T.K.Velu Pillai
First edition: 1940 , New edition1996

This volume traces the history of Travancore from the ancient period to the 1930s. The inclusion of copies of hundreds of cadjan leaf records and other original historical documents in this volume add to its worth as a source book on Travancore history.


The work of preparing this Volume spread over a period of four years.  It was begun first but  finished only after all the other volumes were completed.  The preparation of this Volume cost an enormous amount of labour in the field of historical research.  What has been hitherto known as the ancient history of Travancore is in the main not authentic.  The legend of Parasurama is regarded as the starting point in the history of the West Coast.  According to tradition Parasurama was responsible for the political and social organisation of the land of his creation.  The theory has received the unquestioning veneration of scholars and historians.  The view was accepted and repeated by judges and administrators and applied in the actual decision of law suits.  A talented prince of Travancore once wrote to the Calcutta Review that “the Jenmies were sovereign at one time, or rather, they  had the power of making or electing sovereigns.”  The view had its origin in the monopoly  of political power alleged to have been exercised by the Brahman immigrants of the “sixty-four gramams” from their headquarters at Thiruvanchikkulam.  But Travancore was beyond their jurisdiction; and functionaries like the Rakshapurushas, Avarodhanampis or the Perumals who exercised political authority in the north had nothing to do with this kingdom at any time.

Many unverified Assertions in regard to subsequent history of Travancore  are due to the version advertised by certain prominent writers that the rulers of Travancore derived their status and authority from Cheraman Perumal who is said to have partitioned his empire among his sons, nephews and dependents.  This position is clearly unsustainable.  The arguments in support of the new position are elaborated in the text.

The Keralolpathi and Keralamahathmyam  which embody the traditional accounts and are regarded  as shedding light on ancient history are not ancient works.  They are recent productions of more than doubtful value.  The epigraphical records throw valuable light on events of the distant past.  But the introductions and notes compiled by the editors of book like the Travancore Archaeological Series are found to perpetuate  the versions  which  have had their origin in stories which acquired  an undeserved currency through repetition.  There are now numerous books on South Indian history written by competent scholars.  But the events which occurred in the West Coast have not elicited adequate attention.  The result is that due prominence  has not been given to the history of the Cheras, much less to the history of that branch of the original Chera dynasty which has been ruling over Travancore from very early times.

The historian also finds the alternate ascendancy of the Pandyas and the Cholas in Travancore, the disastrous defeats of Travancore by Vijayanagar and Madura and the acknowledgment of their suzerainty, and latterly of the acceptance by this State of the rank of a feudatory of the Nawab of Arcot till at last she entered into a treaty with the English East India Company.  But the events and relationships thus catalogued, except the last,  have no foundation in truth.

The view of ascendancy of the Pandyas and Cholas rested on an imperfect study of certain inscriptions.  But those inscriptions are often nothing more than bombast, and such of them, as for instance the Trivandrum Museum inscription, unfold a different story from what is generally accepted.  It shows that, instead of the king of Travancore being defeated by Nedumchadayan, the latter was obliged to save  himself by a timely flight from the outskirts of Vilinjam to his own territories, the Travancoreans pursuing him and laying siege to his own fort at Karaikkotta.  The story of the Chola conquest of Travancore is equally untenable.  What the historians did was to work down from the nebulous phrase Kanthalursalai kalamarutharuliya which finds a prominent place in the Chola inscriptions.  The phrase took such possession of the historical imagination and lent itself to such a variety of interpretations that no proper attempt appears to have been made to understand its sense and the limits of its application.  On a close examination of the evidence it appears that the theory of victories over Travancore based on it must be abandoned.

Writers on South Indian history often misunderstand proper names, particularly the names of places.  There are instances in which confusion of ideas is patent.  When mention is found made in Chola inscriptions of victories won in Malanadu or Kerala, they are often interpreted to be successes over Travancore while, in fact, they refer to military successes over the kings who ruled at Thiruvanchikkulam in the later periods.  Nor can the reference in epigraphic records to victories in places like Vilinjam and Kottar be interpreted to be victories over Travancore.  At the time in which the events are said to have happened there places lay without and beyond Travancore.  They were originally in the possession of the Ay kings from whom they passed into the hands of the Pandyas and Cholas.  It was only in the 12th century A.D that those places were added to this state.

The alleged supremacy of Sthanu Ravi, Bhaskara Ravi and other rulers of Mahodayapattanam accepted as a fact of true history is equally unsustainable.  The question has been subjected to a careful examination which, I trust would show that the old interpretations and the conclusions based thereon cannot be regarded as correct.  The kings of Travancore were not “petty rulers” as understood by some historians, but monarchs of great power and resources, who exercised a paramount influence as well beyond the Ghats as in Malabar.

It is often stated that the marriage of Jayasimha with Queen Umsa Devi was the beginning of the resuscitated importance of Travancore.  The researches made in the subject have shown that the facts are otherwise.  The immediate predecessor of Ravi Varma Samgramadhira  whwo assumed imperial sway in south India was Udaya Marthanda  Varma, a powerful king, “the lord of eight feudatories.”  This is a fact unraveled for the first time.

The evaluation of the work of Samgramadhira Ravi Varma Kulasekhara made by the several writers also appeared to be manifestly defective.  Considerable space had therefore to be devoted to the examination of the materials available in inscriptions literary works and ancient documents. Ravi Varma carried his victorious  arms  over every part of South India as far north as Nellore, proclaimed his imperial authority in the historic city of Kanchipuram, and preserved the religion and culture of the Hindus.  The greatness of that king is admitted by all writers.  It is however amusing to find some of them suggesting that Ravi Varma’s conquest of South India was “nothing more than a raid.”  Other writers take the view that he was “driven  out” of Kanchipuram, adopting the argument of the archaeologist based on an inconclusive data mentioned in an inscription which, it may be noted does not make any mention of Ravi Varma’s  defeat or his being driven away.  The detailed examination of the whole question made in this Volume has, I trust, resulted in a new evaluation of the great work of that king.

The period from the death of Ravi Varma to about 800 M.E. has  hitherto been treated as a dark one in the history of Travancore, all the information available being the names of a few kings.  But  a careful study of the Mathilakam records along with the inscriptions and literary works has led to the discovery of numerous facts relating to the events of the period.

In the preparation of the account of the relations of Travancore with the Portuguese new facts have been gathered and several mistakes which appeared in the older books corrected.  The records show that Travancore was then a great and powerful kingdom which not only owned extensive owned  extensive territories  on the East Coast but also levied tribute  from Ceylon.  The Portuguese were not able to exercise any control or influence in Travancore as they did in the other states of Malabar.

