TRAVANCORE (Princely State)

(19 gun salute)

AREA: 19,749 km2 PRIVY PURSE: 1,800,000Rs  ACCESSION: 1st July 1949
STATE: Travancore
DYNASTY: Cheraman (Kulashekhara)  RELIGION: Hindu
  POPULATION: 
CAPITAL: Thiruvananthapuram(from 1795)



HH Shri Maharaja Rama Varma VII
                  KulasekharaPRESENT RULER: HH Shri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala Maharaja RAMA VARMA VII Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur Shamsher Jung [Shri Moolam Thirunal], 56th and present Maharaja of Travancore since 2013.
born 1950, second son of Colonel Goda Varma Raja of Poonjar, and his wife, HH Rani Lakshmi Bai Karthika Thirunal (see below); Trustee of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple and head of business concerns of the Travancore Royal Family, including Managing Director of Aspinwall and Company in Mangalore; married HH Maharani Dr. Girija Varma.
PREDECESSORS and SHORT HISTORY: The state was founded about 1100. Succession is by matrilineal descent (Marumakkathayam), where wealth, title and ruling powers passed from the incumbent Maharaja to his sister's eldest son. If there were more than one sister, the first born male child of that generation would be the heir, regardless of whether his mother was older or younger than other sisters. Rulers were ...
  • Raja RAJA RAMA VARMA I, Raja of Travancore 1721/1729, married and had issue.
    • Pappu Thampi, conspired with the Ettuveetil pillamar (nobles of the eight houses), and the religious heads to assassinate their cousin, but he escaped from the capital city of Padmanabhapuram, and with an army killed his cousins as well as the nobles who had conspired against him.
    • Raman Thampi, killed with his brother by their cousin.
  • Raja Shri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala MARTANDA VARMA III [Anizham Thirunal], Raja of Travancore 1729/1758, Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala [cr. 3.1.1750], born 1706, son of the Junior Rani of Attingal, defeated the Dutch at the Battle of Colachel in 1741, expanded his kingdom up to Kochi in 1746, he is known as "the maker of modern Travancore " for developing a small kingdom into a powerful state, he was succeeded by his nephew. He died 1758.
  • Raja Shri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala DHARMA VARMA II [Karthika Thirunal], Raja of Travancore 1758/1798
  • Raja Shri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala BALA RAMA VARMA I [Avittam Thirunal] (nephew), Raja of Travancore 1798/1810, died 1810.
  • Rani Ghauri Lakshmi Bai [Ayilyam Thirunal], Regent of Travancore 1810/1815, she succeeded her brother, married Raja Raja Varma Koil Thampuran of Changanassery, and had issue. She died 1815.
    • Raja Shri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala Rama Varma III Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur Shamsher Jung [Swati Thirunal] (qv)
    • Raja Shri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala Martanda Varma IV Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur Shamsher Jung [Uthram Thirunal] (qv)
    • Rukhmini Bai, born 1800, married and had issue. She died 1837.
      • HH Shri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala Maharaja Rama Varma IV Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur Shamsher Jung [Ayilyam Thirunal] (qv)
      • HH Shri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala Maharaja Rama Varma V Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur Shamsher Jung [Visakham Thirunal] (qv)
      • Daughter, born 26th December 1829 (#1), married and had issue.
        • HH Shri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala Maharaja Bala Rama Varma II Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur Shamsher Jung [Mulam Thirunal] (qv)
        • Daughter[?HH Rani Parvati Bai, born 1850], married and had issue.
          • Daughter, married and had issue.
            • Rani Sethu Parvati Bai [Moolam Thirunal] of Mavelikara Palace, married Ravi Varma Kochu Koilthampuran, an esteemed Sanskrit scholar, and had issue, three sons and one daughter.
