For a long time, I wanted to meet Basheer Ahmed Siddique, the current head of the Faqih family, who were once natives of Megral. Basheerka’s house is not far from the Megral intersection. Although the old family house named Pudya Pura was demolished and a new house was built, there were many things in that house that could not be erased from history. One thing that helps you to understand that Basheerka’s house is at a glance is the backyard. It’s a cannon. This cannon was gifted to the Faqih or Paki family who were the Muslim rulers of Megral! It was indeed Tipu Sultan who was the Tiger of Mysore.
In 1782, Tipu Sultan’s campaign reached Tulunat. The Mysore army was encamped in Powwal fort at that time. From Megral to Powval, the food items needed by the Mysore army were delivered by the New Pura family members. As a reward for this service, Tipu Sultan came here and presented a cannon. It is also said that Tipu Sultan visited New Pura Tharavad during his campaign. This historic property is preserved in a courtyard. Bashirka has kept not only the cannon but also the iron rod attached to it like gold. When Bashirka tells the history, it is told in a sequence from the beginning to the end.
First in that history comes Maipadi Tampuran who was the King of Kumbala and not Tipu Sultan. I hope he will forgive me for writing out of order. Now we will talk about the origin of the Paki family, their arrival in the Kumbala kingdom, and the subsequent developments. The Arabic word Faqeeh means scholar. Faqih is pronounced as Paki in Malayalam. Centuries ago, their ancestors came to Kumbala from Mahi for trade. The most famous of this family was Savukar Kunjappakki. He was given the title of Savukar by the British.
They came to Kumbala from Mahi to do business. Those who came from Mahi are called Mahipaki or Mahi Faqih. Mahipakkai settled in the Kumbala kingdom at a place called Kumbol near Kumbala. So since reaching here, Mahipakkai came to be known as Kumbol Pakki. Later they moved to Megral. Although it cannot be clearly said that the Paki family came to Kumbala, it is possible to say that it is likely to be during the formation of the Tulunadan kingdom of Kumbala Seema, if we put together the historical fragments.
The kingdom of Kumbala Seema emerged after the disintegration of the joint Tulunadan Alupa kingdom of Alvaketa and before the disintegration of Vijayanagara. This happened between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. But the history of the Alupan province of Kumbala Seema cannot be measured in this period. It is said that Kumbala Seema became a kingdom during this period.
When studying the history of Valluvanad, it was understood that the administrative system was based on a structure of many Brahmin and Nair nobles under the king. It was a decentralized system of governance. The situation was similar with Kumbala Seema. Eight Brahmin families under the king. They adorned the positions of priests and ministers. Below that are four Bund families. The Bunds category includes sub-castes like Shetty, Rai, Hegde, Nawada, etc. The Bunds of Tulunadu are equivalent to the Nair sect of Kerala. Below the eight Brahmin families are four Bund families with Patanayak positions. In addition, a Muslim family holds the position of judge. Thirteen Sthanis come under King Kumbala or King Maipadi. The post of Minister of Legal Affairs in Kumbala Seema was graced by the Paki family of Megral.
Although I have not been able to find out who these Sthanis are, I am sharing some of the names that I know here. There may be mistakes in it. If I get time and circumstances, I will study the same in detail and write again.
- King – Kumbala Dynasty (Maippodi Palace)
- Ministerial Brahmin families – Ballullaya of Mulleri, Kunikilaya of Kasarakote, Irunurlaya of Kumbala, and eight others.
- The Band families (Guthu Manekal) who were warriors were the four clans of Ichlampadi, Bambrana, Kotingar, and Kumbadaje.
- The ruling Muslim family – The Puthiya Pura family of Megral.
There was a court bench on the steps of the new Pura palace. All the complaints in Kumbala Seema were reaching there. The Padipura of Mogral Puthya Pura Tharavat can be described as the High Court of the Kingdom of Kumbala. There is a saying that if the dispute is not resolved in Mogral then it will be in Maipadi. If the case is not settled in Mogral Padipura, then it will be decided before Rajasannidhi. As the Rajshasan would be strict and harsh, any grievances would be settled at Mogral’s doorstep. Basheerka kept a picture of the cage used for examining witnesses in an old newspaper when the court was held in Padipura. That witness stand is not there today.
