Kerala's ancient past is enshrouded in common mists. The most famous legend will have it lifted from the depths of the ocean to the land crust that shapes the State. Lord Vishnu's Brahmin avatar Parasurama had waged an epic sequence of vindictive wars on the Kshatriyas. Came a moment when regret overwhelmed Parasurama at the wanton devastation he had wrought. He gave extreme penance up the heights of the mountain. The sage heaved his mighty axes into the middle of the distant ocean in a mood of profound atonement. The waves shoamed and frothed as a prawn-shaped land extending from Gokarnam to Kanyakumari emerged to form the State from the depths of the sea and thus the sobriquet 'Gods Own country.

The word Kerala was first epigraphically documented by Emperor Ashoka of Magadha as Cheras in a rock inscription of the 3rd century BCE. During the time of Ashoka, it was listed as one of four independent kingdoms in South India, the other being the Cholas, Pandyas and Satyaputras. Through developing trade ties across the Arab Sea with all major Mediterranean and Red Sea ports as well as those of the Far East, the Cheras turned Kerala into an international trading hub. After repeated attacks from neighboring Cholas and Rashtrakutas the early Cheras collapsed.
Namboodiri Brahmin immigrants came to Kerala during the early middle ages and developed society along the lines of the caste system. Adi Shankara was born in Kalady, in central Kerala, in the 8th century.
Adi Shankaracharya
Adi Shankaracharya was an Indian philosopher and theologian from the early 8th century who developed the Advaita Vedanta doctrine. In Hinduism, he is credited with unifying and creating the main currents of thought. His works in Sanskrit address the unity of the "brahman without qualities" of the alien and Nirguna Brahman. In support of his study, he wrote numerous commentaries on the Vedic canon. His plays build on the Upanishads 'concepts. Shankara's publications criticized Hinduism's ritual-oriented Mīmāsā school. He also clarified the main distinction between Hinduism and Buddhism, arguing that Hinduism believes "there is a man there," while Buddhism believes there is "no spirit, no self."

Shankara moved around the Indian subcontinent to share his philosophy with other thinkers through discourses and debates. In a time when the Mīmāsā school developed strict ritualism and mocked monasticism, he developed the importance of monastic life as sanctioned in the Upanishads and Brahma Sutra. He is reputed to have established four mathas ("monasteries"), which helped in Advaita Vedanta's historical growth, revival, and spread of which he is recognized as the greatest revivalist. It is claimed that Adi Shankara is the organiser of the monastic order of Dashanami and consolidated the practice of worship of Shanmata.
9th Century
In the 9th century the Cheras regained power over Kerala until the kingdom was abolished in the 12th century, after which small autonomous chiefdoms emerged, most notably Venadu.

Chera Dynasty
The Chera dynasty (or Cēra) was one of the key lines in the early history of the present-day states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in southern India. In the early centuries of the Common Age, along with the Cholas of Uraiyur and the Pandyas of Madurai, the early Cheras were recognized as one of the three major (muventar) forces of ancient Tamilakam (a macro region in southern India). The trade of spices with Middle Eastern and Graeco-Roman merchants, in particular black pepper, is attested in several documents. Known to have had their original center at Karur in the interior of Tamil Nadu and harbors at Muchiri (Muziris) and Thondi (Tyndis) on the coast of the Indian Ocean (Kerala), the Cheras of the early historical period (c. second century BCE-c. third century CE) are.

