saints some of.the local Rajas also plays a prominent role in the promotion of the Bhakti
cult. The most prominent of these was Prince (afterwards Zamorin) Manavedan (11595-1658),
a fervent devotee of the Lord of Guruvayur Who is said to have vouchsafed a vision of
Himself as a little boy playing in the temple premises. It was he who wrote the
Krishnagita or Krishnattam who describes in eight cantos the story of Krishna after the
model of the twelfth century Bengali
poet-saint Jayadeva's Gitagovinda. Krishnattam, literally,
the dance of Krishna, is regularly staged at Guruvayur temple.
Then there was Vilwamangalam II who also figures prominently in the tradition
connected with not only the Guruvayur temple but also almost every temple in Kerala. He
was such an ardent devotee of Krishna that he could always see Him in his mystic trance.
It was he who inspired Prince Manavedan to write the Krishnagita and another King,
Devanarayan, the ruler of Champakasseri and an exponent of the Bhakti cult, to consecrate
another famous temple of Sri Krishna in Kerala, i.e. at Ambalapuzha in South Kerala. (See
Thus Guruvayur gained increasing importance as a centre of
the Krishna cult during the Portuguese period.