Rajashekhara Varman

Rajashekhara Varman (Rama Rajashekhara, Cheraman Perumal Nayanar, Parameswara Bhattaraka) was a ruler of the Later Chera dynasty, who is venerated as a Saivate-Nayanar saint in southern India.

As per traditional historians he is the second ruler (820- 844 AD) of the Later Chera dynasty, whereas according to MGS he was the founder of the dynasty (800-844 AD). It was during his reign (in 825 AD) the Malayalam calendar known as Quilon Era commenced.

Rajasekhara Varman is reputed to have issued the Vazhapalli plates- the first epigraphical record of a Chera king to be discovered from Kerala. The inscription makes a specific mention of the Roman produced dinarius coins. His reign was noted for the rise of the Hindu temples to a place of importance in religious and cultural life. The work of the Nayanar led to the establishment of a number of Saiva shrines in Kerala. According to Sekkilar, he made a pilgrimage to the major Saivate shrines of South Inda with his friend Sundaramoorthy Nayanar during his later years. The two saints are believed to have died at the city of Thiruvanchikkulam. He was succeeded by Sthanu Ravi Varman.

The Hindu saint Adi Shankara was a contemporary of Rajasekhara Varma. His Sivanandalahari mentions the Chera ruler as Rajasekhara.

Rajasekhara also figures in Madhavacharya's Sankaravijaya.