Devotion prompted the chiefs of Kerala not only to build temples but also serve the Lord by associating themselves with the management of temples of others as purakoyma or kovil adhikari. The chiefs of Perumpadappu (of Cochin) were once the purakoyma of the Vaikom temple in Travancore. Whatever the difficulties, seldom did a chief
decline to accept the offer of a purakoyma. Ambition also had led the rulers to become controlling authorities of famous temples as we have seen in the case of Tirunavay in the rulers Vying with one another to secure the right to preside over the ceremonies.
A large number of temples in Kerala were sovereign states with a well-defined territory called sanketan and well-defined organs of government. The area under the temples ranged from a few acres to hundreds of square miles as in the case of the Padmanabhaswami temple at Trivandrum. The deity was the head in such temple states. Everything was done in the name of the Lord or of His auspicious asterism. The Lord had his own human representative in the yogathirippad and He kept himself informed of the day
-to-day affairs of His state, I so to speak, by having the Tirthola or holy palm-leaf showing the daily income and expenditure, read out in His before the temple was
closed at night.