THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Vanishing links to the past Sharat Sunder Rajeev

 HIDDEN HISTORIES METROPLUS

Vanishing links to the past

Elevation of 'Sachivottama Sir C.P. Shashtiabdapoorthy Memorial Satrom', from Sir C.P. Shashtiabdapoorthy Souvenir.Photo: Sharat Sunder Rajeev

Elevation of 'Sachivottama Sir C.P. Shashtiabdapoorthy Memorial Satrom', from Sir C.P. Shashtiabdapoorthy Souvenir.Photo: Sharat Sunder Rajeev

Thiruvananthapuram lost yet another landmark when C.P. Satrom was pulled down. However, many young residents of the city were not even aware of its existence. For long the Satrom was hidden behind the hoardings and the dense canopy of the trees in its vicinity. Named after Sir. C.P. Ramaswami Iyer, Dewan of the erstwhile princely state of Travancore, the Satrom was a refuge to travellers visiting Thiruvananthapuram.

Senior residents of the city recall the glorious days of the ‘Sachivottama Sir C.P. Shashtiabdapoorthy Memorial Satrom’ established in connection with the 60th birthday celebrations of the Dewan. In front of the building stood a pavilion that housed a bust of the Dewan. When the nationalist struggle gained momentum in Travancore, the bust became an easy target of attack.

Some of the infamous decisions of the Dewan such as the proposal for an ‘Independent Travancore’ and an ‘American Model Government’ had led to widespread discontent among the populace. In 1946, the police charged at a gathering organised by the Congress party at Pettah and three people were killed in the firing. The prolonged political discord culminated in an attempt on the life of Sir. C.P. Ramaswami Iyer. On July 25, 1947, the Dewan had a narrow escape but suffered injuries on his cheek and fingers. The same night the bust of the Dewan, kept in front of the Satrom, was defaced by an anonymous group, who managed to knock off the nose of the bust. The office of the Public Works Department gave directions to repair the bust at once.

The search for a master craftsman led the officials to the School of Arts (Fine Arts College), where they were directed to meet N. Padmanabhan Achari (b.1881-d.1960) of Pinarammoodu family, Pettah. Padmanabhan, who came from a long line of illustrious artists and craftsmen, was employed at the School of Arts as chief ivory carver. He was known for his fine ivory carvings of the visage of Sree Chithira Tirunal and the Dewan.

The elderly master craftsman was leading a peaceful retired life in his house at Pettah. When the police officers knocked at his door, the family panicked, for they were still shocked by the unusual turn of events. However, they were relieved when the police officers explained the reason behind their visit. They wanted Padmanabhan’s service to mend the bust as soon as possible. Padmanabhan Achari had only one demand, as it was not possible to take the bust to his house, he wanted them to cover the area around it so that nobody could see him working. Soon, a temporary enclosure was made around the bust using thatched coconut leaves, and the area was secured by Travancore police. Padmanabhan Achari made the missing parts using Plaster of Paris, finishing the work in a few days. The repaired bust, with its 'new nose' was reinstalled in the mandapam; Padmanabhan Achari's role in the affair was kept a secret.

After 1947 , the bust was removed from its pedestal. Years passed by and the Satrom stood as a silent witness to the changing face of Thiruvananthapuram. And now that the building has been razed, we have lost another tangible link to our past.

(This is an excerpt from the author's blog ‘Tales from Travancore’)

[The author is a conservation architect and history buff]

MY OBSERAVATION AND COMMENTS:-

THIS CAN BE CONSIDERED THE FIRST "HOTEL" OF THIRUVANANTHAPURAM.
ONLY OTHER HOTEL CALLED MASCOT HOTEL(old photo)
Mascot Hotel celebrates centenary - The Hindu
Mascot Hotel celebrates centenary - The ...
thehindu.com
 WAS RESERVED FOR WHITE SKINNED RULERS MAINLY .THAT WAS THE PERIOD WHEN A WHOLE CLUB NEAR COTTON HILL SCHOOL WAS FOR WHITE SKIN RULERS ONLY