The expeditions undertaken by Vijayanagar in South India and the scope of the conquests alleged to have been made by her kings and generals  are often taken  to mean that Travancore was defeated by Achyutharaya and Vithala, the materials on which reliance is placed being the adulatory averments of court poets and the vain-glorious boasts of prasasthi writers.  The conflicts  between Travancore and Vijayanagar which have hitherto been understood as having led to the victory of the latter were in reality events of an opposite character.  The reason for the invasions of Travancore by the Vijayanagar armies and later by the Madura forces is the alleged refusal or failure to pay the promised tribute.  Considerable  light is thrown on that question by Portuguese  records of an unimpeachable value.  The undertaking  to pay tribute said to have been made by Travancore to Vijayanagar is nothing more than an invention.  The battles which were fought by Achyutharaya’s generals and later on by Vithala terminated  disastrously for Vijayanagar.  This conclusion is rested on an examination of the vast literature on the subject.  Books which are usually cited as authorities for the opposite view are seen to perpetuate a wrong version which had its basis in nothing more than the fabled glories of Vijayanagar.  Travancore writers, archaeologists among them, have excelled others in broadcasting the wrong accounts and giving them additional currency  by repeating the stories in books  and reports issued under the authority of the Government.  However, the burden of proof in evolving a different conclusion is heavy.  I trust that the burden has been discharged.

The subordination of Travancore to the Nayaks of Madura is another  idle story which some writers have chosen to popularise.  The former State Manual avers that from the time of the advent of the Nayakkar forces the Travancore  king was paying a tribute to the Madura kingdom.  This view is shared by a Travancore writer who contributed an article to the Christian College Magazine in 1904.  A Travancore archaeologist went so far afield in finding evidence for this theory in an inscription which he himself described as “hopelessly misspelt, engraved as it must have been by an ignorant stonemason, who, in addition to his illiteracy, appears also to have been an indifferent calligraphist that it is impossible to make any sense out of this curious  literacy achievement.”  The discussion of the subject in the text is calculated to expose the hollowness of the usual verdict.  It may now be confidently asserted that Travancore was never subject to the Madura Nayaks.  On the other hand, the Nayaks’ forces  sustained  signal defeats at the hands of the Travancore armies.

If the representation of the events in regard to foreign relations is incorrect, the mistakes made as regards the facts of internal history  by previous writers are not less so.  The views are apparently rested on the narration  of events  by Shungoonny Menon in his History of Travancore.  The erroneous accounts  have found their way into the Administration Reports of the State, where it is stated  that the country now comprised in Travancore consisted of four or five separate States, the most important of which were Attingal, Venad, and Desiganad;  and it was with these that the Portuguese, the Dutch, the Danes and the English first had relations.”

As regards Attingal the Administration Reports say that Maharaja Marthanda Varma amalgamated the Attingal State with Venad on a treaty engagement that none but the offspring of the Ranis of Attingal should succeed to the amalgamated State.  Now, the Ranis of Attingal were and are admittedly members of the Ruling Family; and no prince could become members of the family except as children, natural or adopted, of the Ranis of Attingal.  But the erroneous view that the Ranis held Attingal as members of their own independent Kupaka dynasty still finds a place in books on the subject.  The whole evidence has therefore been elaborately considered and the conclusion definitely recorded that Attingal was never an independent queendom, but only an estate assigned to the Ranis, the Ruler exercising all political rights as Sovereign and domestic rights as the Karanavan of the Tharavad.  The theory of annexation or amalgamation is clearly unsustainable.  It has also been explained that the kingdom of Travancore normally extended from the south so far nor as Kannetti.  The theory that Elayedathuswarupam and Desinganad were separate states is also proved to be untenable.

There has been a great deal of misunderstanding of actual conditions and events in regard to other matters of internal history.  It is often stated that in the ninth century of the Malabar era the kings of Travancore were weak and inefficient with little political authority living in danger of their lives and that the administration of the State as well as the Sri Padmanabhaswami temple at Trivandrum was conducted by the Yogakkar and their partisans the Pillamar.  But numerous  documents discovered from the Mathilakam archives, some of which are published in the Appendix Volume, prove a state of affairs entirely different.  It is a travesty of truth to contend, as the previous writers have done that the king had no authority over the state or the temple.  As a matter of fact, the Ruler’s authority  was adequate and effective.  It is hoped that the section on the temple and the State will serve to remove the misconceptions on the subject.

Closely allied with the removal of the misconception  regarding the alleged  anti-royal propensities and revolutionary endeavours of the time is the reconstruction of the real history of the period covered by the reigns of Umayamma Rani and Ravi Varma.  It has been usual for historians to harp on the helplessness of that queen and the necessity to which she was exposed of saving herself from the machinations of the people by a flight to n to Nedumangad and a fugitive residence there.  What is, on the other hand,  actually found from the records is that Umayamma Rani had the full support of her people.

In the former State Manual the suggestion is found made that Umayamma Rani was responsible for the murder of Kerala Varma of Puravaliyanad.  A careful study of Puthuvathappattu, a contemporary composition, taken along with the acocount narrated by Peter Martin of the murder of a Travancore prince at the time and the entries in the Dynastic Records published in the Kerala Society papers leads to the irresistible conclusion that Kerala Varma met with a tragic fate as the result of his high-handed acts, to which the ministers and other  leaders of the people would not submit.  The correct date of the incident (872 M.E) has also been established.

On the whole the happenings of the eighth and ninth centuries M.E are thus seen to be a character different from that which former historians have invested them.  The stability of Government in Travancore was steadily maintained by the rulers.  It is submitted that the differences which arose between the rulers and the ruled are greatly exaggerated.  The people, no doubt, stood by their ancient rights and privileges;  but they were always loyal to the throne.  The kings also were generally fair in their dealings with their people.

Another subject which required a critical examination was the prevailing account of the incident of 1721 A.D at Anjengo where a number of the East India Company’s  men are said  to have been deliberately murdered.  Canter Visscher throws the whole blame on the Rani of Attingal.  The old State Manual makes the Ettuvittil Pillamar responsible  for the crime.  But a close study of the different sources of information has disclosed that the whole trouble arose from a conflict between the unlawful exercise of arbitrary authority by the Anjengo factors, their dishonesty and imprudence and their attempt to make illicit profits by private trade at the expense of the people of the land as well as their masters.

The immediate cause was a scuffle  between the Company’s  servants and the Muhammadans of the locality.  The intrigues of the Dutch had also a considerable share in fomenting the disputes which led to the catastrophe.  The slur cast on the Ruling Family by previous writers is thus proved to be absolutely without justification.

