The quadrangular tower was built by the natives in honor of Unichakam Veedu K G Parameshwaran Pillai, the former chairman of Kollam Municipality from 1932 to 1948. The construction was started in 1941 and completed in 1944. Built with brick and white cement, it has the distinction of being the first clock tower of the erstwhile Travancore. The four big clocks placed on the sides were brought from Kolkata and its origin can be traced to Britain


Love marriage of king visakham 1880-1885.In 1859 when he was only 22 years old he defied his uncle and married the

woman he loved,

Lekshmi Pilla of Arumana Amma Veedu. His uncle Uthram Tirunal wanted him to marry his daughter from Thiruvattar Ammaveedu. However, Visakam Thirunal refused and married Panapillai Lekshmi Pillai Kochamma of Arumana Ammaveedu on his own choice. She was also a very intelligent

she was the first lady to start English education in the royal house.

Arumana Amma Veedu of Vellalamcodu Desam, which came under the jurisdiction of the maharaja of Travancore,

plays an important role in the history of the state. The Thankachi’s of this family were the consort of many kings,

starting from Dharmaraja (ME 933-973), Balarama Varma (ME 973-986) and Visakam Tirunal Rama Varma (ME1055-1060).

There is an interesting story behind the shifting of the capital from Padmanabhapuram to Thiruvananthapuram,

during the time of Dharmaraja. Dharmaraja married four times, his first wife was a Thankachi named ‘Vadasseri Kali Amma Nagamani Amma’ of Vadasseri Amma Veedu. Later he also married from Arumana, Thiruvattar and Nagercoil Amma Veedu. The story goes that the king made four separate mansions for his ‘Ammachi’s’ in Thiruvananthapuram and shifted them to the new houses. According to historian Ellamkulam, the king frequently visited his wife’s and later for his convenience, shifted the capital to Thiruvananthapuram, all this happened during the time of third Mysore War (1789-1792). Thus these Amma Veedu has had played an important role in the shifting of capital from Padmanabhapuram to Thiruvananthapuram.

Later when Travancore revolted against the British rule, under the leadership of Velu Thampi, there was a noble lady from this house to help him. It is said that Velu Thampi, during his revolt when he was in hiding, secured Palace secrets and confidential information with the help of an Arumana Amma, a noblewoman of the Arumana Amma Veedu who was the wife of the then Maharaja Bala Rama Varma.

Arumana Amma Veedu has passed hands from the original owners and is now owned by the distant relatives of the former owners.

The old house, probably built during the reign of Visakam Tirunal has large rooms with high ceiling, a courtyard and separate kitchen connected to the house by a corridor. However, Kizhakkemadhom Pratap, who is a descendant of Visakam Tirunal,

original tharavad of the family was a great ‘Ettu Kettu’, built in pure traditional style.

This picture of the Velliara Parayil 'ettukettu' was taken
by Ebbey Tharakan during the years the house was unoccupied. 

Later it was demolished and the present building was built during Visakam Tirunal. It is said that as a prince, Visakam Tirunal spend most of his time in Arumana.

Nearby there are the remains of a very old nalukettu, which unlike the new house, which had many evident European features, were made in pure traditional style using timbre. This old house was the Madhom used by the ‘potty’ of the family. There is a story that Marthanda Varma murdered the last potty brothers who lived there for their involvement in the conspiracy against him, later their mortal remains were found inside

History of Nalukettu
The Nalukettu is the traditional style of architecture of Kerala, wherein a house has a quadrangle in the centre. Originally the abode of the wealthy Brahmin and Nair families, this style of architecture has today become a status symbol among the well to do in Kerala. Nalukettu is evident in the traditional homes of the upper class homestead where customs and rituals were a part of life. The mansion is created using wood and tiles, central open courtyard and wondrous architecture. The interiors of the house are tastefully decorated with a wealth of antiques made from teak, sandalwood, mahogany etc.

Thrissur Pooram

Thrissur Pooram is known as the Mamangam (great festival) of middle Kerala. It is celebrated in the premises of Sri Vadkkunatha Temple of Thrissur. This is the most famous temple festival of Kerala. Pooram comes every year in the month of Medom (April-May). Pooram is a colourful ceremony accompanied by the grand Kudamattom and Ilanhithara Melam. Lakhs and lakhs of people throng the Thekkinkadu Maidan (ground) to witness the famous Thrissur Pooram. Though the pooram festival lasts for 36 hours only (pooram day and up to next day noon), it is the fulfillment of the efforts of people for one year. Thrissur Pooram is a conclave of Bhagavathys (Goddesses) from the temples of Ayyanthole, Chembukkavu, Kuttoor, Neythalakkavu, Choorakkottukavu, Karamukku, Lalur,Thiruvambady, Paramekkavu and the Sastha (God) of Kanimangalam. Among them, Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu Bhagavathys have prominence. Madathil Varavu (the procession of Thiruvambady Bhagavathy) and Purappad (the procession of Paramekkavu Bhagavathy), Ilanjithara Melam (panchavadyam- percussion of drums and wind musical instruments) and Vedikettu (fire works) are the four important functions of Thrissur Pooram.

