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The Konkanis

Another community of settlers in the area is that of the Konkani Saraswathi Brahmins, originally from the Konkan coast.  The influx of this community to Kerala began in the 12th century but it was the Portuguese attack of Goa in the 16th century that prompted a mass migration.  Fearing coercive conversion to Christianity, the Konkanis fled to Kochi where the king gave them refuge.

They made themselves at home in Kerala and participated actively in the socio-cultural and commercial life of Kochi. In the following years, many renowned scholars, academicians, administrators and traders emerged from their community. They also set up the Kochi Thirumala Devaswom Temple in the land presented to them by the king in the 16th century.

The Konkinis, who still hold fast to their distinctive religious beliefs, cultural identity and lifestyle, add greatly to the cosmopolitan nature of Kochi.

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