History of Kerala
Prehistoric Period of Kerala
Archaeological studies have identified many Mesolithic, Neolithic and Megalithic sites in Kerala.
These findings have been classified into Laterite rock-cut caves (Chenkallara), Hood stones (Kudakkallu), Hat stones (Toppikallu), Dolmenoid cists (Kalvrtham), Urn burials (Nannangadi) and Menhirs (Pulachikallu).
The studies point to the indigenous development of the ancient Kerala society and its culture beginning from the Paleolithic age, and its continuity through Mesolithic, Neolithic and Megalithic ages.
However, foreign cultural contacts have assisted this cultural formation.
The studies suggest possible relationship with Indus Valley Civilization during the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age.
Archaeological findings include dolmens of the Neolithic era in the Marayur area. They are locally known as “muniyara”, derived from muni (hermit or sage) and ara (dolmen).
Rock engravings in the Edakkal Caves in Wayanad are thought to date from the early to late Neolithic eras around 5000 BCE.
Historian M. R. Raghava Varier of the Kerala state archaeology department identified a sign of “a man with jar cup” in the engravings, which is the most distinct motif of the Indus valley civilisation
In 1498, Vasco Da Gama established a sea route to Kerala and raised Portuguese settlements, which marked the beginning of the colonial era of Kerala.
European trading interests of the Dutch, French and the British East India companies took centre stage during the colonial wars in India.
After the Dutch were defeated by Travancore king Marthanda Varma, the British crown gained control over Kerala by creating the princely state of Travancore until India was declared independent in 1947.
The state of Kerala was created in 1956 from the former state of Travancore-Cochin, the Malabar district of Madras State, and the Kasaragod taluk of Dakshina Kannada.