Thrissur pooram kudamattam

Trichur Pooram - Melam

Thrissur pooram Ilanjithara Melam

Thrissur Pooram Chenda Melam

Thrissur Pooram 2011 - Thiruvambadi Melam - Kizhakkotttu & Cherusseri

Thrissur Pooram Chenda Melam

Trichur Pooram - Melam

Thrissur puram Paramekkavu fireworks

Thrissur puram Thiruvambadi fireworks


Thaipooyam is celebrated on the pooyam day of Makaram (January-February). It is the birthday of Lord Subramanya. It is very important in Subramanya Temples. Kavadiyattom and other celebrations are arranged.



Arat at Guruvayoor

Arat procession starts from
Padmanabha Swami temple at Thiruvananthapuram

Arat procession at Thiruvananthapuram

The closing ceremony of temple festival is known as Arat.

The idol of the god is taken in festive procession and dipped in the river, pond or sea.

The people also dip themselves with the idol.

The priests and followers take part in the function.

In most temples of Kerala Arat is performed at the end of the temple festival.

Arts at Guruvayoor Sri Krishna Temple in the month of Kumbham and Sri Padmanabha Swami Temple at Thiruvananthapuram are very famous. At the Sri.Padmanabha Swami Temple, there will be two festivals in a year. They are Alpasi celebrations in the month of Thulam (October-November) and Painkuni celebrations in Meenam (March-April).

Arat is performed in a great festive mood on both the occasions.

When the Arat of other temples were conducted in rivers or ponds, arat of Sri Padmanabha Swami temple is conducted in sea at shanghumukhom beach trivandrum

Aanayottam (Elephant Race)


(Elephant Race)

Aanayottam is festival at Guruvayoor and Thiruvarpu temples.

Aanayottam at Guruvayoor is conducted during the month of Kumbham, which marks the beginning of temple festival. The race of elephant will be conducted on the occasion. The race will be from Manjulal at the east gate of Guruvayoor to the main entrance of the temple. Later the elephants will be taken to inside of the temple and after running three rounds, the elephant that touches the kodimaram (flag post) will be declared as the winner. In Thruvarpu temple, Aanayottam was conducted in the month of Medam to mark the beginning of festival.

kings of Travancore 1663 TO 1949

CLICK AND READ:-TRAVANCORE--The Rajas of Venad--1000A.D. to 1947 A.D. {1} [The Kulasekhara internet]

Travancore Kings

Rama Varma 1663-1672
Aditya Varma 1672-1677
Umayamma Rani‡ 1677-1684
Ravi Varma 1684-1718
Aditya Varma 1718-1719
Unni Kerala Varma 1719-1724
Rajah Rama Varma 1724-1729
Marthanda Varma 1729-1758
Dharma Raja 1758-1798
Balarama Varma 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 1931-1949

Padmanabhapuram 1721-1795
Thiruvananthapuram 1795-1949
Padmanabhapuram Palace
Kilimanoor palace
Kuthira Malika
Kowdiar Palace

Rajah Rama Varma was the ruler of the Indian kingdom of Venad, later known as Travancore, in the modern day state of Kerala, India between 1724 and 1729, having succeeded his brother Unni Kerala Varma. He is better known as the uncle of Maharajah Padmanabha Dasa Vanchi Pala Marthanda Varma Kulasekhara Perumal, the "maker of modern Travancore". He was born as the second son of Rajah Ittamar of Thattari Kovilakam into the Royal Family of Kolathunadu. His entire family, including himself, two sisters and his elder brother Unni Kerala Varma, were adopted into the Venad house as members of the Travancore Royal Family by Rajah Ravi Varma, nephew of Umayamma Rani due to their failure of heirs there. Of his sisters, one died soon after her adoption while the other was the mother of the Maharajah Marthanda Varma.


Rajah Rama Varma was a weak ruler during whose reign the Ettuveetil Pillamar, the Ettara Yogam and other nobles had more power than the King himself, as had been the case since the middle of the 17th century. However on the advise of Marthanda Varma, the Rajah signed a treaty of subordination with the Pandyas at Trichonopoly and secured a Pandyan force in Venad. This frightened the disloyal nobles for sometime, who now, however, turned their attention towards killing Marthanda Varma, the heir apparent under the Marumakkathayam law. Previously, the Ettuveetil Pillamar had been responsible for the assassination of prince Kerala Varma who had successfully defended Venad from an Islamic army (Mukilan pada), and many other crimes.

The Kunju Thampimar

The Rajah Rama Varma had married a Bengali lady known as Abhirami alias Shrimathi Avirama Kochamma from whom he had issue two sons, Padmanabhan and Raman Thampi, known as the Kunju Thampimar and a daughter Ummini Thankachi. One the demise of the Rajah in 1729, Maharajah Marthanda Varma succeeded to the throne under the Marumakkathayam law of inheritance.

