Ayilyam Thirunal (1860-1880)
Sir T Madhava Rao was the Diwan at that time.
The Pandarapattam Proclamation in 1865 and the Janmi-Kudiyan
Proclamation in 1867.
An Arts College was established at Trivandrum in 1866. A number of
English, Malayalam and Tamil schools were opened all over the state.
In Trivandrum a large Civil Hospital and a Lunatic Asylum were opened.
In 1872 Seshayya Sastri became Diwan and he was also a good
One of Varkala tunnels constructed at a cost of Rs. 10 lakhs was opened in
Trivandrum Museum and the main building of the present University
College was built by Ayilyam Thirunal.
A Law college was opened at Trivandrum in 1874.
The rst systematic censes of Travancore was taken in 1875 May.
The main block of the Kerala Government Secretariat at Trivandrum was
designed by Chief Engineer Barton in 1865 and it was formally opened by
Ayilyam Tirunal in 1869.
The Sirkar Anchal (Post Service) was thrown open to the public in 1861.
Vaccination was introduced for government servants.
Bala Rama Varma (1798-1810)
He was weak and incompetent. He was assisted by three ministers -
Jayanthan Sankaran Nampoothiri, Sankaranarayana Chetty and Mathu
Tharakan. The inglorious partnership of these ministers has been described
as triumvirate of "ignorance, pro igacy and rapacity."
Velu Tampi was the 'Karyakar' of Thalakulam. He promptly organised a
popular revolt against the King's ministers.
At last Raja was compelled to dismiss his ministers.
Chempakaraman Pillai and Veluthampi were appointed as 'Valiya
Sarvadhi Karyakar' (Dalwa) and the 'Mulaku Matissila Karyakar' (Commerce
In 1800 Velu Thampi himself proclaimed as Dalawa with the approval of
Ummini Thampi who replaced Velu Thampi as Dalawa and introduced
some far reaching reforms. The Huzur Cutchery was constructed at Quilon
A system of 'water and war' (kaval) was introduced and jails were
He established four courts - Insuafs catcheries-for the dispensation of
justice, each court consisting of a nair judge and necessary staff.
He was dismissed in 1810 by Ram Gouri Lekshmi Bai.
Dharma Raja (1758 - 1798)
Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma who is known to history as the Dharma
Raja, succeeded Marthanda Varma on the throne of Travancore.
He was helped by distinguished statesmen as Ayyappan Marthanda Pillai
and Raja Kesava Das who served as Chief Ministers.
The re-organisation of the revenue department and the division of the
state into three revenue units 'Tekkemukham', 'Vadakke-mukham' and
'Padinjaremukham' was done by Marthanda Pillai.
Built the famous 'Nedumkotta' or Travancore lines in Central Kerala to
prevent the incursion of the Mysorean army.
Travancore came to be called Dharma Rajyam (Land of Charity) during his
The work of revenue collection was systematised and proper accounts
were kept. Varkala was developed into the nucleus of a ourishing town by
Ayyappan Marthanda Pillai.
Raja Kesava Das was the rst Chief Minister of Travancore who assumed
the title 'Diwan'. He was referred to by his countrymen as 'Valia Diwanji'.
He proved himself to be a talented administrator. He took special steps to
develop agriculture and industries. Irrigation works were executed and
fresh lands were brought under cultivation. Needy agriculturists were
helped with loans and remission of taxes.
Special attention was bestowed on the development of ports. The existing
ports like Colachel and Poontura were improved. Vizhinjam was developed
into a small port.
Open a new port at Aleppey. A timber depot was also opened at Aleppey
with a view of its commercial importance.
A network of canals and roads were opened with a view to provide
facilities for export and import trade. The Chalai bazar was designed by
Kottar in South Travancore was developed into an important commercial
Raja Kesava Das also completed the construction of the Gopuram of the
Sri Padmanabha Swami Temple.
He bestowed personal attention on the development of Trivandrum city.
Governor General, Lord Mornigton conferred on the Diwan the title "Raja
Dharma Raja shifted his capital from Padmanabhapuram to Trivandrum
He is also known by the name 'Kizhavan Raja'.
Dharma Raja founded the 'Kottaram Kathakali Yogam and introduced the
Southern School of Kathakali (Tekkan Kalari).
'Nalacharitam' was composed by Unnayi Warrier.
Dharma Raja held a Panditha Sadass or council of learned men.
Gouri Parvathi Bayi (1815-1829)
The Rani introduced several reforms to establish social freedom and civic
Agriculture and trade registered considerable progress during this period.
Cultivation of waste lands and hill tops was given top priority.
