The Maniyani are the Kshatriyas of Kerala, India. Maniyanis are also known as kola- aya (kolayars).They are the Yadavas of Kolathnadu and Thulunad.They are seen in Kannur and Kasargod Districts. Ayar is a common surname for Yadavas throughout India. They settled in north Kerala about 3000 years back. Kola is the name of Yadava clan who settled in North Kerala Southern Karnataka.
According to legend they are said to be the descendants of the pioneer coloniser Sage Agasthya. Kolayans and Eruvans are the two clans. They are also known as Ayars, Mayars and Kolayans. Yadavas are also widely known as Nairs and Oorali Nairs ( Ooru =Land, Ali =Ruler). Kerala Yadava Sabha was oraganised in 1980s by N Somanathan, Advocate, Kannur, Kerala and established oraganizational contact throughout India with through the formation of All India Yadava Sabha.
Legend has it that Yadavas followed Sri Parashurama from the northern part of Bharath (India) through the river banks of Godavari and the first settlement were at Trichambaram, in Taliparamba, Kannur where the SreeKrishna temple is situated. Parashurama at his rage killed most of the Kshatriya Kings and was later confronted by Lord Ram who realized the truth later and ended the rage.
He requested Varuna to give land and the ocean receded back. The land was later called Kerala. The land was donated to the Brahmins and Yadavas came along with them. Maniyani is a title given to Kolayans or Yadavas for their excellence in temple construction by the Kolathiri, a Yadava dynasty who ruled the North Malabar area . Later on they began to be known as Nairs. Yadavas of Malabar followed the matriarchal lineage. Females inherited most of the property and the male got only a life interest in it. The marriage was known as Pudavamuri'’, a simple ritual of giving Pudava by the bridegroom to the bride, and no thali or gold rings were exchanged. The system of inheritance was known as Marumakkathayam where in the male child also lives with their family and takes care of their land and extended family members. The oldest male member of the family is known as Karanavar and he makes the decisions with the help of the oldest female member of the family. Marumakkathayam'' was abolished in 1970s by state law. Maniyanis are divided into Illam and Kiriyam according to their blood lineage.
Yadavas accepted the name Varma after performing the ritual known as Hiranya Gharbha. They end up marrying other Nairs and those are known as Kettilamma etc.
It is said that Ayar and Anayar existed in the Hindu caste system. Ayars are the Yadavas or the Kings clan and rest were Anayar (Other Ayar). Seven Illam and Three Illam were the prominent among Maniyanis of North Malabar. The group known as Three Illam settled mostly around Cherukunnu area of Kannur in and around Sri Annapoorneswari temple. This temple was constructed by the Kolathiris and the temple construction were undertaken and supervised by Maniyanis around the area. They end up marrying other Nairs who inturn became Samanthans or Samantha Kshatriya.Some of the Three Illam groups were settled around Narath and Kannadiparmbu area of Kannur. Palamruthan is another sect of Yadavas/Maniyani who are in charge of the milk supply to the temples of Malabar. At Trichambaram (Taliparamba), the community is well settled around the SreeKrishna Temple. There are many stories about this temple, often hard to understand. The deity is Baby SreeKrishna. King Kamsa, Krishna's uncle kept demon-like elephants to guard his palace and to kill Krishna who he believed would end Kamsa’s rule. Krishna killed those elephants to enter in to the palace. Elephants are denied entry to the temple. Elephants are not even transported around the premises of the temple.
Venads Yadava (Ay Vel) kings absorbed some elements of Chera blood they succeeded in defeating Cheras when they occupied Purakkad and Kodungaloor(1180 AD)the strongholds of Imperial Cheras. At the height of its glory, the kings of Venad conquered most of South India. Sangramadheeran alias Kulasekhara Ravi Varma crowned himself Tribhuvanachakravarthi ruler of Chera,Chola and Pandiya kingdoms at 1312 at Kancheepuram. After 1300s the Venad rulers gradually mixed with Namboothiris and sometimes with Nairs and adopted Marumakkathayam - Matrilineal descendency. The original Ayar or Yadava Clan itself believed to have mixed with the Quilon Nairs. In the 18th century the newly crowned young prince Marthanda Varma (1706-1758), who was in his twenties, defeated the Thampi sons of the King Rajah Rama Varma and Eight Nair Lords popularly called Ettuveetil Pillamar (Pillai's of the Eight Noble Houses). Marthanda Varma not only united the kingdom, but destroyed other kings of Southern Kerala and expanded it to the north to include half of modern-day Kerala. He named it Thiruvithamkur (Travancore) after the Thiruvithamkode branch of Venad royal family from which he hailed. Marthanda Varma rebuilt the Anandha Padmanabha Swami Temple in 1730 ad. He defeated the Dutch in the Colachel War in 1741. But he maintained good relations with the English East India Company for tactical reasons. Travancore paid annual tribute to the Sultans of Madhurai. . During the Madurai Naicker period (1550 to 1801)yearly tribute was paid by the Travancore kings which was collected by a General of the Madurai Naicker who annually visited, the capital Padmanabhapuram. Thiruvithamkur or Travancore became a subsidiary of the British at the end of 18th Century, and remained a princely state with its own government under the Maharaja.On India becoming independent, Travancore joined the Indian Union in 1947 and later became a part of the State of Travancore-Cochin in 1949 which in turn became part of the state of Kerala when it was formed in 1956.
Padmanabh Swami Temple- Richest temple in whole world.