Early historical pre-Pallava Tamil policies are often described as "kinship-based redistributive economies" largely influenced by "pastoral-cum-agrarian subsistence" and "predatory politics."Tamil Brahmi cave label inscriptions describe Ilam Kadungo, son of Perum Kadungo, and Ko Athan Cheral's grandson of the Irumporai clan. The Chera bow and arrow emblem were also found on the reverse of these coins. The anthologies of early Tamil texts constitute a major source of early Cheras knowledge. Chenguttuvan, or the Good Chera, is renowned for the practices of Kannaki, Chilapathikaram's main female character. There seems to be a time after the end of the early historical period, around the 3rd-5th century CE, in which the strength of the Cheras declined considerably. Kongu country Cheras or Keralas are considered to dominate western Tamil Nadu and central Kerala in early medieval times. Present-day central Kerala was possibly separated from the Kingdom of Kongu Chera around the 8th-9th century A.D. to form the Kingdom of Chera Perumal (c. 9th-12th century A.D.). The exact nature of the ties between the different branches of Chera rulers is quite uncertain. Some of South India's major medieval dynasties-Chalukya, Pallava, Pandya, Rashtrakuta, and Chola-seem to have occupied the nation of Chera or Kerala. As of the 11th century AD, Kongu Cheras seems to have been incorporated into the Pandya political system. Even after the breakup of the Perumal Kingdom, royal inscriptions and temple grants, particularly from outside Kerala proper, continued to refer to the country and the people as the "Cheras or Keralas." Venad's rulers, based in the port of Kollam in south Kerala, asserted their Perumal ancestry. The Cochin and Travancore rulers (in Kerala) have claimed the title "Chera" in the modern period.
Vasco Da Gama
In 1498, Vasco Da Gama established a sea route to Kerala and raised Portuguese settlements, which marked the beginning of the colonial era of Kerala. Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama becomes the first European to reach India via the Atlantic Ocean when he arrives at Calicut on the Malabar Coast.
In July 1497, Da Gama sailed from Lisbon, Portugal, rounded the Cape of Good Hope and anchored at Malindi on the eastern coast of Africa. He then set off across the Indian Ocean with the help of an Indian merchant he met there. The Portuguese explorer was not warmly received by Calicut's Muslim traders, and on his return home trip he had to battle his way out of the harbour in 1499. He led a ship squadron to Calicut in 1502 to avenge the massacre of Portuguese explorers there, and succeeded in subduing the inhabitants. He was sent to India in 1524 as a viceroy but he fell ill and died in Cochin.

The Travancore Kingdom was from c an Indian state. 870 CE, to 1949 CE. It was ruled by the Padmanabhapuram Travancore Royal Family, and later on by Thiruvananthapuram. During its zenith, the kingdom occupied much of modern-day central and southern Kerala with the Irinjalakuda Koodalmanikyam temple enclave of Thachudaya Kaimal in the neighboring Kingdom of Cochin, as well as the Kanyakumari district, now in the Tamil Nadu Indian state. The state's official flag was red in its middle, with a dextrally-coiled silver conch shell.

King Marthanda Varma inherited Venad's small feudal state in 1723, and developed it into Travancore, one of Southern India's most powerful kingdoms. During the Travancore-Dutch War of 1739–46 which culminated in the Battle of Colachel, Marthanda Varma led the Travancore armies. Travancore's Dutch defeat is considered to be the earliest example of an Asian centralized force defeating European military technology and tactics. Marthanda Varma managed to conquer most of the native rulers 'small principalities that had allied against him with the Dutch.

In the early 19th century, the kingdom became a princely state of the British Empire. The Travancore Government took many progressive steps on the socio-economic front and during the reign of Maharajah Sri Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma, Travancore became the second most prosperous princely state in British India, with reputed achievements in education, political administration, public work, and social reforms. There were also small autonomous Kingdoms in the area. Later, during the peak period of Chera-Chola-Pandya, this region was a part of the Kingdom of Chera (with the exception of the Kingdom of Ay which was still independent). It was still known as Thiruvazhumkode during that time, when the region was part of the Chera empire. It was contracted to Thiruvankode, and anglicised to Travancore by the English. Over time, the Ay kingdom became independent, part of the Chera empire that ruled the Thiruvazhumkode district, and the land was called Aayi Desam or Aayi Rajyam, meaning 'Aayi territory.' The Aayis ruled the land north from the present district of Kollam, via the district of Thiruvananthapuram, all in Kerala, to the district of Kanyakumari. Two capitals existed, the main one at Kollam (Venad Swaroopam or Desinganadu) and one at Thrippapur. And the kingdom was renamed Venad too. Venad's kings had traveled from Kollam at different times and built residential palaces in Thiruvithamcode and Kalkulam. Thiruvithamcode was the capital of the Swaroopam Thrippapur, and Europeans renamed the country Thiruvithamcode even after the capital had moved to Padmanabhapuram, near Kalkulam, in 1601.
Formation Of Travancore
Travancore's history started with Marthanda Varma, who inherited the Kingdom of Venad (Thrippappur), and during his reign (1729–1758) extended it to Travancore. After crushing a union of feudal lords and maintaining internal peace, during his 29-year rule he extended the Venad kingdom through a series of military campaigns from Kanyakumari in the South to the Kochi borders in the West. Also included in this law was Travancore-Dutch War (1739–1753) between the Dutch East India Company which had been affiliated with some of these kingdoms and Travancore.

