COCHIN (Princely State)

(17 gun salute)


Area: 3,833 km2 Privy Purse: 235,000Rs Accession Date: 1st July 1949
State: Kerala Dynasty: Perumal Religion: Hindu



Present RULER:Shri Rama Varma Kochaniyan Thampuran, present Valiya Thampuran (Head of the Royal House of Cochin) since 2004.
born 6th June 1912, married and has issue.
  • Srimati Radhika Thampuran
Predecessors and Short History: The Kingdom of Cochin was a late medieval Hindu kingdom and later a Princely State on the Malabar Coast, South India, it controlled much of the territory between Ponnani and Kochi in Malabar, however it shrank to its minimal extent as a result of invasions by the Zamorin of Calicut. It was founded at an unknown date by Veerakerala Varma, a nephew of Cheraman Perumal, who is is supposed to be the first king of Cochin, he divided his kingdom between his sons and nephews and then went on a pilgrimage. Various dates for this division are given by scholars, ranging from 345AD by Keralolpathi, to 385AD by Perumpadapu Grandavari, 825AD by the historian, Loghan and the 12th century by Elamkulam Kunjan Pilla, another historian. The Princely States of Travancore and Cochin merged together and Travancore-Cochin State came into existence on 1st July 1949. The heads of the Royal Family do not use the title of Maharaja since 1964. The family motto is Honour is our Family Treasure. Rulers were...
  • Raja UNNI RAMA KOYIKAL I, Raja of Cochin before 1500/1503, he was the Raja when the Portuguese arrived on 24th December 1500, and he received the commander with great honour. He was killed along with a nephew and two other princes in a battle when the Zamorin attacked Cochin in 1503.
  • Raja UNNI RAMA KOYIKAL II, Raja of Cochin 1503/1537, during his reign on 26th September 1503, the Portuguese laid the foundation stone for their fort at Cochin, and two years later the first Viceroy to India from Portugal arrived in Cochin and presented the Raja with a golden crown on behalf of the King of Portugal. He died in 1537.
  • Raja VIRA KERALA VARMA I [Gangadharaveerakeralan], Raja of Cochin 1537/1565, during his reign St. Xavier arrived in Cochin in 1542; the Portuguese governor despoiled Palluruthi temple in 1549, but in 1555 they built the Mattancheri Palace and presented it to the king, the Dutch later renovated this palace and since then it has been known as the Dutch Palace. He was murdered in 1565 on the orders of the Vadakankoor Raja.
  • Raja KESHAVA RAMA VARMA II, Raja of Cochin 1565/1601 (abdicated), he was the most popular king during the Portuguese era and in 1599, the Archbishop of Goa paid him a visit; he abdicated and made a pilgrimage to Kashi where he died 3rd May 1601.
  • Raja VIRA KERALA VARMA II, Raja of Cochin 1601/1615, it was during his reign in 1609 that the first British ship arrived in India. He died 15th April 1615.
  • Raja RAVI VARMA I, Raja of Cochin 1615/1624, nothing of note occurred during his reign. He died 30th September 1624.
  • Raja VIRA KERALA VARMA III, Raja of Cochin 1624/1637, during his reign Mathilakam Angadi was captured. He died 11th July 1637.
  • Raja GODA VARMA I, Raja of Cochin 1637/1645, he succeeded his brother in 1637, during his reign Muringoor Thavazhi was merged with Elaya Thavazhi. He died 2nd February 1645 in Trichur.
  • Raja VIRA RAYIRA VARMA, Raja of Cochin 1645/1646, he succeeded his brother in 1645. He died 4th July 1646 in Irinjalakuda.
  • Raja VIRA KERALA VARMA IV, Raja of Cochin 1646/1650, he was adopted from Palluruthi Thavazhi. He died 1650.
  • Raja RAMA VARMA I, Raja of Cochin 1650/1656, he was adopted from Chaziyur. He died 1656.
    Rani Gangadhara Lakshmi [Velliama Thampuran], Regent of Cochin 1656/1658 (abdicated), she became Regent as there were no eligible successors, the Portuguese ordered her to make five adoptions from Aroor and Vettath. She died in prison after 1662.
