CALICUT (Zamindari) 




LOCATION: Madras (Malabar
POPULATION:  76,981 (1901)
Kovilakam Sri MANAVIKRAM RAJA, Zamorin of Calicut
born 22nd March 1919 in Calicut, the Zamorin,
though a figurehead for all
practical purposes is a
highly respected and popular figure. The census operations in Calicut
usually starts from the Zamorin’s residence. He is a unifying
figure in a part of Kerala where Hindus and Muslims make a large part
of the population. Previously he was much in demand to attend social
events and gatherings but this inclination has fallen off, due to the
Zamorin’s health and advanced age; prior to becoming the Zamorin he
worked in the
Engineering Branch of the Posts and Telegraphs; married Smt Rani
Bharathi Raja, died 1997, and has issue, three daughters.

  • Sethu Raja, died 1965.
  • Smt. Dr. Sudha Krishnanunni Raja, a paediatrician in the
    Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital in Calicut; married Dr.
    Puthyia Kovilakam Krishnanunni Raja. (‘Suhrutham’, Chalapuram
    P.O., Kozhikode – 673002, Madras, India)
  • Smt. Sarala Vaasu, a college Professor from Stella Maris
    College, Madras, now retired.
The city of Calicut (traditional name is Nediyirippu
Swaroopam) was founded in the 14th century. Zamorin is the
anglicised version of Samoothirippadu
or Samoothiri Raja, a title
of the rulers of the erstwhile Hindu state of Kozhikode (previously
known as Calicut), located in the present day state of Kerala, India,
between the 14th and 18th century. The Rajas finally succumbed to the
rising power of the state of Mysore, led by Hyder Ali in 1766, a treaty
was signed with the British in 1806, reducing the state to the status
of a zamindari. The zamorin became a
pensioner of the British government, with the ruling Zamorin entitled
to an
allowance called Malikhanam, this was considered to be
different to the Privy Purse and therefore is still paid to each
succeeding Zamorin though
it has devalued to a paltry sum. The
royal family is divided into three branches (#2),
viz. Kizhakke (East)
Kovilakam, located in Kottakkal, Puthiya (New) Kovilakam, located in
Tiruvannur and Padinjara (West) Kovilakam located in Mankaavu, all
three are currently within the modern district of Calicut or
Kozhikode. The family follows the well-known Marumakkalayam law of
inheritance, by which the succession is always to the offspring of its
female members only, and among these the next eldest male to the
Zamorin is the heir-apparent. On
the death of the Zamorin, his successor is always the oldest male from
any of these
three Kovilagams or branches. The next in line is known as the
‘Eralppad Raja’
and coincidentally the present Eralppad Raja also belongs to Puthiya
Kovilakam. Rulers

