Nanoo Pillai

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Neyyoor Nanoo Pillai
Diwan of Travancore
In office
Monarch Ayilyam Thirunal[1]
Preceded by Sir A. Seshayya Sastri
Succeeded by V. Ramiengar
Personal details
Born 1827
Southern division, Travancore
Died 1886

Neyyoor Nanoo Pillai (1827–1886) was an Indian civil servant and administrator who served as the Diwan of Travancore from 1877 to 1880.

Early life[edit]

Nanoo Pillai was born in a Nair family of Neyyoor village of Travancore in 1827. He had his schooling at the London Missionary Society seminary in Nagercoil. While young, he caught the attention of General Cullen, the English Resident who first, employed him as a volunteer and then as a clerk in the Resident's office.

Civil service[edit]

After serving for 14 years in the Resident's office, Pillai joined the Travancore service as Assistant Police Sheristadar. With a strong recommendation from the then Diwan, Sir T. Madhava Rao, Pillai was promoted to be Diwan Peishkar of the Southern Division. Pillai was soon transferred to the Travancore division and acted as the Diwan in Madhava Rao's absence on six occasions. Pillai was eventually appointed as the Diwan on the retirement of Seshayya Sastri in August 1877.

As Diwan[edit]

As Diwan of Travancore, Nanoo Pillai brought reforms in the Revenue Settlement introducing the transfer of registries. He also brought measures for irrigating the Southern Division and formulated the Kothayar Project before retiring in 1880 on pension.


  • V. Nagam Aiya. Travancore State Manual, Volume I. pp. 590–594. 


  • K. R. Elenkath (1974). Dewan Nanoo Pillay: biography with his select writings and letters. Dewan Nanoo Pillay Memorial Reading Room, West Neyyoor.