The restrictions on trade were removed by the abolition of several export
and import duties.
The practice of employment of labour for government work without
payment of wages known as 'Uzhiyam' was stopped by Rani.
All persons, irrespective of caste and status, were permitted by a royal
proclamation to have tiled roofs for their houses.
Christian missions were given all facilities to carry on their evangelising
activities. Rent free land and free timber were supplied for the erection of
Under Rani's patronage LMS (London Mission Society) at Nagercoil
established in 1816.
She also gave help to CMS (Church Mission Society) on its activities at
Alleppey and Kottayam.
The Nairs, Ezhavas and other Sudra communities were permitted to wear
ornaments of gold and silver without making the customary payment to
Regency of Rani Gouri Parvati Bai was an epoch of liberal administration.
Col. Munroe who relinquished the post of Diwan in 1814 continued to
guide the administration of the state till he laid down of ce as Resident in
Marthanda Varma (1729-1758)
Venad at the time of Marthanda Varma's accession to Trippappur
Swaroopam presented a picture of disorder and confusion.
He followed a policy of 'blood and iron', the basic aim of which was to
crush the feudal elements and make royal authority supreme in the
Marthanda Varma gave his rst attention to the task of re-organisation of
the administrative system. The nances of the state were improved and
every care was taken to ensure economy in public expenditure. Special
attention was bestowed on the reorganisation of the military forces. He
then proceeded to stamp out the forces of rebellion and anarchy.
In the Battle of Colachel on 10th August 1741 Marthanda Varma defeated
the Dutch forces and captured the Dutch captain D'Lannoy who was later
made the 'Valia Kappithan' of Marthanda Varma's army.
Annexation of Kayamkulam was in 1746.
One of the most important acts of Marthanda Varma was the dedication
'Trippadidanam' of the newly expanded kingdom of Travancore to his deity
Shri Padmanabha of Trivandrum on January 3, 1750. Thereafter the king
and his successors became the servants of Shri Padmanabha
(Padmanabhadasas) and ruled the kingdom in his name.
In 1749-1750 both Tekkumkur and Vadakkumkur were also annexed to his
Ramayyan was the Dalawa of Marthanda Varma.
Marthandavarma is rightly regarded as the 'Maker of Modern Travancore'.
Poets Kunjan Nambiar and Ramapurathu Warrier adorned the court of
Marthanda Varma constructed Krishnapuram palace.
Pativukanakku (annual budget) was introduced by him.
Ottakkalmandapam in Padmanabha Swami temple was erected by him.
The Bhadradeepam and Murajapam were introduced in the temple.
Rani Gouri Lekshmi Bayi (1810-1815)
She was assisted by Col. Munroe as the Resident Diwan.
The secretariat system was introduced by him and all correspondence at
the State level was to be carried on with his knowledge and under his
He took all possible steps to achieve economy in public expenditure. Each
landholder was given a 'Pattayam', in which the extent of the land held by
him, the nature of the tenure, government demand etc. were noted.
The designation of 'Karyakar' was changed to 'Tahsildar' as in British
'Chowkies' or customs houses were established in suitable places with a
view to prevent smuggling.
Slavery was abolished in Travancore by a Royal Proclamation issued in
The scheme of judicial administration was reformed by Col. Munroe. Zilla
courts were established at ve selected centres in the State-
Padmanabhapuram, Trivandrum, Mavelikkara, Vaikam and Alwaye.
A court of Appeal was set up at Trivandrum with ve judges including the
Munroe drafted a set of rules called 'Chattavariolas' based on the 'Dharma
The Police Department was enlarged and brought under the direct
personal supervision of the Diwan.
Another reform introduced by Munroe was the assumption of the direct
management of the Devaswams by the government in order to prevent
The reforms of Munroe modernised the administration of Travancore to a
very great extent.
Anchal Aappees (Post Of ce) : Colonel John Monroe introduced the
Anchal (Postal) system in Travancore in 1811. The Post Master was known
as "Anchal Pillai".
Sethu Lakshmi Bayi (1924-1931)
Sethu Lakshmi Bayi acted as Regent during the minority of Chitra
Thirunal Balarama Varma.
Mr. ME Watts was the Diwan. He was the rst ful-time non-Hindu Diwan
Formation of Village Panchayats in 1925 for developing self government
in rural areas.
The College for Women was raised to the rst grade.
Abolished 'Devdasi' system in the temples of South Travancore and of the
primitive custom of animal sacri ce in temples under the control of the
The Nair Regulation of 1925, which sought to substitute the principle of
'Makkathayam' for 'Marumakkathayam'.
Sri Chitra Thirunal Balarama Varma (1931- 1949)
He was the last of the ruling sovereign of Travancore.
