu tharavad who are the descendants of Mar Sabore .
   The prominence given to the Marthamariam church horse in the ‘kettukaazhcha’ festival stands as a glowing testimony to the  enviable position enjoyed by the family as well as the communal harmony that prevailed during the time .   That some among the Persian traders joined the Muslim and Hindu communities in later years remains  a less known historical fact.   Till the Orthodox church took over the Marthamariam church ,it was a Thulassery Manapurathu family property and the services of the church were enjoyed freely by members and non members of the family. Priests belonging to twenty three generations of  ThulasseryManapurathu   have been laid to rest within the 'holy of holies' / chancel ( Madbaha) of Kallada ValiyaPalli just beside the mortal remains of  Mar Anthrayos .38 The twenty fourth generation priest of ThulasseryManapurathu  Rev. Fr. Mathai Kathanar was laid to rest beside the  'holy of  holies'/  Chancel      (Madbaha )of the Kallada ValiyaPalli.


37. The handwritten diaries of   by Pulikottil Mar Dionyius ( former supreme head  of malankara orthodox church)and Chitramezhuthu KM Varghese
38. Diaries and writings of  Mathai kathanar the 24th generation priest of Thulasserry Manapurathu family

 Mar Anthrayos Bava / Mar Andrews (Kallada Valyappupan)
Trading in precious stones and spices they maintained their Persian connections. Apart from traders , family relations and  church heads/priests  from West Asia heads also visited the   ThulasseryManapurathu family .Records show that Mar Anthrayos Bava in the face of opposition from other local Christians ,was supported by ThulasseryManapurathu family  where he  spent his last days keeping it as his Methrasanam (eccleciastical seat).It is evident that even generations after their migration to Kerala  they retained considerable grasp  over the major Mediterranean languages to continue their trade relations.
“ In 1682 Mar Anthrayos bava came to Kallada from Puthencavu.he was called ‘Valyappupan’One day he came and sat at the padipura of Thulaserry Manapurathu tharavad  The mother of the home gave him milk and plantains. He was at first mistaken to be a Brahmin  the mother .But later understood his real identity.bava was given a room in the naalukettu and given due respect.In 1675 Bava came from Turabdeen to Mulanthuruthy with two brothers .One was a Ramban( unmarried priest ) while the other married and had tow sons.The Bava came with riches but gave it away as alms  to the poor and finally became penniless.   He did not like the food of Kerala and consequently developed stomach disease .To cure the disease a local vaidyan( doctor) advised him to drink toddy .Some influencial members of mulanthuruthy church labelled the bava as a drunkard and evicted him from  the church.”                  39
Alumoottil Ommomen Kathar writes ,“In 1653 after the Coonan Cross oath   there was great unrest in the Malankara church.After this event  Mar Grigorous came to Kerala in 1665.This helped in the upliftment of the Church of Malankara.He passed away in 1670 and was buried in North parur church.Then in 1678 Mar Anthrayos bawa from Thurabdeen came to Kerala.As he came with special powers to ordain Metropolitans in Malankara he was called Mar Anthrayos Pathros. He had a brother who was a Ramban and another brother who was a commoner. He first came to Cochin and then went to Mulanthuruthy. He developed  stomach pain in Mulanthuruuthy and hence he could not offer Holy communion .As he walked in cloths of laity some people did not like him. Moreover  he had to take toddy as a relief for his stomach pain .Old age and ill health made him less effective man. All these angered the  people who informed Antioch about this and Mar Baselious came to Malayalam(Kerala) in 1685.He passed away and the Ramban with him was made the new Metroplitan by the name Ivanios. Palathunkal tharakan and his local supporters with the support of Ivanios Metropolitan   did not allow Mar Anthrayos Bawa to perform prayer at the Church by locking the church   .They also demanded that Anthrayos Bawas golden chalice(kaasa) be kept in the church. Anthrayos bawa and his brother the ramban decided to leave Mulanthuruthy. As he left Palathunkal tharakan’s sons died of snake bite and the church   who locked the church was found dead near the church . This led to great fear in the local people and church men. Anthrayos and his Ramban brother reached Puthencavu where  the Ramban passed away and he is buried on the river side. As Bawa faced problems from the local family at Puthencavu he left for kallada .Bawa came into good terms with the ThulasseryManapurathu family who who helped him to offer prayer. He used to take bath in the kallada river . Without knowing high tide and rise in water level  bawa went to bath and was caught in whirlpool and died on Kumbam( Malayalam month) 18 , 1692.He was buried in the alter of the  Kallada Marthamariyam church. His annual memorial prayer and festival  is conducted every year  on Kumbam 18 and 19 in the kallada  church..As Bawa also stayed and visited  in Manarcad , Piravom ,Puthencavu  ,Kundara  and Mulanthuruthy before settling in kallada, his memorial festival is also conducted in manarcad and Puthencavu and Kundara       .    40

