The Kingdom of Travancore (/ˈtrævənkɔːr/) (Thiruvithamkoor) was an Indian kingdom from 1729 until 1949. It was ruled by the Travancore Royal Family from Padmanabhapuram, and later Thiruvananthapuram. At its zenith, the kingdom covered most of modern-day central and southern Kerala with the Thachudaya Kaimal's enclave of Irinjalakuda Koodalmanikkam temple in the neighbouring Kingdom of Cochin,[1] as well as the district of Kanyakumari, now in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The official flag of the state was red with a dextrally-coiled silver conch shell (Turbinella pyrum) at its center. In the early 19th century, the kingdom became a princely state of the British Empire. The Travancore Government took many progressive steps on the socio-economic front and during the reign of Maharajah Sri Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma, Travancore became the second most prosperous princely state in British India, with reputed achievements in education, political administration, public work and social reforms.[2][3]

Kingdom of Travancore

Flag of Travancore
Coat of arms of Travancore
Coat of arms
Anthem: Vanchishamangalam (Hail the Lord of Vanchi!)
Kingdom of Travancore in India
Kingdom of Travancore in India
StatusPrincely State of British India
CapitalPadmanabhapuram (1729–1795)
Thiruvananthapuram (1795–1949)
Common languagesMalayalam, Tamil
• 1729–1758 (first)
Marthanda Varma
• 1829–1846 (peak)
Swathi Thirunal
• 1931–1949 (last)
Chithira Thirunal
• 1788–1800 (first)
George Powney
• 1800–1810
Colin Macaulay
• 1840–1860 (peak)
William Cullen
• 1947 (last)
Cosmo Grant Niven Edwards
Historical eraAge of Imperialism
• Established
• vassal under British Raj
• vassal under independent India
• Disestablished
194119,844 km2 (7,662 sq mi)
• 1941
CurrencyTravancore rupee
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Today part ofIndia


The regions had many small independent kingdoms. Later, during the peak time of Chera-Chola-Pandya, this region became a part of the Chera Kingdom (except for the Ay kingdom which always remained independent). During that era, when the region was part of the Chera empire, it was still known as Thiruvazhumkode. It was contracted to Thiruvankode, and anglicised by the English to Travancore.[4][5][6]

In course of time, the Ay kingdom, part of the Chera empire, which ruled the Thiruvazhumkode area, became independent, and the land was called Aayi desam or Aayi rajyam, meaning 'Aayi territory'. The Aayis controlled the land from present-day Kollam district in the north, through Thiruvananthapuram district, all in Kerala, to the Kanyakumari district. There were two capitals, the major one at Kollam (Venad Swaroopam or Desinganadu) and a subsidiary one at Thrippapur (Thrippapur Swaroopam or Nanjinad). The kingdom was thus also called Venad. Kings of Venad had, at various times, travelled from Kollam and built residential palaces in Thiruvithamcode and Kalkulam. Thiruvithamcode became the capital of the Thrippapur Swaroopam, and the country was referred to as Thiruvithamcode by Europeans even after the capital had been moved in 1601 to Padmanabhapuram, near Kalkulam.[7]

The Chera empire had dissolved by around 1100 and thereafter the territory comprised numerous small kingdoms until the time of Marthanda Varma who, as king of Venad from 1729, employed brutal methods to unify them.[8] During his reign, Thiruvithamcode or Travancore became the official name.


Travancore 1871
Map of Travancore in 1871

The Kingdom of Travancore was located at the extreme southern tip of the Indian subcontinent. Geographically, Travancore was divided into three climatically distinct regions: the eastern highlands (rugged and cool mountainous terrain), the central midlands (rolling hills), and the western lowlands (coastal plains).

A Canal Scene, Travancore
Canal scene, Travancore


Venad Swaroopam

Venad was a former state at the tip of the Indian Subcontinent, traditionally ruled by rajas known as the Venattadis. Till the end of the 11th century AD, it was a small principality in the Ay Kingdom. The Ays were the earliest ruling dynasty in southern Kerala, who, at their zenith, ruled over a region from Nagercoil in the south to Trivandrum in the north. Their capital during the first Sangam age was in Aykudi and later, towards the end of the 8th century AD, was at Quilon(Kollam). Though a series of attacks by the resurgent Pandyas between the 7th and 8th centuries caused the decline of the Ays, the dynasty was powerful till the beginning of the 10th century.[9]

British Residency in Kollam
British Residency in Quilon. Till 1829, Quilon was the capital of the Travancore State with British Residency as the headquarters of the kingdom.

When the Ay power diminished, Venad became the southernmost principality of the Second Chera Kingdom.[10] An invasion of the Cholas into Venad caused the destruction of Kollam in 1096. However, the Chera capital, Mahodayapuram, also fell in the subsequent Chola attack, which compelled the Chera king, Rama varma Kulasekara, to shift his capital to Kollam.[11] Thus, Rama Varma Kulasekara, the last emperor of the Chera dynasty, is probably the founder of the Venad royal house, and the title of the Chera kings, Kulasekara, was thenceforth kept by the rulers of Venad. Thus the end of the Second Chera dynasty in the 12th century marks the independence of Venad.[12]

In the second half of the 12th century, two branches of the Ay Dynasty, Thrippappur and Chirava, merged in the Venad family, which set up the tradition of designating the ruler of Venad as Chirava Moopan and the heir-apparent as Thrippappur Moopan. While the Chrirava Moopan had his residence at Kollam, the Thrippappur Moopan resided at his palace in Thrippappur, 9 miles north of Thiruvananthapuram, and was vested with the authority over the temples of Venad kingdom, especially the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple.[10]

Formation and development of Travancore

The history of Travancore began with Marthanda Varma, who inherited the kingdom of Venad (Thrippappur), and expanded it into Travancore during his reign (1729–1758). After defeating a union of feudal lords and establishing internal peace, he expanded the kingdom of Venad through a series of military campaigns from Kanyakumari in the south to the borders of Kochi in the north during his 29-year rule.[13] This rule also included Travancore-Dutch War (1739–1753) between the Dutch East India Company who had been allied to some of these kingdoms and Travancore.