Under the Legislative Reforms Act the Travancore Legislature was
reformed on the basis of wider franchise.
The Legislature was bi-cameral, the Sri Mulam Assembly and the Sri
Chitra State Council constituting the two houses.
A Public Service Commission was appointed in 1935 in order to ensure
fair representation for all communities in appointments to government
service on the basis of a system of communal rotation.
The Temple Entry Proclamation in 1936 and the establishment of the
Travancore University in 1937 were signi cant achievements.
The Travancore Land Mortage Bank was established in 1932.
The Agricultural Debt Relief Act (1937), the Travancore Village Union Act
(1939) were passed.
A number of factories such as Travancore Rubber Works, The Ceramic
Factory at Kundara, the Plywood Factory at Punalur, the Fertilizers and
Chemicals. Travancore Limited at Elur, etc. were started during his period.
Sri Moolam Thirunal (1885-1924)
A new Department of Agriculture was organised in 1908. The agriculturist
were given loans under the Agricultural Loans Regulations.
The work on the Kothayar Project in Nanjanad was started in 1895.
An Economic Development Board was set up to co-ordinate the activities
of different department.
The reign of Sri Moolam Thirunal witnessed giant strides in the eld of
The principle of free primary education was recognised.
A Director of Public Instruction was appointed to co-ordinate all
An Education code was introduced.
The education of the backward classes was given special attention.
Government schools were thrown open to the boys and girls of the so called
Technical schools were also opened.
A Sanskrit college, an Ayurveda college, a Second Grade College for
Women and a Law College were opened at Trivandrum.
An Archaeology Department was also formed.
Introduction of a system of grant-in-aid to Vaidyasalas helped to
encourage Ayurvedic system of medical treatment.
Most signi cant reform of Sri Moolam Thirunal was the formation of the
Legislative Council in 1888. The Council so set up was perhaps the rst
institution of its kind in an Indian State consisted of 8 members.
In 1904 Sri Moolam Popular Assembly (Praja Sabha) consisting of
members chosen by the Government of represent taluks.
Swathi Thirunal (1829-1847)
The reign of Swathi Thirunal was a 'Golden Age' in the history of modern
He was called by his subjects Garbha Sriman, i.e., one who was the
sovereign even from his birth.
The Raja was a great scholar and multilinguist, a musician and musical
composer of rare talents.
Meru Swamy, Shadkala Govinda Marar, Vativelu, Ponnayya, Chinnayya,
Sivanandhan were belonged to the court of him.
He reformed the judicial system by opening Munsiff's courts for the
disposal of petty civil and police cases.
A code of regulations framed on the British Indian Model was issued in
The 'Suchindram Kaimukku' or ordeal of boiling ghee was stopped by
He was started the Nair Brigade system.
The Huzur Cutchery and other public of ces were shifted from Quilon to
Trivandrum in order to enable the Raja to bestow his personal attention on
the administration of the state.
An English school was opened at Trivandrum in 1834 and it was
converted into Raja's Free School in 1836. District schools were also opened
simultaneously as feeds to this central institution.
The Trivandrum Observatory was opened in 1836.
A charity hospital was also set up at the capital.
A department of Engineering was specially set up to attend the works of
public utility. An Irrigation Maramath Department was organised to attend
to irrigation works in Nanjanad.
The census of the population of the state was taken in 1836 with the help
He also started a revenue survey in 1837 AD.
Irayimman Tampi, (who adorned Swathi Tirunal's Court) author of three
well known Attakathas an most popular of his literary compositions was
the 'Tarattu' (lullaby) beginning with Omanatingal Kidavo.
Sankara Joshier (1790-1858), a high of cial under Swathi Tirunal. He
translated Devi Bhagavatam (Sanskrit work) into Malayalam. But this work
was completed by his son Attukal Sankara Pillai.
Utram Thirunal Marthanda Varma (1847- 1860)
He rstly bestowed his attention on the improvement of the nances of
the state by enforcing strict economy in expenditure in the palace, public
works and Devaswams.
The Royal Proclamation of July 26, 1859 abolishing all restrictions in the
matter of the covering of the upper parts b Shanar women in Travancore.
The rst Post Of ce in Travancore was opened at Aleppey in 1857.
A schol for girls was opened at Trivandrum in 1859.
First modern factory for the manufacture of coir was opened at Aleppey in
Visakham Tirunal (1880-1885)
He bestowed his attention on every branch of administration.
The functions of the Police and Magistrates were separated.
Agricultural exhibitions were organised and handicrafts were encouraged.
Many oppressive taxes were abolished.