  • Raja RAMA VARMA II, Raja of Cochin 1658/1662, he was the eldest of the adoptions from Vettath, he was killed in 1662 when the Dutch attacked Cochin.
  • Raja GODA VARMA II, Raja of Cochin 1662/1663, during his reign the Dutch attacked Cochin Port and he was forced to surrender on 7th January 1663.
  • Raja VEERA KERALA VARMA V, Raja of Cochin 1663/1687, he was adopted from Chayziyur Thavazhi to Mootha Thavazhi; during his reign the Portuguese left Cochin and the Dutch became a strong presence in Cochin and presented him with a golden Crown. He died in February 1687.
  • Raja RAMA VARMA III, Raja of Cochin 1687/1693, he was the last to be adopted from Mootha Thavazhi; in 1689 he adopted six boys and four girls from Chaziyur Thavazhi. He died 19th August 1693.
  • Raja RAVI VARMA II, Raja of Cochin 1693/1697, he was the eldest of the adoptions made in 1689. He in November 1697 in Thiruvalla.
  • Raja RAMA VARMA IV, Raja of Cochin 1697/1701, he was the second eldest of the adoptions made from Chaziyur in 1689; he signed a pact with the Dutch in 1698 to collect taxes of goods arriving by the sea. He died 1701 in Irinjalakuda.
  • Raja RAMA VARMA V, Raja of Cochin 1701/1721, he was the third eldest of the adoptions made from Chaziyur in 1689; he was the most popular king with the Dutch era, who appreciated his political skills though they never trusted him; in 1715, he adopted two boys and one girl, supposedly his nephews and a niece. He died in October 1721 in Trichur.
  • Raja RAVI VARMA III, Raja of Cochin 1721/1731, there is uncertainty as to whether he was one of the six adoptions made from Chaziyur in 1689, or one of the two adoptions made in 1715. He 1731 in Irinjalakuda.
  • Raja RAMA VARMA VI, Raja of Cochin 1731/1746, he was the last surviving member of the adoptions made from Chaziyur in 1689; he allied himself with the Dutch to fight against Travancore kingdom but later withdrew. He in January 1746 in Kureekad.
  • Raja VIRA KERALA VARMA I, Raja of Cochin 1746/1749, he was the elder of the two males adopted from Chazhiyoor thavazhi in 1715, as conjectured by 'Granthavari', educated at home, during his reign he witnessed the total defeat of the Dutch at the hands of Travancore in the Battle of Kulachil. He died 14th January 1749 in Thripunithura.
  • Raja RAMA VARMA VII, Raja of Cochin 1749/1760, he was a grandson of one of the females that were adopted in 1689, during his reign Cochin was attacked by Travancore and by the Zamorin from the South; a pact signed in 1753 between the Dutch and Travancore was a big blow for Cochin as the help that Cochin received from the Dutch ceased. He died in August 1760 in Cochin and was later cremated at Thripunithura.
  • Raja VIRA KERALA VARMA II, Raja of Cochin 1760/1775, during his reign Cochin was attacked by Hyder Ali of Mysore in 1766. He died in September 1775.
  • Raja RAMA VARMA VIII, Raja of Cochin 1775/1790. He died 16th August 1790 in Thripunithura.
  • Raja RAMA VARMA IX [Kunhjipilla Thampuran or Shakthan Thampuran], Raja of Cochin 1790/1805, born 26th August 1751 at Vellarapally Palace, Puthiyedam, Kaladi, as his mother died young, he was brought up by his maternal aunt, he was educated privately under the tutelage of various scholars, he succeeded his uncle in August 1790, and shortly afterwards he signed a mutual pact with the British, he brought the feudal chieftains to account and was able to consolidate the royal power in his hands; he enjoyed good relations with the British authorities, and was able to devote his attention to the building of a new Palace and to making Thrissur the cultural capital of Kerala, after moving his court from Thrippunithura; this palace in Thrissur City is now preserved as a monument, and is named Shakthan Thampuran Palace, after himself, it is spread over six acres and has now been converted into a heritage museum now, it was built in Kerala-Dutch style in 1795; married 1stly, 1781, (name unknown) Nethyar Amma, a Nair lady from the reputed Vadakke Kuruppath family of Thrissur, married 2ndly, 1802, Srimati Rani Chummukutty Nethyar Amma of the Karimpatta family, born 1785, she was a talented musician and dancer of Kaikottikalli, and possibly had issue, one daughter by the first Rani. He died spm in 26th September 1805 in Thrichur, and was buried in Shakthan Thampuran Palace, Thrissur.