The succession of their cousin to their father's throne irked the Kunju Thampimar who allied themselves with the Ettuveetil Pillamar, Marthanda Varma's foes. On their instigation the Thampi brothers proceeded to Trichonopoly and succeeded in making the Pandyan government there believe that Marthanda Varma was an usurper and that they were the rightful heirs to the throne of Venad. The Pandyan Government deputed a Commander known as Azhagappa Mudaliar to install the Kunju Thampimar in Venad and punish Marthanda Varma. However the Mudaliar was bribed by the King, and the Thampi brothers were severely reprimanded for their actions.

Soon after this, in 1730, the Thampi brothers made a visit to their cousin while he was at Nagercoil Palace where they were both killed by Marthanda Varma. While the traditional accounts state that they attempted to assassinate Marthanda Varma and were hence killed, it is not clear as to why their sister Ummini Thankachi was also killed by Marthanda Varma. There is also another local legend that she committed suicide following the killings of her brothers. Thus the sons of Rajah Rama Varma were vanquished and Marthanda Varma became the Rajah of Venad which he expanded into modern Travancore.

one of Kerala's most ancient Christian Cathedrals(claimed to have a history of not less than 17 cent)modeled on Hindu architecture including a Hanuman

The "old syrian church of chengannur
Architectural style is a blend of 18th Century Christian and Hindu temple architectureIts gopuravathil, nadapanthal, kalluvilakku and doors adorned with carved figurines

including a Hanuman holding a baton

. This is indicative of communal and religious harmony exhibited by the localities in yesteryears.

Historians agree that Kerala is dotted with at such landmark centres of worship modeled on Hindu architeture

Mahadevar Temple, ancient temple at chengannur -kerala



literally means military formations or rows of army, but in this folk art we have mainly a series of divine and semi-divine impersonations wearing huge masks or kolams of different shapes, colours and desingns painted on the stalks of arecanut fronds


Koothambalam is a theater hall for staging Koothu and Koodiyattam, the ancient dramatic art forms of Kerala, India. It is considered as sacred as the temple sanctum itself. It is constructed within the premises of a Temple

kaazhcha seeveli

The practice of taking the idol of Gods to outside the sanctum sanctorum every day is known as


the deity is carried on top of elephant

There are different types of seevelis like Ethritha Seeveli, Uccha(noon) Seeveli and Athazha(dinner=night) Seeveli

kodimaram(temple flag post)with flag

Hindu Agama Shastras compare a Temple to the human body.

Just as an individual soul is enveloped by five košas or sheaths - (Annamova, Prãnamaya, Manomaya, Vynãnamaya and Ãnandamaya) - the Deity installed in the Temple (representing the Supreme Spirit) is also enveloped by five prãkaras

Just as our gross body has five sections - head, neck, chest, legs and feet - a Temple also has five corresponding sections.

The Garbhagriham or sanctum Santorum represents the head;
the Sanctum is the Soul or the Jiva of the body;
the Vimana over the Sanctum represents the tip of the nose.
Ardhamandap in front of the Sanctum represents the neck;
Mahã Mandapam, the chest;
Prakaras around the Sanctum represents our five senses:
the palibida where nivedana is offered to the deity represents the naval;

the kodimaram represents the jeevadhara;

Mahadevar Temple In Chengannur

is one of the oldest and famous temple. It is a sprawling temple complex with a circular Sanctum. Lord Shiva and Parvathi Devi are the main investitures of this temple.
There are two main Shrines in this temple.
Lord Shiva facing East and Devi facing West. The main shrine is a conical copper plated one.

Devi's main Idol is made with an alloy of five metals "Panchalokham". The other sub-investitures of the temple are Ganapathi, Lord Ayyappan, SreeKrishnan, Chandikeswaran, Neelagrivan, Ganga, and Naagar

Payyannur Pavithra Mothiram (uniquely crafted golden ring shaped like a knot and considered to be a sacred ornament. )