TRIVANDRUM CLUB(SREE MOOLAM CLUB)1890-'Dogs and Indians not allowed' ... SREE MOOLAM RAJA WAS ADMITTED AS THE FIRST AND ONLY INDIAN TO THIS CLUB IN 1910.
THOSE DAYS TOURISM FOR THE SAKE OF SEEING PLACES HAD NOT YET STARTED EXECPT THE FEW RICH TRAVELLING TO AMERICA BY TITANIC OR SOME IMMIGRANTS TRAVELLING TO CANADA AND AUSTRALIA FOR SETTLING DOWN -TOURISM IN ALL ITS GLORY STARTED AFTER SECOND WORLD WAR 
SO THERE WAS NO NEED FOR HOTELS IN KERALA,EXCEPT A GLORIUS BUNGALOW MADE FOR WHITE MEN AND NAMED MASCOT HOTEL

The rented bungalow where he was placed under house arrest was unfit for a king and the British permitted him to build a royal residence for himself.
The canal in Ponnani in 1930s.
THIS WAS BEFORE TOURISM STARTED 

 

 BELOW -COCHI HARBOUR ABOUT 1850  File:കൊച്ചിയിലെ ഹാർബർ (1850-1897).jpgBELOW-EDAKULAM RAILWAY STATION  File:എടക്കുളം റെയിൽവേ സ്റ്റേഷൻ (1900).jpg  BELOW-PONNANI PORT File:മലപ്പുറം ജില്ലയിൽ പൊന്നാനിയിലെ ഹാർബർ (1930-37).jpg  


 TRAVANCORE KING MADE TRAVELLERS BUNGALOWS FOR PEOPLE OF TRAVANCORE ,CALLED 'VAZHIYAMBALAM' IN MALAYALAM LANGUAGE



photo

Vazhi Mandapam/AmbalamOn the way to Thazhakudi village

[THE GOVERNMENTS OF 

TAMIL NADU AND KERALA ARE NOT TAKING ENOUGH INTEREST FOR THE UP KEEP 

OF HISTORICAL MONUMENTS -SEE THE SAD STATE OF THE VAZHIAMBALAM]


photo

vazhi ambalam or mandapamThakallai, Kanyakumari district

Vellayambalam is a prominent junction in the city of Thiruvananthapuram and is situated on the Rajapatha (Royal Path) that stretches from Kowdiar to East Fort.Before the widening, the Vellayambalam junction was a tiny place, where four narrow roads met. A Wayside Inn (Vazhiambalam) of the revenue department occupied the south east corner of that junction at the foot of the diamond hill. As the Maharajah often passed through that junction, the inn was kept clean and whitewashed. Because of that white wayside inn (Vella Vazhi Ambalam ) that junction came to be known as ‘ Vellayambalam’ (shortened form of Vella Vazhi Ambalam) and in due course the locality around was also named Vellayambalam.
a few notes about 'vazhiambalam' or 'government run way side inns' of ancient times:-

i am talking about 1700 to 1900 period
those days travel was very difficult due to :-
no roads,no populated area or village on the way,wild animals,most area of travancore was covered by forest

Chengannur River [Travancore]--1900-see the forest on river side , underpopulated area

in fact in 1850 an English man was attacked by a tiger few miles from thiruvalla ,near pallom
TRAVANCORE RAJAS WERE KIND ,AND ALWAYS ;I SAY ALWAYS CARED FOR THE RULED.
SO THEY MADE WAY SIDE INNS ON MAIN ROADS (NO ROADS TILL 1800 ,WHEN SOME RESEMBLANCE OF A ROAD WAS MADE BETWEEN THIRU ANANTHA PURAM AND KOTTAYAM ;KNOWN AS M.C. ROAD OR MAIN CENTRAL ROAD ;BUT WITHOUT BRIDGES -WHICH WERE BUILT LATER ON .THE ROAD WAS JUST PAVED WITH STONE (MACCADAMISE) .NO TAR THEN .
TRAVELLING WAS DIFFICULT ON LAND .MOST TRAVELLING TOOK PLACE VIA CANALS AND LAKES

