Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma
|Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma|
|Titular Maharajah of Travancore (monarchy abolished)|
|Reign||16 December 2013 -|
|Coronation||3 January 2014|
|Predecessor||Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma|
12 June 1949 |
Thiruvananthapuram, Travancore-Cochin, India
|Spouse||Ammachi Panampillai Amma Srimathi Rema Varma of Kilimanoor Kovilakam (m.1976)(div.2002); Dr. Girija Thankachi (m.2002)|
|Father||Lt. Col. Godavarma Raja of Kanjiramattom Palace, Poonjar|
|Mother||H.H. Maharani Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore Royal Family|
|Occupation||Managing Director of Aspinwall Ltd & Heriditary Head Trustee of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple|
Sree Padmanabhadasa Sree Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma (born 1949) is the current titular Maharajah of Travancore. He is the youngest of the four children of the former Titular Maharani of Travancore, H.H. Sree Padmanabhasevini Maharani Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi and her husband, Prince Consort Lt. Col. G. V. Raja of Poonjar Royal House.
Rama Varma is the only nephew of the last reigning King of Travancore, Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma and succeeded the late Titular King of Travancore, H.H. Sree Padmanabhadasa Sree Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma. He is also the Managing Director of the spice trading company, Aspinwall Ltd. As the head of the royal family, he along with his wife, moved to Thiruvananthapuram in 2013 and has settled down at Kowdiar, in order to keep up with the ritual duties of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple.
After the interim judgement by the Supreme Court on Padmanabhaswami Temple case, Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma remain the trustee of the temple and does the ritual duties as the Maharajah Of Travancore (Titular) but currently has no administrative power regarding the temple management. The Supreme court bench comprising justice R. M. Lodha and justice A. K. Patnaik ordered a temporary change in administration by forming a 5-member committee and appointing Vinod Rai as auditor. The committee will include Thiruvananthapuram District Sub Judge K.P. Indira, Thantri and Nambi of the temple and two members to be decided in consultation with the Government of Kerala and the Travancore Royal Family. Additionally one Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer and a former administrator of the temple were appointed as executive officers.
Rama Varma is the youngest son of H.H. Maharani Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore and her husband, Prince Consort Lt. Col. G. V. Raja, and was born on 12 June 1949 in Thiru-Kochi. His siblings are the late Crown Prince (Elayarajah) Sree Padmanabhadasa Sree Avittom Thirunal Rama Varma (died at the age of 6 due to rheumatic heart disease, long before he was born), Princess Pooyam Thirunal Gowri Parvathi Bayi and the writer, Princess Aswathi Thirunal Gowri Lakshmi Bayi. Like his father, Lt. Col. G. V. Raja, Rama Varma is also an avid sports and book lover. He was educated privately by selected tutors in various subjects. He later graduated from Mar Evanios College, Thiruvananthapuram, with Physics as his selective subject. Then he moved to Kolkata and worked there for some years. He then went to England to learn business management and worked there for a year.
Later life and marriage
After finishing his higher education and working in England, Rama Varma returned to India in 1972 and, at his uncles' advise, joined the spice trading company Aspinwall Ltd in Mangalore. Rama Varma then married Rema Varma in 1976. They were divorced in 2002. In the same year, he married Ammachi Panapillai Amma Srimathi Girija Thankachi of Vazhuthacadu, alias Dr. Girija Rama Varma, former radiologist based in London. After their 2002 wedding the couple lived in Mangalore till 2013. After Rama Varma assumed the Titular Maharajah's position (due to his maternal uncle's death), they moved to Kowdiar, Trivandrum, and settled down there.
Rama Varma served as a consultant and in various executive positions like, Additional Director (2004-2005), Director of Planning (2005-2007), Executive Director Aspinwall & Co Travancore Ltd (since 2005), Member of Aspinwall Promoter Group (since 2005), Managing Director of Aspinwall and Co Ltd in Mangalore (since 2008).
Titular Maharajah Of Travancore
Rama Varma became the Elayarajah of Travancore when Maharajah Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma died in 20 July 1991. And when Sree Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma died on 16 December 2013, he became the Titular Maharajah Of Travancore. He was appointed after a function called Thirumudikalasam, as the head of the Travancore Royal Family on 3 January 2014, was held at Kalasamandapam near the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple. After rituals and traditional procedures, Tharananalloor Parameswaran Namboodiripad, the temple Tantri (high priest), poured 'punyajalam' (holy water) over Rama Varma, making him the new head of the royal family. The anoinment function was a very private affair and only the closest family members and priests took part in it. Rama Varma, as of now, is also the Supreme Guardian or Custodian of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram. After his installation, he arrived at the Kulasekhara Mandapam of the temple where the Ettara Yogam presided over by the Pushpanjali Swamiyar held a meeting. The Yogam recognised Rama Varma as Chirava Mooppan and Thrippappoor Mooppan, and the Swamiyar signed on the neettu. His full title is : His Highness Sree Padmanabha Dasa Vanchipala Sree Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma, Kulasekhara Kiritapati Manney Sultan Maharajah Raja Ramaraja Bahadur, Shamsher Jang, Maharajah of Travancore (Titular).
- Makir, Haneef (17 December 2013). "'His Highness' isn't unconstitutional: Kerala High Court". THE TIMES OF INDIA. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
Though by the 26th amendment to the Constitution, Article 363 was repealed whereby the rights and privileges of the rulers of Indian states were taken away, still the name and title of the rulers remained as such and unaffected in so far as names and titles were not contemplated as rights or privileges under the repealed Articles 291 and 362 of the Constitution.
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- Buyers, Christopher. "TRAVANCORE-India/SALUTE STATES-royalark.net". Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- PRESS TRUST, OF INDIA (3 January 2014). "Moolam Thirunal anointed as head of Travancore royal house". Business Standard. Retrieved 11 February 2014.