Fast Forward Calicut: Public Library: Public library is a newly rebuilt structure which is situated next to the famed Mananchira. Great reading is in its theme. As they state in their website “The more you learn, The More You Know how much less you know”. Visit the library’s site here. This library is no doubt a great institution the city can boast of.
- 1351 to 1363 – Thirunavaya war : The Samoothiri’s army and the combined armies of his subordinate kings, together attacked the allied army of Walluvanad and Perumpadappu from the north. The war was fought between Thirunavaya and Vakayur. Meanwhile another huge force under Eralpad (Samoothiri prince) commanded the Navy across the sea and landed at Ponnani, with intention to attack Thirunavaya from the south with the army of Thirumanassery Namboothiri, and also to prevent the army of Perumpadappu joining Vellaattiri’s armies.
- The Muslim commanders in Ponnani, won over the side of Samoothiri earlier, supported this army with food, transport and provisions. In spite of the fact that the soldiers of Walluvanad did not get the timely help of Perumpadappu they fought vigorously and the war dragged on. It was only through machinations and tact that Samoothiri gained in the war. News became afloat that Samoothiri was able to win over the tutelary deity of Vellaattiri, the Goddess of Thirumanthamkunnu, by propitiating her at Kozhikkode. Nair soldiers of Vellaattiri were gradually unnerved by a growing feeling that their Goddess was deserting them. Samoothiri’s minister Mangattachan was also successful in turning Kadannamanna Elavakayil Vellodi (Junior branch of Kadannamanna) to Samoothiri’s side. In the ensuing war, two of the Vellaattiri princes fell dead in the battlefield. Thus deserted by his tutelary deity and disowned by his own men, Vellattiri at last withdrew from Thirunavaya.
- Closely following the fall of Thirunavaya, Samoothiri captured Vanneri from Perumpadappu. The Perumpadappu Rajas was forced to shift their capital to Thiruvanchikkulam under Samoothiri’s attack.
- After Thirunavaya was captured, Samoothiri proclaimed himself as the Rakshapurusha and announced that from then on, he had the sole right of conducting the Mamankam festival. The next Mamankam at Thirunavaya was conducted under the auspices of Samoothiri with great pomp and splendor. Walluvanad’s army mounted a huge siege on Thirunavaya but Samoothiri had taken every precaution to ward it off.
- ‘Chaver’ – Now began the custom of sending Chaver soldiers or suicide squads to the festival to dispose off the Samoothiri. These Chavers were sworn soldiers who preferred death to defeat, and who sacrificed their lives to avenge the death of their princes in the Thirunavaya war. The death of the Vellaattiri princes also started a period of intense hatred and war between the two kingdoms which was to last for more than four centuries.
- Kudippaka or blood feud was prevalent in the society. If a person was killed, it was the duty of the relatives or even the subsequent generations of the deceased to avenge the death. During the Mamankam festival all other Rajas used to send flags as a symbol of regard to the Samoothiri at Thirunavaya. But Valluvakkonathiri who did not recognize the Samoothiri as the legitimate Rakshapurusha but considered him only a usurper used to send Chavers instead. If these men could kill the Samoothiri, who was protected by thousands of soldiers, the right of Rakshapurusha would have devolved on the Walluvanad Raja.