In 1741, Travancore won the Battle of Colachel against the Dutch East India Company, resulting in the complete eclipse of Dutch power in the region. In this battle, the admiral of the Dutch, Eustachius De Lannoy, was captured and later defected to Travancore.[14] De Lannoy was appointed as Captain of His Highness' Body-guard[14] and later Senior Admiral ("Valiya kappittan")[15] and he modernised the Travancore army by introducing firearms and artillery.[14] Travancore became the most dominant state in the Kerala region by defeating the powerful Zamorin of Kozhikode in the battle of Purakkad in 1755.[15] Ramayyan Dalawa, the Prime Minister (1737–1756) of Marthanda Varma, also played an important role in this consolidation and expansion.

On 3 January 1750, (5 Makaram, 925 Kollavarsham), Marthanda Varma virtually "dedicated" Travancore to his tutelary deity Padmanabha, one of the aspects of the Hindu God Vishnu with a lotus issuing from his navel on which Brahma sits. From then on the rulers of Travancore ruled as the "servants of Padmanabha" (the Padmnabha-dasar).[16]

At the Battle of Ambalapuzha, Marthanda Varma defeated the union of the kings who had been deposed and the king of the Cochin kingdom.

The Mysore invasion

Tippoo Sahib at the lines of Travancore in the 1850s
Tipu Sultan at the lines of Travancore. Illustration from Cassell's Illustrated History of India by James Grant (c 1896).

Marthanda Varma's successor Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma (1758–1798), who was popularly known as Dharma Raja, shifted the capital in 1795 from Padmanabhapuram to Thiruvananthapuram. Dharma Raja's period is considered as a Golden Age in the history of Travancore. He not only retained the territorial gains of his predecessor Marthanda Varma, but also improved and encouraged social development. He was greatly assisted by a very efficient administrator, Raja Kesavadas, who was the Diwan of Travancore.

Travancore often allied with the English East India Company in military conflicts.[2] During Dharma Raja's reign, Tipu Sultan, the de facto ruler of Mysore and the son of Hyder Ali, attacked Travancore in 1789 as a part of the Mysore invasion of Kerala. Dharma Raja had earlier refused to hand over the Hindu political refugees from the Mysore occupation of Malabar, who had been given asylum in Travancore. The Mysore army entered the Cochin kingdom from Coimbatore in November 1789 and reached Trichur in December. On 28 December 1789 Tipu Sultan attacked the Nedunkotta (Northern Lines) from the north, causing the Battle of the Nedumkotta (1789).

Velu Thampi Dalawa's rebellion

On Dharma Raja's death in 1798, Balarama Varma (1798–1810), the weakest ruler of the dynasty, took over crown at the age of sixteen. A treaty brought Travancore under East India Company protection in 1795.[2]

The Prime Ministers (Dalawas or Dewans) started taking control of the kingdom beginning with Velu Thampi Dalawa (Velayudhan Chempakaraman Thampi) (1799–1809) who was appointed as the divan following the dismissal of Jayanthan Sankaran Nampoothiri (1798–1799). Initially, Velayudhan Chempakaraman Thampi and the English East India Company got along very well. When a section of the Travancore army mutinied in 1805 against Velu Thampi Dalawa, he sought refuge with the British Resident and later used English East India Company troops to crush the mutiny. Velu Thampi also played a key role in renegotiating a new treaty between Travancore and the English East India Company. However, the demands by the East India Company for the payment of compensation for their involvement in the Travancore-Mysore War (1791) on behalf of Travancore, led to tension between the Diwan and the East India Company Resident. Velu Thampi and the diwan of Cochin kingdom, Paliath Achan Govindan Menon, who was unhappy with the Resident for granting asylum to his enemy Kunhi Krishna Menon, declared "war" on the East India Company.

Adoption Durbar, Trivandrum
Adoption Durbar, Trivandrum

The East India Company army defeated Paliath Achan's army in Cochin on 27 February 1809. Paliath Achan surrendered to the East India Company and was exiled to Madras and later to Benaras. The Company defeated forces under Velu Thampi Dalawa at battles near Nagercoil and Kollam and inflicted heavy casualties on the rebels, following which many of his supporters deserted and went back to their homes. The Maharajah of Travancore, who hitherto had not taken any part in the rebellion openly, now allied with the British and appointed one of Thampi's enemies as his Prime Minister. The allied East India Company army and the Travancore soldiers camped in Pappanamcode, just outside Trivandrum. Velu Thampi Dalawa now organised a guerrilla struggle against the Company, but committed suicide to avoid capture by the Travancore army. After the mutiny of 1805 against Velu Thampi Dalawa, most of the Nair army battalions of Travancore had been disbanded, and after Velu Thampi Dalawa's uprising, almost all of the remaining Travancore forces were also disbanded, with the East India Company undertaking to serve the king in cases of external and internal aggression.

Cessation of mahādanams

The kings of Travancore had been conditionally promoted to Kshatryahood with periodic performance of 16 mahādānams (great gifts in charity) such as Hiranya-garbhā, Hiranya-Kāmdhenu, and Hiranyāswaratā in which each of which thousands of Brahmins had been given costly gifts apart from each getting a minimum of 1 kazhanch (78.65 gm) of gold.[17] In 1848 the Marquess of Dalhousie, then Governor-General of British India, was apprised that the depressed condition of the finances in Travancore was due to the mahādanams by the rulers.[18] Lord Dalhousie instructed Lord Harris, Governor of the Madras Presidency, to warn the then King of Travancore, Martanda Varma (Uttram Tirunal 1847–60), that if he did not put a stop to this practice, the Madras Presidency would take over his Kingdom's administration. This led to the cessation of the practice of mahādanams.

All Travancore kings including Sree Moolam Thirunal conducted the Hiranyagarbham and Tulapurushadaanam ceremonies. Maharajah Chithira Thirunal was the only King of Travancore not to have conducted these rituals as he considered them extremely costly.[19]

19th and early 20th centuries

1887 Travancore revenue stamps
A block of 1887 Travancore revenues depicting Queen Victoria.

In Travancore the caste system was more rigorously enforced than in many other parts of India up to the mid-1800s. The rule of discriminative hierarchical caste order was deeply entrenched in the social system and was supported by the government, which had transformed this caste-based social system into a religious institution.[20] In such a context, the belief in Ayyavazhi, apart from being a religious system, served also as a reform movement in uplifting the downtrodden section of the society, both socially and as well religiously. The rituals of Ayyavazhi constituted a social discourse. Its beliefs, mode of worship, and religious organisation seem to have enabled the Ayyavazhi group to negotiate and cope with, and resist the imposition of authority.[21] The hard tone of Vaikundar towards this was perceived as a revolution against the government.[22] So the King Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma initially imprisoned Vaikundar in the Singarathoppu jail, where the jailor Appaguru ended up as a disciple of Vaikundar. Vaikundar was later set at liberty by the King.[23]

Anchal Box Perumbavoor Rest House
Travancore's postal service adopted a standard cast iron pillar box, made by Massey & Co in Madras, and similar to the British Penfold model that was introduced in 1866. This Anchal post box is in Perumbavoor.

