Rajashekhara Varman

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Rajashekhara Varma
King of Later Chera Kingdom
Reign 820- 844
Predecessor Kulashekhara Alwar
Successor Sthanu Ravi Varma
Died Tiruvanchikkulam
Issue Sthanu Ravi Varma
House House of the Later Cheras
Religion Hinduism (Shaiva)

Rajashekhara Varman[1][2] was a ruler of the Later Chera dynasty, who is venerated as a Shaiva and Nayanar saint in Tamilakam.[3]

As per traditional historians he is the second ruler (820- 844) of the Later Chera dynasty, whereas according to M. G. S. Narayanan, he was the founder of the dynasty (800-844). It was during his reign (in 825) the Malayalam calendar known as the Kollam era commenced.[3]

Rajasekhara Varman is reputed to have issued the Valapalli plates- the first epigraphical record of a Chera king to be discovered from Kerala, the inscription makes a specific mention of the Roman produced denarius coins. His reign was noted for the rise of the Hindu temples to a place of importance in religious and cultural life, the work of the Nayanar led to the establishment of a number of Saiva shrines in Kerala. According to Sekkizhar, he made a pilgrimage to the major Shaiva shrines of South Inda with his friend Sundarar during his later years, the two saints are believed to have died at the city of Thiruvanchikkulam. He was succeeded by Sthanu Ravi Varman.[3]

The Hindu saint Adi Shankara was a contemporary of Rajashekhara Varma, his Sivanandalahari mentions the Chera ruler as Rajasekhara.[3]

Rajasekhara also figures in Vidyaranya's Sankaravijaya.[3]


  1. ^ Sviderski 40
  2. ^ Nayar 88
  3. ^ a b c d e A Survey of Kerala History - A. Sreedhara Menon - Google Books. Books.google.co.in. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  • Sviderski, Richard (1988). Blood Weddings: The Knanaya Christians of Kerala. New Era Publications. 
  • Nayar, K. Balachandran (1974). In Quest of Kerala. Accent Publishers.