Devaswom & Brahmaswom web sites


I. Primary Sources

 The Kerala State Archives has in its custody a rich and enormous collection of documents dating back to 1424 A.D. These include Palm leaves, Bamboo splints, Copper plates, Paper records and Microfilms. These records are in various languages such as English Malayalam, Old Malayalam, Tamil, Vattezhuthu, Kolezhuthu, and Malayanma etc. The important Travancore Archives & record series are mentioned below.

  1.  Cover system files (1728-1913)
  2. Revenue and Devaswom sections (1908-1940)
  3.  Public Works Department files (1904-1938)
  4. Development section files (1921-1956)
  5. Travancore Archaeological Series, Vols I – VIII, Trivandrum, (1910-1938)
  6. Legislative and Assembly section (1919-1949)
  7. Judicial section files (1904-1949)
  8. Local government section files (1921-1949)
  9. Madras files
  10. Maps and plans

The Central Archives, Trivandrum one of the Regional offices of this Department has in its possession a prestigious collection of Palm leaf records which is the largest one in Asia. This consists of more than 11000 churunas (palm leaf records kept in bundles each of which consists of about 2004-2005 for the scientific preservation, indexing and digitization of these records. Some important record series are mentioned below.

Palm leaf records

  1. Oluku (These are land records showing the extent of land and ownership details. Huzur Oluku, Taluk oluku, Nilam oluku, Puthuval oluku etc;)(1802-1837)
  2. Vilangipper records (These records show the details of land given as gift) (1837-1839)
  3. Huzur khajana eradavu (These are treasury accounts) (1818-1873)
  4. Pathivinpadi anu (These records relate to the assessment of tax (1818-1839)
  5. Ayakkettu (The details of land in possession of each tax payer is shown in these records) (1802-1939)
  6. Thandapperu (The details of tax assessed on each tax payer is shown) (1839)
  7. Huzur thirattu (Records showing the revenue receipt and expenditure of the state). (1798-1873)
  8. Taluk thirattu & Jamabandi rayasam (Records showing the revenue receipt and expenditure of each taluk) (1819-1870)
  9. Huzur rayasam (Orders issued by Diwan on administrative matters) (1844-1876).
  10. Boundary disputes (Correspondence between the Diwan of Travancore and Cochin on boundary disputes and certain letters sent to the British Resident on the above matter.) (1793-1873)
  11. High Court records (Judgements and decrees issued by the Hon. High Court of Travancore.) (1816-1873)
  12. Records of Head Sircar Vakil (Judgements issued in connection with adoption, family pension etc;) (1814-1877)
  13. Alleppy port records (The details of export and import of food grains etc;) (1812-1873)
  14. Nittus (Royal orders and proclamations issued to Heads of departments on administrative matters) (1756-1873)
  15. Mathilakom records (These records relates to the Sree Padmanabhaswami temple. Travancore was a temple-state. Hence the administration of the state and temple were interrelated. These records contain valuable information on state matters.)

Paper records

  1. Kandezhuthu records of Travancore (Survey records) (1891-1910)
  2. Ayakettu memo (Guidelines for imposing tax)
  3. Jamabandi rayasam (Correspondence relating revenue matters) (1874-1906)
  4. Kandezhuthu eraili records (Details of land given as gift with tax exemption) (1895-1905)
  5.  Judicial records (1865-1905)
  6. Huzur treasury (1871-1908)
  7. Ponnumvila case records (Land acquisition records) (1889-1907)
  8. Travancore Government gazettes (1862-1949)
  9. Cochin government gazettes (1867-1848)
  10. Travancore-cochin Government gazettes (1949-1956)
  11. Kerala government gazettes (1956 onwards)
  12. Fort Saint George gazettes� (1833-1948)
  13. Mysore Govt. gazettes (1908-1922)
  14. Regulations and Proclamations of Travancore (1835-1945)
  15. Administration reports of Travancore (1892-1940)
  16. Almanac (The Travancore Directories) (1849-1949)
  17. Committee reports (1912-1945)
  18. Census reports of Travancore (1891-1941)
  19. Census Reports of Travancore-Cochin (1951)
  20. Show-case records (The important Palm leaf and Paper records relating to the social, cultural, economic and other incidents in Travancore history)