After the death of Sree Moolam Thirunal in 1924, Sethu Lakshmi Bayi became the regent (1924–1931), as the Heir Apparent Sree Chithira Thirunal was then a minor (12 years old).[24]

Ayilyam Thirunal and Madhava Rao
Ayilyam Thirunal of Travancore (centre) with the first prince (left) and Dewan Sit T. Madhava Rao (right)
Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma
Last King Of Travancore Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma

The last ruling king of Travancore was Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma, who reigned from 1931 to 1949. "His reign marked revolutionary progress in the fields of education, defence, economy and society as a whole."[25] He made the famous Temple Entry Proclamation on 12 November 1936, which opened all the Kshetrams (Hindu temples in Kerala) in Travancore to all Hindus, a privilege reserved to only upper caste Hindus till then. This act won him praise from across India, most notably from Mahatma Gandhi. The first public transport system (Thiruvananthapuram–Mavelikkara) and telecommunication system (Thiruvananthapuram Palace–Mavelikkara Palace) were launched during the reign of Sree Chithira Thirunal. He also started the industrialisation of the state, enhancing the role of the public sector. He introduced heavy industry in the State and established giant public sector undertakings. As many as twenty industries were established, mostly for utilizing the local raw materials such as rubber, ceramics, and minerals. A majority of the premier industries running in Kerala even today, were established by Sree Chithira Thirunal. He patronized musicians, artists, dancers, and Vedic scholars. Sree Chithira Thirunal appointed, for the first time, an Art Advisor to the Government, Dr. G. H. Cousins. He also established a new form of University Training Corps, viz. Labour Corps, preceding the N.C.C, in the educational institutions. The expenses of the University were to be met fully by the Government. Sree Chithira Thirunal also built a beautiful palace named Kowdiar Palace, finished in 1934, which was previously an old Naluektu, given by Sree Moolam Thirunal to his mother Sethu Parvathi Bayi in 1915.[26][27][28]

However, his Prime Minister, Sir C.P. Ramaswami Iyer, was unpopular among the communists of Travancore. The tension between the Communists and Sir C.P. Ramaswami Iyer led to minor riots in various places of the country. In one such riot in Punnapra-Vayalar in 1946, the Communist rioters established their own government in the area. This was put down by the Travancore Army and Navy. The Prime Minister issued a statement in June 1947 that Travancore would remain as an independent country instead of joining the Indian Union; subsequently, an attempt was made on the life of Sir C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer, following which he resigned and left for Madras, to be succeeded by Sri P.G.N. Unnithan. According to witnesses such as K.Aiyappan Pillai,constitutional adviser to the Maharaja and historians like A. Sreedhara Menon,the rioters and mob-attacks had no bearing on the decision of the Maharaja.[29][30] After several rounds of discussions and negotiations between Sree Chithira Thirunal and V.P. Menon, the King agreed that the Kingdom should accede to the Indian Union in 1949. On 1 July 1949 the Kingdom of Travancore was merged with the Kingdom of Cochin and the short-lived state of Travancore-Kochi was formed.[31][32][33][34][35][36]

Madras Prov 1859
Travancore in the Madras Presidency in 1859

On 11 July 1991, Sree Chithira Thirunal suffered a stroke and was admitted to Sree Chithira Thirunal hospital, where he died on 20 July. He had ruled Travancore for 67 years and at his death was one of the few surviving rulers of a first-class princely state in the old British Raj. He was also the last surviving Knight Grand Commander of both the Order of the Star of India and of the Order of the Indian Empire. He was succeeded as head of the Royal House as well as the Titular Maharajah of Travancore by his brother, Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma. The Government of India issued a stamp on Nov 6, 1991, commemorating the reforms that marked the reign of Maharajah Sree Chithira Thirunal in Travancore.[37]

Formation of Kerala

The State of Kerala came into existence on 1 November 1956, with a Governor appointed by the President of India as the head of the State instead of the King. The King was stripped of all his political powers and the right to receive privy purses, according to the twenty-sixth amendment of the Indian constitution act of 31 July 1971. He died on 20 July 1991.[38]


Under the direct control of the king, Travancore's administration was headed by a Dewan assisted by the Neetezhutthu Pillay or secretary, Rayasom Pillay (assistant or under-secretary) and a number of Rayasoms or clerks along with Kanakku Pillamars (accountants). Individual districts were run by Sarvadhikaris under supervision of the Diwan, while dealings with neighbouring states and Europeans was under the purview of the Valia Sarvahi, who signed treaties and agreements.[39]

Rulers of Travancore

  1. Anizham Tirunal Marthanda Varma 1729–1758[40]
  2. Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma (Dharma Raja) 1758–1798
  3. Balarama Varma I 1798–1810
  4. Gowri Lakshmi Bayi 1810–1815 (Queen from 1810–1813 and Regent Queen from 1813–1815)
  5. Gowri Parvati Bayi (Regent) 1815–1829
  6. Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma II 1813–1846
  7. Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma II 1846–1860
  8. Ayilyam Thirunal Rama Varma III 1860–1880
  9. Visakham Thirunal Rama Varma IV 1880–1885
  10. Sree Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma VI 1885–1924
  11. Sethu Lakshmi Bayi (Regent) 1924–1931
  12. Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma II 1924–1949