  • Raja RAMA VARMA X [Vellarapaliyil Thepetta Thampuran], Raja of Cochin 1805/1809, he was the eldest son of the aunt of Shakthan Thampuran; he was a Sanskrit scholar, pleasant natured and righteous, though not efficient in the administration of the state which was left to his minister, Palliathachan, he underwent conversion into a Tulu Brahmin and worked for the spread of Tulu Brahminism. He died in January 1809 in Vellarapalli.
  • Raja VIRA KERALA VARMA III [Karkidaka Masathil Theepeta Thampuran], Raja of Cochin 1809/1828, he was brother of Raja Rama Varma X (Vellarapaliyail Theepeta Thampuran); he was noted for his interest in philosophy; Col. Monro became the first Dewan of Cochin in 1812. He in August 1828 in Thripunithura.
  • Raja RAMA VARMA XI [Thulamasathil Theepeta Thampuran], Raja of Cochin 1828/1837, he was the nephew of Raja Vira Kerala Varma III (Karkidaka Masathil Theepeta Thampuran). He died in November 1837.
  • Raja RAMA VARMA XII [Edava Masathil Theepetta Thampuran], Raja of Cochin 1837/1844, he was the cousin of Raja Rama Varma XI (Thulamasathil Theepeta Thampuran). He died in June 1844 in Irinjalakuda.
  • Raja RAMA VARMA XIII [Trissuril Theeppetta Valiya Thampuran], Raja of Cochin 1844/1851, he was the nephew of Raja Rama Varma XII (Edava Masathil Theepeta Thampuran) and also the eldest son of Ekkavu Thampuran. He in July 1851.
  • Raja VIRA KERALA VARMA IV [Kasiyil Theeppetta Valiya Thampuran], Raja of Cochin 1851/1853, he toured India at the start of his reign in order to gain experience in dealing with his subjects, he visited Coimbatore, Banglore, Pune, Indore in 1853 and reached Kashi where he had a severe attack of chickenpox of which he died, he was intelligent, scholarly and well versed in the English language, his untimely death was greeted with much sorrow by his subjects. He died in February 1853 in Kashi.
  • Raja RAVI VARMA IV [Makara Maasathil Theeppetta Valiya Thampuran], Raja of Cochin 1853/1864, died 11th February 1864 in Thripunithura and was cremated the next day ibid.
  • Raja RAMA VARMA XIV [Midhuna Maasathil Theeppetta Valiya Thampuran] K.C.S.I., Raja of Cochin 1864/1888, born 1835, an indolent ruler with health problems, he left the administration of the state to his Dewan, Shankunni Menon; he travelled to Madras in 1876 to pay his respects to the Prince of Wales, who bestowed him with the K.C.S.I., during his reign the Putthen Bungalow Palace and the Manimalika (Clock tower) at Thripunithura were built. He died 2nd August 1888 in Thripunithura.
  • HH Raja Sir VIRA KERALA VARMA V K.C.I.E. [Chinga Maasathil Theeppetta Valiya Thampuran], Raja of Cochin 1888/1895, born 1845, fluent in English, he went on a pilgrimage to Kashi, Gaya in Calcutta in 1893, died 12th September 1895 in Thripunithura.
  • HH Maharaja Sri Sir RAMA VARMA XV [Ozinja Vallia Thampuran], Maharaja of Cochin 1895/1914 (abdicated), Maharaja [cr.1921], G.C.I.E. [cr.1911], G.C.S.I. [cr.1903], K.C.S.I. [cr.1897] (#1), born 27th December 1852, he succeeded his first cousin in 1895, during his reign the railway line from Shornur was extended up to Cochin; he was an energetic ruler, but he had differences with the British Government and when they became too great to bear, he abdicated. He died 31st January 1932.