Father David writes “In 1678   a Syrian by name of Anthrayos came to malankara .He was a  pious saint.   41           After the death and burial of Mar baselious Eldo Catholicos in 1685 its written by Ittop writer that mar Andhrayos Patriarch came to Malayalam( kerala) 42 


 39. Alummoottil ommommen Kathanar’s Diary
40.Father K.David, Suriyani Sabha Chrithram
41.Ittoop Writer, Suriyani Sabha Charithram
42. Ancestral documents and thaliyolagrandha handed down through generations

 Migration of various branches from Thulassery Manapurathu family and their contributions

Mounting tension in the wake of the pivotal role played by many branches of Thulassery Manapurathu family in the internecine feuds of the region made them seek distant pastures . The privileged social standing   enjoyed by the family in the light of the Chepped  ensured honourable reception  wherever branches of the family transplanted themselves. It remains a sad fact that like the lost tribes of the Jews  some of the descendants of the family have been lost due to lack of knowledge and communication .

Major branches and sub branches  of the ThulasseryManapurathu family :

 (Thengumvila)                          --  Meeyannoor
(Thekethayil, Oorayil, Kalathrayil etc.. )--Pandanadu
Kunnil  (Chittazhethu)                -- Edanadu
 (Madathil, Thudiyil )                   -- Mannar
Mukkathu                                  -- Chengannur
(Kanjirakattu,Kuttiplavil etc..)            --  Adoor
ThulasseryManapurathu    -- PadinjareKallada
( Koodathinalil)                   -- Aarattupuzha
Valiyavila                           -- Punaloor
(Valiyammatom)                 -- Muvattupuzha  43

