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BRIEF HISTORY OF PALIAM

Paliath Achan is a historical figure appearing now and then in the annals of Kerala from the 16th to the 19th centuries. It is certain that Paliam family is linked with Cochin Royal Family or Perumpadappu Swarupam. Records show that with the arrival of Portughese in Kerala, Kochi Raja and Paliath Achan became important historical figures. During this time, Portughese indulged in interfering with the affairs of the Royal family with  regards to adoption. This was in total conflict with the ideas of Paliath Achan and Raja of Kochi. Paliath Achan personally went to Ceylon seeking help from the Governor of Dutch and invited them to Kerala. Thus the Dutch came to power in Kerala by defeating the Portughese and there emerged a close friendship between the Dutch and Paliath Achan. In recognition of the friendship with Achan, the Dutch built a palace for Paliath Achan in Chendamangalam (shown below on the left). The Raja of Kochi was pleased with Achan and installed Komi Achan I as the Prime Minister of Kochi and proclaimed this right to pass on to Achan's descendants. 
 
    Komi Achan II became the Prime Minister of Kochi during the transition period when the Dutch were declining and the British were gaining in power. He was a  great diplomat. He, with Raja of Kochi fought against Marthanda Varma, the Maharaja of Travancore at Shertalai in which the Raja of Kochi was killed and Achan was taken prisoner. Achan became friendly with the members of the Travancore Royal family while in prison. After the reign of  Marthanda Varma, Paliath Achan and the then Maharaja Rama Varma signed a non - aggression treaty at Sucheendram which came to be known as "Achan Pramanam". In the same way, he, by his diplomacy managed to check any aggression from 
the Zamodari and Hyder Ali of Mysore. The era of Govindan Valiyachan is very significant as he was one of the pioneers to initiate the rumblings of freedom movement by opposing the British. In 1808, he along with Veluthampi Dalava fought against the British. He attacked the headquarters of the British Resident, Col. Macaulay and released the prisoners. Macaulay fled. Though initially defeated, the British came back with more power. Govindan Valiyachan surrendered with a plea to the British not to cause any physical harm to his family and loss to his property. The British honoured Achan's plea. 

This in short is the history of Paliam, where the Achans were dominant. Now let us have an insight into the life of the other members of Paliam.The ladies and the minor boys of Paliam 
were living together in the main Tharavad building (shown below right) which has many self contained living quarters (appartments). It has a big Nalu Kettu with Nadu mittam, Akayi and Purathalam where the members gathered for chatting and other recreational activities. There used to be a common dining hall and a common kitchen. All the members dined together and lived together under the protection of Valiachan. In this kind of community living, they had no access to money rather there was no need for money - everything was provided by the administration. The male members who became majors, had separate bachelor living quarters and after their marriage, they lived in houses provided by the administration. This style of 'community living' continued till the partition.