THE ABOVE PHOTO OF AALAPPUZHA TOWN THEN KNOWN BY THE ANGLICANISED NAME OF ALLEPPY -CAN SEE NO MOTOR BOATS OR HOUSE BOATS -BEFORE ARRIVAL OF TOURISM ERA -1900'S
OTHER ANGLICINISED NAME OF KERALA TOWNS WERE
SHERTALAY-FOR CHERTHALA
CALICUT FOR KOZHIKODE
QUILON FOR KOLLAM
TRIVANDRUM FOR THIRU ANANDA PURAM
CAPE COMORIN FOR KANYA KUMARI
 TELLICHERRY=TALASERI
KANNANORE=CANNORE
MANGALORE =MANGALPURAM


TRAVEL ON LAND WAS, JUST WALKING ALL THE WAY, MOST TIMES .
EVEN IN 1960 I CAN REMEMBER PEOPLE WALKING DOWN THE ROAD FROM KOTTAYAM TO TRIVANDRUM CITY IN 3 DAYS WITH HALTS ON THE WAY [170 KMS OR 105 MILES]
ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THAT ERA:-
Marthanda Varma1706–1758) was a king ofTravancore (Trippappur Swaroopam) from 1729 till his death in 1758. Marthanda Varma had to flee the capital for the safety of the northern states such as KottarakaraKayamkulam etc. where he lived in difficulty for many years, travelling from one place to another to escape his enemies, Ettuveetil Pillamar .Ettuveetil Pillamar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
THE RAJA HAD TO FLEE,AND TRAVELLED BY FOOT TO KAYAMKULAM AND KOTTARAKKARA KINGDOMS .FROM THIRU ANANTHA PURAM WHICH WAS HIS CAPITAL..

SO FROM THE TIME MARTHANDA VARMA REGAINED POWER IN TRAVANCORE BY DEFEATING HIS ENEMIES ;HE DECIDED TO MAKE SUCH WAY SIDE INNS FOR TRAVELERS ON ROAD SIDE
AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSES PEOPLE WERE GIVEN LIGHT FOOD FOR EG:-RICE KANJI AND BUTTER MILK FOR THE THIRSTY AND PLACE TO REST
IT WAS WELL KNOWN THAT VAZHI VELLAM ( VELLAM=WATER, SUPPLIED IN SUCH WAY SIDE INNS ) WERE JUST WATER AND NOT RICE KANJI OR BUTTER MILK AS ORDERED BY THE KING ;BECAUSE OF THE CORRUPTION OF THE INN KEEPER

THE ABOVE PHOTO OF THE ANCIENT WAY SIDE INNS SHOW THAT NO BODY CARES FOR ITS UPKEEP .HOPE EITHER GOVERNMENT OR OTHERS WILL LOOK AFTER ITS UP KEEP FOR THE FUTURE GENERATIONS TO ENJOY

OTHER FAMOUS WAY SIDE INNS NEAR MAVELIKKARA TOWN WERE KNOWN AS OLA KETTIYA(PALM LEAF ROOF ) AMBALAM
AND OODITTA(TILED ROOF) AMBALM


british bungalow -near puttur/mangalore/1914

IF GOOGLE CHROME DOESNOT GIVE IMPEDIMENTS TO MY BLOGGING AS IS SEEN LAST FEW DAYS-I WILL WRITE MORE NOW:-

He signed a treaty with the British East India company and with their help ... WAS BY BOATAND ARRIVAL POINT WAS CHAKKA BOAT YARD ;AS CAR AND AEROPLANES ...


TRAVANCORE STATE{THIRUVITHAMKOOR} EMBLEMS OVER THE AGES



TRAVANCORE






Travancore State rose in eighteenth century Malabar dominated by Dutch and English trade powers. Marthanda Varma, who ruled 1729 -1758, is considered as its founder. He expanded the territory of the Kingdom from Kanyakumari in the South to Kodungallur in the North. He signed a treaty with the British East India company and with their help destroyed the power of the eight feudal land lords. From then on the kingdom slowly came within the orbit of the British East India Company. On January 3, 1750 A.D., he dedicated his Kingdom to his tutelary deity Sri Padmanabha (Lord Vishnu) of Trivandrum (the Trippadidaanam) and from then on the rulers of Travancore ruled the Kingdom as the servants of Sri Padmanabha (Padmanabhadasan).
Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore attacked Travancore in A.D.1791 mainly because Dharma Raja  (1758-1798) rejected his overtures and was moving for alliance with the English East India Company. The Travancore forces withstood the Sultan for less than 6 months and then the Maharajah appealed to the British East India Company for aid, starting a precedent which later led to the installation of a British resident in the country and a military alliance with the English East India Company. In 1795 the British resident, Colonel Macaulay, managed to engage the ruler in treaties which effectively made the state a protectorate of the East India Company and ended its autonomy. The protectorate was continued by the British Raj and ended on 1 July 1949 when the state of Travancore-Cochin was established.

