The three-powerful kings who reshaped Kerala

Kerala is known for its spell-bound beauty, soothing nature, sapphire waters, and highly populated forest regions, stupendous hill stations blanketed with viridian plantations of spices, tea and coffee, and amazing biodiversity captivate travelers from Hyderabad to purchase the packages to tour the state. Before democracy took birth it was the king and his family ruled the nation. There were many pros and cons in the kingship. The indomitable intelligence and immense perseverance accustomed the state with mind-blowing attributes. Except for the apartheid and caste discrimination, all other systems of Kingship led the state to economic progress. Each ruler is known for their priceless contributions to Kerala. Some were interested in mural paintings and architecture while others showed their taste in bringing massive changes in the education and welfare of the society. Some kings were so powerful; they abolished some brutal systems that prevailed in the society. The following paragraphs will help to study more about the kings.

Marthanda Varma

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Marthanda Varma famously known as Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma is also known as ‘maker of Modern Travancore’. He is considered as one of the powerful kings in Travancore. He ruled the kingdom form 1729 till 1758. He was born to Queen of Attingal called Karthika Thirunal (an adoptee from Koluthunadu) and Raghava Varma of Kilimanur. In 1741 Marthanda Varma and his soldiers defeated the Dutch in the battle called ‘Battle of Colachel’. He limited the involvement of European traders by offering support to Syrian Christian traders encouraging Indian Ocean trade. The main ingredient that they exported was black pepper. During his reign, he reduced the aristocracy of Nair society. Being a strong devotee of Sri Padmanabha the king reconstructed the famous and wealthiest temple, Padmanabhaswamy to its present massive structure. Also, he introduced some festivals like ‘Bhadra deepam’ and ‘Murjappam’. In 1750 king, Marthanda Varma donated his kingdom, Travancore to Sri Padmanabha (an avatar of Lord Vishnu) and ruled the kingdom as deity’s ‘vice-regent’ and this how the state got the name ‘god’s own country’. During the period of Marthanda Varma, Thiruvananthapuram became the most prominent place in Kerala. Famous poets like Kunchan Nambiar and Ramapurathu Warrior were his courtyards.

Sakthan Thampuran

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There would no one in Kerala or in India who haven’t heard the word ‘Thrissur Pooram’. It is a temple festival held annually in the month of May in Thrissur. It is termed as ‘festival of festivals’. Don’t you want to know who the man behind this world-famous temple festival is? It is none other than Sakthan Thampuran. Due to his stubborn character and strong ruling system, king Rama Varma Kunjipilla was known as ‘Rama Varma IX’ and also as ‘Shakthan Thampuram’ which means ‘Powerful King’. He was the architect of Thrissur. When the king became the ruler of the Kingdom of Cochin he abolished the yogiatirippadas. There are several incidents reported in the history of Kerala that showcases the strong commanding power of Shakthan Thampuran. One such incident is the Murajapam. It is a state ceremony held by the Travancore family in Padmanabha Swamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram. Brahmins from all parts used to gather there. Once Shakthan Thampuran also attended the ceremony and one of the soldiers of the Travancore family noticed him taking a bath in the temple pond. The solider reported the matter to the king he asked him to bring Shakthan Thampuran to the palace. The king inquired why he attended the temple when he was not being invited. Shakthan Thampuran replied that he wanted to enjoy the festival in full zest. He spends three days in the palace with the king. One day the king asked there would be no one to jump to from the second floor of the palace. There will be someone Shakthan Thampuran replied. The king of Travancore asked his warriors whether they could jump he replied ‘no’. Shakthan asked his soldiers, they obeyed his commands. One by one all of them jumped and got injured. The next day the king of Travancore asked those injured warriors why they took the risk. They replied ‘we are at least alive now with minor injuries. If we disobey his commands, we would have lost our lives’. This shows the strong and stubborn character of the king and also his power.

Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma

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Popularly known as a musician, Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma was the king of the Travancore royal family. He has contributed his talents in more than 400 music compositions both in Hindustani and Carnatic music. If Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma formed the present Travancore, Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma modernized it. He is the second child of Rajaraja Varma Koyi Thampuran and Queen Gowri Lakshmi Bai. He was proclaimed as a king when he was in the womb and referred to as ‘Garbha Sreeman’. The most popular Malayalam lullaby, Omanathinkal Kidavao was composed of Irayimman Thampi for the king when he was born. At a very young age, he learned several languages such as Sanskrit, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Kannada, English, Persian and Hindustani. He was also interested in astronomy and mathematics, especially in geometry. He gained power when he was 16 years old and ruled the kingdom until his demise in 1846. Like all other kings, he also contributed several initiatives to the kingdom such as started first government printing press, courts, a well-organized code of laws, started English education and constructed an observatory and manuscript library.  The contributions of the king to the music field are as follows Syanandurapuravarnana Prabandham, Kuchela Upak, Muhanaprasa Antyaprasa, Bhakti Manjari’, Padmanabhasatakam, Utsava Varnana Prabandha and Vyavastha, Ajamilahyanas.

By narrowing down from the above paragraphs one might have clearly understood the powers of the kings that ruled the state once. There many more kings whose contributions to the state’s development are priceless. To learn more about them and also to unveil the historic days of Kerala purchase the tour packages to Kerala from CoimbatoreLelagoon Holidays is one of the upcoming travel operators in Kerala. If you have any concerns regarding their services, without any hesitation you can contact their customers support team.

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