              • HH Shri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala Maharaja Sir Bala Rama Varma III Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur Shamsher Jung [Shri Chitra Thirunal] (qv)
              • the Elaya Raja
              • HH Shri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala Maharaja Martanda Varma V Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur Shamsher Jung [Shri Uthradom Thirunal] (qv)
              • HH Rani Lakshmi Bai Karthika Thirunal, born 17th September 1916 in Thiruvananathapuram, Kerala, she was well versed in Sanskrit, English and French and interested in Music, Literature and Sports, she was the first member of the Travancore Royal Famil to visit a foreign country breaking the age-old ban on crossing the sea; married 24th January 1934 (Pallikettu), 25th January 1934 in Poonjar, Lt.-Col. Goda Varma Raja, born 13th October 1908 or 17th September 1908 in Kanijiramattam Palace, Poonjar, Kerala, died 30th April 1971, son of Narayanan Nampoothiri, and his wife, Ambalika, he undertook a mountaineering course in Switzerland and established the sports council in 1954, and had issue. She died 8th June 2008 in a Hospital at Thiruvananthapuram.
                • Shree Avaittam Thirunal Rama Varma, born 1936, died 1944.
                • Shree Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma, he succeeded as HH Shri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala Maharaja (name unknown) Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur Shamsher Jung, 56th Maharaja of Travancore.
                • Gauri Parvathi Bai Pooyam Thirunal
                • Gauri Lakshmi Bai Aswathi Thirunal, a graduate in economics, and is the author of five books including a detailed study of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple, married 1963, Raja
                                    Rama VarmaRaja Rama Varma, died in a car accident on 30th December 2005 at Ochira aged 68, the funeral was held at the Paliyekkara Padinjarekkottaram, on the following day, and has issue, two sons.
            • Daughter, married P.R. Rama Varma Raja of Poonjar, born 25th September 1904.
      • Umayamba or Umba Amba Bai Thampuratty of Kilimanoor Palace, born 1832, married Sreekantha Bhatta Thiripad of Ezhumavil Illam, and had issue. She died 1887.
        • Raja Ravi Varma, born 29th April 1848 in Kilimanoor Palace nr Trivandrum, married 1866, Pooroorutthanthinal Thampuratty of Mavelikar Palace (sister of Maharani Lakshmi Bai), and had issue, five children. He died 2nd October 1906 in Kilimanoor Palace nr Trivandrum (#2).
          • Kerala Varma, married and had issue.
            • Rukmini Varma, married and has issue.
              • Jay Varma, he is a gifted coloured pencil artist and has won the Sanford Award for Exceptional Merit at the Eighth Colored Pencil Competition, held in Birmingham, Michigan in 2000.
          • Rama Varma, died 1967.
        • C. Raja Raja Varma, he was an accomplished painter and acted as the assistant, secretary and business manager for his elder brother; he was the author of The Diary of C. Raja Raja Varma, published by Oxford University Press (edited by Erwin Neumayer and Christine Schelberger), he married Janaki Amma, died 1933 in Trivandrum, (she married 2ndly, C.V. Raman Pillai) (her younger sister, died 1906, married C.V. Raman Pillai). He died sp on 4th January 1905 in Bangalore.
  • Rani Ghauri Parvati Bai, Regent of Travancore 1815/1829, she succeeded her sister
  • Raja RAMA VARMA III KULASEKHARA Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur Shamsher Jung [Swathi Thirunal], Raja of Travancore 1829/1846, born 16th April 1813, a patron of music, composer and musician, fluent in Marathi, Telugu, Bengali, Tamil and Oriya, died 25th December 1846.
  • Raja MARTANDA VARMA IV KULASEKHARA Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur Shamsher Jung [Uthram Thirunal], Raja of Travancore 1846/1860, died 1860.
  • HH Shri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala Maharaja RAMA VARMA IV KULASEKHARA Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur Shamsher Jung [Ayilyam Thirunal], Maharaja of Travancore 1860/1880, born 13th March 1832 (#1), married and had adoptive issue. He died 30th May 1880.
