Maharani Gowri Parvati Bayi (1802–1853)permitted Christian Missionary in Travancore and even donated lands for the construction of churches in her state.

Gowri Parvati Bayi

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Uthrittathi Thirunal Gowri Parvati Bayi
Maharani Regent of Travancore
Her Highness Gouree Parwathi Bhye.png
Reign 1815–1829
Predecessor Gowri Lakshmi Bayi
Successor Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma
Consort Raghava Varma
Royal House Venad Swaroopam
Dynasty Kulasekhara
Royal anthem Vancheesamangalam
Religious beliefs Hinduism
Kingdom of Travancore
Part of History of Kerala
Flag of Travancore
Travancore Kings
Marthanda Varma 1729–1758
Dharma Raja 1758–1798
Avittam Thirunal 1798–1810
Gowri Lakshmi Bayi 1810–1815
Gowri Parvati Bayi 1815–1829
Swathi Thirunal 1829–1846
Uthram Thirunal 1846–1860
Ayilyam Thirunal 1860–1880
Visakham Thirunal 1880–1885
Moolam Thirunal 1885–1924
Sethu Lakshmi Bayi 1924–1931
Chithira Thirunal 1931–1947
‡ Regent Queens
Capitals
Padmanabhapuram 1729–1795
Thiruvananthapuram 1795–1947
Palaces
Padmanabhapuram Palace
Kilimanoor palace
Kuthira Malika
Kowdiar Palace
Maharani Uthrittathi Thirunal Gowri Parvati Bayi (1802–1853) was the Regent of the Indian state of Travancore who succeeded her sister Maharani Gowri Lakshmi Bayi from 1815 till her regency was relinquished in favour of her nephew, Maharajah Swathi Thirunal, in 1829.

Early life

Rani Parvati Bayi was born to Princess Bharani Thirunal of the Travancore Royal Family in 1802, who was the Senior Rani of Attingal (the Maharani's of Travancore were styled as Ranis' of Attingal). When her elder sister Regent Maharani Gowri Lakshmi Bayi died after childbirth in 1815, Lakshmi's daughter Gowri Parvati Bayi was only thirteen years of age. As the only female left in the family other than her deceased sister's young daughter, Parvati became RegentMaharani on behalf of her nephew, the heir, Maharajah Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma. Upon her accession she was actively counselled by her brother in law, Raja Raja Varma of the Changanssery Royal family, as well as her husband, Raghava Varma, who belonged to the Royal family of Kilimanoor.

Ministerial changes

The Maharani's first act after coming to power was to appoint a new Dewan or Prime Minister to her state, as Dewan Devan Padmanabhan had died and state affairs were being conducted by his deputy Bappu Rao. In 1815 Sanku Annavi Pillai, a Brahmin, was appointed to the position but was soon found to be incapable of handling his difficult office and within two months he was removed. After ten months following the suggestion of the British Resident, Col. Munro, Raman Menon, a Judge of the Huzhur Court of Travancore was appointed Dewan. However, differences of opinion arose between Dewan Raman Menon and the British Resident and hence Raman Menon was relocated to an inferior office in 1817, at which point he preferred to retire from service entirely. It may be of interest to note that Dewan Raman Menon was the great grandfather of Krishna Menon, the reputed Indian diplomat of the 20th century, and the ancestor of the Vengalil family.
In his stead a deputy known as Reddy Rao was appointed Dewan as he was close to the Resident in September 1817. He successfully reigned until the year 1821. In 1819 the British Resident Col. Munro resigned his office and a new Resident Col. McDowell succeeded him as the British Representative in Travancore. His assistant, Vencatta Rao, caused a falling out between him and the Dewan and in 1821 Vencatta Rao became Dewan of Travancore. He remained Dewan till the year 1830.