Travancore won the Battle of Colachel against the Dutch East India Company in 1741, resulting in the region's full eclipse of Netherlands control. In this battle, the Dutch admiral Eustachius De Lannoy was captured and later defected to Travancore. De Lannoy was appointed Captain of His Highness 'Bodyguard and later Senior Admiral, and by introducing guns and artillery he modernized the Travancore army. Travancore became the most influential state in the Kerala region by defeating Kozhikode's powerful Zamorin in the battle.
On 3 January 1750, (5 Makaram, 925 Kollavarsham), Marthanda Varma practically "dedicated" Travancore to his tutelary deity Padmanabha, one of the aspects of the Hindu god Vishnu with a lotus emanating from his navel on which Brahma sits. From that moment on Travancore's rulers ruled as "Padmanabha's assistants" (the Padmnabha-dasar). Marthanda Varma defeated the coalition of the deposed kings and the King of the Cochin kingdom at the Battle of Ambalapuzha.
List Of Maharajas Of Travancore
Marthanda Varma
Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma; regarded as the Founder of Modern Travancore, from 1729 until his death in 1758 was ruler of the Travancore Indian Kingdom. In the Battle of Colachel in 1741 Marthanda Varma defeated the Dutch armies. He then introduced a European discipline for his army and extended his empire northward. He created a large standing army of about 50,000 men as part of the construction of a "elaborate and well-organized" war machine, reduced the influence of the Nair aristocracy and reinforced the northern frontier of his empire.

Under Marthanda Varma Travancore made a concerted attempt to consolidate his power through the use of Indian Ocean trade. Marthanda Varma's strategy was to give assistance to Syrian Christian merchants (as a way to restrict European involvement in ocean trade). The main commodity was black pepper, but other goods were also described as royal monopoly products (requiring a trade license) between the 1740s and 1780s. Finally, Travancore challenged and broke the Kerala coast's Dutch blockade.