Prime Ministers of Travancore



Madhava Rao
Dewan Rajah Sir T. Madhava Rao
Name Portrait Took office Left office Term[42]
T. Madhava Rao Madhava Rao 1857 1872 1
A. Seshayya Sastri Seshayya sastri 1872 1877 1
Nanoo Pillai 1877 1880 1
V. Ramiengar V. Ramiengar 1880 1887 1
T. Rama Rao T. Rama Rao 1887 1892 1
S. Shungrasoobyer 1892 1898 1
K. Krishnaswamy Rao K. Krishnaswamy Rao 1898 1904 1
V. P. Madhava Rao V. P. Madhava Rao 1904 1906 1
S. Gopalachari 1906 1907 1
P. Rajagopalachari 1907 1914 1
M. Krishnan Nair 1914 1920 1
T. Raghavaiah 1920 1925 1
M. E. Watts 1925 1929 1
V. S. Subramanya Iyer 1929 1932 1
T. Austin 1932 1934 1
Sir Muhammad Habibullah MuhammadHabibullah 1934 1936 1
Sir C. P. Ramaswami Iyer SirCP 1936 1947 1
P.G.N.Unnithan 1947 1947 1

Administrative divisions

In 1856, the princely state was sub-divided into three divisions, each of which was administered by a Divan Peishkar, with a rank equivalent to a District Collector in British India.[43] These were the:


Travancore had a population of 6,070,018 at the time of the 1941 Census of India.[44]


Palace of Trivandrum
Kowdiar Palace, Trivandrum

Travancore was characterised by the popularity of its rulers among their subjects.[45] The kings of Travancore, unlike their counterparts in the other princely states of India, spent only a small portion of their state's resources for personal use. This was in sharp contrast with some of the northern Indian kings. Since they spent most of the state's revenue for the benefit of the public, they were naturally much loved by their subjects.[46]

Unlike many British Indian states, violence rooted in religion or caste was rare in Travancore, apart from a few incidents in 1821, 1829, 1858 and 1921. This tolerance of different religions was equally applicable when it came to social and ideological matters. Many political ideologies (such as communism) and social reforms were welcomed in Travancore. Although the Travancore royal family were devout Hindus, they were tolerant rulers who donated land and material for the construction of Christian churches and Muslim mosques. This patronage was appreciated by local Christians who actively supported the devout Hindu Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma during the Travancore-Dutch battles, against a Christian power.

Unlike in the rest of India, in Travancore (and Kochi), the social status and freedom of women were high. In most communities, the daughters inherited the property (until 1925), were educated, and had the right to divorce and remarry.[47]

See also


  1. ^ British Archives
  2. ^ a b c "Travancore." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2011. Web. 11 November 2011.
  3. ^ Chandra Mallampalli, Christians and Public Life in Colonial South India, 1863–1937: Contending with Marginality, RoutledgeCurzon, 2004, p. 30
  4. ^ P. Shungunny Menon (1878). A History of Travancore from the Earliest Times. Thiruvananthapuram: Higginbotham's.
  5. ^ R. Narayana Panikkar (18 April 1933). Travancore History (in Malayalam). Nagar Kovil.
  6. ^ "Database: HANDBOOK  FOR  INDIA PART 1.  -  MADRAS., Page vii". 1 August 2008. Archived from the original on 1 August 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  7. ^ "തിരുവിതാംകൂര്‍" (in Malayalam). The State Institute of Encyclopaedic Publications. 4 July 2008. Archived from the original on 4 April 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  8. ^ Ramusack, Barbara N. (2004). The Indian Princes and their States. Cambridge University Press. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-13944-908-3.
  9. ^ A Sreedhara Menon (1 January 2007). A Survey of Kerala History. DC Books. pp. 97–99. ISBN 978-81-264-1578-6. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  10. ^ a b A Sreedhara Menon (1 January 2007). A Survey of Kerala History. DC Books. p. 139. ISBN 978-81-264-1578-6. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  11. ^ A Sreedhara Menon (1 January 2007). A Survey of Kerala History. DC Books. p. 140. ISBN 978-81-264-1578-6. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  12. ^ A Sreedhara Menon (1 January 2007). A Survey of Kerala History. DC Books. p. 141. ISBN 978-81-264-1578-6. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  13. ^ C. J. Fuller (30 December 1976). The Nayars Today. CUP Archive. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-521-29091-3. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  14. ^ a b c Shungoony Menon, P. (1878). A History of Travancore from the Earliest Times (pdf). Madras: Higgin Botham & Co. pp. 136–140. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  15. ^ a b Shungoony Menon, P. (1878). A History of Travancore from the Earliest Times (pdf). Madras: Higgin Botham & Co. pp. 162–164. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  16. ^ Shungoony Menon, P. (1878). A History of Travancore from the Earliest Times (pdf). Madras: Higgin Botham & Co. p. 171. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  17. ^ A Social History of India – (Ashish Publishing House: ISBN 81-7648-170-X / ISBN 81-7648-170-X, Jan 2000).
