Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma
|Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma|
|Maharaja of Travancore|
|Born||November 7, 1912|
|Died||July 19, 1991(aged 78)|
|Predecessor||Sethu Lakshmi Bayi|
|Successor||Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma (titular)|
|Royal House||Venad Swaroopam|
|Father||Ravi Varma Kochu Koil Thampuran|
|Mother||Sethu Parvathi Bayi|
Chithira Thirunal Maharaja (His Highness "Padmanabha Dasa" Sri Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma Maharaja) (November 7, 1912–July 19, 1991) was the last ruling maharaja of the princely state of Travancore, in southern India. Chithira Thirunal Maharaja is famous for his Temple Entry Proclamation.
Balarama Varma was the eldest son of HH Sethu Parvathi Bayi, Junior Rani of Attingal, by her consort, M.R.Ry Ravi Varma Kochu Koil Thampuran of Kilimanoor, a great-nephew of the celebrated painter Raja Ravi Varma. He was born on Deepavali day in 1912. Balarama Varma's mother 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. Thus, upon the death of his adoptive maternal uncle, Sri Moolam Thirunal Ramavarma, on August 7, 1924, Balarama Varma succeeded to the throne of Travancore under the Regency of his maternal aunt, the famous Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bayi. As was customary, he took the regnal name 'Sree Chithira Thirunal,' as he was born under the Chithira nakshatram or star.
Maharaja of Travancore
Sree Chithira Thirunal reigned under the regency of his maternal aunt, Sethu Lakshmi Bayi, who was also his mother's first cousin. On November 6, 1930, upon his attaining majority, Sree Chithira Thirunal was invested with full ruling powers. He was instrumental in establishing the University of Travancore (now the University of Kerala) in 1937. He also had a beautiful palace built which is now a museum. He was able to secure the services of eminent statesmen such as C.P.Ramaswami Aiyar, who served as his chief minister for several years.
The period of HH Sree Chithira Thirunal Bala Rama Varma who took the reign of administration in 1931, witnessed many-sided progress. The promulgation of "Temple Entry Proclamation"(1936), was an act that underlined social emancipation. But the Punnapra - Vayalar massacre and government involvement at the time would represent the negative.During his rule it is believed that more than a thousand people were killed in the Punnapra-Vayalar uprising. Those who consider Travancore included in India as having contributed to its development would see the declaration of an Independent Travancore in 1947 also as a negative.
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. Travancore was united with the neighbouring Cochin state and Sree Chitira Tirunal served as 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. On December 28, 1971, Sree Chitira Thirunal lost his privy purse and other privileges when the Indian government derecognized the rulers of the erstwhile princely states.
Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma died at the Kowdiar Palace, Trivandrum in 1991, aged seventy-eight. 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 rule of Sree Chithira Thirunal in Travancore. The Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology and the Sree Chitra Thirunal College of Engineering at Trivandrum were named after him.
- 1912–1924: Maharajkumar Bala Rama Varma III, Elaya Raja of Travancore
- 1924–1935: His Highness Sri Patmanabha Dasa Vanchipala Bala Rama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharaja of Travancore
- 1935–1943: His Highness Sri Patmanabha Dasa Vanchipala Sir Bala Rama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharaja of Travancore, GCIE
- 1943–1944: Major His Highness Sri Patmanabha Dasa Vanchipala Sir Bala Rama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharaja of Travancore, GCIE
- 1944–1945: Lieutenant-Colonel His Highness Sri Patmanabha Dasa Vanchipala Sir Bala Rama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharaja of Travancore, GCIE
- 1945–1946: Colonel His Highness Sri Patmanabha Dasa Vanchipala Sir Bala Rama Varma III, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharaja Raja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharaja of Travancore, GCIE
- 1946–1991: Major-General His Highness Sri Patmanabha Dasa Vanchipala Sir Bala Rama 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
Chithira Thirunal Balarama VarmaBorn: 7 November 1912 Died: 19 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|