Trivandrum became a prominent city in Kerala under Marthanda Varma. Marthanda Varma agreed in January 1750 to "donate" his kingdom to Sri Padmanabha (Vishnu) and subsequently to rule as the "vice-regent" of the deity (Sri Padmanabha Dasa). His successor, Rama Varma ("Dharma Raja"), had largely continued the policies of Marthanda Varma.
Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma
Dharma Raja Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma (1724–1798) was Travancore's Maharajah from 1758 to 1798, until his death. He succeeded his uncle Marthanda Varma, who is called "Builder of Modern Travancore" Throughout his rule Dharma Raja not only maintained all the territories that his predecessor had inherited but effectively administered the empire. Because of his strict adherence to Dharma Sastra, the principles of justice, he was addressed as Dharma Raja by giving refuge to thousands of Hindus and Christians fleeing Malabar during the Tipu Sultan religious and military attack.
Avittom Thirunal Balarama Varma I
From 1798 to 1810 Avittom Thirunal Bala Rama Varma (1782 – 7 Nov 1810) ruled the Indian princely state of Travancore, succeeding his uncle Maharajah Dharma Raja on 12 February 1798. His reign was a time of turmoil and internal and external problems. The Velu Thampi revolt took place during his reign. Visakham Thirunal's wife was his great-granddaughter. During Dharma Raja's reign, two Ranis were adopted. They were Avittom Thirunal's sisters Bharani Thirunal Parvathi Bayi, and Uthram Thirunal Umayamma Bayi. Those princesses were Chathayam Nal Mahaprabha's daughters Amma.
Ayilyom Thirunal Gowri Lakshmi Bayi
Maharani Ayilyom Thirunal Gouri Lakshmi Bayi (1791–1815) was for her son Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma the Maharani of the Indian state of Travancore from 1810 to 1813 and Regent from 1813 until her death in 1815. She was Travancore's first queen to rule in her own right which she did for two years before she became a regent.
Uthrittathi Thirunal Gowri Parvati Bayi
Uthrittathi Thirunal Gowri Parvathi Bayi (1802–1853) was the regent of the Travancore Indian state who succeeded her sister Maharani Gowri Lakshmi Bayi from 1815 until her regency was relinquished in 1829 in favor of her nephew, Maharajah Swathi Thirunal.
Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma II
The Maharaja of the Kingdom of Travancore, British India, was the Maharaja of Rāma Varma (16 April 1813 – 26 December 1846). He is also considered a genius music composer, and over 400 classical compositions in both Carnatic and Hindustani styles are credited. Among the many steps taken by Svāti Tirunā as a King to modernize Travancore were a well-formulated code of laws, courts of justice, implementation of English education, construction of an observatory, installation of the first government printing press, establishment of the first manuscript library.
Uthram Thirunal Marthanda Varma
Uthram Thirunal Marthanda Varma (September 26, 1814-August 18, 1860) was the Travancore state's Maharajah in southern India, succeeding his elder brother Maharajah Swathi Thirunal in 1846 until his death in 1860. He was known for his progressive laws, and abolished kingdom slavery. His nephew Maharajah Ayilyam Thirunal succeeded Him in 1860. His mother, Maharani Gowri Lakshmi Bayi was Her Highness. He was married to the Nagercoil Ammaveedu Thiruvattar Ammachi Panapillai Amma Srimathi Madhavi Pillai Kochamma, who died in 1860, a few months before the death of the Maharajah. His nephew and heir Maharajah Ayilyam Thirunal married the daughter of The Maharajah.
Ayilyam Thirunal Rama Varma III
From 1860 to 1880 Ayilyam Thirunal Rama Varma (1832–80) was ruler of the princely state of Travancore in India. His reign was very successful as Travancore became known as "India's model state." Ayilyam Thirunal was the nephew of the famous Gowri Lakshmi Bayi, Uthram Thirunal and Swathi Thirunal, as well as grandson.
Visakham Thirunal Rama Varma IV
Visakham Thirunal Rama Varma GCSI FRGS FRAS (May 19, 1837-August 4, 1885) was the Maharaja of Travancore's former Indian kingdom from 1880–85 AD. He had succeeded his elder brother Maharajah Ayilyam Thirunal to Travancore's throne.
Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma V
Mulam Thirunal Rama Varma was the ruling Maharajah of the Indian state of Travancore between 1885 and 1924, succeeding his uncle Maharajah Visakham Thirunal (1880–1885).
Pooradam Thirunal Sethu Lakshmi Bayi
Pooradam Thirunal Sethu Lakshmi Bayi CI (1895–1985) was the regent of the Travancore Kingdom in southern India from 1924 to 1931. She was adopted into the Travancore Royal Family alongside her younger cousin, Moolam Thirunal Sethu Parvathi Bayi, and were the granddaughters of the celebrated poet, Raja Ravi Varma.
Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma II
Sree Padmanabhadasa Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma GCSI GCIE (7 November 1912-20 July 1991), popularly known as Sree Chithira Thirunal, was the last reigning Maharaja of the Prince State of Travancore, in southern India until 1949 and later the Titular Maharajah of Travancore until 1991. Sree Chithira Thirunal was Travancore's eldest son of Junior Maharani, H.H. Sree Padmanabhasevini Vanchidharmavardhini Rajarajeshwari Maharani Moolam Thirunal Sethu Parvathi Bayi, and Sri Pooram Nal Ravi Varma Koyi Thampuran of the Kilimanoor Royal Family.

Previous Post Next Post