Two swords, medieval European in style and finish, were found in a well in Mannazhi Desam, near Kottakkal, in Malappuram district, S. Rajendu, a researcher in history who has reported the discovery of the sword, told The Hindu on Wednesday.
“The swords look like an iron blade without a central fuller… arched hilt with arms bent toward the grip…with one cup-shaped lobbed iron pommel. The place where the swords were found was once part of Valluvanad,” he said
There are local people who believe the swords were weapons used in ‘Mamankam,’ a ritualistic festival that was being celebrated in Tirunavaya since reign of Chera dynasty. The Zamorin of Calicut invaded Valluavanad in 14th century A.D. He seized the Kottakkal fort, Thiruvenkitta Kotta, from Karuvayoor Moosad, the Minister of Valluvakkonathiri.
The Zamorin captured the chieftainship of Mamamkam during this period. Karuvayoor Moosad changed his seat from Kottakkal to Puzhakkattiri, near Perinthalmanna, soon after this incident.
The four Panicker chieftains of Valluvanad – Chenthrathil, Puthumana, Vayankara and Verkkott – retreated from Thirunavaya refusing to present at ‘Imakkoti,’ a ritualistic sign that acknowledges the dominance of the Zamorin.
The four Panicker chieftains returned to the next Mamamkam as ‘Chavers’ or suicide squads to exterminate the Zamorin.
“But it is unlikely these swords were part of Mamamkam because the etching on the cross-guard bottom on these weapons is neat and sophisticated, unlike the locally made weapons that were popular those days. Both swords are of same type. It is assumed that these swords were either abandoned in the Kottakkal area by some medieval European soldiers or thrown into the well during the invasion of Mysorean army led by Hyder Ali or Tipu Sultan. Their army had been able to get such swords with the help of French soldiers who knew how to make swords of that type,” the researcher said.
The well is in the vicinity of the Puvvil Bhagavathy temple, small shrine run by a family from Ezhava community. This place is called Mannazhi-Kottappuram, probably for the reason that a small mud-fort might had existed there.