Rajakumari is a small town in the Western Ghats mountain region. Now, it is primarily
known to the world by the presence of the Deivamatha catholic Syrian church, a pilgrim
centre of Holy Mary. A historical investigation will bring us to 8th century, beyond
which nothing is certain. This area was under the rule of Arwar, a king in Chera
dynasty. It is believed that Chera culture was prevailing here. Inhabitants were
a mixture of Tamilians, Telungu and Kannadas. Historians also believe in another
migration from Pandya in Samkha period. Some remnants of great ancient had been
found, viz. Ornaments, stonal seats, large pitchers made of clay to bury the human
bodies called nannangady, rooms made of big stone pieces to bury the dead bodies
of the monks named muniyara.
Rajakumari and its premises have a treasure of revealed and not-yet revealed links
to very ancient cultures. Moreover, many of the names of places are related to ancient
royal systems. Some of them are given:
Thampurankulam = Pond of the King
Sooryakottai = Rock of Treasury
Aramanappara = Rock of palace
Rajakumari = Princess
Rajakkad = Abide of the King
Senapathy = Head of the soldiers
Migration in 20th century
Some of the reasons:- 1. Those who were cultivating cardomom were given chempolapattayam
(permission written on copper plates) to cultivate and own the land. 2. 2nd world
war pushed the people into famine and poverty in 1940s.Thiru-Kochi Diwan Sir C.P.
Ramaswamikal persuaded those who suffered the aftermaths of the war to migrate to
High ranges. 3. After the freedom of India in 1947 there emerged the need of formation
of states on the basis of language. Since high ranges were dominated by Tamilians,
Tamil Nadu congress tried to attach these areas to Madras State. In order to resist
this, Pattam Thanupillai allowed for migration.
The Name ‘Rajakumari’
The first church was founded by Rev. Fr. Zecharias Pittappillil in 1955. At that
time this area was known as Vengachuvadu. Some of the parishioners, with Fr. Zecharias,
met the metropolitan of Ernakulam-Angamaly arch diocese to discuss about the foundation
of the new church. Arch bishop inquired about the name to be given to the place.
At that time, the name of a cardomom estate near to the church was ‘Rajkumar estate’.
Moreover, the proposed church was in the name of the Holy Queen. Adding an ‘i’ to
Rajkumar, His beatitude named Vengachuvadu as Rajakumari, which means, “princess”.
The cultural influence
During the infancy of Deivamatha church, there emerged a Jacobite Syrian church
in the same of St. John. In the flow of time there arose St. George’s Jacobite church
in Kuruvillacity, St. Maria Goretti catholic church in Murikkumthotty, Sree Ramachandra
Devi Temple in Rajakumari, Sree Krishna temple in Nadumattam and a mosque in Murikkumthotty.
All these have their own specific influence in the growth of Rajakumari.
The Eight Days’ Feast
Eight days in September (1-8) are known as 8 days lent for the honour of Our Lady.
It is a trend in South India that almost all the faithful spend time in prayer and
contrition and visit the Marian churches in these days. The great feast is celebrated
in Rajakumari on 8th September. From 1st September, thousands of people are flowing
to the church from all over Kerala and western parts of Tamil Nadu.