  • HH Maharaja Gangadahra Koviladhi Karikal Sri Sir RAMA VARMA XVI G.C.I.E. [Kunjikkidavu Thampuran Madrassil Theeppetta Thampuran], Maharaja of Cochin [7.12.1914] - [27.3.1932], G.C.I.E. [cr.1918], born 6th October 1858 in Tripunithura, Kerala, he succeeded 7th December 1914, married 1888 in Tripunithura, HH Maharani Parukutty Nethyar Amma Vadakke Kuruppath, born 1874, daughter of Kurur Namboodiripad, and had issue, one son and two daughters. He died 27th March 1932 in Madras.
    • Maharajkumar Aravindaksha Menon Vadakke Kuruppath, born in October 1897 in Tripunithura, Kerala; (Ret'd.) Chief Engineer, Cochin State; married Chirukandath Malathy Amma, and had issue. He died in June 1978 in Thrissur, Kerala.
      • Indira Menon Chirukandath
      • Varada Menon Chirukandath
      • Raman Menon Chirukandath
      • Malyani Menon Chirukandath, she married (her cousin), Sankaran Palat Vadakke Kuruppath, and had issue.
        • Ravi Palat
        • Raghu Palat
    • Maharajkumar Raman Menon Vadakke Kuruppath
    • Maharajkumari Ratnamma Vadakke Kuruppath, married Ramunni Menon Palat, born 1885, died 1963, Barrister, and had issue.
      • Sankaran Palat Vadakke Kuruppath, born 1921, died 197x.
      • Dr. Raman Palat Vadakke Kuruppath
    • Maharajkumari Vilasini Nethyaramma Vadakke Kuruppath, married Shri Rama Varma Thampuran, and had issue, one son and two daughters.
      • Nirmala Varmha
      • Ram Varmha
      • Rayma Nayar
  • HH Maharaja Gangadahra Koviladhi Karikal
                    Sri Sir RAMAVARMA XVII (1861-1941)HH Maharaja Gangadahra Koviladhi Karikal Sri Sir RAMA VARMA XVII [Chowarayil Theeppetta Thampuran], Maharaja of Cochin 1932/1941, born 30th December 1861 (#2), he succeeded his uncle in 1932; during his reign, he took a great interest in the cultural activities of the Kingdom, also Cochin Harbor was completed and Ernakulam High Court was built. He died 23rd May 1941 at Chowara.
  • HH Maharaja Gangadahra Koviladhi Karikal Sri Sir VIRA KERALA VARMA VI G.C.I.E. [Midukka/Medukan Thampuran], Maharaja of Cochin 1941/1943, G.C.I.E. [cr. 2.6.1943], born 13th December 1863 in Tripunithura of the Padinjaare Kovilakam Thavazhi of Cochin Royal Family, he succeeded his brother in 1941; he was an accomplished Ayurvedic practitioner with an in depth knowledge of sanskrit; married HH Srimati Maharani Lakshmi Kutty Amma [Vadakke Karimpet Lakshmi Kutty (Ammini) Neithyaramma] of the Trichur Karumpat Taravad, born 1879 in Trissur, Kerala, India, died in November 1943 in Tripunithura, Kerala, and had issue, four sons and one daughter. He died 13th October 1943 in Tripunithura was cremated with full state honours in the Royal Cemetery.
    • Maharajkumar Vadakke Karimpet Krishnan Menon
    • Maharajkumar Vadakke Karimpet Raghunandanan Menon
    • Maharajkumar Vadakke Karimpet Girijavallabhan Menon
    • Capt. Maharajkumar Vadakke Karimpet Sukumara Menon, married Kuttikat Bharathy Kutty (younger sister of Kuttikat Ammu Kutty, whose son is journalist K.N.K. Menon), daughter of Marayil Nanu Menon, and had issue, four children.
      • Rajendran Menon
      • Krishnakumar Menon
      • Kunjilakshmi Menon
      • Parvathi Menon
    • Maharajkumari Vadakke Karimpet Radha Menon
  • HH Maharaja Gangadahra Koviladhi Karikal Sri RAVI VARMA V [Kunjappan Thampuran], Maharaja of Cochin [13.10.1943] - [1.2.1946], born 29th November 1865 in Tripunithura, British India, he was the Elaya Raja till he succeeded his brother on 13th October 1943, he was well educated being fluent in English, Hindi, Malayalam, Sanskrit and to a leeser extant in Urdu as well as bring an accomplished painter; married HH Maharani Kamakshi Neithiyar Parakkat (sister of Damodara Menon Parakkat), and had issue. He died 1st February 1946 in Thripunithura, Kerala.