The reign of Maharaja Marthanda Varma being an important stage in the history of Travancore, great care has been taken to explain the magnitude of his work with its bearing  on the course of events in other parts of South India.  So many and so romantic are the prevalent stories of the hair breadth escapes of that king, and so exaggerated  the accounts of the  opposition said to have been made by influential people in all parts of the country, that the quest for truth was particularly difficult and laborious, and involved deep study and careful  exercise of judgment  in the selection and  rejection of facts.  Sufficient space is also devoted to explain Marthanda Varma’s policy towards the Dutch and the English.  It is a truism  with several writers on the subject that the king, having had no support from his own people, was obliged to depend on foreign mercenaries, that the armies which led him to victory owed their efficiency and fighting skill to D’Lannoy’s discipline, and that the Travancore forts were built by that Flemish soldier after he was taken captive at the battle of Colachel.  These assumptions are refuted by statements found in the Mathilakam documents, the Dutch records and the Anjengo papers.

A reasoned attempt has been made to prove that the king was not only the Maker of modern Travancore but also the benefactor of Kerala one who had a considerable share in the political events of the period in South India.  When Marthanda Varma ascended the throne of his ancestors the Dutch were powerful in the east.  They had settlements in the Pacific and the Indian oceans and a  number of fortified places in Ceylon and the Coromandel and Malabar coasts.  Most of the Malabar rulers were under their leading strings  while some were their acknowledged vassals.  It was under Marthanda Varma that  inflicted upon them defeat after defeat, put them in complete humiliation, and reduced them to the position of merchants shown of all political ambition.  This perspective has not been sufficiently explored by historians.  It was therefore  deemed necessary to narrate all the relevant facts and explain their import.  The several stages in the conquests made by that king have also been explained in chronological sequence.  The march of events for which Marthanda Varma was responsible has been shown to be the outcome of a steady policy of national political expansion.

The part played by Travancore under Maharaja Rama Varma Karthika Thirunal in settling the political map of South India and helping to promote Pax Britanica is also explained in  considerable detail.  The suppression of the “irrepressible” Poligars of Tinnevelly and the buttressing of the authority of the Nawab of the Carnatic were achieved by the East India Company with the active help of the Maharaja who sent large armies to fight the enemy at Vasudevanallur, Nellithankavila and many another places.  However, the Maharaja  was obliged to recognise the formal precedence of the Nawab through the persuasion of the Company'’ officers.  The participation of Travancore in the war between the East India Company and Mysore is described in the older books.  But the magnitude of her services and her sacrifices, and the value of the assistance  which she rendered to the English in the consolidation of their power in South India have not hitherto been adequately treated or clearly explained.  An attempt to fill up the gap  is made in this Volume.

As regards the success of  Travancoreans in the defense of the Travancore Lines ion the northern frontier against Tipu Sultan and the subsequent happenings, all sources of information have been explored.  It has been shown  that the credit of driving Tipu and baggage goes not to adventitious natural phenomena like the flood in the Periyar, but to the organization, bravery  and fighting skill of the Travancoreans who, despite  the failure of hopes of help from without which were legitimately expected, offered wonderful resistance in defence of their king and country, and stemmed  the tide of destruction until Lord Cornwallis came down to Madras to correct  the mistake  committed by an inefficient Governor.  The triumphs of peace achieved by Maharaja Karthika Tirunal, his contribution to the cause of culture and awakening of a sense of friendliness and a spirit of solidarity among the various sections of his people have also been described.

The reign of Bala Rama Varma was a temporary set-back to the progress of the State.  The “innocence” of the ruler and the weakness of a Government dominated by favourites  brought about an organised opposition by his subjects.  The Maharaja was obliged to send away his favourites and even hand them over to the leaders  of the people for such punishment as they deemed fit.  No Travancore minister exercised such vast unlimited  and undefined authority as Velu Thampi  who rose to power on the crest of popular support.  At first he strengthened his position with the help of the British Resident, and lent his aid to the acceptance by Travancore of an agreement by which the East India Company came to exercise certain powers of intervention in the affairs of this State.  The records show that  the Dalawa was ultimately alienated from the East India Company by the impolitic course of conduct pursued by Col. Macaulay, the Resident.  An insurrection in the  face of the political relationship with the English which had come into being was indefensible.  However, a miscalculation of their strength cost the minister his life, besides exposing the State to great difficulties and dangers.  An effort has been made to narrate the events gatherable from all the existing sources, to present both sides of the picture, and give a caution to the student of that period of Travancore history not to allow himself to be operated upon by the current  accounts which bear sentimental colourings which mar the light of truth.

In regard to later history it may be stated that the general trend of events which shaped the progress of Travancore during the reigns of the Ranis, Gauri Lakshmi Bayi and Gauri Parvathi Bayi has been described in sufficient detail to enable a correct understanding of the rapid strides made by the Government and the people in progressive administration and legislation.  The reign of the Rain paved the way top the intervention of the Resident in important matters of internal administration, an intervention which was destined to cause misunderstandings between Swathi Thirunal Maharaja  and the representative of the Government of Madras.  The account of the reigns of the Maharajas who ruled from 1004 to 1061 M.E., had also to be so greatly amplified that they had to be substantially re-written in the light of additional materials laid under contribution.  The growth of institutions and the development of policies are explained in detail.

The reign of Maharaja Sri Mulam Thirunal, one of the longest in the annals of the State and one highly beneficial to the people, is treated with the necessary fullness.  The Maharaja lived for twenty years after the publication of the former State  Manual.  The development of new institutions and the delegation of power in certain matters to the representatives of the people rendered it necessary to wholly rewrite the history of the reign with a new perspective and a much larger scope.

The eight years of  the reign of His Highness Maharaja Sri Chithra Tirunal have been prolific of events  of a momentous character in all departments of public activity.  The measures of policy are so numerous  and so far reaching in their effect that their immensity and comprehensives baffle description.  The work of contemporary evaluation is also delicate.  The appreciation recorded by eminent statesmen  and thinkers of the empire have been of great assistance in the evaluation of  the great achievements of His Highness Sri Chithra Thirunal Maharaja.

From the foregoing exposition it will be seen that what has been attempted in this Volume is an account of the continuous progress of the State from the ancient times in which the Chera kings of Travancore shared the sovereignty of South India with the Pandyas and Cholas and helped the preservation and strengthening of the ancient culture of India at the same time taking  full advantage of the methods of government and adopting the administration of justice according to the western standards.  In tracing the course  of this progress the main lines of the development of social economic and religious life have been kept in view in addition to the political.  I claim that I have taken full advantage of the opportunity afforded by His Highness Government to discover the true facts of history so far as it was possible in the present state of knowledge and of research.  In view of the numerous mistakes found in the older books it has been necessary to assign detailed reasons in support of conclusions different from those usually accepted. A comparative study of the books, inscriptions, records in the  archives of Government, literary works and relevant traditions, accounts of travellers, and the records of  the Portuguese, the  Dutch and the English has as detailed above, resulted in a new perspective as well as the discovery of new facts.  Some of the main conclusions arrived at are:-
(1) That Travancore is one of the oldest of the Indian States and possesses a continuous history of over two thousand years.