It has been said that the most famous of the Mogral Paki family was Savukar Kunjipaki. It is believed that he lived for about a hundred years. Although it is not possible to say exactly when he was born, it is clear that he died in 1932. Then his birth would be around 1832. He was a scholar and a poet. Many Mapila songs belong to him. Akhida Mala is a prominent work. Akheedamala written in Arabic Malayalam is still kept by Basheer. Savukar Kunjappakki was also famous as a physician, merchant, and villager. Moin Kutty Vaidyar, the teacher of Mappilapat, was a contemporary of Savukar Kunjappakki. Moin Kutti Vaidyar has come to his home in Mogral several times to visit Kunjappakki. Kunjapakki’s father’s name is Kunjamalipaki and his son’s name is Balamubnu.
His son Balamubnu Faqih was a greater poet than Savukar. He was also known as Kinjamu. When Moin Kutti Vaidyar died in 1892 at the age of forty, his poem Hijra was incomplete. Moin Kutti Vaidyar’s father, Unni Mammad Vaidyar, was saddened by his son’s inability to complete his poetry and left Kondoti with incomplete work in Megral. Unni Mammad Vaidya and Balamubnu Paki witnessed the Mogral Puzha and completed the Hijra Kavya on the second-floor porch of the Mogral New Pura Tharavad. The plot of the poem is the historical events from the birth of Prophet Muhammad to the Hijra to Medina. Basheer Ahmad Siddique, the current progenitor, is the son of Siddique Amirali, the son of Balamubnu Paki.
If you stood on the second floor of the new Pura Tharavad, you could see the river. Unlike the usual Muslim family homes, this family home was a quadrangle with a courtyard. The old house was recently demolished and a new house was built. But only the staircase is still preserved. There are two historical reasons for this. One is that the old court used to meet there. Now let’s talk about the second and more important reason. Before that, let’s talk about the structure of the old house and the new house. The porch of the old house is to the east where the staircase now stands and the porch of the present house is to the west. In the past, when traveling through the river, the porch was in the direction of the river and now with road traffic, the porch is in the opposite direction.
It has been said that there is another reason behind the old manor’s staircase still being retained as a historical witness. We should understand that Mogral Puthya Pura is a historical monument that is called our culture and it is beyond caste, religion, and caste thoughts in this era where social life is polluted by spreading communal poison in the name of Hindus and Muslims. Muslim houses usually do not have grand staircases. This house also had no staircase in the past. It is said that King Kumbala built the staircase here. The reason is as follows.
Savukar Kunhi Faqih’s paternal grandfather Kunhi Faqih was married to a lady of the Maipadi palace. There are lessons about how this marriage took place. The sister’s daughter of the King of Kumbala at that time was expelled from the palace for violating the strict customs of the time. Brahmins or other Hindu nobles would not accept a woman who had been defiled. It was unthinkable for the king that his niece would have to go to a hermitage. Hearing the story, I felt that if the king had been able to act against the inhumane laws of the era, Ananthira would not have had to leave the palace.
Even the king was bound by the caste system and customs. In this way, the king, who was in agony, finally asked Kunhi Faqih, his minister of legal affairs, if he could accept his niece as his wife. He insisted that a noble should marry the king’s daughter-in-law. The king knew that his niece would live like a queen in that Muslim aristocratic family with all the comforts. His arrival. This palace was built in four blocks and may have been according to the wishes of the king. Kunji Faqih did not convert his wife. They remained mistresses. So this lady also got a right in the Maipadi palace in the Murumakkataya system.