  18. ^ Sadasivan, S.N., 1988, Administration and social development in Kerala: A study in administrative sociology, New Delhi, Indian Institute of Public Administration
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 February 2014. Retrieved 20 February 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) MATHRUBHUMI Paramparyam ഹിരണ്യഗര്‍ഭച്ചടങ്ങിന് ഡച്ചുകാരോട് ചോദിച്ചത് 10,000 കഴിഞ്ച് സ്വര്‍ണം - "ശ്രീമൂലംതിരുനാള്‍ വരെയുള്ള രാജാക്കന്മാര്‍ ഹിരണ്യഗര്‍ഭം നടത്തിയിട്ടുണ്ടെന്നാണ് അറിയുന്നത്. ഭാരിച്ച ചെലവ് കണക്കിലെടുത്ത് ശ്രീചിത്തിരതിരുനാള്‍ ബാലരാമവര്‍മ്മ മഹാരാജാവ് ഈ ചടങ്ങ് നടത്തിയില്ല."
  20. ^ Cf. Ward & Conner, Geographical and Statistical Memoir, page 133; V. Nagam Aiya, The Travancore State Manual, Volume-2, Madras:AES, 1989 (1906), page 72.
  21. ^ G.Patrick, Religion and Subaltern Agency, University of Madras, 2003, The Subaltern Agency in Ayyavali, Page 174.
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 August 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)Towards Modern Kerala, 10th Standard Text Book, Chapter 9, Page 101. See this Pdf
  23. ^ C.f. Rev.Samuel Zechariah, The London Missionary Society in South Travancore, Page 201.
  24. ^ A. Sreedhara, Menon. A Survey Of Kerala History. pp. 271–273.
  25. ^ "During his rule, the revenues of the State were nearly quadrupled from a little over Rs 21/2 crore to over Rs 91/2 crore." - 'THE STORY OF THE INTEGRATION OF THE INDIAN STATES' by V. P. MENON
  26. ^ Supreme Court, Of India. "GOOD GOVERNANCE: JUDICIARY AND THE RULE OF LAW" (PDF). Sree Chithira Thirunal Memorial Lecture, 29 December 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  27. ^ Gauri Lakshmi Bai, Aswathy Thirunal (1998). Sree Padmanabhaswamy Kshetram. Thiruvananthapuram: The State Institute Of Languages, Kerala. pp. 242–243. ISBN 978-81-7638-028-7.
  28. ^ Menon, A. Sreedhara (1967). A Survey Of Kerala History. Kottayam: D C Books. p. 273. ISBN 81-264-1578-9.
  29. ^ Sreedhara Menon in Triumph & Tragedy in Travancore Annals of SIr C. P.'s Sixteen Years, DC Books publication
  30. ^ Aiyappan Pillai Interview to Asianet news Accessed at
  31. ^ Dominique Lapierre, Pg 260
  32. ^ Dominique Lapierre, Pg 261
  33. ^ A. G. Noorani (2003). "C.P. and independent Travancore". Frontline. 20 (13).
  34. ^ Sir C. P. Remembered, Pg 112
  35. ^ Sir C. P. Remembered, Pg 113
  36. ^ K. N. Panikker (20 April 2003). "In the Name of Biography". The Hindu.
  37. ^ Gauri Lakshmi Bai, Aswathy Thirunal (July 1998). Sree Padmanabha Swamy Kshetram. Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala: The State Institute Of Languages. pp. 278–282, 242–243, 250–251. ISBN 978-81-7638-028-7.
  38. ^ THE CONSTITUTION (TWENTY-SIXTH AMENDMENT) ACT, 1971 Archived 6 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  39. ^ Aiya 1906, p. 329-30.
  40. ^ de Vries, Hubert (26 October 2009). "Travancore". Hubert Herald. Archived from the original on 27 June 2012.
  41. ^ a b Cahoon, Ben. "Princely States of India K-Z". World Archived from the original on 14 February 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2014.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  42. ^ The ordinal number of the term being served by the person specified in the row in the corresponding period
  43. ^ Shungoony Menon, P. (1878). A History of Travancore from the Earliest Times (pdf). Madras: Higgin Botham & Co. p. 486. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  44. ^ "Table 1 - Area, houses and population". 1941 Census of India. Government of India. Archived from the original on 14 November 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
  45. ^ THE HINDU by STAFF REPORTER, May 14, 2013, ‘Simplicity hallmark of Travancore royal family’- National seminar on the last phase of monarchy in Travancore inaugurated: "History is replete with instances where the Travancore royal family functioned more as servants of the State than rulers who exploited the masses. The simplicity that the family consistently upheld in all aspects of governance distinguished it from other contemporary monarchies, said Governor of West Bengal M.K. Narayanan"
  46. ^ "Sree Chithira Thirunal, was a noble model of humility, simplicity, piety and total dedication to the welfare of the people. In the late 19th and early 20th century when many native rulers were callously squandering the resources Of their, states, this young Maharaja was able to shine like a solitary star in the firmament, with his royal dignity, transparent sincerity, commendable intelligence and a strong sense of duty."- 'A Magna Carta of Religious Freedom' Speech By His Excellency V.Rachaiya, Governor of Kerala, delivered at Kanakakkunnu Palace on 25.10.1992
  47. ^ Santhanam, Kausalya (30 March 2003). "Royal vignettes: Travancore - Simplicity graces this House". The Hindu (magazine section). Retrieved 14 February 2014.