Rulers of Travancore

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
Rani Parvathi Bai
Regent 1815-1829
Rama Varma III
1829-1847
Martanda Varma II
1847-1860
Rama Varma IV
1860-1880
Rama Varma V
1880-1885
Rama Varma VI
1885-1924
Bala Rama Varma II
1924-1949

From 1721 until 1949 Travancore has been ruled by princes from the House of Kulasekhara of which there have been thirteen maharaja’s. A landmark was reached when in 1888 a Legislative Council was founded, the very first of an Indian Princely State. The last maharaja,  Chithira Thirunal Bala Rama Varma II (1924/’31-1949), was appointed the first rajapramukh of Travancore-Cochin State but was deposed when Kerala State came into existence on 1 November 1956. He was stripped of all his ranks and titles as a result of the 26th amendment of the Indian Constitution act of 31 July 1971


As a matter of course the emblem of the House of Kulasekhra was borrowed from the attributes of Vishnu, who was the household divinity from 1750 onwards. As we know, these emblems were the cakra (wheel), the śankha (conch), the padma (lotus) and the gada (club). From these the śankha sankha was the special emblem of the Sri Padmanabha  incarnation on Vishnu.


Sri Padmanabha; Vishnu, lying on a snake with his consort, Lakshmi.
The lying deity keeps a śankha in his left hand, identifying him as Sri Padmanabha [1]

í
Śankha (conch-shell)  is the special symbol of Vishnu. His conch is known as Pañ-chajanya, being made from the body of the demon Pañchajana. It is symbolic of the spoken word, a tradition originating in Vedic India.  It is thought to make a frightening noise that terrifies the enemies of Vishnu. In sculptural representations, the conch appears plain or ornamental. In the latter case, its head is covered with a decorative metal cap, surmounted by a lion-head and having a cloth tied round it. Tassels of pearls may also hang from the sides.
Generally speaking the Śankha is the symbol of religious authority exercised by the word.

However, the first proof of an emblem of the House of Kulasekhra shows a trident which is the attribute of Shiva and a symbol of armed power. We may suppose that this has to do with the longlasting state of war at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century.  The trident is on Travancore coins struck by Rani Parvati Bai (1815-’29). The śankha only appears on coins struck in 1830. From then on the śankha is shown within a garland, together with the royal cypher RV, also within a garland on the reverse. Its definite form was achieved on coins struck in 1877 during the reign of  Rama Varma IV (1860-’80).
This ruler was honoured with an achievement European style for the occasion of the Durbar in Delhi in 1877. It was:


Arms: Argent, on a fesse Azure three reversed conches Or
Crest: On a helmet guardant, lambrequined Argent and Azure a seahorse.
Supporters: Two elephants.
Motto: Dharmo Smat Kuladewatam  (Dharmo is our Household Divinity).
(T. 89 [2])

í
The term dharma in this motto is an Indian spiritual and religious term, that means one’s righteous duty or any virtuous path in the common sense of the term. In Indian languages it can be equivalent simply to “religion”, depending on the context. The word dharma literally translates as that which upholds or supports, and is generally translated into English as law.

Very shortly after, a new achievement appears, possibly because of the many mistakes the designer, Robert Taylor, has made in the Durbar achievement.
The new achievement shows:


Arms: The Royal Cypher RV, surrounded by a strap with the motto DHARMA IS OUR HOUSEHOLD DIVINITY
Crest: A śankha within a garland
Supporters: Two elephants passant, trunks erect.
Motto: Dharmo Smat Kuladewatam in devanagiri script


From about the same time an emblem is known consisting of a golden śankha on a red sixteen-pointed halo. Below is a motto on a yellow ribbon.  It is on a painting showing a visit of the governor general of  Madras to the maharaja in 1880 .
On this very interesting painting also the royal banner is seen. [3]


Royal seal as on a regulation dated 11th of May 1885: śankha between the royal cypher.