            If the ‘Mukkathu’ family of Chengannur left owing to niggling conflicts with the west Kallada Karthas 44,it was strife with the Kayamkulam Raja that led to the exodus of Vallyanethu family at Arattupuzha 45 Thomman Thomman (1580-1640)the founder of the Mukkathu branch was appointed steward (kaaryasthan) of the chief of Vanjipuzha principality46 .  The Mukkathu family which established the MukkathuKudumbayogam in 1900 A.D has the  rare distinction of being the only  Syrian Christian family association ( Kudumbayogam ) in Kerala to have conducted 108 annual family general body meetings consecutively ( without a break ever )  since its inception . Counted among the 99 high caste  Hindu families ,the head of the Kunnil family in Edanadu  had the privilege of lighting the traditional  lamp at the Edanad temple festival.47The chief of Kizhakkamcherry mana offered all privileges to the Vettikamattom branch in Muvattupuzha on the strength  of the Chepped.48The Pathisserril family in Adoor  was specially invited by Kottackakom Unnithan ( the local ruler )of  Adoor to  settle down there. They were to cleanse the oil for pooja performed to rid the Kottackakom Unnithan family of some malevolence. It was divined by a Hindu priest that only a member of an aristocratic Christian family   could perform the function49  .The Manelel branch in Mannar display their  proud heirlooms of gold ‘kadalikula’, palanquin ,sword   and buckler as symbols of authority and tradition.50 Chirackakom family which traces its prosperity to the largesse they received of Mithramadom and Ambakad chiefs, prize their ThulasseryManapurathu lineage.51
   The ‘avalnercha’ celebrated by the Mukkathu kudumbam every Maundy Thursday  at Chengannur old Syrian church  has gone on for 350 years  stretching back to history when untouchability remained a sordid feature of society .This divine offering started by a mother belonging to the family had a great spiritual and social impact – the ‘aval’ was given  to all the devotees without distinction of  caste and religion.52
   Another charitable activity reflecting the family’s  social commitment is Mar Anthrayos Memorial Ashram and Welfare home ,which recorded significant growth during the time of Mathai Kathanar , the 24th priest on the ThulasseryManapurathu family  line. More than a 100 destitutes were looked after at a time. Unfortunately this institution has ceased to function. The yield from one of family land holdings – the100 acre field – was set apart for meeting the expenses of the ashram and church affairs.53 The produce from this same land was also used for providing ‘ vechoottu’, food for  devotees from as far as Ernakulam who attended Mar Anthrayos Bava’s ‘Sraadhaperunal’ every year for the past 320 years at the MarthaMariyam church ,Kallada which bears the mortal remains of Mar Anthrayos Bava. Since the handing over of the church to Orthodox church this ‘Sraadhaperunal’ has been conducted by the church .54
   The title of ‘muthalali’ which the ThulasseryManapurathu family was privileged to bear  was retained by branches like Aluvila(Ayoor),Valiyavila(Punaloor),Mathirampalli. Most of the other family branches have given up the title over the years .55
            Though the age old Manapurathu Marthamariyam church and ThulasseryManapurathu family have succumbed  to the ravages of time ,the 320 year old two story mansion  near the church chiselled to perfection in wood still stands out as a monument of aristocratic and artistic  handiwork.56
   Tradition has it that mighty sailing boats –pathemaari- of the ThulasseryManapurathu family docked at the very gates of the store house built adjacent to their tharavadu. Records show that leading traders of this family maintained trade relations with foreign countries right from 9th century to the advent of British. Their contacts with  port towns like Kollam, Alapuzha, and Kodungalur are also documented. Oral tradition has it that big barges laid with  hill produce ,copra and coir products belonging to the family sailing through the rivers  and canals were indeed a sight to see!


43. ThulasseryManapurathu Tharavadu Directory,2nd edition (2005)
44.Chengannur Mukkathu Kudumbayogam Charithram, 2001
45. Arattupuzha family history from ThulasseryManapurathu Tharavadu Directory2005
46. ThulasseryManapurathu Tharavadu Directory (2005)
47.Edanadu Kunnil Chittazhethu Kudumbayogam charitram
48.George,Philip(editor)Kerala Historical Directory, Vidyarthi mithram,p395  and   Vettikamattom family history from ThulasseryManapurathu Tharavadu Directory        
49.Adoor Pathiseril family history from ThulasseryManapurathu Tharavadu Directory  50. Mannar Manalel Kudumbayogam charitram.
51.Pandanad Chirakakathu family history  in ThulasseryManapurathu Tharavadu Directory   and Article by Alex Oorayil ,President of Keezhvanmazy branch of   Pandanad chirakakathu family.
52. Aarattupuzha Valyanethu  family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition
53. Punalur Valiyavila family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition
54. Anchal Aluvila family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition
55.Adoor Pathisseril family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition
56.ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory

