Archaeologically, although Cochin is rich in proto-historic
and historic relics, the pre-history of Cochin has always
remained a mystery. There has been no clear evidence of
Stone Age man inhabiting these regions. H.D. Sankalia
has remarked that this absence in paleoliths may be because
no search has been made for it or else because of truly
geographical reasons. When the neighbouring states of
Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka have yielded
evidence of palaeolithic sites, it is difficult to accept
that prehistoric man did not set foot in Keralam.
Very little is known about the history of Cochin prior
to the arrival of the Portuguese as neither inscriptions
nor literary works throw much light. Cochin is not even
mentioned in any of the earlier foreign notices of Malabar.
Neither in the accounts of Pliny, Ptolemy, Marco Polo
or Ibn Batuta do we find any mention, though they give
detailed accounts of places situated to the north and
south of Cochin. Though it is generally believed that
Cochin port was formed only as late as 1341 there is
also the possibility of its existence as a small harbour
even earlier. In 1341 the heavy floods that took place
in the Periyar River silted up Cranganore Harbour (Kodungallur).
Useless for purposes of trade, this decline in the importance
of Cranganore led to Cochin’s rise into prominence
and commercial supremacy. The Cochin royal family is
much more ancient. The ruler of Cochin State following
the break-up of Kulasekhara (1102 AD) was a king whose
authority was confined to Cochin and adjoining areas.
The Cochin ruler from the Perumpadappu family was the
descendant of the Kulasekharas of Mahodayapuram in the
maternal line. They were based at Chitrakudam in Perumpadappu
Village till the end of the 13th century.
Conquest | Pre