COCHIN THIRUMALA DEVASWOM

Gosripuram as the Hub of Activity

The Cochin Tirumala Devaswom Temple, is the centre of Gauda Saraswat Brahmin community at Cochin. The governance of the temple and community is carried out according to a constitution framed by Swami Upendra Thirtha, the third pontiff of Sree Kashi Mutt Samsthan. According to the constitution, the well being of the community is closely connected to the temple management.
The constitution holds it as the duty of the Devaswom to help in the cremation of the dead, to give free education to the helpless and poor boys and girls belonging to the community, to help in the performance of Upanayanam to poor boys of the community, to give food & shelter to widows of the community and meeting the expenses out of the Devaswom funds. During the early 17th Century, the Raja of Cochin recognized the community as Mahajanas and their settlement (Sanketam) was called Gosripuram. The raja even conferred on the community the powers to exercise the criminal and civil proceedings with in the Sanketam. Small temples were built inside the Sanketam and the idols of Kuladevatas brought along from Goa were consecrated. The community members even today worship their Kuladevtas every day and before the start of any religious and social function. A plot on the north west side of Gosripuram is still called "Sasashtiparambu" in memory of the sixty six villages (Sasashti) to which they belonged to in Goa.

The Gauda Saraswat Brahmins who settled in Cochin were supreme in trade and commerce and they were dependent on the European Masters. During that time every European company in Cochin had at least one community member in their rolls. They had great influence on the Europeans. The Gauda Saraswat Brahmin community of Cochin enjoyed greater privileges during the Dutch period. During the second half of the 17 Century AD, the Dutch made an unsuccessful attempt to capture the Fort at Cochin from the Portuguese. The Konkanis who rendered assistance to the Dutch were tortured by the Portuguese and the Tirumala temple belonging the Konkanis, their houses, their markets etc were plundered. The Konkanis had to flee from Cochin to a place called Udayamperur. But later when the Portuguese surrendered to the Dutch, the Konkanis resettled at Cochin and reconstructed the temple. The second Prathistha of Lord Venkatesvara was performed in the reconstructed temple at Cochin during the year 1719 AD.

The Origin of Gowda

The Origin of Gowda  

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