 Contribution of ThulasseryManapurathu family branches on the spiritual sphere
Devoutly religious, ThulasseryManapurathu family members were zealous about church planting and their upkeep. The following are a few instances:
   Adoor – (Pathisseril,Kanjirakat)- St.Kuriakos Orthodox Church ,Anandapally was constructed at the instance of Pathiserril family.Koruthu Kochukoruthu of the same family built the St.Mary’s Orthodox church ,Koodal. The fact that priestly tradition of ThulasseryManapurathu family was kept intact by this branch is borne out of the diaries and other records maintained by the Kanjirakatu line of priests which spanned more than four generations.Mathunni Kathanar heads the list , though there is a mention of one Koruthu Kathanar who preceded him .But there is not much of records to substantiate .Mathunni Kathanar was the first priest to offer Qurbana at the the Makkamkunnu  church the first church in Pathanamthitta town  which was built in1844 and consecrated by Mathoma Metropolitan Mathews Mar Athanatius. His son Geevarghese Kathanar built the the St.George Orthodox church Kalanjoor at the wish of Pulikottil Joseph Mar Dionysus in 1892.He was appointed the first priest of Orthodox Valiyapally,Parakode by Parumala Thirumeni .His  son Mathai Kathanar who was the nephew of Baselius Geevarghese II,Catholica Bava, was the first priest of St.Kuriakose Orthodox church at Anandapally which was built by  Pathisseril family He had also served the spiritual needs of 13 churches in and around Adoor. Scaria Kathanar ,the famous Syriac scholar who remained single  was deputed by Wattasseril Thirumeni to succeed Alwarez Thirumeni in building up the church in Ceylon .He was the driving force behind the Sunday School  Samajam(1929) and Marthamariyam Samajam(1934) at Kannamkode. He initiated the construction of Marthasmuni Orthodox Church ,Kottanallur and St.Mary’s Orthodox church ,Aykad .H.H.Geevarghese II was his patron. .Philipose Kathanar of Valliyath branch besides serving as manager of St.George school, Ezhamkulam which was established by his father Ommen Thomas. was also vicar of four churches around Adoor. Mathews Pathisseril ,a prominent founder member of Basil Trust ,Baroda (Gujarat) played a pivotal part in setting up the Basil school  and St.Gregorios Orthodox church both in Baroda. Fr. Mathews John(Koodal)  of Quilon diocese ,Fr.George Varghese(Anadapally)of Kollam diocese who is also professor of English at St.Gregorios College, Kottarakara and Fr. Mathews George ,vicar St.Mary’s Orthodox Church, Dallas  belong to this family .57
Aluvila - (Anchal):-   Blessed with extensive landed property  ,the Aluvila family has donated prime land of no less than an acre each to three churches of different denominations-Bar Sauma Syrian Jacobite Church ,Kumalloor, St.George Orthodox church ,Kampamkode and St.Jude Malankara Catholic Church ,Ayoor.58
Mukkathu- (Chengannur)-Kottoorethu Mammen Joseph Kathanar: One of the architects and strong pillars of the Marthoma church in its infancy  besides being founder of Chengannur Marthoma church served  as Secretary of  Malankara Marthoma Church executive for 22 years .It was his astute handling of the case between Orthodox and Marthoma churches that brought about the agreement of 1053(M.E) ensuring equal propriety rights over Chengannur  old Syrian church for both denominations. He was  the brain behind the launching of the Malankara Sabhathaaraka the official mouthpiece of Marthoma Church . Author of ‘Daiva Makkalude Thenkatta’(Honeycomb for the children of God),an anthology of songs and prayers in Syriac .He was chiefly  instrumental in founding the first Government