(2) That the ruling dynasty  of Travancore  belongs to the original Chera stock;
(3) That there never have been in Travancore any serious dynastic troubles, or any change of dynasty;
(4) That Travancore has been an independent kingdom from very early times extending normally from Nanjanad in the south to Kannetti in the north;
(5)That from early times the people of the whole of Malabar looked  upon the king of Travancore  as Kulasekhara Perumal, the premier ruler in this part of the country.
(6) That the territory of Travancore during certain periods covered portions of South India beyond the Sahyadris;
(7) That the theory of its subordination to Bhaskara Ravi, Sthanu Ravi and other Perumals of Thiruvanchikkulam is incorrect.
(8) That the Pandyas or the Cholas were never able to subjugate this kingdom;
(9) That one of her kings, Ravi Varma Kulasekhara, subdued the whole of the West Coast, pushed his conquests as far north-east  as Nellore, and proclaimed his imperial authority in three different places in South India.
(10) At one time even Ceylon paid tribute  to Travancore.
(11) That the collision between Travancore and Vijayanagar generally interpreted as having led to successive defeats of Travancore really resulted in the defeat of the invaders and the decimation  of their forces;
(12) That the alleged payment of tribute by Travancore  to Vijayanagar and later on to Madura is a myth;
(13) That the Portuguese were never able to exercise any influence, much less any authority in Travancore as they did in other parts of Malabar and South India;
(14) That the stories found in the books about the conflict between royalty and the people in Travancore leading to the burning of the king’s palace, the poisoning of Adithya Varma, and the cold-blooded murder of Umayamma Rani’s five children at Kalippankulam are entirely false;
(15) That the statements  found in the older books such as of Shungoonny Menon, Nagam Aiya and others that the king did not exercise any effective control or authority over the affairs of the Sri Padmanabhaswami temple, Trivandrum, are baseless;
(16) That the statements regarding the dominating  position attributed to the Ettuvittil Pillamar in the government of the country and their alleged endeavours to establish a republic are nothing more than figments.
(17) That the Dutch who subordinated the other rulers of Malabar were defeated in successive battles by Maharaja Marthanda Varma and ultimately obliged to abandon their political ambitions in this part of the country.
(18) That the accounts of the ‘flights’ said to have been made by Maharaja Marthanda Varma to escape death at the hands of his subjects are not founded upon fact;
(19) That Marthanda Varma established strong government with the active co-operation  of his own subjects and not with the assistance of foreign mercenaries;
(20) That Attingal was never a “queendom” in itself as generally stated, but was nothing more than an estate from the revenues of which the members of the Ruling Family, especially  females, were permitted to maintain themselves; and that the intervention of Marthanda Varma in the affairs of Attingal was neither an act of annexation nor one of amalgamation.  The power so exercised  was that possessed by the Karanavan of the family, the king of Travancore.
(21) That Quilon, Kottarakkara and Nedumangad were not distinct political entities but formed part of Travancore, though local affairs were looked after  by the members of the Ruling Family residing in those places;
(22) That Maharaja Marthanda Varma not only enlarged Travancore by his wars and conquests but also established a strong kingdom with adequate military forces and civil government that it was possible within a few years of his demise for his nephew and successor Rama Varma, Dharma Raja, to withstand invasions from the east organised by the subordinates of the Nawab of the Carnnatic and the Poligars of Tinnevelly;
(23) That the indigenous system of administration in Travancore at the time elicited the admiration of westerners;
(24) That it was the far-sighted statesmanship of Marthanda Varma followed by that or Rama Varma which enabled Travancore  to give military aid to the English East India Company in their wars with Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan;
(25) That Travancore was able to resist the vast armies of Tippu Sultan unaided for a time; and that Tippu’s army was ultimately turned back by defeat and not by a sudden flood as stated by the historians.
(26) That the treaty between Travancore and the English East India Company had its origin in a desire for mutual assistance, and was at the time of its inception on a footing of complete equality.
(27) That the alliance between the two powers has grown into a strong bond despite the insurrection of 1809 which was the outcome of personal pique between the Resident and the Dalawa.
(28) That the state has benefited itself by the adoption of administrative and legislative policies and the organisation of representative institutions  in accordance with British ideals though the frame work of the administrative machinery is Indian and monarchical;
(29) That Travancore has always been a land of religious toleration and that the votaries of faiths other than the State religion have received kindness  and encouragement   at the hands of the rulers and the people.
(30) That Travancore was able to preserve its culture and its traditions unimpaired and unaffected by invasions from without developing and expanding the distinctive culture of Malabar, and maintaining a common bond for the people of the whole of Kerala despite political separation;
(31) That under His Highness the Maharaja Sri Chithra Thirunal the State is making a steady contribution to the wider public life of India and the Empire.

The work has involved an enormous amount of time and the expenditure of continuous energy.  In addition to numerous books and published documents whose number is legion,  I have had the opportunity to study the records in the Sri Padmanabhaswami temple, His Highness the Maharaja’s palace, and the Huzur Central Records office.  In Mathilakam and the Huzur Records thousands of bundles were laid under  contribution.  The large staff appointed at my instance to list, index and make copies of the old documents in the Mathilakam, the Palace and the Huzur Central Records  did their work in a prompt, methodical and efficient manner under the supervision of Mr. P.N. Kunjan Pillai, my Assistant in the State Manual office, who was appointed a Superintendent and placed in charge of the record rooms.  The scheme thus put into operation was for general purposes  as well as for the discovery of materials  for the State Manual.  As the Government was pleased to issue instructions that the search for the records useful for the State Manual should be given preference, the work was done with all possible expedition.  Numerous documents of very great value as authentic material for history have thus been  brought to light.  The superintendent made it a point to sit with me for several hours every day before and after working  hours in the Central Records Office, so that we might read the documents together, discuss them in all their bearings and settle new avenues  of search, a task which was particularly difficult and laborious.  The relative value of the documents from the archives was ascertained by comparison  with epigraphic records,  account of travelers, literary compositions and the information obtainable from numerous books on South Indian history.