Travancore State Manual (Digital book format)

Further reading

External links

Coordinates: 8°26′N 76°55′E / 8.433°N 76.917°E

Accamma Cherian

Accamma Cherian was an Indian independence activist from the erstwhile Travancore (Kerala), India. She was popularly known as the Jhansi Rani of Travancore.

Battle of Colachel

The Battle of Colachel (or Battle of Kulachal) was fought on 10 August 1741 [O.S. 31 July 1741]

between the Indian kingdom of Travancore and the Dutch East India Company, during the Travancore-Dutch War. Travancore, under Raja Marthanda Varma, defeated the Dutch East India Company. The defeat of the Dutch by Travancore is considered the earliest example of an organised power from Asia overcoming European military technology and tactics. The Dutch never recovered from the defeat and no longer posed a large colonial threat to India.

Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma

Sree Padmanabhadasa Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma (7 November 1912 – 20 July 1991), popularly known as Sree Chithira Thirunal, was the last ruling Maharaja of the Princely State of Travancore, in southern India until 1949 and later the Titular Maharajah of Travancore until 1991. Sree Chithira Thirunal was the eldest son of Junior Maharani of Travancore, H.H. Sree Padmanabhasevini Vanchidharmavardhini Rajarajeshwari Maharani Moolam Thirunal Sethu Parvathi Bayi, and Sri Pooram Nal Ravi Varma Koyi Thampuran of the Royal House of Kilimanoor. He was privately educated, and became the Maharajah of Travancore, at the age of 12, upon the death of his maternal great uncle, the then Maharajah of Travancore Sree Moolam Thirunal, on 7 August 1924. He reigned under the regency of his maternal aunt, Sethu Lakshmi Bayi (1924–31), until he came of age and was invested with full ruling powers on 6 November 1931.The period of Sree Chithira Thirunal's reign witnessed many-sided progress. He enacted the now famous Temple Entry Proclamation in 1936, established the University of Travancore (now the University of Kerala) in 1937. The Women Studies Journal Samyukta reports that, 40% of the Travancore's revenue was set apart for education, during the reign of Sree Chithira Thirunal. Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, Travancore Public Transport Department renamed Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, Pallivasal Hydro-electric Project, Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore (FACT) etc. were established by him. Historians like A. Sreedhara Menon credit him for the industrialization of Travancore as well.According to researchers, the Punnapra-Vayalar uprising in 1946 which led to the death of hundreds of Communist Party workers, the declaration of an independent Travancore in 1947, and allowing too much power to his Prime Minister, Sir C. P. Ramaswamy Iyer, would represent the negative aspects of Sree Chithira Thirunal's reign.Upon India's independence from the British on 15 August 1947, Sree Chithira Thirunal initially chose to keep his domain an independent country. As this was unacceptable to the Govt. Of India, several rounds of negotiations were held between the Maharaja and the Indian representatives. Finally an agreement was reached in 1949 and Sree Chithira Thirunal agreed to merge Travancore officially as a part of the Union of India. In 1949, Travancore was united with Cochin, and Sree Chithira Thirunal served as the first and only Rajpramukh (Governor equivalent) of the Travancore-Cochin Union from 1 July 1949 until 31 October 1956. On 1 November 1956, the state of Kerala was created by uniting the Malayalam-speaking areas of the Travancore-Cochin Union with Malabar, and Sree Chithira Thirunal's office of Rajpramukh came to an end.Sree Chithira Thirunal was an Hon. Major General with the British Indian Army and the Colonel-in-Chief and the Supreme Commander of the Travancore Military and of the Travancore-Cochin State Forces, for the period 1924–56. He became an Hon. Colonel in the Indian Army since 1949, as the Travancore Military was integrated by him into the former, as the 9th (1st Travancore) and the 16th Battalion of the Madras Regiment (2nd Travancore). After the Constitutional Amendment of 1971, he was stripped of his political powers and emoluments from the privy purse by the Indira Gandhi government. At the age of 78, after suffering a stroke, he fell into a coma for nine days and died on 20 July 1991. Along with the Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology, many other charitable trusts were established using the funds, land and buildings provided by him. Sree Chithira Thirunal also sponsored the higher education of a young K. R. Narayanan who went on to become the 10th President of India.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (Kerala PCC or K.P.C.C.) is the state unit of the Indian National Congress — one of the world's largest political organizations — working in the state of Kerala. Its head office is situated at Thiruvananthapuram. It first met in 1921 at Ottapalam, the banks of the River Bharathappuzha. Mullappally Ramachandran is the current president of k.p.c.c. Ramesh Chennithala is the current parliamentary party leader.

List of chief ministers of Kerala

The Chief Minister of Kerala is the chief executive of the Indian state of Kerala. In accordance with the Constitution of India, the governor is a state's de jure head, but de facto executive authority rests with the chief minister. Following elections to the Kerala Legislative Assembly, the state's governor usually invites the party (or coalition) with a majority of seats to form the government. The governor appoints the chief minister, whose council of ministers are collectively responsible to the assembly. Given that he has the confidence of the assembly, the chief minister's term is for five years and is subject to no term limits.The origins of Kerala lie in the princely states of Travancore and Cochin. Following India's independence from the British Raj in 1947, these states' monarchs instituted a measure of representative government, headed by a Prime Minister and his Council of Ministers. On 1 July 1949 Travancore and Cochin were merged to form Travancore-Cochin state. On 1 November 1956, the States Reorganisation Act redrew India's map along linguistic lines, and the present-day state of Kerala was born, consisting solely of Malayalam-speaking districts. Since then, 12 people have served as the Chief Minister of Kerala. The first was E. M. S. Namboodiripad of the Communist Party of India, whose tenure was cut short by the imposition of President's rule. Kerala has come under President's rule for four years over seven terms, the last of them in 1982. Since then the office has alternated between leaders of the Indian National Congress and of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). The latter party's Pinarayi Vijayan is the incumbent chief minister; his Left Democratic Front government has been in office since 25 May 2016.

List of districts in Kerala

The Indian state of Kerala borders with the states of Tamil Nadu on the south and east, Karnataka on the north and the Lakshadweep Sea coastline on the west. Western Ghats form an almost continuous mountain wall, except near Palakkad where there is a natural mountain pass known as the Palakkad Gap. When the independent India amalgamated small states together Travancore and Cochin states were integrated to form Travancore-Cochin state on 1 July 1949. However, Malabar remained under the Madras province. The States Reorganisation Act of 1 November 1956 elevated Kerala to statehood.

The state of Kerala is divided into 14 revenue districts. On the basis of geography the state's districts are generally grouped into three parts :- The North Kerala districts of Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram ; the Central Kerala districts of Palakkad, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Idukki and the South Kerala districts of Kottayam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram. Such a regional division occurred being part of historical Kingdoms of Kochi, Travancore and British Province of Malabar. The Travancore region was again divided into three zones as Northern Travancore (Hill Range) (Idukki and parts of Ernakullam), Central Travancore (Central Range) (Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Kottayam) and Southern Travancore (South Range) (Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam). The districts in Kerala are often named after the largest town or city in the district. The 14 districts are further divided into 75 taluks, and 941 Gram panchayats. Some of the districts were renamed in 1990 from the anglicised names to their local names.

Marthanda Varma

Marthanda Varma (born Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma; 1705 – 7 July 1758), known as the Maker of Modern Travancore, was ruler of the Indian kingdom of Travancore (Venadu) from 1729 until his death in 1758. He was succeeded by Rama Varma ("Dharma Raja") (1758–98).Marthanda Varma defeated the Dutch (VOC) forces at the Battle of Colachel in 1741. He then adopted a European mode of discipline for his army and expanded his kingdom northward (to form what became the modern state of Travancore). He built a sizeable standing army of about 50,000 men, as part of designing an "elaborate and well-organised" war machine, reduced the power of the Nair nobility (on which kings of Kerala had earlier been dependent for battles), and fortified the northern boundary of his kingdom (Travancore Lines). His alliance in 1757 with the ruler of Kochi (Cochin), against the northern Kingdom of Calicut, enabled the kingdom of Kochi to survive.Travancore under Marthanda Varma made a deliberate attempt to consolidate its power by the use of Indian Ocean trade. It was the policy of Marthanda Varma to offer assistance to Syrian Christian traders (as a means of limiting European involvement in ocean trade). The principal merchandise was black pepper, but other goods also came to be defined as royal monopoly items (requiring a license for trade) between the 1740s and the 1780s. Eventually, Travancore challenged and broke the Dutch blockade of the Kerala coast.Trivandrum became a prominent city in Kerala under Marthanda Varma. In January, 1750, Marthanda Varma decided to "donate" his kingdom to Sri Padmanabha (Vishnu) and thereafter rule as the deity's "vice-regent" (Sri Padmanabha Dasa). Marthanda Varma's policies were continued in large measure by his successor, Rama Varma ("Dharma Raja") (1758–98).