Pavithra Mothiram

Payyanur Pavithram or Pavithra Mothiram is internationally famous like" Aranmula Mirror "or "Ambalapuzha Palpayasam". Pavithram is the particular ring worn during performing vedic or holy rituals or during the "pithrubali" (ceremony performed for the well-being of the forefathers or departed souls) in the Hindu tradition. The traditional Pavitram is usually made of "dharba" grass. The formation of Payyanur Pavitram is closely related with Payyanur Sree Subrahmanya Swami Temple. According to the legends, Pavitram made of gold was recommended to avoid the inconvenience of making it many times a day for the various poojas and rituals.
Payyanur Pavithra Mothiram is a uniquely crafted ring shaped like a knot and considered being a sacred ornament. Usually, Payyanur Pavithram is being made of Gold and Silver. The Pavithram is to be worn on the right ring finger by the person performing Vedic Karmas. It is believed that this ring will bring luck and grace to anyone who wears it with the deep devotion. The three lines on the top of the ring represents the three vital "nadees"(nerves) of the human body, Ida, Pingala and Sushumna. The knot between these three nerves together can awake or arose the "Kundalini sakthi" (vital energy of the body) of the human body. It is believed that the Pavithram brings the "Trimoorthi Chaithanyam" ( the vigor or the effect due to the presence of the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva).The person who wear Pavithram as well as the Goldsmith who makes it has to have to impose some sort of self control or discipline over themselves. They should be pure vegetarian and shouldn't take alcohol and should keep way from immoral activities. If wore by women, they have to remove the ring during the period of menstruation.
According to tradition, the Pavithram, before handed over to the customer, is taken to Payyanur Perumal Temple for special poojas and a part of the cost of the ring will be given to the temple as an offering. Payyanur Pavithram is being exhibited in many of the museums of India as well as abroad. It is relevant to mention the name of late C.V. Kunhambu, who was an expert in the making of Payyanur Pavithram and was also a great freedom fighter. Payyanur has a great history of national movement, prominent leaders being, KP Kunhiraman Poduval and Subrahmanya Shenoy .


Aranmula Kannadi (special type of mirror produced at Aranmula)

Aranmula kannadi is

special type of mirror produced at Aranmula,

a village in the state of Kerala in India. These unique metal mirrors are the result of Kerala's rich cultural and metallurgical traditions.

The British Museum in London has a 45 centimeter tall Aranmula metal mirror in its collection.

The origins of the Aranmula metal mirrors are linked with the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple.

Legend has it that eight families of experts in temple arts and crafts were brought by the royal chief to Aranmula from Tirunelveli district to work in the Parthasarathy temple centuries ago.

Some undisclosed metals are alloyed with copper and tin to cast the mirrors. The procedure and metallurgy is now only known to a single family in Aranmula. To achieve their highly reflective surface, the finished mirrors need to be polished for one or two days.

The major differences between an Aranmula kannadi and a normal mirror are:

• The Aranmula kannadi is not created from glass but from a special metal alloy.
• It is a front surface reflection mirror, so the secondary reflections and aberrations typical of back surface mirrors are not present.




Apart from being a religious center, Thrikodithanam was also once a center for culture, arts, erudition & learning.Students used to be taught religious texts - Shastras - in sections or Khadikas.

Since discussions, debates, tests and examinations took place with these sections as the base, the institutions came to be called Khadika-sthanam. These flourishing institutions imparted knowledge and skills not only in language and religious texts but also, in some cases, in warfare and state-craft.

These higher-grade institutions of learning were open to youth of the Chola-Pandya-Chera kingdoms.

Research on Sanskrit texts and philosophy, and Vedic studies were the primary functions of a Khadika or Khadika-sthanam.

The syllabus

included study of the Shastras and Upanishads, and study of Tantra and Mantra

These institutions were as renowned as the famous universities of today.

It is believed that, at any time, between 1000 to 7000 students studied at these institutions.

The most famous of these Khadika-sthanams existed at Kanchipuram even before 345 AD.

Nalgonda inscriptions and inscriptions at VELLORE-PALA, GUDIANAM & KASAGUDI refer to the Khadika-sthanams. The presence of the famous Maha-Vishnu temple lent the prefix of respect Thiru to the Khadika-sthanam here making it Thiru-Khadika-Sthanam.

In the works of Nammalvar too there are references to existence of such an institution.

Over the centuries, Thiru-Khadika-Sthanam became Thirukkadisthanam and finally Thrikodithanam.


The stone inscriptions at Thrikodithanam temple are a rich source of information on the life and times during the Second Chera Empire. The earliest of these were recorded

during the 14-year reign of the Chera king BHASKARA RAVI VERMA.

From these inscriptions we get the following insights and information:

Thrikodithanam was the capital of a prosperous kingdom called Nanrulainattu ("Land of Farmers"). The kingdom covered an area from the north of Odanaadu to south of the present Kottayam town. The eastern boundary of this kingdom extended till Thiruvalvandoor. The temples of Thrikodithanam, Perunnayanallur (Perunna today) and Thiruvalvandoor were within this kingdom.

During the 14 year reign of Bhaskara Ravi Varma,

in 965 AD,

Kothaverma Marthandam, the crown-prince of Venad, made contributions in cash and kind for the temple.

The period 951 - 1109 AD

is referred to as the period of the kings of Thrikodithanam.
Later Kothaverma Marthandam himself became the ruler of Nanrulainattu. The kingdom then expanded into ODANAADU, and parts of THEKKANKUR.
Until the early years of

1100 AD,

the main road running from south to north of Kerala - Narayana-peru-vazhi - went alongside Thrikodithanam temple and bifurcated the present village.
Control over affairs of the temple held the keys to the kingdom itseLF


Tamil was the common spoken language.

