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Moopil Nair was the term used to denote the Naaduvazhis and Desavazhis (Rulers) of small princely states in Kerala, who belonged to the Samanthan Nair subcaste rather than the Raja or Varma subcastes. Rajas ruled most of the kingdoms in Kerala, which were divided in to Naads. These Naads were placed under the administration of Naaduvazhis (Nairs belonging to the top most subcastes). These Naads were again divided in to Desams, which were ruled by the Desavazhis or Moopil Nairs. Those Nairs, who ranked directly below them were called Elaya Nair. The most famous of the Moopil Nairs were the Vellattiris (Valluvakonathiri Moopil Nairs), who ruled the Kingdom of Valluvanadu before the Zamorin's forces conquered it. Other important ones were Kavalappara Moopil Nair (who ruled the small kingdom of Kavalappara Swaroopam), Kuthiravattathu Muppil Nair near Kozhikodemarker, Mannarghat Moopil Nair (ruled the area in and around Attappady) and Kuppathode Moopil Nair (who ruled Pulpally).

Kavalappara Swaroopam

Kavalappara Swaroopam was a small princely state in Malabar. The ruler of Kavalappara Swaroopam was known as Kavalappara Moopil Nair. The headquarters was located at the Kavalappara Palace. Like most of the other local chieftains of Kerala, the Kavalappara Moopil Nair claimed that his right to rule was given by Cheraman Perumal. Along with the other chiefs of South Malabar, the Moopil Nair also became subject to the Zamorin and took part in the Zamorin’s campaign against Cochin. At the peak of his glory, the Moopil Nair of Kavalappara ruled 96 village from Muttangal to Thottungal and from Bharathappuzha River to Mandakkottukurasi near Shoranur. The Junior members in the royal family were known as Unni Elaya Nair and the female members were known as Nethiyar. The biggest pooram festival in Malabar used to take place at the Arayankavu Temple of Shoranur which was owned by the Kavalappara Swaroopam and housing the deity which is their “Paradevatha” (family goddess). After the death of the head of the royal family, Karakkat Kumaran Raman Kochunni Mooppil Nair in 1964, the family estates were caught in dispute among the family members. The temple and the palace properties are now managed by the receiver administrator. The present Moopil Nair is Sathyanathan Unni Muppil Nair.

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