English School in Chengannur . J.C.Abraham Kaseesa -:While seving as vicar of Chengannur Marthoma church played a significant role  in the social and political affairs of the region. Bishop John  Varghese:The first Bishop of St.Thomas Evangelical Church s was the founder of Puthukottai Chrithudas Ashram(Prakasapuram  in Tamil Nadu) for destitutes and orphans and Ezhumalloor hospital .Started schools in Kuzhalmannam, Pudukottai,and Vemballur. Worked tirelessly for gaining the rights of people belonging to backward  communites and gypsies in Palghat district to use public roads and study in schools.The scope and vision of Palghat Ashram won great popularity under him .Rev.M.P.Job : Educated in Cambridge  and one of the three founders of Manganam Chrithava Ashram. Started the Society  of St.Thomas with an ecumenical vision .He was the traveling  secretary of  Students Christian Mission in Ceylon, Burma and India.  One of the leaders of Karapuram mission in Cherthala ,Rev Job in  the wake of the second world war worked for alleviating the miserable condition  of the poor coir workers of Cherthala  by successfully calling the attention of the government to  the plight of the people  .Fr.Thomas Inchakalodi:one of the prominent members of Malankara Catholic Church was the reputed author of –Keralathile Christhava Sabhakal( Christian Churches of Kerala),Arch Bishop Mar Ivanios, Nammude Pithaakanmaarude Viswasam(Faith of Our Fathers) etc.Very Rev.P.V.Thomas who retired as senior Vicar General of Marthoma Church was instrumental in founding the Houston Marthoma Church which is the first Marthoma Church in USA . Late Fr.Eapen Kaplaserril (Malankara Catholic Church),Rev.George Mathew(Marthoma Church),Rev.Mathew P.Thomas(Marthoma Church), Fr Siby Kannamthanam(Malankara Catholic Church),Dr.Abraham Inchakalodi(Orthodox Church), Rev Jiji John Jacob (C.S.I. Church) and Rev .John Philipose(C.S.I.Church) all belong to this family.Kurian Varghese Kannamthanam served as member of Malankara Syrian Catholic Congress and one of the founders of Malankara Catholic Church in Chengannur.Varkey brothers  played a pivotal role in setting up the CSI St.Andrew’s Church in Chengannur, K.C.Koshy founded the CSI Church ,Pathanamthitta. Kunjunaina Ousep helped found the Keezhvanmazhy Marthoma Chapel . 59
Kunnil - (Edanadu) :Members of this family take pride in founding the St.Mary’s Orthodox Church and Marthoma Church at Edanadu.Fr.Zacharias Cos Episcopa and Bar Sauma Ramban ( Superior at Othera and Chengamanad Ashrams) have made their mark in the Orthodox Church.60
Chirakakathu- (Pandanadu) : St.Thomas Marthoma Church Pandanad stands in the land donated by Palliparambil Mathai of this family .The St.Mary’s Orthodox Church at Pandanad is built  at the land donated by Chirakakathu Thekethayil Alexander . 61
Manalel-  (Mannar): This family takes credit for establishment of both the Marthamariyam Orthodox Church and Malankara Catholic Church at Mannar.Rev Christophorus Ramban (Superior, Mar Kuriakose Ashram , Mylapra) .Fr.Prof.Alexander George – professor of History at Pathanamthitta Catholicate College and an excellent religious orator and Fr.Zacharias Madathil of Orthodox church and Fr.Varghese Manalel of Malankara Catholic church  uphold the name of their families in their own folds .62
Narickal  -(Punaloor):The St.Jude Malankara Catholic Church was built by this family.63
Vettikamattom - (Muvattupuzha):St.Peters and St.Pauls Syrian Jacobite Church ,Kadathi established in 1040ME was built by the efforts of Mathai kathanar of this family RevFr.Kuriakose Kaseesa and Rev.Fr Paulose Kaseesa have been in the  service of Jacobite Church.64 


