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Granthavari – Importance Of Granthavaris In Kerala History

Ancient land, property and financial records found in Kerala temples, Kovilakams and Illams are known as Granthavari. They are of immense importance in studying history of Kerala. Some of the most important Granthavaris were found in the Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram and Vadakkumnathan Temple in Thrissur.

3000 blocks each containing more than 1000 olas (palm leaf manuscripts) is part of the Granthavari collection of Padmanabhaswamy Temple as per sadasya thilakan T K Velupillai. As per another scholar Maheswaran Nair, the temple has nearly 300,000 palm leaf manuscripts.

Granthavari of Padmanabhaswamy temple was first published by R Mahadeva Iyer who wrote the Thiruvithamkoor Land Revenue Manual. The fifth volume of the manual has 808 Granthavaris.

Some of the other important Granthavaris are Perumpadappu Granthavari (Kochi), Kozhikodan Granthavari (Zamorins), Vanjeri Granthavari and Koodali Granthavari.

Granthavari found in Padmanabhaswamy temple was also published by M Rajaraja Varma in Kerala Society Papers. Ulloor S Parameswara Iyer published a volume with important records having historical importance. The second volume of Thiruvithamcore State Manual has 202 Granthavari of Padmanabhaswamy temple and this was published by Sadasya Thilakan T.K.Velupillai.

Granthavari helped in writing the initial history for many kingdom in Kerala including Travancore and Cochin kingdoms.