Royal decrees were in Tamil too. It was written in the rounded Vattezhutthu script.
Manipravalam, a mixture of Tamil and Sanskrit, was used by the temple priests.
There used to be a festival called Uthi-Utsavam.
The Deepa festival used to be held in the lunar month of Karthika (November-December). This continues even today.


The following officials / collectives were responsible for the temple administration:
URAR (Ooralar - Executive)
SAMACHITAN (Accountant)
IDAI-ISSAR (The Manager)
PARAKEDA (A Committee)
CHAVAI (A congregation of citizens)

Ganams or Committees were assigned the task of organising functions during auspicious periods like:

PAZHAVAARU-KANATHAR (Brahmin Sabha for the temple)

Inscriptions spell out the duties, responsibilities and remuneration for all officials.

It was forbidden for the priests (Shaanti) to continue in the same position for more than three years. The Urar were banned from assuming responsibilities of priests.
All the officials and collectives were controlled by the King (Thiru Koil Udayaar Vazhkai Vazhumavar) through his advisers called


During the reign on Kothavarma Marthandam (c.1000 AD),

there was a system to ensure that ordinary workers panimakkal) were not exploited by the temple authorities. A decree of the king, conveyed to the local adviser - Muthoot - through his counselors - Nedumpuratthe Kundran Kovindan and Unmaratthe Iraviraman - forbids the temple functionaries from claiming the property of the workers through lease, mortgage or contract. Those violating the edict had to pay a fine of 24 measures of gold, in addition to foregoing the land


The Aranmula Boat Race

takes place at Aranmula, India near a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna and Arjuna. Thousands of people gather on the banks of the river Pampa to watch the snake boat races. Nearly 30 snake boats or "chundan vallams" participate in the festival. The oarsmen sing traditional boat songs and wear white dhotis and turbans. The golden lace at the head of the boat, the flag and the ornamental umbrella at the center make it a show of pageantry too.
Each snake boat belongs to a village along the banks of the river Pampa. Every year the boats are oiled mainly with fish oil, coconut shell, and carbon, mixed with eggs to keep the wood strong and the boat slippery in the water. The village carpenter carries out annual repairs and people take pride in their boat, which is named after and represents their village.


Ancient palace of the Punnathur

Punnathur Kotta about 3 kms north of Guruvayur temple. Punnathur Kotta is the ancient palace of the Punnathur Rajas, now in the possession of the Devaswom. There is also an ancient temple where Lord Siva and Bhagavathy are worshipped

palace bolghatty --cochi

BOLGHATTY PALACEBolghatty Palace is situated in Bolghatty Island a narrow palm-fringed Island easily accessible from the mainland. The Palace was built by the Dutch in 1744. Later, it became the seat of the British Resident and today this has been converted into a hotel run by the KTDC

Dewan(prime minister)of Travancore STATE c.p. Ramaswami iyer1936

Dewan of Travancore

Sir C.P. Ramaswami Iyer became Dewan of Travancore in 1936 and started his career thus with the revolutionary
Temple Entry Proclamation of 1936
whereby untouchables and lower caste people of Travancore were permitted entry into Hindu Temples in that state. This was the first time that untouchability was attempted to be abolished by direct Government action. Mahatma Gandhi expressed great satisfaction and addressed meetings throughout Travancore praising the Dewan and Sovereign of Travancore During his Dewanship of Travancore he initiated the Pechipara Hydro-electric Scheme (present Kodayar Hydroelectric Power Project in Kanyakumari District, the Periyar Game Sanctuary and other irrigation projects. He inaugurated many industries including the Fertiliser and Chemicals, Travancore (FACT), Travancore Rayon, Cement, Aluminium, etc. He enlarged and reorganised laminated wood furniture and screw pine industries. He introduced, for the first time, graded agricultural income tax and abolished land revenue; he expanded the Pallivasal Hydro-Electric Project. He carried out a great deal of pioneering work for the Vivekananda Rock at Cape Comorin and built guesthouses at Kanyakumari. He renovated the Padmanabhapuram Palace of Marthand Varma's days (in present-day Kanyakumari District and expanded the Trivandrum Art Gallery. In 1937 Sir CP, as he was popularly known, started the University of Travancore with the Maharajah as Chancellor and himself as Vice Chancellor. He also established the Marine Biological Institute; organized mineral sands, rare earth and titanium products industries. In 1939 he was awarded an honorary L.L.D. Degree by the University of Travancore and in the same year he celebrated his sixtieth birthday by making great donations to charitable foundations and the University. In 1940 under his Dewanship Travancore became the first state to nationalize road transport in India. He also started aluminium, ceramic, fertilizer, rayon and other industries with major government collaboration. The same year capital punishment was abolished and adult franchise introduced. He was also the first to appoint a lady as District Judge (Mrs. Anna Chandy later became the first Indian woman High Court Judge). Sir CP introduced for the
first time the mid day meal scheme
to prompt poor children to attend school.
During Sir CP's tenure as Dewan of Travancore the revenues rose up from Rs. 2.5 crores to 9 crores without any additional taxation.
In 1941 the British conferred on him the title of Knight Commander of the Star of India (KCSI). In 1946 he resigned from the post of Dewan of Travancore but was persuaded to return. When Indian Independence came into view Travancore and other Princely States were given two options of either staying independent or merging with the dominions of India or Pakistan Sir CP was in favor of the independence of Travancore which saw a great furore being created by the Indian National Congress. In 1947 after an unsuccessful attempt was made at his life by K.C.S.Mani, he resigned the post of Dewan and left Travancoreon August 19, 1947. He was succeeded by PGN Unnithn
Criticism and dissent

