From Academic Kids

Travancore (originally called Thiruvithaamcoore, in Malayalam) was a princely state in India. It had a 19 gun salute in the British Empire. The flag was red in colour with a silver dextrally coiled sacred chank (Turbinella pyrum Linnaeus). Travancore was merged with the other Malayalam-speaking kingdom Kochi on July 1, 1949 to form Thiru-Kochi, and later with Malabar, on November 1, 1956, to form the south Indian state of Kerala.

Missing image
Kovalam Beach at the southern tip of Thiruvithaamcoore, in South India


Travancore is located in Southern Kerala. According to native legend, Kerala was formed when Parasurama threw his axe into the sea. The rulers of this state were named Sree Padmanabhadasar, after the deity Padmanabha Swamy or Vishnu.

The former kingdom's geography is defined by three natural terrains - a coastal area to the west, a midland in the centre and mountain peaks as high as 9,000 feet on the east.


18th Century

Marthanda Varma

The modern history of Travancore begins with Marthanda Varma who inherited the small kingdom of Venad, and expanded it into Travancore during his reign 1729-1758. In successive battles, he defeated and absorbed the kingdoms right up to Kochi including Attingal, Kollam, Kayamkulam, Kottarkara and Ambalapuzha. He succeeded in defeating the Dutch East India company during the Travancore-Dutch war, the most decisive engagement of which was the battle of Colachel (10 August 1741)in which the Dutch Admiral De Lennoy was captured. In 1753, the Dutch signed a treaty with him. With the battle of Ambalapuzha (3 January 1754) in which he defeated the union of the deposed kings and the Raja of Kochi, Marthanda Varma crushed all opposition. He organised the tax system and constructed a lot of irrigation works.

Rama Varma

His successor Rama Varma who was popularly known as Dharma Raja, shifted the capital in 1795 from Padmanabhapuram (see also Padmanabhapuram Palace) to Thiruvananthapuram. During his reign, Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore attacked Travancore in A.D.1791. The Travancore forces withstood the Sultan for 6 months, and the Maharajah appealed to the English East India Compay for aid, starting a precedent which led to the installation of a British resident in the country. The British resident, Colonel Macaulay, managed to engage the ruler in treaties which effectively made the state a protectorate of the East India Company and ended its autonomy. Tipu Sultan was defeated by the Company and he did not trouble Travancore anymore till his death in 1799 during the fourth Mysore War. The Dharma Raja improved the trade of the country.

Balarama Varma

On his death in 1798, Balarama Varma took over at the age of sixteen. During his reign Velu Thampi emerged as an able divan or minister. A mutiny of a section of the army in 1805 against Velu Thampi was put down by British troops, at his request. But the demands by the Company for the payment of compensation for their involvement in the 1791 Travancore-Mysore war led to enimity between the Diwan and the Resident. Velu Thampi and the minister of Cochin, Paliath Achan, organised an ill-fated revolt against the British in A.D.1809. The British defeated Velu Thampi at battles near Nagercoil and Kollam and the Maharajah, who had till then refused to take any active open part in the fight, turned against Velu Thampi. Velu Thampi committed suicide to avoid capture by the Maharajah's soldiers. Paliath Achan surrendered to the British and was exiled to Madras.

19th Century

Balarama Varma was succeeded by Rani Gowri Lakshmi Bai in (A.D. 1810-1815)with the blessings of the British. When a boy was born to her in 1813, the infant was declared the King, but the Rani continued to rule as the regent. On her death in 1815, Rani Parvathi Bai continued as regent. The regencies saw great progress in social issues and in education. Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma assumed the throne in 1829. He was a famous exponent of Carnatic and Hindustani music. He abolished many unnecessary taxes, and started an English school and a charity hospital in Trivandrum in 1834.

The next ruler Utram Tirunal Marthanda Varma (A.D. 1847-1860) abolished slavery in the kingdom in 1853, and restrictions on the dress codes of certain castes in 1859. He started the postal system in 1857 and a school for girls in 1859. He was succeeded by Ayilam Tirunal (A.D. 1860-1880), during whose rule, agriculture, irrigation works and road ways were promoted. Humane codes of law were enforced in 1861 and a college was established in 1866. He also built many charity hospitals including a lunatic asylum. Rama Varma Visakham Tirunal ruled from A.D. 1880-1885.

The reign of Sri Mulam Tirunal Rama Varma (A.D. 1885-1924) saw the establishment of many colleges and schools. The medical system was reorganised and Legislative Council, the first of its kind in an Indian state, was established in 1888. The principle of election was established and women too were allowed to vote.

Setu Lakshmi Bai ruled as the regent from A.D. 1924-1931. She abolished animal sacrifice and replaced the matrilineal system of inheritance with the patrilineal one.

Postcolonial Travancore

The last ruler of Travancore was Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma (A.D. 1931-1949). He made the 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 the upper caste Hindus till then. This act won him praise from across India, most notably from Mahatma Gandhi. His minister Sir C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer was unpopular among the general public of Travancore. When the British decided to grant independence to India, the minster declared that Trvancore would remain as an independent country. The tension between the people and the minister led to revolts in various places of the country. In one such revolt in Punnapara-Vayalar in A.D.1946, the communists established their own government in the area. This was brutally crushed by the Travancore army and navy leading to hundreds of deaths. This led to further disturbances and an attempt was made on the life of Sir C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer following which he fled the country. Sardar Patel informed the Maharajah that India was willing to take military action and the Maharajah agreed to join India and Travancore was absorbed into the Indian union. The Maharajah was stripped of all his ranks and privileges in A.D. 1971.

External link

Template:Former Dutch coloniessv:Travancore


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools