Temples in Travancore: History, Polity and Governance

  • P K Rajagopal Assistant Professor, PG Department of Political Science, NSS Hindu College, Changanacherry, Kerala, India https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2658-1312
Keywords: Devaswom, Temple Entry, Temple Administration, Devaswom Board


Temples in Kerala have been all the time, amazing factors in the society for their uniqueness in tradition, customs, rituals, festivals, art, architecture, mural paintings, etc. It is believed that most of the ancient Hindu temples in Kerala have been consecrated by Parasurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. According to legend, after the departure of Parasurama, the Brahmins became the virtual rulers of the land. They divided the land into several Desams, and in each, they erected a temple, consecrated it and placed an image in them, and performed the prescribed rituals. The ownership of Hindu temples became the bone of contention for the temples that were associated with power in the locality. In the course of the conflict for the ownership of temples, the management of several of them became disorderly, and the state had, in consequence, to assume their control through the exercise of its paramount melkoima right. This paper is a historical analysis of the role of temples in society and the evolution of temple administration in the erstwhile Travancore state.

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