While hailed as a modernizing reformer by many, his administration was also marked by popular dissent. During this period he came into conflict with the Communists on numerous occasions several incidents of which became minor rebellions. These culminated in 1946, when a communist uprising, which is popularly known as Punnapra-Vayalar revolt attempted to establish a new government in the Punnapara-Vayalar region which resulted in the death of more than 3000 people and was put down by the Travancore army and navy.
Jawaharlal Nehru once remarked about Iyer:

There is little now in common between us except our common nationality. He is today a full- blooded apologist of British rule in India, especially during the last few years; an admirer of dictatorship in India and elsewhere, and himself a shining ornament of autocracy in an Indian state

THEYYAM ancient folk religious dance of kerala

The earliest Brahmin settlements like Payyanur and Perimchellur (Thaliparamba) in Kolathunadu where the Hindu religion was propagated through the institutions of temples largely influenced the popular folk religion based on Theyyam and other tribal cults. According to the legendary Keralolpathi, Parasurama sanctioned the festivals like Kaliyattam Puravela and Deivattam or Theyyattam to the people of Kerala. He assigned the responsibility of Theyyam dance to the indigenous communities like Panan, Malayar, Velan and Vannan. These traditions explain how the indigenous cults like Theyyam were incorporated and metamorphosed under the religious supremacy of the Brahmanism. In the long historical process a social system evolved in Kerala in which the little culture like Theyyam belonged to the depressed castes and classes where as the temple oriented culture belonged to the dominant castes and classes. There were no violent confrontations between these two cultures as there was no total destruction of the indigenous culture.

The dance or invocation is generally performed in front of the village shrines. It is also performed in the houses as ancestor worship with elaborate rite and rituals

There is no stage or curtain and other arrangements for the performance. The devotees would be standing or some of them would be sitting on a sacred tree in front of the shrine. In brief it is an open theatre. A performance of a particular deity according to its significance and hierarchy in the shrine continues for 12 to 24 hours with intervals. The chief dancer who propitiates the central deity of the shrine has to reside in the rituals. This may be an impact of Jainism and Buddhism. Further after sun set this particular dancer would not eat anything as legacy of Jainism. His make-up is done by specialists and other dancers. First part of the performance is usually known as vellattamor thettam. It is performed without proper make-up or decorative costume Only a small red headdress is worn on this occasion.

The dancer along with drummers recites the particular ritual song, which describes the myths and legends of the particular ritual song, which describes the myths, and legends of the particular deity of the shrine or the folk deity to be propitiated. This is accompanied by the playing of folk musical instruments. After finishing this primary ritualistic part of the invocation the dancer returns to the green room. Again after a short interval he appears with proper make-up and costumes. There are different patterns of face-painting. Some of these patterns are calledvairadelam, kattaram, kozhipupam, kotumpurikam, and prakkezhuthu. Mostly primary and secondary colours are applied with contrast for face painting. It had effected certain stylization also. Then the dancer comes in front of the shrine and gradually “metamorphosises” as the particular deity of the shrine. He, after observation of certain rituals places the head-dress on his head and dances. In the background folk musical instruments like chenda tuti, kuzhal and veekni are played with rhythm. All dancers take a shield and kadthala (sword) in their hands as continuation of the cult of weapon. Then the dancer circumambulates the shrine, runs in the courtyard dances. The Theyyam dance has different steps known as kalaasams Each kalaasam is repeated systematically from first to eight step of footwork. A performance is a combination of playing of musical instruments, vocal recitation, dance and strange makeup and costumes. The stage-practices of Theyyam and its ritualistic observations make it one of the fascinating theatrical arts of Ind


