steam train kerala-Trivandrum - Madras via Quilon ,meter gauge &SOLDIERS

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1904 photograph of the Quilon (now Kollam) railway station

From a distance, the roof of the station resembles a house boat of today. The station was built by the then ruler of Travancore, Sree Moolam Tirunal Rama Varma (1885 to 1924), Image result for Sree Moolam Tirunal Rama Varma (1885 to 1924)and the design was specially sanctioned by him. It was the ruler’s desire to create a rail link between Kollam, the then commercial capital of his State, and Madras (Chennai now).

The station was a major terminal and in 1904, a rail link from there to Thiruvananthauram was not even thought of though the same ruler commissioned it fourteen years later, in 1918.
According to a study by Jimmy Jose, a rail history enthusiast, published on the website of the Indian Railways Fan Club Association, the idea of a rail link between Quilon and Tirunelveli was conceived in 1873.
A rail link from Tirunelveli, then in the Madras Presidency, to Shencottah, then part of Travancore, had already been laid. The Madras presidency sanctioned the Shencottah-Quilon rail route in 1899 and the South India Railway (SIR) Company completed the survey for the line in 1900.
The line which was commissioned in four years was jointly funded by SIR, the Travancore State, and the Madras Presidency, Mr. Jose says in his report.
As work on the line progressed, the Travancore ruler announced in advance that it would be commissioned on June 1, 1904 and the first train to Shencottah will be flagged off by him on the day itself. But as the inaugural day drew close, a portion of a tunnel at Aryankavu caved in and the line got blocked.
Due to this, there was uncertainty over whether the steam locomotive for the inaugural run, stationed at Shencottah, could be taken to Quilon through the newly laid line. To avoid the ruler’s displeasure, the chief engineer of the project decided that the locomotive be dismantled, taken to the Tuticorin port and shipped to the Quilon port.Related image From there it was transported in bullock carts to the Asramam Maidan   Image result for Asramam Maidan  to be assembled.

Asramam Maidan - Wikipedia
The Asramam Maidanam (Malayalam: ആശ്രാമം മൈതാനം) or Ashramam Maithanam is an urban park, or maidhanam, in the city of Kollam, in Kerala, India. At 72 acres (29 ha), it is the largest open space within Kerala Municipal Corporation limits. The maidan is considered as one of the green lungs of the city and ... Special line
A special line was also laid in haste from the Quilon railway station to Asramam to take the assembled locomotive to the station. This line was later used to transport petroleum products to the storage yard of an oil company. Later, the Kunjammapalam was constructed at Chinnakada Image result for Chinnakada

Chinnakada - Wikipedia
Chinnakada (Malayalam: ചിന്നക്കട) or Chinnakkada is considered as the heart of the city of Kollam, in the state of Kerala, India. Chinnakada is one of the major junctions in the city where National Highways – NH 66 (Earlier NH 47) meets NH 744 (Earlier NH 208). The city's symbolic clock tower is located in Chinnakada Kollam city over this line. Even though the oil company abandoned its storage unit, the rail line at Chinnakada was in tact till a few years ago.
The Kunjammapalam was later demolished to make way for the Chinnakada round. According to Mr. Jose’s study, on June 1, 1904, the train flagged off by the ruler, with a 21 gun salute, ran only till Punalur. After repairs to the tunnel, the line from there to Shencottah was thrown open on November 26, 1904.
The entire Quilon-Shencottah lineRelated image and its stations were constructed at a cost of Rs.1.12 crore. The first station master of Quilon was one Ramiah, says the report. The Quilon station got linked to Ernakulam via Kottayam by a meter gauge line on January 6, 1958 thereby opening a rail link from Ernakulam to Thruvananthapuram.
While in 1904 the Quilon station had only one platform and four tracks on its yard, today’s Kollam station has eight platforms and more than 20 tracks on its yard. But the beautiful 1904 station is now in a shambles and can be hardly recognised. After the construction of a new building for the railway station the old one was ignored. It now houses the offices of Railways’ medical and electrical units.

Kollam–Sengottai branch line - Wikipedia–Sengottai_branch_line
The train was truncated at Quilon after Kollam -Trivandrum Central meter gauge track was converted to broad gauge in 1979. The train by through Madurai junction railway station from 1996 via Manamadurai Junction when Virudhunagar-Madurai line was converted to broad gauge. The train was discontinued in June 2000.

Chennai-Kollam rail line to be reopened in March '17 | Business Line
Mar 3, 2016 - It was renamed Quilon-Madras Mail and extended up to Thiruvanthapuram in 1918 after completion of the Kollam-Tiruvanthapuram metre gauge line. ... The gauge conversion between Sengottai and PunalurImage result for Trivandrum to Madras via Quilon ,meter gauge will provide the third route to Thiruvananthapuram via Madurai, Tenkasi, Sengottai and Kollam.
 Punalur - Wikipedia

Quilon [2005-11-28] by Jimmy Jose —
Nov 28, 2005 - This hill line, hailed as Queen of Metre Gauge lines is an engineering marvel competing with the Nilgiri Hill Railway. But, during the recent past, it has received a step motherly attitude since the commencement of Trivandrum-Chennai Broad Gauge line via Ernakulam. Still, this line is a railway tourist's ...

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 End of Meter gauge - Last Train journey -In Kerala - Aanavandi ...
End of Meter gauge - Last Train journey -In Kerala - Aanavandi Travel Blog

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below-palace guards at Trivandrum
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below-photo of then "prime minister" also called DEWAN of Travancore state -Mr.c.p.Ramaswami Iyer ,a stooge of the British colonial rulers,with special police .{he was injured by a  knife attack by a freedom fighter in Trivandrum music college during a meeting ,as people were against his plan to separate Travancore state as free country  as instructed by British; and left }
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Below-special police in front of a Trivandrum palace
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"NAIR PATTALAM" means soldiers mainly selected from nairs,at Araat procession in Trivandrum ,1940's
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Related imageNair Brigade - Wikipedia

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Nair - Wikipedia
Related image(Used as part of Velakalli- a traditional war dance performed by Nair Soldiers after victory in their uniforms before their presiding deity.... Recently as part of temple celebrations, a major performance were recreated before Sree Padmanabha temple)

The uniform features a White Mundu with Red Kacha (a piece of cloth tightly held around waist to hold the mundu and prevent sword piercing), a red band around the body and the Red Turban

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Nieuhof for Malabar Princess . From his sea-voyage and ashore .[queen of koylang=quilon-kollam with nair soldiers and the dutch captain]

the Nayar army:

The Royal Procession of Kochi Durbar- 1700

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Thiruvathamkoor Nair Pattalam (Travancore State Army), also known as the Nair Brigade and which served as the Maharaja 'SWATI THIRUNAL' personal guard.

The 16th Batallion of the Madras Regiment was formerly known as the 2nd Travancore Nayar Infantry and actually served in a current hot spot, Basra in Iraq[that time known as mesopotamia]