    • Maharajkumar Devakinandanan Thampuran
    • Maharajkumar Balagopalan Thampuran
    • Maharajkumar Chandrasekharan Thampuran
    • Maharajkumari Umalakshmi Amma, married Rama Varma Thampuran, and had issue.
      • Saradamani Thampuratti, born 1921, married Shri Rama Varma Kochaniyan Thampuran, he is the 9th and present Valiya Thampuran of the Cochin Royal Family (qv).
  • HH Maharaja Gangadahra Koviladhi Karikal Sri VIRA KERALA VARMA VII [Ikyakeralam Thampuran], Maharaja of Cochin 1946/1948 , born 13th July 1870, he succeeded his cousin in 1946. He died in July 1948.
  • HH Maharaja Gangadahra Koviladhi Karikal Sri RAMA VARMA XVIII [Parikshith Thampuran], Maharaja of Cochin [xx.7.1948] - [1.7.1949] and 1st Valiya Thampuran of Cochin 1949/1964, born 1876, during his reign, the Travancore and Cochin Princely States merged together and Travancore-Cochin State came into existence on 11st July 1949, married HH Srimati Maharani Ittiyanath Ammukutty. He died 1964 in Thripunithura, Kerala.
  • HH Maharaja Gangadahra Koviladhi Karikal Sri Rama Varma XIX [Lalan Thampuran of Padinjare Kovilakath Thavazhi], 2nd and last official Valiya Thampuran of Cochin 1964/1975, born 15th October 1887 in Thrippunithura, Ernakulam, Kerala, married Srimati Narayani Amma Vengalil, born about 1903, daughter of Adv. Krishna Kurup Komath, and his wife, Lakshmi Kutty Amma Vengalil, and had issue, one son and one daughter. He died 9th August 1975 in Ernakulam, Kerala and was cremated 10th August 1975.
    • Rama Menon (Kuttan) Vengalil, born 1920 in Kochi, Ernakulam, Kerala; Former Superintendent, Madras Secretariat 1945/1964
    • Ammalukutty Amma Vengalil, born 1922 in Ernakulam, Kerala,
  • ......
  • Captain Shri Rama Varma Kochaniyan Thampuran, Valiya Thampuran (Head of the Royal Family of Cochin) -/2011, born 1920, he unsuccessfully contested election to Kerala Assembly in 1960 from Palluruthy constituency, backed by the Communist Party; married Ambika Thampuratti of the Royal family in Poonjar, and had issue. He died 17th June 2011 at a private hospital in Bharananganam, aged 91 years, he was cremated the next day at the Tripunithura Palace burial grounds.
    • Prathap Varma
    • Usha Varma
    • Padmaja Varma
    • Radhika Varma
    • Jayashree Varma
  • Shri Rama Varma Kochaniyan Thampuran, 9th Valiya Thampuran of Cochin (Head of the Royal Family of Cochin) (see above)
OTHER MEMBERS:
  • Ekkavu Thampuran, she married and had issue.
    • Raja Rama Varma VII, Raja of Cochin 1749/1760 (qv)
    • Raja Vira Kerala Varma II, Raja of Cochin 1760/1775 (qv)
    • Raja Rama Varma VIII, Raja of Cochin 1775/1790 (qv)
    • Ambika Thampuran, married Chennose Namboodiripad (or Anujan Namboodiripad of the Chennamangalam Mana), and had issue. She died 1754.
      • Raja Rama Varma IX [Shakthan Thampuran], Raja of Cochin 1790/1805 (qv)
    • Chittamma Thampura, she married and had issue.
      • Raja Rama Varma X [Vellarapaliyil Thepetta Thampuran], Raja of Cochin 1805/1809 (qv)
      • Raja Vira Kerala Varma III [Karkidaka Masathil Theepeta Thampuran], Raja of Cochin 1809/1828 (qv)
      • (name unknown) Thampuran, she married and had issue.
        • Raja Rama Varma XI [Thulamasathil Theepeta Thampuran], Raja of Cochin 1828/1837 (qv)
        • Ekkavu Thampuran, she married and had issue. She died 1861.