Padmanabhaswamy Temple

Padmanabhaswamy Temple is located in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. The temple is built in an intricate fusion of the indigenous Kerala style and the Tamil style (kovil) of architecture associated with the temples located in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, featuring high walls, and a 16th-century Gopuram. While the Moolasthanam of the temple is the Ananthapuram Temple in Kumbala in Kasargod District, architecturally to some extent, the temple is a replica of the Adikesava Perumal temple located in Thiruvattar, Kanyakumari District.The Supreme Principal Deity Para brahman, Maha Vishnu/Adi Narayana is enshrined in the "Anantha Shayanam" posture, the eternal yogic sleep on the serpent Adisheshan. Sree Padmanabhaswamy is the tutelary deity of the royal family of Travancore. The titular Maharaja of Travancore Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma is the trustee of the temple. In line with the Temple Entry Proclamation, only those who profess the Hindu faith are permitted entry to the temple and devotees have to strictly follow the dress code. The name of the city of Thiruvananthapuram in Malayalam translates to "The City of Lord Ananta", referring to the deity of Padmanabhaswamy Temple.

Padmini (actress)

Padmini (12 June 1932 – 24 September 2006) was an Indian Actress and trained Bharathanatyam dancer, who acted in over 250 Indian films. She acted in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi language films. Padmini, with her elder sister Lalitha and her younger sister Ragini, were called the "Travancore sisters".Padmini was born and raised in Thiruvananthapuram, in what was then the princely state of Travancore (now the Indian state of Kerala). She was the second daughter of Sree Thankappan Pillai and Saraswathi Amma. Her sisters Lalitha and Ragini, were also well known film actresses. Together, the three were known as the Travancore sisters. Padmini and her sisters learnt Bharathanatyam from Thiruvidaimarudur Mahalingam Pillai. The trio were the disciples of Indian dancer Guru Gopinath. They learnt Kathakali and Kerala Natanam styles of dancing from him. N.S. Krishnan noticed her talents while she was presenting Parijatha Pushpapaharanam in Thiruvananthapuram. After that performance, he said that in the future she would become an actress. She was thus cast as heroine in his own production Manamagal.

The Travancore Sisters grew up in a joint family tharavadu (Malaya Cottage) in Poojappura, Trivandrum. The matriarchial head of the family was Karthiyayini Amma, whose husband was P.K. Pillai (Palakunnathu Krishna Pillai of Cherthala) alias "Penang Padmanabha Pillai". P.K. Pillai had six sons, of whom Satyapalan Nair (Baby) was a leading producer of many early Malayalam films. They performed at the 1955 Filmfare Awards.

Padmini was a leading actress and one of the highest paid actresses of the 50s, 60s and 70s. She is also known as one of the charming beauty queens of the 50s and 60s. She was given the title "Natya Peroli" in Tamil Nadu because of her excellent Bharatnatyam performances in Tamil films. Her Tamil movie Thillana Mohanambal, is a cult classic of Tamil cinema and continues to be remembered even today. Her beautiful performance in Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai was outstanding and made her a national star.

Raja Ravi Varma

Raja Ravi Varma (29 April 1848 – 2 October 1906) was a celebrated Indian Malayali painter and artist. He is considered among the greatest painters in the history of Indian art for a number of aesthetic and broader social reasons. Firstly, his works are held to be among the best examples of the fusion of European techniques with a purely Indian sensibility. While continuing the tradition and aesthetics of Indian art, his paintings employed the latest European academic art techniques of the day. Secondly, he was notable for making affordable lithographs of his paintings available to the public, which greatly enhanced his reach and influence as a painter and public figure. Indeed, his lithographs increased the involvement of common people with fine arts and defined artistic tastes among common people for several decades. In particular, his depictions of Hindu deities and episodes from the epics and Puranas have received profound acceptance from the public and are found, often as objects of worship, across the length and breadth of India.Raja Ravi Varma was closely related to the royal family of Travancore of present-day Kerala state in India. Later in his life, two of his granddaughters were adopted into that royal family, and their descendants comprise the totality of the present royal family of Travancore, including the latest three Maharajas (Balarama Varma III, Marthanda Varma III and Rama Varma VII).

State Bank of Travancore

State Bank of Travancore (SBT) was a major Indian bank headquartered in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, and was a major associate of State Bank of India.

SBT was a subsidiary of the State Bank Group, but also had private share-holders. It was the premier bank of Kerala. Overall, as of 31 March 2015 SBT had a network of 1,157 branches and 1,602 ATMs, covering 18 states and three union territories.

On 15 February 2017, the Union Cabinet approved a proposal to merge SBT and four other associate banks with SBI. It finally merged with its parent bank on 31 March 2017.

Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma

Svāti Tirunāḷ‍ Rāma Varma (Malayalam: സ്വാതി തിരുനാള്‍ രാമവർമ്മ) (16 April 1813 – 26 December 1846) was the Maharaja of the Kingdom of Travancore, British India. He is also considered as a brilliant music composer and is credited with over 400 classical compositions in both Carnatic and Hindustani style.A well-formulated code of laws, courts of justice, introduction of English education, construction of an observatory, installation of the first Government printing press, establishment of the first manuscripts library were amongst the many initiatives taken by Svāti Tirunāḷ‍, as a King, to modernise Travancore. .


Thiruvananthapuram (IPA: [t̪iruʋənən̪t̪əpurəm] (listen)), commonly known by its former name Trivandrum, is the capital of the Indian state of Kerala. It is the most populous city in Kerala with a population of 957,730 as of 2011. The encompassing urban agglomeration population is around 1.68 million. Located on the west coast of India near the extreme south of the mainland, Thiruvananthapuram is a major Information Technology hub in Kerala and contributes 55% of the state's software exports as of 2016. Referred to by Mahatma Gandhi as the "Evergreen city of India", the city is characterised by its undulating terrain of low coastal hills.