The time originally fixed for “the revision of the Manual” was seven months only.  If the scope of the revision had been  confined to bringing the book up-to-date as was originally intended, the drafting might have been completed within the period of seven months.  But when the preliminaries were fixed and the work  was started it was decided that the whole book should be rewritten.  The reasons are stated in the Preface  to Vol.I.  The staff appointed for one year at my instance to list, index and copy the old records in the Mathilakam, the Palace and the Huzur Central Records was continued  for three years.  From the commencement of the work of that special staff to its termination I had been getting important documents of great historical value furnishing information which could not be obtained from any other source.
The records, as may be expected in a search of this kind, were discovered not in the chronological sequence of overtness recorded in them, but in a fortuitous manner.  Frequently a single document made it imperative to reopen a concluded inquiry and rendered it a matter of unavoidable necessity to revise views accepted as correct in the former draft.  In fact, such revision and rewriting were necessitated so frequently that I was obliged to be always at work  on all  parts of the subject checking, verifying,  amplifying  and rewriting the matter for the press.  In some cases sheets once printed had to be abandoned when conclusive documents, which came into my hands subsequently,  warranted a new opinion and a fresh narrative. His Highness Government very kindly gave me every facility for the collection of materials, permitting me and my staff to proceed to Madras, Malabar and other places.  At Madras I was able to use the valuable collections of books and papers in the Connemara Library, the Madras University Library and other institutions.  In Malabar I was able to collect many details which throw light on the dynastic relationship of the Ruling Family of Travancore with the original Chera stock.  My Assistant stayed in Malabar for several days interviewing many people from whom valuable information was obtained.

The altered scope,  the changed character, and the greater proportions  of the work, as I have already stated, made it necessary that the time should be greatly extended and that the total period should be many times that which was contemplated at first.  Instead of seven months originally sanctioned the Government were pleased  to allow me four years in all.  They sanctioned the extensions of time after fully apprising themselves of the work already done and taking into account what remained to be done.  In the preface to Vol. 1,9 stated that Mr. Kunjan Pillai worked with me for a period of two years.  The discovery of valuable historical documents from among the records consigned to the limbo and deposited among thousands of old and apparently useless cadjan  bundles made it necessary that he should continue as part time Assistant in my office for four years.  The  Government was pleased not only to extend the time for the completion of the work but also to permit me and my Assistant to proceed to Madras a second time to collect the information necessary for a critical examination and study of the newly  discovered  documents and such other material  as should be  available.  Contemporary events, particularly the great changes in the administrative and legislative  policy of the state, also made it imperative that the plan of some of the sections should be modified, and facts which were considered as only remotely germane and narrated in that view in the original draft had to be stated afresh and explained with necessary fullness so that the import of the changes might be clearly understood.  The extension  of the period also enabled me to make certain additions and improvements in the matter of Vols. III and IV as well, notwithstanding that  some of the Chapters had already  been printed.  It is due to the government as well as to me that I should say that the extensions of time were unavoidable in the nature of wholesale change in the character  and quantity  of the work from what was contemplated at the time of my appointment as Special Officer.

My obligation to the previous State Manual is considerable.  It served as a convenient basis for historical studies as well as for preparing the chapters on several other subjects comprised in the present Manual.  Mr. Nagam Aiya wrote his book about thirty five  years ago.  On many matters of internal and external  history he was obliged to rely on  Shungoonny Menon.  He also  utilised numerous  documents and books made available since Shungoonny Menon’s time.  But the sources  of historical information which were unearthed since his days, the wealth of literature, the numerous inscriptions  made available by the patient industry of epigraphists and others, and the new aspects of old facts presented in recent books written by competent  scholars, made it absolutely necessary to prospect for new lines of study, thought  and presentation. Shungoonny Menon and Nagam Aiya were great pioneers  whose labours  have to be gratefully  recognized and remembered.
I have great pleasure to express my thanks  to all those who assisted me in the preparation of the Manuel.  They are especially due to the authorities of the Trivandrum Public Library which, I am glad to say, possesses numerous source books on South Indian history.  The collections of books in the libraries of the College of Arts, Trivandrum and those in the Legislative Library have also been useful.  Mr. R.V. Poduval placed the whole library of the Travancore Archaeological Department at my disposal  and borrowed for me the Epigraphical Reports and other literature from Madras and other for me  the Epigraphical Reports and other literature from Madras and other places beyond Travancore.  My obligation to the authorities of the Connemara Library and the University Library, Madras, is very great.  I am also obliged  to Dewan Bahadur Dr.S. Krishnaswami Aiyangar,  Dr. Chelanat Achyutha Menon, V.R. Ramachandra Dikshithar and other members of the research staff of the Madras University of their readiness to discuss with me certain topics of South Indian history.  Mr. R. Krishna Rao,  a grandson of the late Raja Sir. T. Madava Rao, was so good as to lend me a collection of Madava Rao papers.  The manuscripts of the History  of Travancore by Dewan Nanoo Pillai (unpublished) and the unpublished account of the reign of the late Maharaja Sri Mulam Thirunal complied by Mahakavi Rao Sahib Ullur S. Parameswara Aiyar have been very useful.
Mr. Suranad P.N. Kunjan Pillai M.A. has been my Assistant in this work throughout  the period.  Even after his appointment as Superintendent in the Central Records Office he continued to assist me out of office hours during all this period.  He was so good as to attend my office on all holidays as well and work with me from morning to evening.  I take this opportunity to  place on record my high and sincere sense of appreciation of his versatility of talent and his supreme devotion to duty.  His association with me in the work has been a source of pleasure as well as of profit.  I have been benefited  not only by his industry, but also by his vast erudition,  quick grasp, remarkable memory, broad outlook and his capacity to make relevant suggestions which enabled me to arrive at definite conclusions in several troublesome tangles.  Hard work is his delight.  I hope that the valuable experience gained by this young officer will be of advantage to the State in future.

It is my pleasant duty  to record that the great collection of documents in the Mathilakam, the Palace and the Huzur Central Records has been of immense value in dislodging errors,  finding out explanations, and filling up gaps.  This would not have been possible but for the gracious permission given to me by His Highness the Maharaja  to use  the old records in the Palace and the Mathilakam as well as those in the other archives of Government.  As I have already stated in the Preface to Vol.I,  the personal interest evinced by His Highness has been a great inspiration and encouragement.

In the performance of this difficult and laborious task which His Highness’ Government  commissioned me to do I had the inestimable  advantage of frequent discussions with the Dewan, Sachivothama Sir C.P Ramaswami Aiyar, and the benefit of his valuable advice.  I may be permitted  to say  that that advice has stood me in good stead in the preparation of this as well as the other volumes.  To him I beg to express my sincere and respectful thanks.