South Indian Archaeological Sources

  1. A Topographical List of the inscriptions of the Madras Presidency,
    collected till 1915 with Notes and References, (Ed), Rangacharya, V.,
    3 (Vols), Madras, 1919.
  2. A Topographical List of inscriptions of the Tamilnadu and Kerala State,
    (Ed.) T.V.Mahalingam, Vol.II, Indian Council of Historical Research,
    Delhi, 1985.
  3. Pallavar Cheppedukal (Thirty Pallava Copper Plates), Tamil Varalatru
    Kazhagam, Madras, 1966.
  4. Pandyar Cheppedukal Pattu (Ten Pandya Copper Plates), Tamil Varalatru
    Kazhagam, Madras, 1967.
  5. South Indian Temple inscriptions (Ed) Subramanian, T.N., Govt Oriental
    Manuscripts Library, Govt of Tamil Nadu, 3 Vols, 1953-1957.


  1.  Avanam; Journal of the Tamilnadu Archaeological society, Tanjavur
  2. Damilika; Journal of Tamilnadu State Department of Archaeology,
    Madras, 1970.
  3. Epigraphica Tamilica, A Journal of Tamil epigraphy (Jaffina [Sri Langa]
    Archeological society) (Ed.) K.Indrapala, 1971.
  4. Indian Archaeology – A Review
  5. Indian Historical Quarterly
  6. Journal of Epigraphical Society of India.
    10. Journal of Indian History
  7. Journal of Madras University
  8. Journal of Tamil Studies, Madras.

Early Proceedings Proceedings of Indian History Congress, 45th Session,Annamalai University, 1984, & Proceedings of the Madurai Historical Society, Madurai, January, 1981.– Subbarayalu. Y.

  1. “Classification of land and Assessment of land tax in Early Medieval Tamil nadu from 950 to 1300 AD”
  2. “Land Assessment in Tamilnadu from 700-1350 AD” in Historica 
  3. Subbarayalu. Y., “An aspects of the Revenue System of the Chola”
  4. “Kudimai: An aspects of the Revenue System of Chola”

Other Reference Records

  1. K.P.Padmanabha Menon, History of Kerala, Vol IV,Government of Cochin,1942
  2. Velupillai.TK,Travancore State manual,Vol.IV,1970.
  3. Jayashanker,S,Temples of Kerala,Directorate of Census perastions,Kerala.1997
  4. Pressler, A, Franklin Religion under bureaucracy,Policy and administration for Hindu temples in south India, camebridge university press, camebridge,2008.
  5. Padmanabhan.S,Temples of South India,Kumaran Pathippagan.Nagercoil,1977.
  6. Sadasivan,SN, party and democracy in India,Tata Mc Graw Hill,Newdelhi,1997.
  7. Yesudas.RN,Col.John Munro in Travancore,Historical society ,Trivandrum,1977
  8. Pillai .kk,Sucindram Temple,Kalakshetra publications,Madras,1953
  9. Suresh Kumar, Political Evolution in Kerala,  Travancore:1859-1938, Pheonix publishers, new delhi,1994
  10. Kerala Devaswom Administrative Reform Commission Report,KP Sankaran Nair Commission, Government press,Trivandrum,1984
  11. Times of India, September, 4, 2012.
  12. The Hindu,August ,26,2015