          • Manku Thampuran, born 1814, married and had issue. She died 1890.
            • Raja Rama Varma XIV [Midhunamaasathil Theeppetta Valiya Thampuran], Raja of Cochin 1864/1888 (qv)
            • Kavu Thampuran, born 1842, married Pana Namboothiripad, and had issue. She died 1918 in Tripunithura, Kerala, India.
              • HH Maharaja Gangadahra Koviladhi Karikal Sri Sir Rama Varma XVI [Kunjikkidavu Thampuran Madrassil Theeppetta Thampuran], Maharaja of Cochin 1914/1932 (qv)
              • HH Maharaja Gangadahra Koviladhi Karikal Sri Sir Kerala Varma VI [Kochunni Thampuran Medukan/Midukkan Thampuran], Maharaja of Cochin 1941/1943 (qv)
              • HH Maharaja Gangadahra Koviladhi Karikal Sri Ravi Varma V [Kunjappan Thampuran], Maharaja of Cochin 1943/1946 (qv)
              • Kerala Varma Kelappan Thampuran
              • Kunjikkavu Thampuran
              • Raja Rama Varma
              • Kunjippilla Thampuran, married and had issue.
                • Kunjippilla Thampuran, married and had issue.
                  • Amminikutty
              • Kavu Thampuran
              • Ikkavu Thampuran
              • Manku Thampuran
            • HH Raja Sir Vira Kerala Varma V [Chinga Maasathil Theeppetta Valiya Thampuran], Raja of Cochin 1888/1895 (qv)
            • Kunjippilla Thampuran
            • Raja Rama Varma
          • Kunjikkavu Thampuran, married and had issue.
            • HH Maharaja Sri Sir Rama Varma XV [Ozinja Vallia Thampuran], Maharaja of Cochin 1895/1914 (abdicated) cf. below
            • Kerala Vama Kochunni Thampuran
            • Ravi Varma Kunjunni Thampuran
            • Rama Varma Kochammaman Thampuran
            • Kochikkavu Thampuran
            • Ammu Thampuran
            • Manku Thampuran, married Oottur Raman Namboodiripad, and had issue.
              • HH Maharaja Gangadahra Koviladhi Karikal Sri Rama Varma XVIII [Parikshith Thampuran], Maharaja of Cochin 1948/1949 (qv)
            • Kunjikkavu (Ammini) Thampuran
          • Kunjippilla Thampuran, born 1822, married and had issue. She died 1880.
            • HH Maharaja Sri Sir Rama Varma XV [Ozinja Vallia Thampuran], Maharaja of Cochin 1895/1914 (abdicated) (qv) cf. above
          • Raja Rama Varma XIII [Trissuril Theeppetta Valiya Thampuran], Raja of Cochin 1844/1851 (qv)
          • Raja Kerala Varma [Kasiyil Theeppetta Valiya Thampuran], Raja of Cochin 1851/1853 (qv)
          • Raja Ravi Varma IV [Makaramaasathil Theeppetta Valiya Thampuran], Raja of Cochin 1853/1864 (qv)
  • Princess Seema is the daughter of Vijaya Varma and Sreemathi Thamburatti, while her grandfather, Narayanan Namboodiri, was a "vaidikan'' from Kalingatt, the clan of social Manus who were vested with the power to impose "bhrashtu'' or ostracise people. Seema's three uncles were erstwhile kings of Cochin - Ramavarma (Madrasil Theepetta Maharaja), Kerala Varma Midukkan Thampuran and Kunhappan Thampuran.
  • Princess Lalitha, converted to Christianity and accompanied her husband to the Gulf.
  • Princess Krishna Kumari.
  • Capt Kerala Varma Thampuran
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1. "Whitaker's Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Companionage", 1916 London ; p.268
2. "Burke's Peerage,Baronetage and Knightage" ; 1939 ; p.2745
3. The naming convention for all Princes in the Cochin Royal Family was as follows, the eldest son was known as Rama Varma, the second son was the Kerala Varma, the third son was the Ravi Varma and the fourth son was Goda Varma, but this fell into disuse after 1663, and became obsolete before 1700, and only the first three names were used.