15th Oct 1940

Chapter XIII


Introductory .. .. 1
Kerla Traditions of its origin .. .. 2
Peopling of the new country .. .. 3
The four divisions .. .. 4
Privileges of the Namputhiris .. .. 4
Government .. .. 4
Some facts of ancient geography .. .. 6
The age of Kerala .. .. 7
Kerala in ancient literature .. .. 8
The land of trade .. .. 9
The earliest inhabitants .. .. 11
Kerala ethnologically similar to South India .. .. 13
The inhabitants .. .. 13
Namputhiris .. .. 14
Other immigrants .. .. 14
The Nagas and the Brahmanas .. .. 15
Friendly dealings .. .. 16
The story of Parasurama .. .. 16
Dravidian civilisation .. .. 17
The three great kingdoms .. .. 18
The Cheras .. .. 19
Early kings .. .. 19
Senkuttuvan .. .. 20
Apathy of the historians .. .. 21
Senkuttuvan’s conquests .. .. 22
Development of trade .. .. 23
Internal administration .. .. 24
After Senkuttuvan .. .. 24
Later history: The two branches .. .. 25
Kulasekhara Alwar .. .. 26
The Southern Cheras: Travancore .. .. 26
Political organisation .. .. 27
Travancore outside Perumals’ sway .. .. 28
No land tax in Kerala .. .. 30
Recapitulation .. .. 34
The antiquity of Travancore and Kolathunad .. .. 35
Jainism and Buddhism .. .. 36
Revival of Hinduism .. .. 37
Sankaracharya .. .. 38
Christians and Muhammadans .. .. 39


Travancore rulers and Cheras .. .. 41
A wrong view corrected .. .. 43
Copper plate grants .. .. 46
An independent entity .. .. 49
Relations with the Pandyas .. .. 50
Kollam Era .. .. 51
The Thiruvati of the copper plate .. .. 52
Sri Vallabahan Kotha .. .. 56
Govardhana Marthanda .. .. 56
Relations with the Cholas and Pandyas .. .. 58
Nanjanad .. .. 60
Versions examined .. .. 61
Kanthalursala .. .. 68
Ramar Thiruvati .. .. 71
Vira Kerala Varma .. .. 78
Kotha Kerala Varma .. .. 78
Vira Ravi Varma .. .. 80
Udaya Marthanda Varma .. .. 80
The Gosala inscription .. .. 82
The extent of Venad .. .. .84
Rama  Varma .. .. 84
Devadaran Kerala Varma .. .. 86
Ravi Kerala Varma .. .. 87
The Manalikkara edict .. .. 89
Some rulers .. .. 92
Kupaka is Venad .. .. 94


i. From Revi Varma Kulasekhara to the advent of the
Portuguese .. .. 95-152
Ravi Varma Samgramadhira .. .. 95
Early activities .. .. 96
The condition of South India .. .. 99
Conquests and coronation .. .. 102
Inscriptions .. .. 106
Greatness suffered in its evaluation .. .. 107
Remarkable reign .. .. 111
Personal qualities .. .. 113
His morals .. .. 114
Date of his death .. .. 115
An Explanation .. .. 118
Adithya Varma .. .. 120
Rama Udaya Marthanda Varma and Kerala Varma .. .. 1`23
Kerala Varma’s successors .. .. 124
Ravi Varma .. .. 126
Chera Udaya Marthanda .. .. 127
Victory of Ravim Varma at Karuvelamkulam .. .. 127
Venad Mutha Raja and Rama Marthanda .. .. 128
Adithya Varma .. .. 130
The Varkala inscription .. .. 132
Ravi Ravi Varma .. .. 133
The Portuguese .. .. 137
First Voyage .. .. 137
Enmity with Zamorin .. .. 138
Alliance with Cochin .. .. 139
At Quilon .. .. 144
Struggles with the Zamorin .. .. 146
The vengeance of the Moors of Quilon .. .. 147
Treaty with Quilon .. .. 148
Kings and Co-regents .. .. 149
Jayasimha Deva ii .. ..  149
The Portuguese again .. .. 152

ii Travancore and Vijayanagar .. .. 156-174
Udaya Marthanda Varma .. .. 156
A claim examined .. .. 157
The nature of conquests .. .. 158
Travancore outside its sway .. .. 160
Battle of the Thamraparni .. .. 164
Inscriptional evidence .. .. 166
Rajanatha unreliable .. .. 166
Udaya Marthanda a great king .. .. 171
The Second Bhuthalavira and his successors .. .,. 172
Travancore and foreigners .. .. 173
Portuguese plunder temples .. .. 174
iii  Vijayanagar again .. .. 175-196
Xavier’s part .. .. 176
Travancore independent .. .. 177
Vithala’s second invasion .. .. 179
Rama Varma and his successors .. .. 180
The Portuguese again .. .. 182
Ravi Varma .. .. 184
Ravi Varma and Unnikkerala Varma .. .. 185
Thirumala Nayak’s invasion .. .. 187
Thirumala’s project .. .. 191
The death of Iravikuttipillai .. .. 191
Travancore not defeated .. .. 192
The English and the Dutch .. .. 192
Ravi Varma .. .. 195
The Dutch .. .. 196
iv. The temple and  the State .. .. 202-231
Rama Varma and Adithya Varma .. .. 202
Temple affairs .. .. 203
The Yogam .. .. 205
Disputes .. .. 213
The closing years of Adithya Varma .. .. 213
Wrong version .. .. 214
Poisoning untrue .. .. 217
Adithya Varma died at kalkulam .. .. 219
Ravi Varma and Umayamma Rani .. .. 219
The Kalippankulam incident untrue .. .. 220
Proof by omission .. .. 224
Correct history .. .. 225
All invasion .. .. 228
Kerala Varma of Malabar .. .. 229
English at Anjengo .. .. 231
v. The Last Phase of Medieval history .. .. 232-291
Ravi Varma .. .. 232
Kerala Varma killed .. .. 233
An alleged invasion .. .. 235
Popular rights asserted .. .. 238
Reforms of Ravi Varma .. .. 241
Adithya Varma and Rama Varma .. .. 241
Incident at Anjengo .. .. 244
The truth about it .. .. 249
Agreement with the English .. .. 252
Rama Varma and Madura .. .. 256
Rani’s escape .. .. 259
Marthanda Varma .. .. 262-357
Introductory .. .. 262
Political divisions of Malabar .. .. 266
Commencement of reign .. .. 268
The army .. .. 269
The Kunchu Thampis .. .. 271
War with Quilon   274
War with Kayamkulam .. .. 278
A conspiracy .. .. 280
Change of Dalawaship   281
Attingal .. .. 282-300
Assumption of direct control .. .. 282
Views of Van Rheede and Hamilton .. .. 282
Foreign writers ignorant .. .. 283
Later views .. .. 285
Current versions examined .. .. 286
Hamilton’s viewe examined .. .. 288
Position of the Ranis .. .. 289
Origin in adoption .. .. 289
Views of Sundaram Pillai .. .. 290
Kilpperur .. .. 293
Result of the investigation .. .. 294
Chirava .. .. 296
Marthanda Varma’s act explained .. .. 299
Position of the sovereign .. .. 300
Events in Kottarakkara .. .. 301
Amalgamation of Kotarakkara .. .. 302
The Dutch war .. .. 303
Battle of Colachel .. .. 304
Troubles in the eastern frontier .. .. 306
Treaty of Mannar .. .. 309
The Dutch peace conferences .. .. 310
Defeat of the Kayamkulam Raja .. .. 316
Annexation of Ampalappula .. .. 317
Annexation of Thekkumkur .. .. 318
Annexation of Vadakkumkur .. .. 319
Treaty of Mavelikkara .. .. 320
War with Cochin .. .. 324
Battle of Purakkad .. .. 325
Advance towards Cochin .. .. 325
Treaty with Cochin .. .. 325
Dutch views of the treaty with Cochin .. .. 326
Rebellion in the north .. .. 328
Defeat of the Zamorin .. .. 329
Cochin seeks help from Travancore .. .. 331
Relations with the Carnatic .. .. 332
Relations with the English .. .. 334
Reforms .. .. 337

