Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma
|Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma|
|Maharaja of Travancore|
|Reign||1931–1949 (1949–1991 titular)|
|Full name||Major-General His Highness Sri Padmanabhadasa Vanchipala Sir Balarama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharaja of Travancore, GCSI, GCIE|
|Born||November 7, 1912|
|Died||July 20, 1991(aged 78)|
|Predecessor||Sethu Lakshmi Bayi (regent)|
|Successor||Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma (titular)|
|Royal House||Venad Swaroopam|
|Royal motto||Dharmoasmad Kuladaivadam|
|Father||Ravi Varma Kochu Koil Thampuran|
|Mother||Moolam Thirunal Sethu Parvathi Bayi|
Sree Chithira Thirunal Maharajah ( Major-General His Highness Sree Padmanabha Dasa Vanchipala Sir Balarama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharaja of Travancore GCSI, GCIE ) (November 7, 1912–July 19, 1991) was the last ruling Maharaja of the Princely State of Travancore, in southern India. He is also credited for the industrializtion of Travancore.
Sree Padmanabhadasa Maharaja Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma was the eldest son of H. H. Sree Padmanabhasevini Maharani Sethu Parvathi Bayi, the Junior Maharani of Travancore, by her consort, Ravi Varma Kochu Koil Thampuran of Kilimanoor, a Sanskrit scholar and the great-nephew of the celebrated painter Raja Ravi Varma. He was born on a Deepavali day on November 7, 1912, as the Heir Apparent to the throne of Travancore. His siblings were Maharani Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi, wife of Lt.Col. Goda Varma Raja, and Sree Padmanabhadasa Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma. Sree Chithira Thirunal's mother, Maharani Sethu Parvthi Bayi, was distantly related, by birth, to the royal house of Travancore in the direct female line. In 1900, following the absence of heirs in the Travancore Royal Family, she had been adopted by her maternal great-aunt. At the age of 6, Sree Chithira Thirunal began his scholastic education under tutors specially chosen by Maharajah Sree Moolam Thirunal in subjects like Malayalam, Sanskrit, English, Mathematics, History, Geography, General Literature etc. At the age of 16, also began his training in State Craft and Administration, for two years, in Bangalore.
After the death of his adoptive maternal uncle, H.H. Maharaja Sree Padmanbhadasa Sree Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma, on August 7, 1924, H.H. Sree Padmanbhadasa Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma succeeded to the throne of Travancore. As Maharaja Chithira Thirunal was a minor, his maternal aunt, Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bayi was appointed as a regent to rule in his stead, till he attained the majority age. As was customary, he took the regnal name 'Sree Chithira Thirunal,' as he was born under the Chithira nakshatram or star. All Travancore Kings including Sree Moolam Thirunal conducted Hiranyagarbham ceremony. Maharaja Chithira Thirunal is the only King of Travancore not to have conducted 'Hiranyagarbham' as he considered it an extremely costly ceremony
Maharajah of Travancore
On November 6, 1930, upon his attaining majority age of eighteen, Sree Chithira Thirunal was invested with full ruling powers. On the eve of his coronation, the Maharajah in his speech said: “It is my hope that I shall be enabled by God’s grace to earn the affection and esteem of all communities and classes amongst my people whose advancement in every department of life will be my perpetual pre-occupation and my sole aim”.
Sree Chithira Thirunal was instrumental in establishing the University of Travancore (now the University of Kerala) in 1937. He was able to secure the services of eminent statesmen such as Sir C.P.Ramaswami Aiyar, who served as his chief minister for several years.The period of H.H Sree Chithira Thirunal who took the reins of administration in 1931, witnessed many-sided progress. But the Punnapra - Vayalar incident and the government involvement at the time would represent the negative side. The declaration of an Independent Travancore in 1947 also considered as a negative by some. After British India became independent as two dominions in 1947, and after some initial hesitation, Sree Chithira Thirunal agreed to accede his state to the new Dominion of India in 1949. The neighbouring Cochin state was united with the Kingdom of Travancore and Sree Chitira Thirunal served as the first and only Rajpramukh of the Travancore-Cochin Union from July 1, 1949, to October 31, 1956, which was the entire duration of the existence of that political entity. On November 1, 1956, the state of Kerala was created by uniting the Malayalam-speaking areas of the Travancore-Cochin Union with those of neighbouring Madras State, and Sree Chithira Thirunal's office of Rajpramukh came to an end.