The Ays ruled the present region of Thiruvananthapuram until the 10th century. With their fall in the 10th century, the city was taken over by the Chera dynasty. The city was later taken over by the Kingdom of Venad in the 12th century. In the 17th century the king Marthanda Varma expanded the territory and founded the princely state of Travancore and Thiruvananthapuram was made capital of Travancore. Following India's independence in 1947, Thiruvananthapuram became the capital of Travancore-Cochin state and remained capital when the new Indian state of Kerala was formed in 1956.Thiruvananthapuram is a notable academic and research hub and is home to the University of Kerala, Kerala Technological University the regional headquarters of Indira Gandhi National Open University, and many other schools and colleges. Thiruvananthapuram is also home to research centers such as the National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, Indian Space Research Organisation's Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, and a campus of the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research. The city is home to media institutions like Toonz India Ltd and Tata Elxsi Ltd, and is also home to Chitranjali Film Studio, one of the first film studios in Malayalam Cinema, and Kinfra Film and Video Park at Kazhakoottom, which is India's first Infotainment industrial park.Being India's largest city in the deep south, it is strategically prominent and hosts the Southern Air Command headquarters of the Indian Air Force, the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station and the upcoming Vizhinjam International Seaport. Thiruvananthapuram is a major tourist centre, known for the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, the beaches of Kovalam and Varkala, the backwaters of Poovar and Anchuthengu and its Western Ghats tracts of Ponmudi and the Agastyamala. In 2012, Thiruvananthapuram was named the best Kerala city to live in, by a field survey conducted by The Times of India. In 2013, the city was ranked the fifteenth best city to live in India, in a survey conducted by India Today. The city was also selected as the best-governed city in India in the survey conducted by Janaagraha Centre for citizenship and democracy in 2017.


Travancore-Cochin or Thiru-Kochi was a short-lived state of India (1949–1956). It was originally called United State of Travancore and Cochin and was created on 1 July 1949 by the merger of two former Princely States, the kingdoms of Travancore and Cochin with Trivandrum as the capital. It was renamed State of Travancore-Cochin in January 1950.

Travancore Medical College Hospital

Travancore Medical College Hospital or Travancore Medicity Medical College is one of the premier self-financing medical colleges situated in the city of Kollam. It is one of the emerging Medical Teaching Institutes located at the heart of Kollam city, Kerala. Travancore Medical College is the flagship endeavor of pioneers in the society. Medicity was established in 2008, which is managed and run by Quilon Medical Trust.Travancore Medical College is an ISO 9001:2008 certified Medical College and is affiliated to Kerala University of Health Sciences, permitted by Medical Council of India (MCI) to offer education in medicine and nursing at the undergraduate level. Travancore Medical College Hospital spread over 98 acres of land.

Travancore royal family

The Travancore Royal Family was the ruling house of the Kingdom of Travancore. They lost their ruling rights in 1949 when Travancore merged with the Indian Union and their privileges were abolished by the Indian Union in 1971 by a constitutional amendment. Travancore and Kolathiri families are said to be those surviving among the original royal Nair Family's lineages, and are both descendants of the Ay/Venad Family, Cheras, Pandyas and Cholas. The ruler in that bloodline was Maharaja Sree Moolam Thirunal, as the family of Maharaja Chithira Thirunal and successors.

The Royal family is alternatively known as the Kupaka Swaroopam, Thripappur Swaroopam, Venad Swaroopam, Vanchi Swaroopam etc. It has its seat today at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, India. The last ruling Maharajah of Travancore was Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma, died on 20 July 1991 after a stroke. Sree Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma, the younger brother of the last ruling monarch of the Kingdom of Travancore, Maharajah Chitra Thirunal Rama Varma, died at a private hospital in the early hours on 16 December 2013. He was succeeded by Sree Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma, son of Maharani Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi and Lt. Col. Goda Varma G. V. Raja.

University of Kerala

University of Kerala (UoK), formerly the University of Travancore, is an affiliating university located in Thiruvananthapuram, capital of the state of Kerala, India. It was established in 1937, long before the birth of the state of Kerala in India, by a promulgation of the Maharajah of Travancore, Sri Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma who was also the first Chancellor of the university. C. P. Ramaswami Iyer, the then Diwan (Prime Minister) of Travancore, was the first Vice-Chancellor.

Vakkom Moulavi

Vakkom Mohammed Abdul Khader Moulavi ((1873-12-28)28 December 1873 - (1932-10-31)31 October 1932) , popularly known as Vakkom Moulavi was a Salafi leader, social reformer, teacher, prolific writer, Muslim scholar, journalist, freedom fighter and newspaper proprietor in Travancore, a princely state of the present day Kerala, India. He was the founder and publisher of the newspaper Swadeshabhimani which was banned and confiscated by the Government of Travancore in 1910 due to its criticisms against the government and the Diwan of Travancore, P.Rajagopalachari.


Venad (Malayalam/Tamil: Vēṇāṭu) was a medieval kingdom lying between the Western Ghat mountains and the Arabian Sea on the south-western tip of India with its headquarters at the port of Kollam/Quilon. It was one of the major principalities of Kerala, along with kingdoms of Kannur (Kolathunadu), Kozhikode (Zamorin) and Kochi (Perumpadappu) in medieval and early modern period.Rulers of Venad trace their ancestry to the Ay Vel chieftains of the early historic south India (c. 1st - 4th century CE). Venad - ruled by hereditary "Venad Adikal" - appears as an autonomous chiefdom in the kingdom of the Chera Perumals (formerly Kulasekharas) of Kodungallur from around 8th - 9th century CE. It came to occupy pre-eminent importance in the structuring of the Kodungallur Chera kingdom. The country was intermittently and partially subject to the Pandya kingdom and the Chola empire among others in the medieval period.Venad outlasted the Kodungallur Chera kingdom, gradually developed as an independent principality, and grew later into modern Travancore (18th century CE). Ravi Varma Kulasekhara, most ambitious ruler of Venad, carried out a successful military expedition to Pandya and Chola lands in the early 14th century CE.The rulers of Venad, known in the medieval period as Venad Cheras, claimed their ancestry from the Kodungallur Cheras. Venad ruler Vira Udaya Marthanda Varma (1516-1535) acknowledged the supremacy of the Vijayanagara rulers. Minor battles with Vijayanagara forces in the subsequent period are also recorded. In the 17th century, the rulers of Venad paid an annual tribute to the Nayaks of Madurai. English East India Company established a factory at Vizhinjam in 1664 and a fort was built at Ajengo in 1695. The medieval feudal relations and political authority were dismantled Marthanda Varma (1729-1758), often credited as "the Maker of Travancore".

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