Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker: the forerunner of Sri Narayana Guru

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Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker: the forerunner of Sri Narayana Guru

  • Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker was also known as Kallaseril Velayuthan Panikker or Chekavar of Arattupuzha
  • He was an Ezhava warrior who fought against oppression by the upper castes.
  • He was born on 7 January 1825
  • He was the son of Kallisseri Perumal Chekor of the renowned Kallissery Tharavad.
  • Stories claim him to have been tall, muscular and fair-skinned and he acted as a protector.
  • The anthropologists Filippo and Caroline Osella consider Velayudha Panicker to be a forerunner of Sri Narayana Guru
  • His grandfather Vallikadavil Perumal Chekavan was even proficient in Tulunadan Kalari Techniques
  • Velayudhan studied Ayurveda, Astrology, Sanskrit and Kalripayattu
  • He married Velumpy of Varanapally
  • He caught hold of the thief who robbed Salagramam from Tharananaloor Namboothiri.
  • As a compliment the Travancore King gave him a title of Panickan, later it was modified as Panicker.
  • He learned Kathakali, considered to be a Namboothiri Brahmin art
  • He started a Kathakali troupe called Kalisseri Kathakali Yogam with the help of Ambalapuzha Madhava Kurup.
  • Panicker organized Achipudava Strike
  • It was for Achipudava for lower caste women that cover the portion below the knee and he was succeeded.
  • He was also associated with Mookkuthy Chantha incidence in Pandalam.
  • By this a permission granted to lower class women to wear gold ornaments
  • Panicker had commanded all Channar women in his area to cover their upper body and he bought and distributed upper cloths to all Avarna women in Kayamkulam market.
  • He had gone to Guruvayur temple, dressed like a Brahman and spent ten days of learning puja and installion of temple deities.
  • When his identity was uncovered by a Brahmin, he threw a bag of Gold onto the table saying, “Yes, I am a Panicker; take this Gold for your services.”
  • The irate temple officials chased him as far as Cherthala
  • In 1852 he travelled to Goa where he learned Brahminical rites used for temple worship.
  • In 1852, he founded a temple in Mangalathu village.
  • Viswanathan Gurukal of Kandiyur, Mavelikkara installed Sivlinga and panicker himself did the pooja.
  • The founder of Edackadu Njaneshwaram Temple was Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker
  • All castes and tribes were allowed to worship there.
  • Panicker built another temple in Cheruvaranam in 1853.
  • Panicker also founded a school and a library in Arattupuzha.
  • He was killed in 1874 during a boat journey by a group of upper class people who attacked him from behind during the darkness of night.
  • Community Hall in memory of Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker is situated in Mangalam (Alappuzha)
  • Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker Research Foundation and Cultural Centre is also situated at Mangalam

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