Chief acts

Maharani Gowri Parvati Bayi instituted several reforms in her state during her regency on behalf of her nephew. Some of the chief reforms were:
  • Christian ryots were freed from their services connected with Hindu religious ceremonies. They were also freed from attending to public work on Sundays with regard to their religious customs.
  • Restrictions put on some of the lower castes of Travancore regarding the wearing of ornaments of gold and silver were removed and they were permitted to adorn themselves as they pleased. Among the higher castes such as the Nairs, for the use of gold ornaments special licenses were to be obtained after paying an Adiyara Panam for the same. This was abolished.
  • The Maharani passed a proclamation allowing everyone in her kingdom to tile the roofs of their houses. This was an important proclamation in the context of Kerala, seeing that at a time powerful kings like the Zamorin did not even permit their vassal kings, such as the Rajah of Cochin to tile the roofs of their palaces.
  • Restrictions in terms of usage of certain types of houses were removed. Previously only castes till the Nairs were permitted residences known as Nalukettus, after paying an Adiyara Panam. Buildings known as Ettu Kettus, Panthrandu Kettus etc. were subject to high taxes and required licences. Such taxes and payments were entirely abolished and members of all castes were permitted the usage of these buildings. Similarly the right to travel in palanquins, atop elephants and in carriages was permitted to all who could afford the same.
  • Coffee cultivation was introduced into Travancore for the first time.
  • Vaccination was introduced towards the end of the reign of her sister Maharani Gowri Lakshmi Bayi. This was popularised by her sister the Regent Maharani Gowri Parvati Bayi which was a great achievement for her in a state so orthodox as Travancore.
  • The Maharani permitted Christian Missionary enterprise in Travancore and even donated lands for the construction of churches in her state.
  • Following the rebellion of Velu Thampi Dalawa the armies of Travancore had been disbanded save for seven hundred men to guard the palaces and for state ceremonies under the supremacy of the British. The Maharani convinced the British Government of Madras to raise it to two thousand one hundred men in 1819.
  • In 1818 under the regency of the Maharani, Travancore entered into a trade treaty with Ceylon for the supply of Jaffna Tobacco on certain stated terms and prices.
  • The Maharani relieved the females of her country from their religious obligations of bearing torches during state processions in 1823. This relief to her womenfolk was twenty years before Lord Ashley passed an Act in England relieving women of that country from certain oppressive and degenerating obligations such as working bare chested in coal mines etc.
  • The beginning of modern education in Travancore can be traced to the issue of the Royal Rescript by Rani Gouri Parvati Bai in 1817. Consider the fact that the "universal education" was not practised in most countries, including those in the West at this point of time. The hands of Col.Munro, the progressive Resident can be seen behind this.
The Rescript of 1817 says: The state should defray the entire cost of the education of its people in order, that there might be no backwardness in the spread of enlightenment among them, that by diffusion of education they might become better subjects and public servants and that the reputation of the state might be advanced thereby. The Queen's proclamation of 1817 is hailed by all educational historians as 'the Magna Calta of Education' in Travancore. Through this Rescript the state was proclaiming its entire responsibility to provide budgetary accommodation for costs involved. A rule was also enforced that every school run on systematic lines was to have two teachers paid by the State. This may be regarded as the first formal recognition by the State to the right of education from public revenue.

End of regency

In the year 1829 Maharajah Swathi Thirunal reached the age of sixteen and became a major. Hence his aunt, the Maharani, decided to relinquish her regency on his behalf and invest him with full powers. Accordingly Maharajah Swathi Thirunal was crowned King in 1829.

Full title

Her Highness Sri Padmanabha Sevini Vanchi Dharma Vardhini Raja Rajeshwari Maharani Uthrittathi Thirunal Gowri Parvati Bayi, Attingal Mootha Thampuran, Rani of Travancore.

Review of the Maharani

In the words of V.Nagam Aiya, the author of the Travancore State Manual, 1906,
Her Highness was an enlightened and thoughtful ruler who illumined her reign by many humane acts of good government, the memory of which gladdened her last days...she used to refer with pride and satisfaction to her various acts of administration for the amelioration of her people..for many acts of redress of public wrongs had been either carried out or innaugrated during her reign. This was no small achievement for a Travancore queen when we remember that in the early years of reign of Queen Victoria of England, the condition of women in England was far worse than in Travancore.

Family

The Maharani Gowri Parvati Bayi was married thrice. Her first husband was Raghava Varma of the Kilimanoor Royal family and after his early death she married again, her husband's brother. His death in 1824 caused her to marry again but from neither of her three marriages did the queen have any issue. She looked upon her nephews and niece as her own children since after the death of Gowri Lakshmi Bayi it was she who brought them up. She died in 1853.