A procession before Kumarakom Sree Narayana Jayanthi Boat race

The Alummootil Meda. at Mavelikkara

The Alummootil Meda. A grand manor and outhouses belonging to Ezhava aristocracy from history. Location: Mavelikara


is the royal bed, made of some 67 pieces of medicinal wood
Padmanabhapuram Palace is situated in the Padmanapuram FORT. While the fort is made of stone, the palace is made of teak wood and granite. Most of the work has been done on wood, while the murals have been made of granite. The sloping roofs, mural carvings, carved ceilings, gleaming floors – all have been made of wood. However there are exceptions – like the floor of the main hall has been made of coconut wood and egg shells. This floor is so smooth, that if you walk on it with shoes, you are bound to fall. Only a bare foot can make you walk on it with ease.The entrance is comparatively simple – though there are heavy carvings on the hood. The entrance is called the Poomukham. After the entrance Hall, there is the Audience hall. The floor of this Hall is polished with a special compound of crushed coconut shells, egg white and plant juices – which makes the floor exceptionally gleaming. There is also the Upparikka Malika or the four storeyed Kings quarters. The Manthrasala is the Council Chamber and the Mattupavu is a lovely balcony. Right to the Mattupavu is the dining hall or Oottupura which serves the 2000 brahmins on daily basis.The palace also houses the Queen Mothers Palace. This Palace is one of the oldest buildings in the Palace premises. For the entertainment of the King and the Queen, there is the Dance Hall called the Navarathri Hall. Few temples too have been built inside the Palace.Apart from the halls and queens room, the Palace has other attractions too –
like the Kings bed which is made of 64 Medicinal Woods. The aroma of these woods still fill the room – though the King died on this bed only..
. . See the earthen lamps which have various designs like a horse and a rider, the PEACOCK , old age paintiNGS and so on. The Prayer Room or the Puja Hall has a huge pillar made out of single single Jackfruit Tree. There is more to see – the Chinese Throne; the Belgian mirrors and the 108 ghoulish rooms. There are the Chinese Jars gifted by Chinese Merchants; a variety of weapons; 300 years old clock tower; gallery of paintings depicting history of Travancore; slit open wooden windows and the Kings council chamber.

Buddha (ancient statue) at Mavelikkara

Buddha statue placed today in Mavelikara town, at Buddha Junction in front of the Krishnaswamy temple, was excavated more by accident in the early 1900s from a paddy field near the Kandiyoor temple. It is possible that a lot more of the vanished Buddhist civilization of Onnattukara still lies buried in history, yet to be unearthed
The department of Archeology had excavated four more images of BUDDHA.
They are,1. At Mavelikkara:
It was found in the premises of a house. People lit lamps and offer coconuts.
2. At Bharanikkavu:
located five miles north-west of Mavelikkara, the images excavated was elegantly carved.3. At Pallikkal: seven miles from Adoor, this image was head less
.4. At Karunagapalli:
in a temple tank, this image is the best ever found.
Last two images are exhibited at the Thiruvananthapuram Museum.All these images were found in the central Travancore. When exactly Buddhism faded cannot
There are many temples which are of Jaina origin. THE rock temple at chitharal, kallil Bhagavathi temple at Perumpavur, and the Nagaraja temple at Nagercoil are of the Jaina origins


Boat Race

Boat Race during Onam festival season.
The well-known 'Vallamkali' (Snake Boat Festival) originated here.
We have 2 water festivals Moolam Kali and another
in memory of St.Thomas.
These boats are over 131 Ft long and about 109 people use their muscle power to drive it at tremendous speed


St. Mary’s Church, Niranam,
popularly known as Niranam Valiyapally.
This church was founded by St. Thomas (Mar Thoma), the Apostle of Jesus Christ, in AD 54.
The present building, supposedly the
was constructed in 1912 and was reinforced during the year 2000.
Among the attractions at the church are a huge Cross made of granite,
relics of St. Thomas,
remnants of the old church,
the golden cross etc.

St. Thomas was the apostle who chose to travel to the farthest and remotest areas for his missionary works. He was speared on December 19 (AD 72)
and he entered martyrdom on December 21.



There are plenty of evidences that suggests that the area had been inhabited since 500 BC
although the city was founded sometime in 800 AD only.
The present day area of Niranam and Kadapra[kadalppuram?] on the western part of Thiruvalla was submerged under the sea before that
.[as per Christian HISTORY-
In 52 A D Saint Thomas, one of the 12 Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, came to Musiris (Kodungallore) and later to Nelkinda (Niranam) through Purakkadu, ancient ports of Kerala, in South West India to preach the gospel. ]

The name Thiruvalla is a colloquial form of Thiruvallabhapuram
which is the Malayalam version of the earlier coinage Srivallabhapuram,
named after the chief deity of the central temple complex, Sri Vallabhan
. It is interesting to note that the ancient name of Thiruvalla was "Valla vai". This name had some relation with the river Manimala which was known as "Vallapuzha". The mouth is known as "Valla vai". On the western part of Thiruvalla, the rivers Pampa, Manimala and Achen Kovil join for a panoramic
As in many other places in India, the culture and heritage of Thiruvalla are tied with temples.
Historical evidence such as copper plates and proclamations point to Thiruvalla as a flourishing and major center of spiritual and educational prominence in AD 1100.

