Rama Varman Kulashekhara
Last king of the Chera Dynasty
from 1090 to 1102 AD and the first king of the independent Venad state from 1102 - 1122 AD. After significant military success over the Chola dynasty he abdicated the throne and is claimed to have converted to Islam.
The end of the Chera dynasty
Rama Varman Kulashekhara ascended the throne during a period of severe crisis. Kulothunga Chola I
had occupied Nanjanad and south Kerala and was proceeding towards Kollam
, the capital of the Venad
kings in 1096 AD. Rama Varma resolved to beat back the Cholas
and rallied all his patriotic forces. A large body of Chera army transformed into suicide squads (Chavers
). The capital city of Mahodayapuram (present Kodungallur
) and surrounding places were devastated in the long war and the king, without even a palace of his own, is known to have stayed at alternative frugal accommodations.
Towards the end of the war he shifted the capital from Mahodayapuram to Kollam and led a large army to stem the Cholas in the south. Kulothinga was defeated and withdrew towards Kottar. The Cholapuram
records (1100 AD) that codified the achievements of Kulothunga Chola refer to this. The Cholas could not regain their influence beyond Nanjanad after this defeat. The death of Rama Varman Kulashekhara marked the end of the Kulashekhara kingdom of Mahodayapuram. Venad attained the status of an independent kingdom, of which Rama Varman Kulashekhara is regarded as the founder.
The later... Read More