References

  • Travancore State Manual by V.Nagam Aiya
  • History of Travancore by Shankunni Menon

See also

Gowri Parvati Bayi
Born: 1801 Died: 1853
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Gowri Lakshmi Bayi
Maharani Regent of Travancore
1814–1833
Succeeded by
Swathi Thirunal
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comment:- The reason was ,after the defeat of veluthampy dalawa and the dismantling of Travancore army by the East India company  ,she was a virtual prisoner  OF THE ENGLISH RULERS.The English rulers got  land in the present PALAYAM area  of Trivandrum{Thiruanandapuram} where they built an army camp and called it palayam{army camp}.  it was situated where the present assembly hall is .
 




still vestiges of the old army camp can be seen(A FEW OLD ARMY BARRACK TYPE BUILDINGS OF 1850 ERA) opposite to the university stadium (west)

 

IT IS NATURAL THAT  THE BRITISH OFFICERS IN CHARGE OF THE ARMY CAMP MADE A CHURCH NEAR THEIR CAMP

Photograph taken about 1900 by the Government photographer, Zacharias D'Cruz of a view of the interior of the Christ Church and cemetry, Trivandrum in the erstwhile Travancore.


IT STARTED AS A BURIAL GROUND FOR BRITISH OFFICERS IN CHARGE OF THE NAIR PATTALAM{NAIR SOLDIERS}



  [1838]IN THE MEMORY OF.........CAPTAIN IN THE NAIR BRIGADE......1838...AGED 32
No eyes to shed tears... still they stand witness to changing times..

WHEN THE BURIAL GROUND STARTED THE WHOLE AREA WAS IN BRITISH HANDS ,UPTO VELLAYAMBALAM IN EAST ;AND NANTHENCODE IN WEST;WHICH WERE SEMI FOREST/UNPOPULATED  AREAS 

Photograph taken about 1900 by the Government photographer, Zacharias D'Cruz of the Kanakakunnu Palace, Trivandrum in the erstwhile Travancore State.

  Photograph of the Palace, Trivandrum taken by an unknown photographer in the 1900s. Thiruvananthapuram, also known as Trivandrum is a large city situated on a series of low densely forested hills in the south of India on the edge of the Arabian Sea. From 1750 until 1956 the city was the capital of the kingdom of Travancore until the state of Kerala was created. The name is derived from thiru-anantha-puram or ‘the holy city of Anatha’ which is the coiled snake on which the god Vishnu reclines. The Palace is now used as government offices.

Photograph taken about 1900 by the Government photographer, Zacharias D'Cruz of the Public Gardens in Trivandrum.  The idea of establishing a Public Garden in Trivandrum was sanctioned by the Maharaja in 1859 and was to be accomplished under the direction of John Allan Broun, the Government Astronomer.Several interesting botanical specimens were reared in the garden from seeds and cuttings procured from Bangalore and other cities. In 1879, the Curatorship was abolished and the management of the museum and the gardens was placed under a Committee consisting of the British Resident and three European members. In 1897-98, the institutions were placed under an officer called "Director of the Government Museum and Public Gardens". An artificial lake was constructed in the gardens in the late 19th century.
 Photograph taken about 1900 by the Government photographer, Zacharias D'Cruz of what is now called the University College at Trivandrum, during Lord Curzon's visit to the Travancore State. The building was completed and occupied in 1873 with John Ross of the Edinburgh University as Principal. When the B. A. classes were opened there was provision to texch only one Optional Branch, viz., Philosophy. Another branch , Mathematics and Natural Philosophy was added in 1879. A chair of advanced chemistry was established in 1884, and another for History in 1900.

 THERE WAS NO UNIVERSITY OR COLLEGE ANYWHERE IN TRIVANDRUM CITY AND TRAVANCORE STATE ;WHEN THE CHURCH WAS MADE 


CSI Christ Church Logo
HISTORY

The Foundation stone for Christ Church was laid on 13th December 1858 by the British Resident Gen. Cullen in the presence of a large number of people, which included H.H. the First Prince Rama Varma of Travancore. The Church was consecrated by Bishop Dealtry of Madras on 15th November 1859. About two years later, The Maharajah of Travancore granted a Neettu (document) in the Malayalam Era 1036 for the newly constructed Church. The Neettu sanctioned the utilization of the building for religious worship by all residents including the Europeans. In the year 1883, H.H. The Maharajah issued an order sanctioning an additional grant of land on the north and west of the Church for extension of the Cemetery.