The rights received by the mistress were also passed on to her children. Thus, even today the New Pura family members have a place in the temples of King Kumbala such as Adoor Mahalingeswara Temple, Madhur Siddhivinayak Temple, Kanipura Gopalakrishna Temple, and Mujunkav Parthasarathy Temple. At these places, when the important celebrations begin and when the Brahma Kalasha is held, it is still mandatory for the royal representative and other Sthanis to be present along with the pravins of the Puthiya Pura family. Apart from this, this Muslim Shanti should also be present at the start of the festival in the Theiyakas like Arikadi Bhagavathy Temple, Badratukka Pumani Kinnimani Deity. In the coronation ceremony of the Kumbala kings, a seat on the dais is given to the Karanavars of the New Pura family. Basheerka now participates in all these functions on behalf of the family.
There is another story behind Tamburati Kunhi becoming Faqih’s wife. King Kumbala was traveling with his family to a distant temple when Ananthirava became Rajaswala at Megral. The king took them to the new palace and continued on his journey for temple darshan. Then Kunji Faqih and Tamburati fell in love and the king arranged their marriage. The first account is more historically accurate.
The title of the Kumbala kings is Ramantaras. In 1936 at the age of 16, Ramantharas Venkatesa Raja held the position for the longest time. He died in 1994 at the age of seventy-four. Basheerka’s father had no further knowledge of these matters except that he had heard a little about them, as no coronation had taken place in Maipadi during this great period. So Bashirka also knew nothing about the same.
After Venkatesa Raja’s death in 1994, before Ramavarma Raja ascended to power, Faqih’s family’s position in the coronation became known to the outside world while examining palace records on coronation ceremonies. Since there was no coronation for a generation, all these things were forgotten by the courtiers, the dignitaries, and the locals. According to the palace records, a person came from the palace to invite the Karanas of the new Pura family to the coronation. All these things were reported in Mathrubhumi, Malayalam Manorama, and some Kannada newspapers in 1994.
“On the eve of deciding the king of Maipadi, a messenger came from Kovilaka to Savukar’s house in Megral. The assembly is meeting to decide on the kingship. A person from the family must come.” This is how the Mathrubhumi news of 26-06-1994 begins. Basheerka was also present at the coronation in 2009 when Danamarthandavarma succeeded Ramavarma Raja as Ramantharases. The picture and news of Basheer Ahmed Siddique sitting with Udupi Pejavar Mathapati Swami Vishweswara Theertha, eight Brahmin Sthanis and four Gutu family members had gained attention that day.
In the past eight Brahmin mentors and four Patanayaks were given prasad from the Madhur Siddhivinayak temple and the Paki family also received a flag leaf prasad. They can come up to the flagpole and buy prasad. The importance given to the Paki family by the Madhur temple also led to another historical event.
The era of Tipu Sultan’s campaign. On hearing the news that Tipu Sultan had conquered the Ullal Kingdom and arrived in Mangalore, the Kumbala royal family left Maipadi and fled to the British protectorate at Thalassery. Tipu was able to advance through the Kumbala Seema very easily as there was no opposition. It was during this journey that Tipu visited Mogral’s Paki family and arranged for rations for his troops from Megral. Then the Mysore army advanced toward Kasarkot and reached the Madhur temple. Madhur Siddhivinayak Temple was the richest temple of King Kumbala.
Seizing the wealth of conquering kingdoms is common in imperial histories of warfare. Knowing that Tipu Sultan had gone to Madhur temple with the intention of looting the temple wealth, the then Mogral Faqih went to Madhur and met Tipu Sultan there. Madhur drew a sign with his sword on the copper plate on the roof of the shrine slightly to the right opposite the main sanctum of the temple, saying ‘may he rest in peace with his family. Until recently, the board had written ‘Tipusultan’s sword scar’ on this marked area.
Now the board has been removed as renovation work is going on. There is also a legend that Tipu Sultan, who came to attack the Madhur temple, suddenly became thirsty and after drinking water from the Madhuvahini river flowing in front of the temple, Tipu repented and drew a sign without attacking the temple. More about the Madhur temple can be written in another chapter.
