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Maharaja Chithira Thirunal of Travancore, wearing the mantle of a Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire
Kingdom of Travancore
Part of History of Kerala
Travancore.jpg
Travancore Kings
Rama Varma 1663-1672
Aditya Varma 1672-1677
Umayamma Rani 1677-1684
Ravi Varma 1684-1718
Aditya Varma 1718-1719
Unni Kerala Varma 1719-1724
Rajah Rama Varma 1724-1729
Marthanda Varma 1729-1758
Dharma Raja 1758-1798
Balarama Varma 1798-1810
Gowri Lakshmi Bayi 1810-1815
Gowri Parvati Bayi 1815-1829
Swathi Thirunal 1829-1846
Uthram Thirunal 1846-1860
Ayilyam Thirunal 1860-1880
Visakham Thirunal 1880-1885
Moolam Thirunal 1885-1924
Sethu Lakshmi Bayi 1924-1931
Chithira Thirunal 1931-1949

‡ Regent Queens

Capitals
Padmanabhapuram 1721-1795
Thiruvananthapuram 1795-1949
Palaces
Padmanabhapuram Palace
Kilimanoor palace
Kuthira Malika
Kowdiar Palace
edit

Sree Chithira Thirunal (born as Balarama Varma; November 7, 1912–July 19, 1991) was the last ruling Maharaja of the princely state of Travancore.

Contents

Accession

HH Sethu Lakshmi Bayi, Maharani Regent of Travancore (1924-1931)

Balarama Varma was the eldest son of HH Sethu Parvathi Bayi, Junior Rani of Attingal, by her consort, M.R.Ry Ravi Varma Kochu Koil Thampuran of Kilimanoor, a grandnephew of the celebrated painter Raja Ravi Varma.Balarama Varma's mother was distantly related, by birth, to the royal house of Travancore in the direct female line. In 1900, following the absence of heirs in the Travancore Royal Family, she had been adopted by her maternal grandaunt. Thus, upon the death of his adoptive maternal uncle, Sri Moolam Thirunal Ramavarma, on August 7, 1924, Balarama Varma succeeded to the throne of Travancore under the Regency of his maternal aunt, the famous Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bayi [1]. As was customary, he took the regnal name 'Sree Chithira Thirunal,' as he was born under the Chithira nakshatram or star.

Maharaja of Travancore

Sree Chithira Thirunal reigned under the regency of his maternal aunt, Sethu Lakshmi Bayi, who was also his mother's first cousin. On November 6, 1931, upon his attaining majority, Sree Chithira Thirunal was invested with full ruling powers. He was instrumental in establishing the University of Travancore (now the University of Kerala) in 1937. He also had a beautiful palace built which is now a museum. He was able to secure the services of eminent statesmen such as C.P.Ramaswami Aiyar, who served as his chief minister for several years.

The Maharajah's parents: HH Maharani Sethu Parvathi Bayi and M.R.Ry Ravi Varma Kochu Koil Thampuran on their wedding day in 1906

The period of HH Sree Chithira Thirunal Bala Rama Varma who took the reign of administration in 1931, witnessed many-sided progress. The promulgation of "Temple Entry Proclamation"(1936), was an act that underlined social emancipation. But the Punnapra - Vayalar massacre and government involvement at the time would represent the negatives. Those who consider Travancore included in India as having contributed to its development would see the declaration of an Independent Travancore in 1947 also as a negative.

Later years

After India became independent in 1947, Sree Chithira Thirunal agreed to merge his state with India after some initial hesitation. Travancore was united with neighbouring Cochin state and Sree Chitira Tirunal served as Rajpramukh of the Travancore-Cochin Union from July 1, 1949 to October 31, 1956, which was the entire duration of the existence of that political entity. On November 1, 1956, the state of Kerala was created by uniting the Malayalam-speaking areas of the Travancore-Cochin Union with those of neighbouring Madras State, and Sree Chithira Thirunal demitted office. On December 28, 1971, Sree Chitira Thirunal lost his titles when the Indian government derecognized the rulers of the erstwhile princely states.

Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma died at the Kowdiar Palace, Trivandrum in 1991, aged seventy-eight. 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 Indian Empire. 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 of Travancore by his brother, Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma.

The government of India issued a stamp in 1991, commemorating the reforms that marked the rule of Sree Chithira Thirunal in Travancore. The Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology and the Sree Chitra Thirunal College of Engineering at Trivandrum were named after him.

Titles

  • to 1924: Maharajkumar Bala Rama Varma III, Elaya Raja of Travancore
  • 1924-1935: His Highness Sri Patmanabha Dasa Vanchipala Bala Rama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharaja of Travancore
  • 1935-1943: His Highness Sri Patmanabha Dasa Vanchipala Sir Bala Rama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharaja of Travancore, GCIE
  • 1943-1944: Major His Highness Sri Patmanabha Dasa Vanchipala Sir Bala Rama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharaja of Travancore, GCIE
  • 1944-1945: Lieutenant-Colonel His Highness Sri Patmanabha Dasa Vanchipala Sir Bala Rama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharaja of Travancore, GCIE
  • 1945-1946: Colonel His Highness Sri Patmanabha Dasa Vanchipala Sir Bala Rama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharaja of Travancore, GCIE
  • 1946-1991: Major-General His Highness Sri Patmanabha Dasa Vanchipala Sir Bala Rama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharaja of Travancore, GCSI, GCIE

Honours

References

  1. ^ The Royal family of Travancore followed the Marumakkathayam system of matrilineal succession like the Nairs of Kerala.