The increase in members, caused mainly by the migration of Christians from other parts of the State to Trivandrum, necessitated the extension of the Church. The late Laurie Baker, renowned Architect and an active member of the Church, designed the extension of the Church, and the construction was supervised by a group of senior engineers who were members of the Church. It is to the credit of Laurie Baker that the extension when completed supplemented the majesty and splendour of the original building.

Christ Church had earlier been a “maintained civil church” maintained by the government, and under the ecclesiastical authority of the Metropolitan of Calcutta and the Bishop of Madras. In 1956 it became a constituent of the Church of South India, under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of the Diocese of Central Travancore (the present Madhya Kerala Diocese).

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It's unfair to say that govt gifted land to church: CM



THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief minister Oommen Chandy here on Thursday ruled out any need to revoke the state government decision to allot around 2.5 acres to CSI Christ Church at Palayam.

Defending the government decision, the chief minister told reporters in the post-cabinet news conference that the Christ Church was holding the church building and adjacent properties for at least 150 years.

It would be unfair to say the government had decided to gift the land. The same was under their possession for a long time and the decision to assign the land to the church was nothing but a formality, the CM said.

Meanwhile, reacting to the TOI report on Kerala University raising claim over the property as it was part of the 64.66 cents vested with the Travancore University in 1944, representatives of the CSI Christ Church said neither the university nor the government has any right over the church building and surrounding properties under its possession.

"The church cemetery was established in 1814 and the present church building was built in 1854. It was the Maharaja of the erstwhile Travancore who gifted the land to the church with tax exemption. This was one reason why the church authorities did not bother very much about obtaining the assignment of the land from the government," CSI church central Kerala diocese executive committee member Sabu C Oommen said.

He said the cemetery of the Christ Church at present has 1,600 tombs. The number of people who are members of the church is over 5,000, he said.

"The decision to give land to the church was taken after several rounds of scrutiny by various departments," he said.

According to sources in the Church, serious efforts to get the land registered in the name of the Church began 15 years ago.

"As there was no proper follow up till recently, the procedures got delayed. A group of believers have volunteered to go to all offices concerned and got all papers ready in the last two-three years," said a source.
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      OLDEST CHURCHES IN TRIVANDRUM(THIRU ANANTHAPURAM)CITY

The Madre-de-Deus church at (Vettukad), popularly known as Vettukad Palli (Palli means church in Malayalam) is situated 7 kilometres away from Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala, India.

Vettukad Church


This important Christian pilgrim centre is located in the coastal village of Vettucaud
.  


The church is believed to have been established by St. Francis Xavier, the Jesuit missionary who came to India to spread the gospel is believed to have established the church.
 

 He left Lisbon on 7 April 1541and arrived in Goa, then capital of Portuguese India on 6 May 1542, thirteen months after leaving Lisbon. He built nearly 40 churches along the coast, including St. Stephen's Church, Kombuthurai, mentioned in his letters dated 1544.
Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma
Maharaja of Travancore
Marthanda Vurmah Maha Rajah.png
Reign 1729–1758
Born 1706
Died 7 Jul 1758
Predecessor Rama Varma of Venad
Successor Dharma Raja
Royal House Venad Swaroopam
Dynasty Kulasekhara
Royal anthem Vancheesamangalam
Father Kilimanur Koyi Tampuran
Mother Umayamma Rani, Attingal Ilaya Tampurati
Religious beliefs Hinduism

The Eight lords and Marthanda Varma-AND VETTUKAD CHURCH

 