No temples can be seen in Kumbala Seema, which were destroyed during the attack of Tipu Sultan. If you travel through Belur, Halebidu, and Somanathapura in Karnataka, you can see the sculptures of the Hoysala temples destroyed by Alauddin Khilji’s general Malik Kafur. How many Kayat and Kalat sculptures remain there as a remnant of Malik Kafur’s perversions? Mirror-like sculptures. Later, Tipu Sultan also came through the same routes. But not a single sculpture destroyed by Tipu Sultan can be seen anywhere. There is a clearly recorded history there. That is why the destruction of temples by Malik Kafur cannot be attributed to Tipu. So how Tipu Sultan was responsible for the destruction of so many temples in the Malabar-Cochin region is a matter of thought. Most of the temples said to have been destroyed in these areas are infamous temples. It can be seen in detail that many have been destroyed by the competition and mismanagement of their owners. Temples have also been vandalized during the various Mappila riots that took place over the years in the Malabar region. It has to be said that William Logan, who wrote the Malabar Manual, was responsible for putting all this together under the name of Tipu Sultan. One of them, Logan, wrote colored and exaggerated stories in the Malabar Manual as history for the British, who were still bitter towards Tipu despite his death. It is unfortunate that many people still rely on British Malabar Manual to write our history. It is also a fact that Tupuzultan was very cruel to those who helped the British.
The Paki family was able to be friendly with both the Kumbala kings and Tipu Sultan. By the time of Savukar Kunjappakki, they were able to establish good relations with the British. It has been mentioned earlier that the title of Savukar was given by the British. In 1917, when the British Secretary of State Lord Montagu visited India, Savukar Kunjappakki as the representative of Kasaragod Muslims sent a telegram welcoming Montagu to Kasaragod. As a sign of gratitude, Montagu sent a reply telegram to Savukar Kunjappakki Saheb who was the chairman of the meeting. Bashirka has kept this telegram message even today.
Basheerka belongs to a Muslim family belonging to the Ahmadiyya community. This family became part of the Ahmadiyya movement during the time of Siddiq Amirali Sahib, son of Balamubnu Faqih, son of Savukar Kunjippakki. Basheer Ahmed Siddique is the son of Siddique Ameerali. He also explained the Ahmadiyya creed. Ahmadiyya is a Muslim sect formed in the 19th century. This movement was founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Punjab. Unlike other Muslims, they do not consider Prophet Muhammad as the last prophet. Ahmadiyya Muslims believe that there have been prophets after Muhammad. They believe that the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement, Mirza Ghulam Ahmed, was a prophet. Moreover, they believe that Jesus Christ, Krishna, Buddha, Mahavira, etc. can all be prophets.
Ahmadiyya believes that Jesus Christ or Prophet Jesus was crucified and escaped from there to Kashmir, India. Due to these reasons, they have faced severe opposition from other Islamic sects. Other Muslims consider them to be holding unIslamic beliefs. But their prayers, fasts, and festivals are all the same as those of other Muslim sects. From all this, it can be understood that the Ahmadiyya sect means Ahmadiyya Muslims.
The Ahmadiyya movement originated in the Punjab of undivided India in the 19th century, but during the partition of India and Pakistan, hundreds of thousands of Ahmadis migrated to Pakistan as an Islamic state. Pakistan is still the country with the largest number of Ahmadis. But Pakistan has always taken the action of brutally persecuting Ahmadis and curbing their beliefs. A large number of Ahmadiyya Muslims have been massacred there. Many left Pakistan and sought refuge in Europe and elsewhere. Pakistan is the only country that has declared Ahmadis as non-Muslims because Ahmadis believe in Prophet Muhammad but do not believe that Muhammad is the final prophet. All atrocities are being done to Ahmadiyya Muslims of Pakistan like not giving them entry to other Muslim places of worship and not even paying the price for their right to live. Hence attacks against Ahmadis remain commonplace in Pakistan. The government and the police are conniving at it.
Starting from Tipu Sultan, Alupar, Kumbala Dynasty, Tamburati, Kumbol Paki, Savukar Kunjipaki, Britishers, and Ahmadiyya Movement, I have reached the middle of violence in some streets of Pakistan and now I am resentful without knowing the way back. Let’s return to Tulunath with all the international history. I am continuing my journey through Tulunad, wishing that the staircase of the Mogral New Pura house will remain for centuries to come as a symbol of our country’s culture that transcends caste, religion, and caste thinking.