Sites & cities that bear the name of Pazhayangadi


Today in : India
First trace of activity : ca. 5th century C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Ezhimala, Elimala, Mooshika Sailam, Sapta Sailam, Monte d'Eli, Mount Delly, Mount Eli, Pazhayangadi, Pazhi, Payangadi

Description : Pazhayangadi (Also called Payangadi), is a small township, approximately 22 kilometers north of district headquarters Kannur, 14 kilometers south of Payyanur and 14 kilometers west of Taliparamba in the South Indian state of Kerala. In the local language of Malayalam it literally means "Old Market". The town is bounded by the Madayi Hills (Madayippara) on the west and by the Pazhayangadi River on the south. Ezhimala, a range of hills, that is believed to be home to a variety of medical herbs including mrithasanjeevini, and a very ancient recorded history, is situated nearly 8 km west of Pazhayangadi. Ezhimala, a hill reaching a height of 286 metres, is located near Payyanur, in Kannur district of Kerala, south India. It is a part of a conspicuous and isolated cluster of hills, forming a promontory, 38 km north of Kannur (Cannanore). As the former capital of the ancient Mushika Kingdom, Ezhimala is considered to be an important historical site. A flourishing seaport and center of trade around the beginning of the Common Era, it was also one of the major battlefields of the Chola-Chera Wars, in the 11th century. It is believed by some that Buddha had visited Ezhimala. Ezhimala, which is part of Ramanthali panchayath, is one of the most important places in the recorded history of north Malabar. From before the period of known history, some chapters of the Ramayana and local Hindu legends associate the Ezhimala Hills with the famous epic, in particular with Hanuman. Ezhimala, Pazhayangadi, and several villages and towns in this region find plenty of mention in the extant Tamil Sangam Period's literature (500 BC to 300 AD). Pazhayangadi is the present corrupted form of its ancient name of Pazhi. Pazhi is mentioned as the ancient capital of King Udayan Venmon Nannan (known as Nannan or Nandan) of the Mushika or Kolathiri Royal Family. Though the Dynasty of Nannans was a cousin or sister dynasty of the Cheras and Pandyas and Cholas, warfare among them was nearly consistent, and the period of Nannan was no exception. There are texts that speak of Nannan fighting heroic battles at Pazhi against the Chera Kings who invaded his kingdom (Kolathunadu). Eventually, Nannan was killed in battle by the Chera king, Narmudi Cheral. Like the other kings of the then Tamilakam cultural polity, Narmudi Cheral was a great patron of scholars and poets, and he once gifted his court-poet, Kappiyattu Kappiyanar with 40 lakhs gold coins, as a token of his poetic genius. Extant Tamil Sangam texts describe the glory and wealth of the ancient Pazhi in the highest terms. Sangam Era poets, as well as Classical Tamil poets of later centuries, like Paranar, speak of the wealth of Pazhi in the greatest degree. One of the Sangam pieces, Akam 173 speaks of "Nannan's great mountain slopes where goldfields abound, and long bamboos dried in the Sun burst and released the unfinished pearls." Noted scholar, Elamkulam Kunjan Pillai states that "It is from Kottayam (of North Malabar) and Cannanore regions of old Ezhimalainad that innumerable Roman (gold) coins have been excavated. On one (single) occasion (gold) coins that could be carried by six porters were obtained. These coins were found to belong to the period down to 491 AD". Ezhimala was also a flourishing seaport and center of trade at least by the start of the Common Era; and later was also one of the major battlefields of the series of Chola-Chera Wars in the 11th century; some believe that Buddha had visited Ezhimala. Mooshika Vamsham, written by Athulan in the 11th century, throws light on the recorded past of the Mushika Royal Family up until that point. The first recorded king of Mooshika Vamsham (the Mooshika Dynasty) was Ramaghata Mooshika and his capital most probably was Pazhi (ancient Pazhayangadi). Athulan describes the later kings of this dynasty who are now better known as the Kolathiri Dynasty. King Ramaghata Mooshika's successors shifted their capital to Ezhimala, Valabhapattanam (Valapattanam), and eventually Chirakkal, among other nearby places, over the following centuries.

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