    • (A) Shri Achyuthan Thampi
  • HH Shri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala Maharaja RAMA VARMA V KULASEKHARA Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur Shamsher Jung [Visakham Thirunal], Maharaja of Travancore 1880/1885, born 1837, married 1859, HH Maharani Panapillai Lakshmi Pillai Kochamma of Arumana Ammaveedu, and had issue. He died 1885.
    • Sree Narayanan Thampi, he laid the foundation for vehicular transportation in Travancore in 1910, when he registered a company named ‘Commercial Transport Corporation’, with bus services from Trivandrum to Nagercoil and Trivandrum to Kollam; married Lakshmi Pillai Kochamma, and had issue, the Kizhakkaemadhom family.
    • Bhagavati Pillai Kochamma, married 1883.
    • Rukmini Pillai Kochamma, married 1883.
    • Bhageerathi Pillai Kochamma, married 1883.
  • HH Shri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala Maharaja RAMA VARMA VI KULASEKHARA Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur Shamsher Jung [Mulam Thirunal], 53rd Maharaja of Travancore 1885/1924, born 25th September 1857, married and had issue. He died 1924.
    • generation
      • generation
        • Thankachi Jaya Menon, born 1941 in Thiruvananthapuram, as the great granddaughter of Sri Mulam Thirunal Rama Varma; she was brought up in the Belhaven Palace, Thiruvananthapuram and educated privately by palace tutors, married Ravi Menon.
  • HH
                        Shri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala Maharaja Sir
                        BALA RAMA VARMA III (1912-1991)HH Shri Padmanabha Sevini Vanchi Dharma Vardhini Raja Rajeshwari Rani Pooradam Thirunal Sethu Lakshmi Bayi, Attingal Mootha Thampuran C.I., Regent of Travancore 1924/1931 and Senior Maharani of Travancore, born 19th November 1895, daughter of Ayilyam Nal Mahaprabha Thampuratti of the Utsavamadhom Palace in Mavelikara, and his wife, a daughter of the celebrated artist Raja Ravi Varma and a member of a branch of the Kolathunad Royal Family that had settled in Travancore towards the end of the 18th century; married and had issue. She died 1985.
  • HH Shri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala Maharaja Sir BALA RAMA VARMA II KULASEKHARA Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur Shamsher Jung G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E., [Shri Chitra Thirunal], 54th Maharaja of Travancore 1924/1991, born 7th November 1912, elder son of Ravi Varma Kochu Koilthampuran, and his wife, Rani Sethu Parvati Bai [Moolam Thirunal] of Mavelikara Palace (see above); G.C.S.I. [cr.1946], G.C.I.E. [cr.1935], Rajpramukh of Travancore 1949/1956, Chancellor and Founder of Travancore University, Colonel-in-Chief of Travancore State Forces, Hon. Major-General in the British Army, he died unmarried in 1991.



  • HH Shri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala Maharaja MARTANDA VARMA V KULASEKHARA Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur Shamsher Jung [Shree Uthradom Thirunal], 55th Maharaja of Travancore 1991/2013, born 1922, younger son of Ravi Varma Kochu Koilthampuran, and his wife, Rani Sethu Parvati Bai [Moolam Thirunal] of Mavelikara Palace (see above); graduate of the Travancore University, married HH Maharani Radha Devi, and has issue, one son and one daughter. He died 16th December 2013.
    • Gouri Parvathi Devi
    • Sri Anantha Padmanabhan Varma
  • HH Shri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala Maharaja RAMA VARMA VII KULASEKHARA Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur Shamsher Jung [Shree Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma] (see above)
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1. File: - ref. IOR/F/4/1418/56112 - date: Jan 1830-Dec 1832
2. "Dictionary of National Biography" ; Sen, S.P. (Ed.) Calcutta 1972 Vols.1-4 ; Institute of Historical Studies; vol.3/p.438
3. The rulers are selected from four eligible lineages known as Palaces, viz. Padmanabhapuram Palace, Kilimanoor Palace, Kuthira Malika Palace and Kowdiar Palace