57.Adoor Pathiseril family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition
58.Anchal Aluvila family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition
59.Chenagannur   Mukathukudumbayogam
60.Edanadu family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition
61Pandanad Chirakakathu family history formThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition
62.Mannar manalel family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition
63.Punaloor Valiyavila family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition
64. Muvattupuzha  Vettikamattom family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition


Migration from Kallada Thulaserry Manapurathu Tharavadu to Pandanadu and establishment of Oorayil family – a branch of Chirakakathu family

            In the latter part of the 18th century ( around three hundred years ago) three  brothers of the Thulasserymanapurathu family – Mathen , Ittyoken, KunjuThomman had to leave Kallada  owing to  conflicts with their  local ruler .One of the brothers  Mathen   traveled north on a barge (large boat )and settled on the banks of Pampa river at Naakada , Pandanadu .He  constructed large embankments called ‘chira’ (in Malayalam)  around his home and landed property and hence  their family came to be called   Chirakakathu . Mathen’s sons are –  Mathen, Itty, Paapy and Chandy .While   Mathen’s eldest son Mathen  settled in the ancestral Chirakakathu home the other sons Itty ,Paapy and Chandy were invited by the Mithramadom  Nambuthiri   to settle at Keezhvanmazhy. Mathen  , his son Mighty Mathen  and mighty Mathen’s youngest son  stayed at  the ancestral    Chirakakathu home . But  as Mighty Mathen’s youngest son  had no  male heir ,  the Chirakakathu family lost possession of their ancestral home   . Having  ran out of a  male descendent  the Chirakakathu family adopted by marriage a male member of   Pandanad Kandathil family   . Hence the ancestral  Chirakakathu home came into the possession of the  Pandanad Kandathil family  .The descendents Mighty Mathen’s elder son who settled beside  the ancestral Chirakakathu home are known as the  Chirakakathu Thekethayil branch .
 While the Chirakathu Thekethayil branch settled in Naakada under the patronage of Aambakad chiefs the  Oorayil, Kalathrayil and Kumbramannil branches settled in Keezhvanmazhy under the patronage of the Mithramodom chief.

   The descendants of  Itty established the Oorayil  family , descendants of Chandy are called  Kalathrayil family  and descendants of Paappy are known as  Kumbramannil family .

 Contributions of the family in the Political , Social and Religious spheres

 The Chirackakathu family was  honorably  received and given a respectable position by the  Mithramadom and Ambakad chiefs of Pandanadu owing to their Syrian ancestry and history of being the beneficiary of  the  Tharissapalli chepped . The Chirackakathu family amassed huge landed property from the wealth they had brought from Kallada . Even   after arriving in Pandanadu they flourished in agriculture and trade. It’s said that they buried their riches( gold ) and kept  an ‘Ural’  on top as a landmark to protect it from the robbers of that age called Paandiparayar . But unfortunately the landmark was displaced in the monsoon floods and they could never recover it  . It is said that this family had a share in the ownership of the Keezhvanmazhy Chundanvallom ( snake boat)
 Chirakakathu family since settling in Pandanadu maintained their religious tradition by celebrating  the yearly ‘Sraadham’ ( remembrance) of Mar Andrayos Bava , a tradition tracing back to their Kallada days.  The land for constructing the St. Mary’s Orthodox Church at Pandanadu was donated by members of the Chirakakathu family .
 While all the members of the  Chirakakathu family belonged to the Orthodox Church  they all together  conducted Vellamkudi nercha and Sraadham every year  in honour of  mar Andryaos bava and they also attended Mar Anthrayos Bava’s yearly ‘sraadham’ ( day of remembrance) at their family Church at Kallada . But  after the founding  of the Marthoma Church a section of the family  who joined the Marthoma rite discontinued attending the ‘Sraadham’ .This in turn weakened the family cohesion . Now half of  the Chirakakathu  family members belong to Marthoma rite  and the other half  to the Orthodox faith

 Pandanad Oorayil family tree and time line

9th century – migration from Syria / Persia  to Kollam. Descendents of Mar Sabore

12th centuryMigration from Kollam to Kallada and establshment of Kallada Thulasserymanapurathu Tharavadu .

12th century    - Thulaserrymanapurathu  Marthamariyam church

17th century  -              Mar Anthrayos Bava 


Mathen of Thulasserymanapurathu migrated to Pandanad and established Chirackathu family  in    the 18th century , about 300 years ago )
Mathen had 4 sons -                                                       
(1)C.Itty Oorayil                      (2) Chandy Kalathrayil         (3) Pappy Kumbramannil   (4)   Mathen Thekethayil

 C. Itty Oorayil had 2 sons - (1) C.I.Idiculla                           (2)   C.I Joseph (kept initial C. for Chirakakathu)
 C.I Idiculla had one son -  O.I.Idichandy    
 O.I.Idichandy had 5 sons - (1)O.I.Mathew(2) O.I.Pothen (3)O.I.Thomas(4)O.I.John  (5)   O.I.George         
C.I Joseph  had 5 sons -   (1) Barrister George Joseph (2)Pothen Joseph(3) Koshy Joseph (4)P.M Joseph(5)  Thomas Joseph