KAWDIAR PALACE THE founding members of the Travancore royal family are said to have come to this southern tip from the banks of the Narmada. Legend has it that Lord Parasurama himself crowned the first ruler. Historically, the line can be traced to 820 A.D. Keralam ("Cheralam") in ancient times was under the influence of Tamil culture. According to historian Anees Jung, the most ancient royal families of the country are the Houses of Udaipur and Travancore. TRIVANDRUM

GIFTED to Maharani Sethu Parvathy Bayi by Sri Moolam Tirunal in 1915, the Kaudiar palace, an impressive structure, was the residence of Sri Chithira Tirunal Balarama Varma, the last ruler of Travancore State. It is now the residence of the heirs of the family. The princess, and her two daughters, Gouri Parvathy Bayi and Gouri Lakshmi Bayi, live here with their spouses and children