Temple .. .. 337
Public works .. .. 339
Military administration .. .. 340
Land Revenue .. .. 344
Other sources of revenue .. .. 345
Village and district administration .. .. 347
Dedication of the State to Sri Padmanabha .. .. 347
Death of Ramayyan Dalava .. .. 349
Last days of Maharaja .. .. 350
Estimate of his work .. .. 353
Rama Varma .. .. 357-346
Commencement of the reign .. .. 357
War with the Zamorin .. .. 358
Conclusion of the war .. .. 360
The Zamorin’s visit and treaty .. .. 361
The Travancore lines .. .. 361
Ayyappan Marthanda Pillai .. .. 363
The eastern frontier .. .. 364
Kalakkad .. .. 365
Fall of Yusuf Khan .. .. 367
Changing fortunes .. .. 369
Disputes settlee .. .. 370
The Nawab’s Cowlenamah .. .. 371
Its significance .. .. 373
The position of the English .. .. 374
The rise of Hjyder Ali .. .. 376
His scheme against Travancore .. .. 378
Invasion of Malabar .. .. 378
The resistance quelled .. .. 379
Overtures with the Dutch .. .. 380

Tactics of the Dutch .. .. 381
Hyder Ali’s demands .. .. 381
Project invasion of Travancore .. .. 383
Events elsewhere .. .. 383
Travancore in the treaty of Madras .. .. 385
Mysore forces in Malabar .. .. 386
Hyder and the Dutch .. .. 388
Death of D’ Lannoy .. .. 389
Travancore and the Dutch .. .. 390
Hyder’s difficulties .. .. 392
His renewed efforts .. .. 392
The success of the English .. .. 394
Tipu sultan .. .. 395
Treaty of mangalore .. .. 398
The Maharaja’s pilgrimage .. .. 398
Domestic events .. .. 399
The War brewing .. .. 39
Kesavan Pillai becomes the Dewan .. .. 400
Affairs in Malabar .. .. 401
Tipu descends upon Malabar .. .. 402
Tipu’s diplomacy .. .. 403
Tipu and the English .. .. 405
Cranganore and Ayakkotta .. .. 407
Disputes  regarding the transaction .. .. 410