External links

Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma
Born: 7 November 1912 Died: 19 July 1991
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Moolam Thirunal
Maharaja of Travancore
1924-1949
Succeeded by
Monarchy abolished
(Merge within the Republic of India)
Political offices
Preceded by
Post created 1 July 1949
Rajpramukh of the Travancore-Cochin Union
1949–1956
Succeeded by
Post abolished by the Government of India 31 October 1956; succeeded by that of Governor of Kerala
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
None
— TITULAR —
Maharaja of Travancore
1949-1991
Reason for succession failure:
Monarchy abolished in 1949
Succeeded by
Uthradom Thirunal
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]]

Kingdom of Travancore
Part of History of Kerala
Travancore Kings
Rama Varma 1663-1672
Aditya Varma 1672-1677
Umayamma Rani 1677-1684
Ravi Varma 1684-1718
Aditya Varma 1718-1719
Unni Kerala Varma 1719-1724
Rajah Rama Varma 1724-1729
Marthanda Varma 1729-1758
Dharma Raja 1758-1798
Balarama Varma 1798-1810
Gowri Lakshmi Bayi‡ 1810-1815
Gowri Parvati Bayi‡ 1815-1829
Swathi Thirunal 1829-1846
Uthram Thirunal 1846-1860
Ayilyam Thirunal 1860-1880
Visakham Thirunal 1880-1885
Moolam Thirunal 1885-1924
Sethu Lakshmi Bayi 1924-1931
Chithira Thirunal 1931-1949

‡ Regent Queens

Capitals
Padmanabhapuram 1721-1795
Thiruvananthapuram 1795-1949
Palaces
Padmanabhapuram Palace
Kilimanoor palace
Kuthira Malika
Kowdiar Palace
edit

Sree Chithira Thirunal (born as Balarama Varma; November 7, 1912July 19, 1991) was the last ruling Maharaja of the princely state of Travancore.

Contents

Accession

HH Sethu Lakshmi Bayi, Maharani Regent of Travancore (1924-1931)

Balarama Varma was the eldest son of HH Sethu Parvathi Bayi, Junior Rani of Attingal, by her consort, M.R.Ry Ravi Varma Kochu Koil Thampuran of Kilimanoor, a grand-nephew of the celebrated painter Raja Ravi Varma.Balarama Varma's mother was distantly related, by birth, to the royal house of Travancore in the direct female line. In 1900, following the absence of heirs in the Travancore Royal Family, she had been adopted by her maternal grand-aunt. Thus, upon the death of his adoptive maternal uncle, Sri Moolam Thirunal Ramavarma, on August 7, 1924, Balarama Varma succeeded to the throne of Travancore under the Regency of his maternal aunt, the famous Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bayi [1]. As was customary, he took the regnal name 'Sree Chithira Thirunal,' as he was born under the Chithira nakshatram or star.

Maharaja of Travancore

Sree Chithira Thirunal reigned under the regency of his maternal aunt, Sethu Lakshmi Bayi, who was also his mother's first cousin. On November 6, 1931, upon his attaining majority, Sree Chithira Thirunal was invested with full ruling powers. He was instrumental in establishing the University of Travancore (now the University of Kerala) in 1937. He also had a beautiful palace built which is now a museum. He was able to secure the services of eminent statesmen such as C.P.Ramaswami Aiyar, who served as his chief minister for several years. [[File:|left|thumb|The Maharajah's parents: HH Maharani Sethu Parvathi Bayi and M.R.Ry Ravi Varma Kochu Koil Thampuran on their wedding day in 1906]] The period of HH Sree Chithira Thirunal Bala Rama Varma who took the reign of administration in 1931, witnessed many-sided progress. The promulgation of "Temple Entry Proclamation"(1936), was an act that underlined social emancipation. But the Punnapra - Vayalar massacre and the declaration of Independent Travancore were the black episodes of his life.

Later years

After India became independent in 1947, Sree Chithira Thirunal agreed to merge his state with India after some initial hesitation. Travancore was united with neighbouring Cochin state and Sree Chitira Tirunal served as Rajpramukh of the Travancore-Cochin Union from July 1, 1949 to October 31, 1956, which was the entire duration of the existence of that political entity. On November 1, 1956, the state of Kerala was created by uniting the Malayalam-speaking areas of the Travancore-Cochin Union with those of neighbouring Madras State, and Sree Chithira Thirunal demitted office. On December 28, 1971, Sree Chitira Thirunal lost his titles when the Indian government derecognized the rulers of the erstwhile princely states.

Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma died at the Kowdiar Palace, Trivandrum in 1991, aged seventy-eight. 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 Indian Empire. 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 of Travancore by his brother, Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma.

The government of India issued a stamp in 1991, commemorating the reforms that marked the rule of Sree Chithira Thirunal in Travancore. The Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology and the Sree Chitra Thirunal College of Engineering at Trivandrum was named after him.

Titles

Honours

References

  1. The Royal family of Travancore followed the Marumakkathayam system of matrilineal succession like the Nairs of Kerala.

External links

Template:Start |-

| colspan="3" style="background: #FFD700; text-align:center;" |
Chithira Thirunal of Travancore
Born: 7 November 1912 Died: 19 July 1991

|- ! colspan="3" style="background: #ACE777;" | Regnal titles |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Moolam Thirunal |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Maharaja of Travancore
1924-1949 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
Monarchy abolished
(Merge within the Republic of India)
|- |- ! colspan="3" style="background: #ccccff;" | Political offices

|- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Post created 1 July 1949 |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Rajpramukh of the Travancore-Cochin Union
1949–1956 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
Post abolished by the Government of India 31 October 1956; succeeded by that of Governor of Kerala |- |- ! colspan="3" style="background: #79DBFF;" | Titles in pretence

|- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
None |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="{{{rows}}}"|— TITULAR —
Maharaja of Travancore
1949-1991
Reason for succession failure:
Monarchy abolished in 1949 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
Uthradom Thirunal |-


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