The promulgation of the "Temple Entry Proclamation"(1936), was an act that underlined social emancipation, abolished the ban on Harijans or Dalits from entering Hindu temples in the Princely State of Travancore . It was on the eve of the Maharajah's birthday in 1112 (1936 A.D.) that the edict was promulgated. The Proclamation was received throughout India with delight and admiration. The full edict of The Temple Entry Proclamation by Maharajah Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma is as follows:
Profoundly convinced of the truth and validity of our religion, believing that it is based on divine guidance and on all-comprehending toleration, knowing that in its practice it has throughout the centuries, adapted itself to the needs of changing times, solicitous that none of our Hindu subjects should, by reason of birth or caste or community, be denied the consolation and the solace of the Hindu faith, we have decided and hereby declare, ordain and command that, subject to such rules and conditions as may be laid down and imposed by us for preserving their proper atmosphere and maintaining their rituals and observances, there should henceforth be no restriction placed on any Hindu by birth or religion on entering or worshipping at temples controlled by us and our Government.
Sir C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar referred to the day of the Proclamation as "a unique occasion in the history of India and specially of Hinduism". The Prime Minister of Madras described the Proclamation as the "greatest religious reform in India after the time of Asoka". Mahatma Gandhi in an open letter addressed to Sree Chithira Thirunal wrote: “People call me as Mahatma and I don’t think I deserve it. But in my view, you have in reality become a Mahatma by your proclamation at this young age, breaking the age old custom and throwing open the doors of the Temples to our brothers and sisters whom the hateful tradition considered as untouchables“, and expressed the hope that "all other Hindu Princes will follow the noble example set by this far-off ancient Hindu State."
Despite the political turbulence of that period, Sree Chithira Thirunal's reign saw revolutionary progress in the fields of education, economy & society as a whole. Some of the contributions by Sree Chithira Thirunal are: (1)The Temple Entry Proclamation, (2)Universal Adult Franchise, (3)abolition of Death Penalty, (4)Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, (5)Nellikkampatty Game Sanctuary(renamed Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary (PNP)),(6)University Of Travancore (renamed Kerala University), (7)Radio Station, (8)Sree Chitra Art Gallery, (9)Public Health Department,(10)Public Transport, (11)Pallivasal Hydro Electric Project, (12)Public Service Commission, (13)Swati Thirunal Music Academy (renamed as Sri Swathi Thirunal College of Music) and Publications, (14)Labour Corps, (15)Bicameral Assembly, (16)Travancore Land Mortgage Bank, (17)Agricultural Debt Relief, (18)Travancore Rubber Works, (19)Kundara Ceramics, (20)FACT(Fertilizers And Chemicals Travancore),(21)Punalur Paper Mills, (22)Sree Chitra Poor Home, (23)College Of Engineering, (24)Medical College Hospital Ulloor, (25)Free water supply, (26)Free and compulsory education to all, (27)Entry into Nair Brigade opened to all castes (28)Mid Day Meals in schools (29)Vanchi Poor Funds etc.