One fanam coin struck 1919-’29,
showing the royal cypher and the national emblem
The next stage in the development of the heraldic emblems of Travancore is the separation of the royal emblem and the emblem of state. Maybe this.was a result of the foundation of the Travnacore Legislative Council in 1888. The royal emblem consisted of the royal cypher within a garland. This emblem was the nucleus of the royal achievement which consisted of the royal cypher crested by the śankha and two elephants passant, trunks erect.



Royal achievement on the letterhead of Rama Varma VI, 1893[4]

This shows: The royal cypher RV, crowned with the royal crown of Travancore and crested with the śankha. Supported by two elephans rampant, standing on a ribbon with a motto. Below is the jewel of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India of which he was a Grand Commander (1888). Behind the star are two crossed swords, a symbol of the army.


Royal achievement as on publications of the thirties of the 20th century

The arms of state consisted of the śankha, sometimes placed on a circular shield,  within a garland.
For the achievement the version without the shield was supported by two elephants passant, trunks erect and with the motto on a ribbon below.

The description supplied from the government of Travancore is:
“The coat of arms of the Travancore State is represented by a conch, supported by two elephants, one on either side thereof, together with a motto in Sanskrit “Dharmosmatkuladaivatam”, which means “Dharma is our household divinity”. The conch is one of the prominent weapons of Sri Padmanabha (an aspect of Mahavishnu, the sustaining and protecting god of the Hindu Trinity), the family deity of the Maharajas of Travancore. It is believed to be an emblem of purity, auspiciousness, victory and prosperity. The conch is a product of the sea, and Travancore, which has the longest seaboard among the Indian States, is aptly symbolized by it. The elephants form a distinguishing feature of Travancore, being very common in its forests. They, too, are emblematic of auspiciousness and victory. The motto signifies that righteousness is the watchword of the rulers of Travancore.” [5]


This achievement appeared in colour at the end of the 19th century on the national flag which was red, the conch white, the garland green, the elephants turqoise, the compartment green and the ribbon white with black devanagiri script.


Royal cypher of Balai Rama Varma II .


File:Raja ravivarma painting 50 historic meeting.jpg

Painting by Raja Ravi Varma depicting Richard Temple-Grenville, 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos being greeted by Visakham Thirunal, with Ayilyam Thirunal of Travancore looking on, during Buckingham's visit to TrivandrumTravancore in early 1880.

NOTE:-THOSE DAYS TRAVEL TO TRIVANDRUM{THIRUANANDAPURAM} WAS BY BOAT AND ARRIVAL POINT WAS CHAKKA BOAT YARD ;AS CAR AND AEROPLANES WERE NOT YET DISCOVERED.ALSO THERE WERE NO BRIDGES OVER RIVERS SO LAND TRAVEL OVER LONG DISTANCES WERE NOT POSSIBLE,EVEN BY BULLOCK CARTS .THIS WAS TRUE TILL 1960'S WHEN MOST BRIDGES WERE COMPLETED ,MANY BRIDGES WERE MADE OF  PURE WOOD-below canal highway of 1880's kerala (Travancore)on map from kottayam town to Trivandrum City


CANALS OF TRAVANCORE
Image result for BOAT CANALS IN TRAVANCORE MAP

Image result for trivandrum  boat yard 1870

www.scorpiogenius.com
Then: The Chakkai boatyard from a different angle.

You are viewing Chakka MapChakka is situated in Trivandrum, India. Manage your Travel time by accessing Google map of Chakka at MagicBricks.com!


1896-RIVER AT FAROOK and wooden bridge

















ANOTHER BRIDGE SIMILAR TO THE WOODEN BRIDGE AT NEENDAKARA ,BEFORE CONCRETE BRIDGE WAS MADE(SORRY NO ORIGINAL PHOTO OF NEENDAKARA BRIDGE WOODEN BRIDGE AVAILABLE)

WHILE CROSSING THE WODDEN BRIDGE WITH LOUD CREAKING NOISE OF THE WOODDEN PLANKS MADE PEOPLE REMEMBER OLD SAYING "PAALAM KADAKKUVOOLAM NAARAAYANA NAARAAYANA ...."