Zamorins & Political Culture of Medieval Kerala

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The Zamorin—ruler of the kingdom of Kōḻikkōṭu in modern-day Kerala—left an indelible mark on world history when he welcomed Vasco da Gama in 1498. But a few centuries earlier, the Zamorin was only a local chief, heading a few villages. How did he become an independent ruler after the disintegration of the Cēras in the twelfth century? How did the Zamorin come to be recognised and legitimised as the ‘king’? This story of the creation of an image of royalty is the focus of Zamorins and the Political Culture of Medieval Kerala. Relying on the archival richness of a large collection of unpublished palm leaf manuscripts, this book reconstructs the days of the Zamorin. It carefully details the power and authority he claimed and actually wielded, and the various methods through which he sought to legitimise it—elaborate rituals, patronage of temples and scholarship, propagation of art and culture, etc. Scholars and students of historiography and history, especially of medieval Indian culture and society, will find it immensely useful.

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