  • Zamorin MANAVIKRAMAN, 81st Zamorin of Calicut, he received
    the Portuguese
    explorer Vasco da Gama on 18th May 1498.
  • …….
  • Zamorin BHARANI TIRUNAL  1684/1705
  • …..
  • Zamorin MANAVIKRAMAN 1729/1741
  • Zamorin (name unknown) Kilakke Kovilakam 1741/1746
  • Zamorin (name unknown) Puthiya Kovilakam 1746/1758
  • Zamorin (name unknown) Kilakke Kovilakam 1758/1766,
    in 1766, he was being beleaguered by Haidar Ali of Mysore, and set fire
    to his palace, and voluntarily perished in the flames.
  • Zamorin (name unknown) Puthiya Kovilakam 1766/1788
  • Zamorin (name unknown) Puthiya Kovilakam 1788/1798,
    the state was ceded to the English by the treaty with Tipu Sultan in
  • Zamorin (name unknown) Puthiya Kovilakam 1798/1816
  • Zamorin (name unknown) Puthiya Kovilakam 1816/1825
  • Zamorin KARIASTHAN TAMPURAN Patinjare Kovilakam
    1825/1828,after accession in 1806 the British eliminated
    the Patinjare Kovilakam from the succession because they had borne
    arms against them at some time and were unrepresented at the time of
    the original signing of the treaty, the Zamorin fought
    a case against the government for recognition of Patinjare
    Kovilakam’s right to take part in succession, he won the case and
    in his time became Zamorin.
  • Zamorin ETTANETTAN TAMPURAN Puthiya Kovilakam 1828/1845
  • Zamorin (name unknown) Puthiya Kovilakam 1845/1848
  • Zamorin KUTTUNNI SAKTAN TAMPURAN Kilakke Kovilakam 1848/1856
  • Zamorin VALIA ETTAN TAMPURAN Kilakke Kovilakam 1856/1859
  • Zamorin ETTANETTAN TAMPURAN Patinjare Kovilakam 1859/1868
  • Zamorin Sri Manavikraman Kutti Ettan Puthiya Kovilakam,
    Maharaja Bahadur
    of Calicut, 1868/1892, K.C.G.I., F.M.U. (#1),
    born 19th March 1820, he succeeded to the gadi on 26th March 1868, 119th in
    descent from the founder of the family, who derived his title from
    Cheraman Perumal, in 352AD, he started
    an English school in June 1877, to impart English education to the
    young members
    the Zamorin’s family. Today, it has grown into a prestigious
    known as “The Zamorin’s Guruvayurappan College”. He was granted the
    title of Maharaja Bahadur in 1878 and appointed a Fellow of the Madras
    University in 1882, created a Knight Commander of the Most Exalted
    Order of the Star of India on 25th May 1892.
  • Zamorin Cheria Kunhunni Tampuran Kilakke Kovilakam 1892/1900
  • Zamorin Cheri Yettan Tampuran Puthiya Kovilakam 1900
  • Zamorin Kutti Ammaman Tampuran Puthiya Kovilakam 1900/1904
  • Zamorin Unni Anujan Tampuran Puthiya Kovilakam 1904/1909
  • Zamorin Kunhi Anujan Tampuran (unknown) Kovilakam
  • Zamorin Vidvan Ettan Tampuran Patinjare Kovilakam 1912/1915
  • Zamorin Kuttuni Tampuran Patinjare Kovilakam 1915/1928
  • Zamorin Anujan Kunhunni Tampuran Patinjare Kovilakam
  • Zamorin Cheri Yamian Manaveda Kilakke Kovilakam 1931/1937
  • Zamorin Manavikrama Kuttietan Tirunal Kilakke Kovilakam
  • ………
  • Sreemanavikraman Raja, Zamorin of Calicut, died May 1958.
  • Kunhammaman Raja, Zamorin of Calicut 1958/-
  • P.C. Cheria Kunhunni Raja, Zamorin of Calicut
  • …..
  • P.K. Kuttianujan Raja, Zamorin of Calicut to 19th January
  • P.K. Ettanunni Raja Thiruvannur Kovilakam, Zamorin of
    Calicut [19.1.1998] – [16.8.2003], born 14th August 1910 in Thiruvannur
    Puthiya Kovilakam as the son
    of Vamanan Namboothiri of Thanatt Illam and Sreedevi alias ‘Aniyathi
    educated at the Zamorin-owned institutions, including the Srikrishna
    as the Zamorin, he was the trustee of 36 temples, including the
    Sri Krishna Temple and the Thali Temple in Kozhikode, he was also the
    of many educational institutions maintained by the Zamorin family. He
    entitled to the ‘Malihana’, a maintenance paid from the State
    worked as teacher at the Zamorin-owned institutions and as clerk and
    at many private institutions before assuming the office of Zamorin,
    a Sanskrit scholar, died unmarried 16th August 2003 (uncle of Sreedevi
    Satya Varma and Radha Bhanu Varma)
  • P.K. S. Raja Thiruvannur Kovilakam, aged 90 at his
    to Ettanunni Raja.


  • Shrimati M. Lakshmi Amma : wife of Late P Ramchandran Nair,
    daughter of
    PK Ravi Varma Raja and daughter-in-law of KC Mana Vikraman Raja, DC,
    Zamorin (king) of Calicut.

The help of Shri A. Rammohan is gratefully acknowledged,
June 2010.

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