Tipu defeated .. .. 413
Further plans .. .. 415
Tipu enters Travancore .. .. 416
Tipu compelled to retreat .. .. 421
Glorious part played by Travancore .. .. 422
Lord Cornwallis takes  the field .. .. 426
Treaty of Seringapatam .. .. 427
Settlement of Malabar .. .. 430
The Expenses of the war .. .. 432
Reforms .. .. 437
Estimate of maharaja .. .. 441
Balarama Varma (978-936 ME) .. .. 446-501
Introductory .. .. 446
Betrayal of State interests .. .. 447
Death of Raja Kesava Das .. .. 448
The Nampuri Valiya Sarvadhikaryakkar .. .. 448
The rising of the people .. .. 449
Execution of Kumaran Thampi and Irayimman Thampi .. .. 454
Velu Thampi appointed Dalava .. .. 455
Intrigues  against Velu Thampi .. .. 456
Mutiny of the troops .. .. 458
Modification of the treaty .. .. 459
Endeavours for the remission of increased subsidy .. .. 469
Trial of strength with Col. Macaulay .. .. 471
The storm gathers .. .. 473
The rebellion .. .. 476
The incident at Alleppey .. .. 477
The Kuntara Proclamation .. .. 481
Attack in Cochin .. .. 483
Further stages .. .. 485
Velu Thampi kills himself .. .. 491
Macaulay condemned .. .. 493
Rebellin explained .. .. 495
The new minister .. .. 497
Close of the reign .. .. 500
Gauri Lakshmsi Bayi (986-990 M.E.) .. .. 501-526
Succession settled .. .. 501
Thampi Iravi dismissed .. .. 503
Resident-Dewan .. .. 505
Reforms .. .. 506
Revenue .. .. 511
Trade  .. .. 512
Judicial .. .. 514
Establishment of courts .. .. 515
Police  .. .. 517
Munro’s work .. .. 521
Birth of the princes .. .. 524
Gauri Parvathi Bayi (990-1004 M.E) .. .. 526-545
Ministerial changes .. .. 527
Reforms .. .. 531
Civic rights .. .. 531
Social improvement .. .. 535
Judicial .. .. 535
Revenue .. .. 535
Religious toleration .. .. 537
The Nayar Brigade .. .. 540
Foreign relations .. .. 541
Edappalli .. .. 542
Punjar  .. .. 543
Panthalam .. .. 544
Close of the regency .. .. 545
Rama Varma Swathi Thirunal(1004-1022 M.E) .. .. 545-564
Accession .. .. 545
Change of Dewanship .. .. 546
Withdrawal of subvsidiary force .. .. 547
Solid work .. .. 549
Reforms .. .. 550
Administration of justice .. .. 550
Other reforms .. .. 552
Troubles with the Resident .. .. 553
Resignation of Reddy Rao .. .. 559
Last years .. .. 560
An estimate .. .. 561
Uthram Thirunal Marthanda Varma (1022-1036 M.E) .. .. 564-592
Accession .. .. 564
Krishna Rao appointed Dewan .. .. 565
Poverty of public fisc .. .. 566
Amelioration of slaves .. .. 567
Travancore ivory work praised .. .. 569
Tinnevelly – Travancore boundary .. .. 570
Financial strain .. .. 570
Demise of Parvathi Bayi .. .. 571
Administrative divisions .. .. 571
Attacks on the administration .. .. 572
Steps taken to improve the administration .. .. 577
Miscellaneous .. .. 578
The pepper monopoly .. .. 579
Madava Rao appointed Dewan .. .. 582
Disturbances in South Travancore .. .. 583
General Cullen’s death .. .. 589
Demise of the Maharaja .. .. 591
Ayilyam Thirunal Rama Varma (1036-1055 M.E) .. .. 592-633
Accession .. .. 592
Famine relief .. .. 593
Fiscal reform .. .. 593
Interportal convention .. .. 595
The improvement of Travancore ports .. .. 600
Judicial reform .. .. 601
Sircar pattam lands enfranchised .. .. 602
Jenmi Kudidyan Proclamation .. .. 602
Means of communication .. .. 604
Education .. .. 605
Medical aid .. .. 606
Miscellaneous events .. .. 607
Appreciation of the administration .. .. 610
Retirement of Madava Rao .. .. 614
Seshiah\Sastri .. .. 616
Reforms .. .. 616
Jurisdication over European British subjects .. .. 619
Important events .. .. 624
Imperial Banner to Travancore .. .. 625
Retirement of Seshiah Sastri .. .. 627
Dewan Nanoo Pillai .. .. 628
Public works .. .. 629
Survey .. .. 630
Medical and Sanitary .. .. 630
Trade and Commerce .. .. 630
Legislation .. .. 631
Judicial .. .. 631
Land Revenue .. .. 632
Events in the Royal Family .. .. 632
Demise of Maharaja .. .. 633
Rama Varma Visakham Thirunal (1055-1060 M.E.) .. .. 634-646
Accession .. .. 634
Attainments and early life .. .. 634
Relesse of the Valiya Koyil Thampuran .. .. 637
Retirement of Dewan Nanoo Pillai .. .. 637
The new Dewan .. .. 637
Reforms .. .. 638
Travancore Cochin boundary .. .. 641
Important events .. .. 642
The Maharajas personal traits .. .. 644
The Maharajas demise .. .. 645
Sri Mulam Thirunal Rama Varma (1061-1099 M.E) .. .. 647-710
Early years .. .. 647
Accesssion .. .. 648
Land policy .. .. 651
Viruthi service .. .. 653
Puthuval lands .. .. 654
Kulachukututhal .. .. 658
Agriculture .. .. 659
Agricultural loans .. .. 660
Irrigation .. .. 661
Forests .. .. 663
Salt  .. .. 665
Excise .. .. 666
Administration of justice .. .. 669
Education .. .. 673
Public works .. .. 675
Anchal .. .. 677
Public Health .. .. 678
Ayurveda .. .. 679
Sanitation .. .. 679
Legislature .. .. 681
Registration .. .. 687
Public service .. .. 688
Foreigners and public service .. .. 690
Devaswam .. .. 693
Miscellaneous Departments .. .. 694
Population and progress .. .. 694
The Maharaja and his Dewans .. .. 695
Leading events .. .. 702
Title to His Highness .. .. 703
Kulasekhara Perumal .. .. 703
Distinguished visitors .. .. 703
Royal tours .. .. 704
The King Emperors coronation .. .. 705
Events in the Royal Family .. .. 705
Riots  .. .. 706
Silver Jubilee .. .. 707
Delhi Durbar .. .. 707
Princes and Princesses .. .. 707
The Great War  . .. 708
Shashtyabdapurthi .. .. 708
Domestic life .. .. 709
Literature .. .. 710
Demise .. .. 710
Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bayi (Regent 1100-1107 M.E) .. .. 711-726
Commencement of the administration .. .. 711
Dewan M.E Watts .. .. 711
Revenue .. .. 712
Panchayats .. .. 713
The improvement of communication .. .. 714
Education and Public Health .. .. 715
Devaswams .. .. 716
Important legislations .. .. 717
The new Dewan .. .. 721
Munro Island resumed .. .. 721
Special Committee .. .. 722
Public works .. .. 723
Judicial .. .. 723
Devadasis discontinued .. .. 724
Title to the Maharani .. .. 724
Visit of Lord Irwin .. .. 724
Other events .. .. 725
Round Table  Conference .. .. 726
Close of the Regency .. .. 726
Maharaja Bala Rama Varma Sri Chithra Thirunal .. .. 727-804
Ideals  .. .. 727
Installation .. .. 728
Education .. .. 729
Investiture .. .. 731
More privileges .. .. 737
Indian States Committee .. .. 738
New Dewan .. .. 738
The Legislature .. .. 739
Powers .. .. 741
Constituencies .. .. 744
His Highness message .. .. 746
His Highness European tour .. .. 747
Distinguished visitors .. .. 750
Pallikkettu .. .. 752
Change of Dewan .. .. 753
Franchise reform .. .. 754
Public service .. .. 755
Salaries standardised  .. .. 758
Reorganisation of the State Forces .. .. 759
Silver Jubilee celebration .. .. 759
Title of the Maharja .,. .. 760
Visit of the Ruler of Cochin .. .. 761
Epidemics .. .. 761
Fire in the Sri Padmanabhaswami temple .. .. 762
Pallivasal Scheme .. .. 762
His Highness’ tours .. .. 763
Sachivothama .. .. 766
Temple Entry .. .. 766
Tour to Madras .. .. 70
Tour to the East Indies .. .. 770
Travancore and Federation .. .. 773
Degrees to their Highness .. .. 775
Educational policy .. .. 777
The Travancore University .. .. 778
Birth of the First Prince .. .. 780
Pallikkettu .. .. 780
Viceregal visit .. .. 780
Visit of the Maharaja of Bikaner .. .. 781
Thirumatampu .. .. 782
Maqterial progress .. .. 782
Industries .. .. 784
Labour question .. .. 785
Land Mortgage Bank .. .. 786
The Credit Bank .. .. 787
State Transport .. .. 788
Public works .. .. 789
Sports and Games .. .. 790
The Scout movement .. .. 791
Uplift of backward communities .. .. 792
Poor Home .. .. 792
Award of titles .. .. 793
Coinage .. .. 793
Political agitation .. .. 794
Birth of Princess .. .. 796
Franchise reform .. .. 796
Finance .. .. 797
War efforts .. .. 802
A remarkable period .. .. 804
Bibliography .. .. 805-820
Index  .. .. 821-900


1.  H.H. Maharaja Sri Chithra Thirunal Statue in Madras .. Frontispiece
2.  Chitharal, Jaina sculpture  .. 15
3.  Image of the Buddha-Mavelikkara .. .. 37
4. Chera Coat of Arms (ancient) .. .. 43
5.  King Udaya Marthanda Varma .. .. 171
6.  Iravikutti Pillai .. .. 191
7. Nieuhoffs audience with the Queen of quilon .. .. 199
8. Padmanabhapuram palace (old) .. .. 219
9. Surrender of the Dutch at Colachel .. .. 305
10. Tippu at the Travancore Lines .. .. 415
11. Fortified Hill, Aramboly .. .. 487
12. Maharaja Sri Mulam Thirunal .. .. 649