II. Secondary Sources

A. English

  1. Aiyangar, S.A., Evaluation of Hindu Administrative Institution of South India, University of Madras, Madras,1930.
  2. Heras, H. Rev., Studies in Pallava History, B.G. Paul and Co Publishers, Madras, 1993.
  3. “Temples and Merchants in South India,  AD 900-1300” in Barun De et. al., (Ed). Essays in Honour of Prof. S.C. Sarkar, New Delhi, 1996.
  4. The Cholas. 2nd Edition, University of Madras, Madras, 1955.
  5. The Pandyan Kingdom: From the Earliest Times to the Sixteenth Century, Swathi Publications Madras, 1972.
  6. Rajan Gurukkal, Aspects of the Reservoir, System of Irrigation in the Early Pandya State, Chennai, 1986.
  7. The Revenue System of the Cholas 850-1279 AD, New Era Publications, Madras, 1987.
  8. Sharma, R.S. Land Revenue in India: Historical Studies, Motital Banarasidass, Delhi, 1971.
  9. Sirkar, D.C., Land System and Feudalism in Ancient India, Calcutta, 1965.
  10. Indian Epigraphical Glossary, Delhi, 1966.
  11. Sivaramaiya , C., Glossary of Tamil Words With Explanatory Meaning, Progressive Press, Madras, 1908.
  12. Srinivasa Iyengar, P.T., The Stone Age in India, Madras, 1926.
  13. Stein, Burton, “The Segmentary State in Indian History”, in Richard G. Fax (ed.), Realm and Region in Traditional India, Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 1977.
  14. All King’s Mana : Papers on Medieval South Indian History, New Era Publications, Madras, 1984.
  15. Studies in Chola Histgory, Swathi Pathipaham, Chennai, 2001.
  16. Subramanaya Aiyar, K.V., Historical Sketches of Ancient Deccan, Vol.I,
    Calcutta, 1917.
  17. Swaminathan, S., “Land Transactions at Srinivasanallur”, Rahuman, K.V., et al., (Eds.), Srinidhi ]Perspective in India Archaeology Art and Culture (Shri. K.R. Srinivasan Festschrift) New Era Publication, Madras, 1983.
  18. Tapan, Ray Chaudhuri The Cambridge Economic History of India 1200 and Infan Habib, (Ed), – 1750 AD, Vol I, Cambridge 1982.
  19. Thinakaran, A.J., The Second Pandyan Empire: (AD 1190-1312), Priya Printers, Coimbatore, 1982.
  20. Tirumalai, R., “Brahmadeyas of Puddukkottai District” in Rahuman, K.V., et al., (Eds) Srinidhi: Perspectivein Indian Archaeology Art and Culture (Sri. K.R.
    Srinivasan Fests Chrieft), New Era Publications, Madras, 1983, pp.339-350.
  21. Tirumalai, R., Lands Grants and Agrarians Reactions in Chola and Pandhya Times (Sankar Parvathi Endowment Lecturer; 1983), University of Madras, Madras, 1987.
  22. Studies in the History of Ancient Townships of Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology, Madras, 1981.
  23. Pandyan Townships, Part I and II, Department of Archeology, Government of Tamil Nadu, Chennai, 1994.

B. Tamil

  1. Rajamanikam Pillai. M., Pallava Varalaru (Tamil), Tirunelveli Ten India
    Saiva Siddhanda Nurpadhipukazham Ltd., Tirunelveli, 1968.
  2. Sadasiva Pandarattar, T.V., Pirkkala Cholar Varalaru (History of the Later
    Cholas in Tamil) 3 Vols, Annamalai University, Annamalainagar, Chidambaram 1974
  3. Pandiar Varalaru, Saiva Siddhanta Publishing, Tirunelveli, 1972.

Supporting Acts and Regulations

  1. The Bengal Regulation XIX of 1810
  2. The Madras Endowments and Escheats Regulation, 1817
  3. The Religious Endowments Act, 1863 { Repeal of parts of Bengal Regulation XIX of 1810 and Madras Regulation VII of 1817. —[Rep. by the Repealing Act, 1870 (14 of 1870)}
  5. The Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, 1904
  6. The sections 92 and 93 and Code of Civil Procedure, 1908
  7. The Madras Hindu Religious Endowments Act, 1926 [Board constituted u/S 10]
  8. The Charitale and Religious Trusts Act, 1920
  9. Kuthakappattam Rules, 1947
  10. The Travancore–Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act .1950
  11. The Madras Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act 1951
  12. The Requisition and Acquisition of Property Act, 1955
  14. The Kandu krishi Land Assignment Rules, 1958
  15. The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958
    ACT, 1959 (Tamil Nadu Act 22 to 1959)
  17. Thiruppuvaram Payment (Abolition) Act, 1960
  18. Jenmikaram Payment (Abolition) Act, 1960
  19. The Jenmikaram Transfer of Registry Rules
  20. The Requisition and Acquisition of Property Rules, 1960
  21. The Transfer of Registry Rules, 1966
  22. The Sreepadam Land Enfranchisement Act, 1969
  23. The Sreepadam Lands (V & E) Rules, 1970
  24. The Koodalmanickam Devaswom Act, 1971 (Act 7 Of 1971)
  25. The Sree Pandaravaka Lands (V&E) Act, 1974
  26. The Sree Pandaravaka Lands (V&E) Rules
  27. The Guruvayoor Devaswom Act 1978
  28. Kerala Service Inam Lands (V&E) Act, 1981
  29. Explosives Rules 1983
  30. The Place Worship Act, 1991
  31. Public Records Act, 1993.
  32. The Right to Information Act, 2005

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