At the time when Muziris / Kodungallur was ruled by the Perumals, it was customary for a group of brahmins called Thali (തളി) to maintain a check on the powers of the royal administrator. The leader of a Thali was known as Thaliyathiri. Kodungallur had its share of Thalis, and the temples they have left behind are eloquent reminders of the administrative system that prevailed during that time. The five that have continued to stay in our contemporary space and time are Melthali, Keezhthali, Nediyathali, Chingapurathuthali and Thrikulashekharapuram.
A few of the Perumals were Shaivites, worshippers of Lord Shiva. Some others were Vaishnavites, worshippers of Lord Vishnu. Once Cheraman Perumal Nayanar or Rajasekhara (9th century CE), a Shaivite. and his close friend Sundarar went on a pilgrimage to Tamil Nadu to worship at the Shiva temples there. It is said that the Thiruvanchikulam Mahadeva Temple in Kodungallur, that draws devotees from far and wide even today, is an enduring symbol of Cheraman Perumal’s Shaivite devotion.