Sree Chithira Thirunal was famous for his devotion and piety towards his family deity Sree Padmanabha Swamy. V. P. Menon in THE STORY OF THE INTEGRATION OF THE INDIAN STATES referred to the Maharajah Chithira Thirunal's piety as follows: "The Maharajah then told me that he governed the State on behalf and as a servant of Sri Padmanabha and that he attached great importance to this position being maintained. The devotion of the present Maharajah to Sri Padmanabha borders on fanaticism; he rules the State not as its head but as a servant of the tutelary deity. He felt that on account of the dedication of the State to Sri Padmanabha and the special loyalty and devotion which the rulers of Travancore owed to that deity, it would not be possible for him to take the usual oath of office as Rajpramukh. It was important that the Government of India should have some sort of assurance from the Maharajah, that he would be faithful to the Constitution of India and to the new Union. In the end I suggested a solution. The Maharajah should address a letter to me, the text of which should be as follows: On assuming the position of Rajpramukh of the United State of Travancore and Cochin, I give my solemn assurance to the Government of India that to the best of my ability, I shall preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of India and that of the United State of Travancore and Cochin and devote myself to the service of the people of India. This letter was to be read by the Chief Justice in the presence of the Maharajah at the time of the inauguration of the new Union."
On December 28, 1971, Sree Chitira Thirunal lost his privy purse and other privileges when the Government of India de-recognized the status of the Maharajahs of the erstwhile princely states as rulers and abolished their rights to receive privy purses. However the other clauses of the agreements signed between the Government of India and the Princes in 1947 legally still hold. As part of the agreement during Travancore-Cochin Union formation, the control of Sree Padmanabhaswami Temple was also left to Sree Chithira Thirunal. When Privy Purse was cancelled, in one stroke, the Maharajah lost 18 Lakhs (per year), the majority of which he was using to support the Sree Padmanabhaswami Temple. Despite this, he supported the temple from his own private funds. The famous Sree Chithira Thirunal Institute Of Sciences And Technology was created with the personal funds of the Maharajah, after Privy Purses was cancelled by the Govt. Of India. Sree Chithira Thirunal established many charitable trusts as well which is still contributing to the welfare of society.
On July 11, 1991, Sree Chithira Thirunal suffered a stroke and was admitted to the hospital, aged seventy-nine, he passed away early morning on 20th July. He had ruled Travancore for 67 years and at his death, was one of the few surviving rulers of a first-class princely state in the old Indian Empire. He was also the last surviving Knight Grand Commander of both the Order of the Star of India and of the Order of the Indian Empire. He was succeeded as head of the royal house of Travancore by his brother, Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma. The government of India issued a stamp in 1991, commemorating the reforms that marked the reign of Maharajah Sree Chithira Thirunal in Travancore.
- 1912–1924: Maharajkumar Balarama Varma III, Elaya Raja of Travancore
- 1924–1935: His Highness Sri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchipala Balarama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharaja of Travancore
- 1935–1943: His Highness Sri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchipala Sir Balarama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharaja of Travancore, GCIE
- 1943–1944: Major His Highness Sri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchipala Sir Balarama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharaja of Travancore, GCIE
- 1944–1945: Lieutenant-Colonel His Highness Sri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchipala Sir Balarama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharaja of Travancore, GCIE
- 1945–1946: Colonel His Highness Sri Padmanabha Dasa Vanchipala Sir Balarama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharaja of Travancore, GCIE
- 1946–1991: Major-General His Highness Sri Padmanabhadasa Vanchipala Sir Balarama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharaja of Travancore, GCSI, GCIE
(ribbon bar, as it would look today)
- King George V Silver Jubilee Medal, 1935
- Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (GCIE), 1935
- King George VI Coronation Medal, 1937
- Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India (GCSI), 1946
- Indian Independence Medal, 1947
- G. V. Raja
- Raghunanadan, Lakshmi (1995). At the turn of the tide : the life and times of Maharani Setu Lakshmi Bayi.
- The Royal family of Travancore followed the Marumakkathayam system of matrilineal succession like the Nairs of Kerala.