 An Ettu Veetil Pillay

Marthanda Varma was born in 1706 AD to the younger of the two adopted princesses of 1689 and right from his childhood he had to live constantly in hiding, in fear of his life. Many times assassination bids were made on his life. In 1728 an assassination attempt was made on the life of his sister and her son, the later Dharma Raja.[10] However it was in 1729, when the Rajah Rama Varma, died that actual war was declared.
The Pillamar recognized a dangerous foe in Marthanda Varma and hence on the death of Rajah Rama Varma in 1730 they supported the Kunju Thampis. The late Rajah had left two sons, Padmanabhan and Raman Thampi and a daughter Ummini Thankachi. These children of the late king known as the Kunju Thampis now staked claim to the throne, in spite of the prevailing Marumakkathayam law. The Pillamar furnished them with enough money and men to seek aid from the Pandyas of Madurai. However Marthanda Varma managed to avert war by bribing away the Pandyan army.[11] However soon after this the Kunju Thampimar were captured and killed at Nagercoil Palace.[12] It may be stated that in popular folklore it is said that Marthanda Varma's enmity towards the Kunju Thampimar was because of their refusal to allow him to marry their sister. It is said that Ummini Thankachi killed herself after the execution of her brothers to escape Marthanda Varma.
The Pillamar were initially deterred by the fate of the Thampis, for they did not expect Marthanda Varma to kill his own cousins. However, soon after this, they plotted once again to murder the king but intelligence of this reached the king. On the day of the Arrat festival when the murder was to take place, Marthanda Varma appeared with an escort strong enough to cow down the Pillamar.[13] But having received proof of the intention of the Pillamar to murder him they were all rounded up and tried soon after this.[14]
The Eight were either killed or exiled after sufficient evidence of conspiracy and murder was procured. Their houses were dug up and all their assets and armies seized by the victorious Marthanda Varma. Their women and children number around three thousand were given asylum by Jesuit priest of the nearby fishermen coast parish and was therefore called as Vettu kad or eight homes.Marthanda Varma also vowed to give Hundred Gold coins every year to the Jesuit parish priest for the welfare of these subjects The two palaces at Trivandrum known as Ramanamadhom and Thevarathu Koikal were constructed from the wood and material of the palaces of the Pillamar.[15] The Travancore State Manual of Nagam Aiya concludes by saying,
 
GOA 1500'S


CALICUT(KOZHIKODU) 1500'S


canonor (cannanoor) town


COCHIN(KOCHI) 1500'S
A drawing of Tellicherry published in 1736, showing the fort as it appeared some years earlier.

 Rebuilt in 1934 and grew into a parish under the Latin Arch Diocese of Thiruvananthpuram.

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CSI CHRIST CHURCH TRIVANDRUM
Description: Photograph taken about 1900 by the Government photographer, Zacharias D'Cruz of a general view of the Christ Church and cemetry in Trivandrum in the erstwhile Travancore State. It is one of 76 prints in an album entitled 'Album of South Indian Views' of the Curzon Collection. George Nathaniel Curzon was Under Secretary of State at the Foreign Office between 1895-98 and Viceroy of India between 1898-1905. The Church, belonged to the CHURCH  Missionary Society[C.M.S.] and is situated in the Cantonment area called Palayam.

THE ENGLISH OFFICERS OF NAIR PATTALAM (NAIR SOLDIERS FROM 1800 ON WARDS ARE BURIED IN THIS CHURCH .ONE CAN SEE THEIR - tomb: a mausoleum - IN THE CHURCH YARD  AS SEEN IN THIS PHOTO;THOUGH MANY ARE MISSING NOW


Christ Church-at palayam- interior [Trivandrum]--Photographer: D'Cruz, Zachariah Medium: Photographic print Date: 1900


Christ Church interior [Trivandrum]
NOTE:- THE HAND PULLED PUNKAH(HAND PULLED FAN) ON EITHER SIDE ;HANGING DOWN LIKE A SHEET ;FROM ENTRANCE TO THE INTERIOR OF THE CHURCH;ALSO THE KEROSENE LANTERNS (BEFORE ELECTRICITY CAME TO TRIVANDRUM IN 1929)
 THE CHURCH WAS MADE ADJACENT TO THE ARMY CAMP CALLED CANTONMENT NOW KNOWN AS [PALAYAM] AND MOST EUROPEAN OFFICERS WERE STAYING NEAR BY ,AND MANY ENGLISH OFFICERS  ARE BURIED IN THE CHURCH
 THE FIRST BURIAL OF AN ENGLISH MAN TOOK PLACE IN 1786 IN  THE CEMETRY;BEFORE THE CHURH WAS MADE; MANY ENGLISH MEN WERE BURIED ,AND MANY OF THEIR NAMES ARE STILL SEEN ON THE TOMB STONES
 THE ARMY PARADE GROUND WAS MADE INTO A STADIUM (CHANDRASEKHARAN NAIR STADIUM OF PALAYAM)



