Important Travancore Kings-Kerala History Notes

  • Period of Rule:1729-1758
  • The Modern Travancore history begins with Marthanda Varma who united the “kingdom of Venad”.
  • He is regarded as “Founder of Modern Travancore”.
  • He defeated eight Fedual Land lords called “Ettuveettil pillamar” and “Ettara yogum”.
  • Marthanda Varma was the only Indian King to beat the European armed force at the 1741 Battle of Colachel against the Dutch.
  • In 1741 he defeated the Dutch in the Battle of Colachel and captured Dutch Admiral De Lannov.
  • He later appointed captured Dutch Admiral Eustachius De Lannov in the title of “Valiya kappithan”.
  • In 1750 January 3, he Dedicated the kingdom to Lord Sri padmanabha and he rulled as “Servant of Padmanabha”(padmanabhadasan) .This is Known as 'Thrippadidaanam'.
  • On 15 August 1753, Marthanda Varma signed Treaty of Mavelikkara with Dutch with both parties agreeing to live in peace and friendship. 
  • He started systematic tax system and irrigational works in his kingdom.
  • Ramayyan Dalwa was his faithful prime minister (Diwan/Dalawa) of Marthanda Varma .He had a important role in the expansion of kingdom.
  •  Artists such as Ramapurathu Warrier and Kunchan Nambiar amongst others served as his court poets.
  • He introduced the honours such as 'Ettarayum koppum' and 'Sarvadi karykkar' to the people who were faithful and loyal to the king.
  • He Defeated king Zamoothiri of Calicut at the battle of Purakkad.
  • Ceremonies such as Murajapam, Bhadra Deepam were introduced by Marthanda Varma in  in Sri Padmanabha Swami Temple. Murajapam celebrates once in six years and Bhadradeepam celebrated  twice a year.

  • Ruling period (1758-1798)
  • Mysore Ruler Tippu Sulthan  attacked Travancore in 1789 but they cannot defeat Travancore.
  • Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma protected the hindu political refugees who were coming from malabar at the time of Tippu sulthan's invasion of Kerala and he did not handover them to suthan. So he is known as Dharmaraja.
  • His dewan was Raja Kesavadas who was a very efficient Administrator..
  • Golden age in the history of Modern Travancore.

  • Ruling Period : (1798-1810)
  • He was a weaker ruler among Travancore rulers.
  • Mechale prabhu appoint Velu Thampi as dalawa and he takes charge .
  • East India company demanding compensation for travancore -mysore battle but Veluthampi refused to do so.
  • Then East India company defeated Veluthampi at Nagercoil and Kollam battles.
  • After that he organised a guerrilla war agsinst them. He committed suicide in 1809.

  • Ruling Period:(1810-1815)
  • Abolished slavery
  • Colonel John Munro served as Dewan of Travancore from 1811 to 1814.
  • The Police was reorganised in Travancore during the reign of Maharani Gowri Lakshmi Bayi at the suggestion of Col. John Munro Dewan.
  • By a Royal Proclamation in 1812, she abolished the purchase and sale of all slaves and granted them independence excepting those attached to the soil for agricultural purposes.
  •  In 1813, a vaccination department was started in Travancore.

  • Ruling Period:(1815-1829)
  • Coffee cultivation was introduced into Travancore for the first time during her rule.
  • Among the higher castes such as the Nairs, for the use of gold ornaments special licenses were to be obtained after paying an Adiyara Panam for the same. This was abolished by Gowri Parvathi Bayi.
  • In 1818 under the regency of the Maharani, Travancore entered into a trade treaty with Ceylon for the supply of Jaffna Tobacco on certain stated terms and prices.

  • Ruling Period:(1829-1847)
  • He was the promoter of Carnatic And Hindusthani Classical music.
  • He is known as 'The Monarch Musician' .
  • Started English school in Travancore and charity hospitals.
  • He also conducted the first census of the state in 1836.
  • During his rule , Ayya Vaikundar  referred to the King as Ananthapuri Neechan (vile man of Ananthapuri); referred to the Brahmins and the British as Karineechanmar (vile Black cheaters)and Venneechanmar (vile White cheaters), respectively.
  •  Swāti Tirunaḷ‍ also put an end to the barbaric punishment called the 'Suchindram Kaimukku' .

  • Ruling Period:(1847-1860)
  • Abolished Slavery in the Kingdom
  • In 1857, he started the first post office in Kerala in Alappuzha.
  • The first manufacturing factory for the coir mats was also established in 1859 in Alappuzha.
  • He started school for Girls .
  • He was the promoter of Kathakali.

  • Ruling Period:(1860-1880)
  • Golden age of Travancore.
  • In 1861 he opened postal facility to common people.
  • In 1866 he started Maharajas college .
  • General hospital, Nappier Museum also opened by him.
  • First systematic census of Travancore on 18 may 1875.
  • First Indian King to be offered a seat in the Viceroy's Executive Council.

  • Ruling Period:(1880-1885)
  • In 1886, a lease indenture for 999 years of Mullaperiyar Dam was made between the Maharaja of Travancore, Visakham Thirunal Rama Varma and the British Secretary of State for India for Periyar Irrigation Works.

  • Ruling Period :(1885-1924)
  • He give permission to backward community children to join in government schooll.
  • He started law college,Ayurveda college, Sanskrit college.
  • A new Department of Agriculture was organised in 1908.
  • Legislative Council started in 1888.
  • Give Equal rights to vote for men and Women.
  • JawaharLal Nehru visited in 1920.
  • In 1904, the Sri Mulam Popular Assembly (Sri Mulam Praja Sabha) was formed with 88 members to provide for increased participation of the people in the administration

  • Ruling Period: (1924-1931)
  • She ruled as regent.
  • Dewan M.E .Watts Help to rule the kingdom.
  • Abolished Animal Sacrifice.
  • Ended Devanagri System in Temples.

  • Ruling period: (1924-1949)
  • He was the last ruling Maharaja of the Princely State of Travancore.
  • He made Temple Entry proclamation in 1936 November 12.
  • University of Travancore (now the University of Kerala) was established in 1937  by a promulgation of the Maharajah of Travancore, Sri Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma who was also the first Chancellor of the university.
  • First public transport system from Trivandrum palace to Mavelikkara palace.
  • Punalur Plywood started during his ruling period
  • 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.
  • Sir C .P.Ramaswamy was his Dewan.
  • In 1949  Sree Chithira Thirunal agreed to merge Travancore officially as a part of the Union of India.
  •  Sree Chithira Thirunal served as the first and only Rajpramukh (Governor equivalent) of the Travancore-Cochin Union from July 1, 1949 until October 31, 1956
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