- http://www.mathrubhumi.com/paramparyam/story.php?id=230343 MATHRUBHUMI Paramparyam ഹിരണ്യഗര്ഭച്ചടങ്ങിന് ഡച്ചുകാരോട് ചോദിച്ചത് 10,000 കഴിഞ്ച് സ്വര്ണം - "ശ്രീമൂലംതിരുനാള് വരെയുള്ള രാജാക്കന്മാര് ഹിരണ്യഗര്ഭം നടത്തിയിട്ടുണ്ടെന്നാണ് അറിയുന്നത്. ഭാരിച്ച ചെലവ് കണക്കിലെടുത്ത് ശ്രീചിത്തിരതിരുനാള് ബാലരാമവര്മ്മ മഹാരാജാവ് ഈ ചടങ്ങ് നടത്തിയില്ല."
- Supreme Court, Of India. "GOOD GOVERNANCE: JUDICIARY AND THE RULE OF LAW". Sree Chitira Thirunal Memorial Lecture , 29 December 2007. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
- Manorama Yearbook 2011, ISSN 0970-9096
- "THE HIGH COURT OF TRAVANCORE-COCHIN" http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/4175/7/07_chapter%202.pdf
- Of India, Supreme Court. "GOOD GOVERNANCE: JUDICIARY AND THE RULE OF LAW". Sree Chitira Thirunal Memorial Lecture, 29 December 2007. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
- "During his rule the revenues of the State were nearly quadrupled from a little over Rs 21/2 crore to over Rs 91/2 crore." - 'THE STORY OF THE INTEGRATION OF THE INDIAN STATES' by V. P. MENON
- Gauri Lakshmi Bai, Aswathy Thirunal (1998). Sree Padmanabhaswamy Kshetram. Thiruvananthapuram: The State Institute Of Languages, Kerala. pp. 242–243. ISBN 978-81-7638-028-7.
- Menon, A. Sreedhara (1967). A Survey Of Kerala History. Kottayam: D C Books. p. 273. ISBN 81-264-1578-9.
- Gauri Lakshmi Bai, Aswathy Thirunal (July 1998). Sree Padmanabha Swamy Kshetram. Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala: The State Institute Of Languages. pp. 259–277, 242–243. ISBN 978-81-7638-028-7.
- Gauri Lakshmi Bai, Aswathy Thirunal (July 1998). Sree Padmanabha Swamy Kshetram. Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala: The State Institute Of Languages. pp. 278–282, 242–243,250–251. ISBN 978-81-7638-028-7.
- Brief biography
- Brief biography and detailed genealogy
- KERALA: HERITAGE For Us, The Aroma Of Nearness A Travancore princess reminisces on the palace’s ties with the Padmanabhaswamy temple THIRUVATHIRA TIRUNAL LAKSHMI BAYI July 18, 2011
- Wikivoyage Thiruvananthapuram
- Royal vignettes: Travancore - Simplicity graces this House, The Hindu - Magazine, March 30, 2003
- 'I remember ...' In Memoriam Pooyam Tirunal Gouri Parvathi Bayi reminisces about her uncle Sri Chitra Tirunal Balarama Varma, the ruler of erstwhile Travancore, The Hindu, November 10, 2012
- G.V. RAJA Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- SREE UTHRADOM THIRUNAL MARTHANDA VARMA Chitralayam...an authentic perspective on the glorious past of Travancore
Chithira Thirunal Balarama VarmaBorn: 7 November 1912 Died: 20 July 1991
|Maharaja of Travancore
(Merge within the Republic of India)
Post created 1 July 1949
|Rajpramukh of the Travancore-Cochin Union
Post abolished by the Government of India 31 October 1956; succeeded by that of Governor of Kerala
|Titles in pretence|
|— TITULAR —
Maharaja of Travancore
Reason for succession failure:
Monarchy abolished in 1949
|Kingdom of Travancore|
|Part of History of Kerala|
|Gowri Lakshmi Bayi||1810–1815|
|Gowri Parvati Bayi‡||1815–1829|
|Sethu Lakshmi Bayi‡||1924–1931|
|‡ Regent Queens|