                                                                             now
The Oldest Anglican Church in the Capital City
The history of Christ Church,Trivandrum goes back to the year 1817. The Christ Church is one of the oldest CSI Congregations in Trivandrum city. 

Consecrated on 15th November, 1859 Christ Church is the oldest Church in the city. An integral constituent of the Madhya Kerala Diocese of the Church of South India, Christ Church, surrounded by the University Stadium and the Chandrasekharan Nair stadium,  is strategically located on the arterial Mahatma Gandhi Road on one end and the Kerala Legislature Complex at the other

The history of the church begins with Bishop Middleton, the first bishop of Calcutta by deputing Rev.Hutchinson, Military Chaplain at Quilon, in 1817, to Trivandrum once a month, initiated Worship service for the members of the Church of England employed in the Military and Govt. at Trivandrum There was also a small number of Tamil Christians employed in the Govt. or in the households of Europeans. A Tamil congregation was formed in 1837, through the efforts of an English knowing young man, Mr. Christian David.

The Malayalam Congregation was started in 1876 by Mr. M. Chandy, followed by regular Worship services by Rev. M P Mathen in 1878. At this time, General Cullen, the British Resident, arranged divine services for Europeans in the Residency. In order to build a permanent place of worship for the members of the Church of England, both European and Indian, they collected about Rs.2600 and received an equal amount from the Govt. of Fort St. George. The Travancore Govt. granted the site and timber free, and lent the services of an able surveyor, Mr.Shedden, to supervise the construction work. General Cullen in the presence of Ramavarma Utram Tirunal, the Prince of Travancore and of many Christians and non-Christians laid the foundation stone of the Church on 13 December 1858. The Bishop Dealtry of Madras under the name “Christ Church” consecrated the Church on 15 November 1859. The Church furniture and accessories were the gifts of individuals or were bought out of funds subscribed by the members.

The Maharaja of Travancore gave a” Neetu” to the Church in which the land and taxes have been given free to the worshipping community. The War Memorial in front of the Church was a part of this sanctuary and regular commemoration of Martyr’s Anniversary was conducted every year with prayer ceremony by this Cantonment Church. The land for road development till the present boundary has been given to the State Government by this Church, free of cost. This is the oldest Church in the Trivandrum city.and has a unique colonial, Anglican architecture

The membership strength of the natives began to increase as more and more families from central Travancore settled in the city in connection with jobs in and around Trivandrum.The Church from the beginning had a vision to extend a helping hand to the less privileged outside the membership of the church. Under the initiative of Christ Church, three outstation churches at Karali, Muttathara and Mudavanmugal were established. The members of the outstation churches were not financially well off and therefore Christ Church used to shoulder major expenses for construction and maintenance of church buildings, mission houses, nursery school and other establishment cost. Of the three outstations, permanent church buildings have been constructed for two and the third will be constructed shortly

Till 1973, Christ Church Sunday School was functioning in the Malayalam Department of the University College as per permission accorded by the Government.


You just cannot ignore the solemn sighs of the Old Cemetery…
Photos By - Shameem Faruque

The trees, the tombs and the shade...a cemetery has a heart that beats in silence...


Look closer...[ ENGLISH CAPTAIN -IN- NAIR BRIGADE-BURIED 1838]

No eyes to shed tears... still they stand witness to changing times...[BURIED 1843]

The limousine model 'Hearse' which was popular in the UK was used here till the 1960s...

You need to go as deep as the roots to be born as the mighty branches...

They might be forgotten but the trees still bathe them with purple flowers...

Hannah died 1899..with the legislative assembly as the back drop...

The CSI Christ Church..a standing memoir of a bygone era...






































































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