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The Sree Vallaba Temple governed a Vedic School with one thousand students and one hundred teachers. The temple also maintained a hospital in the service of the public at large
. The rulers of Thiruvalla belonged to the Thekkumkoor Dynasty, which had one of its headquarters at Edathil near Kavil Temple.

 Paliakara Palace
 is a branch of Lakshmipuram Palace of Changanacherry which was the branch of Alikottu Kovilakam of Pazhancherry in Malabar.
 Nedumpuram Palace
is a branch of Mavelikkara Palace is an heir to the Kolathiri tradition of Udayamangalam.
The Kaavil market
 (which is no longer in existence) was once one of the most famous markets of Kerala where there were even foreign trade links. It is actually situated in the street starting from Kavumbhagom jn. in Muthhoot road. It was also the settlement area of early Christians of Thiruvalla. This was the heartplace of Tiruvalla upto 19th Century.(the part east to M.C road was forest area).
We can find even dens in the now K.S.R.T.C garage area.


arrived in Thiruvalla early through the apostle St.Thomas who is believed to have come to Niranam in A.D. 52 through Purakkadu. He founded the Niranam church which is only 5 km from Thiruvalla. Thiruvalla Christians were part of the autonomous Indian Church, until the 17th century when due to the intervention of the Portuguese missionaries a schism occurred leading to the introduction of Catholicism in India. The Mar Thoma Church and the Evangelical Church have their headquarters in Thiruvalla. The headquarters of the Orthodox Church Niranam Diocese and Thiruvalla Diocese of Syro-Malankara rite of the Catholic Church is also in Thiruvalla. The famous Paliakkara church is a destination of tourists, historians and moreover faithfuls from all denominations


The palace is constructed in the traditional complex 'pathinaru kettu' structure (lit. 16 blocks)
which divided the structure into four blocks of rooms with indoor open courtyards connected to each other
. The structure is supported by teak beams and false ceilings.
At present the building is in disrepair.
It is built in the kovilakam style.
A single block of this architecture is called Nālukettu and is generally constructed as a single dwelling of many joint families.

For each block of 'Nalukettu', barring the foundation and floor is made of carved and slotted wood and has a close resemblance to East Asian gabled and thatched structures. In later years, tiles replaced the coconut fronds.
The enclosed courtyard is sunk and is used for ritual ablusions and to grow plants for ritual use. The courtyard is open and gives direct access to the rooms.
The building is divided into two blocks by an inner temple where the family deity is kept and worshipped. The large teak doors on the outer verandahs are reserved for various ritual uses and are seldom opened.
The outer verandahs on both the western and eastern verandahs are left open, the northern and southern verandahs are enclosed or semi-enclosed.

The main palace is surrounded by out buildings of later vintage.
Of these, Puttan Kottaram (New Palace)
houses the house a temple,
Tekke Kottaram (SOUTHERN Palace, now demolished)
housed the growing members
and Vadakke Kottaram (NORTHERN Palace)
is a structure separated from the main compound by a river.



The state of Travancore was a treasure house of palaces that includes the palaces at Kadinamkulam,

Ulloor, Thiruvallam, Kazhakkoottam, Vellayambalam,(CONVERTED TO KELTRON )

Many of these are now ruined and the other few are still craving for the sympathy of people.

The Ananthavilasom Palace constructed by Visakham Thirunal Maharaja and Krishna vilasam and Lekshmi vilasam constructed by Sree Moolam Thirunal Maharaja are other important palaces in the Fort Complex.

The Vadakke Kottaram in the fort area was built during the reign of Aayillyam Thirunal Maharaja reusing the materials of Vijayapuram palace of Thiruvalla. it is currently being used as Govt. Office . The royal family used the Sankumukham palace built in 1880 by Visakham Thirunal Maharaja as an evening retreat centre.

Eraniel Palace at Marthandom (near Padmanabhapuram) adjoining the state of Kerala, which has witnessed many a decisive change in the history of Travancore, is dying.
Some of these palaces do not exist in their complete form today.
Yet any concerted effort is not proposed either from the prophets of Heritage or from the Architectural guilds of the state to document and collect historic evidence and positively channelise the developmental activities in and around these historic edifices before the remaining ones also are ruined or deformed.
There are about thirty palaces in Thiruvananthapuram which were constructed after the 18th century.

Most of the palaces constructed before the 18th century have now disappeared. The existing Palaces are Attingal Palace, Mamom Palace, Kilimanoor Palace, Nedumangad Palace, Mudavanmukal Palace (2), Vellayani Palace, Poojappura Palace, Pothenkode Palace, Kanakakkunnu Palace, Vellayambalam Palace, Bell Heavan Palace, Sankumukham Palace (2), Kawadiar Palace, Kovalam Palace and ten palaces inside
the East Fort — Sreepadam Palace, Krishnavilasam Palace, Ananthavilasam Palace, Valiya Kottaram etc.




Close to the Ambalappuzha. the village of Karumadi is famous for its Karumadi Kuttan, a black granite figure of Buddha said to belong to the 9th or 10th century